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30 Day Fasting Challenge

fasting challenge

Okay so this is how the fasting protocol is going to work for the 30 day challenge.

We are going to work on a 5 day on 2 day off schedule. 3 of the 5 fasting days will be a minimum of 12 hours of fasting and the 2 other days will be a minimum of 16 hours. To maximize the probability of following this regimen we will do an overnight fast, so once you finish your dinner your fast will begin.

The weekends will be our off days, though you can feel free to switch this up to whatever schedule makes more sense for you. The only thing I do suggest is to pick a pattern and stick to it for the 30 days. The schedule I am going to follow is below…

  • 12 hour fast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • 16 hour fast on Tuesday and Thursday
  • The weekends I will probablu still do 12 hours as this is what I have been doing for a long time. If you feel like fasting on the weekends as well, I say go for it, there is nothing wrong with doing it 7 out of 7!
  • On the very last day we will do a 24 hour fast. If any of you feel adventurous we can do a 48 hour fast instead!

What if you are on medications that need to be taken with food?

  • If your medication is time sensitive – you need to take it first thing in the morning, then what you can try is eating breakfast and lunch and then fasting through dinner.
  • If the medication you take simply needs to be taken on a daily basis but is less time sensitive then you can try taking it with your first meal of the day. You can adjust your dinner to a slightly earlier time so that you can swing 12 hoours or so of fasting and just stick to that. There is still benefits to a 12 hour daily fast.

What about supplements?

  • Vitamins A, E, D and K are fat soluble vitamins and will most likely not be absorbed well if taken with water on an empty stomach so I would wait until you eat something with some fat in it so as not to waste the supplement.
  • Studies have shown that the addition of antioxidants, antibiotics, and other compounds that don’t necessarily “break” a fast do interfere with some of the benefits of fasting. The stress put on your body during a fast is the what induces your bodies healing reactions. So as a general rule I would limit what you add to your fast as it probably will act as a crutch and eliminate the worthwile benefits of fasting.

What will break the fast?

  • Amino acids or protein powders
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Certain teas – black and green tea are safe (without any sweetener)
  • Anything with calories

Black Coffee and Tea do have some calories but it is so minimal that many experst believe that the effect is negligable. If anything it may reduce autophagy but it has not been shown to reduce weight loss, ketosis, growth hormone and metabolic benefits of fasting. They may even enhance them.

When in doubt, just drink water!

I will add some information and links to studies on all the benefits of fasting as we go through the challenge! But for now here are some of the more commonly known benefits –

  • weight loss
  • Increased gut microbiome diversity
  • reduced inflammation
  • improved metabolsim
  • higher cognitive response
  • spiritual connection

We will be starting on MOnday January 13th!! If you have any questions please inquire at joey@b-fitstudio.com or just join the discussion as we post on our socail media platforms

IG – bfitstudio_mtl

FB – bfitstudiomontreal

Super Nutrient Bone Broth

Bone broth has been a tried and true source of healing nutrients for thousands of years. The tradition is to use the inedible parts of the animal to make a broth usually inluings the feet, skin, bones, ligaments, tendons and marrow. There are some outstanding benefits of bone broth. These benefits change slightly depending on the source of the bones you use but what you are getting is collagen, amino acids and minerals.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved digestive function – The collagen in bone broth is the single best source of the proteins needed to repair the gut lining. abone broth has been used to help treat IBS, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux. The compounds in bone broth will help in closing the tiny gaps in what we call leaky gut syndrome, a disorder that has massive implications with autoimmune disorders.
  • Reduced allergic reactions – The gelatin in collagen has been shown to reduce peoples; sensitivities to other foods like dairy and gluten.
  • Boosts immune system – By healing the gut, the collagen, gelatin and speicific amino acids provide a healing effect on the immune system, reducing symtoms from asthma and a number of autoimmune disorders. Bone broth also increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut which plays a central role in good digestion and immune system balance.
  • Improves skin health – Collagen improves the strength, elasticity and smooth appearnace of skin. Providing your body with a steady amount of collagen will keep your skin looking youthful longer. It has also been seen to reduce cellulite.
  • Balanced hormones and cellular function – Bone broth is a fantastic source of many minerls that act on cellular function, and as anitoxidants for reduced inflammation and have anti-aging effects.
  • Improves cognition – Glycine and other amino acids in collagen help in the production of chemicals and gormones that improve sleep, memory, task performnace and reduce mood disorders like anxiety.

My Super Nutrient Bone Broth Recipe

You can combine bones from different sources to get different types of collagen

  • 1-2 Whole chicken remains
  • 3 onions peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed
  • 3 organic carrots halved
  • 3 organic cellery stalks
  • 3 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
  • 3 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 3 tsp of freshly ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (helps with the bioavailabilty of the turmeric)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 small chunks of ginger
  • 5-10 organic kale leaves
  • 3 tbsp grass fed butter
  • enough water to cover everything – I just fill my slow cooker. I add water occasionaly keeping it full to the tippy top.

The kale, turmeric, ginger, grass fed butter and apple cider vinegar add a truck load of micronutrients that aren’t usually in bone broth. Obvioulsy you can add whatever else you like but this is a decent mix of classic and nutrient dense ingredients.

I usually slow cook my broth for 36-48 hours to get the most ut of it. Then I drain the liquid into glass jars and freeze them, thawing one overnight so that I can heat it up and drink it in the morning.

I take a capsule of highly bioavailable curcumin from the company RevGenetics and crack it into each cup of broth I drink. The capsules are 277x more bioavailable than consuming the spice on its own.

Alright, there ya go. Super simple, delicious and one of the best ways you can heal your gut!

Is a Vegan Diet Universally better? Part 2

First of all, thank you to everyone who read Part 1 of this series and for engaging in the discussion. i understand how close to the heart the decision to follow a vegan diet can rest. But I also feel that the emotion attached to a subject does not mean we shouldn’t dive into the important research that people are doing to help us make these important decisions. Indeed, it usually means it is doubly worth making sure we don’t spread bias based on feelings. Diet is not and should not be a faith based decision, we are talking about the health and lives of ourselves, our families, animals and the entire planet.

Much of what has clouded the discusiion is that the research has either been incomplete, the results have been muddied/taken out of context or that the experimental designs have been poorly constructed so that the results stated are not reliable or significant. This has happened from both sides but what we see in the movie Game Changers is another claim that a vegan diet will decrease illnesses like cancer and heart disease and increase lifespan.

Trying to decipher whether a specific food or group of foods is harmful or beneficial is very difficult. Defining and controling all of the outside factors that may also have an impact on the results , like exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, hereditary predispositions, other foods, etc., can make or break the reliability of the study. One common issue with the majority of research pointing at meat as a culprit for illness or increased mortaility is that it lumps all meat eaters into one category. Disregarding the quality of the animal product and the rest of the individuals’ lifestyle confounds any information you may be getting from them. And while you can definitley find vegans with unhealthy lifestyles, the people who tend to choose plant based nutrition are for the most part, a health conscious group.

We can take any number of incredibly healthy, active omnivores who eat clean, organic sources of animal products and then stand them next to an obese, sedentary omnivore who tends to eat burgers, bacon, sausages and pizza. Now ask anyone if they think there will be a difference in their blood work, hormone levels and projected lifespan. You will be hard pressed to find someone who would say that they should be lumped together in the same caetgory. Yet this is what has been done for almost all of the current literature.

One of the big headline grabbers in the last few years was The World Health Organization’s (WHO) report on the association between red meat consumption and cancer. This was an observational study, meaning that the researchers collect data, via questionnaires or interviews and then make inferences based on what they read or heard. In this study there was no, or very little controling of any other variables. You can not make statistically significant conclusions based on observational data. What you can do, is develop a hypothesis to study further using more technical, experimental methodolgy. The WHO reported an 18% increased risk of collorectal cancer for those who ate red meat, more specifically processed met. As far as observational studies go, an 18% increase of risk is so small that it can be chalked up to chance. We tend to look for massive correlations (100-3000%) of behavior and outcome to develop a working hypothesis towards causation. 18% doesn’t cut it. That said, it is perfectly fine to develop a hypothesis and then use double blind, variable controled experiments to further analyze. Instead this was printed worldwide and spread like wildfire as gospel. I read the results through a Harvard medical article and saw that same article posted by a number of friends and nutritionists that same week. No one goes back to look at the study and see if was properly formulated and statistically significant. The same will go for studies that are funded by the milk and dairy industry and so all of this muddied, contarary information gets harder and harder to wade through. So we just ingest the headlines and make snap decisions on what everyone seems to be agreeing upon. Whoever is more consistent or loudest wins.

It is no wonder that when you take someone off of a typical North American diet and give them more vegetables and fruits that the incidence of heart disease, cancer and diabetes drops. The research is pointing towards the obvious. But the healthy user bias is skewing where the focus should be – which is quality of food, and lifestyle rather than just animal products vs plants. We all know or presume to know the difference in quality from wild caught venison steak and factory farmed burgers or hormone injected chickens. We also know or should know the difference in quality between organic broccoli and processed veggie burgers. Unfortunately the clickbait headlines and representation of veganism in books and documentaries gloss over what is really happening in the science and tend to use vegan as an umbrella term for healthy. This is a disservice to the public who won’t take the time to investigate further. I spend days and days researching this stuff because i need to in order to best inform my clients but trying to find reliable sources of information and then unpacking it all is really tedious work. I don’t blame anyone for not doing it.

Back to the correlation of meat and cancer – A meta analysis released just after thw WHO report calculated a 10% risk of colorectal cancer with the intake of processed meat. This is just about half of what the previous observational study reported. But the main problem is that there was a no dose response, meaning that across all studies, it didn’t matter how much meat was eaten by the groups who had the highets intake, the response was the same. So one study could have a much higher average intake for their specific high meat consumption group than another and it didn’t change the rate of colorectal cancer. What this suggests is that another variable was responsible for the correlation.

Two more large observational studies comparing an omnivore diet with a vegan diet showed no difference in incidence of cancer when controlled for vegetable intake, smoking, alcohol intake, activity level and socio-economic status. The authors suggested that you can eat as much meat as you like as long as you increase fruit and vegetable intake. Once you do this, or elimintae other variables, the correlation to developing cancer disappears (Appleby et al., Mirshahi et al.).

But other studies show that vegans and vegeatraian live longer than Omnivores, so what about those?

The biggest and most recent of such studies are the 2 Seventh Day Adventist Studies taking place in the US taking data from over 100,000 Adventists to compare to the typical American, omnivore diet. The results were impressive, reporting as much as a 9.5 year longer life expectnacy for vegan adventists. It found fewer deaths from ischemic heart disease, cardiovascular disease and all cause of mortality. The vegans weighed 30 lbs less on average, rated lower on the body mass index scale and had less incidence of insulin resistance (SDA Health Study 2).

Seventh Day Adventists are an intereting cohort because part of their belief system incorporates a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and excludes tabacco smoking, alcohol, most or all animal products and sometimes even coffee, tea and sodas that include caffeine. They represent a fairly large population that has been vegetarian or vegan for many years and it has allowed for interesting insight into the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  But the unfortunate reality is that the kind of bias I mentioned above of comparing healthy, active vegans to the the general population of meat eaters is present in this study as well. We know right off the bat that these particular vegans are more likely to not smoke or drink alcohol or sugary sodas and we know that they are generally quite active.  We can not say the same for the meat eater group of this study and so the difference found in overall lifespan, and deaths from cardiovascular and heart disease could be coming from any number of other variables. It is important to mention that The SDA health study 2 did more to control for variables such as smoking and BMI, but still did not cover all possible oustide vactors and so the authors themselves cautioned as to what generalizations could be made for the public. Yet this is not the message you will find from souces such as Harvard Health, Healthline, Huffington Post and many more.

Fortunately, there are a number of other studies that have compared the lifespans of vegans and/or vegetarians vs omnivores with healthier lifestyles.  The results from all of the these studies  show an equally improved lifespan for both vegans/vegetarians and omnivores compared to the general population and no difference in lifespan between the two groups themselves. One of the studies chose the omnivore group from those who shopped at health food stores or read healthy lifestyle magazines would in general be more health conscious meat eaters. The other studies used similar tactics, by finding vegetarians who subscribed to health magazines and then asking them to invite family members who at meat. This is making a pretty big assunption that the meat eaters do indeed lead healthy lifestyles and yet all of these studies had similar results to the one mentioned above. One even showed a 10% inrease in mortaility for the vegan/vegetarian group but the authors suggestted that the outcome was related more to other lifestyle habits such as activity level, smoking and alcohol intake (Chang-Claude et al.). Without controling for all of these factors it will not be enough to make any significant conclusions but at least things are moving in the right direction.

There is no question that including more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a healthy choice (though some carnivore dieters would disagree). What I think we should question is whether it is healthier to exclude animal products from our diet. As per the science on protein quality and quantitiy from Part ! and from the review of the studies we have comparing vegan and omnivore lifespan, so far, I believe it is pointing towards no, especially for those of us who want to thrive rather than merely meet the recommended daily allowance of nutrients.

Part 3 will review the research on saturated fats and the very odd claims from the Game Changers film that cloudy blood from a meat burrito equals unhealthy blood.

 

 

 

 

 

Is a Vegan Diet Universally Better? Part 1

The short answer is no, it is not universal. Some people do very well on it and others do not. I want to get into the reasons why –  the science that both supports it and says otherwise so that we can all make a more informed decision on how to fuel our bodies. But regardless, It is both okay to choose it as a way to eat and it is also okay to not. On a small enough scale, all eating is “murder.”

I am not anti-vegan and I am not anti-carnivore but if you read any of my articles you will find a common theme in my beliefs, which is that I don’t think optimal health (be that for humans, animals or the planet at lage) exists in any ‘all or nothing’ scenario. Every single ecosystem is dependen on the cycle of life and death and I do believe that removing ourselves from this equation is detrimental to the health of the whole. I also believe that abusing our sources of food – be it plants or animals is doing more damage than is necessary. But I don’t want to use this post to address environmental impact or better farming practices or animal rights. All I want is to add to the dialogue about human health and how we can optimize it through nutrition. What this means as far as some basic tenets we should all be aware of so that we , as individuals can make better decisions for ourselves and then maybe we can all discuss the grander scale issues with a better idea as to what we can compromise on for everyone and everything to survive and thrive.

Want to Stay Young? – Seek Struggle

In my opinion, If you want to grow old but maintain an agile, stable and strong body, youthful skin and a sharp mind; you have to struggle a little bit. or “make an effort.” In a way its about creating stress, but just the right amount.

I Always Have Time For You

I don’t write about this often, not out of shame or fear but mainly because I am not a professional in this area. There are a lot of people spewing advice about mental health that have no place doing so. Maybe it does some people good but I am all too aware of how it can also do harm. So, just for the record, the following is not advice, it is simply me waving a flag or shining a light for anyone out in the dark looking for a beacon. While this imay be posted to the public, it is really meant for the people around me. This is a personal post.

SELF DEFENSE WORKSHOP with Joey Reid

COME JOIN US AT OUR NEXT EVENT!

SELF DEFENSE WORKSHOP (LEVEL 1) with B-Fit Founder, JOEY REID                  

Mr. Reid, a kung-fu Instructor of 21 years and martial arts practitioner of 31 years, has taken his experience in various martial arts and developed a functional system of self defense techniques and philosophy.  Using a blend of the simplest but most effective techniques, his workshops and classes are meant to instill courage, humility and compassion while training a set of physical reflexes that are crucial for survival.

The function of this seminar is to teach the most effective means of defending against some of the more common types of attacks. This is a basics level seminar and so it is open to everyone, you do not need to have any background in martial arts nor do you need to have a high level of fitness. All ages are welcome.

Some of what you will be learning in this seminar:

Love & Inclusion: Good for Our Brains and Overall Health

So this is not exactly a post about fitness and nutrition but I went down a rabbit hole this week and this is what has come out of it…

There is a Hindu saying – The world is as we are. The world around us is a reflection of how we think of ourselves and how we behave.  Hatred is not borne from a loving heart.

The Only Way to Fix a Back Injury

If you’re reading this, chances are you are already suffering. Maybe you strained it shoveling snow, or trying to hold your kid as they flip flop through ‘stiff as a board’ and ‘dead weight’ modes. Or maybe you just sneezed and ruined your life. It can happen at any time, and more often than not it turns into something chronic. My best advice for back injuries is – don’t get one!

How To Put On Muscle And Stay Trim

You can lose fat and build or maintain muscle at the same time. In fact this is what happens the majority of time with the average person. If you are building muscle, then you are losing fat. The rate may be different and what you are eating will effect this heavily.

Closing the Gap – How to Fix Diastasis Recti Part 2

A ten to twenty minute, daily exercise regimen should suffice to augment the natural healing process. If the abdominal separation is the width of 2 fingers or more, this is what I consider level 2 diastasis. While a similar routine may be enough to heal it, I like to put emphasis on changing daily behaviors so as to really avoid putting unwanted stress on the tissues in between training sessions. If you’re going to spend an entire hour of your day jogging and then go eat a cheeseburger and fries…I mean, sure, have at it but the burger and fries basically undid all of your mind numbing, boring work running, and then some. Can you tell I love running?

Closing the Gap – How to fix Diastasis Recti – Part 1 of 2

I have written about this in the past but it still seems to be a topic that so many people are unaware of or not sure about, so it seems fit to have another go at it. First off, diastasis recti is not limited to women who are pregnant or just delivered a baby, men and non pregnant women can suffer from this as well. The information below can be applied to anyone but most people with diastasis recti are new mothers and so this post reads more specifically for them.

After 10 years of experience helping my clients recover from Diastasis recti I can tell you two things for certain. One is that, in almost all cases it is fixable using specific corrective exercises along with changing daily habits. And the other thing is that there is no one-size-fits-all program.

In Part 1 (of 2) I am going to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions I get from my clients. Part 2 will cover some habit changing tips as well as a few progressions of the more universally effective exercises.

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