Episode 34 – Staying fit during the pandemic, is a special episode with Darren Kirby the “Fitter Healthier Dad”. Darren is a tri-athlete, and a fit dad. He lost over sixty pounds and has managed to keep the weight off through a diet based on sensible principles, and a commitment to fitness.
Being a tri-athlete has given Darren the mental toughness to staying fit during the pandemic and ongoing the restrictions. He’s here on the Happy and Healthy Over 40 podcast to share some useful tips on how to stay fit and eat right under the social distancing guidelines that are currently in place.
His tips on fitness during the pandemic are super useful. Put them to good use, and stay happy and healthy!
About Darren Kirby
Ironman athlete Darren Kirby’s aim is to help one million Dads/Men live a healthier happy life – and to give them the knowledge and tools to also help their children and families do the same. In the year 2015 Darren the fitter healthier dad had competed in 10 triathlons during that season. In 2018 he was awarded ALL World Athlete Status by Ironman in the top 5% in the world. Darren started fitter Healthier Dad to help other fathers.
Darren’s motto is – Feel Better, Look Better and Have tons of energy.
Here’s what you’ll learn
fitness during the pandemic
Adapting your exercise schedule
varying your daily routine
immune system support
Autophagy and insulin levels
12 to 15 thousand steps a day
and keeping the kids involved and staying fit too!
Useful tips on keeping the relationship together during social distancing
Episode 33 – Covid 19, Corona Virus, or SARS-CoV-2 – No matter what you call this virus, it spells isolation. Even the most introverted humans have personal relationships that they value and want to maintain. We humans are designed to live together. Anthropologists can prove that hominids (early humans) have lived in bands, tribes, and villages for millennia.
Covid – 19
Since the terrible spread of Covid – 19, we’ve been engaging in some very un-human like activity through self imposed isolation or quarantine. Even monks who live in silence still live in proximity to other monks during their meditations, and daily activities. Mass global quarantine is unusual to say the least.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s growing evidence that social distancing and quarantine are working. The spread of the virus is slowing down. That is a good thing. Until scientists create a vaccine for this pandemic, social distancing and testing are the best solutions for saving lives.
You will probably survive this virus, but what about your love life? You’re stuck at home with your significant others. I’d bet you a roll of toilet paper that there will be a new baby boom for the next two years. For a lot of people there’s nothing to do but watch Netflix and make babies.
For some other folks a 24/7 scenario is too much of a good thing. I got a call the other day from a friend, who is staying with his parents during the pandemic. He’s not doing this because they need his help. They need a referee, otherwise they were going to come apart. This may not be you, but if you find yourself frustrated and maybe a little more annoyed than usual with your partner. You might be getting a touch of what the old timers used to call “cabin fever“. No, not the movie! It’s an actual disorder from too much close proximity over an extended period of time.
So what can you do to stay safe and maintain a healthy relationship? How do our relationships survive this pandemic? Fear not. On this latest podcast I’ve brought in relationship expert Allana Pratt to lend us some insight on how to deal with this temporary situation.
Allana Pratt Bio:
Intimacy Expert, Allana Pratt is a global media personality and go-to authority for those who have suffered heartbreak and are ready to live unapologetically, and attract an open-hearted, ideal relationship. Her vulnerability and courage landed her a featured weekly column on the GoodMenProject, featured as an Icon of Influence, and as Guest Expert on Huffington Post, People Magazine, Forbes, CBS & FOX and The Jenny McCarthy Show. Allana is the Author of 4 books. She has interviewed Whoopi Goldberg, on her edgy Podcast “Intimate Conversations”, where listeners learn how to find the relationship they deserve.
Ketosis and intermittent fasting – which is right for you? These two dietary philosophies are similar in that both systems focus on insulin, fat, and ketone bodies to lose weight and stay healthy.
Ketosis happens when we eat foods that are low in carbohydrates and higher in fat. These are foods such as eggs, meat, high fat fish like salmon, and non animal products such as olives, avocados, and coconut oil. By keeping your dietary carb intake to about 25 to 35 grams of carbs a day, you will likely start burning stored fat as a primary source of energy. This is called Ketosis.
When you eat foods that are very low in carbohydrates, your body releases less insulin. Less insulin, means less fat storage. It also means less glucose that is available for immediate energy. So you’d better make sure that you’re eating enough healthy fats!
Intermittent Fasting (IF) limits the amount of time that you can eat food, during a given amount of time. It takes much of the benefits of ketosis, without having to follow a ketogenic dietary plan. Fasting does this because while you are not eating, you have less carbohydrate in your blood stream. Less carbs = less insulin.
Some people fast for 36 to 48 hours once a month. Some folks fast on a daily basis from anywhere between 16 to 23 hours. The most common and easily achievable way to start with IF is called 16/8 Intermittent fasting.
it’s reasonable to assume that you can fast for 16 hours. You’re asleep for approx 8 of those hours anyway. The tricky part for most people is when to begin eating. Author Tim Ferris has a version of IF that advocates eating breakfast 30 minutes after waking up. He also advocates for low glycemic load foods consisting of bean or lentils, a small piece of protein, and fiber from something like leafy greens such as mustard greens, or spinach. I love cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli , lentils and eggs is a great meal to break the fast from the night before.
An important point about Ferris’s example, is that we want to set ourselves up for success.If you’re used to eating breakfast and you can manage not eating later in the day then go for this version. I like doing my morning workout routine while I am still fasting. It’s fantastic! Exercise is much easier on an empty stomach, and I feel amazingly clear-headed when I am done. You can eat your protein and fiber afterwards, and have a better sense of how much your body appreciates delicious healthy foods.
Is it all just Hype?
They both work, but which is right for your lifestyle?
In a word – no. It’s not all hype. To be clear, we lose weight by expending more calories than we consume. There’s no denying that fact. You can lose weight simply by counting calories. Many have done it before you, and you can successfully lose weight by doing the exact same thing. However, for everyone who has succeeded this way, thousands more have given up and failed. What I’m saying either, keto or IF is a superior way of meeting your dietary needs and still lose weight.
The calories in – calories out approach alone, is a miserable way to lose weight. You know what I mean. You’re always hungry, and thinking about food. Your energy levels are through the floor because you’re essentially starving yourself. Sometimes, people end up making themselves sick by dieting this way.
Both Keto and IF can give you enough calories, to get you through the day. Insulin makes you hungry. The lack of insulin in your system, keeps hunger at bay. The idea is to take in a few fewer calories a day than you expend. That is the way to sustainable long-term weight loss. Can you take in a few less calories a day with a more conventional diet. Sure. If and Keto just make it a whole lot easier, and you get to eat a lot more nutritionally dense foods too. Delicious!
Ketogenics limit glucose intake and increases fat intake. Consuming under 35 grams of carbohydrate is normally considered enough to put a person in ketosis. Intermittent fasting simply takes advantage of the amount of time that you are not eating to gain some of the benefits of ketosis without having to be obsessed with carb counts and weighing foods, etc. Both systems prevent the storage of fat, mobilize the fat that’s already stored in your body, and they both suppress your appetite quite a bit while you’re reaching for your healthy goals.
Ketosis has been shown to increase GABA in the brain. As you probably know, GABA helps us sleep and reduces anxiousness. Anything good for the brain is good for the nervous system too. Intermittent Fasting gives you increased GABA and other similar benefits, simply because you are not eating for 16 hours a day.
Which should You choose?
If you can manage to stay consistent with the ketogenic system, and you can do it perfectly, so as not to knock yourself out of ketosis, then this is the right call for you. It works well, and it works quickly. You can lose weight with little effort if you do this right.
Ketogenic diets are right for thousands of people who are looking to lose weight, and lower the inflammation in their joints. However keto is not the right call for me. Why you ask?
I choose to eat IF because, it is so much easier to do correctly than keto. With intermittent fasting, all you have to do is not eat for a minimum of 16 hours and you are taking many of the benefits from ketosis, for about 4 to 5 hours daily. That is even if you ate a little too much that day. It’s much easier to sustain than keto because of this reason alone.
Intermittent fasting gives you a greater variety of foods that you can eat. At the moment, I am eating around 100 grams of net carbs. That’s about 70 grams more than you’ll get on Keto. I don’t see the point of putting myself through such an unforgiving dietary system such as Keto, if I can have similar benefits and still be able to have a beer at a party once in a while.
The truth is, that it is far too easy to fall out of ketosis. A teaspoon of mustard can screw all of your efforts up, if it contains any sugar – which it probably does. an apple could knock you out of ketosis for a couple of days. If you are struggling with high blood pressure, you’d better make sure that you are very careful about the fats and carbs that you are consuming. This is no joke. It is not a quick fix diet to jump on and off from. You can seriously raise your blood pressure overnight if you do.
If you go the IF route, black beans, and garbanzo beans are delicious sources of fiber, and protein. Many fruits such as blackberries, strawberries, and an occasional apple are all on the menu. With keto you’re better off not eating the fruit at all to stay on the safe side.
Another good thing about IF is that it is much cheaper to get a good healthy meal than on keto. Most vegetables are pretty cheap in the markets, even the organic and locally raised produce is cheaper in comparison to lots of meat and fresh fish. It’s also nice to have a sweet potato with my salmon and greens.
So what eating system works best for you? Here are a few other links for you to help you on your journey:
EVERY MAN OVER 40 thinking about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for energy, mental focus, and libido, needs to ask these questions. Do you actually have low testosterone levels, confirmed by blood tests? Do you have normal or low-normal testosterone levels and want to try treatment anyway? What’s “normal” anyway?
Hypogonadism also known as “low T” afflicts 200,000 men a year. It can start as early as fetal development. It could begin later in life as well. One potential problem is the testicles are not making enough testosterone, for one reason or another. These men experience certain symptoms, such as low sex drive, weak erections, and depression . TRT may help. Fatigue, increased body fat, reduced focus, difficulty concentrating and other symptoms could also be signs of low T.
Some men with normal testosterone levels, think they’ll get an extra boost of testosterone. They think they’ll feel like an 18-year-old football star. It doesn’t work that way. If you have normal T levels, testosterone replacement therapy, will not give you super human strength. It will not turn you into a love god.
Prescription testosterone isn’t really helpful in the case, of normal hormone levels in men. Research suggests, taking supplemental testosterone may expose men to unnecessary health risks. Some of these risks are: fluid retention, enlarged breasts, and sleep apnea. Other alarming risks are enlarged prostate, increased anxiety, high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. I think that you’ll agree that these are serious complications. If you’re going to go on TRT, then please make sure that you are consulting with a physician. AND not just any old doctor – go and consult with an endocrinologist.
Testosterone is known as the male hormone, produced primarily in your testicles. This androgen effects the density of our bones, muscle size and strength. It also effects body fat, body hair, sperm production, sex drive and red blood cell production. Testosterone is key for maintenance and health in men of all ages.
Our testosterone levels change and adjust throughout our lives. Any adult man knows about the changes in physical, mental, and emotional states during our adolescent years. Puberty begins in boys around the ages of 10 to 14. This is when testosterone production starts cranking. It hits its peak sometime in adolescence or in our early twenties. Unfortunately, testosterone slowly decreases approximately 1 percent a year after a man hits his 30’s and 40’s.
The Endocrine Society, says that average total testosterone ranges from about 265 to 915 nanograms per deciliter for younger men ages 19 to 39. Current guidelines discourage physicians from prescribing testosterone unless blood levels are demonstrably low. With men ages 65 and older, low testosterone levels alone does not lead to TRT, according to the society’s recommendations.
The Rising Tide
As, more and more men, are now asking for TRT therapy. It’s hard to imagine that big pharma is will ignore the demand for better tools to manage an aging population. We are living longer than any time in human history. As TRT gets more attention, and new research is published and peer-reviewed, better products will come to the market.
Who knows how the demand will affect the future of anti-aging products and TRT, as big pharma can clearly see that this is a lucrative revenue stream. For the men that have benefited from hormone replacement therapy, it’s been described as a game changer. A man described the effects as if “somebody switched on a light in a dark room”.
Don’t dream. Lift!
Some of the other benefits are greater sex drive, improved cognition, and if you are into working out – bigger muscles too! I know several men who swear by TRT. They say it’s the best thing that has ever happened to them. One man, who thought his competitive days were over, started to do competitive martial arts after taking TRT just for a few months. Better sex drive, stronger and bigger muscles – this sounds great! With such rave reviews, why has the health industry become reluctant to break out the old prescription pad, when it comes to TRT?
Slowing your Hormonal Roll
Evidence suggests, that there was an early boom in hormone replacement therapy for men. Drug manufacturers, enthusiastically marketed TRT to the public and medical professionals alike. Today, doctors are writing fewer testosterone prescriptions.
In 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine – the American Medical Association’s peer-reviewed monthly journal published a study based on insurance prescription data for approximately 10 million men starting at the age of 40 and older. From 2001 to 2011, androgen replacement therapy, was prescribed in the form of topical gels, skin patches, pills and injections. Sales had tripled.
The trend reversed in 2013. TRT prescriptions for American men from 30 and older decreased by almost fifty percent from 2013 to 2016, according to findings published July 10, 2018, in JAMA.
It was discovered that in the five-year’s since the original study, heart attacks and stroke risk from testosterone therapy appeared in respected medical journals. In October 2016, the FDA approved changes to TRT labeling to emphasize possible risks for heart-related problems and mental health issues having to do with testosterone products.
What’s worse is that, in the first study, about 25 percent of the men on TRT were not tested for low T-levels. Many of these men were not hypogonadal, and put at risk for heart disease, and prostate issues for no good reason.
Judge for Yourself
For men how have significantly low testosterone levels, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy usually outweigh potential risks. If you are a man with moderate to borderline levels, you’re going to have to make some decisions with your doctor. There is a lot to think about. On the one hand, It offers men who feel like garbage an opportunity to feel as right as rain, and on the other hand, that magic bullet could put you at higher risk for heart disease and prostate cancer.
There is some debate as to whether heart and prostate problems increase with the use of hormone replacement therapy. There just have not been enough studies conducted yet. However, keep these potential risks in mind when weighing the pros and cons of TRT. Is it worth it, if you don’t really need it?
I will be doing later articles on what you should do before you go and see the doctor to talk about TRT, and what you can do to increase your testosterone levels without using any of the many products such as gels, and pills.
If you have anything to add to the conversation please post your thoughts in the comment section.
The Life Coach for Insomnia and Sleep Disorders – this episode is a wake up call, and a genuine eye-opener where Derek Lacey and yours truly discuss his theory on the leading causes of poor sleep, and insomnia. This self-professed “Life Coach for insomniacs”, thinks that artificial blue light from televisions, cellphones, and artificial lighting from LED, and fluorescent sources are not allowing us fall into a proper circadian sleep cycle. He further states that the lack of exposure to full spectrum light (Daylight) doesn’t allow the proper hormones and nutrients to be released by our eyes.
Derek’s solutions are practical and available for any of you who are suffering from insomnia and sleep disorders. His approach is based in science, and common sense. I urge you to listen to this podcast, and finally get some good sleep. Your life depends on it!
Derek Lacey Bio
Derek Lacey is a Sleep Coach who works with Insomniacs to discover their own power and internal resistance to sleep.
As a former Insomniac himself, Derek’s lifestyle brought him to rock bottom, with no solution for rising above. His commitment to a whole new set of habits around food, mindset, and spirituality helped him overcome his greatest lifestyle challenges, even beyond Insomnia. He began to see life differently and understand how to use his unique skills as a communicator and connector to influence the lives of others.
As a speaker, Derek offers a unique way to make incredibly complex scientific information about sleep accessible, inspiring audiences to make simple but radical changes to their lifestyle. As a coach, he enables people to rapidly transform their lives through good sleep.
Derek Lacey explains his unique approach to insomnia and sleep disorders
It’s difficult to one day decide it’s time to make sincere changes in your life so you can start sleeping again. Part of what makes that so challenging are the listless options you might be tempted to try instead, offered by people who really do know a lot about sleep. Their knowledge isn’t the problem, it’s the confidence you have in yet another sleep product, idea, or sleep tip to reverse years of sleeplessness or acute insomnia. This part is rarely, at least I’ve never seen it, addressed. In a way, these things are destined to not work before you even try them.
Not because they aren’t proven, but because what is missing, in my opinion, is the understanding for what an Insomniac is going through and the compassion for the catch 22 lifestyle they experience that’s posing the bigger problem.
It’s not just about falling asleep!
That puts more pressure on this “thing” to work so that you can start sleeping. Then there are no back up plans or victories of any kind to celebrate when they don’t work or stop working. There is no system to it. With so much pressure on something working, no wonder you’ve never heard of the sleep supplement that saved the day!
As a life coach for Insomniacs, this is where my approach is radically different. It is of the highest priority for me to help you experience a higher quality life, before you actually start sleeping better and not the other way around.
“Insomniacs appreciate sleep more than anybody else, because of the ‘or else’ factor.”
“It’s about avoiding toxic light, and also getting the good light. If you’ve got insomnia, and you’re not doing that, you need to start.”
“I call myself a life coach for insomniacs, because I’ve never met a person with a sleep problem. They’ve got life problems that affect their sleep.”
Take responsibility for your brain and nervous system health!
It’s been eight years since I was diagnosed with RSD, due to a work place accident. If I had continued to follow doctor’s orders I would be walking with a cane today. In early 2012, I decided that I’d had enough after hobbling passed my surgeon’s Bentley in the hospital’s parking lot. My goal was to be able to walk, run, and live a great life filled with physical activity. Brain and nervous system health were the keys. Even though I was determined to succeed, getting the right information, was a little more difficult than I imagined.
Of all the many specialists that I’d seen regarding my neuropathy not a single one asked me about my diet, sleep and exercise. They were all focused on their training. The surgeons wanted to do another operation. The pain specialists wanted me to try another medication. You get the idea.
Trial, Error, and Research
Through research and speaking to nutritionists, and fitness experts, such as Mark Sisson, I decided that food was to be my medicine. It took me several years to figure out truth from dogma when it came to brain and nervous system health. I’d like to give you the three nutrients and some foods and supplements that I found most useful to reduce the inflammation of my nervous system, and improve my cognitive function.
Creatine is one of the most researched natural supplements.
Few experts would argue the benefits of having enough creatine in their diet. Some folks think, creatine is just for athletes that want to put on more muscle. Well it’s also important for brain cognition too. It’s also important to the central nervous system. Creatine recycles ATP. The human central and peripheral nervous system, relies on ATP. Brain and nervous system health recycles its own body weight in ATP each day. ATP is also a precursor to your DNA.
Best source of creatine
Red meat is a reliable source of creatine. It’s also a great source for zinc, iron, and B vitamins. Grass fed and locally raised cattle or bison are usually the great sources of red meat. Sea food like Albacore tuna are also good. In fact, you can get up to 5 grams ( a good daily amount) of of creatine from a pound of fresh tuna fish. I doubt many of us can eat a pound of fresh tuna a day. So what can do you to up your intake of this valuable nutrient?
My preference is always to get my nutrition from food. However, Vegans, vegetarians, and people who normally do not eat much red meat or seafood can get the benefits of creatine without eating meat! They can benefit by taking a supplement called polyethylene glycosylated creatine. I find that it works better for me, than creatine monohydrate. You be the judge. Either one would be beneficial to your brain health!
Your body needs magnesium for pretty much everything you do. It’s one of the most important minerals for your overall health. Magnesium helps regulate your immune system, heart rate, and metabolism. If you are having troubles with injuries that will not seem to heal, magnesium can help.
Best sources of magnesium
Some of the best food sources are leafy greens like spinach, and kale. Seafood like salmon, and tuna are great. Black beans are dood, although some people don’t do well with legumes, so figs and bananas might be best for you in that case.
There are many types of magnesium products. They have several uses. You should know which one would work best for your needs. For instance, if you picked up a bottle of magnesium, at your local GNC, it might be magnesium oxide, which is commonly used as a laxative. Magnesium oxide is not as soluble as some of the other choices. That’s why it’s an excellent laxative. Your body will eliminate it quickly. Remember Milk of Magnesia?
I take Magnesium Orotate, which is known to have the greatest effect on the heart and nerves, at the cellular level. There are several choices that could work best for you. Some of these include magnesium sulfate otherwise known as Epsom Salts, Magnesium Chloride which comes in topical solutions as well as tablet form, and chelated forms such as Magnesium Malatate.
Zinc deficiencies have been linked to immune system disorders, and poor cognitive function. It’s the most common mineral deficiency along with iron.
Food sources for more zinc!
Pumpkin seeds pack about 7 milligrams in a single cup. That’s about half of a daily dose. Grass fed beef, lamb, and some fish are also good sources. Throw some pomegranate seeds on your salad for a delicious dose of zinc! One of my favorites is cocoa powder. I’ll put about 2 ounces of unsweetened cocoa powder in my afternoon veggie shake. That gives me about 5 milligrams from eating something that tastes chocolaty and satisfying!
Taking a zinc supplement
The most bio available form of zinc is chelated zinc orotate. Avoid zinc gluconate. It has poor absorption. and you’d be wasting your money.
Take Magnesium and Zinc Separately
Magnesium and zinc are involved in virtually every bodily process. these two minerals are essential to brain and nervous system health. They are often packaged together as a sleep aid. This is very convenient. Although, I recommend that you take them separately, for reasons of absorption. Zinc and Magnesium will fight for absorption when taken together so you should maybe take zinc in the morning and then take the magnesium about an hour later. If you prefer to take zinc and magnesium together, try using ZMA. There are several versions of this on the market. Just remember magnesium and zinc are best absorbed on an empty stomach, but if it messes up your stomach, then eat a light meal with your supplements.
Eat loads of leafy greens!
There are so many benefits to eating more dark leafy greens that I don’t know where to start. Fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, and iron are just some of the nutrients that will keep you sharp and fit for years to come.
That said, I’m not a big kale fan. It’s not like I hate it. It’s just – everywhere. Swiss chard, bok choy, and dandelion greens are some of my favorites. I’ll eat some collard greens in the morning with some soft-boiled pastured eggs for a load of minerals like magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Pastured eggs are a great source of omega three fatty acids, which help your brain synapses fire more efficiently. These fats are highly bio-available in pasture raised eggs.
More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to a new report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report finds that as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population –have diabetes.
To improve your overall health and wellness and not just your brain and neurological health, eat less sugar. In fact, cut out all processed foods and sugar from your diet. carbohydrate is one of the most important macro-nutrients. You don’t need to rely on pastas, breads, and other processed carbs. You’ll get plenty when you start eating more vegetables everyday.
I hope that these tips are helpful to you. Please subscribe!