The last 2 months have been an incredible learning experience for me. After pushing through with my rehab for several months, I finally started to make noticeable changes in how I was feeling each day.
Honestly, this would not have been possible at all without Anna, as well as my trainer Teon Plater (@topknotchfitness).
I want to quickly go over some of the more important knowledge and tactics that I have learned, starting with letting everyone know that without a doubt the person who you are receiving the majority of your health and fitness advice from is 100% indicative of the results that you get from your training.
I have had some excellent people train me (I am referring to Athletic Trainers, Physical Therapists, and Personal Trainers alike by this) over the years and would not be where I am in my career without the help of a lot of different people.
The most important point that I can make to everyone right now is make sure that you are listening to the right people, because I know that my rehab would not have been as successful without making the right decision on who to train me through this process.
Listening to the correct person not only allows you to hear the best advice possible, but will also stimulate beneficial thoughts of your own. So if nothing else, take this piece of advice and remember it for whatever you are attempting to be successful in!
Now, on to my advice!
This is not going to be scientifically backed information, because I truthfully don’t value that very much at all.
A lot of what modern science says I do not believe, and my own personal life experiences have led me to understand that real human knowledge beats Google scholar about 100% of the time.
Avoid Common Food Allergies for Good Health
Avoid the most common food allergies at all costs, because whether you consciously feel it or not they are slowing your body down!
The 3 biggest that I suggest to avoid like the plague are gluten, dairy and soy.
Others include fish, shellfish, tree nuts and nuts.
These have remained in my diet because I do not have any food allergy to them and am yet to see the need to kick them out of my usual diet.
As someone who has dealt with asthma their whole life and chronically suffers from season allergies, eliminating gluten, soy, and dairy was the best decision I have ever made.
I will go in to this more about reducing seasonal allergy symptoms in a different way in my next tip, but I want to explain this more here first.
Within 2 weeks of making this change I felt a noticeable difference in my breathing and my need to use allergy medicine. After about 5 weeks, I’ve effectively reduced my need to use Zyrtec (my allergy medicine of choice) to once or twice per week.
Something I would have considered impossible at any other time in my life.
Along with this, I have noticed an extreme reduction in inflammation throughout my whole body-especially after the first 3 weeks of removing these foods.
For the first time in years I have been able to bench press consistently without shoulder pain, and do any type of leg training without the need for leggings or knee sleeves. My body doesn’t ache, my ankle is not swollen anymore, and I am lifting stronger than I ever have.
Whether we notice it through any conventional allergy symptom or not, the human body does not process these foods well at all.
Along with this, there are just as easy replacements for all of these. The need to keep them in your diet is just not there.
Dairy milk is easily replaced with its healthier cousin-goat milk, and almond milk and cashew milk has been readily available at every grocery store I have seen since looking for them. Some people cringe at the thought of goat milk (for some undenounced reason to me), but it is far more similar to human milk, and therefore far more easily digested.
Gluten-free options are available just about everywhere at this point, you just need to get on board with the understanding that gluten is actually that bad for us.
Most people don’t purposefully intake soy, but I suggest becoming increasingly aware of companies sneaking it in to their products. Soy is a cheap and effective filler for a lot of companies looking to make extra profits, be on the lookout for this!
I have learned a valuable lesson in the las couple months in that soy, dairy, and gluten are not made for us.
Any time I decide to add a couple pieces of cheese to something has been the greatest reminder of this. The taste of any of these just isn’t worth stimulating my allergies and inflaming my joints, it just isn’t.
Use Local Raw-Honey Instead of Allergy Medicine for Seasonal Allergies
Local raw-honey (can) be just as useful as Zyrtec or other seasonal allergy medicines, and it makes perfect sense why.
I am not suggesting to anyone to discontinue your current defense against seasonal allergies if it works for you, but I want to suggest this to everyone out there to try.
Along with the fact that buying local honey means that you are supporting your local farmers (which is a very good thing to do), eating local honey has some very understandable benefits. Bees pollinate flowers, and bees also produce honey.
A quick google search will lead you to a whole bunch of articles debunking honey as a use for seasonal allergies, citing that there is no current “scientific” information supporting this.
However, “scientific” information loves to support any and all big-pharma medicines that the rich can get richer off of.
This should be your first light bulb that something is probably wrong right now. Honey was used for an incredible amount of benefits through nearly all cultures, and using just a little bit of logic will help you understand that it makes sense why it can help your allergies.
Local honey works very similar to the allergy shots that they give you to “treat” allergies.
Little by little you will be ingesting the pollen that is natural to your area, building your tolerance to these allergens over time.
I’m very sure that I can find legitimate scientific research that debunks this claim, but since it has worked so effectively on myself I will just completely ignore that and believe it is a ploy to get me to spend more money on medicine from the pharmacy.
Regardless of whether you believe this or not, there is not too much risk in trying at least. I don’t think anyone really needs an explanation on how to intake honey but if you do I’ll give you a quick rundown. Head over to your local farm and purchase some raw honey.
Ingest about 1-2 tablespoons of honey, 2-3 times per day. Personally, I like to mix it with oatmeal or just eat it straight with a spoon (I really like the taste of honey).
Contrary to popular theory I do not suggest that you mix it in to hot tea. The sugar in honey can actually combust in high temperatures causing a pretty bad chemical reaction.
Depending on the temperature of your tea this can actually happen, so I don’t really advocate the practice of it.
Outside of anything that can increase the temperature of the honey too much, this is a generally safe trick to try and hopefully you will feel the same benefits that I have!
Rely on Organic Maple Sugar Instead of Overloading on Caffeine
Organic-raw maple syrup, maple products, and honey are possibly the 2 best sources of lasting and stimulating energy I have ever tried, trumping caffeine in a land slide.
Pre-workout might give you a little kick, but it doesn’t have the same lasting power as these two.
I am fortunate enough to have grown up in a region of the world (Upstate New York) with a rich cultural tradition of making maple syrup.
I don’t have the exact story but briefly; the Native American’s in this region taught the settlers who came over from Europe early on about the benefits of maple syrup and other maple products, along with how to effectively cultivate it.
From then on maple syrup has been a staple product made in Upstate New York, and I can firmly assert with legitimate support that my high school produces the best maple syrup in the world.
Lucky enough for me, this information has dripped to me through the years and I was allowed to learn the benefit that this wonderful product can have.
However, it was not until just a few weeks ago that Anna stumbled upon this information online when looking for a suitable replacement for sugar in our cooking. This sparked my re-investment in maple products, and 2 weeks in I could not be happier.
Combining maple syrup, maple sugar and honey with my morning oatmeal has made me feel as energetic and “pumped-up” for workouts as I have in a number of years.
The easiest explanation for this is that it is a concentrated form of glucose, that is also natural and organically produced.
This type of glucose stimulates your brain, and doesn’t just dump dopamine leaving you feeling drained and tired in less than an hour.
Instead it improves the cognitive ability of your brain, and powers your muscles to work just the same. Similarly, to purchasing honey from local farms, the best maple syrup you will find is also at farms in your area.
In the northern part of America, I know that maple syrup is produced fairly regularly, but I am not sure about the south.
Regardless, looking for maple syrup that is produced from a local source instead of a large company will be far better quality and far better tasting.
Other benefits of maple products include anti-inflammatory properties, high levels of antioxidants, improved digestion, important vitamins such as zinc and magnesium, and a surprisingly low glycemic index when compared with other types of sugar.
Combining these benefits of maple syrup with the aforementioned local honey gives you a powerful stack of natural products to fuel you every day!
Here you are!
These are three of the biggest and most important changes I have made to my life in the past few months, and they are simple changes that I believe everyone can make fairly easily.
Later this week I will come back with a few more of the most important tips that I have learned that have led to my improved health lately, this time with exercise and training advice!
Remember, you should always consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine that you do not feel comfortable with.