I feel as though I’m echoing a post I did a year or more ago about how pivotal rest and recovery is to a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.
Let’s face it, if we don’t sleep well our recovery suffers – both physically and physiologically. Here are some of the things I have found to be helpful in getting (and staying!) asleep.
Pick up magnesium gel and apply it to your neck and legs and any other sore spots before bed
This stuff is nectar of the Gods. Magnesium is still touted as one of the highest deficiencies (next to Vitamin D) in the average North American diet. This is largely due to our unbelievable abundance and availability of processed food as opposed to raw foods, where the stuff comes from naturally. Apply it directly to the skin to have a higher absorption rate and immediate results. Ever had an Epson salt bath? Magnesium for the soul. Set a few alarms, you’re going be out like a light.
Take a hot shower
Heat increases the body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin, a secret sleepy drug that can help regulate your sleep/wake cycle. A nice hot show right before the sheets leaves me squeaky clean, refreshed and ready for the zzz’s.
Shut down ALL electronics 2 hours prior to your planned bedtime
This allows your body to wind down. White light from screens, tablets and phones, TVs and those super annoying fluorescent lights all trick your body into thinking its go-time. Nicht gut, for mein freunden that are now celebrated “Night Owls” (side note, aren’t most owls nocturnal…? making them all creatures of the night… seems redundant..)
Shut er’ down, read a book or write a poem or something to relax the mind.
ps. Fun Fact! They have done some studies on white light’s response on the body vs. the eye, as some people argued that only if your eyes notice it. However, have you ever randomly woken up when the sunlight cracks through your blinds? Bingo, body sense light, welcome to the circadian rhythm. We’re tuned with the sun. When the moon is out, your lights should be too. Here’s an article that supports this wild claim.
There we go. Hopefully you fine folks sleep easy and get some rest now. It’s very much a part of the program!
Learn to shut shit down. Just because Bob wasted his weekend and ran short on meeting the deadline for the teams proposal does not mean you have to stay late or come in early to accommodate his flounder.
How many of us have been there before?
The challenge with more and more decent human beings is not taking on other people’s shit before taking care of ourselves. I’ve done that. I’ve had clients screw up their schedule and then catch myself saying it’s cool and I’ll come in on their convenience the following day.
But I’m here to tell you flat out that when you play the long game, that doesn’t work out. You will not be successful when you put everyone else first before you. So effin’ stop already.
Here are 3 Pro Tips To Get More of What You Want
Become a “yes” man or woman – Saying no, and nah, and all these negative things not only hurts your shots at getting asked things, but it’s also super emotionally draining. Learn to say “yes” to everything. It’s just a conditional “yes”. (i.e.. Boss asks you to stay late to finish up a project.. rather than saying no because eff that noise you have plans and like hell you’re going to be caught dead staying working a minute later.. use it as ammo; “Yes, but I’ll have to take Monday morning off next week…”) This way you stay positive by not using conflict language (see Procabulary.org for more on that), you please your boss and you usually get something rad out of it. It’s negotiation skills 101 and you should learn those stat.
The art of saying “Not right now…” (i.e.: Friend has a project you told them you would edit before submitting it to work, but they ask you to edit it Sunday night when you have family plans insisting it’s due in the morning. You say, not right now because you’re with family and had previous engagements and you specifically asked for it by Saturday…it’s not your problem they couldn’t get the punctuality down… “Not right now” eases the pressure off of you and allows them to choose the next action. Wait until you can actually help ( yes that means take care of your shit first) or let them have a go at it themselves.
Surround yourself with awesome. You’re the product of the 5 people you’re around the most. If you’re the brightest bulb in the room, find a new room.
Alright, short and sweet. That takes care of things again. I’m going to leave you all with a quick survey that I’m conducting for the music industry and if things like this success coaching kind of stuff (blogs, videos and the like – education) in the areas of health and wellness typically forgotten about the music industry are actually in demand. So if you happen to play music, or know someone who does, please share this link with them https://goo.gl/forms/8DIJO1ozziah04y82
I am collecting data for my new online platform that will reach musicians worldwide and give them full access to tons of world-class information and education from experts in the health and wellness industry across the world. I just need to know what kinda things I should be gathering and what kind of services to offer for the collective.
I’m prepared to take heat from the uneducated for this one. And I’m unapologetic about it.
If you follow the last two or three years worth of “If It Fits Your Macros” junk, aka : IIFYM , you should reconsider your understanding of true nutrition.
Nutrition is far more than “in vs. out” energy expenditure. Fact.
I’m coming from 12 years of combined expertise in nutrition and holistic lifestyle coaching. I’m not just some guy that looks ripped. Actually, I’m not ripped at all. I carry about 12% body fat, and I’m here to explain to everyone that sees those ads and commercials of absolutely jacked humans…
These are not the norm, and nor should they be aspired. Do not let “Insta-sadness grip you.
Nutrition is far more.
I’m actually split between two types of nutrition coaching. Metabolic Typing and Precision Nutrition’s standard of behavioural change. Both are incredibly simple to understand, but can pose challenges in implementation. But wow, when you get them down. You feel AH-MAZE-ING!
Here’s the Coles Notes version on both:
Eating to the way your body processes food. Yes, we are all different. So that diet Bob went on with “no (starch) carbs” may not produce the same results for you. Metabolic typing follows this basic principle. Some of us are quite balanced between processing all three macro nutrient groups (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) Eat some food, wait a few hours, notice and name how you feel. Are you sluggish? Are you full of energy? Do you feel like shit? Are you happy? Irritable? You know, the basics. Seems simple enough, right?
Here’s the challenge: This practice is just that: a practice. And while most of us are overrun with social media, distractions and heavy work load, we barely have enough time to eat, let alone sit mindfully and think about how we feel a few hours after said imaginary meal. So we don’t. And we tend to eat food on the go. Food that lacks nutrients., is low in calories (because that’s what the internet says is eating healthy so it must be good) and prepackaged so we can eat it at the desk, or with a quick heat up in the ‘nuker (we’ll save my thoughts on microwaves for another rant…uh, I mean post…) But seriously… tell me that this isn’t all a pretty accurate observation…
So how do you know what metabolic type you are? What the eff is a metabolic type anyway? Well, for starters you gotta figure out what foods your body digs. Carbs? Fats? Proteins? What’s the difference? Do I have to eat meat? All the answers are there in a consultation with me… but if you’re a go-getter I recently came across a super helpful resource (rather they came across me and I’m very happy they did) and would love to share their hard work with you. It’s a database of a kabillion types of protein powders on the market. These fine folks have specifically done the research on which protein powders are the best on the market. Head to reviews.com/protein-powder and check out the invaluable info on some high quality protein supplements to help aid your body through the day without sacrificing convenience. Simple. Go bookmark that site right now and come back and read on…
See, I offer the services that’ll tell you how much of what you should be eating to maintain optimal functionality and performance. You should reach out. A consult is completely confidential and I have packaged a few different options for those of you that are interested in what I can do for you. They range from $50 up to $200, and I offer payment plans. It’s all online, so you could be reading this in the German countryside and I could help you feel better simply by eating better. Fuel the soul properly, ja?! Das ist gut! Send me a note at email@example.com and lets get crackin’!
Here’s another way to address your nutrition based lifestyle issues at the core:
Precision Nutrition Habit-Based Nutrition
Enter behavioural change. Habit-based nutrition. Yes. The concept makes sense, right? Do something every day and it’ll become second nature. Eat shitty food and a lot of it, expect to reflect that aesthetically… You’re going to look like a Big Mac. Eat nutrient dense foods, such as avocado, lentils, spinach and the like… expect to feel great, full of energy and ready to take on the world. Which life would you chose?
See, here’s the challenge. When you’ve had practice of more than 10-15 years, the re-learning process of behavioural change is intimidating… to say the least. I get it. I coach folks with hard-to-give up addictions, habits that really perplex the mind and a general lifestyle that doesn’t speak to an abundance of “health”. However, look at it this way. If you’re about 65% of the way to your “ideal self” that means you’re only 35 days away from your ideal self… just take it 1% per day. Simple now, right?
If you’re struggling with how to lose that last little bit of muff off the top, I’m here to tell you there’s no secret pill. No little magic button. No shortcuts. Move more, eat better food. Make sure the nutrients get to your tissues. Laugh. Love. And be kind to yourself and forgiving. I offer a full curriculum of nutrition and behavioural change coaching for half price until the New Year… only $100 per month. Guaranteed results when you put the work in. Get at me if you’d like a shot at that.
Exclusive offer for you, my VIP. Exercise and nutrition coaching for half price.
Join dozens of my clients in working towards bettering your nutrition and lifestyle choices through adjusting key behaviours in the number one habit-based, lifestyle curriculum on the planet. With the help of Precision Nutrition, my nutrition certification, I coach you through daily lessons, practical habits and 24/7 support to help you learn the essentials to maintaining a healthy body for your lifestyle’s needs.
Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds, get stronger or improve your performance, let me help you get there. As a special offer to anyone that happens to read this make month to month payments of $100 (regular $200/month).
Lastly, for those of you in Calgary, musician or not I’m hosting a 3 night interactive workshop at Long-McQuade Calgary North and I’d encourage you to register for that. The cost is only $149 and you get a copy of my book, “The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle”. Considering my regular hourly is $120, this is a smokin’ deal. I will be going through all three pillars of a great lifestyle with my co-founder, Kirsten Toth on how to move better, manage pain, eat better, and manage stress and perform better. Essentially this is a how to come a rad human kind of course and there’s a ton of information packed into 3 nights.
Diets and fads are ineffective long term, unsustainable and actually quite damaging to your health. There’s no shortcuts to living better. Put the work in and you’ll reap the rewards of accomplishment and a sexier body. Win-win.
Contact me for options to get kickstarted into the New Year before the droves of resolutioners attack the city walls of MusicFit in the next two weeks.
As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.
Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.
I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.
Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!
I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.
I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.
If we don’t take that step, that shot, that jump… we’ll never have to worry about where we land. Right?
That featured picture was when I was on track, haha… long track… for an entirely different career. I was an aspiring speed skater, sights set on representing Canada in long track. Things changed. Imagine had I not been able to change with them…
So many times this past week I’ve had the same conversation with different people in my life; clients, friends, strangers… all about the fear of taking action. It’s a theme I’ve visited before, but I even addressed it in my The Symposium this week. (You can listen to it below if you’re into the audio kind of thing…)
Fact is – life throws you curveballs. And it’s up to you how you handle them. You can swing for the fences, play it conservative down the line or you can watch life pass you by because you were expecting a “heater”. Baseball analogies aside (Can you tell I’m a Jays fan?), you are in complete control of your reaction. That’s it. That’s all.
Take a listen to the podcast if you’d like to hear how I recently overcame adversity when everything that could have gone wrong, did at the L&M “Fitness For Musicians” workshop I hosted last week. Heck, the podcast itself is undergoing format changes. If I weren’t able to switch my game plan up on the fly, adapt and cater to the situation that clinic could have been an absolute train wreck. I’m working on producing a video to capture some of the highlights and you’ll see soon enough that what was made out of that adversity was a thing of pure, raw passion to help others and really make a difference in their lives right there on the spot.
Also tune in if you’d like to learn more about losing weight. Here are two pro tips to losing weight that I discuss on this week’s episode.
Eat only until you’re 80% full
And I’m featuring local talent. So, if you happen to be a creative – especially a musician – that would like to give a little plug about your upcoming show, events or the like – drop me a line. I’m into closing my podcasts out with a piece from the local talent we have in this beautiful city. Heck, even if you’re not local, let’s bring you on and do it up too.
Lastly, shout out to all my fellow speed skaters competing in Calgary for the Finale this weekend. Huge competition to cap off another wonderful season. Go out and kick ass and leave it all out there. If you happen to have time and want to share your experience, please – drop me a line. I’m hosting interviews to add to my podcast lineup, share your story and expose your super crazy work ethic and drive for success.
I’ve known this guy for years now, and after reconnecting through working together again I’m super honoured to call him a dear friend. After hearing his story, seeing his drive and determination to best himself, I’m so happy to see how quickly his progression to become the best version of himself has been. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of his change.
That photo up there shows you physically how his body has responded. To check out the work he’s put in and his experience with the program for yourself, click here… left is August, the right is January. Dude’s lost 10lbs, 5cm around the waist, went down a whole pant size, up in confidence and actually became even more hilarious. We’re starting our 8th week together in movement and accountability coaching next week. Pretty amazing results when you dig in and want it. Unfortunately converting him from being a Canucks fan is going to be a bit of an uphill climb, but I believe anything is possible…
So he’s a pretty smart guy. Algebra. Algorithms. Math nerd. Big time brainy dude. He would teach Pythagorean theorem – shortest line travelled and efficiency and that sort of thing…
Ironic too, as Carder found the shortest line travelled in his quest to bettering his health and wellness in order to feel as good (and look as good!) physically as he feels inside.
Carder, man – you’re a true beauty. You light up every room you’re in and it’s only just the beginning. Your strength, both physically but even more so in the less talked about realm of mindset, is truly admirable.
Keep on rockin’, congrats on Athlete of December. I truly can’t wait to see this transformation unfold. The best is yet to come!
Okay, I’m likely going to take a lot of heat from a whole assortment of communities on this one. But it’s true, the “diet” approach doesn’t work. I’ve done it. I’ve even coached it. I’ve remained open to all sorts of dieting practices. Gluten free, sugar free, greens detox, low carb, high carb, cycling, starvation, or I mean.. restrictive calories, that “if it fits your macros” bullshit, vegan, vegetarian, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, omnomnomnivour… you name it. Nothing works.
You might ask… “How the eff do you figure, Schwartz?” I know guys that have lost a lot of weight AND they kept it off. Okay. So far, so good. But really, what’s the key to nutritional wellbeing in my oh-so-humble opinion? Consistency. And even “those guys” haven’t got any consistency. So, it’s only a matter of time they’re be “off the program…”
That’s right. NONE of the above diet solutions, fad or not promote consistency. They actually promote quite the opposite. Inconsistency. Here’s a closer look…
So, you’re on a diet, eh?
You’re either “on” or “off” a diet – there’s no in between.
So what do you think that does to a person’s psyche when they are out and about and not able to eat the 3 grams of protein with 1 silly meal like their ignorant meal planning coach enforced? Do you think that person’s attitude towards eating well changed for the positive, or for the negative? I’m willing to bet (and this I’ve seen) that that person will now be more inclined to eat more shit, because they already “screwed up” that day. Been there before, folks? Of course you have. Don’t lie. One piece of cheese and a glass of wine quickly turns to waking up on Monday still wondering what happened to Sunday. It’s a rabbit hole…
What a messed up version of reality, if you ask me. But I digress…
So… you’re still counting calories and worrying about fat and carbs, eh?
Well, that’s unfortunate.
I mean, it’s not your fault at all. I blame the media, which is basically run by the companies that want you to buy their shit. So, really – watch TV, surf the net, or otherwise follow pop culture and you’re likely screwed. No, calories aren’t bad. No carbs aren’t either. Neither is fat. They’re quite necessary as part of a healthy diet (not THAT kind of diet, diet as in what you ingest…) You require energy from those macronutrients in order to carry out daily functions effectively. No fat? No carbs? Limited cognitive function. That’s right, you fail to process things… cool right? Nope. Zero percent cool. So, what do we do?
Here’s my solution!
Start by building on habits. The key to solid nutrition is nothing more than replacing poor dietary habits with better ones, and that takes time. So regardless of whether or not you’re looking to build muscle, sleep better, improve athletic performance, lose weight or correct an old injury, you’ll need to start small with manageable habits. I’m talking small, small…
Here’s a drill I incorporate with nearly all of the folks I work with. Take one week to focus on just making time.
15 minutes. 2 minutes. An hour.
Whatever you’ve got. Make time and schedule it.
No one will give you time (everyone’s problems are yours, don’t you know…) so if you can start changing your mentality around creating time for yourself, things like meal prep, shopping at Community or Planet Organic instead of McDonalds drive thru, making sure you get to the gym (or your training session with me…) will easily translate when your brain goes into autopilot about thinking about taking care of YOU before all else. But again, that takes time. So be patient. Start by looking at your next week and plotting out time each day to work on you. It can be whatever. Writing, taking a bath, breathing, meditating… Just disconnect and make the time.
Try this out for a week and just see how it goes. Check in with yourself every day. You’ll be surprised at how difficult it may be, depending on how over-extended you actually are. (In that case you’ll definitely want to talk to me… I have some online answers to help solve the problem of setting intention and a healthy foundation of positively, reinforced habits).