So, ironically enough I’m on my phone at 10:51 pm talking to you about how to sleep better… 😝🙄

Here are a few sleep aide supplements for those of you who would like a little more help alongside the sleep ritual. Always contact your trusted health practitioner first before taking any of these and of course use only as directed. Don’t take these with depressants or if you’re on meds or anything… please use common sense. These are meant for sleep deprived humans that are still struggling with sleep rituals. Stay on track and pay attention to week and weekend sleep patterns. You’ll do amazing things with proper zzzs. Just wanna give a big thanks to precision nutrition for the graphic and wisdom.

Sleep tight!

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I’ve been asked countless times, “Mike, I’m eating well, I just can’t seem to lose the weight… what am I doing wrong?”

I’m usually quick to ask “What’s eating well look like to you?” As part of my coaching, I like to believe the best in everyone, but honestly, seeing is believing so I generally follow that question up with “Can you show me what each meal has been exactly in the past three days?”

Most often, that person cannot.

More often they say something to the effect of

“Well, it’s just really tough when the boys want to go out for wings and beer after the game… when my wife wants to do pizza and wine night on Friday and the kids are always on the go for band recital, soccer practice and other extra curricular events… I just don’t wanna be that guy, you know?”

I do. However, own it. You get to make that choice to get wings and beer, enjoy the pizza or choose to eat fast food from the drive thru en route to the kids practice… only you get that choice. And to piggyback on this, it’s not only to do with nutrition. If you find yourself in any less than ideal situation, maybe you just lost your job, maybe you’re considering starting your own business, maybe you want to pursue a passion – whatever it is, if you don’t have the social support, the likelihood of you achieving that dream significantly decreases.

It’s amazing how much we are influenced by the social circles that we are in. I found a very interesting article that explain the power of social support very clearly, from my friends and fellow coaches at Precision Nutrition. Take a read if you think you might know someone that’s got the right intentions but the wrong friends. Might be time to cut the line…. [Read the full article here]

Ciao, babes!

Xo

M

 

Featured Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Whether it’s coming in and bossing out on the olympic platform, running a sprint for 3 minutes, or maxing out her previous record dead lift, my athlete of the month goes to Karen.

 

It’s crazy to think that this rock star has dropped about 40lbs in a year, started Olympic Lifting and setting Powerlift records nearly every time she touches the bar and – what I think is the most important change – has truly integrated a healthy lifestyle into the daily routine. Day in, day out.

I’m here to write about my experience of working with Karen. I can’t begin to tell you how much I feel as though she has helped me grow as a coach. Not just because I can basically toss any exercise at her and she’ll fine a way to get it done, but because how ridiculously determined she is. This is what it takes to make positive change in your life.

Let’s start with her dedication to getting comfortable in being uncomfortable.

Comfortable

She had never tried Olympic Lifting, let alone even really know what exactly it was one year ago.

I showed her how to throw a barbell over her head… the rest is history.

Just to put it in perspective she clean and jerked 105lbs (that’s shown in the video up there…)

She deadlifts, she runs, she squats, she makes everyone around her happier and she absolutely kills it at work. Sure she might dislike doing the exercise at times, but she puts her head down and goes.

Things sound pretty good, eh? It wasn’t an easy road. Combine daily (sometimes painstaking) lessons and habits to help refocus her relationship with food and her nutrition, overcoming scheduling bumps, vacations, sickness – all the typical excuses… with life’s general random “curveballs” and you’ve still got an individual that never missed a session. A date with herself. A date with change. A date with progress, over perfection.

I’m honoured to get to work with Karen towards her craziest goals. Together with her attitude and what skills I can pass along I really see the sky as the limit. it’s amazing what the power of the mind can do.

Thank you, Karen. Stoked to see what’s next and keep this going.

Stay sweet.

M

 

The relationship we have with our lifestyle is a learned skill. That means it can be changed. In order to foster and develop a healthy environment, one of the first things we must do is provide accessible education. By empowering individuals to make lifestyle choices for themselves, we will create a culture people will gravitate towards. That’s super rad.

Xo

M

Holy cow. This dairy debate is still going on. Amazingly. I’ve conducted the research and found supporting evidence for both sides. That’s right. Scholarly research has proven both sides right… and wrong. So with that, my article here could be the shortest summary ever with some sort of headline like this: “EVERYONE WINS, THERE ARE NO LOSERS. RAINBOWS. UNICORNS. DAFFODILS! YAY.”

It’s totally not like that though, so check it out. Here are a few facts that should help you make the call. And disclaimer, I’m all for babies drinking mama’s milk. That makes sense. That’s how we’ve done it since the dawn of time. But after that… well… let’s take a peek:

Top 3 Arguments For Milk As A Part of a Well-Balanced Human Diet

  • Milk contains important fatty acids important

Sort of true. Dairy does. Including some milk products. But it really depends on the process. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which arises as a metabolic by-product of rumen hydrogenation and which is found in foods of animal origin, has been proposed to possess potent health promoting properties, but much of this research has been conducted in experimental animals, not humans. [Read the full article here]

  • Milk is the best source of calcium

This is why mom made us drink calcium, right? Well, again, it’s sort of true. Stats show that calcium absorption from milk isn’t superior or inferior to any other source of calcium. [Get the full scoop and the abstract here]

  • Chocolate Milk is a great post-workout drink

Again, depends on who you talk to. Studies do show us that chocolate milk has resulted in higher mixed muscle postexercise muscle protein fractional synthetic rate with lower whole-body proteolysis and synthesis. In other words, yes, the human body can technically recover faster when  chocolate milk is used as a post-workout beverage as opposed to other drinks. [Get the insider on the chocolate milk study here]

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Top 3 Arguments Against Milk As A Part of a Well-Balanced Human Diet

  • Milk will make you fat

True. Mostly, anyway. There’s a much higher ratio of protein enzymes in cows milk and studies show in early childhood a link between feeding cow milk formula and childhood obesity. Makes sense though, a baby cow grows 4x it’s birth size in the first year. [Read the article here]

  • Milk will make you sick

Again, mostly true. Known as one of Paul Chek’s 4 “White Devils” (Sugar, flour and table salt are the other three for those keeping score at home…) cows milk has an enzyme that isn’t broken down well by a lot of human’s digestive system. It has a lot to do with where you grow up though. If you’re exposed to dairy at a young age, your body will tend to build up an enzyme that can process the lactose. That’s why North Americans have a bit more tolerance to dairy than other populations that aren’t exposed to it right away. Here’s a good explanation of this theory – Check it!

There was an interesting study of oriental subjects and milk digestion in the 60s where the results may or may not shock you… [Check the study out here]

  • Milk will kill you. Or at least cause cancer, heart disease and diabetes and is responsible for a host of other terrible things like cheering for the Oilers or the Leafs. Okay, I’m joking about that last one…well, kinda. 

Well. Sadly, this is a legit concern. Milk has been linked to some of the Here are some of the studies:

Milk & bladder cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer

Milk and diabetes

Milk and heart disease

To sum it up, there’s some evidence that some forms of cancer, diabetes and heart disease are linked to milk consumption. There’s no conclusive evidence it’ll make you loco enough to start cheering for the leafs or the Oilers though…

In conclusion…

Both sides make fairly mild statements about whether or not you should keep dairy in th ediet or not. So, I’m going to take a stance. I like to think of it from a very practical standpoint.

We already discussed how milk is important to growth and development. We touched on the lifecycle of a cow. We haven’t mentioned the fact that humans are the only species in the animal kingdom that drink the growth nectar (milk) of another species well into adulthood, but that says it all right there.

The enzymes in cows milk are suitable for a cow, not a human. Babies should drink their mother’s milk, but after the initial year or so I truly don’t believe that it’s a necessary part of that child’s development. Humans should drink more water. The sugar that is packed in milk is dangerous. Lifestyle concerns have to be addressed when obesity is at such a peak…

So in case you haven’t guessed my stance yet.. no, I don’t believe humans should drink milk. There are plenty of alternatives that won’t promote sickness or worse out there and it’s of my opinion that we happened to let an industry bully us into thinking that we needed something for good strong bones. How about broccoli? Calcium all over. Vitamin D? Well, eat a nice balanced diet of fresh fruits, protein, vegetables and a host of whole foods and we’ve got it made. Milk is unnecessary.

Mooooo-ve on over dairy, we don’t need you any longer.

Thanks for takin’ a rip through this with me.

Ciao,

M

Xo

A little context

The following is a piece of poetry I just wrote. Last night I was at the Our Lady Peace concert and before OLP closed the night off, they made sure to dedicate a song to Matt Good. To paraphrase Raine Maida, he’s been an amazingly strong voice and brave ambassador in the fight against the stigma of mental illness. “It doesn’t matter if you’re f*cked up here (points to his head) or if you break your arm, it’s all the same. And we need to support each other instead of running away and give each other a safe space while we get better.”

Talking about mental health is slowly becoming a more common occurrence and it’s platforms like this with influencers like OLP and Matt Good that can make a difference.

If you know someone suffering, please reach out and get them help. There are local distress centres in just about every major Canadian city, and if you’re an artist like me, there are specific organizations to help you continue to craft. You can call Unison Benevolent Fund to speak with a counsellor. Call emergency of course if it’s an emergency, but head to unisonfund.ca and register your free account so when you feel you need some help, support or emergency relief, they’re there for you. Completely confidential, completely on your side.

Like I said, this is a piece of poetry I just wrote. I’m working on a solo singer/songwriter project, learning to write and perform pieces like this on an acoustic as nice, safe outlet for my own self care and enjoyment. It also provides me with a platform to get my message out to the world. I hope you dig.

Soundtrack Of My Life LP

No matter if it’s all in your head

A broken arm,

or what pills you’ve been fed

We’ll be right there with you, baby

We can’t escape from a living hell

The chaotic neutral,

Disempowering spell

So we’ll be right there with you, baby.

Time ticks on

Can’t see

We’re blind

Can’t hear

The cries

Out for someone “help me please

I’ve fallen again, actually”

You see

It goes

You heard

The notes

Songs that bring hope to me

The soundtrack of my life LP

Yep. Let’s kick off the shoes and relax the socks. We are gonna get into why your posture, performance and overall quality of life will significantly improve with the simple task of taking care of your feet.

Why? Well, your feet hold a kazillion interconnected little muscles that serve to keep the rest of your body, most notably you posterior chain all in line.

That’s right. If you’re suffering from a sore back, it very well could be rooted in your plantar. The spiral of your hip starts at the hip and winds it’s way down through the knee and into the ankle. So oftentimes, Problems that exist in one joint transfers up into the other joints on the spiral. It’s generally the result of a compensation pattern that develops when something isn’t working as efficiently as it should be. Ie: your feet.

Now, don’t get me wrong – compensation patterns aren’t the problem. They’re okay. The body is intended to survive in its environment without a medical team on call. However, it becomes a problem when that compensation pattern wears the body down to the point of mechanical break down.

Here are my top three pro tips to take care of them footsies!

1. Golf ball in the shower technique

Keep a golf ball in your shower and roll your feet on it each time you’re in there. Part of the biggest problem is we only tend to ourselves when there’s an issue like plantar fasciitis – so this acts as a preemptive strike against poor foot health.

2. Streeeeeeeetch yo feet!

Seriously, your feet will appreciate it. And if upon starting your feet start to cramp, you should do this more.

Step 1: Kneel down, toes curled under your feet so that you stretch the sole of your feet as you slowly try to get your butt back to your heels.

Step 2: Try not to cry. You got this.

Step 3: Take a breather and relax. Then repeat.

3. Book a foot massage

Treat yo self!

Go get some spa treatment. Massaging that fascial tissue is super important to help alleviate future problems. Here are a couple of fun facts about massage for your reading pleasure: Fun facts about massage

K. Sweet. Take care of your feet, yo.

Alleviate all those other problems. Got to the root. Get to the soul – rather sole, of it all.

Boom.

Stay sweet!

M