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!

Advertisements

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]

Unknown.jpeg

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

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

Okay, we have all been here before. Late at night, pull out the guitar…and … nothing.

What?!

“But this what I do.”

Nothing. No spark.

You can’t help but wonder what it is, pulling at every strand of self-doubt. Did I sleep funny? Maybe that pulled pork sandwich (or tempeh wrap for our plant based friends) had some funk to it… whatever the case may be. You’re just not feeling it.

Well, that does happen from time to time. However, for professional artists, that could mean sacrificing a paycheque or two. Not cool. Let’s discuss three effective remedies to kick that brain fog and get our performance back up to snuff so we can focus on doing what we do really well, creating music.

Unknown

    1. Reduce the screen time!
      We spend far too much time in front of time-wasters like Facebook,Instagram,
      Reddit and the like. If we took half the time we spent searching news feeds or watching cute cat videos as we did reading, painting, getting outside… imagine how much more effective our time on earth would be. The dopamine hits from hitting the like button and constantly being concerned about who is liking your posts and how many followers you have is an unhealthy way to live. I would encourage you to set a daily time limit and stick to it. No more than a couple hours. And shut ‘er down by 8 pm so you don’t screw up your sleep cycle. The anxious feeling we get from self-worth is heightened when we follow the social norm of online gratification, so remove yourself from that world and you’ll start to inspire creativity simply because you have more time to do so! Check my recent post about last weekend’s social detox I did here. Follow up post is in the works…images

 

  1. Move!
    • Seems simple, but activity has proven to excite the brain in areas related to creativity independent of mood. You can read the study here. According to the research, the study’s result show that exercise helped to improve mood in participants and also creativity independently. This is good news for folks who want to get out of “creative blocks”. My suggestion? Get up and walk around when you’re feeling a block on the creative flow. I’m actually hosting a clinic specifically designed to address inspiring artistic creativity through movement in Calgary. If you’re in town, check it out here! If not, that’s cool. Here’s the best warm up for getting some creative flow! Unknown-1
  2. Journal!

    Oftentimes I feel like garbage at the end of the day. I feel as though I haven’t done anything at all. Have you even been there? There is a really easy way to track how productive you have been. Keep a journal and just close the day down with some thoughts and points of the things you did. Over time you’ll start to see how (un) productive you were… that way, you can manage it. For most people, we don’t track things so while we think we’re doing productive things, we really aren’t. If you see this trend, you can work towards improving upon it. We can’t manage what we’re not tracking, right? So give yourself a chance. I also found it amazing how easy things came to me when I wrote them down as goals and took behaviours that’d be intentional toward accomplishing them. I compiled it all into a workbook journal to help others get their shit together. I am officially releasing it this May in Toronto at Canadian Music Week. If you’d like an advance copy, just let me know.  mike@mikeschwartz.ca

There you have it. Three cool little tricks of the trade for you to keep up the creative flow. For those of you that are into reading, my favourite book ever for crushing the creative roadblocks is called “The War of Art”Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. Get it.

41hM+Lf2pLL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

Ok my friends. I’m out of here for now. I’m going to keep up the post per day to see what topics and time stick for the remainder of this week. I’m working through some things and have some exciting news to post about in due time, but until then… I hope your day or night is great.

Ciao,

M

As the Canadian Music Week approaches this spring, I’ve been fielding a few common questions about how to go about getting into fitness. So we are going to get into the most important part: finding professional help. Get a coach. Seriously. I’ve worked with dozens over the years and I’m a fully certified coach myself. I want to be the best at what I do and I want to get results. Coaches do that!

But, not all coaches are equal. Here are 3 pointers to help you make a quality decision:

1. Look for your Specialist

Be leery of any trainers or coaches that cite that they can train anyone for anything with excellence. Here’s a thought. If it takes 10,000 hours to excel at one thing, and let’s pretend said coach has three years of experience and two strength training certifications (actually a pretty good resume on the outside…), how on earth can said coach be an expert with weight loss, bodybuilding, figure, sports performance and rehabilitation? The numbers just don’t add up.

To paraphrase the legend, Paul Chek  – if you want to climb a mountain and you hire someone who has only made it half way up, once you get past halfway, you’re now paying someone to get lost with you. 

Whatever your goals, whatever your timeline, whatever your obstacles and challenges, the right coach will have the right team behind them to help you where they fall short on expertise. Keep that in mind when you’re interviewing your candidates (yes, I would recommend meeting a few different professionals to get the vibe and the right fit). Ask around in your personal network to see if they have any recommendations. They know you will advise you better than Kijiji or Craigslist (hopefully!) and they will shortlist the potential winners down for you. Think about it. It’s a huge investment. You want the best of the best, right?

A few signs that you’re with the right coach will stem right from the get go, even before you meet the coach. Watch for the following:

  • comprehensive interview process for new clients focused on YOU, not them
  • intake forms, waivers, etc… you know, the boring, but important stuff typically in a file folder system (you’re basically looking for an air tight administrative process)
  • client testimonials and social proof
  • documentation of all certifications, trade name and insurance when applicable

2. Look beyond the credentials. Who are you working with and what are their motives the motives to get up each day?

In my experience, people new to or returning to fitness, wellness and a healthy lifestyle  are generally pumped on getting back at it. Until they’re not. It’s at that pivotal time that I’ve found the true value in keeping movement and the exercise programming fun and encouraging and, as weird as it sounds, not like working out. One question you could pose to your prospective coach would be “what will you do when I just don’t want to be here?” Depending on how they respond, you’ll know if that is a fit for your personality and the reasons you want to get into a healthy lifestyle. Remember, it’s about you, not the coaches ego.

We as coaches are here to help you get to your goals. Which brings me to another good point – the most successful coaches are those that are flexible in modality and teaching, open to new approaches and practices and not too proud to admit when they may be ill-prepared for a situation or inexperienced with what you are throwing at them. It’s simple. If you are engaging in business with a professional, you have to trust that they are serving your best interests. So keep that in mind when you are speaking with them. Again, a few keys that’ll give you a lot of insight to how that person operates:

3. Invest in the phrase, “you get what you pay for”

You better believe it. Take a peek on average rates for coaches and trainers and health pros. Here is my personal take, and I say this to anyone I’m sitting down with right off the get go, “It’s my belief that they’re two types of coaches. One, the most affordable and two, the best. I’m here to tell you that I’m not the most affordable.

Seriously though, It kiiiiiilllllls me to have a conversation with someone new to me and the first question that comes up is something like “how much do you cost per hour?” Like, I get it… money is an important byproduct of hard work. I want you to make a good decision with your coin. But for those that are serious – the folks I want to work with – prepare to pay for the life that they want to lead.

Working with the right coach is much more than the hour you spend per day you’re with them. Countless hours go into my athletes exercise programming, follow up, planning, reacting and the tap into the knowledge of over 12 years of practical experience and exercise theory education. It’s a premium service. It’s a valuable service. That comes at a cost. But the amount you get out of it is priceless.

Check the reviews – Facebook.com/usetheschwartzy or see what some are saying here… Schwartzy’s Success Stories – Matt Murphy

To close, if you want to fix your cars engine, tune up or fluid change, you take it to a shop, right? If you want to keep yourself well-maintained, a coach is the right way to go. Find the professional that has their ducks in a row, some one you can vibe with to keep motivated through the tough days, and expect to pay for the best. Don’t discount yourself, it’s your health.

You’re the only one that has to live with yourself your entire life.

 

That’s it, that’s all. You know where to find me – shoot me an email or comment below if you think we’d be a good fit. 😉

Namaste sweet, y’all!

xo
Untitled design-15

 

 

A lot of folks don’t know the natural benefits of raw foods. So let’s open up discussion on one of them; beets.

Historically, these bad boys have been described as medicine, not just food. A true testament to their full potency. Here are my Top 11 points that should encourage you to pour a glass of natural beet juice every once in awhile.

11 Reasons To Drink Beet Juice

  1. Beets contain betalains. Two of which, betanin and vulgaxanthin contain loads of goodness, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties.
  2. 1 Cup of raw beets contains just 58 calories and 2g of Protein
  3. 1 cup of raw beets contain 6% DV of iron
  4. Lower blood pressure! Beets contain nitrates. Research shows that the high number of nitrates will immediately lower your blood pressure.
  5. Detox! Beet juice will help detoxify your liver, dump toxins and rebuild liver cells. Boom. Rad.
  6. Prevent premature aging! Lycoprene will help keep your skin elastic, so beets help prevent aging
  7. Energy! That nitric oxide produced from the nitrates will help you boost energy
  8. Lower blood sugar! Those dang soluble fibres found in beets help aide in reducing glucose in the blood stream.
  9. Improve sexual performance! Those nitrates are back at it. When they get converted to nitric oxide that stimulates blood flow.
  10. May help arthritis and joint pain
  11. Helps to improve cognitive function. You will reduce your chances of dementia due to increased blood flow from the high amounts of nitrates found in beet juice.

Want to improve your nutrition this spring? Get at me for a free 30 day trial of my remote coaching at mikeschwartz.ca/trial

As always, stay sweet my loves.

xo

M

Okay, I’m certain you’ve heard it all before.

“I can’t sleep.”

“I hit a wall after lunch.”

“I can’t get motivated to exercise.”

“I’m just not happy… I’m not sure what I want… I’m just not feeling it…”

Hell, maybe you’ve even caught yourself saying something like that…

These are common things I hear when I ask people “what brought you in today?” when they first meet with me to undergo a lifestyle overhaul.

I’ve noticed happiness and living stress-free go hand in hand, so I thought “who doesn’t wanna feel awesome?!”

Here are my three and a half pro tips for reducing stress and feeling happy, for most of your awake time in life.

1. Get moving. Get outside. Get moving outside.

IMG_3733

 

It’s science. Exercise improves mood. Sunlight also improves mood. Put them together for a smorgasbord of awesome. If you wanna be happy, forget about the deadline of that project for ten minutes and just tune out, go be with nature and take a stroll. It’ll be great. Come back at it harder with a fresh take. It also helps if you have a rad dog in your life. They make everything better.

2. Speak in positive, “architecture” language.

 

Instead of saying things like “can’t”, “don’t”, “won’t”… try affirming what you “can” do, “do” want and “will” get.

It’s amazing how much more energy you reserve at the end of the day when you only focus on the positives. That starts with language. (For more on this, check with my buddy, Mark England of Procabulary.org)

3. Breathe and Meditate

Breathing is easy. We all just suck at it. Try this when you’re feeling anxious. It’ll surely calm you down. Inhale for 7 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds. Repeat 7 times. Namasteyin’ chill?

For meditation, it’s not some voodoo crazy shit. It’s just focusing your intent. There’s a sweet app I use called Headspace IMG_3735if you’re looking for a gentle introduction to meditation. Dig it.

Try it out. If that’s not your jam, pick up a book, a pen and paper and write, draw, build something, create… sometimes that’s the best way to get those thoughts out into the universe.

Or try active meditation. Get your gym bag and hit some weights or get on the bike. I have my greatest ideas on long bike rides.

3.5 Alright, this one is tough. Live with intent.

 

For everything from waking up, eating, playing on your phone. If you find yourself distracted with many things, your focus will stray…take control of your life! Put the phone down. Be with yourself and just chill. Everyone will hit the like button for your witty post tomorrow. Be intentional.

That’s is from me. As always, thanks for reading. ‘Til next time, namaste sweet!

M