Coffee and Me

Ah yes, that unique relationship with a hot beverage in the morning. When I first met my wife I warned her not to talk to me until I finished my first cup. What is it about that dark roasted cup of heaven that gets me going? Obviously the caffeine plays a role in getting my ass moving in the morning. I don’t know if that’s it. There is something almost ritualistic about it. The walk to the kitchen, grabbing that favorite coffee cup, pouring it as my eyes are still adjusting to the morning and sitting down to enjoy that first sip with the eager anticipation of a school child waiting for recess. In the end it really does not matter if it’s just a biological response, a psychological response or just a good old simple habit, my coffee is the best part of waking up.

#keto

#fitcouples

#ketogenic

#bulletproofcoffee

#morning

My Keto

Keto is getting as bad as politics these days. Everyone seems to have a political view on what is “the right way” to eat keto. I would say that I don’t understand it but I do. People are different. Different hormones, different metabolisms, different education in nutrition and different levels of flexibility to be able to deviate from their own beliefs. The standard is to keep your carbohydrates under 20 grams a day, keep your fat high and your protein moderate. Generally speaking this is a good formula for most, at the very least to start your journey with keto.

I myself started with this basic model of keto. What a plunge it was. My first meal nearly two years ago was a chicken dish with some spinach completely soaked in coconut oil. I have since evolved my keto cooking skills to make much more delicious and nutritious meals but I will swing back around to that later on. First let’s chat about that much talked about topic of the keto flu. Holy shit what an experience. I remember it well. I had just started eating keto, my company gave everyone free tickets to the monster truck event at the Colorado state fair. I loaded up the family and headed out to the fair. The temperature was in the ninty degree range that day. Walking around felt like the inside of a pizza oven, ridiculous. We arrived early and began to explore the fair activities as the monster trucks weren’t until early afternoon. We walked and we walked. Taking frequent water breaks with the kids. I felt a bit tired that first day but chalked it up to the heat. Finally it was time for the monster trucks. The show was awesome watching the trucks jump and hearing the growling of the engines. About half way through the show I began to feel sick, and I mean sick. At that point I made the decision to cut it short and head home. The trip home was a one hour ride. Air conditioning at its highest level, chugging water thinking that it was simply too much sun and heat. The closer we got to home the worse I felt. Finally home I was in full blown panic attack feeling like I was going to literally die. Freaking out I called my doctor. Mind if you will it was the weekend and I got the answering service. I left a message and tried to lay in bed feeling like death. To my surprise my primary doctor personally called me within fifteen minutes. I explained how I was feeling and asked if I needed to go to the emergency room. The doctor listened to my list of symptoms, not knowing that I had recently started keto and told me to take some benadryl. I did and shortly after I passed out.

Looking back at that first week of feeling like a dogs ass I wish I knew then what I would eventually learn. You see, in the beginning of keto you almost completely remove your carbs, especially compared to the standard American diet, and as your body uses the remaining stores of glucose in the body it begins to release water and with that water release electrolytes begin to drop. That near death feeling was nothing more than an extremely low electrolyte response. I lived through it and now when friends or clients begin their keto journey I emphasize the importance of supplementing for the first couple of weeks. Pink salt is usually what I suggest or an exogenous ketone salt.

My initial dive into the keto lifestyle was a learning curve. I digested massive amounts of information as I was going through the process. In hindsight it would have been prudent to do my research beforehand. Lesson learned. I am an avid cook. I worked in multiple restaurants and fine dining establishments in my early twenties and one of the best ways to do this lifestyle is to cook at home for yourself. As I stated I learned as I went. I found lots of recipes and I tried nearly every one. Keto breads, bagels, pizza and other standard dishes that were keto friendly versions of their high carb counterparts. As time went on and my education evolved the need for keto recipes went away. I became very intuitive with my cooking. Knowing what foods were low carb makes it easy to make delicious meals without stressing about kicking myself out of ketosis.

These days I tend to lean towards a more animal based keto diet. My fats are still very high but because of my heavy resistance training I am able to consume a higher amount of protein with no detrimental effects on my ketones.

As time goes on I am sure that my keto diet will vary. I like to play around with different protein levels and I play around with my fat as well. In general I eat one meal a day, not as an intentional fast but simply because that one meal is nutrient dense, high in both protein and fat. So to the political keto warriors out there I say this, chill out and eat whole foods and let other people find their own keto happiness. We are not all robots and definitely are not the same across the board.

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#keto

#ketoflu

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Fitness, Nope

PicsArt_04-23-11.02.38Training

So recently I have been accused of being a fitness expert. At no point in my life have I ever made that boast. What I am is a ketogenic and BFR synergy coach. I have close relationships with some of the most knowledgeable people in both keto and BFR professional spaces and not only do I have those relationships but I have the experience. I have done so much and come do far using these modalities. My focus has been on how to use the keto diet and BFR band training for body composition improvements. That being said I believe fitness is a very important part of the process.
Twenty eight percent of women in the United States are reported as not being physically active compared to twenty-five percent of American men. Adults aged sixty five and over reported the highest prevalence of physical inactivity at thirty two percent followed by adults forty five to sixty four at twenty eight percent and younger adults aged eighteen to forty four years old at twenty two percent. An estimated one hundred sixty million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly seventy five percent of American men and more than sixty percent of American women are obese or overweight. These are also major calls for American children as nearly thirty percent of boys and girls under the age of twenty are either obese or overweight, up from nineteen percent in 2014.
Physical activity increases people’s total energy expenditure, which can help them stay in energy balance or even lose weight, as long as they don’t eat more to compensate for the extra calories they burn. Physical activity decreases fat around the waist and the total body fat, slowing the development of abdominal obesity.

Those are some recent statistics. The fact remains that people spend a lot of their time engaged with screens and not moving much. This lack of activity has led to a larger body composition. The sad and simple truth is that if people would simply engage in some sort of physical activity regularly they would have a huge advantage in helping themselves with obesity and overweight body composition.

People spends several minutes driving around looking for a closer parking spot rather than walking a little bit further. They take escalators and elevators rather than take the stairs.

It’s not that complicated. People often believe that they have to spend hours on days end in the gym. Now that’s what I prefer but it’s not the only way to get moving and to improve body composition. Tennis, golf and really and physical activities can help. It’s not necessarily about grinding away in the gym but rather doing anything that gets the blood flowing, the heart beating and exerts a bit more energy. It’s been shown that as little as ten minutes of moderate activity three times a day can assist in improving body composition. This of course needs to be coupled with an improvement in diet which we will discuss later.

So what’s my personal favorite activity? I am a resistance kind of guy. I enjoy throwing around weights at the gym. I prefer five to seven days a week at about forty minute engagements. This is simply my preference but is not necessary for everyone. I also utilize BFR band training for maximum results, also to be addressed later. I will talk about how using a ketogenic diet and BFR can compound and build upon each other to greatly increase results and I will discuss some of the science that I have found that supports this hypothesis. There are also various other health hacks that have been shown to increase body composition improvements that I will share.

What are a few other benefits of exercise? Lowering cortisol levels and helping with stress. Improvement in mood including stabilization of depression and anxiety. Improvement in blood pressure and insulin levels. Improvement in lean body muscle and bone density. A general increase in self esteem. These are a few examples.

So my point is? Get off of your butt and do something. People constantly complain about their weight and energy levels but continue to spend their free time watching TV or one their devices on social media. They believe that living in the gym is the only way to improve their situation. The truth is that if they can simply make the effort to get out and do some sort of physical activity that they can begin to see and feel some improvement. I believe the other problem with the idea of training, whether resistance or just going for a simple walk is that people believe that if they do not see results in a few days that they will never see them. The fact is that they have spent several years eating poorly, several years not moving and that in order to start seeing results does require consistency and time and effort. They did not end up where they are after a few bad meals or a few days of binge watching Netflix. It was over a period of bad decisions that they ended up as obese or overweight. So let’s try to be realistic. In order to change your body composition you must be patient and consistent but it can happen. It will happen in your life.

Be conscious about your life. Don’t look for that closer parking spot. Don’t look for the elevator or escalator. Don’t sit around after work drinking that beer and starting at the TV or your phone. If you are willing to make a few simple lifestyle changes then you can improve your body composition. It’s up to you.

#keto

#BFR

#fitness

Tit For Tat

Let’s have a little fun. I have already established in my previous blogs that I am far from vanilla. So this particular blog is about my wife and I and our enjoyment of tattoos and piercings.

I got my first piercing at the ripe old age of fifteen before most men had even considered piercings. I spent the summer in Milwaukee with my aunt and her family. I worked two jobs, one as a painters apprenticeship and one as an inventory specialist. Yup I wanted to make some money. Really it wasn’t about the money but rather me wanting to do something that summer as I was left alone pretty much every day. So back in those days the carding of minors was to say the least lacking. I was actually able to get into bars and buy liquor. Yeah I grew facial hair like nobody’s business but like I said the carding of minors wasn’t really a thing. So at the end of the summer I decided to freak my parents out and I got my ear pierced. These days it doesn’t seem like much back back in my youth it was. As I got off the airplane in Colorado and walked to the concourse sporting a six inch hanging cross on my ear I saw my parents response. Yeah not happy campers but I was that kid.

Tattoos, usually reserved for the military and bikers back in the day. I turned eighteen and it was time. Did I go and pick out a standard tattoo? No I went into a shop and had a guy freehand it. To this day that’s my favorite tattoo.

So yeah I started young and got into piercings and tattoos before it became a socially acceptable thing. I had my nipple pierced before guys did that, I had my tongue pierced before most men. I am not saying that I was a trend setter, I could have cared less about that but I did back then what people nowadays consider the norm.

I have gotten several piercings and tattoos since and my wife is also big into both. We both have pierced nipples and nether regions.

The point of this blog? I laugh a little. One of the first things we did as a couple was to get matching tattoos. We had an infinity sign with the word love embedded in it on our necks. We are just that couple. It was back before we had kids.

Fast forward to the present day. Five years later we have a lot going on. Kids, careers, a business and a training schedule which leaves very little free time. I took the kids out for ice cream, they rarely get sweets in our household, and a guy was handing out cards trying to boost the business of the tattoo shop he worked at. We had previously discussed doing another matching tattoo and this just seemed to be a great time to do them. I sent a text to my wife and I said we are going to get the tattoo we discussed. She responded with OMG really? It was on. We took turns that evening at the shop and we both got another infinity sign intertwined with a heart on our lower abdomen area. For the record, our last name is Hartt, so it was symbolic in multiple ways for us. We will probably continue to get more ink and possibly more piercings. Why tell you this? Part of the reason we have no issues with getting new ink at our ages with kids, careers and a booming business is because we bust our asses in the gym, we watch what we eat and we stay fit year around. Keto and BFR band training is our fitness secret. We ink because this is our lifestyle and we both refuse to grow old gracefully.

#keto

#bfr

#tattoo

#piercing

#love

My Experience With Being Interviewed for Carnivore and More

Nervous, maybe a little bit. If you read my previous blog you know that certain things kick up my speech issue. First time being interviewed on a podcast that I have listened to since the beginning, yeah a little nervous. On top of that I had to deal with a sinus infection. I sounded like a record player playing a scratched up record. That being said I am very happy with how it went down.

My struggling speech aside, my wife in contrast has a voice made for radio and podcasts, I believe the interview went well. She did of course sing often in her youth. The funny thing is that I did competition choir and competition duets prior to spasmonic voice changes.

Let’s go over the interview. The general point of it was that my wife and I are both bodybuilders who train together and eat a ketogenic diet and how we build our bodies on a diet that traditionally is thought not to be effective in this space. Another portion focused on us raising our children on a low carb diet.

The initial opening of the interview was a simple introduction to who we are. We are a couple who train five to seven times a week and have done so for twenty one months eating a low carb and high fat diet. The question was “why keto”? Our answer was simple. We initially started training together on a traditional “bro” diet. We made decent gains and is was a lifestyle of training and eating relatively well. Being new to the podcasts world I found bodybuilding.com podcasts. I was very familiar with the website as I had used it to track my progress and order supplements for years. One of the earlier podcasts had an episode talking about this ketogenic diet thing and how effective it was for cutting fat. It caught my attention and I began to dive into everything keto. We launched our keto diet in August 2017. The initial intent was to cut body fat but we soon began to feel the other benefits of the diet. Energy, lots of it. Mental focus and clarity. No longer hungry and desiring to snack all of the time. Prior to starting the diet I had a visit to the Dr where I was put on high blood pressure medication and told I was pre diabetic. After 6 months of keto I went back for a check up and my a1c had dropped to 4.7 and my blood pressure was under control enough to have the medication discontinued. My wife was on epilepsy medication and prior to keto was still having seizures. Six months after she hadn’t had one and asked the Dr to try a period without the meds. At this point we decided that this was no longer diet but our lifestyle.

#keto

#interview

Sardine Cans and Tattoos

When you are seventeen the military requires your parents to sign a waiver for you to enlist. My parents couldn’t wait. I took the test, the one that let’s the army know what you are qualified to do, mine was off the charts. I could have done anything, my young dumb, gunho ass signed up for infantry. Off to Fort Benning for basic in the middle of summer after my junior year of high school. Hot, humid and bugs as big as my forearm. At that time there was the first desert storm war in Iraq and the army still had a bit of a problem with racial tension. My platoon was split up pretty even between the white and the colored, with a few of us considered other.

I had qualified for the Olympic trials in Vegas earlier that year, living in the mountains of Colorado. Needless to say I was in pretty good shape and at the lower altitude of Georgia it was a bit difficult for me to get winded. Every night after hours the platoon would move the bunks and the two sides would fight. I would watch at first, not really fitting into either camp but after a couple of weeks I got bored. Seventeen, full of testosterone and beyond physically fit I decided to jump in. I did not ever pick a side. I simply would jump in whenever there seemed to be a dominant winner that evening. I never lost. I never wore out.

What the hell does this have to do with a sardine can? I have no idea what the protocol is these days but back in the early 1990s they transported us in cattle cars. One of my most vivid memories was day after day we were loaded into cattle cars, packed in like sardines and transported from base to field training and back to the base. Standing room only. Hoping that the guys around you were able to keep their balance and not fall over taking you down with them. A random. Thought on my past. A little bit about me though.

Tattoos, hold onto your ass because I write like a drunk man drives. Why do I jump to tattoos? As in.my earlier blog I eluded that my wife and I are far from vanilla. We both have multiple tattoos. Many from before we met but as we began our relationship we got our first matching tattoos. On the right side of our necks. An infinity sign that ends in the words love. Once I get a knack for this blogging thing I may start posting some pictures. Maybe not. Time will tell. Nonetheless that was our first tattoo together. You see we are pretty inseparable. So again why tattoos? This past week we decided to get our second matching tattoos. Another infinity sign this time intertwined with a heart. Significance? Our last name is Hartt. Cheesy? Maybe. We wear. Matching outfits, have gotten matching haircuts. It’s just us. So we went and got these new tattoos, yeah they turned out damned nice and yeah they are on our bodies in an area that requires us to show them off as they are not in what would be considered a socially acceptable area. As I stated earlier, we are not exactly vanilla. We have a few others matching we will add in the future and a few others that aren’t matching but hell that was last weeks fun for us.

Naked tanning. Jump around blogger, keep people guessing and reading. Not really. This is our lives together. A little known fact about us both is that we were both adopted. Yup mistakes and throw away kids. I don’t play the victim and I don’t care. Life is what you make it and mind is pretty damned good. Back to the tanning, I grew up and eventually learned about my birth mother, never will I give her credit beyond not aborting me but at the age of thirty I did find dear old sperm donor. Interesting enough I have come to patronize the local clothing optional hot springs. It was and is one of the most relaxing places around. Back to the sperm donor, we started writing letters back and forth, yup before email and the internet were much of a thing. Turns out dear old dad fancied himself a nudist. Genetic? I doubt it. Fast forward a bit. I meet my future wife, we hit it off at work and I explained that I could go with or without clothes. Lucky me, she was of a similar mindset. Fast forward to this weekend. A beautiful day, which there have not been many in the recent months, a day off together and a bit of coconut rum. Not even remotely our first backyard tanning session and not even close to our first time tanning naked in our own backyard but it was beyond peaceful and relaxing.

Ah hell, I guess next time I might actually talk a bit about my keto and BFR experience or perhaps another story about myself and how I became who I am today. I will keep you guessing.

#army

#tattoo

Spasmonic WTH?

Everybody has multiple things that are out of their control. Life happens and we are the center of our own universe. Some people spend most of their lives living as victims, no actually they don’t just live as victims they actually build their entire identity around the concept. Definitely a bunch of fun people to go bowling with, the ball in the gutter and them explaining how they can’t catch a break in life. Anyways, then there are the optimistic ones. They tend to find that one sweet grape in the bunch of rotten. Now they tend to be a little bit more fun but let’s face it, fun may not be the best description, they generally have to be taken in small doses.

Where the hell am I going with this? Stay with me. Most people are in the middle of pessimistic and optimistic. On a scale of one to ten I place myself around an eight. Shit generally just doesn’t phase me. Perhaps it’s not a socially acceptable mindset but I focus on my life and my family.

So why a blog? That’s a fair question. People write blogs about anything and everything. Dogs, cats and even ugly sweaters. People are unique and use these things to share their crazy passions. So what’s my deal? Spasmonic dysphonia. It’s not socially acceptable to judge people but it happens. I am not talking about the guy in a dress or the autistic child, judging that just makes you an ass. Let’s face it though, there are those who get judged by they way they look, they clothes they wear or by the way they carry themselves.

If you managed to stay with me this far I guess I might want to get to the point. Although in all fairness this is my blog and laying in bed like a furry little sloth is allowing me to take my sweet time. So yeah, I have a bachelors degree, lots of certifications and decades of life experience. I feel pretty good about my knowledge. I tend to score high on test without doing the homework. Knock me off this cloud but hell I am fairly intelligent. Stop being a dick you might say. No I don’t come across as a high and mighty man in person, in fact I am generally quiet and a pillar of confidence. Here is my uncontrollable circumstances that I do my best to not be a victim to but I do not always win.

Imagine being a fairly popular fifteen year old boy. Choir, wrestling and pretty good with the girls. Now Imagine that around that time frame you go from a choir worthy voice to sounding like a record player playing an album with a shit ton of scratches on it. Yup that’s spasmonic dysphonia. I could not get out a sentence to save my life. Fast forward a couple of decades. After years of living with this fun and exciting vocal issue I tried the standard treatment, botox injection in the vocal chords. Yeah buddy. By the way I was working for a dementia unit as a medication administrator. Yup giving drugs to the patients. So I went in on a Friday to get the botox and went home a couple of hours after the procedure. So yeah that didn’t work. The next six weeks of my life my vocal chords were paralyzed. Imagine the fun I had.

Fast forward to today. I have been able to manage it to the point that it rarely is noticeable. The exception tends to be if I get nervous or if I am exhausted. We started a podcast and yeah I was nervous and yes there were a few hickups in my voice but really nothing major and I know after a few times I will be comfortable and all will be well. Shit shit shit so we were also interviewed by a carnivore podcast and not only was I nervous but also wasn’t feeling well. Yup felt like high school again. So if you want to know why I decided to blog, there you go. I have a lot to say and I can babble here with no hickups. Yes this will have some keto stuff and of course some BFR training stuff but it’s more than just that. This is my platform to share my journey. Next up is sardines, tattoos and naked tanning.

Success Turn The Page

Alright, let’s get this journey started. Who am I? Hell I am nobody. I am just a guy who happens to be very happy and kind of successful in all areas of my life. As I drive around in circles, the rain falling gently from the dark clouds above, the thought of success becomes clear as mud. The truth is that it boils down to perspective. So let’s explore a few chapters of my personal success. Let’s turn that first page, up in the front of my story is my relationship. First off let me say that I don’t do boring or vanilla. I was that guy who bounced from relationship to relationship, and I was married to a very boring and vanilla woman for a while. Not my cup of tea. Currently I am married for a second time. Spare me the I married my best friend speach. My wife and I do everything together. We have each other’s logins and passwords. After being together for over six years and rarely being apart we still send each other naughty pictures almost every day. I am not saying this to sounds like deviants but I am simply saying that we are still in the honeymoon phase and have no desire not to be. We own a business together, we train at the gym together, we cook together and we parent together. Turn the page. The next chapter is just as successful but will be brief as my little monkeys will not be the emphasis of this blog. First the oldest boy, our future engineer. The oldest girl , our future artist. The youngest boy, the future CEO. And the youngest girl, definitely a future princess social media influencer. Turn the page. Let’s talk health. I am an middle aged man 45 years young. Nearly two years eating keto and many years of gym time. Last doctor visit has my labs looking like a healthy 25 year old man. So yeah I definitely feel like I have found a successful way to not only maintain health but to improve it as well. My beautiful wife fifteen years younger can attest that being healthy has a great impact on our relationship, libidos and love life. Use your imagination. Turn the page. Financially speaking life is good. Business is growing like a beautifully tended garden with limitless potential.

A long winded introduction to myself indeed. This blog is my personal journey of life and I invite you to step on the trail and enjoy the scenery.

#success

#celebrate