Friday, October 10, 2014

Juicing for Liver Health

Do you love your liver? You better - because you can't live without it! Those of you who know me are already aware of my journey to death and back following fulminant liver failure. Here's a quick example of what I do to maintain liver health these days. I used a nearly identical protocol to reverse liver failure, so if you have questions feel free to contact me.

STEP ONE: Gather The Goods

Kale. I love kale. It has a complete amino acid profile, and remember, your body does not need proteins, it needs amino acids, which are broken down from proteins. Why eat hard to digest protein when you can assimilate aminos instantly and effortlessly in liquid form? Just one cup of kale contains over 200% RDI of vitamin A and C, and about 700% of the RDI for vitamin K. And your liver LOVES vitamin K! 

Carrots. One (1) carrot contains 50% of the RDI for vitamin A. And Bugs Bunny was always healthy.

Lemons. This is a homeopathic theory of my own. Lemons are yellow. Bile is yellow and is produced by the liver. Homeopathy means "like treats like." Want healthy bile? Juice or eat lemons.

Apples. They contain vitamin C, plenty of potassium, and even contain some Omega-6 acids. Go figure!



That's it for this recipe. Now here's where it gets hard core. If you have liver disease or chronic bouts with liver issues you will likely need much more than the government's RDI. If they say 100%, I say 1000%. If they say 1000%, I say 10,000%. We are talking about saturating your body, literally flooding your form with massive amounts of enzymes.

Today I juiced (all organic):

(2) bunches of kale 
(1) pound of carrots
(5) lemons
(5) Granny Smith apples
(2) Fiji apples

STEP TWO: Preparation

Chop your goodies into pieces that will fit into your juicer. I use an ancient JuiceLady JL-500. It's freaking bulletproof and easy to clean. There are tons of amazing juicers out there. Find one that is easy to clean. To give you an idea of how much matter it takes to extract usable liquid from fruits and veggies, this is a photo of just the two bunches of kale:





STEP THREE: Juice

Feed the yummy life-giving medicine foods into the juicer and allow the juice to pour into a glass container. Plastic = BAD.



Enjoy! The above photo is about a 2-3 day supply for me.

Bret Munk ~ The Sacred Trainer ~ bret@bretmunk.com ~ 805.305.0532


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Children, Chalk, & Chimera



I'm an exercise fanatic. I commend folks who take fitness seriously. And I am passionate about kids who grab the Health Bull by the horns. Children who exercise regularly and with intensity can achieve substantial muscular development, and they certainly curb any risk of obesity. But young humans were simply not designed to lift weights, right? It stunts their growth and affects their growth plates, doesn't it? Isn't that what we were told?
Recently an article appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics which shed favorable light on the effects of resistance training in children. Several other related studies have also found that weight training is not only safe for young people, but it can actually be beneficial, if not essential.
In the Pediatrics review, researchers with the Institute of Training Science and Sports Informatics in Cologne, Germany, analyzed 60 years’ worth of studies of children and weightlifting. The studies covered boys and girls from age 6 to 18. The researchers found that, almost without exception, children and adolescents benefited from weight training. They grew stronger. Young people of any age who participated in resistance training at least twice a week for a month or more showed greater strength gains than those who worked out only once a week or for shorter periods. 
Over all, the researchers concluded, “regardless of maturational age, children generally seem to be capable of increasing muscular strength.”
As an ACSM-cPT I checked in with my certifying agency, the American College of Sports Medicine. Here's their take:
"More recently, the importance of strength training for both younger and older populations has received increased attention, and a growing number of children and adolescents are experiencing the benefits of strength training. Contrary to the traditional belief that strength training is dangerous for children or that it could lead to bone plate disturbances, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) contends that strength training can be a safe and effective activity for this age group, provided that the programs properly designed and competently supervised. It must be emphasized, however, that strength training is a specialized form of physical conditioning distinct from the competitive sports of weightlifting and powerlifting, in which individuals attempt to lift maximal amounts of weight in competition. Strength training refers to a systematic program of exercises designed to increase an individual's ability to exert or resist force."
So should children be hitting the gym with their parents? In my opinion, yes. And I suggest the following considerations:

1) FORM - Children should be coached on proper form first and foremost. Neural networks are wiring together like crazy during these young years, and seizing this window of opportunity is paramount for longevity. "Raise a child in the way they should lift and when they are old they will not hurteth." I think it says that in the Bible. Somewhere.

2) WEIGHT - Keep weights low to moderate, keep reps high, and enjoy flexibility. More than building strong muscles we are building strong tendons. It takes years to condition tendon strength. Going big and then going to the ER is not the goal. Breaking a good sweat while incorporating yoga into a fitness program is more the direction we should be heading.

3) CONNECTION - Discuss visualization and the relationship between the mind and the body. Ask questions, "What does that feel like? Does it burn a little? If you close your eyes can you see the muscle fibers working?" Every great body sculptor understands the mind-body connection. They also understand to check ego at the door. Teach your little ones that exercise is fun and is not a "coolness" competition. Exercise is a way of celebrating life in the human form.

4) NETWORK - Get on board with other families that embrace a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle. Sound fitness training for children is not bench presses followed by BBQ. Learn about pre-workout and post-workout nutrition, the roles of carbs, proper intake levels and healthy sources of protein, and how to get lots and lots and LOTS of those good fats. Are 50% of calories coming from raw, whole foods? Are kids consuming water or a sports drink? Find knowledgeable personal trainers and coaches that are curious and are studying current trends and the latest research, and pick their brains.

5) FUN - Finally, make the process fun! If a kid is mandated to embark on a fitness regimen it will likely only last as long as the parent/coach is cracking a whip. Invite children to explore the world of physical form. Hang, swing, jump, bounce, twirl, twist, push, pull, swim. Be creative, be sensible, be sustainable, and be yourself. If you like football and your 6-year old son likes ballet listen up! The child's soul is speaking. 





Thursday, October 25, 2012

DuPont, GMOs, and War - A Romance

As tempers flare in CA over Proposition 37 we might shift our focus from Monsanto for a moment and take a look at the other major player in the movement to manipulate and control the world’s food supply – DuPont.

Originally a gunpowder mill, the DuPont logo is often associated with paints and coatings. They make kevlar and ammunition. They support ongoing wars both within US borders (ie: The War on Drugs) as well as military invasions abroad.

They also make and sell food.





Now, why would a company make bullets to kill people also make food to feed people?





DuPont recently invested more than $4M opposing the Proposition 37 bill. Why?  The bill just requires any GMO food (Genetically Modified Organism) to be labeled. GMO food is said to be totally safe, according to the U.S. government. GMO food is FDA-approved. GMO food is pretty much present in every particle of today’s non-organic food supply.

So what is GMO food? It’s a cross, or a fusion, between two things which are genetically different. Many people get confused and think that GMO food is like crossing the biggest tomato from one crop and the biggest tomato from a different crop. Well that’s not GMO. That’s just farming.

GMO means crossing two unlike organisms...like crossing a strawberry with a fish. Sound too bizarre? Take a look at the following:



This is a GMO strawberry. It is crossed with an Arctic Flounder. Why in the world would someone even think about trying to fuse a fish with a fruit? Through trial and error scientists have been able to “create” this unique strawberry which looks like a strawberry, and tastes like a strawberry, but has the ability to grow in freezing temperatures thanks to traits supplied from the genetic makeup of a fish which lives in freezing conditions.

What else have scientists successfully crossed? What if we crossed this:





...with this:




Well...if scientists were able to genetically fuse corn with a cockroach one would be able to grow a very resilient corn, one that is resistant to most pollutants, high levels of radiation, and so on.

Would you eat a corn/roach fusion?

You probably already have. If you have eaten anything from a fast food chain, or virtually anything in the store or any restaurant which contains “corn starch”, “corn oil”, or “corn sugar” and it is not explicitly organic, you are likely eating roach corn. I dare you to now, go to your pantry and/or your refrigerator and read some ingredient labels. If it is NOT organic, and contains corn of any variety, you are basically eating roaches.

At this point you are probably thinking, “Yeah, Bret. But what’s wrong with eating roaches that taste like corn? I like eating roaches.”

Well, nothing is wrong with eating roaches, as long as they are organic. Many people in many countries around the world rely on insects as a source of protein in their diet. But when insects are genetically crossed with an unlike genetic code a creation exists which may or may not contain the original nutritional content, and may or may not be digestible.

Now that we know what a GMO is, let’s get back to the crosshairs.

DuPont.

While everyone is screaming about the evils of Monsanto I have been reading up on DuPont. These guys should be getting as much GMO press as Monsanto, if not more. This company is positioning itself to control the world's food supply:




They rank #4 as a polluter.

They rank #2 as the world's largest chemical company.

They rank #1 in innovation, quality, and social responsibility.

I'm off to snack on something organic with my beloved. I think I saw a roach or two scurrying about the kitchen earlier...

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Cost of Becoming Fat


As a personal trainer I have many potential clients balk at the perceived high cost of fitness training. "You expect me to pay _ dollars just to get back in shape?" As a father and fellow American on a tight budget I empathize with your plight. The idea of investing hundreds if not thousands of dollars to reduce body fat from 50% to 25% may seem steep. But to put things into perspective, let's calculate the cost of arriving at 50% body fat in the first place.

The average single patty cheeseburger in America costs around $4.00, equals about 350 calories, and is comprised of approximately 17g protein, 28g carbohydrates, and 18g fat. Gourmet burgers run upwards of $8.00, while the cheapest I have seen are $.99 plus tax. For this article we will go with the cheapest burger in America - minus tax.

1 pound of fat = 3500 calories, or 10 single patty cheeseburgers.

Total cost = $9.90

Now, in order to pack on a pound of fat you must ingest more than your TEE (Total Energy Expenditure) for the day. Average TEE is about 2000 calories (kcals), which means about 1500 of those cheeseburger calories were stored as fat while the other 2000 were burned as energy. Therefore and in consideration of TEE, one must ingest 3500kcals plus an additional 2000kcals, or 16 cheeseburgers, in order to gain 1 pound of fat.

16 cheeseburgers @ $.99 each = $15.84 per day - or $110.88 per week - or $5,765.76 per year - for 52 pounds of fat.

Keep in mind, these are bottom of the barrel cheeseburgers, not fancy meals at an italian restaurant. These are bareboned calories of total trash food that would make livestock wretch. Throw in a fettucini alfredo dinner or a ribeye at a steakhouse and the cost of becoming fat easily climbs to $400 per week, or nearly $20,800 per year.

The next time you counsel with a trainer and they hit you with a number that seems outrageous, such as $100 per session, remind yourself of the cost of becoming fat. It takes about $32 per day to gain two pounds of fat - that's $224 per week - and this is using the cheapest possible fast food source. Now that we agree on the cost of gaining fat, what is a reasonable cost to lose the same fat?

Finally, further consider the cost of staying fat. Heart disease. Stroke. Cancer. Low self-esteem. Depression. Pricey pharmaceuticals, doctor visits, medical insurance, liposuction - the list goes on and on.

It is never too early to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Each moment is a choice. I am extending you my hand and inviting you to join me as you make one of the most important decisions of your life. Will you choose illness, dis-ease, and a shortened lifespan? Or will you choose wellness, happiness, and longevity? 

Yours In Health-
Bret Munk
ACSM•cPT
bret@bretmunk.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Q: Do Humans Get Fatter In The Winter?




Recently one of my clients asked a fantastic question.







Q: Do humans tend to store more fat during Fall and Winter months?



A: Possibly.


Certain uncontrolled studies have shown humans to experience seasonal weight fluctuation, with winter body mass being about .5kg/m2 higher than in summer. According to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a patient-controlled study conducted at the University of Colorado showed that body fat was not affected by season, although cholesterol levels increased between November and February.


However, there are a variety of factors which may influence fat storage during winter months which we may consider.


As days shorten less Vitamin D is available from the sun which in turn decreases serotonin levels and creates a condition commonly referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Lower serotonin and the accompanying depressive mood can result in "emotional eating", which consists of ingesting larger than normal quantities of carbohydrates in an attempt to anti-depress.


The winter holiday season includes a slew of Western celebrations such as Halloween, Election Day, Black Friday, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve, and Valentine's Day. Holidays are source of stress for many, and emotional stress triggers the production of cortisol, the dreaded steroid hormone manufactured by the adrenal gland which increases blood sugar levels, increases blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, and plays a major role with regard to appetite and obesity.


Testosterone, the "hormone of desire", which is responsible for increased sex drive, muscle gain, and fat loss, rises and falls throughout the year but peaks during summer months with lowest levels occurring during the winter months.


Finally, an enzyme called LPL, or Lipoprotein lipase, promotes fat storage and spikes during the winter months. LPL is what makes it possible for hibernating animals to survive during hibernation. When LPL levels rise, fat storage becomes easier.


Tips to Stay Lean During the Winter:


- Take a Vitamin D supplement daily. I personally recommend Carlson's Vitamin D3 4000IU gels. Also, look into indoor tanning. Contrary to what your dermatologist may tell you, controlled doses of UVA and UVB radiation actually safeguard against sunburn and lower incidence of colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Find a reputable facility, ask about their bulbs, UVA/UVB concentration levels, exposure time, and do some research on your own. Diving in for a few minutes of UVA/UVB exposure each day can have a very positive effect on your health.


- Take a probiotic. There are many brands to choose from, I take OrthoBiotic and Culturelle. Probiotics should be alternated every 1-2 months so that new colonies of flora are circulated. Gut health is total body health.


- Exercise! Find a gym, get an accountability partner or a personal trainer, and hit it. HARD. Moderate to vigorous exercise 5-6 days per week, 1 hour per day, will increase testosterone production, lower cholesterol, boost energy, improve mood, reduce stress, regulate digestion, and balance hormone levels. Workouts which involve conscious breath exercises such as yoga are highly recommended.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Just Breathe




As a young child I recall a phrase used by adults called, "huffing and puffing". The term was applied to any person who was unhappy with their circumstances. I developed a neural association between deep breathing and negativity, and I learned to breath shallow whenever possible. I did not wish to be labeled a complainer, so I kept my inhalations and exhalations suppressed.

Through the years I engaged in a variety of physical activities including westernized sports, gymnastics, martial arts, massage therapy, and yoga. I also studied breathing for childbirth as well as sexuality and the effects of breathing with relation to climax. Each activity incorporated its own style of breathing, and some activities even conflicted within themselves in terms of speed, timing, and forcefulness, but without exception nearly all elicited the practitioner to engage in very deep breaths, with full expansion of the lungs, followed by an audible exhalation.

One day while meditating it dawned on me. I was huffing and puffing.

huff and puff - to breath noisily; to complain.

How odd. I was peacefully meditating and focused on my glottis - and I wondered - why is it that in American culture there is a negative connotation to deep breathing? And had I been alone as a shallow breather?

I began to observe others. I noticed that most of the people who took deep breaths did so on cue during times of irritation. A woman might appear overwhelmed at a desk job while multitasking, and would respond with a deep breath and an exhalation. A man might be upset upon hearing unfavorable news, and would respond with a huff and a puff. Of special interest were smokers. They seemed to always shallow breathe until they lit up, and only then would they gulp air to ingest maximum smoke. Unfortunately I never really noticed people taking deep, controlled inhalations and exhalations routinely. It confirmed that I was not alone, I existed in a society of shallow breathers.

I looked into the effects of shallow breathing:

- high blood pressure
- headaches
- fatigue
- nervousness and irritability
- constipation
- sexual impotence
- memory problems

Not surprisingly many folks in my country suffer from these maladies. I checked out the effects of deep breathing:

- increased energy
- relieves asthma
- improves circulation
- increases supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells
- calms nervous system
- eliminates toxins
- massages internal organs
- increases flexibility, improves athletic performance, aids in faster recovery from exercise

My investigation revealed that "huffing and puffing" created health, while shallow breathing created suffocation and death. This did not answer my question as to why deep breathing was frowned upon, but it reminded me that by continuing to take deep breaths periodically throughout the day I was doing well to facilitate a healthy mind/body.

BREATHING EXERCISE

Try the following:

1. Inhale through your nostrils for 5 seconds until lungs are completely expanded
2. Hold the breath in suspension for 5 seconds
3. Exhale through your nostrils for 5 seconds until lungs are completely emptied
4. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat

If you are not used to deep breathing you may feel immediately energized or possibly lightheaded. This is because your body was just bathed in oxygen. Continue to practice the 5•5•5•5 breathing each day and try to increase the duration of each step, to 10 seconds, then 20 seconds, and so on. As you are able to extend the duration of each step you will feel a corresponding lowering of heart rate, an increase in mental alertness, and a whole host of health benefits.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Recipe for Fat Loss




Wait, don't tell me - you were waiting in line at the checkout and a magazine article grabbed your attention, "Lose 10 pounds in 5 days!" You snatched the mag, skimmed through 50 pages while spilling subscription cards onto the floor, only to discover that people in some place like Miami or L.A. are eating specific fruits or gobs of meats or drinking raw eggs to slide back into pants from their senior year of high school. So you stocked up on some weird stuff you can't pronounce, and you gorged yourself all day every day, yet the scale hasn't budged. Am I close?

You and I are products of a fast food generation, where shops need a drive-thru, and microwave ovens are too slow, and whatever it is should have arrived 5 minutes ago. We have been programmed to expect too much in too little time, to circumvent nature, to manipulate technology, and to pervert laws of physics to satiate our desires. We demand immediate gratification.

In the world of weight loss marketing is everything. Fads always have been and always will be, and savvy sellers know how to push people's hot buttons. Combining eye-popping keywords with exclamation points they generate magazine sales, pushing advertised products while making outrageous claims. In the end, there is no way around nature. And so it is we should look to nature, and not a salesman, for solutions to body transformation.

I began my own (latest) journey of fat loss in April 2011. I was almost 35% body fat, and I weighed about 240 pounds. I had been eating lots of processed food, most of it high in carbs and animal fats. Chicken Alfredo. Lasagna. Broccoli Rice Casserole.

You are what you eat. My body became a walking tub of Broccoli Rice Casserole.

I began an exercise program using HIIT on an elliptical trainer at Anytime Fitness in San Antonio, TX. At first I could barely pedal at 180 strides per minute, and I could not last longer than 5 minutes. I continued to blast away at the gym for about 1 hour each day, for a couple of weeks. I was able to jog on the elliptical for longer and longer, but my fat seemed to be stuck to my frame. It was then that I decided to experiment with my diet.


I made the following adjustments:

No salt
No dairy (cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, butter)
No carbs (rice, pasta, cereal)
No animal flesh other than fish (bovine, pork, fowl)

100g of RAW vegetarian protein per day
Loads of plant fats (avocado, olive oil, almond butter)
All organic
All raw


I was intensely curious about what would happen if I avoided cooked food altogether. I commenced on an all raw diet - just like nature intended. Salads, fruits, nuts, seeds. If it was something I could pick from a tree or bush or pull directly from the soil and consume, then I ate it. If humans had tampered with it in anyway other than brushing off the dust, I avoided it.

I also chose entirely organic foods. If it was not 100% USDA organic, I did not ingest it. I wanted to see what would happen if I avoided toxins altogether. Many people think organic is simply easier on the environment, as in, easier on the Earth. It is. And we should consider that we are all parts of a whole. What damages the soil, air, and water invariably wreaks havoc on our internal environment, that is, our biological terrain.


GENERAL PLAN
A typical breakfast for me involved black coffee and a raw, vegetarian protein shake. Then came my workout, where I committed 1 hour to HIIT on the elliptical, followed by 1 hour of weight training. Immediately following my workout I consumed another protein shake and a few tablespoons of raw almond butter, as I prepared my lunch. Note, I did not cook my lunch. I prepared it.

Lunch was boring but filling. Sometimes it would be a VERY large salad, mostly organic spinach, a basket of organic sprouts, organic broccoli, organic kale, and some organic vinegar with organic almond oil / cold pressed olive oil. Or I might just eat straight from the can - wild caught Tongol tuna (lower mercury) with organic mustard slathered over the top. Some days I would just eat raw spinach out of the box by hand, like a gorilla. I kept a large bowl of a seed/nut mixture of sunflower, almond, cashew, peanut, and pumpkin on the counter, and I would enjoy large spoonfuls at all times throughout the day.

About 2-3 hours after lunch I would enjoy yet another raw, vegetarian protein shake, and finally for dinner I had...a very light dinner. Usually another fluffy green salad, with heaping helpings of the seed/nuts, and some scoops of organic peanut butter or organic almond butter to tide me over for morning.

This simple diet worked. It was all organic, almost entirely raw, and the cool thing was, I ate as much and as often as I wanted. I never let myself get hungry. And it worked. I went from 35% to 14% body fat in less than 4 months. I lost about 50 pounds of pure fat. And I even gained some muscle. So how did this actually work?

HIIT
High-Intensity Interval Training has been a hot topic lately. But the principle goes back about 10,000 years. You and I carry a gene around from our caveman ancestors. When triggered properly our bodies will begin to shed fat stores while simultaneously building muscle tissue. In order to trigger this genetic switch, you must study and learn about how to implement HIIT into your program.

PROTEIN
Insufficient protein can result in catabolism, and any fat loss program should be concerned with preserving and potentially building lean muscle mass. Most American trainers and coaches recommend a daily intake of 1g protein/pound of body weight, whereas those outside the states usually advise 1g protein/kilogram of body weight. I have written a separate blog on protein which I encourage you to check out. I personally veer from mass marketed whey proteins and prefer non-GMO soy, pea, or rice proteins. Lean meats such as fish and chicken (organic) are good sources of protein, although it is easily possible to maintain healthy protein intake and a full spectrum of amino acids without consuming animal products.

CARBS
My fat loss program involved the total elimination of carbohydrates, which resulted in a state of ketosis. When the body runs out of glycogen stores a process called lipolysis occurs. During lipolysis, fats (lipids) are hydrolyzed into free fatty acids by the liver to be used as energy. I recommend ketosis for fat loss to my clients who have a healthy liver, while encouraging the use of antioxidants and a liver support supplement.

TOXINS
It is my opinion that it is the ingestion of toxins, rather than clean calories, causes fat storage. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, larvicides, food coloring, artificial flavorings and sweeteners, and the host of poisons in our air, water, and soil generate a toxic load which gets stored in our adipose tissue. As fat tissues are broken down into fatty acids by the liver, the toxins are released into the bloodstream where they search for new fat tissue to "lock" into. In order to achieve sustainable fat loss it is imperative that toxins are purged from the body and only non-toxic foods are reintroduced. For this reason I only recommend eating food which has qualified for the USDA Organic seal. By eating only USDA Organic you are assured that no new toxins are ingested as the liver works to turn fats into energy while eliminating toxins which have been stored in both adipose and liver tissues.

RAW
Leukocytosis is a condition where a person's white blood cell count is higher than normal, which indicates illness. While viruses and bacteria are obvious causes of increased white blood cell production there is another culprit which is usually overlooked - cooked food. When humans ingest cooked food a process known as digestive leukocytosis occurs. Here's how it works. When we cook food we radically change its molecular structure. Nutrients are removed, minerals are reduced, and the cooked material becomes unrecognizable to the body. The digestive system responds to cooked food as an unidentifiable, foreign invader. In its efficiency the body acts quickly to protect itself by producing white blood cells. If you have ever indulged in a cooked meal of processed food it is likely that you felt tired, even sleepy, after eating. This lethargic feeling is actually not so much the digestive system doing its job to assimilate nutrients but is instead caused by massive white blood cell activity. By eating raw foods, as they occur in nature, we can enjoy the full nutritive benefits of our food, we won't unnecessarily tax our immune and digestive systems, and we avoid the tired feeling which accompanies the consumption of cooked food. Ovens, gas stoves, and electric stoves are all appliances which change the molecular structure of foods, and microwave ovens not only unnaturally alter food structure but also infuse radioactive particles into whatever they irradiate. It is time for a new way of thinking. We have been programmed to expect "hot" meals. This is cultural. Our bodies actually desire raw meals. This is natural. If we want to lose fat and gain health, and sustain it, we must embrace a natural view of food preparation. It is simply unwise to intentionally mutate the food we eat, and the concept of eating radioactive particles is beyond insane. If you have a microwave oven - don't use it!

REST
Our bodies need plenty of rest for tissue remodeling. As we embark and journey through radical fat loss our systems will require more ease and downtime. Hormones which aid in healing and cellular regeneration are strongest between 10PM and 2AM, regardless of where you are at on the globe. Seize this time by settling into bed so as to be asleep during this special period.

STRESS
A final consideration when discussing adipose tissue is stress. "The Silent Killer," emotional stress has a powerful relationship to the storage of visceral, subcutaneous, and belly fat. Practicing yoga, meditation, prayer, and mindfulness are all excellent methods for coping with stress. Fat stores will diminish in proportion to stress reduced. Give it a try.

CONCLUSION
The road to getting "ripped" and hard-bodied is multifaceted and there is no one simple shot, or magic pill, or super food which contains the solution. Body transformation and fat reduction is achieved through a systematic holistic approach and a lifestyle of a clean, healthy diet coupled with moderate to vigorous exercise. As you explore in your journey of self-improvement it is helpful to surround yourself with a support system of health-minded peers. Friends and family can have a strong influence on our diet and exercise regimen, so choose your relationships carefully. The services of a life coach, nutritionist, alternative medicine practitioner, and most importantly - a knowledgeable personal trainer - can help to insure you reach your goals safely, in the shortest possible time, and the results will be long-lasting.