Friday, August 28, 2009

What About A Vegan Diet?

Eric, I asked a question last week about the female friend switching to a vegan diet. Her reason for switching to a vegan diet is basically philosophical. Animal rights, etc. Her goals are non-performance based: weight loss, improved body comp, general health and fitness, etc. She took an online version of the questionnaire which calculated that her diet should be 21% from protein, fat, nuts/seeds, 38% from Type 1 veggies (the green leafy kind), and 41% from Type 2 veggies, fruit and grains. It was a free questionnaire, so it didn't get into any more detail than this.

Thanks for your feedback on this!


First of all, let’s define what a vegan is. It is a specific subset of vegetarians who, for whatever reason, have chosen to exclude ALL animal products. In your friend’s case, it is philosophical with animal rights, etc.

Once we remove emotion and look at the facts, to me this is not a very good idea. There is absolutely no basis in science to support this radical position. If a person chooses to be a vegan for philosophical reasons, then that is their choice. However, even though this may be considered noble; it still will not prevent them for suffering the consequences of choosing to avoid all animal protein.

One of the most common problems of a vegan diet can be permanent neurological complications-like blindness-from a vitamin B12 deficiency. One could take supplements for the deficiency; but this is not as good as acquiring it from meat (food). Staying away from meat is not a good idea for about two-thirds of you reading this, again governed by your Metabolic Type®. Also, vitamin B12 isn't absorbed very well from plant sources; which are why many vegans develop deficiencies. If one is a vegan, I would say that B12 supplementation is certainly something to look into.

There are some people who are designed to be vegetarians, but even carbohydrate types require some animal protein. This could be something as simple as fish, eggs or dairy.

With additional reading and research, I now believe that Vitamin D, zinc, iron, and calcium deficiencies -- and probably others that haven't yet been identified -- can and do occur in strict vegans. I would of course want to see the results of a hair/tissue/mineral analysis first, but this seems to be a common trend.

I also believe vegan diets to be potentially deficient for teenagers who burn a lot of calories each day (or at least they used to); and whose growing bones and bodies still require a full spectrum of nutrients. This may be true for adults, as well, if they follow a vegan diet strictly for a year or two or more.

The ovo-lacto vegetarian diet (plants and eggs and dairy) is an excellent choice for those who wish to avoid eating animal flesh.

If they aren't comfort-food related and generated for psychological or stress-based reasons, food cravings often suggest your diet isn't working for you. Listen to your body. How many times have I now said this? It knows what it is talking about. Cravings for junk food are an absolute sure sign that you are not getting the right fuel to feed your body.

Now, I am not suggesting that you go and rob the nearest Ben & Jerry’s vendor when you suddenly crave ice cream. Instead, entertain the possibility that your body needs some animal fat to help utilize fat-soluble vitamins and other factors not present in strict vegan diets.

The search for health comes from balance and being open to all kinds of information that will help you learn to pay attention and read the signs coming from your body. In using Metabolic Typing® as well as the Signet MRT ® test, I can say that I never really experience food cravings any more.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can Metabolic Typing® Really Do All That?

Can Metabolic Typing® Really Do All That?

Over the past several months, I have had interaction with my chiropractor, dermatologist, and of course my massage therapist Liz. When I went to Susan (the chiro) I was experiencing a lot of numbness in the left side of my upper body that stemmed from squatting in a suit. The first step she did was order a series of x-rays to see what might be going on structurally. Come to find out my thoracic area was tracking left. So, she put a plan in place and now several months later I am holding my adjustment and things are back where they should be. Susan sees x-rays of the spine numerous times a day, most of the days of her life. However, it is interesting to note that she commented to me that with the exception of the slight thoracic curve that my spine is one of the healthiest she has ever seen in terms of no spurs, disc spacing, etc. Now, keep in mind that I have been beating my body up for most of my adolescent and adult life with athletics, the military and intense powerlifting. In her professional opinion, this is the result of my Metabolic Typing® lifestyle.

When I went in for my annual check-up to the dermatologist, he was really amazed at how my skin continues to be so soft, supple, etc. Now guys-I know what you are thinking. Put your egos down for a minute and look at what is actually happening. My cellular turnover must be so efficient and so “focused” that my skin-at age 35-continues to regenerate and rebuild like someone that is much, much younger. In fact, he told me that if he had no idea he would guess my “skin age” to be about half of that of my actual age. Furthermore, he is amazed that the scars that he has come to know as unique to me are fading every time that I see him. Of course, we have discussed my Metabolic Typing® lifestyle, and now that he understands it he is convinced that is the reason.

Finally there is Liz. I have been receiving massages and body work from her for almost 3 years now. She has seen me through all sorts of training (high/low volume, high/low intensity, and everything in-between) and several injuries; but the one thing that she continues to comment on is my ability to recover. It seems to happen at an amazing rate; and certainly much faster than she is accustomed to seeing in her practice. Liz is a very holistic person, and she and I discuss Metabolic Typing® all the time. Just like the others, she is convinced that my Metabolic Typing® lifestyle is what allows me to recover at such an accelerated rate.

So, can Metabolic Typing® really do all of that? I am living proof that it can. It is amazing to see the human body in action when it is given the right fuel. I will say without hesitation that I totally believe the human body’s capacity for vibrant health is limitless. It very well may not be the only way, but unquestionably Metabolic Typing® is one of the ways; as me and my clients can certainly attest to 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Testosterone DOES NOT Automatically Equal More Muscle and Strength

How often have we heard that the higher a man's (or woman's, for that matter) testosterone level, the stronger and more muscular he will be?

Well, I am here to tell you that this is not the case. How do I know? From the BioHealth 205 adrenal profiles (which test one's levels at the cellular level-where all metabolic activity originates-and not the blood level, like a blood draw would) that I have run on me and my clients. Believe me; I was very surprised to see that one's hormone levels do not guarantee additional strength and lean muscle mass.

In April of 2008 I posted a 1390 raw total at a body weight of 170 pounds in the sport of powerlifting. It is the highest one I have done to date, and it was done while I was in Stage 1 adrenal fatigue. My testosterone level was actually on the high range of "normal", and my estradiol and estriol levels were low. As I noted previously, my Cortisol pattern showed me to be in Stage 1 adrenal fatigue; but for a strength athlete that is not too bad-all hard training considered.

Fast forward to June 2009. I had my adrenals re-checked and the BioHealth 205 results showed that not only was I no longer in Stage 1 adrenal fatigue; but my hormone levels were very high. My testosterone and progesterone were so high that the lab had to check twice for accuracy. It is interesting to note that during this time when I was supplementing for my adrenal fatigue and removing blocking factors and toxic load that I did not hit a personal record on any of my individual lifts or total, and I did not gain any lean muscle mass.

I have observed the exact same thing in several clients now, and that has lead me to conclude that although having a favorable hormone profile is of course always in our best interest; it does not automatically mean that we will get stronger or gain lean muscle. There is obviously so much more that goes into both of these things, such as training, discipline, believing in yourself, recovering from training, etc.

I will say that more than a few clients who improved their adrenal profiles did in fact add lean muscle and did gain strength. However, my point of this post is to tell you that just because you already have high testosterone levels or have improved your hormonal profile that you are going to get bigger and stronger in the gym.

You still have to get in there regularly, figure out what works for you, stay consistent, remain determined, and bust your ass.