Hunza Water

Since the start of this year I have been following the Ketogenic Diet. I have been fairly strict for the most part, loosening up a little and increasing my carb intake after high glycolytic workouts, or workouts that have been of an intense nature like HITT that push me about my theoretical aerobic heart rate of 180 minus my age. Any activity that puts you above this heart rate zone is said to dip into your glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. Being “keto adapted” and having predominately fat as your food and fuel sources means that you do not have much carbohydrate/glucose floating around in your system for quick energy. This also means when you exercise at a high intensity like a sprint workout you are tapping into your bodies stored source of carbohydrates or glycogen in your liver and muscles. As we can only store about 150-400 grams of this sometimes I can tap out my stores. I know when I have done this as the next day I am a bit lethargic and lacking energy.

Anyway, for the most part of this year I have been ketogenic. I had been testing my blood glucose as well as my blood ketone readings for several weeks to see how I was tracking. This was taking up 10-15 minutes of my day, so in the end I thought, I feel great, this is a bit of a waste of time. Do  really need a monitor to tell me I am “in ketosis” or do I just need to worry about how it makes me feel? I thought testing was a good idea, but definitely didn’t need to do it just to find out whether I was producing ketones. I thought, I am an following a primal lifestyle and my hunter gather ancestors would not have had ketones monitors, they are just eating for survival. So I cut out doing that and focused on eating good, healthy unprocessed foods-predominately fats with moderate protein intake and very low carbs. And, as I said I was feeling great.

The only problem I did have was after bending down to pick something up I always stood up and felt light headed and dizzy. A very strange feeling that went away soon after I was standing again. However, after completing Robb Wolf’s Keto Masterclass, I did some “fault-finding” and found I was probably lacking electrolytes, these two symptoms being an indicator that I was not getting enough sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. I looked at supplements and electrolyte drinks (not Gatorade or any sugary based sports drinks) but all where too sugary or with too many carbs. After hearing about Hunza Water on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, I thought I would investigate.

What is Hunza Water I hear you ask? Hunza Water is a process of adding Himalayan Salt Chunks to water to increase its mineral content. There is a theory behind the process.

Hunza water is named after the Hunza Valley region in Pakistan and is regarded as one of the blue zones of the earth, a place where the longevity of people in the area is vastly superior to other areas on Earth. Dr Henri Coanda studied the Hunza area and its water for decades. He believed that the longevity of their lives came from the fact that the people in the area drank glacial water. He found that drinking water from the glacial streams of the Himalaya Mountains is perhaps the closest we can get to drinking from the Fountain of Youth. The technical source of Hunza water is water that comes from melted glaciers.

  • It contains negatively-charged hydrogen ions. This is important because hydrogen is one of the most powerful antioxidants. This helps to neutralise free radicals in the body. In addition to living in a society with little to no pollution or environmental toxins, it’s no wonder these people are living 120 years!
  • Mineral colloids efficiently deliver nutrition. Basically, a specific “activator” reduces the size of the nutritional elements of Hunza water. However, it doesn’t compromise the actual nutrition – it just makes it more compact, thus easier for the body’s cells to receive.
  • Lower surface tension. In essence, this means that Hunza water more closely resembles the water found around the cells in our body. This is getting a bit complicated, right? Here’s why that matters…
  • Increased “net charge.” Basically, fluids are able to move between cells, flush out toxins and absorb more water into the cells.
  • High alkaline pH. This can naturally help the body to neutralise acids and regulate pH levels which has been linked to reducing the risk of cancer and – you guessed it – a longer life!

You don’t have to go to Pakistan and the Himalayas to get a taste of this water. Coanda was pretty dedicated to getting down to the bottom of the ins-and-outs of Hunza water, so naturally, he figured out how to recreate it without having to drink water from the glaciers themselves.

So I created my own Hunza Water following his recipe and fixed my electrolyte imbalance with this simple trick!

What you’ll need

  • Large, clear glass jar or vessel with a lid
  • A clear mason jar that can be sealed with a non-metal lid
  • Chunks of Himalayan pink salt
  • Sunlight
  • High quality, filtered drinking water
  • A non-metal teaspoon

Instructions:

  1. Sterilise the large glass container, then fill it with filtered drinking water.
  2. Cover the container, and set it out in the for 24 hours to increase the “chi” or life force of the water. This step replicates the natural sunlight water would be exposed to whilst melting down the glaciers in the Hunza Valley. Make sure the vessel is grounded (touching natural earth-this helps to give it charge and negtive ions).
  3. Using large, rock-sized Himalayan salt crystals, place as many as you can in a mason jar. Remember, don’t cover your jar with a metal lid as it can react with the salt; choose a wooden or plastic lid instead.
  4. Fill the jar with your sun water, pouring it over the salt crystals. Refill the “sun water” and set it back in the window. You will have your “salt water” and your “sun water.”
  5. Let the crystals sit in the water for another 24 hour period. This will allow the water to become saturated.
  6. When “infused,” this water is called sole; you’ll remove about a teaspoon of sole a day, and continue to top the jar with more water as long as you can still see the salt crystals. Make sure to use a non-metal teaspoon to remove sole. Add a teaspoon to a full glass of sun water.
  7. Drink on an empty stomach in the morning and wait approximately 30 minutes prior to consuming any other food or beverage.
  8. Once the salt crystals in your sole are gone, you can start over the process.

And enjoy long life!

Live Primal and Minimalism

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Living primally and minimalism fit well together. Once you have begun to live a more primal lifestyle you will understand that is simplifies your life, gives you focus and “declutters” your health, nutrition, exercise, movement and lifestyle.

Live Primal is about making things easier; simplifying your eating, exercise, and lifestyle to reflect the ancestral patterns of our hunter gatherer past. You can’t get much more minimalist than that.

Primal living is a simple approach to eating, training, moving and living. It is minimalism for life. It helps to cut away the excess, the unwanted and the unneeded to make things easier and add more value to your life. By reducing grains, sugars and industrial oils you are making it is an easier way to eat and adds value to your life by increasing your health, decreasing inflammation and making you feel better. Simplified eating is eating real, unprocessed, whole foods and ultimately eating nothing that comes wrapped in plastic. This in itself helps declutter with no packaging!

It is a simplified, minimalist way for exercising. There are three pillars of exercising to the Live Primal ethos:

  1. Sprint once in a while– do a hard 5-7 all out sprints workout every 7-10 days. This replicates being chased by a predator and helps shaped our evolution as it made us quick and most of all lean. Nothing cuts you up like sprinting.
  2. Lift Heavy Things- Lifting heavy things increases strength and muscle mass. Our ancestors would have moved rocks and logs around daily for shelter and protector.
  3. Perform long slow endurance- if our ancestors weren’t being chased by lions or lifting log around to build shelter they would’ve been performing long, slow endurance to hunt, catch food and to move locations during different seasons.

Getting out in nature, getting out in sunlight, enjoying play, going barefoot are all primal lifestyle approaches that are mnimalist and add value to your life.

PLAY:

Aim to get out and just “play”, no structured workouts, gadgets and unwind from your daily grind. What ever this may be, enjoy yourself, live in the moment and have fun. It may be spontaneous decision to go kayaking or paddle boarding or a trip to the beach.  For us adults the idea of play has been forgotten, we are told you are too old for that, or you need to buckle down and focus on work. However, in this day and age unwinding from the stress of the day is vital to our health.

Play necessitates mental modeling, critical thinking, and creative innovation. It helps decrease stress and contribute to overall physical and mental health.

Rediscover Nature: spend time in nature and you will find our involuntary awareness takes over, senses are highlighted, sounds quieter, eyesight is more expansive and sense of smell more acute. Being in nature reverses the effect of “Direct Attention Fatigue (DAF)” or always being on the go! Attention Restorative Theory is the counter to DAF and it is believed that regular frequent exposure to tranquil, natural settings help to increase the amount of Natural Killer Cells or NK cells. These are lymphocytes that fight off infection.

Negative Ions, tiny highly reactive molecules that energize the body, are found in nature where the water, wind and sun split molecules in the air. These molecules are vital for reducing pollution and helping to reduce inflammation in the body. Nature, especially where there is water, have copious amounts of negative ions, where as our homes, cities and workplaces have large numbers of positive ions and almost no negative ions.

So get out in nature, hike, kayak, go play to get the enormous benefits of stress relief, decreased inflammation and increase in feel good hormones.

Earthing: is the belief that the Schumann Resonance or the earth’s natural vibration holds many health benefits. Earthing entails making direct contact with the earth, not pavement but natural earth like grass, dirt, soil and sand. It is believed that the natural vibrations help with moderating the circadian rhythm (so a better nights sleep) and moderating the stress hormone cortisol. So this week try going barefoot as much as possible and get out into nature with direct skin contact with the earth! See next weeks post about the earthing qualities of “Glacial Water”.

These easy simple overarching ways to exercise are simple, you don’t need a gym or any fancy equipment and they add value to your health, adds years to your life and you can enjoy it more as you feel better, move well without injury and are more resilient.

Living primal is a simple approach to nutrition, exercise and movement that declutters the excess and adds value to your life-the definition of minimalism.

 

Minimalism

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Lately I have really found the concept of minimalism intriguing. By lately I mean throughout the last year or so. So throughout the last year my wife and I have made a real focus toward reducing our material things, only purchasing things that will really hold value to us, getting rid of clutter round the house and keeping only possessions that we will use to help make our lives better. We are becoming minimalists!

Minimalism is term used to describe someone who has an interest or likes to keep things simple. This holds a lot of value for us to keep things simple, easy and stress free. We found having less stuff helped enormously with that!

Early last year, on the recommendation of one of my friends, I listened to a great podcast series and then watched a documentary by the same fellows-two best friends, Ryan Nicademas and Joshua Fields Milburn called Minimalism: A Documentary About Important Things. These two mates where high flying corporate types working hard for the man and getting paid a 6 figure salary. They lived large, buying things they didn’t need, getting further and further into debt. At one point Joshua thought, there got to be a better way, a bit like I did with my diet and Primal Living. So he started to “declutter”. He started to remove the things in his life that held no value. He said he felt lighter. He started to reduce his debt and cleared all the things in his life that no longer made his life more stressful. People started to notice he was happier, friendlier and looked healthier. He told his best mate Ryan about it, he liked the idea and eventually they packed in their corporate jobs to follow their passions. Such a good concept. I know not everyone can throw in their job and become a writer, in fact some people (like myself) love their jobs. But for them the job held no value, it was making their life worse.

For the Minimalists the definition or “elevator pitch” as they call it for minimalism… is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

Minimalism is the tool that helped us simplify our life and strip away the excess so we could focus on what is truely important.”

How good is that quote! Simplifying your life to focus on what is really important. We don’t need the latest iPhone or the best or trendiest clothes, in fact the fashion and retail industry is completely wasteful forcing the changing of trends almost weekly to continue to sell product. Focusing on what really matters and keeping things that hold value in your life. I want to focus on that quote in further blog posts, ones linking the primal way of life and minimalism.

Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves“.

Another beautiful quote from The Minimalists. We are putting too much emphasis on things and stuff that doesn’t really matter! Focusing on our health, our family, things we love to do and contributing to society are all things that should be our focus not owning material possessions.

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

Minimalism has helped us…

  • Eliminate our discontent
  • Reclaim our time
  • Live in the moment
  • Pursue our passions
  • Discover our missions
  • Experience real freedom
  • Create more, consume less
  • Focus on our health
  • Grow as individuals
  • Contribute beyond ourselves
  • Rid ourselves of excess stuff
  • Discover purpose in our lives

Consumption is not the problem, we all need things, but its the getting value from the things we have. Thats the real trick, all the things we own should have a purpose and enrich your life. As a minimalist, everything you own serves a purpose or brings joy—everything else is out of the way, which allows you to focus on what’s truly important: health, relationships, passions, growth, and contribution.

If you too are interested in living a minimalist life, feel free to flick me an email. I would be more than happy to chat to you about it as well as anything health or fitness related. I beleive that if we have a clutter free mind we are able to focus on the important things like fitness and health and removing the junk for the house helps to declutter the house and the mind!

Also check out the Minimalist 21 Day journey to becoming minimalist, its very similar to my theory of 21 days to break a habit and the 21 day transition to Primal Living.

Next week I’ll be talking about health and minimalism…

How I Saved the Life of My (now) Primal Dog

I wanted to relay a story about how I saved the life of my dog…

I have an Australian Shepherd who is now 3 years old. He was/is an active dog, he comes for long trails runs with me, gets a fair bit of love and attention and all the “healthy” dog biscuits he needed. But he was a absolute pain in the backside! I tried my best to wear him out by taking him for long runs and walks. But he wouldn’t tire. We tried all sorts of things, dog parks, beach, throwing the ball, and training. I thought it was just him being a puppy but at two years old, I thought to myself, something is a miss here. If we had a child who behaved like this the first thing I would look at changing was their diet. After all, it worked for me as a human to eat how ancestors eat, it would makes sense for a dog to eat like their wolf ancestors. It was a bit of a light bulb moment because it seemed like he had ADD. He would constantly steal kids toys, or socks or under pants and if there was any food about on tables or bench tops, Harvey would steal it. He would poop 3 or 4 times a day, which I thought was a lot, as it seemed like what ever he ate he pooped out. He was constantly itching and had extremely smelly and frequent flatulence. This forced me to look at what dogs should be eating. I thought, why am I not looking at this from an ancestral point of view, I have done it with my diet, why not my dogs? Dogs in the wild don’t eat biscuits from a plastic bag bought from a store. They are scavengers, they eat raw meat, bones, maybe some fruit or vegetables that they had found.

I was convinced I was on the right track after reading the Paleo Dog by Jean Hofve and Celeste Yarnall and the blog post by Mark Sisson at Mark’s Daily Apple The Primal Diet For Dogs. I worked out the dog biscuits were full of fillers and things that where not helping my dog be happy and healthy. In fact, it seemed from research that they were doing the very thing that was making my dog hard to live with itchy skin, flatulence, behaviour issues, excess poop, barking and being overly excited.

So straight up, cold turkey I made the switch and changed his diet. And for him it was the best move I ever made. Overnight he became a new dog. His gas stopped, he pooed less than once a day and they where small. He was obedient, affectionate and loving, like I had freed him from a world of hurt. He listened and obeyed orders and came back when we where at the park , it seemed like the training had paid off. He stills barks and likes to steal food but a change in diet has completely changed my dog. He now is a complete Primal Dog eating how his scavenger ancestors would’ve eaten, eating meat, bones (we give him chicken wings, which help strengthen his jaw and give a huge nutritional boost), vegetables, occasional seasonal fruit- definitely not processed biscuits filled with fillers, grains and lamb meal- (WTF is that you ask???? -lamb bones that have been rendered until they have zero nutritional value). Just like us, dogs need to eat like there ancestors and none of this processed, industrial trash filled with sugars, grains and hydrogenated oils!

If you have been thinking about changing your dogs diet I would highly recommend it. Please free free to contact me for any tips, tricks or questions.

5 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

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What can we do to avoid gaining holiday weight? Heed these 5 tips…

  1. Don’t over indulge– makes a lot of sense, right? Studies have shown that overeating on several days throughout the holiday season is unlikely to makes us fat, however, overeating and over indulging more than a couple of days throughout the season and continuing to eat that way well after the holidays might help us put on some pounds!
  2. Avoid Alcohol… tough to do but, as stated in my previous blog post about gaining weight over the holidays, the body sees alcohol as a toxin and acts swiftly to remove it from the body, which preferentilizes the burning of alcohol as energy of carbs, fats and protein. If you are going to drink, at let’s face it most of us are, try eating a protein source first as it has an appetite suppressing effect or avoid drinking alcohol when eating food. The old “eating is cheating” adage is right!
  3. Go for a walk straight after a meal: this study found that “There is a belief that walking just after a meal causes fatigue, stomach ache, and other types of discomfort. However, the author and one volunteer participant had no such negative reactions, and found that walking just after a meal was more effective for weight loss than waiting one hour after eating before walking. For people who do not experience abdominal pain, fatigue, or other discomfort when walking just after a meal, walking at a brisk speed for 30 minutes as soon as possible just after lunch and dinner leads to more weight loss than does walking for 30 minutes beginning one hour after a meal has been consumed.”
  4. Walking whilst fasting helps to improve biomarkers for cardio vascular disease. Try going for a walk in a fasted state. For several days during the holidays try skipping breakfast and try walking in the morning instead of eating breakfast. This will help to increase the effect of adaptive hormones and increase the rate of fat burning. It will also reduce the total caloric intake for the day, which helps to counter act the over eating from days previous (possibly a good one to do following Christmas or Boxing Day).
  5. Fill your plate with Protein (meat) rather than carbohydrates- excess carbohydrates are easily sent to storage. Protein can support fat loss, notably by suppressing appetite and boosting thermogenesis.

Getting out and being festive is what the Christmas season is all about. Seeing family and enjoying the company of others makes for a great time of year. It can, for some people, be a time of over eating and over indulging on alcohol. However, if you follow the advice of everything in moderation, then you should be fine. Top that off with avoiding combining eating and drinking alcohol at the same time, going for a walk after a meal, filling up with protein and fasting you should avoid gaining excess pounds.