Tag Archive for estrogen

Reasons To Exercise You Didn’t Even Know About, and How To Fit It In.

debbie (27)Who loves to workout?  I do!  I have plenty of friends and family who do, and I work with several clients who do.

Even if you don’t, READ THIS POST.  Exercise, or more accurately, moving, is so crucial to a normal healthy brain and body, that science tells us not moving is probably more unhealthy than smoking.

Exercise balances and normalizes our testosterone and estrogen.  Men, you want more testosterone as you age?  Exercise.  Women: bad periods, rough PMS, menopause?  Exercise exercise exercise.  Moving our muscles and stressing them, reduces the inflammatory conditions of these cyclical changes.  Ever been PMSing, worked out, and then felt so. much. better.?

More benefits: exercise, any exercise that makes our muscle move and feel a little stress, causes the muscle cells to make special proteins that go through our blood, into our brain and GROW IT.

Parents, this applies to kids too.

When our muscles move, they create a protein called BDNF ( brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor).  BDNF literally goes to the brain neurons, and waters and fertilizes them.

When our muscles move, our neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, GABA) are “balanced”.  The percent of studies showing that exercise reduces anxiety and depression better than every single drug on the market?  About 100%.  With no negative side effects.

As a matter of fact, looking at us biologically and ancestrally, we’ve been created to move (forage/hunt for food, shelter, mates) to stimulate productive brain activity.  Moving makes us smarter and better able to cope with life.

Several studies show that if we want to learn new skills or facts, exercise first.  It stimulates pathways that allow us to build memories/learn in our brain.  There’s a caveat though. If you think you’ll do your learning while you exercise, say, studying on the elliptical or treadmill ( one of my preferred methods when I went to Nutritional Therapy school), keep the exercise “steady state”, and not anaerobic.

Exercise that’s too hard temporarily shuttles nutrients away from our learning centers; exercise that’s easily doable increases nutrients to the learning centers.  That’s just a word of caution on learning while exercising, not a warning against hard exercise, because the benefits of hard exercise are numerous.

Or not.  It depends on how you feel about it.

Here we get to exercise and stress.  I said that of the thousands of studies comparing all the drugs on the market to exercise for relief from anxiety and depression, exercise wins every time.  Hands down.

When we feel “stress”, we’re actually feeling the results from a whole bunch of stress “chemicals”.  (we’re a chemistry set, not a math equation).  Whether our stress is real or imaginary, from traffic or a fight with a spouse or an actual threat to our lives, the chemistry is the same.

Our adrenal glands release epinephrine and cortisol to prepare us to physically defend or save ourselves.  Our heart rate increases.  Our blood pressure increases.  Our digestion stops.  Our arteries constrict.  Our muscle cells dump their magnesium (magnesium relaxes us, but the brain thinks we need to be tense), and **** cells become Insulin Resistant.

When cortisol is in the blood, FAT CAN NOT BE BURNED, JUST STORED.  In this state,our body actually tears apart muscle tissue and converts it to glucose/sugar to burn instead of using the fat in our butt.  

We need to manage our stress, and exercise does that! Most of the time.

Unfortunately, some people are so scared of exercise, so adverse to a whole – imaginary – negative scenario they’re created in their minds, that they have “Exercise Induced Anxiety”.  I stole that from one of my clients who used that term to describe herself.

I get it.  Gym class was traumatic for a lot of us.  It left some scars.  But I know former athletes who don’t like to workout anymore either.  Their younger athletic years were formed by coaches and teammates telling them what to do and how.  Independently exercising, which is pretty much Adult Exercise, isn’t appealing, or motivating, so they don’t do it.

The latest stats from the CDC on who exercises show us that only 20.4% of adults over 18 exercise regularly.

No wonder we have 70% overweight and on pharmaceutical drugs in this country!

What to do? Be determined. Set your mind that you’re going to move every day and you’re going to like it.   Honestly.  It’s that simple.  Oh, and have a plan.  Write it down.  Use alarms and calendars and verbalize to friends and family your intentions.

If you already work out every day, you’re golden.  If you struggle with with either fitting exercise in or moving at all, listen up.

1) Pick something that doesn’t sound scary:

-walk with a friend or a kid or a dog

-play a game in the yard with your kids

-set an alarm on your phone and walk up and down the stairs (in your office or home) 4 or 5 times a day

-set an alarm on your phone and do a wall squat or plank 4 or 5 times a day

2) Pick something fun:

-join Zumba

-join a weight lifting class

-join a beginner yoga class

-join a beginner group fitness class

3) Set Your Self Up For Success

-pack your clothes the night before

-pack a bag and water bottle the night before

-pick a sport or a class or an activity that’s appropriate for your fitness level and not something you’re going to be so sore and fatigued afterwards that you never want to come back

-put it on your calendar, and then stick to the schedule. If you have kids that need to be included, either driving them to the gym or having them with you, CONSIDER THAT.  It takes time to get kids in the car – out of the car – into the gym. Learn to become a Time Master, and teach them how to do it too.  That’s a pretty crucial skill to have.

Honestly, we can’t afford NOT to exercise or move.  Our body was designed by God for us to move.

Want a great book to inspire you to get off your butt and sweat a little it?  Spark, by John J. Ratey, MD.  It’s loaded with information that even I’ve never seen before, and I read everything about exercise that I can get my hands on.

One more reason to exercise:  Exercise GIVES us energy, it doesn’t steal it or drain it, it creates it.   Who doesn’t want more energy?

Ditch The Starchy Carbs and Paleo Indulgences to Get Rid of Winter Fluff

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve had several questions on “safe starches” and paleo indulgences. Here’s a Post with the 411 on both, and advice at the end for making it easier to get rid of winter weight gain.

If our starch is coming from a grain, as opposed to vegetables or fruit, I don’t think it’s safe – for most people.

If the grains contain the protein “gluten”, we’re ingesting one of the most common allergens out there. If we don’t see typical symptoms, like stomach ache or stuffy nose, that’s because food allergies, or food sensitivities, often manifest in sore joints, headaches, skin problems, fatigue, and auto-immune conditions.

The gluten protein is incredibly difficult to digest; humans don’t even have enzymes for gluten. Gluten goes thru the small intestine IN-completely digested, perforates the intestine wall, and leaks into the blood stream as a large protein. When our immune system sees the big proteins in the blood, it mounts an Immune Attack, and this can manifest as joint pain or an attack on different organs or systems. Pretty serious stuff.

What about gluten-free grains, such as kamult or spelt? They still contain “gliadins”. Gliadins, once digested, become “exorphins”, which are morphine-like compounds that bind to opiate receptors in the brain. Their effect is to cause Addictive Behavior, and Appetite Stimulation. This explains binges and eating way past full.

What about “healthy whole grains”, like buckwheat, quinoa, or millet? Look at their carb counts:

1/2 c oatmeal 29g carb

1/4 c wild rice 34g carb

2 oz wheat pilaf w orzo 40g carb

1/4c barley 32g carb

1/4c quinoa 30g carb

2oz whole wheat pasta 44g

Note that these serving are really, really, small; I mean, who eats a quarter cup?  Have you ever measured 2 oz of pasta?  I have.  It’s miniscule.

4 grams of carbs = 1 tsp of sugar.  2 ounces of pasta is 10 teaspoons of sugar.  Think about that.

Excess blood sugar is ALWAYS repackaged as triglycerides, always.  I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but high blood sugar is tied to every disease out there through the inflammation and glycatation it causes.  It’s also a big cause of Weight Gain.

Next, Paleo Indulgences.  I’m talking treats made with almond or coconut flour, plantains, honey, molasses, Swerve, chocolate, cream, nut butters, etc.  I’m going to call them P.I. for short, and if you need recipes, search Pintrest.

P.I.s are wonderful for kids. They’re practically a necessity when transitioning from a SAD ( standard american diet) to RWF (real whole food).  I LOVE a good paleo cookie or homemade ice cream. But unfortunately, and this is where I am right now, for weight loss, or just leaning out the Junk In The Trunk after a long winter, they need to either go, or be strictly limited.  Sad.

But summer clothes just don’t have the “hide the poochy stomach” ability that winter clothes do!

What to do? Set up your house/office so that temptations don’t trigger you.  Don’t buy anything that tempts you, because tempting food calls to us, loudly.  No lying that we’re buying something “for the kids”.  If it’s a temptation, it’s banned.  Treats need to be “treats”, and the definition of treat is: “an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.”  Once or twice a week is an out of ordinary event.  EVERY DAY IS NOT OUT OF THE ORDINARY.

Girlfriends, thanks to estrogen, a propensity for slow thyroid, very little testosterone, and high cortisol, we just don’t have tons of leeway for jumping off the path of a RWF, fairly low carb diet, if we want to be a healthy weight and feel great.  It’s the price of being a woman.

It doesn’t mean we have to starve or exercise a ton – as a matter of fact, that plan slows down thyroid hormones and raises cortisol – exactly what we don’t want.  But we do need to pay attention to the details:  TONS of vegetables, plenty of good meats and eggs, healthy fats, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and some real dairy if we tolerate it.

Hours need to go by between meals so that Sugar Burning stops and Fat Burning happens.  Avoidance of foods that cause headaches, stomachaches, and skin problems is important; those symptoms are signs of inflammation, which raises cortisol, which inhibits fat burning.

So there’s my Sunday take on grainy carbs and paleo treats.  Have a wonderful Mother’s Day, and eat smart!


Bullet Proof Coffee, Hormones, and Weight Loss

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you haven’t heard of Bullet Proof Coffee (BPC) yet, you will soon.  It gets a lot of press, and the creator of BPC opened his first brick and mortar shop in California this winter.

Many of you have heard of it though, because I get asked about it all the time. I’ve been Bullet Proofing for a couple months now, but this Post isn’t an endorsement, it’s just information. (By the way, I haven’t given up my raw cream totally, I’m only BPing half the time.)  Here’s why, here’s what it is, here’s how you may need to tweak it, and here’s why it could totally, completely backfire on you.

BPC isn’t Dave Asprey’s brain child, he discovered it while climbing mountains in Tibet; apparently the Sherpas drink something similar (with yak dairy), eat very little, do strenuous work, and have great energy.  Dave had similar results and then brought the idea back to the US.  Wow, has that ever worked for him! (He’s built a pretty profitable empire)

What is BPC?  The general recipe is 2 cups of clean (mold free) coffee, blended with 2 tbsp of grass fed butter and 2 tbsp of MCT oil.  Other ingredients could be added, such as vanilla powder, coconut oil, or stevia, or even collagen, which I’ll cover later.  Oh, it’s supposed to be blended as opposed to just stirred; I use a little milk frother, but you could use a smoothie maker.

Will BPC work for you?  There’s a bunch of pro’s and cons here, and don’t for a second think that Bullet Proof Coffee is a Magic Bullet for any weight issues you’re having.  We’re a chemistry set, and there’s way more to our weight than a few good, or bad, choices.

Here’s some facts:

If you’re NOT adrenally fatigued, coffee’s good for you!  Antioxidants and polyphenols in coffee lower the risk for different cancers (prostate, liver, and colorectal).  Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of developing diabetes T2.  Coffee’s nutrients and caffeine lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s by about 60%, and gives protective qualities against other neurological disorders, like Parkinson’s and dementia.  Coffee’s nutrients have liver protecting qualities.  And we all know about caffeine’s effects on energy, performance, and brain recall: good, good, and good.

What’s not to like?  Well, if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends so much that you use coffee all day long, and barely feel it’s effects, you’ve set up a hormonal situation that negates any benefit coffee could provide.  You probably need to go on a coffee detox, and abstain for a while until your adrenals hormones, thyroid hormones, sex hormones, leptin, and all your other hormones can normalize.  Sad news, I know.

More bad news on coffee?  It’s grown in tropical climates; mold and bugs are a big problem.  Fungicides, pesticides and herbicides are all sprayed very very heavily, so go organic.  The Bullet Proof brand is created with this in mind, and is clean and free of any of those poisons, but I’m sure many other brands are also.  BP’s a little pricy for me, but I do buy their decaf, which is done without chemicals as opposed to the highly chemical-ized typical way of separating the caffeine out of coffee.

My biggest Con – and it’s important and has to do with your weight – will be at the end.  Let me go over why BPC could be good for you first.

When we wake up in the morning, if we’re normal, we’ve been in a hormonal state that’s triggered our cells to use FATTY ACIDS for fuel instead of glucose (sugar).  If we’re normal, we haven’t eaten for several hours, our blood sugar is low, and our insulin levels are low.  This is why we’re using fatty acids for fuel:  low insulin.  Remember, when insulin’s in the blood – fat is never ever ever used for fuel.  Only sugar is.  Low insulin=fat burning.

How do you know if you’re not normal?  Lot’s of ways:  high fasting morning blood sugar, belly fat, and labs that show a high level of hsCRP.  High levels of hsCRP mean Leptin Resistance, which means ABNORMAL.  Pay attention here, because typical BPC protocols aren’t for you if these are your body signs.

BPC can be used two ways.  1) you can have a cup or 2 in the morning before your breakfast.    2) you can drink it all morning long until it’s been about 16 – 18 hours since you’ve had dinner, and then start eating.  It’s complicated and if you’re interested in the Bullet Proof Fasting, read up on it.  Links at the end of Post.

Benefits of BPC besides the benefits inherent in coffee?  If we avoid carbs in the morning, and just have the BPC, which is very high in FAT, we keep insulin low, blood sugar low, and Fat Burning Up.  As long as we don’t eat carbs, the Fat Burning Continues.  This is a good thing, and effective – if you’re normal.  High fat diets provide a lot of nutrients and have a great effect on our hormones; plus, our cells become good at burning fat/using fat for fuel when fat is a normal and substantial part of our diet.

BPC really does make you feel very alert, and it does have an effect on cravings via fat’s positive effects on satiety hormones.  Additionally, the nutrients in grass fed butter and MCT oil are very good for our brain, heart, and gut.

There’s plenty of antidotal evidence that BPC can help you lose weight and become mentally sharper. If you visit the site, you’ll see testimony’s by actors, doctors, and athletes singing it’s praises.

Still, it’s not for everyone, and like I said before, it’s not a Magic Weight Loss Bullet.  Here’s why.

First, BPC is based on the principle that a high fat or ketogenic diet is good for you, which I believe in and use myself.  I don’t eat sugar or grains and I haven’t for years.  No problem.  If you do eat sugar and grains and think you’re going to get away with BPC, you’re wrong.  Lots of carbs + lots of fat = Lots of Body Fat.

Who else shouldn’t rely on BPC as a meal, or try that 16/18 hour fast I mentioned above?  Food Addicts and Chronic Dieters.  BP fasts or efforts will most likely throw you into a food binge rebound, just like all your other diet attempts.  Don’t do it!  Addicts and Dieters need to practice normal meals with Real Whole Food, and no snacking.  Baby steps.

One more caveat:  we women, with all our wonderful, fluctuating hormones, may need to add some collagen to the coffee.  Remember collagen?  Lots of amino acids that are very different from the amino acids in muscle meats like burger, or dairy, like whey.  Again, it’s a long explanation, and there’s a lot of science behind it.  Check out the links if you want to explore farther.

What if you’re interested in BPing, but don’t like coffee?  There’s other ways.  You can use green tea, black tea, ground cocoa, or even vanilla powder.  Again, check out the links.

There you have it!  Bullet Proof explained.  And just to really nail it home:  Bullet Proof doesn’t equal Magic Bullet.  You still need to Sleep, Manage your Stress, Exercise, and eat Real Whole Food. Have a good week!







You’re Not Lazy and You’re Not Crazy; It’s Just Your Hormones.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI recently tested my estrogen and progesterone levels – at home. 🙂  I’m 50 in a few weeks, and passed the “12 months no period = menopause” mark in January. I was curious.

It’s not the first time I’ve tested my sex hormones.  Three times in the past, I went through my OB-Gyn for hormone blood tests, covered by insurance; and then 3 times I did both saliva and blood spot tests through a Functional Medicine doctor, and payed a fortune out of pocket.  I also tested my cortisol levels throughout the day.

Not this time!  Same lab, same tests, I paid $70, and had the results sent right to me.  Freedom! I’ll explain how you can do this at the end of this post.  First, let me explain why I think it’s a good idea to know what’s going on with our hormones.

Hormones Rule Us.  This isn’t a Post on menopause, it’s a Post about body weight, and how we can use information to really tailor that whole “Food is Medicine” thing.  It’s also a Post to reinforce that our body is a Chemistry Set, not a Math Equation.  The whole calories in/calories out….. we don’t run that way.

Let me bullet point some facts about food and hormones to illustrate the futileness of believing that weight loss comes from calorie deficits, and the hormonal effects when we employ traditional diet methods, or even a Standard American Diet.

* The thyroid gland slows down production of thyroid hormone – which slows down metabolism – as soon as it even suspects a lack of food.  Our thyroid gland is supposed to protect us from starving.  The result of a few rounds of dieting?  A thyroid that stays sluggish even when calorie consumption rises.

* When we eat grains and sugar (all grains digest to sugar in the gut), the result is high blood sugar.  High blood sugar induces high levels of the hormone Insulin.  Insulin is a building, storage hormone, it’s also a caustic damaging hormone when in excess.  For most Americans, insulin is in excess.

* Studies show that chronically high blood sugar actually destroys the thyroid gland, lowering metabolism even more via less thyroid hormone.

* When the hormone Insulin is elevated (say, after a breakfast of cereal, or a dinner of pasta), our cells are literally prohibited from burning fat for fuel.  They’re only allowed to burn sugar. In our body, that’s a rule we can’t change.  It’s part of our design.

* What happens when Insulin remains high – a la Insulin Resistance?  Insulin resistance leads to Leptin resistance.  Leptin is a satiety hormone.  “Resistance” means the hormone can’t get into the cells to deliver it’s message.   Leptin resistance means constant hunger.

* Ghrelin is a hunger hormone. It’s supposed to rise when our stomach is empty, and fall after we eat.  Studies show that in people who eat “diet food”, ghrelin doesn’t fall, or fall properly.  The result:  we stay hungry.  We need Real Whole Food to make the hunger hormones and the satiety hormones function correctly.  Diet Coke with a Protein Bar won’t work; actually, that’s a recipe for hormonal disaster.

* Estrogen Dominance is pervasive today, in men, women, and children.  Too much estrogen causes low testosterone in men.  Excess estrogen causes low progesterone in women.  These are both hormonal situations that lead to weight gain.

* Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands in response to the brains perception of stress, any kind of stress, even fake stress as in a scary movie.  Cortisol production inhibits sex hormone production.  Chronically high cortisol means chronically low sex hormones.  Chronically high cortisol is linked to insulin resistance ( it blocks insulin receptors on cells) and belly fat – and heart disease.

* Lack of sleep messes up more hormones than we can count.  One of them is ghrelin.  Lack of sleep raises ghrelin, which increases hunger.

* Thyroid hormone – again, responsible for our metabolism – is negatively affected by consumption of soy, fluoride, and chlorine.  Think protein bars, processed food, and municipal water.

* Drinking alcohol, any alcohol, causes an enzyme called aromatase to convert testosterone into estrogen.  This happens to both men and women, and it causes “estrogen belly”, formerly know as “beer belly”.

*A diet full of processed foods, flour, sugar, and chemicals, severely disrupts our gut flora (even if this diet is low calorie).  Our gut flora are highly involved in whether we burn predominantly fat or sugar.  One example, and there’s many, is that the more diverse our gut species are, the better our liver gets rid of old hormones, like estrogen.  Poor gut flora means poor elimination, and those hormones stay dangerously high in the blood.

* Numerous studies show that Vitamin D – which is actually a hormone, greatly influences both weight loss and inflammation levels.  Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic!

* Numerous studies show that excessive exercise and chronic dieting raise levels of cortisol in the blood.  Just like when Insulin is high, when cortisol is high, the body doesn’t burn fat, it burns sugar.

* Both Fructose and Trans Fats (present in most prepared foods, “diet” or not) both cause Insulin Resistance and raise markers of inflammatory hormones, again, inhibiting fat burning in the cell.

All that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Hopefully it was enough to convince you that losing weight isn’t about starving yourself, mini meals, excessive exercise, and diet foods.  All that stuff does the opposite of permanent weight loss; those kind of diet efforts put you into a hormonal state that makes weight loss impossible.

How does this tie in with me testing some of my hormones at home?  My health doesn’t come from my doctor; my health – and a healthy weight – comes from me paying attention to my body and making changes when I need too.  Having normal levels of sex hormones is really important, to my weight, my brain, my energy, my immune system.

Everything is so connected.  We’re not a bunch of individual parts that work independently, not even close.  I also test my blood sugar, at least a couple times a month, and just recently I did an A1C ( which shows a 90 day average of blood sugar – a great marker for Alzheimer’s and inflammation ).

Food is medicine, or food is poison.  When I know what’s going on in my body, I can literally use food as my medicine.  For instance, now that I know how low my estrogen is, and that I’m fully menopausal, I’m using particular foods and herbs to naturally raise my estrogen, and progesterone.  I’ll test again this summer and see how that’s working.

Last year I got really into Bikram yoga.  A friend of mind wondered if that level of heat stress caused a cortisol release, which causes high blood sugar.  So I took my glucometer to the studio and tested a couple times.  I’ve also tested after I’ve taught some tough boot camp classes.  Exercise doesn’t stress me, I know that now because my blood sugar was good each time.

However, I’ve also tested after tornados blow through my house and seen that my blood sugar is high.  ( we’re a big family who loves each other but … stress happens. )

Testing at home is fun, affordable, and while a full CBC panel can be confusing to interpret, a hormone panel, blood sugar numbers, and A1C aren’t, at all.  And they give you some real black and white answers about the state of your health.

I encourage all my weight loss clients to regularly test their blood sugar as it’s such a strong tool for weight loss:  if blood sugar’s high, the hormone Insulin is high.  When insulin is high, fat loss doesn’t happen.  Notice I said fat loss not weight loss.  You can starve some weight off, but if insulin is high, and worse, if the hormone cortisol is high from the stress of dieting/hunger/excessive exercise, the weight comes mostly in the form of muscle tissue, not fat tissue.  Less muscle tissue means a lower daily calorie burn.

Again, we’re a big cycle.  Here’s the links to the tests, if you want help with using them to lose weight or get healthy, or both, contact me and let’s work together.

To order the hormone panel:http://www.johnleemd.com/store/prod_test_kits.html

To buy a glucometer/blood sugar meter:http://www.amazon.com/Diabetes-Testing-TrueResult-TrueTest-Active1st/dp/B00PX2T58I/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t

To buy an A1C:http://www.amazon.com/4303514-Bayer-hBa1C-Waived-Diabetes/dp/B00D7C6YWQ/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0YN868HAH518CN8NCF45

Guest Man Post By Mark!

Here’s my husband of 27 years, Mark, with some of his Secrets to being a Lean and Fit 50 Year Old:) 

fullbodymarkYes, that’s me in the picture. Look again. I just turned fifty years old last week.

By this age, I should be that paunchy middle-aged guy, looking haggard, falling apart, displaying signs of fatigue, and complaining of a lack of sex drive. Those pharmaceutical mens ads remind me that my symptoms should include energy deficits, decreased strength, altered body composition, sexual dysfunction, and not surprisingly, depression. I should be, in this age of enlightenment, well into andropause, a clinically recognized term to describe the age related decline in testosterone. However, recent studies demonstrate that declining testosterone may not just be attributable to simply aging itself. So the question then becomes: Is there a way to stave off declines in testosterone production? YES. Lifestyle factors, particularly physical activity and diet, can influence testosterone levels.

I have not always had low body fat, above average muscle mass and a good and healthy outlook. I am a recent Success Story sculpted by Debbie Abbott and Rock Solid Nutrition & Wellness. If you’ve read and follow Debbie’s blog, you already know testosterone levels are falling worldwide at astronomical rates. Men, there is one very important hormone for us. It is Testosterone. Every man needs it. The older you get, the more you need it. You are dependent on it. You will be forever, regardless how you feel about it. Stop withering away and submitting pitifully to growing old, you can take matters into your own hands. Here’s how:

First, I know there are many men reading now, who have concluded immediately that I live in the gym, don’t work, and this lesson doesn’t apply in their lives. (That’s OK. You’re having an estrogen response- keep reading, I will explain later) Now I will tell you the fallacy of your argument. I am a top executive at a premier global corporation that requires and demands peak performance every day from its leadership.

I work sixty HOURS minimum each week.
I commute fifteen HOURS each week.
I workout in the gym ninety MINUTES each week.
No additional time in your life is required to make the changes needed to raise and maintain your testosterone to levels integral to health and well-being. Follow these guidelines and you can expect to feel like a MAN. As simple as that.

THE WORKOUT- Terrell Owens, Hershel Walker, Tim Tebow, and Suzanne Somers:
You do the WORK you get the RESULTS.

As a former collegiate athlete, I admire retired NFL players that have maintained their physiques well beyond their playing careers. Two of the fittest, Terrell Owens and Hershel Walker utilize bodyweight training, no equipment necessary, exercises put together in grueling workouts to push your body to the max, and it can be done just about anywhere. It’s all about getting back to basics. My workout consists almost entirely of sets of 100 push ups, pull ups, sit ups, thrust squats, and lunges. Get in, get it done, and get out. I’m rarely in the gym longer than thirty minutes. No social hour, no cell phone, no breaks- do your business and leave.

Make your workout mandatory in your daily routine. Resistance training is a must tomarkbicepcurl raise and maintain testosterone levels. Research consistently shows that lifting weights improves androgen activity. A number of studies have shown significant increases in testosterone levels immediately following resistance training, especially bodybuilding type training using multiple sets of a moderate number of repetitions while taking fairly short rest periods.

The Tim Tebow workout contribution to my testosterone boost- when you think you can do no more reps, demand ten more. See above. I can now exceed 130 pushups and beyond in one set. Anything is possible when you push yourself to the max. Break through limiting beliefs.

Suzanne Somers was right. I believe in the Thigh Master. I call mine a squat rack.

Lower body exercises increase anabolic hormones. Large muscle weight training boosts testosterone, increases testosterone receptor density (so the hormone works better) helps control abdominal fat, increases muscle mass, and enhances self confidence- all critical for maximizing testosterone levels and its effectiveness. Whole body exercises such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts increase testosterone much better than isolated exercises for the biceps and triceps such as curls and triceps pushdowns.

Your Estrogen Talking:
“I don’t have time to go to the gym”
“I’m too tired to work out after a long day at work”
“I don’t have enough time to work out”

Your Testosterone Action:
Get up 30 minutes earlier and exercise before you shower and go to work. You will be more alert during the day and you’ll sleep better at night.

More Estrogen Talking (no man should ever think this, but they do):
“I don’t want to get muscular and bulky from weight training”

Immediate Testosterone Response:
“Muscle takes up less space than fat, making you smaller and allowing your clothes to fit better”
Start working out. Take back your testosterone.

THE DIET- Man, I feel like a Woman (…..not anymore)

Processed foods cause women to act like men and men to act like women.

If you have been following Debbie Abbott’s blog at Rock Solid Nutrition and Wellness, you know by now that soy is estrogen enhancing and will alter testosterone concentrations in a negative manner. Soy is in practically every boxed and processed food product. Wash it down with that bottled water in a plastic container, and you have been eating and drinking three estrogen laden meals every day of your life.

It is no wonder that research shows the prevalence of andropause is widespread amongst middle aged men. In fact more than thirty- nine percent of all males aged forty- five and older have total testosterone levels considered below normal.
All the modern food we men have been eating our entire lives has estrogenic effects which have resulted in advanced deterioration of your testosterone levels.

Thanks to Debbie’s protocol I have eliminated the following “foods” from my diet in the last three years, all of which suppressed my testosterone production:

· No more processed boxed and packaged foods, sweets, pastries, and snacks
· No more sodas, diet sodas, colored or flavored waters, energy drinks
· No beef or meat products modified with hormones
· No bread products
· No homogenized and pasteurized dairy products including milk, ice cream, yogurts, cheeses
· No grain based alcohol, especially mass produced beer products (more on alcohol later)
· No fast food, chain restaurants, or convenience store foods

I do not enter 95% of the aisles in the supermarket. If you are a man in the processed food aisle, you’re probably more of a woman than you think. Stay away from estrogenic products. Take Debbie’s advice, go to the shelves or your kitchen right now and look at the ingredients in your food.

Testosterone is derived from cholesterol. As Debbie’s blog reiterates, what makes cholesterol? That’s right, lipids. Therefore, as you might expect, low fat diets are associated with a reduced testosterone production.
To optimize my testosterone levels, I load up entirely on quality saturated fats from animal sources. My diet consists mainly of:

· Raw unpasteurized milk. I drink one half gallon per day minimum.
· Fresh fish, beef, and lamb cuts.
· Fruits and vegetables
· Organic coffee
· Coconut Oil
· Eggs
· Water

Your Estrogen Talking:
“That food doesn’t work for me”

Your Testosterone Action:
“Studies show an inverse relationship exists with high stress levels correlating with low testosterone levels. Bad nutrition choices will stress you more and undermine efforts to improve your well being”

Your Estrogen Resisting:
“It’s too hard to get started”

Immediate Testosterone Response
“Remember, it is only effort until it is routine. It is much easier to keep going once you’ve gotten over the hump of starting. If you are chronically stressed out, a symptom of low testosterone, here’s yet another reason to take charge and do something about it now”

And finally for today,

Another factor that seriously affects your testosterone levels negatively is the consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol intoxication is shown to inhibit testosterone production for hours after ingestion. Alcohol interferes with testosterone production in a number of ways, including negative alteration of enzymes involved in testosterone synthesis, suppression of steroidogenesis in the Leydig cells of the testes (yes, your balls), and a down regulation of luteinizing hormone receptors. So, if you are slamming drinks on a regular basis, you most likely have chronically suppressed testosterone levels.

Less clinical, much more meaningful for men:

Alcohol fuels low testosterone, resulting in visible disappointment when those special moments arise (or not) with your significant other. We’ll discuss bedroom topics on a later post. But for now, in closing remember the word soft. From your beer belly to your attitude, if you can call it soft, it’s an estrogenic effect.

We will move towards hard in upcoming testosterone posts. Debbie has invited me to share my intermittent fasting, sleep, circadian rhythm, cold thermogenesis; glutathione, and antioxidant regimens which optimize hormone production in males. Till then………………………….