I don’t get these days very often, but I try to get as close to this as possible as often as I can. One day…one day 🙂
I’m a huge fan of letting my body wake me up. I don’t like clocks because they stress me out and make me feel like I’m trapped in a cage… but not a regular cage. It’s more like a prison cell where the bars are made of those luminous red numbers on a digital alarm clock. With every second that counts down the laser like bars keep inching closer and closer to me, constricting my airways and strangulating my movement. Yeah…I pretty much hate clocks. I think that’s called Chronometrophobia (thanks Outkast).
Anyway I like to let my body awaken naturally. It feels right and I don’t plan on changing it. It also makes sense from a biological standpoint. I’m well aware that our bodies are in tune to a series of biological rhythms. One of which is our circadian rhythm, which has a lot to do with our sleep/wake cycle. If your body is tuned in properly you shouldn’t have an issue waking up at a decent time in the morning because your cortisol should elevate to a point that it gradually pulls you out of a sleeping state. Its way more comfortable than being wrenched form a peaceful deep delta stage of sleep by a bright red POS clock yelling perceived obscenities at me.
I hate clocks…
Upon waking I drink at least 160z of water to start my body’s natural filtration process. Then I’ll take a super cold shower – as cold as I can make it. This pretty much sucks for the first 2 minutes but by the time I jump out of the shower I’m extremely energized and any amount of sleepiness that was still trolling around has been chased away. I attribute this to being in a primarily Yang/sympathetic state. Just like anything else that you want to grow and prosper, your body needs a constant measured variance of exposure to different elements such as temperature. Anytime the atmosphere that you are in changes, your body adapts to that change by producing enzymes and hormones to make you more alert and responsive. When your body becomes alert it realizes certain deficiencies or proficiencies and takes steps to correct them. It’s similar to taking an ice-bath after a hard workout to fight cortisol production and inflammation, but instead you are fighting the cortisol levels that rise in the morning to wake you up.
To be honest the science goes a bit deeper than that but it’s really not that important. Just try it and thank me later.
Some people are going to call me crazy but I always do fasted exercise…even a little cardio. After I get out of the shower I take Roca and Django to the park and let them run around and be puppies while I practice Tai Chi and Qigong. I do my dynamic meditation in the morning and I always do it on an empty stomach. Once again this decreases my cortisol levels and allows me to settle my mind and my breathing for the day. Because I work in what I would call a servants position in an extremely social environment, it’s important that I can remain empathetic to any of my clients’ and friends’ issues. Practicing proper breathing helps me to remain unattached to any particular prejudice; while at the same time allows me to feel what my clients are feeling on an emotional level. In other words it gives me the ability to listen and not judge.
Qigong also allows me to increase my energy for the day by getting my blood flowing and the movements of Tai Chi allow me to warm up my joints while lowering my blood pressure and increasing levels of synovial fluid.
After that I go for a run. This is where the fasted cardio comes in. While some people think fasted cardio is the devil, I take a slightly different approach. There aren’t many better ways to decrease cortisol production than getting a little bit of cardiovascular activity immediately following breathing exercises. As primitive humans we generally had to chase our food down. We didn’t get to just walk to the kitchen and open the fridge. This insinuates that exercise should be done prior to meal consumption; even in the morning. After a good hunt/workout our bodies are primed with anabolic hormones like testosterone and growth hormone as opposed to the catabolic hormone cortisol. This creates a perfect biological environment for eating, especially if you want to gain muscle and lose fat!
Those of you that know me know that I don’t eat sugar of any kind… well that’s an exaggeration. I eat berries and green apples and pineapples, simply because the micronutrient and enzymatic content of those foods outweigh the sugar content. So most mornings I’ll eat a high quality source of protein like chicken or bison and a high quality source of fats like almonds or avocado. I’ll usually throw some vegetables in there, not just because they are good for me but because they keep my poo poo healthy! And that’s very important!
A quality lesson in life is Happy Poo = Happy You
I eat these type of foods for a couple reasons. One because the proteins and fats help the body to produce Acytel-Choline which is a neurotransmitter that plays a key part in proprioception (physical awareness and response) as well as muscular contraction and mental focus. I’ve noticed that when I consume a high level of carbohydrates it tends to slow down all of the above reactions in my body. I sometimes even experience small allergic reactions such as stuffy ears or nose, clogged airways, itchy eyes and nose. Another reason to eat proteins and fats in the morning is to increase your metabolic rate. Proteins and fats are generally pretty hard to find without carbohydrates in any processed foods. Which is why I eat unprocessed foods that will be easily masticated and digested by my body and help me to fuel my body with ketones as energy, instead of sugars.
Through the day I will eat as my body demands: When I’m tired I eat. When I’m grumpy I eat. When I’m stressed I meditate…then I eat. I feel that food should always govern our energy as opposed to stress and social stimulation. I no longer consume caffeinated beverages because I don’t need them for energy, I just eat meat instead!
Before I lift weights I will eat my first carbohydrate based meal of the day. This allows for a spike in my insulin levels that will increase blood flow and energy for the short term. Generally, this meal consists of something seemingly bland like brown rice or steal cut oats. Because of my lack of carbohydrates throughout the day, it doesn’t take long for my body to suck up the energy provided by the carbs and utilize it for glycogen in my workouts.
I treat my workouts like everything else in life. I work logically and efficiently. I warm up by practicing movements that get my body “flowing”. I also do movements that warm up my spine. I look at the spine and central nervous system of the body as the bodies CPU and i have to let it boot up before I engage in any strenuous physical activity. Once I feel energized, I do a little body weight power production like jump ropes or box jumps to get my nervous system charged up and ready to roll. Then I hit a power exercise such as cleans or snatches. Once I feel as though my power is depleting, (which usually comes around 10 total reps) I switch to a strength movement like preacher squats or deadlift. After that I hit Primal movement patters progressed or regressed for my current state, (lunge, Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat, rotation) I usually will perform these movements for low reps (3-6) and medium to heavy weights in a circuit. I rest until my heart rate slows down to a level that I can perform in between each set; I usually perform 2 or 3 circuited sets. After that I’ll do abdominal work followed by yoga and spinal mobility, myofascial stretching and call it a day.
I always consume a post workout meal with about half as many carbohydrates as my pre workout meal. Many people would disagree and say that you should probably eat more carbs after the workout to increase insulin levels but the fact of the matter is it doesn’t take many carbs to increase the insulin levels of someone who doesn’t eat sugar. As a result I don’t really gain any fatty tissue and I continue to keep the benefits of a high protein and fat diet. (Energy, fat loss, and of course fabulous hair nails and skin) …;)
After work I consume my final meal which is always a ton of veggies, meat, fats and bone broth. Followed by as much water as I can stomach. Then I’ll play with my puppies, take a hot shower to calm my body and mind, perform one final mediation to relieve myself of any of the day’s stress that might still be lingering, read a few chapters of whatever book I’m studying, and go to sleep.
It may seem pretty complicated to some but in actuality it’s a quite simple and stress free life. It’s the only way I could possibly run a successful business, deal with people, fix people, and handle all of the other extrinsic stressors that come with being a human; all the while still maintaining my happiness.
I live by four doctors.
I eat properly (Doctor Diet)
I sleep properly (Doctor Quiet)
I mediate (Doctor Happiness)
I move properly (Doctor Movement)
With these strategies I am able to be in love with my life and everyone I meet.
Anyway that’s all for today. Take what you find useful, discard what you find not so, add and express what works for you.
As Corey Grant says
Peace, Love, and Fish Grease