Just Pay For The Skittles

This place is paradise. Palm trees, coconut drinks, 5 star accommodations, water slides, snorkeling, sun tanned beautiful people, all you can eat buffets and families having a blast together.

So why am I walking around with the sour puss face on and feel like I’m internally com-busting and ready to explode?

It’s because despite the beauty, the family trip, the dream coming true; my kids are crying and punching each other in the adjoining room. They are fighting –

The cause – skittles

Freaking skittles.

You see, the mini fridge only has 2 packs of skittles and I have 4 kids. In my room.. That’s right player, we booked two rooms for this adventure, mom and dad need a trip to paradise as well. Anyway, my fridge has M&M’s.

So regardless of paradise right outside of the sliding door, there is a battle raging over who gets skittles.

Now I’m mad. “Kids, stop crying and fighting…quit bitching!!” I stammered – “We just got here and you guys aren’t worried about the water slides and turtles, you’re worried about who gets goddamn skittles!!”

“Worry about what’s important!!”

I was so mad I had to leave the room.

Not 100 feet from my room was a little corner market – More skittles were there for purchase of course.  A solution to my woes.  But at $4.35 a pack (tourist prices) I was hesitant to buy them. I mentally added up the cost of the trip, the rooms, the water passes and all incidentals and I’ll be damned if I’m going to tack on an additional $8.70 for a bunch of whiny kids that have no respect for their parents or any gratefulness for parents that are so cool, they’d book a trip to enjoy as a family. It’s not about the money… it’s about the principal   –   a teaching lesson if you will. My kids will learn and understand there are consequences and it’s important to have priorities in life and not just live for instant gratification. It’s what’s wrong with the whole generation and the reason for the fall of America.These kind of decision by parents are WHY kids eat tide pods for likes on YouTube.

I know full well, they could share – hell they won’t even eat 10 of them anyway –  it’s just the fact that they don’t want to share – MINE MINE MINE.

So I didn’t buy them.

And I was miserable all day. Me. I am at paradise and pissy and moany. A ruined day one.

Over skittles.

As I walked around the resort (10 steps ahead of my family) and just a grumpy old man, I noticed a lot of dad’s behaving the same way. Why are all the dads at Atlantis pissed off I wondered???

Or a better question, “Why won’t these kids value what I value?” The rest of the week was some of the same. I enjoyed myself of course and there were great memories but I returned home stressed, poor and strung out –  and needing a real vacation. When it wasn’t skittles is was the GOOMBAY punch, conch fritters or something else. Look, Atlantis is fabulous, I HIGHLY recommend it. It just wasn’t all it should have been or all I imagined it was going to be despite some amazing moments.

Now fast forward to last night.

My parents had just arrived in town. We were celebrating my youngest son’s pre-K graduation at a restaurant on the water. A typical fantastically amazing Corpus Christi sunset was going on and all was good in the world.

Until 3 of my kids noticed that one of the kids had Root Beer.

The others had ordered lemonade.

This immediately set off a whining pouting fit, in front of my parents, during a sunset at paradise at a restaurant.

I was all ready to instantly switch mode from relaxed and tranquil to “high alert” and “pissed” and the fight or flight surge was coursing through my veins. Instantaneous visions of how spoiled these little brats are and how I have done so much wrong as a parent that these kids can pout and moan and complain about such small issues flooded my inner eye.

And then as if spoken from GOD HIMSELF…A BOOM and tremble of deep BASS sound, a grumble of primordial gravel –  a tremendous earthquake of a voice spoke from within my head.

“CHAD..JUST BUY THE DAMN SKITTLES.”  Period. I believe, at the point I even spoke it aloud.

This “experience” I had last night would have profound effects on me and will affect me for the rest of my life, despite what little and minuscule the voice said.

I honestly felt as if the Almighty Himself, or my ancient soul, or some divine being created to slap our stupid asses on the face with reality when were so blinded by human-ism to see clearly – spoke directly into my soul. Honestly, I truly wish the voice would have said something to me a little more profound than that. A book title that would net me millions or something ..but hey, who am I to question the inner workings of the universe.

“Buy the damn skittles!”

I went back up to the counter,as if transfixed like a robot –  gave Larry $9.00 for three root beers and came back. The kids popped the tops took a sip and were all fixed. Done. That’s all they had.They didn’t even drink it!  All my inner argumentative dialogue about 47 grams of sugar and spoiling kids and tooth decay etc were for naught. They didn’t even drink it, I wasted money yes. But going a step beyond the actual product, the $9 was the best therapy, most relaxation, possibly BEST money I’ve ever spent.

I had dreams last night about how much different the trip to Atlantis could have been.

Look guys, judge me if you want – decide I’m a pushover as a parent and by caving I will indeed enable my kids to become street punks with needles hanging out of their arms and lead an unfulfilled life by never reaching satisfaction in little thing or any of the other scenarios I tend to play over and over in my head when I think about future consequences. Go ahead – judge –

But I’m guessing that the end result of me buying the root beer and the skittles is nothing more than that. It’s just skittles. Nothing more than satisfying a little kid’s wants for that immediate second and there is ZERO actual repercussions.

All I know is I had a miracle experience and my evening turned out way better than it could have. My blood pressure and heart and wife and kids and parents and all those around me are better off for a few over-priced root beers and under priced decision making.

Galloway Method – Take 1

I have a new friend named “Joyce” who is about to embark on her first 5K run event after a four years hiatus.

She’s going to do the Galloway Method of which I have spoke about and is my “go to” style of running (Jeff Galloway info and links) for every event I do.(run interval walk interval)

My suggested time intervals for her (this being her first time attempting it) was a three minute run with a 30 sec walk. This is also my suggested interval for nearly everybody interested in trying this style out.

Based on personal experience and my background in physiology and sport – I don’t want her going much more than 30 seconds on her recovery because lactic acid tends to spill out into the muscle.

Lactic Acid wont affect your performance (you burn lactic acid for fuel.)  It does however cause a burning sensation on the start of the next run interval and why have that?  30 sec is plenty of recovery time to top off ATP levels and get your breathing back.

Another suggestion I have for her is as she continues to improve on her Galloway method over the months is to notice when she is looking at her watch wanting a rest period. For Instance I run a 4:30 and rest for 30.   If I continually look down at my watch to see how much time is remaining at the 4:15 mark – I would back off my run interval to 4:05. You strive to rest before the run gets tough. Each Interval.  Make it easy, this equals more fun and no reduction in your pace. Over time the interval will get longer but should not reach the painful, tough stage.

The Plant Paradox – Dr. Steven Gundry (Book Review)

This is perhaps THE best, most comprehensive, detailed and most profound life changer book I’ve ever read. I actually had to take it slow there was so much thought process going on that I needed to take a break and let the information digest in my brain.

Dr. Gundry’s description and detail was thoroughly researched and informative with analogies I can use in my practice that are so simple, my elementary school age kids could easily understand.

This book will make you have to take a severe look at the crap you are putting in your body.

Gundry speaks the way, reasons his points and explains everything EXACTLY how everyone of us would like to have our personal doctor talk to us.   “Just give me the facts…what do I have? How can I fix this? Is it serious? Am I going to die? What will it cost? What’s OK to eat? What should I avoid?  What’s my plan from here forward? and please doc, if you have an extra 4 hours to spare, would you please give me the ‘why’s’ behind all of this?”

Sounds great?  Too good to be true?

So why am I so hesitant and gun shy and why would I call his paradox book an actual paradox?

Because – The answer to all the above is not what you want to hear.

What we tell ourselves we want is often exactly opposite of what we want to hear.  

We tend to surround ourselves by like minded teachers, social media followers,  music lovers and yes, doctors. We love a slightly overweight doctor that loves himself some pizza and beer and agrees with our self assessments, gives us what we ask for and lives a Typical American diet and American life and we surround ourselves with exactly that…hell, I’m like that.

Dr. Gundry is not…or at least his book is not.   

The Plant Paradox is a tough, jagged, bitter pill to swallow that just rings so true and so real it is in fact both revolutionary and pisses me off at the same time because he dispels nearly every one of my self rationalizations with the true facts.   He attacks my subconscious “known” ideas hiding under the surface and my weak justifications and calls me out.

We eat crap in America.  Loads and Loads of crap. It has been packaged to appeal to us and tricked us into thinking it tastes good. It makes us crave more crap but it is still just straight up crap.

Even when it’s “good for us food” it still could be crap because we don’t even have the digestive system working the right way to allow us to absorb the good and pass on the bad.   

WE ARE SCREWED UP and he blatantly calls our bluff.

So here’s the good news.

Dr. Gundry can help you fix it.

It’s not even that hard.   

Its just in the face of what we’ve been told, what our doctors and teachers have told us and what is the standard American diet.     

It’s our wake up call to true health and although it’s tough to admit it, when you’re ready he’s there to help.

With the basic idea of “lectins” as invaders into our system and wreaking havoc on..well, just about every process it can gets its tentacles on, Dr. Gundry walks you hand in hand on the “why’s”, “how’s” and “what to do nows?” you’re going to have.

His book made me a better doctor before I even finished it and gave me the ammo and reasoning I needed to make myself better.

He’s one of those great guys I list on my blog that has changed my life without ever having met me. Go into this book with fair warning…It will open your eyes and make you better at explaining health and sickness than any doctor you’ve been to, without ever sitting for hours in the waiting room.

Are your Doctors, Therapists and Trainers Failing You?

This is actually a very common complaint that we hear in our Clinic.

In fact, I hear this nearly on a day-to-day basis.

The client, perhaps this is you, has tried seemingly every treatment option and protocol available and still feels terrible.

It could be diet plans that have failed, workout systems that just haven’t cut  the fat, or perhaps low back pain that just seems to come up three to four times a year despite all types of interventions.  

I’ve seen this with seemingly healthy people, but most often patients with a  health history that consists of a binder where, ”please list all medications you are taking” is a handout sheet that has been copied because there are way too many to remember.

Rather than me ranting on in a never ending Looping debate about problems with the healthcare industry, with incompetence, with lack of drive and willpower, or with the evil empire that is the food industry or the us versus them attitude – let me take a different perspective. I want to give you an outsider’s look.

HOW SECURITY TRAINING TAUGHT ME ABOUT HEALTHCARE

Aside from healthy living and lifestyle, I spend a lot of time researching and diving into personal safety. Everything from classes on survival to how to shoot a gun better to how to teach my own kids personal safety at their schools- it’s just a topic I really enjoy.

No matter what opinions are being taught, and believe me there are as many opinions in the safety/tactical/security world, as there are in the medical/health/fitness world, there is one overlying rule that every single instructor states prior to any learning.

“Personal security is MY own responsibility.”

When asked what led Andy Murphy of the popular “THE SECURE DAD” podcast into a life of thinking, writing and discussing personal security, he answered it like that.

He says, “After Columbine it became evident, even for me as a high school kid that Personal security is MY own responsibility.”

He has parlayed this lifestyle into a fantastic website, top podcast, social media and amazon top-seller.  Andy’s actually given me a lot of perspective about a lot of topics not related to his intended objective.

So for him and me and other like-minded people, It doesn’t matter if this entails you having “ situational awareness” while walking through the parking lot at Walmart, being a certain length behind the car in front of you at a stoplight, to having flashlights in Prime positions around your house should you encounter The Boogeyman.

The fact that personal security is your own responsibility empowers YOU to act on your behalf.   

Of course we still have policemen, firefighters, military super ninjas, video cameras and weapons as well as routinely get our brakes checked in our car and put new batteries in our fire alarms. Even with an arsenal of people and ideas and technology to help us, when security becomes an issue it happens too fast to rely on someone or something else to help us.  It’s up to you!

Maybe the first and most powerful tip in the security world is to avoid the things that get us into a dangerous situation in the first place.

Become aware.  

So how does that relate to your health?

Because Healthcare has to be like this. Exactly like this. You and only you are responsible for your body and your health.

You can use outside sources such as your doctors, chiropractors, personal trainers, dietitians, celebrity weight loss sources… the list goes on and on.

You can use these pros for ideas and opinions, for help.   They have the triple T –  great tips, tricks and tools. 

But until you decide it is time to fix your body nothing is going to happen.

If what I take 45 minutes to fix in my clinic, you take the next 10 hours undoing, its a net loss and an eventual breakdown and fail.

Your doctors aren’t failing you. Your trainers aren’t failing you. You are failing yourself.

It may not be your fault, you may have been led down the wrong path to begin with. You may have a huge emotional component tied up into your health that needs to be dealt with first. 

There is a list as long as the internet and a never ending self-help category on Amazon into the “why.”   The why is what you control.  And that is the fix.  That’s the turning point.

What I’m telling you is that you need to make your health your responsibility. There is no magic diet, magic pill,  workout program, or secret Voodoo Chiropractic Shaman adjustment that is going to radically change your path.   

Use the experts in the health field for their opinions and their ideas. They have shortcuts and the triple T. But ultimately, the realization that your body and your health are your responsibility will be the most important step you ever take towards feeling GREAT again.

Contracting The Posterior Chain (aka “Unwinding” The Seated Position)

“Hey doc, can you teach me how to stretch better? I’ve been stretching for months now and it’s not helping.”

That’s the problem. Stretching isn’t working, why would you want to stretch more??

First off, despite what my staff thinks about me, I don’t hate stretching. No one in the health field hates stretching, BUT I don’t think it is a cure all and I definitely think it is often being used inappropriately.

Let’s review. “Tight” Muscles can be one of 4 different versions of tight. (For more information see 4 Reasons Why You Have Tight Muscles and What To Do About It or  click the video on top.) The muscles can be too long or too short. In other words, contacted or stretched.

Both of these feel “tight”. In fact the word “tight” is the problem.

When I lecture I use my bicep as a visual – you try right now – make a muscle with your bicep. Pretty easy to see how that would represent a shortened, fattened version of “tight”. The opposite move –  extending your arm all the way out, will really stretch the bicep…but it’s still “tight.”

That’s the point! Before you can correctly address the issue, you need to know what version of tight you are dealing with.

An OVERSTRETCHED tight muscle would definitely not benefit from further stretching may even slow down the healing time. I see this in the office nearly daily…long distance runners who have been stretching or rolling their IT bands and legs out for months with no change. Dude, stop…It’s not working!

As humans, we sit way too much. This position will commonly elongate the posterior side (the back side of the body.) It is already “overstretched” and the muscles need to be contracted. Not sure yet and are confused?  Sit and see…How’s your posture?

Shoulders forward and kind of slumping all day – even with good posture the seated position is stretched. That’s right – your backside is stretched and all the extra stretching in the world won’t help this. Really, it all makes sense…the way you sit, drive, work, check Facebook and play with your kids leaves your body shortened in the front side and elongated on the backside.

I get it, stretching feels good. Extra Blood to the muscles always does, but if it’s not helping to get you back to the right shape, why are you doing it?

Feels good ≠ Fixing things. Therapy vs Therapeutic…And why you’re screwed.

Here is a simple 4 step “contraction” list of exercises to help re-balance your system. We call these fixes, “Hacks” – as in we’re hacking the body and nervous system by doing contractions (to the backside) and stretches (to the front side) at the same time to jump start the body back to correct form and posture.  More importantly, we’re doing them appropriately to the right areas.

Try these for 2 weeks and see if you feel and move better and are better balanced from front to back. You have been over-stretching, stop it…

Lift weights, get stronger and re-balance the body.

PREDATORS:

Squat down a little and extend your arms out until you feel the chest stretch. Now contract your shoulder blades together like you are trying to squeeze a lemon between them. Hold for a few seconds. Do this 6-7x

This contracts a number of upper back muscles including traps, rhomboids, subs caps and levators.

REACH FOR THE STARS:

Raise your hands up and look back – hold for 4-5 sec.

Do 6-7x

GLUTE CONTRACTIONS:

Put your hand on your glutes. Now kick back one leg until that glute is contracted, do this 10x and repeat with the other leg 10x. Then do both glutes at the same time as if you’re trying to crack a walnut with your butt.

HAMSTRING CONTRACTIONS:

Put your legs on a stable chair and legs at 90 degrees.  you’ve seen and done these ast the gym for decades to strengthen (tighten) the hip flexors. Stop -your hamstring need the work.  Same position but dig in your heels and use your hamstrings to pull your body up – 2×10