Archive for the ‘Don’t get sick’ Category

I have had conversation after conversation with people talking about sleep.  People tell me all the time “I’m cool as long as I get 3-4 hours of sleep.” This BLOWS my mind because I know that if I came off 3-4 hours of sleep I would be crushing pizzas, not working out, not studying, not talking to anybody, and watching movies all day. So I did some research, and talked to some sleep experts to see how important sleep actually is to our health, and how to increase the quality of sleep when we do actually get to bed.

In college, I understand it is tough to get the optimal 7-9 hours of sleep recommended by health professionals. Most of us are chronic procrastinators which causes us to pull all-nighters every once in awhile. Personally, I am not a huge pull-an-all-nighter person. I figure I’ll probably do better on the test is I can keep my eyes open rather than stuff more info into my brain late at night. My lack of sleep comes on Friday and Saturday (and maybe an occasional Thursday) when the bars and clubs are live.  Some of you can relate I am sure..

Importance of Sleep

Think of your body and mind as a battery. You need to recharge that shit! Sleep is a hormonal reset button (or your charger). When you “recharge” your mind and body with good, quality sleep you reduce the stress hormone cortisol which leads to less hunger, less cravings, and more energy throughout the day.

A study published online at the Public Library of science shows the correlation between sleep and hormones that control appetite. This was a study of 1,024 people, and their sleep and eating habits. People who slept less than 7-8 hours throughout the night showed a significant increase in appetite. These same people who slept less tended to weight more than the individuals that got more sleep.

Positives of Sleep:

  • Increased energy and motivation
  • Decreased hunger and cravings
  • You’re definitely better looking (you know how when you come off a rough night of sleep people let you know that you look like you you had a rough night of sleep? Then you think “Yeah, I know, I was there asshole”)
  • Increased mood
  • Increased Productivity
  • Increased Sex drive (#nice)
Negatives of NOT Getting a Sufficient Amount Sleep
  • You get fat
  • You look rough.. No offense..
  • You have an increased appetite
  • You don’t want to do anything
  • If somebody speaks to you want to deck them in the face for no reason

Why You Can’t Sleep

Some of you may get angry and say “Look bro, I want to sleep. I just CAN”T!!” That is understandable. There is nothing worse than rolling around in bed for hours, or waking up at 4:00am and not being able to fall asleep.

Let me try to help you understand why. Usually an inability to sleep has to do with an imbalance in blood sugar. For example, let’s say you eat dinner at 7pm, and you plan on going to bed early because you feel exhausted from a long day. However, come 10:00, 11:00, & 12:00 o’clock you feel wide awake! Why? When you go for that extended period of time without eating your blood sugar levels drop. To combat this, your body releases stress hormones (adrenalin, noradrenaline, and cortisol) to raise your blood sugar back up. This causes your mind to feel alert and wide awake.

Something else that stimulates this response of your stress hormones is light. Yeah dude, light. So when you are zoning out at night by watching TV or surfing the web you are steadily increasing those same stress hormones to keep your brain alert and awake.


“Sooo How Do I Sleep Better?”

Remember, we are all different, so you may have to do a little experimentation to figure out what works best for you.

  • IF you are the type that stays up at night here is what you do; Eat a little bit of carbohydrate before bed. This should spike your blood sugar to help you fall asleep.
  • IF you are the type who wakes up frequently or wakes up at 4am here is what you should do; Eat a little protein &  fiber before bed. Protein stabilizes blood sugar for a longer period of time helping you stay asleep at night
  • Keep the lights low: I know it’s tempting to watch TV or surf the web to “calm down” before bed, but here is what you should do instead.
  1. Dim the lights, or light candles
  2. Read a book
  3. Have sex (the candles set the mood and everything)
  4. Do some visualization exercises: Many successful people (Muhammad Ali, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, MLK, Michael Jordan) all say that they saw their success in great detail before it ever happened. Take time to close your eyes and picture vividly the success of your future.
  5. Dim the lights on your computer if you must be on Facebook
  6. Take a hot shower
  7. Study
  • Yogi Bedtime Tea: This is a favorite of mine. If you put 4-5 bags in 8 oz of water it is similar to taking a small dose of Xanax. Good for relaxing before bed. You can get this at the grocery store.
  •  Magnesium (Glycinate)- This can be found at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe or even Walmart. Taking Magnesium before be is a great natural way to relax your muscles & calm the nervous system.
I always want to hear your comments about my blog posts. Tell me what you do before bed to help relax.
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I just launched my first ebook The Dorm Diet this past Friday, and it’s selling like crazy! So I figured I would write about a different diet today. A lot of people who oppose CB are the body building type, and they say two things to me:

  1. It does not matter WHAT you eat as long as you do not surpass your daily individual caloric needs.
  2. You can eat whatever you want post-workout because your body is extremely insulin sensitive. Meaning all that food will go towards muscle building.

The fact of the matter is that BOTH of those are very true, and this is actually the base for one of the four diets in my ebook. BUT to see how their diet actually worked first hand I went ahead & followed these guidelines for  ten days. My sister got me a 4.5lb box of sour gummy worms for my 21st birthday, and I definitely was not going to let them just sit there, so I crushed the whole box over the ten day experiment.

 

4.5lbs!!!

In ten days I DID gain some muscle mass! However, I was also lifting HEAVY, so that probably helped too. Now, here is why I don’t recommend the body builders diet.

1) My energy level day-to-day was a lot lower than it usually is. It took SERIOUS work to get my ass to the gym.

2) My face started to break out. This is because food has a direct connection to acne. Interesting right? Check out the book “The Dietary Cure For Acne” by Loren Cordain .

3) My cravings were OUT OF CONTROL! I wanted pizza, burgers, popcorn, chips, & a bunch of shit like that I haven’t craved for awhile. I did hold myself back from eating all of that because I had to stay within my daily caloric intake, but it was difficult. I definitely wouldn’t have enough self-discipline to do that for more than 10 days.

4) I began to develop bacne (Back-nee)- The acne that shows up on the face of adolescents begins to show up on your back.

**That was what put me over the top. I can handle low energy levels, a zit or two on my face, and cravings for a little while, but when we are talking about bacne I can’t handle it anymore.**

So the point is that that diet does work for those of you looking to put on size, or get into the body building world, or are in your twenties & have a wicked fast metabolism. However, the fact is that food has a much bigger impact than just getting fat or gaining muscle. Food affects our energy levels, cravings, acne, and stress levels……and bacne…

Interestingly enough I am back on my regular diet now, and have been for the past couple days & my energy is picking up, my cravings are going down, my bacne disappeared, and my abs are becoming more defined.

Me & my sis, Jill, out on the town for my 21st! Don’t we look fly?

Do you guys feel change in energy when you eat? Let me know how you eat at collegebody@gmail.com

Finals week is approaching for most universities. Finals week of both spring & fall semesters are probably the  most stressful weeks of the year for college kids, so I wanted to hook you guys up with some tips that will help keep your stress levels low[er]. I blogged a couple weeks ago about stress control and late night tips which could probably both apply to this INSANE week, but finals week is a different ball game than just pulling ONE all nighter, or reducing stress throughout the week. If you want to do well on these exams, stress & late nights are going to be a part of it no matter what. Here are just a couple ideas to help you survive the week a little better.

 

 

BCAAs- BCAA supplementation has been shown to maintain muscle mass (and even build muscle!), decrease hunger & cravings, and balance blood sugar. This will prevent you from snacking on Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. When I don’t get enough sleep, and am also in stressful situations I find myself eating this stuff called “Party Mix”. My grandma always sends me the stuff in care packages, and although I LOVE it I can usually prevent myself from eating it until its late at night, and I am stressed for an upcoming exam. Ever since I started taking BCAA’s they have decreased this EXTREME craving! So now I can focus on studying AND not get fat. Right?!

Drink Options- This is ESSENTIAL! Most colleges libraries, book stores, or wherever else you may study have little coffee shops. When choosing drinks, here are College Body’s recommendations:

  • Do’s: Tea, Black Coffee, Water, unsweetened cocoa mixed with hot water (add stevia to sweeten). (Note: cocoa helps to naturally increase the brain chemical dopamine, which helps boost mental focus, drive and motivation=good to studying)
  • Don’t: “Triple Dipper Creamy White Chocolate Mocha Latte” (not sure if that’s real, but you know what I’m talking about, right? Those type drinks will KNOCK YOU OUT in like 20 minutes), sugary energy drink (If you MUST go with your energy drink, maybe try sugar free?),

Short breaks- You will retain more information if you take short, frequent breaks. Take 3-5 minute breaks every 30 minutes. Research shows that you retain the most information at the beginning & end of studying, so eliminate the middle!

Study Alone- This just may be me, but every time I get together with friends to study I just started talking about Chris Paul’s points per game, or about food, and never get any studying done. If you buckle down, and study by yourself you will probably learn the material in half the time!

Water- Stay hydrated!

Power Naps-20-30 minute naps are shown to rejuvenate you, and help you feel more alert. However, if 20-30 minutes turns into 2-3 hours, you may end up feeling sluggish so keep ’em short. Unless of course you pulled an all-nighter and finally get to sleep…in that case, go for it.

Up your brain food! Omega-3 fats from foods like salmon and walnuts (or a fish oil supplement) can boost brain power. This is less of an immediate response so try to include these in your diet regularly. Also, maintaining a steady stream of healthy carbohydrates like those from oats, brown rice, fruits, veggies and potatoes (if possible) is important for feeding the brain, so think about eating some healthier carbs every couple hours, preferably ones with a little fiber, not Sour Patch Extremes.


Benefits of Chocolate

Posted: October 28, 2011 in Don't get sick, Get healthier

 

Ladies, ladies, ladies I never understood the connection between you and chocolate until I recently read this Metabolic Effect Blog on cocoa. I then talked to the College Body Science team about the benefits of cocoa. Turns out all my ladies out there have it figured out! There are unreal amounts of benefits to coco, so I thought you guys might like to know them. However, all these benefits that will follow are for 100% organic cocoa (you can get this at pretty much any grocery store). Something like 85% dark chocolate is the next best, and milk chocolate is the worst. As you add milk or and decrease the percent of pure cocoa the benefits decrease.

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”: Cocoa has a brain chemical phenyethlamine (PEA) , which is the thing in chocolate that makes dogs sick, but gives humans a feeling of euphoria. It also releases the chemical dopamine in the brain which can act as an antidepressant.

Study Aid: PEA & dopamine release in the brain is essentially what the “study drug” adderall does, so in a sense cocoa acts like a low dose of adderall.

Chill out: Cocoa increases serotonin which helps you relax. Interesting quote from the ME Blog “Another constituent found in cocoa that alters the mental state in a pleasurable way is anandamide, whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means “bliss”. This chemical binds to the same receptor sites in the brain as THC, the active constituent in marijuana.  It is no wonder that cocoa has the reputation of being an antidepressant, aphrodisiac and a calming stimulant.”

“Turn-on”: Yep, cocoa is an aphrodisiac in that it increases pleasures of the brain. It also increases blood flow to ALL body parts, including the genitals. Interesting right? From the science team: “PEA and dopamine flood the brain when we fall in love or have an orgasm.”

Induce cravings: Cocoa helps control the cravings we get for sugar or salt.

Weak Aspirin: Cocoa acts like a weak aspirin in that it decreases “blood stickiness.” Other benefits for the heart is that it decreases blood sugar (only shown in rat studies though, not humans), but definitely lowers blood pressure in humans.

Coffee & Cocoa?: Look I know some of you will refuse to give up your coffee, and to tell you the truth I am slowly ecoming a part of “Team Daily Coffee.” However, coffee is a stimulant, and it also depletes magnesium. I suggest maybe putting some cocoa powder into your coffee because cocoa is high in magnesium . Increased stress = decreased magnesium; increased cocoa puts that magnesium back into your system.

NO Explode: I am sure most of you have heard of the pre-workout supplement NO Explode. NO Explode is a Nitric Oxide supplement that puts you on the toilet before it puts you in the gym. I love NO Explode & other supplements along those lines because I do KILL it in the gym, but for those who take it, don’t even pretend like it doesn’t send you directly to the bathroom. So now, I will get back to cocoa. Cocoa can increase Nitric Oxide production, which increases blood flow during workouts, which leads to more blood to your muscles, which causes your muscles to work harder, which eventually leads to more muscle.

Drink Tip: If you like coffee & Bailey’s throughout the winter as one of your beverages of choice try Cocoa & Bailey’s thiswinter. It’s BANGIN’!!

“The ancient people of Central America, the Mayans and Aztecs, believed this plant could impart immortality”

Time after time I go to the bathroom, see homeboy leave the urinal, and just walk out like it’s no big thing. Can’t even pretend to wash your hands? There was this one time, I went to the bathroom before one of my classes, and saw this kid leave without washing his hands. After I get out of the bathroom, we are both standing outside our classrooms waiting for the class before ours to get out. We make eye contact, and he decides to introduce himself. Says “hey, my name is blah blah” and STICKS HIS HAND OUT TO SHAKE MY HAND! I pat him on the shoulder and say “hey, I’m Danny” then sprint off into my classroom. I am not a necessarily a “germ freak,” but I would say I am more conscious of germs and bacteria and things than your average human.

College campuses are flowing with germs and bacteria! So naturally pretty much all of us get sick at some point during the year. The reason I am so conscientious of germs is because I HATE being sick. Cold, flu, STD’s, doesn’t matter, I want no part of any  sickness.

The other day I was beginning to get sick, so naturally, I started freaking out. I gathered the College Body Science Team (Jill Coleman & Jade Teta) for advice. The listed all these vitamins, minerals, foods, etc that I should load up on, so I took pretty much all of them, and the next day I felt 100 times better. However, I know most students do not access to the supplements, so I put together a list of some of my favorites that they told me about. Some of these you will find VERY interesting, but they are proven to help.

1) Water- H2O will help tremendously. Just begin to pound water bottle after water bottle to “flush” out the virus.

2) Veggies- Vegetables are loaded with vitamins & minerals to help your immune system heal fast. Just shove them down your throat. Not as good as cheese puffs, but definitely worth it to aid fast recovery.

3) Vitamin C (1000 mg every couple hours)- We all know that Vitamin C is awesome for your immune system, so why do more of us not take it when we are sick? You can get it from all the citrus fruits, but I recommend getting “Emergen-C” (get it?). You can get Emergen-C at grocery stores or supplement stores like GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe. I like it because the have tasty flavors and it is a quick & easy way to get 1000mg of Vitamin c.

4) Zinc- Can decrease length of cold. Jade told me Zinc capsules are probably the best thing to take when you have a cold to get over it quick.

5) Garlic- Garlic is awesome to help & prevent sickness. Just go up to your school cafeteria & ask them to cook some garlic, yes just garlic, for you. You’ll probably get a funny look, but who cares when you recover from sickness twice as fast as your peers!

6) Rest- You HAVE to get some R&R. Just take a day off from working out, or whatever activity you do, get lots of sleep, and wake up feeling fresh & recovered the next day.

*These next couple I found interesting, feel free to try them, I am interested to see if they work for you guys.

5) Hot Bath- Take a VERY HOT bath. I mean as hot as you can stand. Stay in for as long as you can, get out, and immediately wrap yourself in a blanket. You will start to sweat profusely which induces fever–> fever helps body heal!

6) Hot & Cold Showers- Take a wicked HOT shower for about 3 minutes, then drop the water to COLD for about a minute. Go back and fourth like this for a couple rounds.

7) Cold Socks Treatment– This one is probably my favorite that Jade told me about. Take a pair of cotton socks & a pair of wool socks. Take the cotton socks, wet them, & place them in the freezer. Yes, the freezer. When cold, take the cold cotton socks, put them on, then put the dry wool socks on top of them & go to bed. This is another fever inducing method. Funny, but with Jade’s clinical experience he said he has seen it work. Crazy right?

Wish I had these tips when I was a little disease carrying machine.

There seems to be a misconception that all I eat is healthy food, ALL THE TIME. I recently was told that I may have orthorexia nervosa, and since I am no physician I immediately googled the shit. From what I understand, orthorexia nervosa is referred to as “an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating,” and can lead to malnutrition or even death (and that it’s not a medically recognized term). WTF? I was stunned. If I am giving off this impression, then I have to correct it right away.

The reason I started College Body was to give out useful information that other people my age can relate to. If I come off as a ridiculously healthy eater nobody is going to relate to me because the fact is that Chick Fila tastes good, to drink alcohol with friends is a good time, and my favorite food sure as hell is not asparagus.

I am by no means on a fitness model type diet, BUT what I think I do well is not let the shit I eat go towards fat storage and beer belly enhancing. Let me give you an example of my personal problems AND solutions, so you can understand that I do attempt to eat healthy a majority of the time, but by no means stick to it perfectly.

Problem #1: I love the movies, so I go a lot, and most of the time by myself. My issue? I love movie theater popcorn MORE than the movies, so I every time I go I order a popcorn. And I am not here to bullshit you, I order a large, with butter (extra), and yes, I eat it all.

Solution #1: It never fails, every time I leave the movies I feel sick as hell. My solution? I go workout like a mad man. I go strait to the gym, usually to do a HEAVY leg workout at a very high intensity, then go to the track and do sprints. Does this erase the 500g of carbs I just killed? HELL NO. It does however help to veer those carbohydrates towards muscle building rather than fat storage, and it helps increase my mood. I am not going to have a metabolism that runs at a ridiculous pace forever, so I might as well take advantage of it now.

Problem #2: I am Irish in ancestry, and proud to be (my dad wouldn’t let me not be proud, but I am regardless). So what comes with being an Irish man? We enjoy an occasional cocktail, or more than occasional. Maybe I am using being Irish as an excuse, but either way I like to go out and drink alcohol with my friends.

Solution #2: Every time I drink, I DESTROY bottles of water before I go to bed. I aim to kill about a liter before I lay down. This helps me so I don’t feel like shit the whole next day, and get nothing done. Then, I drink coconut water in the morning (or Gatorade) to get my electrolytes back to balance. Finally, instead of getting another $2 beer at last call, I save my last $2 and invest in a gallon water jug the next morning. All a hangover is is dehydration (combo of water depletion and mineral depletion), so if I am not dehydrated, how can I be hungover?

Problem #3: I am lazy when it comes to cooking, probably similar to some of you, so I love the idea of fast food. 1) It’s affordable 2) It’s freaking fast and 3) you don’t even have to leave your car to get it! 3-point play? Why yes, yes it is.

Solution #3: I made a decision a while ago that I will only go to certain places. I don’t do McDolanalds or Taco Bell anymore. There are only two places you will see me pull through, Chick Fila and Wendy’s. Those are my spots, so if either of those are not around I cannot get fast food. It is just something that I conditioned in my mind that McDonalds soggy buns, and Taco Bell’s fake meat gross me out. It takes a while to condition yourself, especially if you are like 98% of college kids that are addicted to fast food. So if I do end up at my spots, I always order something loaded with protein. Like a “baconator”from Wendy’s or 3 Chick Fila sandwhiches.

These are just some of my personal unhealthy tendencies. We are all different and have our own food issues. However, I do try to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle so I can have more energy throughout the day, live longer, and look sexier for the ladies. Since I attempt to live this healthy lifestyle I just put out tips that I think you guys may find useful because they work for me, but I do not want to come off as a “perfect eater” by any means because that is not the case. Would love to hear how you guys deal with your unhealthy tendencies! Shoot me an email (CollegeBody@gmail.com) or post them in the comments section of this blog.

Me crushing an ice cream. No big deal.Me Crushing an Ice Cream

Sunday mornings can sometimes include extreme exhaustion, feeling hungover, and a loss of memory from the night before. Many of us have felt like this before, so for this blog I am going to hook you up with my top 4 tips to have full recovery on Sunday so you are ready to start the week fresh on Monday.

When my friends wake up on Sunday, they hit me to go to Denny’s, or IHOP, or some other greasy as hell restaurant. Which is cool with me because that is exactly what I am trying to eat after a night out. Here is the thing though, we all crave those HEAVY loaded carbohydrate meals like the waffle, french toast, or a side stack of 12 pancakes. Obviously these things are delicious, but here’s the problem: 1) After you eat that stuff TELL me you don’t rush home to the bathroom? 2) Post-uncomfortable-bathroom-session you’ll prob just want to just go back to bed & 3) Those are perfect foods for blowing up into a beach ball. If neither of those three things bother you then stay with your pancakes.

So when you go to your greasy breakfast get as much grease & fat as you want, but stay away from those heavy carb options like pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc. I usually order a BIG ASS omelet with loaded with bacon & cheese AND a side of bacon! Anyways, here are your tips to try & follow for a FULL recovery:

1) Drink Water: This is the number ONE important thing! Your weekend of alcohol & pizza will cause you to get super dehydrated. Right when you wake up in the morning (or afternoon) crush at least one liter of water. When I wake up, I go to the local gas station, and grab a one liter water bottle. I then just refill that bottle throughout the day so I know exactly how much water I drank. The goal is to drink 3-6 liters to rehydrate your brain and bod. Early in the morning I would even recommend a Gatorade for re-hydration, but coconut water is the BEST thing to put electrolytes back into your system.

2) Check your diet: Like I said up top, try and stay away from those HEAVILY loaded carbohydrates with limited fiber like the pancakes, waffles, and french toast. The BEST things to eat are high fiber & high water content foods like fruits & vegetables. Especially leafy green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, & asparagus (it makes my pee smell, but for some reason it makes me feel like all the bad shit is cycling out my body, weird right? Its a mental thing..). However I can understand not wanting to eat that stuff so here are my two rules to follow on Sunday:

  1. NO Bread
  2. NO Cereal
Replace these two things on Sundays with some protein source, and you’ll be golden come Monday morning!

3) Get that GOOD workout: If you have to wait until later in the day, that is fine, but I would strongly recommend hitting up the gym. Once you get to the gym, just put in an INTENSE 30-minute metabolic conditioning workout. I recommend doing high intensity weight training using Rest-Based Training to burn fat & keep muscle. My thing is that I always want to break a sweat! Step one is getting your ass off the couch and into the gym (harder than it sounds I know). Good Luck!

4) Sleep: This is the most important step in the recovery process. No matter what you think, alcohol does not “improve your sleep  quality.” So many of my friends tell me, “I sleep soo much better when I drink” and I’m always like “There is no way, dude..” You may FALL asleep easily when you drink but alcohol affects blood sugar so you don’t get nearly the quality of sleep you need. So it is very important you get good, long rest Sunday nights (8 to 10 hours). Rest is important for brain and body health, so go to bed!

Would love to hear how you guys recover on Sundays. Email me at Collegebody@gmail.com or drop a comment below. Happy Sunday!