Archive for July 31, 2011

When and What Should I Eat Before Workouts?

If you are working out in the morning, noon or at night, you should always eat something. Some people think working out in the morning before you eat burns more fat, however that is not true. When you awake, your body has been on a long fast and has been burning energy all night. What your body needs are carbohydrates (energy) to help reduce the amount of glycogen you use during exercise and allow you to train longer. Also, lack of proper nutrition prior to working out puts your immune system in jeopardy.

What—Your pre workout meal should be comprised of about 250 calories. It doesn’t need to be very large but it needs to be enough to get you through your allotted workout. It should contain about 50 grams of carbohydrates and about 5-10 grams of protein.

When— A meal that is comprised of about 250 calories should be eaten between 1-2 hours prior to your workout. This will allow the food (energy) to burn throughout your workout.  However, pre workout meals that are less than 150 calories can be eaten within 45 minutes of your workout. Here is a list of foods to try prior to workouts:

Chocolate milk







Fruit and vegetable juices

Peanut butter sandwich

Turkey sandwich

Hard boiled eggs

 It is important to note that a consistent balanced diet is the absolute best way to approach daily workout nutrition. Your overall fitness will never hinge on one meal or workout. If you are eating properly, you will always have an efficient amount of fuel to burn.

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How To Pick Out Healthy Foods

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More Federal Control Over What You Put In Your Mouth

Farmer's Market

Safety first!  You hear that all the time.  Our federal government is saying that now more than ever, especially after 9-11.  While safety is first, it’s not the federal government’s job to make my family safe with overreaching legislature.  Here are two recent, draconian federal bills that will destroy and, at the very least, limit health freedom in America.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510), which passed late last year, really puts the squeeze on local farmers.  It seems like the FDA wants food to be more centralized and get more oversight. It gives the them overreaching control by requiring registration (where it should be local), unwarranted searches (unconstitutional) and inspections (farmers pay for these), a cap of profit cap of $500,000 (completely un-American) and requires them to sell directly to consumers (not grocery stores or restaurants).  I can understand why some might think their personal safety is more important than inconveniencing these local farmers.   However, it’s not the local farm where the risk is. It’s the industrial food complex where problems occur.  The outbreaks are due to their giant processing methods.  Furthermore, I see lots of food at the store from South America, Central America and Mexico.  How well regulated is that food?  Well, only 3 percent of the food we get from overseas is inspected.

The Dietary Supplement Labeling Act (S.1310) is meant to punish dietary supplement makers for mistakes made by the FDA.   This bill is a response to a product called ‘Lazy Cakes’ which is made with melatonin in it.  Melatonin is a natural supplement for sleeping.  Lazy Cakes incorrectly is being sold as a food item and not a supplement.  But rather than handle that problem like the FDA is tasked to, the response is to have supplement makers suffer.  They must register with the FDA all supplements, list all ingredients and provide warning labels for any ingredient they deem to be unsafe by their own review.  Let’s keep in mind that even water is unsafe if you drink too much of it.  Can you imagine water bottles having warning labels?  Anyway, if they fail to label the supplements correctly, they can be taken to their kangaroo court to ensure their demise.  I do want to know what is in the supplements I take, but there are already requirements for labeling.  All facilities must register with FDA under the Bioterrorism Act.  Plus, labeling already must have a Supplement Facts table with all the ingredient information.  Finally, disclosure of allergens is required under the Food Allergen Labeling Act.

So, it’s my opinion that our federal government is dismantling our food and supplement freedom in America.  Steps have already been taken to keep us safe, but there will always be risk.  When problems arise, the industrial food complex is to blame, not the local farmer.  The pharmaceutical companies manufacture dangerous drugs, not the supplement industry.  I don’t think this is freedom.  Remember what Benjamin Franklin once wrote – “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one”.


 Ben Theiss is a devoted father and husband as well as an avid runner and cyclist. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Earth Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a Math and Science Teacher for over 13 years. Ben served in the US Army and is a Veteran of Desert Storm.


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Pertussis Vaccination – For the Greater Good or Medical Tyranny?


My school is requiring that Jr. High students get vaccinated for Pertussis (whooping cough) before school starts.  I was told that all students in California from grades 7th to 12th must be vaccinated or they won’t be allowed to attend school this Fall.  However, there are waivers available and it is state law in California that you be given the choice for vaccination.  It’s not well publicized, but you just need to contact your district office to get the paperwork.

Pertussis banner in front of local school

Whooping cough can be deadly to infants. In 2010 there were 10 infant deaths from it in California – all were infants 3 months old or younger.  It can be spread from older children and adults to infants who have a tougher time fighting this disease.   That does sound bad, but there are over 2,500 infant deaths per year in California.  That means pertussis causes only .4 % of them.  That’s less than one percent.  I suppose if I were one of the parents who lost their child due to whooping cough, I might be pushing for forced inoculations. However, taking away civil liberties from individuals for the greater good is tyranny. Denial of public education for this reason is a horrible plan.

Parents want what’s best for their children. We want our kids to be healthy and not be sick. By vaccinating our kids with Pertussis are we just helping save infants or are we endangering our teenagers with unproven vaccines? Are we strengthening kids and building up their defense mechanisms or are we undermining thier bodies?  Vaccines, in general, are meant to build up defenses against disease. But they actually don’t do nearly as good a job as the human body does naturally. In fact, many vaccines need to be used several times over a lifetime in order to be effective. However, allowing your body to shake disease off naturally is the best method to build up defenses. Humans have been doing this a lot longer than vaccine companies and big pharma have been around. Furthermore, the ingredient list for many vaccines, including Pertussis, are: lab altered viruses and bacteria; aluminum; mercury; formaldehyde; phenoxyethanol; gluteraldehyde; sodium borate; sodium chloride; sodium acetate; monosodium glutamate (MSG); hydrochloric acid; hydrogen peroxide; lactose; gelatin; yeast protein; egg albumin; bovine and human serum albumin; antibiotics and other contaminants. Does this list sound healthy? Do we have to allow this concoction of chemicals into our children’s blood vessels and organs? The answer is no.

The signs in front of schools make it sound like you don’t have a choice. Don’t be deceived. Also, do a little research on your own about this vaccine. You might discover that it is not very effective and can be dangerous. You might find out that many patients diagnosed with whooping cough were given vaccinations for it beforehand. You might find out that vaccine manufacturers are making loads of money on them.  Thomas Jefferson once wrote; “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” You do have a choice

 Ben Theiss is a devoted father and husband as well as an avid runner and cyclist. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Earth Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a Math and Science Teacher for over 13 years. Ben served in the US Army and is a Veteran of Desert Storm.

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It’s Not The Program, It’s Your Dedication To It!

Walk into any nail Salon, Barbershop, or Laundromat and ask a random person for diet and exercise tips. Chances are they will say, “My cousin lost weight on this diet” or “My sister does this exercise program.” Everyone has advice and chances are, their advice might help you.

Walk into the nearest library and grab the oldest exercise book and the newest exercise book and you will find that not much has changed. So why do they keep making new gadgets and why are people still buying them? Here’s why: The fitness industry learned years ago that if they find a new way to say the same ole stuff, people will come running. They’ve also found that if they find a way to tell you that you will get the same results in less time, you’d definitely spend the money to try it. People buy the stuff because they are always looking for a quicker way to get amazing results, even though it still takes 30-60 minutes of exercise and a well balanced diet to lose and maintain weight.

It’s Not The Program, It’s Your Dedication To The Program! Face it, you’re just not dedicated!

I love kettlebells but I recently heard a fitness expert say that most of the Hollywood bodies are all thanks to kettlebells. Huuuhhh? I am sure kettlebells helped but come on; the same moves you are doing with kettlebells have been being done with dumbbells for years. Hollywood bodies are thanks to kettlebells, high intensity training, a balanced diet, and most importantly, DEDICATION to the program.

I’ve completed Insanity and it definitely works. However, when I see people who’ve tried several different training ideas, spending 100s on new high intensity workout programs, I often wonder what makes them think, this one will work.  Richard Simmons and Billy Blanks did aerobic and body weight moves with limited recovery years ago.

Weight Watchers is a great way to lose weight. It works for millions of people but point counting is not much different from calorie counting and that has worked for decades too.

If Kettlebells, Insanity, or Weight Watchers helped you shed weight, it’s not because they came up with some full proof new plan, it’s because you finally decided to DEDICATE yourself to a program. Sure the program may have played a part in motivating you but you had to make the decision to do it. If you don’t believe me, look at the coat rack, uhhh treadmill, in the corner of your room. Wasn’t that supposed to motivate you too?

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Can You Handle This Killer Circuit?

Watch the video. Sweat! Then let us know how the “Killer Circuit” worked for you? Leave a comment below.

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I Can’t Believe You’re Not Using Butter!

What’s more healthy, margarine or butter? That’s the question I’ve been asking my 7th and 8th grade science students for several years now. And almost every time I get the same response – margarine. I sometimes ask adults that same question and the response is frequently the same. But what I’ve discovered is quite the contrary – butter and saturated fats in general are much more healthy for you than unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that make up margarine. In fact, there are numerous studies that have been conducted on the subject but for some reason don’t make their way to the general public. It has been almost politically incorrect in the last 40 years to use butter.
So why use butter? Well, first of all, butter is essentially made up of saturated fats. These are molecules that are just chains of carbon atoms attached to each other with hydrogen atoms completely saturating the sides. There are no other atoms involved and that’s why they are called saturated fats. It’s deceiving because it sounds like it’s saturated with bad stuff to make us fat. However, saturated fats constitute 50 percent of the cell membranes, are important for our bones, lower Lp(a) – a substance in blood that is an indicator for heart disease, protect the liver, enhance the immune system and the list goes on. This is not to say that eating lots of butter makes you healthier, but when deciding on butter or margarine, butter is clearly the more healthy choice.
Margarine is made up of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. While important in our diet, they need to be treated with care as they can go rancid easily and are highly reactive. These fats are actually more complicated than butter. Unsaturated just means that there are more ‘other’ substances taking up some of the places that would have had hydrogen atoms attached. Unsaturated does NOT mean less stuff, etc., it means more. Margarine not only has polyunsaturated fats but in order to make them solid at room temperature, they must be partially hydrogenated. This process makes them worse for you due to the chemical changes that occur to make it more ‘butter-like.’ In fact, margarine is naturally a grey color and must be bleached and colored to make it look like butter (edible).
With all this, why do people believe margarine is better than butter? Follow the money! The companies making the products we eat, like margarine, have a symbiotic relationship with the government, big pharma and the media. You scratch our backs and we’ll scratch yours. Having good health is not important to them. In fact, your poor health is money in the bank and an investment for them. Margarine and other altered partially hydrogenated fat products are directly related to cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, immune problems and the list goes on and on. So, the next time you are deciding on butter or some other butter wanna-be, just choose the butter. It’s the healthy choice.

  Ben Theiss is a devoted father and husband as well as an avid runner and cyclist. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Earth Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a Math and Science Teacher for over 13 years. Ben served in the US Army and is a Veteran of Desert Storm.

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Frozen Fun That Keeps The Kids Happy And Healthy

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