Cold is really catching these days. Aubrey Marcus, whom I recently filmed a nice podcast with, was asked about his winning daily behaviors on another show. The very first thing he mentioned was “exposure to cold.” His practice is finishing his morning shower with a three-minute stint at full cold setting. He mentioned the hormonal benefits but also the mental edge he gets from psyching up and accepting the challenge instead of wimping out. He also cited research that people who engage in therapeutic cold exposure catch fewer upper respiratory infections. Hence, like many other elements of conventional wisdom, the old wives tale is backwards. Of course, we are talking about acute and optimal duration cold exposure, not prolonged exposure to elements that weaken your resistance and contribute to immune disturbances.
As with keto, there’s much more to be learned in this burgeoning field before we can operate in definitive (hence today’s title). Today, however, I’ll expose you (the first of more double entendrés to be on the lookout for) to important concepts and best practices so that you may enjoy the vaunted benefits and avoid some of the negative effects of going about cold exposure wrong.
Some people don’t need any help finding physical challenges. They naturally and intuitively figure out ways to engage physically with the world and test their prowess. But that’s not everyone, or else we’d see people sprinting down the street, hurdling park benches, climbing flagpoles, and swinging from tree branch to tree branch. It’d be a cool world, to be sure. It’s just not the one we live in.
In this world, where physical challenges are usually optional, we have to go looking for them.
What are some fitness challenges to try? I’ve got 11.
If it were up to me, I’d have a steady supply of perfect, ripe avocados on hand. They’d have no blemishes, no bruising, no weird soft spots, no stringy veins running through. Every avocado would be ripe and somehow manage to stand up to rough handling. They wouldn’t be watery or mushy—just creamy. Life would be good, and I’d probably retire and begin an all-avocado diet. But that’s not reality. Avocados are a crap shoot. They take forever to ripen. There’s usually something wrong. Half the time I have to cut out half the flesh just to approach edibility. And I say this living in the home state of the best avocados in the world.
Enter avocado oil. No, it’s not quite the same as a plump avocado. No, you can’t make guacamole out of it, although some disgusting heathen has probably tried using gums and thickeners. For that it falls short of a plump avocado. But because first-press avocado oil—the kind I make—retains most of the fat-soluble nutrients, antioxidants, carotenoids, and chlorophylls found in the fruit, just like extra virgin olive oil retains olive nutrients, first-press avocado oil provides the power of the avocado in a compact, reliable, convenient, pourable package.
Five years ago, we were all about the standing workstation. Sitting kills, we said. It’s the new smoking. So we should do the opposite—stand all day long. Right? It turns out that standing all day isn’t much better. The real issue is lack of movement. When we sit or stand all day long in the same position, our body is learning to be immobile. Children can’t sit still because they haven’t had the natural human need to move beaten out of them yet. Adults never feel like moving because we’ve grown accustomed to never doing it. Since we spend at least a third of our lives at work, our workstation must enable and even encourage movement.
How do we do it? What do we need?
A big part of the Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge happens in your kitchen, which is a good thing. Preparing your own meals is the best way to ensure you’re eating real food that your body needs to thrive. It takes the guesswork out of what is or isn’t Primal in a world of ready-made meals. But if you don’t approach cooking 3+ meals a day with a strategy, you’ll start feeling like you’ll never get out of the kitchen, which isn’t such a good thing.
A collection of Primal recipes right at your fingertips definitely helps. But if you really want Primal cooking to be easy, convenient, and manageable in the long haul, then what you need most are some kitchen hacks that every Primal cook should know.
Primal eaters like eggs and eat many of them. What’s not to love? Highly bioavailable protein. Extremely nutrient dense. A good source of fat, including omega-3s if you pick the right type of egg. Versatile; good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It even comes in a tidy little package that travels well. And eggs are inexpensive, especially for the amount of nutrition and enjoyment you get. Yeah, eggs are good. Real good.
We don’t want to squander this precious gift from the feathered gods. So today, I’m giving you my top 22 tips, tricks, and guidelines to make the most of your eggs.
A lot of people who embrace the standup workstation thing think the work stops once you stand up. Sitting is hard, standing is easy – right? I don’t blame them, because I was the same way when I began incorporating the standup workstation. But, like barefoot runners who toss the shoes and rush into 10ks and marathons and end up injuring themselves, workers who ditch the chairs and spend full workdays on their feet without thinking about how to stand often end up in pain. They don’t realize what kind of stress standing – often in the same place – for hours at a time can place on their bodies. It’s not enough to just stand. You have to do it right, and you have to make adjustments and move and stay on top of things to do it right.
Throughout my many years of standing up while working at a desk, I’ve picked up a few tips that make things go a little more smoothly. If you’re interested in hearing, read on:
There’s an unofficial but infamous season this time of year in New England (my native homeland, for those of you who don’t know). In the weeks roughly between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is a period the locals call black fly season. For those of you unfamiliar with these creatures, there’s no overdramatizing their menace. They’re deceptively minuscule but ubiquitous, and their bites can mutilate. I remember a couple from the Midwest moved to our neighborhood just before the school year. Come spring, they’d heard the many jokes and well-intentioned warnings but scoffed when they first saw the flies themselves. “Those gnats?” they asked incredulously. About a week or so later they were both covered in welts after spending the weekend doing yard work with no protection. The woman’s hairline was chewed to oblivion. (These things tended to get around the neighborhood.) I still think of black fly season after all these years especially when I get questions from readers about bug season in their parts of the country. Increasingly, folks ask about a Primal alternative to chemical bug repellent.
I haven’t gone to the rapid fire question-and-answer format in awhile, and you guys seem to dig it, so let’s do one today. We’ve got questions regarding a popular bodybuilding supplement, whether bean sprouts are Primal or not, the fatty acid composition of backyard rabbit meat, the old protein-leaches-calcium-from-bones myth, and my opinion on the new government food plate. As always, if you’ve got any questions about (almost) anything, send them my way and I’ll do my best to answer them. Not every topic deserves a full post – and, let’s face it, I don’t always have it in me to produce a full-length post. This way, we cover a lot of ground and I get to give myself a break. So, yeah: keep ’em coming.
And yes, I was also pleased with the opportunity to post a cute bunny photo.
But not with alcohol (save that for after the workout). Nope, I’m talking about working out with a slosh tube.
A slosh tube is a large PVC pipe filled with water and capped on the ends. It’s a surprisingly effective workout tool. Best of all, you can build one yourself for less than twenty bucks.
How to Do It
Go to your local hardware store and buy a PVC pipe. You’ll want one at least 4 inches in diameter and 9-10 feet long. Buy caps for both ends. Make sure at least one of the caps is removable and rubber.
Fill your pipe at least 1/2 full of water. It’s advised that you have one of the caps on at this point, unless you’re looking for the toughest exercise possible: one in futility.
Cap it and get sloshed!