A Few Health Tips During Corona Lockdown

This is a tough situation, but that does not mean we have to hit rock bottom in our health. Here are a few good tips for maintaining health during this period.

 

DECREASE CORTISOL LEVELS

High cortisol can wreck havoc on us physically and mentally, here are a few tips on balancing your levels:

DITCH THE ALARM CLOCK

Alarms immediately wake us up into a fight or flight state. This is the opposite of what we should strive for (waking up peacefully…) During a period like this, if waking up early for school or work are not a concern, this is a great opportunity to get on your natural clock. Aiming to fall asleep and wake up around the same times daily will generally allow your body to get in rhythm, and should decrease high cortisol.

BREATH.

Pay attention to your breathing (or lack thereof) especially during times of stress. When I am extra stressed, I will find myself almost naturally holding my breath and then taking short shallow breaths until I realize what is going on and I change my focus to full inhales and deep exhales. It’s amazing how I begin to feel better after 10-15 deep breaths. (TRY IT)!

Look for APPS like Headspace, follow a YOGA video on Youtube, or close your eyes and listen to your favorite songs while you focus on 6-10 second inhale and 6-10 second exhales. Meditation and stretching are both great ways to breath and maintain healthy cortisol levels!

P.S. – One of the reasons aerobic exercise is great is because IT FORCES YOU TO BREATH!

FASTING

Time restricted eating habits can improve immune function, improve blood glucose and insulin levels, cholesterol & triglyceride numbers, decrease inflammation, and balance hormones (to name a few). If you have concerns, talk to your physician about whether or not time restricted eating or intermittent fasting is a good option for you.

The most common time restricted eating practice is eating your full days worth of food in an 8 hour time frame. Calorie restriction is NOT the goal of fasting. The break you give your body from constantly eating on a regular basis (habitual) will pay off.

MODERATE EXERCISE

Exercise in the right dosage is one of the best ways to improve health and boost immune function. There is no debate here.

Chronic cardio -or- extreme amounts of exercise can compromise our immune health. So during a time like this, balance is key (150-300 minutes per week). If you are locked up in the house, over exertion should not be an issue, move as much as you can- to overdue it, you typically have to be going to the extreme day in and day out.

ZERO exercise | sedentary lifestyle in today’s world  is one of the best ways to guarantee health issues arise at some point. Not always, but the odds are against you. Get outside and sweat.

EAT THE RAINBOW

Aim to eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and foods that are not in a package. This is a good time to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen!

SLEEP

Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep every day.  This is an excellent opportunity for many folks to create healthy sleep patterns and get our your proper biological clock.

Inadequate sleep is linked to shorter lifespan, hormone imbalances, chronic inflammation, and just about every stress related disease you can imagine… if there is one most important lifestyle factor to focus on, sleep might be at the top.

NOTE: If you get 7+ hours of sleep regularly, but still feel exhausted then you might not be getting quality sleep.

Some things that can disrupt proper sleep patterns may include : more than 2 alcoholic beverages before bed, caffeine consumption after 1:00 PM (even if you think you can drink it and go straight to bed, try tracking your sleep patterns),  THC, too much exercise (it takes A LOT ) , not enough exercise, not consuming enough nutrients, WIFI in or near the bedroom, blue lights in the bedroom,  dehydration, stress, and… well maybe children. Some things are out of our control , most most are not.

GET OUTSIDE

Sunlight, fresh air, dirt, and the sight of earthly objects (like trees, grass, clouds, etc…) all have positive effects on our health. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself inside. You also do not have to go out in public if you are worried, your backyard is just fine 🙂   15-20 minutes of sun hitting as much skin as possible may do the trick.

If you are not getting regular sun exposure, adding in 2,000-3,000 IUs of vitamin D3 with 100-200mcg vitamin K could be a great option.

 

In good health,

Kyle Flowers

 

Simple Yet Effective Case for Carbs

The later parts of the 20th century had the health and nutrition of America in shambles over the misinformation of the “dangers of fats”… The low fat craze was not the greatest for our health.

Fats are not bad… too much of the wrong kinds of fats can be bad… but what we know to be 100% certain is WE NEED FAT. It is essential to our health and when given the opportunity the fat we consume (just like all other nutrients) should come from the highest quality sources.

But anyways…

2020 has a new approach… well it started happening sooner than 2020 but if you wonder the grocery store today you will see KETO all over the place. Keto friendly stickers, keto products, keto this and that.

SO what has happened here is we made the amazing discovery that HEY WE CAN EAT FATS… and yes, shifting from high carb diets to high fat diets CAN HELP SOME PEOPLE IN A CONTROLLED SETTING WHEN DONE PROPERLY. So the food industry has capitalized on the opportunity to create “Keto friendly foods” and market these “healthy fat products.”

So the shift is official in the eyes of mainstream media… “FATS were the devil… now they are the savior… CARBS were the answer… now they are the devil and will make you gain bodyfat within thirty minutes of consumption (this is a joke)… Let me just tell you about protein real quick… just kidding… we aren’t ready for this, today is about carbs.

Vegetables are primarily carbs…I think we can all agree vegetables are a good choice for most humans.

Fruits are primarily carbs… Some experts are anti -fruit and the low carb- no sugar mafia has people in fear of fruit. Unless there are specific reasons to avoid or limit fruit  temporarily (for reasons like diabetes), then there is no reason to be scared of fruit.

50 grams of high fructose corn syrup in a Sonic slushie is a little different than 50 grams of carbohydrates from 2 dates and an apple… macro boy on Instagram may try to convince you that 50 carbs is 50 carbs but be smarter than Macro Boy… 50 grams of high fructose corn syrup is not comparable to 50 grams of carbohydrate from fruit containing a wide assortment of nutrients and fiber.


Carbs and Performance: 

Our training is the gym is high performance. You may not view yourself as an athlete or high performer but performing squats at high %s followed by high intensity workouts day in and day out requires FUEL not only to perform your best but to recovery physically AND MENTALLY.

LOW CARB DIETS in a clinical setting need to be monitored closely with blood work and they have a specific purpose.

LOW CARB DIETS outside of a clinical setting in combination with weight training, high intensity bouts of exercise, and in a real life environment ARE FLAT OUT RISKY, SILLY IN MOST CASES (not all), and when done improperly (without blood work, careful macro and micro nutrient counting and timing) and without a specific plan|purpose are not practical.

Weightlifting requires carbohydrate for fuel. Endurance or “cardio” requires fat and carbohydrate. In a nutshell, the higher the intensity gets, the more carb dominate your fuel sources become. High intensity training requires a lot of energy. All forms of training require energy and fuel… neglecting this fact and not properly fueling your body can result in DEPRESSION, LOSS OF LIBIDO THROUGH ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION (AKA HORMONE IMBALANCES), LACK OF MOTIVATION, MUSCLE LOSS, SLEEP DISRUPTION, INFLAMMATION, GUT ISSUES, and many more issues that can pile on top of each other when you are missing specific vitamins and minerals on top of lack of carbs, fats, or protein.

I believe MOST people, those who are not battling a chronic illness (the average gym go-er in our community) can benefit greatly by simply adding in some carbohydrate pre and post training.

This can be done so simply…

Personally, I aim for 50-75 grams of easy to digest carbohydrate before any weight training, mixed with 2.5 grams of creatine twice daily, and usually mixed with 10 grams of essential amino acids (because they digest easier for me than whey or vegan protein powder) and far better than any food protein sources. This is one area where living through better science certainly proves its case for training.

I also weigh ~190 and I am fairly lean. In most cases, the lower your bodyfat % and the stronger you are per lb of BW = better utilization of carbohydrates.

If I was trying to cut body-fat I would cut the pre-workout carbs in 1/2 to 25-35 grams.

If I was 150 lbs instead of 190 I would also cut the carbs down slightly.

If I was trying to gain weight to get to 200 lbs I would increase the carbs to about 90 grams of a simple and complex mix. EX: 1/2 grape juice 1/2 Karbolyn.

 

Summary: The dosage of carbs pre-workout depends on fitness goals, workload, and body composition, but it is not rocket science. Keep it simple, some carbs pre- workout can help ANY athlete.

Here are my easy, go-to options for pre-workout carbs: 

1.) 12-16 ounces of no sugar added grape juice

2.) 2 dates and a medium banana

or if I am down in the dumps…

3.) 1 scoop of karbolyn with some caffeine

 

If I am working out again within the next few hours or later in the day then I’ll do this AGAIN… TWO TIMES IN THE SAME DAY… and if I don’t then I feel lethargic, I am typically unable to hit my %s on the movements or if I am able to they feel a lot heavier than they normally do.

PRE-Workout carbs are my friend!

POST-Workout carbs are my friend!  – If there is ever a time where your body is going to utilize “the bad carbs” more efficiently than any other time it is pre and post training!

 

Here are my easy, go-to options for post-workout carbs: 

 

When trying to gain or maintain muscle during tough training bouts (like right now): 

1.) Chocolate milk + 1/2 bag of organic spinach + 1 scoop protein + 1 scoop of carbs = roughly 80 grams of carbs & 40 grams of protein.

2.) Coconut or almond milk + 1 & 1/2  scoops of protein + 20-30 grams of coconut sugar & a banana = roughly the same as above but a “vegan option”

 

When trying to maintain during easier sessions or if I feel like I’m getting congested | inflamed | or resting for a few days 

1.) 1/2 bag of organic frozen berries, banana, avocado, and scoop of protein or hemp seeds.

2.) Maybe just skip the carbs for a few days to keep my body guessing…. but ramp them back up when training intensity increases.

 

Summary: 

I believe most people will benefit greatly from proper carbohydrate timing pre and post workout. If you have any questions or concerns on the topic lets chat some time!

 

In good health,

Kyle

 

Getting Back on Track

Getting back on track after a break (more than 2 weeks) -or- in a “sore achy slump.”

Getting back on track or starting a new fitness adventure can go from a great idea full of spark and motivation to a week of crippling pain and regret real quick without a smart plan! I’ve been there, ready to get back where I was in my prime and mentally prepared to crush a week of workouts. There I was, so sore I was embarrassed to be at the gym and so worn out it was hard to get daily activities outside the gym completed.

A comeback doesn’t have to hurt! But you need to keep your pride aside, start back light, lessen the reps, “sandbag” the intensity for a bit, and get high quality nutrients to recover!

1.) Keep all lifts under 60% of your abilities for 2 weeks. Light-perfect movements.

2.) Cut total reps on workout in 1/2 (or more) and do not “redline” your heart rate. Just do the workout for movement and completion for at least 1 week.

3.) Be careful with extreme dieting. Often times people will decide to get back to working out and also jump into a carbohydrate restrictive diet. This can be shocking to your body and leave you mentally and emotionally exhausted.

4.) Talk with a coach about a safe and effective “come back” approach. We want you to accomplish your goals and feel your best. Communication with how you are feeling will help both sides!

KTX Fit Plantar Fasciitis Relief

Plantar fasciitis by definition is inflammation of the band of tissue (ligament) that connects the heel bone to the toes (plantar fascia) causing pain in the heels.

The pain is usually worst upon waking and typically subsides with proper warm up and movement. If left “untreated” you can be in crippling pain for months on in.

This is the protocol we prescribe for prevention and treatment.

Plantar Release

Ideally completed 2x daily until pain disappears then maintenance phase should only be needed 1-2x per week.

3 position- Basic Calf Stretch
:30 each position – each leg
(Use door or wall and prop toe as high as possible while maintaining a straight leg)


Sit on feet
1:30
(If this is too painful, use a chair or bench to assist in stretch)

Calf Raises
25 reps with toes pointed out
25 reps with toes straight ahead
25 reps with toes pointed in 



Lacrosse or Golf Ball in arch
2:00 each foot
Find tender or “inflamed” portion of the arch don’t MASH rather find the soft spots and sit/hold ball in the area until pain subsides.  Curl toes then flex toes back and forth a few times in each spot.


Foam roll calves & soleus
-at least 15 passes up and down each leg

Banded Foot Extensions
25 reps each leg
-in a seated position, hold band on foot with leg straight. Press foot into band then relax. Focus on bringing toes closer and closer to your shin each rep. (Contract-relax method)

Rock bottom squat hold (assisted if needed)
1:00
With knees and feet together hold the rock bottom squat position. If mobility does not allow for this, use a support beam or table to assist.


It is important to note plantar fasciitis is typically caused by inflammation and lack of range of motion in the plantar/dorsiflexion of the feet, ankles, and calves. This protocol will support these areas while increasing the range of motion. A diet low in inflammatory foods will speed up and prevent future issues.

KTXLIFE Podcast Episode 11

Click the link below to listen on podcast app or search KTXLIFE in Spotify music app:

KTX LIFE EPISODE 11

In this short and sweet podcast Kyle’s discussion is focused around CrossFit and training styles.

Topics of discussion:

Hero workouts

CF “Girls” the benchmarks

CF Games this weekend

Can muscle and cardio co-exist 💟 ?

reps for strength vs power vs muscle endurance 💪🏻

importance of rest periods ⏰

effects of cardio before strength, power, or muscle endurance 🚲

effects of strength, power, or muscle endurance BEFORE cardio

mitochondrial density 👨‍🔬

Meatless Burgers

The “meatless burger” menu has expanded recently due to the growing number of vegetarian curious humans…

This is fine…

HOWEVER

We have yet to find store bought options that are truly healthy options. Most are loaded with cheap vegetable oils, fillers, not so natural flavors and junk.

The good news 📺 is…

Google is awesome.

Instead of relying on manufacturing companies to create a healthy processed & packaged meatless burger… buy fresh- real food ingredients and make them at home!

Recipes:

Black Bean Burger

Quinoa Burger

Walnut Mushroom Veggie Burger

KTX Natural Sunscreen

Traditional leading brands of sunscreens are full of harmful chemicals and toxins.

There are more than a few issues with lathering our bodies with this type of  “protection.” FEAR NOT.  Here we come to save the summer… KTX Natural Zinc Lavender Sunscreen for your DIY needs!

A few reasons we believe most sunscreens are trash rather than protection:

1.) Many sunscreens and their ingredients interfere with the utilization of Vitamin D from the sun. The sun is detoxifying (by design) and we not only block this mechanism, or at least minimize it, but we also decrease the absorption of one of the greater cancer fighting vitamins available… vitamin D.

2.) Chemicals commonly used in sunscreen are known to be endocrine disruptors, estrogenic and may interfere with thyroid and other hormone processes in the body.

3.) The most common sunscreen chemical, oxybenzone, was found in 96% of the population by a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This is especially alarming since oxybenzone is considered an endocrine disruptor, can reduce sperm count in men and may contribute to endometriosis in women.

4.) The EWG warns against using oxybenzone, especially on children or pregnant/breastfeeding women.

5.) Rather than us having to “prove these chemicals are dangerous” they should first have to prove they are safe before selling us the products. Environmental concerns led Hawaii to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. The ban cited these chemicals as harmful to coral reefs and ocean life. Other places have followed suit, including places like Key West in Florida. Why would we use this on our skin?

6.) Artificial flavors -or- scents as well as the ones that add colors are also estrogenic. For those who care. Why does a sunscreen need to have colors added?  How do you know if colors are added? They list on the ingredients RED (#), BLUE (#), LAKE(#), YELLOW (#)… none of them are safe. Just because you do not die instantly does not mean they are healthy for you.

A short list of other “things” we found in leading brands (even many “natural” ones):

Keep in mind… it took awhile to write these out, there is no way I’m going to examine each one… some may not be bad at all but why risk it when you can do without them?

Avobenzone
Homosalate
Octisalate
Octocrylene
Oxybenzone
Phenyl trimethicone
Ethyl methicone
Triethoxycaprylysilane
Dicaprylyl ether
Ethylexyl isononanoate
PVP
Dimethicone dymethicone crosspolumer
Polyester-27
Acrylates c12-22 alkyl methacrylate

And a short list from the leading “BABY LOTIONS”:

This is the disturbing list… how do we have to recommend people consult their physician to use our homemade suncreens but then this is a list sold for $14 to put on babies? I would NEVER put this on a baby.

Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Octyldodecyl Citrate Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glycerin, Ethyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Silica, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Flower/Leaf/Stem Juice, Glyceryl Behenate, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Dimethicone/Bis-Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

Lastly, how does 96% of the population encounter oxybenzone? Well, most “things” with the letters “BENZ” in the name are estrogenic in nature. They linger around in our water (similar to ATROZENE) and other herbicides/pesticides like the more popular Roundup Glyphosate…

CHALLENGE: Next time you are in a public swimming pool, river, or lake look around at how many people are lathering these chemicals all over their skin… then look at how the chemicals float on top of the water around these groups of people. Then, watch as they come up out of the water and have a mouthful to spit out… I’m sure the fish love it… and the frogs.

BEFORE WE CONTINUE: WE ARE NOT ADVOCATING AVOIDING SUNSCREENS, especially with long term sun expsosure! – Just the poopy ones. 

Just like in our food chain, we are pushing for cleaner sources. Earth provides every tool we need to live long prosperous lives, we just need to pay attention. Below is one alternative- The KTX sunscreen.

The upfront cost of these supplies is an immediate “turn off.” Purchasing what you need on Amazon will cost around $60 but then you will have way too much sunscreen so unless you are “TEAM MOM” it makes sense to pitch in with a group of like minded humans (or give it to all your children’s friend’s parents so your child isn’t swallowing their friend’s chemicals). Hehe- that was a joke… kind of. You can create a large amount and as you will see BELOW the healthier sunscreens are not cheap. But how many tubs of sunscreen do you go through per year? Not that many…

What you will need:

Coconut Oil
Raspberry Seed Oil
Lavender Oil
Frankincense Oil
100% Zinc Oxide Powder
Shea Butter
Glass Jar

Why we chose each ingredient: (The nerdy stuff)

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil should not be used as a stand-alone sunscreen. You can find battles in the DIY community vs. the I hate everyone community & it is comical. At the end of the day coconut oil has a very low SPF (but still some) but it is very good for your skin… it is the “base” of this formula, we use it for oil (like a lotion) not for the “sun protective properties.” We just need to make that clear.

Raspberry Seed Oil

Raspberry Seed Oil (RSO) has a lot of misinformation behind it… Here at KTX we have formed the belief that it is great for your skin, great in addition to OTHER sunscreen ingredients, and just… GREAT.

If you are interested in a long post on raspberry seed oil benefits here is a link… https://thebestorganicskincare.com/7-fantastic-raspberry-seed-oil-benefits-healthy-skin-for-life/

For those who are skeptical… here is a paragraph from one of the most detailed reads on SPF you will ever find… with the nerdy link below it.

“It is also noted that red raspberry seed oil and caneberry seed oil may be used as all natural SPF essential oils. In the present disclosure an SPF of 30 or greater is enabled using red raspberry seed oil (in lieu of titanium dioxide) in a 4:1 ratio with ZnO (16%) concentration to raise the SPF of a base formulation to above SPF 30. With an 11% concentration of ZnO and red raspberry seed oil in a 4:1 ratio, a spray formulation with an SPF 22 was achieved. The amount of the ultramarine pigment in the composition can range from about 0 to about 25 weight percent of the composition, and preferably from about 1 to about 5 weight percent of the final formulation. Optionally, the sunscreen emulsion can contain one or more additional ingredients, including emollients, waterproofing agents, dry-feel modifiers, insect repellants, antimicrobial preservatives and/or fragrances.”

https://patents.google.com/patent/US9095522B2/en

Lavender Oil

Honestly, it smells delightful. But there is plenty of Google-able information available on lavender’s healing properties. That is why it was our fragrance of choice. If you are concerned about lavender being “bad for boys” fear not… the estrogenic nature of lavender oil compared to things like flax, soy, fragrances, plastics, dyes, etc. is so marginal it is a joke… the joke is so strong that if you use sunscreen from a plastic bottle you are guaranteed to have more of an estrogenic effect than using lavender. The pros outweigh the cons. Don’t buy into the nonsense.

Frankincense Oil

Known as the king of oils. Frankincense oil promotes healthy cell regeneration and keeps existing cells and tissues healthy. It’s useful for skin health, and can help treat dry skin, reverse signs of aging and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.

100% Zinc Oxide Powder

The key SPF ingredient in the mix.

Zinc oxide particles in sunscreen sit invisibly on the surface of your skin bouncing the UV rays off like balls bouncing off a hard surface. There is no chemical reaction at your skin level as there is with chemical sunscreens.

-One of the two UV-A1 sunscreen ingredients approved by the FDA. The other one, avobenzone Is too sketchy in our opinion.

-Gives you broad spectrum protection from UVB all the way through to UV-A1, meaning your skin is getting the best sun protection possible.

-Stable sunscreen ingredient that is much less likely than chemical ingredients to break down in the bottle or on your skin.

-Gives broader protection than titanium dioxide and is cosmetically more elegant to use (aka invisible on your skin)

-Does not typically irritate sensitive skin.

-Not absorbed into your body; it stays on your skin where you put it and where it can protect you from the sun.

Shea Butter

Shea butter is a skin superfood that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and that is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers UV protection (it is SPF ~6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.

But if you need more… https://wellnessmama.com/27324/shea-butter-benefits/

Sunscreen Brewmaster Period of Instruction:

Combine following ingredients in a glass jar*

1 Cup Coconut Oil
1.5 Tablespoons Raspberry Seed Oil
2 Tablespoons Shea Butter

Place glass jar in a pan that has a few inches of water slightly heated (we had it on 3) until it was all melted together then turn off the heat…

Once mixture has melted together stir in the master SPF:

2 tablespoons of Zinc Oxide powder.

Once the lotion has cooled add the following*:

10 Drops Lavender Oil
10 Drops Frankincense Oil

*We did not want to cook the essential oils. They have nourishing properties & they might remain after heating, but we did not want to risk it.

The sunscreen is ready for use at this point, however it seemed “more legit” after sitting out a day or so.

Notes:

We made a bulk batch… so to come up with these numbers we just divided the total amounts used by 12… also, this is not advanced chemistry, if you add more or less of each ingredient you will be just fine.

*8+ oz mason jar should be fine. Just make sure the opening is large enough for your hand when it is time to apply. We ordered the fancy looking jars on Amazon. I will use a mason jar next time because it was a mess.

You could use more or less zinc oxide depending on the level of blockage you desire. This amount did not leave the skin white and prevented all “test subject” participants from sunburn at the beach. Tanning still occurred.

FAQs

Please ship any questions to the comments or email info@ktx.fit ! 

1.

Q: Is this safe for babies?

A: Always consult your physician. However, when inspecting “leading brands” of baby/toddler sunscreens it is astonishing how many chemicals are in some of these. So, always keep an eye on the ingredients.

2.

Q: What is the total SPF?

A: We have not tested this in a lab, so the exact number is unclear. The more zinc oxide you add the greater protection you will have.

3.

Q: Can I use different essential oils rather than lavender and frankincense?

A: Yes.

4.

Q: Does the oil separate?

A: We experienced some separation as the warm liquid began to cool off (harden). Simply swirl your finger in the sunscreen before applying. (We assume this is the reason for many additives in traditional sunscreens.