Posts Tagged ‘health’

Eating for Performance (Basics-Fats)

Today will wrap up the basics of essential macros for performance nutrition.


Just a reminder for those who missed previous posts, this is for athletes eating for performance goals specifically NOT muscle gain, weight loss, or health – just straight up performance.





As previously mentioned, after total needed caloric intake has been established, carbohydrate intake is likely the limiting factor in energy for athletes.


Once carbs have been established you will ensure that adequate protein is maintained and hopefully not over-consumed.


This leaves us with the remainder of the calories coming from fats.


👻I have to say it was VERY challenging for me to keep this one simple since fats are farrrrrr from simple. But we will dive deep many moons down the road on advanced fats.


Since the high-performance diet for sport leaves a small amount of wiggle room for fat consumption compared to carbs and protein it is vital to focus on quality fat sources to ensure optimal performance can occur.



Without going crazy on which types of fats and exactly how much of each is ideal (advanced nutrition) I’ll keep it simple and say:




1️⃣             Saturated fats – (most animal products/ coconut & palm oils)


2️⃣             Monounsaturated fats – (olive oil, avocado, macadamia nuts)


3️⃣             Polyunsaturated fats- (seeds & most vegetables oils)


It would be very easy to go down rabbit holes of which ones are good/bad/ugly/ etc… at the end of the day for athletes focused on performance (basics)… keep a balanced diet of fats and you will probably be OKAY.



If you log your food and 80% of your daily fat intake is regularly from the same exact food source then maybe raise an eyebrow and get it fixed.  (This would typically happen with saturated and polyunsaturated fats).  I’ve never encountered an athlete consuming an over abundance of monounsaturated fats on the regular.



It is important for athletes to get the minimum necessary amount of ESSENTIAL fats for these reasons:


1.)           Required for normal skin health. ✅


2.)           Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E, & K) must be delivered in a fat package. 💊+🥑+☀️ =✅


3.)           Necessary for neural function and growth. 🧠


4.)           Improved release of somatotropin (growth hormone). 👍


5.)           Reduction of inflammation (unless there is an imbalance). ✅




Higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids could potentially give the following performance advantages: 🔥🔥


1.)           Enhancement of aerobic metabolic processes.


2.)           Reduce the ability of red blood cells to congregate (decreasing the change of unwanted blood clots).





On the contrary, too much fat intake is typically associated with REDUCED ATHLETIC performance.


1️⃣   It is very easy to go overboard on fat sources when eating processed foods containing oils.


2️⃣   Excess fat calories can limit the required intake of protein and carbohydrate.


3️⃣    Athletes should note that excess amounts of fat can raise triglycerides and cholesterol levels beyond what would be considered ideal particularly when combined with HIGH AMOUNTS OF CARBOHYDRATES. 🍕🍟🍔 = 😮



^^^ This is usually NOT the case when consuming the same amount of fats on a moderate to low carb diet, which we will discuss in eating for health.  High carb does not typically go well with high fat.  Carbs and fats are not bros. ❌



When excess fats can help athletic performance: 🤔


1️⃣             When athletes have a hard time sustaining weight even with adequate carb and protein requirements being met (eat more fat).  Many times these athletes are called “hard-gainers” or “ectomorphs.”


2️⃣             When athletes need to consume 4,000+ total calories in a day… this can be challenging off primarily carbs and protein. Usually endurance athletes.


Note – doing 4-5 cardio sessions per week does not qualify as an endurance athlete.  Endurance athletes are typically 10+ sessions per week and multiple hours per session.


3.)           ^ MCT oils could be a great option for “hard-gainers” or athletes who struggle to get in enough total calories because they are easy to consume and can be used strategically for performance aid.




In a nutshell 🥜,  I recommend athletes eating for performance to:


1️⃣             Avoid oils, butter, cooking with added fats, and avoid processed foods with added fats when possible.


2️⃣             Get a good portion of the saturated fats from fatty fish like salmon, grass fed meats (better omega 3 balance), or other whole food sources.


3️⃣             Get the remainder of balanced fats from vegetables, nuts (brazil, pecan, walnut, & macadamia), avocados, and hummus (blended sesame seeds).


4️⃣             Avoid HIGH fat meals within 2-3 hours pre workout and 2-3 hours post workout.



This wraps up essential macronutrients for performance (the basics).



Eating for Performance (Basics- Protein)

Many athletes consider protein to the most important nutrient for success. As discussed previously, I believe carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient for performance and see too many athletes consuming excess protein (beyond what is ideal) leading to limiting the intake of other essential nutrients that are critical to high level performance.


To contradict that point, I also see too many athletes consuming far less than ideal protein, which is generally worse for performance than consuming too much. 🤯


Protein is essential and the right amounts are needed for brain health, muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair, nails, hormones, hemoglobin, blood, and much more so it is crucial to get the minimum requirements for performance but also keeping in mind that you will want to stay under the maximum recommended amounts to MAXIMIZE your nutrition plan.



Protein demand for performance is primarily dictated by these 3 factors


1️⃣             Muscle damage created during exercise resulting in increased protein requirements for tissue repair.


2️⃣             The amount of protein used for energy rises as muscle glycogen decreases.   (Utilizing proteins for fuel is not ideal). I consider it wasteful, and your body loses excess water in this process as well. This point makes the case for pre and intra workout carbohydrates even more valuable.


3️⃣             Weight of the athlete (most of the world uses KGs… I will use LBs)





🚨🚨The amount of protein required to maintain proper nitrogen balance in performance nutrition should be between .8 and 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and fall between 15-20% of TOTAL daily calories. 🚨🚨


This number is based on the assumption that ideal carbohydrate and fat intake has been achieved. 👍




Circling back to Marisa’s ❤️ numbers.


We have her total daily carbohydrates during performance training cycles at 55-65% total daily calories.


We have her total protein at 15-20% total daily calories.


Her daily average is roughly 1,900 calories at body weight 107 lbs.


Current macro goals:


Carbs – 285 grams (60%) (minimum)


Protein – 85 grams (18%)


Fats – (% will fill in the remainder of calories- which we will discuss in our next post)



Let’s take a moment to hold up because this is going to take a bit of explaining…


Reminder: this series is about PERFORMANCE nutrition. Not gaining muscle, burning fat, building a bigger chest, or fixing your health.


I am aware that most Instagram models, bodybuilders, high school heroes who no longer exercise who know all the answers etc. will have mixed advice on macro amounts. It’s all fun and games until you’re getting smoked at the competition.


In other words… “If you’re eating like an Instagram model you’re going to get smoked at the competition.” 🐒🐒🐒


The main reason behind this is…


🔥 If you are eating more than your bodyweight in protein, I am willing to bet you are not eating enough carbohydrates and likely too much fat to perform at 100% in the sport. 🔥


More muscle does not necessarily mean more strength. I believe many fitness athletes get confused because they follow the advice of bodybuilders (who generally consume more protein than most athletes) and feel like that will help their performance. Strength and power are performance-based goals that requires adequate fuel (carbs) and should not be confused with hypertrophy and eating for aesthetics or “gaining.”


Prioritizing mirror gainz over performance gainz will come in our EATING FOR BODY COMPOSITION discussion.


Lastly, there is an idea that high amounts of protein must be consumed in a magical post workout “anabolic window.” Listen, I know it sounds cool and many people can benefit from protein shakes post workout.


I also believe athletes should consume some protein post workout but the most valuable tool post workout for performance is…. drum roll… glycogen replenishment. Which, as previously discussed will come from carbohydrates and fluids.    🧃💦


Note: I did not make the above statement to deter protein use post workout. I am encouraging athletes focused on performance to consume protein WITH carbohydrates and never alone for enhanced muscle protein synthesis and to replenish depleted glycogen stores.





📝Key notes regarding protein for performance: 📝


1.)           1 gram of protein = 4 calories which is the same as carbohydates per gram.


2.)           Protein requirements for those who exercise is nearly double that of sedentary people. The general food recommendations should never be applied for performance nutrition.


3.)           The liver is the central processing unit for protein synthesis. If you have elevated liver enzymes on a blood panel, you could research ways to cleanse and improve those numbers to help utilize proteins and for general overall well-being.


4.)           Vegan athletes should consider supplementing the essential amino acid L-Leucine as well as many other nutrients we will discuss in the future.


5.)           Whey protein and essential amino acid supplements appear to be the highest bioavailable protein sources.


6.)           If you would like modern research regarding protein check out the research from Brad Schoenfeld, PhD and “protein expert” Stuart Phillips, PhD and his team at McMaster University.


7.)           Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of post-exercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. (

Eating in a Deficit (Basics)

Here is a 7 day series covering some of the basics of macros and eating in a deficit.


Day 1

Eating in a Deficit

If your goal is to burn body fat and/ or weight loss you need to look at what you’re eating on a weekly basis!

You can do all the fitness in the world and eat the healthiest foods out there but still gain body fat if you aren’t eating ideal amounts of protein and If you aren’t eating in a caloric deficit.    This can be very frustrating for people!

🔥 The only way to burn body fat is to be in a caloric deficit. 🔥

The only way to truly know, is to track your macros for a while! It can be quite humbling.

BUT: For most athletes, it is not a good idea to be in a caloric deficit 7 days per week. This can lead to “under recovering”, diminishing performance, and is typically not sustainable.

I recommend staying in a caloric deficit 4 days per week, on lighter workout and recovery days and utilizing 3 “re-feed” days where you are not in a surplus but eating at least your base metabolic rate in calories.  (If you do not know your base metabolic rate BMR, the Inbody scan is a great option or you can use an online calculator that could help get you started).

The total weekly caloric intake will still be at a deficit if the re-feed days do not send you over.  If you go over, it’s unlikely you will burn fat.

This is a great way to burn fat and still see performance results.

If you need help putting a plan together, share your goals with a coach!

Day 2

In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.

Today we are going to discuss how to establish a general baseline and begin tracking your nutrition.

First off, I never want to downplay the importance of quality food in your life. I say life but I’m referring to your diet or what goes in your body. The word diet is just sketchy because then it sounds temporary. If you say life… then it sounds like you’re making long term decisions.  I just want to make it 100% clear going into the “MACROS” talk… that although we are talking strictly #s – carbs, fats, proteins, water, and calories you should always assume we want the highest quality in each category… nutrient dense carbs (not white sugar), nutrient dense fats (not canola or other refined oils), quality proteins, and clean -mineral rich water sources.


  1. Establish your base metabolic rate (BMR) –the number of calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic life-sustaining functions.
  1. Most accurate: Schedule an Inbody scan with one of our coaches!  All access members get these included in your membership! All others – this is only $20!
  2. Not quite as accurate but a good starting point: use an online calculator!

  • Download a “macro” tracking APP

There are thousands to choose from. I am recommending My Fitness Pal because the basic version is free, simple to use, and I am familiar with the APP.  If your friend sells you on one just make sure its simple and not wasting your money.

Tip #1 : don’t follow the recommendations on these apps. They are “general” and if you haven’t noticed based on the general FDA guidelines, food pyramid, and everything else “generally speaking” the average numbers lead to sub -average results.

Tip #2 : don’t follow the diet of the 21 year old Instagram model -or- professional athlete marketing their 6 weeks shredded jacked & tan program… I mean you can, but come back to me in 12 weeks & let me know how it went.

Tip #3 : follow along this mini series & apply the steps… I bet you will learn something & make progress or your $$$ back guaranteed 😊

Tip #4 : ask a coach for guidance if you feel lost/overwhelmed!   We’ve probably made the same mistakes before.

  • Plug in your “macro” goals.

Macros = carbs, fats, protein = total calories.

Sorry to leave you on a hanger! Tomorrow we will go over the very basics of establishing your “macro goals.”

Homework assignment : download a macro APP & establish a baseline BMR so we can set up your numbers!

Day 3

In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.

In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.

Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”

Your nutrition APP should allow for you to set goals for PROTEINS, FATS, & CARBS.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND … Everyone is unique based on age, sex, hormones, body fat levels, muscle, lipid status, gut health, activity level, insulin sensitivity, yada yada… these are BASIC – GENERAL starting points (guidelines) and depending on the time of the month, year, season of life etc. the exact same macro nutrients will probably not be perfect 365 days per year. You need to be adaptable in nutrition just like you are at home and in the workplace etc.

STEP 1:   Establishing your protein needs.

Assuming if you read this you participate in at least the following activities: strength training, cardiovascular endurance, muscle endurance, speed, powerlifting, agility…

ALL OF THESE ACTIVITIES INCREASE YOUR NEED FOR PROTEIN.  I will dive deep with you in specific needs of aminos for joint health, brain function, connective tissue repair, muscle recovery, gut health, etc. when we pass the basics course but for now just accept the fact that if you are living the KTX LIFESTYLE YOU NEED MORE THAN THE FDA RECOMMENDED AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN TO RECOVER AND LIVE OPTIMALLY!

If you are trying to burn fat you need protein, if you are trying to gain muscle you need protein, if you are trying to maintain… you still need that protein. Sorry.

Minimum protein goal:  .7 grams per pound of bodyweight

Maximum protein goal: 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight

Use a calculator and multiple your weight by somewhere between .7 and 1.2.


  1. Humans with higher amounts of bodyfat (25% or more) typically respond better to lower amounts of protein… like .7 – .8 grams per lb of bodyweight. Sometimes slightly less, depending on how much muscle they have and hormone status.
  • Leaner humans (12% or less), typically respond better to higher amounts of protein… like .9 to 1.2 grams per lb of bodyweight. The amount in this range usually depends on activity level.
  • Living optimally on the lower side of this protein recommendation COULD potentially lead to a longer lifespan… If you want resources for this data Google search scholarly articles regarding the information.
  • Eating for performance & getting as lean as possible COULD have you eating on the higher end of this protein recommendation… that doesn’t mean you can’t live a long healthy life because you consumed more protein.
  • A good indicator for optimal protein levels is your (BUN) status on a blood panel. We will go into those details down the road.
  • I believe it is best to CYCLE between higher and lower protein loads. Don’t stick to the same exact amount 365 days per year.

Well, there you have it… there are some basic protein guidelines. In the next series, we will go deep into protein, carbs, fats etc. but for now there you go.

Next we will go over the very basics of establishing your carbohydrate needs.

Homework assignment: calculate your protein needs & plug your protein goals into your APP.

Day 4

In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.

In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.

In post 3 we covered the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”

Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “fat goals.”

I originally said we would cover carbs next, but I changed my mind & decided to cover fats first 😊

Please note: these recommendations, along with my guidelines for protein and carbs are a great place to start for the majority of people who are not obese, lifting weights regularly, and who have not yet started the final 3rd of their life expectancy (let’s ballpark 55 and over…)  These guidelines will more than likely “work” decently for those who do not fall into these categories, and could work for those who do fall in one of those categories just please understand the reality of nutrition is that it’s very individual and please bear with me on that limitation.


Most people will find while cutting bodyfat 15 – 25% of total calories will come from fat. Personally, I would never stay at 15% fat for more than 4 weeks at a time without bumping up to 25-30% for hormonal and health reasons.

Minimum fat goal for cutting:  15% of total daily calories

Maximum fat goal for cutting: 25% of total daily calories

Each gram of fat = 9 calories

Step 1: Establish your daily caloric needs (BMR) and set calories in your APP.

Step 2: Establish your daily protein goals and set # in your app.

Step 3: Establish your starting point for fats.

Example: if your daily goals are 2000 calories and %20 of the calories come from fat you will consume 400 calories per day from fats. 400 divided by 9 = 44/45 grams of fat

My opinions regarding fats.

  1. You should almost in no circumstance consistently stay on a high fat, high carbohydrate diet. If your fats are high, your carbs should be low, and if your fats are low your carbs should be higher to make up the difference in energy.
  2. Opt for fats from whole foods rather than oils more often than not (80% or more).
  3. Refined, processed, and rancid oils/fats are one of the greatest (if not the greatest) contributors to the health crisis we are dealing with in our country today, and often overlooked when compared to “sugar” and other chemicals.
  4. When eating out… you can almost be certain the fats in the food are the poorest quality options available. In my opinion, this is the worst issue with eating out on a regular basis.
  5. The only oil supplements I would consume are cod liver oil and krill oil. I do not trust many other types. There is an issue with quality standards on supplemental oils (in my opinion).

Next, we will “for real” go over the basics of carbohydrates.

For now, you can plug in your protein, fats, and then the remainder of your daily calories will come from carbs.  That will get you started.

Day 5

In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.

In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.

In post 3 we covered the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”

In post 4 we covered the very basics of establishing your “fat goals.”

Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “carbohydrate goals.”


I am discussing carbohydrates for “fat loss” and general health—à NOT performance-based nutrition.   It is important to understand there is a HUGE-BIGLY difference in eating for performance compared to eating for general health/ body composition.

We will talk about performance-based nutrition when we go into detailed discussions in the second series.


Step 1: Establish your daily caloric needs (BMR) and set calories in your APP.

Step 2: Establish your daily protein goals and set # in your app.

Step 3: Establish your starting point for fat and set # in your app.

At this point the remainder of your calories should come from carbohydrate.

EXAMPLE: If your Inbody scan shows a BMR of 2,000 calories and you are 200 lbs trying to cut down to 180 lbs.

Protein: .85 grams per lb of bodyweight until goal is reach = 170 grams = 640 calories
Fats : 20% target until goal is reached = 44 grams = 400 calories
Carbs: BMR = 2,000 calories – 640 P cals – 400 F cals = 960 calories = 240 carbs

My macro goals would be: 170g protein + 44g fat + 240 carbs

I would plan to exercise enough to burn 500 daily calories for a weekly caloric deficit of 3,500 calories to aim for 1lb of fat loss per week.

At this rate I would hit my goal of 180 in 20 weeks (4-5 months) and would maintain or possibly even gain muscle along the way, rather than yo-yo dieting or wrecking my metabolism and hormones.

Things to note about carbohydrates:

  1. The higher the exercise intensity, the greater the reliance on carbs as fuel.
  2. Athletes should consume enough carbs to allow for recovery after physical activity and provide proper energy (fuel) for following workouts/daily activities.
  3. Inadequate carbohydrate stores in the body during exercise can cause low blood sugar and muscle breakdown to supply fuel for the brain in a process called “gluconeogenesis.”  For this reason, I do not recommend a “low carb diet” mixed with high intensity exercises without professional guidance and caution. I’m not claiming it is impossible to do high intensity workouts on a low -carb diet, I am suggesting that if you aren’t very careful you can cause more harm than good.
  4. If you have diabetes, insulin resistance, or have specific recommendations from a physician to eat a low carb diet, please consult a dietitian who specializes in that area and do not follow my general guidelines.

***Nutrient deficiencies can inhibit oxygen delivery to cells, which will impair your performance. Impaired performance = decrease in power output = less results. ***

HOMEWORK: Complete these basic steps. Aim to hit your new MACRO GOALS for the remainder of this week!

Now that we have wrapped up the very basics of establishing macros I will discuss how I believe you can set yourself up for success in nutrition, what sustainable fat loss and muscle gain goals look like, and other strategies to help you succeed on your nutrition journey!   That will wrap up series ONE. Please let a coach know if you have any questions!

Day ??

Don’t forget the fiber!

What is often left out of discussion is “FIBER.” Although fiber technically falls under CARBS some preach they should not be added to carb totals & others oppose the idea… neither is right or wrong because there are no ABSOLUTES in nutrition.

What I can tell you is that eating a diet rich in fiber means your carbohydrate sources are typically coming from whole food sources such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains rather than flours, juices, and sugars. – Try to debate which of those sides is healthier.

Day 6

Now that we have wrapped up the very basics of establishing macros, we are going to discuss setting yourself up for success with nutrition. THE BASICS. I am going to target fat loss first, as this tends to be the 90%. The 10% who want to gain muscle can still apply fat loss techniques to prevent gaining too much bodyfat on their muscle gain journey.

While I know it can be tempting to try immediate & drastic fat loss challenges, the long-term results usually end up looking like a roller coaster ride.  Long term-sustainable (LIFESTYLE) changes are what bring on true results. This applies to positive AND negative results. Years and years of either A or B = what you end up with.

The ability to have a wild and crazy bender during vacation or overindulge on those holiday and celebratory weekends and immediately get back into a routine all comes down to your habits (lifestyle). You can’t expect to jump right back into a routine that hasn’t been successfully carried out and tested before.

A man I look up to greatly has repeatedly said the following…” WHAT HASN’T BEEN TESTED CANNOT BE TRUSTED.”

Taking steps towards changing your overall lifestyle will help prevent disaster to your goals as soon as a stressor (like a pandemic for example) comes along! It takes consistent effort (work) and discipline to establish new habits but once they are developed you can reap the benefits (rewards) and enjoy feeling better than before.

If you have established healthy nutrition habits over an extended period (YEARS… not a few weeks or months) … an extreme challenge can be a fun experiment! But I truly believe the basics should be stress free & happen like clockwork before this is even a thought.

If you jump right into a 6 week strict paleo plan with no eating out etc. then what happens when the 6 weeks is over? Where do you go next?  If it isn’t planned out I would be willing to bet you would (fall back into your old habits) pretty much immediately. – If you are satisfied with where you are in regards to your health and want a challenge then jumping into a 6 week challenge makes more sense.

That’s just my opinion, feel free to disagree.

When I say basics, I am meaning —->  = Eat mostly (80% or more) of your nutrition from vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts, seeds… and the remaining 20% (or less) from starches, grains, and “whatever else.”   Drink lots of clean water, black coffee, and unsweetened herbal teas for your liquids.

Messing around with an extreme fad diet that teaches you nothing along the way except how to be extreme just to hit your goal weight for a wedding or beach vacation just to return home & “relapse” on old habits is my definition of a roller coaster ride.  If you enjoy the ride, I won’t try to stop you from riding it.

BUT: It doesn’t have to be like that! It also doesn’t have to be extreme or stressful. You should be able to feel great, and the process should be enjoyable or somethin’ ain’t right!  The “relapse” could be like “HEY I don’t feel that great from this crazy holiday week, I’m excited to get back into my routine!”

My goal of this message was to (hopefully) detour a few minds from extreme fad diets to shift focus towards creating healthier long-term habits and thinking of a lifestyle rather than a short-term fix or “bandaid.”

I hope on this journey we can all drop (or cut down on) some habits that are adding stress or holding us back from our goals and replace them with some habits that help us feel better.

HOMEWORK: Think of a few changes you could make to help you reach your goals and improve your quality of life.    This does not have to be a life changing goal. It could be something as simple as “I want to drink more water on a regular basis.” Or… “I want to quit eating ice cream before bed for a few months.”

Tomorrow we are going to go over what a low stress- sustainable caloric deficit looks like and how you could plan out a week of macros in your APP.

I would plan to weigh in DAILY.



Day 7

So, what is a low stress, sustainable caloric deficit to aim for?  – The most accurate answer depends on your goals and lifestyle factors, but there’s always a place to start without getting deep into the weeds…

A “safe starting point” for most people is a 300-500 caloric deficit 3-4 days per week and 3-4 days right around the BMR or base metabolic rate.

EXAMPLE: If my Inbody scan shows a BMR of 2000 calories I could set a fat loss deficit as follows…

M – 1700 cals (normal workout day- easy day to plan meals)
T – 1700 cals (normal workout day – easy day to plan meals)
W- 2100 cals (normal workout day – usually random things pop up & we like to enjoy a large dinner w/ maybe a few drinks )
TH – 1300 cals (rest day- good day to intermittent fast & only eat lunch & dinner without overly feeling hungry)
Fr- 1800 cals
Sat – 2400 cals
Sun – 1500 cals

Total weekly deficit = 1,500 cals

Expected fat loss = approx .5 lbs   or  ( 2 lbs bodyfat loss per month)

This may not seem like a lot but 2 lbs of body fat per month = 26 lbs of bodyfat in a year… if you have the mindset of lifelong investment on your body here, this is realistic and awesome!

Roller Coaster Weekly EXAMPLE: (and what usually happens without at least some accountability or idea of what’s going on…)

M – 1700 cals  (perfect)
T- 1700 cals (perfect… right on track for the week)
W- 2400 cals (had a fun night.. its all good Ill get back on track tomorrow)
Th- 1200 cals – (didn’t want to eat a lot… and then forgot to eat)
FR – 3000 cals – ( woke up starving and tired because undereating Thursday so had a big breakfast and went out after work & got off track)
Sat- 2500 cals – (insert fun thing here)
Sun- 2500 cals – (Not too bad, but ill get back on track Monday!)

Total weekly SURPLUS = +1000 cals

Expected weight gain = approximately .25 – .5 lbs

At first glance the bodyfat loss and gain examples do not seem extreme. We are always great at looking and thinking short term.  Looking over the course of a year though… example A could potentially lead to 26 lbs of bodyfat loss and example B could lead to 13-26 lbs of weight gain.

Compound these habits 2,3,4… 10… 20 years and you start to see the big picture.

Weekly deficit goals:

  1. If your goal is to lose .5 lb per week aim for a weekly deficit of around 1500 calories.
  2. If your goal is to lose 1lb per week aim for a weekly deficit of around 3,000-4,000 calories.
  3. You can add in extra exercise/activity to burn additional calories… which will allow you to eat the same number but remain in a larger “deficit” of calories.

Personal advice — > what works when I am trying to cut:

  1. Lowest calorie days + intermittent fasting on rest/recovery/ lower stress days of the week. For me this is Thursday & Sunday.  I enjoy days where I’m not eating meals all day, if that is not enjoyable to you then aim for a different route!
  2. Plan a higher calorie day on a hard workout day, a day where I will be eating with friends and family or eating out, and DO NOT feel guilty about my decisions. Give thanks and enjoy the party!
  3. Being in a deficit 5+ days per week with 1 or 2 days at my BMR or higher has never worked for me. I feel drained, “hangry”, sleep and recovery suffer, and I can usually go 2-3 weeks before I’m ready to quit. None of that is enjoyable to me.
  4. After a few years of habitual efforts you will not have to plan weeks/days very often (if ever)… you will figure out what works pretty quick!


Plan the best days of YOUR week for a deficit and days you enjoy more food/drinks. This will help plan your week.

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.



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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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


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?

Phenyl trimethicone
Ethyl methicone
Dicaprylyl ether
Ethylexyl isononanoate
Dimethicone dymethicone crosspolumer
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…

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.”

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…

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.


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.


Please ship any questions to the comments or email ! 


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.


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.


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

A: Yes.


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.

From crack cocaine and flaming hot Cheetos to organic robusta coffee and grass fed cheese.

Before you read please remember I’ll never have a PHD because I’m not smart enough and I am not legally allowed to tell YOU what to eat or how to live YOUR life but I will gladly share MY experiences and what works for ME… you are responsible for your decisions with food, dranks, and “supplements” not me. Carry on at your own risk.



I was traveling around grocery stores with my daughter, taking pictures of each aisle, seeing her reaction to each aisle, food, and fancy packaging that caught her eyes. I was beginning the process of providing my opinion of the healthiest option in each grocery store aisle, which was taking basically all the free time I had in a day, when a good friend responded “what am I supposed to do with a full family if I cannot afford the best of the best? You should create a tier system like worst, better, good, best….”

You see, like I’ve admitted 10,000x I’m an idiot! I could not believe how great of an idea this was/ is!  So I’ve been working on having a “tier system” for health and well being… this is going to take some time and a lot of thought. I’m going to go into every category I can think of or that people can assist me with… so I started with DAIRY because there is so much misinformation and crazy $$$ marketing about DAIRY that this one gets me going.  But in that process I then realized a lot of people would be confused about why I was calling skim milk bottom shelf poison and why I was referring grass fed, raw cheese loaded with beneficial bacteria as crème de la crem homie.  So I took 30 steps back and here is a little more than brief introduction to MY TIER SYSTEM… I don’t care what the haters say I’ll come back like a boomerang. This is far from perfect, but it’s my step in the direction of helping AS MANY PEOPLE AS I CAN ON AS MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS AS POSSIBLE. Because although I haven’t been on every level, I know at least 1 “rich person”, at least 1 “poor person”, and at least 1 person or people “in between”. In more politically correct grammar… I know some financially successful people, a few that get by pay check to paycheck, and I know a few middle class citizens as well… ? It’s really difficult to word things in a way that don’t offend at least 30% of the readers… with that being said, lets continue at our own risk…


Oh also, this post was not “re-read”, I am out of time, I’m on vacation until next week and realize I got so side-tracked that I never even talked about dairy… so I’ll start back fresh with that next week when I return to the real world. Enjoy.


Groupie “Tiers”

I wanted to have a tiered post for every aisle in the grocery store… like 1st tier being the bottom shelf and the top tier being “top shelf” but really there is only so much time in the day and I’m on a 3 week binder some folks call “Vacation” so the only allotted time I give to social media is when Lennon is taking a nap… I decided to start with DAIRY…  My initial thought is to tell everyone that they are “most likely but not scientifically proven” to be healthier without dairy… but let’s be real, people are going to consume dairy (and tons of it). I love dairy (the way it tastes) I always have, but I’ve learned over the years that I need to consume the HIGHEST quality dairy possible or it really messes me up (even the best of the best doesn’t allow me to feel my best) so I make the most of it…

My definition of being “messed up”= nostrils clogged, headache or *brain fog*, inflammation- achy joints, mucus build up- throat, chest, and nose, tummy issues AKA G.I. funk… these are to name a few of the THINGS that I do not enjoy feeling.

Anyways… let’s make a few things clear…

I love dairy… but I know it messes ME up and I’ve noticed that it causes MY daughter to have mucus and inflammation related issues… so I try to avoid giving her dairy (as realistically as possible) or I try to make it a SPECIAL TREAT as well as for myself.

There were times in my younger life where I would drink ½ gallon per day of 2% milk or more…

There were times in my life where I would eat cheese with just about every meal…

The darkest time in my life (health wise) I would have asthma attacks periodically, could never breath through my nose, wake up with a headache every morning that would not go away until I cleared my sinuses (or whatever) with exercise… I was drinking milk with my morning cereal (probably Wheaties since they are proven to build champions and I wanted to be a champion like all the super stars on the Wheaties box), followed by 50 grams of poorly processed whey protein (which is dairy), followed by a lunch with cheese and possibly sour cream, followed by another 50 gram whey protein shake post workout with 16oz of cheap milk (cause I was broke in college, then broke in the military, and I’m still broke but that’s because I spend all my money on healthy things I guess…?) then I would usually have more cheese with dinner and of course before bed I would have to take 50 grams of casein protein (another form of dairy)… I had JUST ABOUT every stomach issue known to man, food intolerances, acne, ingrown hairs on the back of my neck every time I got a hair -cut…. I mean I felt healthy, I could run fast, I was stronger than most, I usually had a “6 pack” but looking back I was so unhealthy. I had to take allergy medicine daily, carry around an inhaler (just in case), I couldn’t walk around barefoot without an athlete’s foot breakout. I mean I’m telling you don’t judge a book by its cover… I was so far (and still am) miles away from being perfectly healthy. But I’ll keep climbing towards my peak!

NO I AM NOT CLAIMING DAIRY CAUSED ALL OF THESE ISSUES but YES I AM TELLING YOU THAT I KNOW DAIRY CONTRIBUTED TO THESE ISSUES. It has taken years and years of trial and error to figure this out on my own. I could have googled why dairy is not ideal for me but then I would have read 20,000 contradicting claims and honestly I thought for 25 years that I needed a glass of milk every day to make my bones healthy… YOU DO NOT NEED MILK TO HAVE HEALTHY BONES… the science on that one is very clear. The dairy industry is very rich, they can afford to convince us otherwise. If you still believe we need dairy for healthy bones (or at all) that’s okay, your beliefs are incorrect, there are people living over 100 years of age osteoporosis free with ZERO dairy in their lives… but I have no clinical data to prove this “theory” correct so I’m living off of faith here (laughing out lough)… just kidding I didn’t laugh, I giggled in my head.

Whatever, I got off track…

So I have a system in place for myself…

Tier 1: “Below the 1st Shelf” AKA: trash/garbage/legal poison

“The bottom level -or- the bottom of the barrel” :  This is your “basic $2 milk” … I’m not going to throw any brands “under the bus” cause the last thing I want to do is piss off someone in charge of a multimillion dollar business so they can send hitmen after me… (or do I ? )… I’ll debate this one for a while…  IN MY IGNORANT-STUPID- COMPLETELY HEALTH BIASED OPINION – this bottom of the barrel diary should NEVER be consumed. Ever…. Traditionally I would say this would be my “birthday party” dairy or “cheat night diary” something to be consumed when I went out to celebrate something  BUT I WOULD NEVER BUY THIS DAIRY AT THE STORES TO POISON MYSELF AT HOME and that would be the last day on earth (Armageddon) if you ever saw me buy and deliver this BS to my daughter. I would compare this to buying my 3 year old her first pack of cigarettes. Oh, you think I’m joking? I’m not… tier 1 foods are worse than cigarettes… don’t believe me? Check the leading causes of death in the US of A. Then we can discuss further if you still disagree.

Hypothetical study (pardon me if I misused hypothetical… this is just pretend)…

Step 1: Grab a handful of people and have them eat poorly processed foods every day until death.

Step 2: Grab another handful of people and have them eat REAL food every day and smoke a pack of cigarettes every day until death.

Step 3: Let’s place wagers (bets-put money on the line) of which group lives longer…

Yeah, there would be like 10 billion other factors involved in this study… so we would need to research hundreds of thousands if not millions of people living these lifestyles above to really have “proof” oh wait… if you look at the culture map worldwide we have plenty of “proof” … potty break…

Lets see here…. I would compare this dairy to bottom of the barrel whiskey… Yes, if I’m out celebrating with friends at a local restaurant I may buy the $4 house whiskey drink over the top shelf $12 Woodford Reserve… but NO, if I am going to buy whiskey for my house I’m not going to buy $10 Whiskey in a plastic bottle because I have “discovered” over the last 15 years of MY life (I did not read this in a book, or learn this in school) that the CHEAP SHTUFF CAUSES ME ADVERSE REACTIONS aka “messes me up” the top shelf stuff will last me a very long time at home and I like to feel rich while I eat macadamia nuts and sip on top shelf whiskey, the added bonus is I don’t feel like a bag of wet doritos when I wake up. So wait… am I really telling you that we can discover things on our own? Without a professor? And without doctors orders? Based on real life experiences? Wow… that’s amazing.


Tier 1 is the group that HAS to do a ton of TV marketing and public advertising. This is because 99.9% of this tier is NOT REAL FOOD and the .1% of this tier that is real food is so heavily loaded with TOXIC POISION that it should be illegal, so of course they have to market and SELL this to us because if you just saw a fluffy orange powder coated piece of corn that left orange residue piled on your fingers puffed up in the wild I’m pretty sure WE WOULD NOT EAT IT! (Yeah, I am referencing if we were walking in a field and came across an organic Cheeto in the wild… maybe in heaven… on this earth we have consequences for man-making products (yes even “hybrids”)  and throwing chemicals on them to make our brains enjoy and PHENE for them! This is like cocaine, us wild humans took a natural occurring plant, altered it somehow and added chemicals & processing (I don’t know how it works, I’m not a chemist, but I saw Blow and Scarface so I pretty much know how I make cocaine) but yeah… us wild humans took the ole corn naturally occurring on earth chemically enhanced it to grow mass amounts, took that chemically enhanced corn, puffed it up somehow (I’m not a chef so I don’t know how they do it) they then added a bunch of colored stuff, tasty chemicals they created, and figured a way to make them stay fresh & crispy in a bag for an extended period of time…

Well this got way off track we are supposed to be talking about dairy. Coffee enhances my self-diagnosed ADHD so I get WAAAY OFFFF TOPIC SOMETIMESSSS. Maybe I should take pharmaceutical meds, that will fix my issues.

Tier 1 is what I consider GARBAGE.. TRASH…  IF I cannot afford tier 2 or higher then I don’t deserve to eat. I need to work harder or spend wiser so that I can afford to give myself real foods.  If I’m starving and shaking “hangry” and all that is around me is tier 1 products then I need to tap into what we call in the USMC as DISCIPLINE and be PATIENT and wait for REAL FOOD.

**Note to self: don’t be a weak ass. If I’m weak with food discipline I’m weak in the head, I’m weak in the gym, I’m weak at work, and just overall a weak ass. It starts with proper fueling. I don’t have to give my busted ole Saturn Vue premium gas cause it does its job just fine with the cheap stuff… I don’t want to be like my Saturn Vue, I want to be like the cars that make my eyes open wide and require TOP SHELF fuel. The Eagles are not flying around looking for poorly processed cow’s milk I promise you that…

Back to cocaine: Why did I bring cocaine into this???… its provocative duh… no here is why

Tier 1 is available ANYWHERE. Just about every imaginable business has these “foods” readily available for you to purchase to poison yourself. They are DELICIOUS because they were chemically enhanced to be this way, they are CHEAP because that’s what they are, and they KILL you over time: the speed at which they do so directly depends on the volume they were consumed, other lifestyle choices (cellular health), and many other factors…

So basically my tier 1 (bottom shelf…)  in the drug world is meth, crack, the black magic… the stuff that should never be touched, or the stuff that you know you don’t want to consume… yeah it MIGHT NOT KILL YOU THE FIRST TIME but over time… those addicted to these may think they are DELICIOUS, but they are CHEAP, and they KILL you over time… well it might not be scientifically proven in a laboratory what will happen if you overly consume tier 1 drugs so I cannot confirm that these are actually even dangerous…? (I’m not a drug enforcement agent so I’m not even sure if these are drugs… I was in the DARE program though)

In a nut shell, my tier 1 in the food world is the cheap processed poison that we do know is terrible for us but it’s still legal somehow, highly addictive, should be illegal, but it is not… somehow?



–          Chronic disease- eventually it will happen unless you are EXTREMELY LUCKY. When I say lucky I mean you have better odds of winning the lottery than living a life “chronic disease free” living off bottom shelf products.  Diabetes, obesity, auto immune, hormone imbalances, and cancer to name just a few…  if you are over the age of 40 with “normal cholesterol”, blood pressure, within healthy weight range, great hormone levels (naturally), full of daily energy, and never get sick but you eat bottom shelf products regularly then I want to meet for coffee sometime because you are a rare human specimen to this earth and I am very interested in your life story. I’m not joking, If you know someone like this tell them I will treat them to their next donut and ill even drink the donut shop coffee to see how this works out for them. Because wow.



Traditionally, up until I was 1/6th through my life at 25 years old I would use food products in this tier as a daily treat or “cheat” some call it. Oh yeah, I am extremely lucky that I have been overly active physically since birth and so I could eat daily cheat meals, feel like crap and not realize it, and still “look healthy”… anyways, once I hit 25 (give or take a few months) I cut the 2-3 daily cheat meals ( I was convinced were necessary to perform & put on muscle) and I switched to 2-3 cheat meals per week.

***Before I continue I must tell you… you absolutely do not need NASTY cheat meals to lose weight or gain muscle. People who say you need them are ignorant… I’m not calling them stupid… they just don’t know or choose to ignore the truth. I was one of them, so I’m allowed to call them out and not get shot, that’s how things work in the 21st century United States duh… I’m just a dumb millennial entitled to calling people out for being liars, that’s all…***

Anyways…  products in the Tier 2 “COULD BE” acceptable IF they are used as the first step in recovering from the bottom shelf, or possibly as a rare cheat meal once someone has reached the 3rd or 4th step. (I’m a low-mid incomer myself and I still do not purchase these foods for home… but then again I drive a paid off Saturn Vue with paint peeling off the sides instead of having a car payment because this is a sacrifice I have to make to provide a healthier lifestyle to myself and loved ones… YOU can make your own priorities but don’t come to me bitching and moaning about healthy food being too expensive if you are driving around a car that costs 2x as much as my monthly food allowance… yeah, I went there.)

When money allows for me to eat only top shelf foods and upgrade my car then the car will be upgraded, my car is not a priority over how I feel 24 hours per day 7 days per week, or over my quality of life. If yours is, I’m not judging or bashing you, that’s not the point of this but just don’t be the one who complains about the price tag of real food cause that’s just silliness if you are willing to spend $100 on a dinner out or $75 on drinks at the club. I’m not a financial expert, I’m fairly awful with finances but I can spot people’s priorities fairly quickly into a conversation about nutrition and lifestyle.

Cheers to the next step!

Large families, or those who are just ready to take a baby step in the right direction, eliminate ALL tier 1 products from your household ( do not eat them, they are garbage, so just put them where they belong, throw them in an ant pile they could quite possibly kill the queen…)

Step 1: throw away ALL tier 1 food products in your house. Do as you know is right then pay the consequences later (in this case you know that “food” is really “garbage” so throw it away, replace with real food, and the consequences should be POSITIVE).

Step 2: replace ALL tier 1 food products in your house with tier 2 or higher foods!  If you have an addiction to flaming hot Cheetos covered in monosodium glutamate (MSG) and you throw them away you should replace your addiction with a better addiction otherwise you’re going to have withdrawals. That’s how addiction works (but I’m not a therapist) I have been addicted to gambling, alcohol, exercise, and a million other personal issues and so I know from MY life experiences that if I remove a “bad addiction” then there better be a “better substitute” in place or it will not be successful long term! Thankfully I’ve never suffered from an abusive sugar addiction. People think sugar addiction is a joke… clinical studies on the brain’s response to sugar is comparable to cocaine… wow…  I have never let sugar get the best of me long term but I don’t let that fool me into believing I am not addicted to sugar…. Here’s the deal with sugar…. I rarely eat sweets, but when I do I instantly eat more, and more, and usually some more until I feel so horrible that I wait a long time to consume heavy amounts of sugar. If I wasn’t more addicted to feeling great than the sugar then I would probably wake up the next day and eat a massive bowl of Captain Crunch with whole milk followed by waffles covered in high fructose corn syrup, because HELL YEAH THAT WOULD BE DELICIOUS, but HELL NO I DON’T WANT TO SUFFER THE LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES OF THESE DAILY ACTIONS, and HELL NO I DON’T WANT TO GO INTO A MORNING BRAIN FOG FOOD COMA CAUSE I HAVE LIFE TO LIVE.


–           You probably feel much better than when you were all about the bottom shelf! A journal will remind you of how you used to feel and how far you have come, I have a bad memory so it’s important that I keep a log of things, some people remember everything it seems they will not need to keep a log.


***Key notes of EVERY paragraph you will ever read that I have written: THESE ARE JUST MY OPINIONS… I’m probably way wrong.


Tier 3 & 4: “Within Site: Mostly Acceptable”

Tier 3 & 4 are where I can usually find common ground with people. It’s like this… “yeah, I want to be healthier, but I’m not willing to give up drinking on the weekends…” okay, cool instead of me being unrealistic and being like “yeah well, it’s hard to be healthy and drink on the weekends” I will instead provide REAL LIFE advice such as but not limited to… “okay, knowing that you are not going to give up drinking on the weekends, lets figure out the HEALTHIEST way for you to drink on the weekends, what foods to eat while drinking and which alcohol could potentially be the healthiest…”  AKA: in some military circles this is known as “damage control.” The argument that alcohol is healthy for us can get silly very quickly… ill entertain all the BS while I’m drinking a No Label Beer but we all know the truth…  so if you’re going to drink, why not make it the healthiest drink possible? If you’re going to eat meat, why not make it the healthiest meat option possible cooked the healthiest way possible? If you’re going to eat dairy, why not choose the best kind?

Some of these products are readily available just like the bottom shelf items. They just cost slightly more… for good reason (they are higher quality…)

Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen and experienced in the real world, it is unrealistic to believe ANY low income families can afford to live on tier 3 &4 foods only. It could be possible for a low income individual to provide for his or herself but providing for 1 dependent would make this very difficult and adding in additional children, pets, or family to this equation basically makes this (not impossible, just very unrealistic)

This becomes more realistic if there are two sources of income for the family…

This becomes very realistic for a household of 4 or less with “mid income” who budget based on a “healthy lifestyle priority.” My definition of HLP= Prioritizing your life based on healthy living.

A lot can be learned from Dave Ramsey’s financial freedom talk… the same concepts can be applied to your health and wellbeing. If it’s a priority to get out of debt in the financial world, then it’s a priority to remove “unhealthy habits” in the health world.  Unhealthy habits are like bad debts. I am not rich enough to just remove 200K worth of debt from my name so if I had 200K worth of debt it would be foolish of me to believe I would be debt free in 1 year since I make no where near 200K per year… BABY steps!!! If you are on tier 1, try to make it to tier 2 by next year…  after 5 years of steady progress (paying off the debt or removing bad lifestyle choices) you will be much closer to paying off the 200k or much closer to standing on top of tier 4 ready to be top shelf only!  You can’t expect to be living off of bottom shelf foods and reach your TRUE health & wellness peak in one year. Sorry, it’s not going to happen. It’s a LIFESTYLE that will take years and years to create, one tiny step at a time. The further in debt you are, the longer or harder you will have to work to get out of debt. The unhealthier you are, it is most likely going to take LONGER AND MORE PERSISTENT work than someone who has already taken the steps. This is the viscous life circle and applies to just about every aspect of life not just debt or health.

Unfortunately times 2… most schools, cooperate offices (including hospitals- which are supposed to HEAL, yet sling bottom shelf products like they are on the mean streets $$$) and JUST ABOUT every “affordable” restaurant are no where near these tiers. It’s sad that (IN MY IGNORANT OPINION) from what I’ve seen with my eyes and heard with my listening ears that most companies (which are businesses) tend to look at what will create the most $$$ and well if you can buy beef for $1 per pound and 100 cheese slices for $3 and us fools will buy the products this garbage produces then WHY would these ass holes buy real grass fed beef for $6 per pound and grass fed cheese that costs 10x as much?

It only makes sense that if I owned a massive corporate business, I would want all of my employees to 1.) be healthy-  both mentally and physically

2.) be productive- no brain fog

3.) be timely- sleep well at night so they show up on time and ready to work every morning.

But I don’t own a large corporate business so I have no idea how much work providing healthy food options would be. I mean switching deep fried chicken smothered in gravy with grilled chicken and avocado sounds like it could get crazy expensive, but I’m sure by downgrading the boss man’s Maserati and his sidekick’s “Lambo” that would be one step in providing the 99% of others with healthier food options. Obviously, this would require people to actually give a F*#* which can actually be difficult to find these days…

I mean let’s be real… for a restaurant to be able to remain in business and provide tier 4 foods (all organic, sustainably sourced, fresh, high quality foods) you will be looking at a $15-$20 lunch. With our current food system, this is the way “things seem to be.”

Tier 3 lunch could be served around $10-$15.

Tier 2 $7-$12

Bottom shelf- $1-$7 (fat food products) oops fast* food products. I struggle to say just fast food because it’s not food, it is a food like substance or product.

These are just estimated costs based on observing food costs while traveling around. I have a lot of free time since all I am is a crossfit coach, I don’t have a real job, so I have a lot of free time to just study menus and ingredient labels.

If you were to create your own lunches at home & store them in a nice pyrex dish you could cut down these costs quite a bit…

I create TOP shelf lunches for around $8-$10

Tier 4 for around $5

Tier 3 “cheat meals”- Dirt cheap… “literally” dirt at Home Depot is more expensive.

I don’t buy tier 2 or 1 but if I did I could create a full year supply of lunch for like a Benjamin (that’s $100) (referring the $100 bill to the man that’s on front of the bill…) I have to remain as detailed as possible on all aspects so nobody gets mad at me…  you can rest assured that the lunches will last the entire year with or without the fridge because they are so heavily preserved and have no living nutrients to spoil…


Top Shelf: “Crème de la Crem, The Bees Knees, or Soaring with Eagles”

This is the best of the best in each category, genre, food group, grocery store aisle, restaurant menu.. these are the items that will allow you to keep climbing towards your peak!

Examples in the automotive world: Bugatti with candy paint

Examples in the drug world: organic coffee… yep, at the end of the day coffee is a stimulant so I classify it as a top shelf drug, bottom shelf of this category would include using crack as a stimulant, tier 2 could be cocaine- still nasty and dangerous but better than crack, tier 3- Adderall- still an amphetamine but arguably cleaner than cocaine since it’s made here in American (in a lab) and “controlled” by doctors and Big Pharma so it’s gotta be healthier than cocaine so we will place it one tier higher, tier 4 could be Starbucks grade coffee- you know, dirty ass coffee sourced from all over the world all mixed up yada yada, this is arguably a healthier alternative to prescription stimulants so we will call this tier 4 drug or possibly an energy drink… I would rank a few energy drinks as tier 2 similar to cocaine, a few tier 3 similar to Adderall, and a few could possibly be tier 4 alongside our bro Star-buckaroo, I could not classify any energy drinks as being on the top shelf with a high antioxidant, sustainably sourced, organic robusta (bitter) coffee freshly brewed with a French press and filtered water. This top shelf product is still not perfect because the acidity and a few other factors HOWEVER it COULD BE healthier than drinking chemicals from cheap coffee, which seems to be healthier than taking controlled pharmaceutical stimulants, which Is arguably healthier than hitting the white slopes in the bathroom stall at the night club, and most definitely a better stimulant option than crack.




Top Shelf:

By living up here, one may possibly NEVER get sick… that may seem “crazy” to some, but never having a stuffy nose, never having a cold, sleeping deep, feeling all day energy, clear headedness, not worrying about being surrounded by “sick” individuals because you know your immune system will easily fight off “the sickness.” You may accidently forget what it feels like to feel pain or sluggishness so when some “thing” causes you to feel OFF then you may immediately start discovering the small things that make a huge difference … like “why does my stomach hurt for a few minutes after I drink a lot of tap water?”  Stupid little silly things like these may start popping into your head because you are used to feeling amazing, so you may or may not question when you don’t feel great…?

The only “thing” I buy for daily use at home. Top shelf is the real deal of each food group. Not the best of the best in all categories of life, just the best of the best in class or in it’s specific genre. Genre=class= category=food group.



Top shelf: raw fermented cheese from grass fed cows.

Yeah, it is debatable whether or not this is actually a top shelf food for humans. But it remains on top shelf because it is arguably the BEST OF ITS CLASS.. the class it is in is DAIRY.

It is important to have a tiered list for myself so that I can come as close to my peak as possible… if I do not categorize each product life provides then I’m basically trying to climb Mt. Everest with zero climbing experience, in my underwear, barefoot, with no sunscreen, and by myself… just lost in life like  chicken with its head cut off.. or like a sheep aimlessly wondering around ready to be eaten by a pack of wolves. Big money marketing campaigns are the wolves, don’t be a sheep.


Tier 3-4:

Tier 4 is the most practical for single individuals or middle class families with one or two kids.

Tier 3 is the most practical for “middle class” with multiple children. Based on my non-professional make believe theories.


Tier 2:

Tier 2 is acceptable in home when removing a bottom shelf item or a very rare treat once you are standing on tier 3 or higher. For me, this is now a once per 3-4 months kind of product. Last year this would have been once or twice per week. Two years ago I would have convinced myself a daily cheat meal with this tier was acceptable.

Bottom of the barrel is for the occasion of NEVER, or maybe for rock bottom experiences to remind me why I stay away. I also have to say this… if you think every couple of days is a rare treat or special occasion then we are not on the same page. Rare to me is once per month, special occasion to me is every quarter or so… (3-4 months)… once weekly is not rare or special, that’s just a thing… bottom of the barrel is for special or rare occasions… for what to do on a weekly basis please read on to the second shelf.