Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just Another Week of Juicin’ (The Healthy Way!)


I recently accomplished a major health goal that I’ve been working on since February of this year-I had the final four amalgam fillings removed from my mouth. I had the first four (YES I had eight amalgam fillings - that’s what I get for not paying attention to my orthodontist regarding dental hygiene when I had my braces as a kid) removed in April.

What’s the danger with amalgam fillings? Amalgam (silver) fillings contain about 50% mercury along with a combination of silver, tin, and copper. Mercury is a neurotoxin and at certain levels can cause neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illness, and mental disorders (

Personally, I don’t care to get into the debate as to whether or not amalgam fillings are safe, it’s been shown that amalgam fillings release from 1-3ug up to 27ug per day, and this can be made worse by drinking carbonated beverages, chewing gum, and grinding teeth in addition to normal daily eating and drinking habits. When you couple this with the fact that in 2008 Scandinavian countries banned the use of amalgam for environmental and health reasons that is absolutely enough for me to know I don’t what this crap in my mouth!

The one thing I wanted to do once I got the fillings removed was to do a good week long juice cleanse to assist in detoxifying and follow it up with a round of supplemental chlorella, which according to Dr. Mercola binds with heavy metals (including mercury), chemicals, and pesticides while NOT binding with beneficial minerals like zinc and magnesium! (

I generally do a juice, or a raw foods cleanse, every year and held off on this years until after the mercury was removed from my head.

I started my cleanse on Saturday, 10/19/13 weighing 183lbs. and finished on Saturday, 10/26/13 weighing 169lbs. This cleanse went surprisingly well. Usually I have a 2-3 day period of mental fog and headaches due to cutting out the coffee and green and pu-ehr teas I consume on a regular basis, but this time it was only on day 1 for the second half of the day. From the minute I woke up on day 2 through the end of the week it was smooth sailing. My energy was awesome, I never had any hunger pangs, and I experienced a tremendous amount of clarity and calm. Real time seemed to be going in slow motion even though I had an incredibly busy and tedious week, it was awesome!

Here is an outline of my daily schedule:
  • 1st thing in the a.m. (I usually wake up between 3:30 & 5:00am depending on the day) 32oz. of clean spring water with a lemon or lime juiced into it
  • dry brush my entire body before my morning shower
  • hot herbal tea (decaf, usually peppermint or a cleansing blend)
  • 4-6oz shot of wheatgrass
  • morning juice: 16-32oz of a more fruit-heavy juice (something like blueberry, grapes, pineapple, lemon, ginger, kale, dandelion greens, & another green like collard or spinach)
  • afternoon juice: after the morning juices the afternoon and evening juices were more veggie heavy - I stuck with a guideline of 80% veggie and 20% fruit daily. This might be carrot, apple, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon, kale, spinach, dandelion greens for a 32oz juice.
  • evening juice: this was basically the same as the afternoon juice except I added a beet to it and again had about 32oz. of juice.
  • later evening I might have another 16oz juice (same blend as the afternoon juice) or another hot herbal tea.
  • in addition to the juice and decaf herbal teas I consumed a gallon or more of clean spring water daily.
  • I cut out intense exercise this week. I know many people who continue to lift weights and run when juice cleansing but I thought that if I’m truly trying to rest my body and let it repair this would be a good week to set my barbells and kettlebells down. It worked! My body felt amazing and I was dying to get back in the gym by the end of the week. However, I did a lot of stretching daily and kept up with my daily Taiji, qigong, and meditation practice. My body felt like a million bucks and the newfound flexibility felt great. No more nagging shoulder pain and I finally got my right hip flexor/piriformis to release!
  • In addition to the above and to assist with the detoxing, I did a daily enema (and sometimes a couple) to further clean out the colon and intestines. Some people argue this and say that the colon does not hold fecal matter and that the body is constantly detoxing, etc. but everytime I do it I seem to get plenty of crap out, so to speak!
That was it, after one week I stepped on the scale and was down from 183lbs. to 169lbs. This is my all-time low since I began my transition to a high-raw vegan diet back in mid-2011 when I was weighing 220-230lbs. Now, after a week long cleanse and literally cleaning out my intestines, I know what the 169lbs was going to be short-lived and sure enough I’ve been hanging around 173-175lbs since I’ve been back to solid foods, but I’m still keeping up with my new flexibility and have felt great in the gym. In fact after Monday’s squat workout I wasn’t nearly as sore as in the past.

One side effect of a plant-based diet with everyone I talk to tends to be exceptional recovery. My legs were a little sore, but I did not experience the dreaded 48 hour DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that is usually associated with a squat workout after 10 (or more) days out of the gym!

So that’s it! The plan was to celebrate getting my amalgam fillings removed with a week-long juice cleanse and it was a huge success! If you are interested in juice cleansing I strongly suggest looking into it. Keep in mind, this is not a long term solution. Granted people do sometimes cleanse with juice for up to 90 days or more, they are usually doing it for health reasons NOT for weight-loss or cosmetics. If you cleanse and go back to eating a crappy diet, such as the Standard American Diet (or SAD), the work you did on your cleanse will be pointless. People juice fast and cleanse all the time to help heal from chronic disease and improve their health, but it is imperative that you transition into a healthy nutrition plan to continue to keep your weight down and your health up!

Here are some great juice cleansing resources if you would like to learn more about this practice. Ultimately, take your time to learn about it inside and out and plan well in advance before you decide to try it. The first couple of days can be tough, but stick with it, it is very rewarding!

In addition to these great resources be sure to check out the article “The Power of Juice Fasting” by, Amy Dumas in my latest book, “Plant-Based Performance: A Compassionate Approach to Health & Fitness”. This book is a collection of articles from vegan athletes, trainers, and health and fitness professionals about how plant-based nutrition has positively affected their health, fitness, and sport performance. All book sales go to benefit Mercy For Animals, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.

Get a copy of “Plant-Based Performance: A Compassionate Approach to Health & Fitness” here:

Be sure to share your experiences juice cleansing, or if you have any questions, in the comments below!

Stay Strong AND Healthy!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Musashi's 21 Maxims.

Miyamoto Musashi: ?, 1584 - June 13, 1645

Wisdom from arguably one of the greatest warriors of all-time, Miyamoto Musashi.

Musashi’s 21 Maxims

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.

Stay Strong and Healthy,