All posts by Taylor

Why is the Fitness Industry So Afraid of Vegans: The Real Human Diet

Why is The Fitness Industry So Afraid of Vegans?

The Real Human Diet.

Bahhhaaaaa. Lol.

Yes, I opened my blog with an lol. I can’t help it because this tittle makes me laugh. I can picture all the fitness peeps out there spitting their coffee over their screens in moral indignance as one of their pillars of belief once again comes under attack from those dirty vegan assholes. The animal protein built phalanges muscles swelling in rage as they prepare to launch a swift and horrific counter attack defending ‘THE WAY WE DO THINGS.’ Flexors and extensors battling against each other with such voracity that their digits are momentarily too paralyzed to flood the comments section of every social media outlet they can grunt along with like minded others.

Why is everyone so afraid of plants?

Maybe that would have been a better tittle. Alas, it would not have elicited quite as humorous an image for me as I sit and sip my tea this morning.

The dirty word of the fitness industry today is VEGAN, or the newest iteration, PLANT BASED.

Netflix’s latest documentary on the topic, The Game Changers, has garnered the expected and tired response of most fitness ‘pros’ out there doing their best to tear apart any discrepancy in the film. Instead of taking just a couple of minutes to sit back and contemplate a perspective seemingly in juxtaposition to their own these beacons of science based health and fitness merely view the film from the constructs of their established beliefs.



What? Coach Taylor? You’re a VEGAN? You’re DEFENDING vegans? Is hell frozen? Are beyond meat faux pigs flying through the air?

Maybe I should clarify here: I am not a vegan. I am not a vegetarian. I am exactly the same as you, and your friends, and your family, and every single other human on the entire planet: I am an omnivore.

Also important to note: I am not biased. No one is paying me any money to write this. I am not selling any nutritional products. I am not a defender of any particular program or nutritional plan. I simply am a student with an insatiable need to learn the truth. Everything I write and speak about is simple a synopsis of my study.

Last night I had a beef chilli, the night before, vegan Enchiladas from a Thug Kitchen recipe. I believe the night before that was salmon, preceded by a vegetarian stir fry, and the night before that slow braised beef short ribs (holy fuck were those ever good, braised in red wine and simmered with star anise…I digress). My deep freezer currently holds a ¼ cow and a ½ lamb purchased from a small local farmer. I bought a boat this summer with the express intention of using it to fish. I obtained my gun possession licence and hunting certification to begin the journey of procuring my own food.

I also built 7 raised garden beds this year, I tour the local produce markets, and have microgreens sprouting in my kitchen as we speak. I have learned to ferment and recently baked my first sourdough bread. My shipment of Einkorn flour just arrived from Saskatchewan (check out this ancient grain, it is amazing) and I am stoked to begin cooking with it. This afternoon I will be starting the fermentation process for the last haul of carrots from my garden.

I am an omnivore.

You are an omnivore.

Humans ARE omnivores.

This is not a debatable point. We are unbelievably well adapted to eat, well, pretty much anything. Our bodies truly incredible machines.

What is the debate then?

Percentages and sources. How much protein should we consume and where should we get that protein? These seemingly innocuous questions are at the root of almost EVERY nutrition debate in the world of health and medicine.

On the one side you have those with the belief that we must consume animal sourced proteins in order to achieve optimum health. Animal based proteins are more complete amino acid packages containing the perfect ratios of the macronutrient that the body needs. This camp points out that the body is designed to run, that we are the most successful hunters in the history of life on earth, and that cooking animals is thought to be an essential turning point in the evolution of homo sapiens.

On the other side you have proponents espousing the idea that we do not need to eat animals or animal products at all and that mere plants can provide us with everything we need. Yes, even that godly protein. While plants don’t contain all essential amino acids, there are reports that eating a variety of plant sources can provide the complete spectrum of protein as different plants have varied concentrations of these foundational blocks in a variety of ratios that can be combined to create a diet of everything humans need. This camp often believes that eating animals is unethical and they eschew their consumption on those grounds. And they believe you should too, trust me, vegans LOVE to tell you they are vegan and why that makes them better than you.

Both sides of the debate cite research and history alongside a plethora of anecdotal tales to bolster the case that they are right and the other side is wrong.

What is the truth?

What are the facts?

How are you supposed to know what the fuck to eat?

As the battle continues you are left a nutritionally confused refugee watching bullets and rockets fly overhead between the warring camps. You don’t care about the debate or the ideologies of the well-entrenched warriors who purport to be battling for the good of your health.


You just want to know WHAT. THE. FUCK. SHOULD. I. EAT.


This is where both sides are complete losers. The insane battle creates an overly complicated series of rules and regulations making human nutrition seemingly complex. It is not. It really and truly is not complicated. And the longer this battle rages on the more confused people become leaving the entire population susceptible to charlatans and fads. When people are confused they will gravitate to someone, anyone, or anything that provides them safety by way of an answer. So we are easily sold diet plans, wonky nutritional protocols, good and bad foods, and a host of other products that do nothing to make us healthier but that increase the bank accounts of many unscrupulous individuals and uncaring corporations.

Human nutrition is not complicated. At all.

It is literally exceedingly simple.

Michael Pollen has stated it best: “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”

Why The Fitness Industry is Wrong

We actually do not NEED to consume animal products ever. Humans CAN (and hundreds of millions actually DO) live healthily off of plants alone. We cannot live off of animal products alone. You will die.

No human can be a strict carnivore. If you do not eat plants you will die. Am I getting that point across?

The fitness industry LOVES to quote science and research but then completely ignore anything that is counter to their beliefs. It is one of the most asinine things I have ever witnessed. Unfortunately you just can’t do that. You either believe in science or you don’t. You do not get to believe in just the science you want to believe in that supports the belief that you have.

The FACTS are this:

  • humans are designed to eat mostly plants. Our teeth are more similar to herbivores and are designed to grind and break down plant material. They are not designed like a carnivores.
  • our digestive tract is long and filled with plant destructing bacteria.
  • we have nutritional needs that can ONLY be met by plant.
  • there is not a single instance currently or in known history of a culture with a permanent animal based diet. It has never existed. (Yes, there are some very small groups of humans in the far north, the Inuit, who have adapted to a mostly animal based diet for some of the year, if you are Inuit then you can follow the traditional practices, if you are not Inuit…well, then you are not and you shouldn’t follow their diet).
  • our paleo ancestors ate mostly plants. Do the research from EVERY SINGLE paleoanthropologist on Earth, they will confirm this.
  • we DO NOT eat the right meat. Our ancestors ate like this very infrequently. We want steaks and chicken breasts. We should be drinking blood, eating the organs, bone marrow, and fat of animals. We would ate mostly fish, small animals and birds. Large game was sporadic and not the core of our diet. Again, please read the literature of paleoanthropologists.
  • plants can provide us with all the protein we need. The idea that animal proteins are completely necessary to optimal health is thoroughly debunked.
  • ALL. I repeat ALL, I state ALL, I reiterate EVERY SINGLE analysis of the healthiest and longest lived populations of humans shows the same thing, over, and over, and over, and over again: these people eat mostly plants with some meat and animal products. Every. Single. Time. This holds true.
  • our modern western culture eats too much meat, in way too large portions, and we are NOT eating enough fibre. You know, fibre from plants that your body needs to be healthy.

The fitness industry purports to be striving for evidence based practice and yet spends copious amounts of time attempting to debunk many of the things I just listed. I don’t understand that kind of methodology. You can’t only like the science that you like. You have to read ALL of the science and then follow the evidence.

And the evidence says that we can live off of plants alone, that eating mostly plants is healthier for us in the long run, and that we currently eat too many animal products.

Gosh, golly, gee, Coach Taylor, you sure sound like a vegan….

Why Vegans are Wrong

Besides the fact that their sanctimonious and incessant preaching makes vegans some of the most annoying human beings on Earth there are other fatal flaws in the vegan ethos.

Like their carnivore enemies need to understand, there are NO historical vegan cultures in the world. None. There are many today because technology has allowed humans to expand our options, however, veganism is not a natural state for humans. We are omnivores.

One of the primary arguments of the vegan world is ethical consideration for the environment and animals. There are grounds to support these arguments to be sure, however, a truly vegan diet is fraught with as many issues as my above carnivorous friends.

Yes, our mass factory farms are horrifically disgusting and morally reprehensible. If you can even stomach it, check out how animals are treated on the ‘farms.’ It tuly should sicken you. If you won’t look this up then you don’t deserve to consume animals. If you shop at Costco you support these factory farms and are a huge part of the problem.

Vegan friends: this does not mean the solution is complete abstinence of consuming animals. There ARE very ethical and very sustainable ways to raise and eat animals and animal products. Truly well designed farms, such as Blue Hill or Apricot Lane Farm are beautiful examples of this. Read up on Dan Barber or follow the work of Michael Pollan to begin to understand this.


These are shots from a local farm I purchase from


But the moral high ground of the vegan world is completely destroyed if we truly attempt to understand what it takes to live as a modern vegan. Fresh produce is not available year round in most parts of the world. That’s right my vegan friends, a fresh arugula salad in January tossed with kale and other bright greens, chopped peppers, and whatever else you want to add-in isn’t possible in the northern latitudes. You know, ‘cause it’s winter and stuff and the plants won’t grow.

So you have two options: mass greenhouses sucking up all kinds of resources, or, ship it in from other places in the world. You know, on boats, trains, trucks, planes and things like that. Huge. Environmental. Impact.

The majority of modern vegans are not willing to actually eat in a way that is necessary to be truly environmentally conscious. Foregoing ripe avacodos in February to eat yet another meal of cellar stored potatoes topped with cooked beans and fermented cabbage just isn’t going to make a pretty enough Instagram post. Plus…it’s so boring!

Now let’s take a look at the environmental catastrophe shipping all this food around the world creates. Not just from the transportation and packaging but more from the damage that you do to foreign nations. When plants grow they take nutrients out of the soil. What should happen is those plants should, 1) die and decompose those nutrients back into that same soil, or 2) be consumed by animals who then return those nutrients back to the soil through their excrement.

But today crops are raised in soil and then harvested and shipped off to foreign lands, taking those nutrients with them. Not returning anything to the soil. Eventually the soil must be fertilized with new nutrients (fertilizers) or new land must be cleared that hasn’t been sucked dry yet (clearing of forested areas and grasslands). To have a modern vegan diet you must contribute to huge environmental issues. For more on this read the work of Sir. Albert Howard. If you do not know who this is then you have not done your true homework on what is necessary to be a vegan or vegetarian.

The Game Changers attempts to show that only a vegetable diet keeps our blood free and clear of circulating fats associated with animal product consumption. While this is true they skip something vital. After consuming animal products we do have hours of higher circulating blood fats. True. However, this is only an issue if you are eating all the time.

Fasting my friends. We aren’t supposed to eat all the time. When you only eat once or twice a day you are not constantly living in a state of cloudy blood plasma. And this is actually how we are supposed to eat.

Lastly, people who become vegans get some shit all fucked up. Just because it is made entirely from plants does not mean it is healthy for you. Plant based products, like the Beyond Meat burger, are often disgusting packages of process garbage. They are not healthy. Just because it is labelled vegan does not mean it is healthy.

We still need to avoid processed foods that are massed produced. Period. End of story.


Tired of reading yet? You can just listen to me cover topics if you prefer!!!


What you SHOULD Do

It is all so confusing. As these camps battle it out to assert their righteous dominancy over the other the actual science is lost and people are left confused.

The truth is simple. Human nutrition is simple. The solutions are simple.

Eat a diet mostly of plants.

Not, not just kale salad. Whole grains, rice, beans, legumes, potato’s, sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, peppers, and a bajillion other options. There is a massive array of plants out there and you probably only eat a very few. Variety.

Like Arnold says in the documentary, you don’t have to stop eating meat, just cool it a little. One or two days a week eat totally plant based. I can attest that the more I dive into the world of plant based meals the more I love them and look forward to them. They are delicious.

Eat animal products

Yes, eat animal products. In the winter when plants are not as available animal products provide us with beautiful packages of nutrition to compliment what we are lacking from fresh produce.

Eat eggs. Butter. Yogurt.

Ethically source your meat from local sources. Seriously, it isn’t hard. Google search your area and I promise there are local farmers who will deliver to you or will be at a nearby market.

Stop eating boneless skinless chicken breasts and sirloin steaks. Sometimes have those but recognize this is NOT what humans were meant to live on. Birds, small game, insects, amphibians and organs turn most of us off and that is a huge issue. That is what we evolved to primarily eat as animal sources.

At least buy whole chickens and roast them. Then eat all of the parts and use the carcass to boil down for soups and broths. Use the whole animal. Tip to tail is a very important movement that has to become more prevalent.

Eat Less

We eat too much. You should never feel stuffed. You shouldn’t need a nap after a meal. That is all I have to say about that.

Eat Only Real Food (and cook it)

We need to recognize processed foods for what they are: poison.

Cereal, cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, chips, crackers, packaged meals, pre-made, everything, instant whatever. It is all garbage. It is all poison. You literally are ingesting poison.

Eat food that you have to prepare yourself. That you have to cook. That if you left on the counter for a day would spoil.

Yes, it is time consuming and requires effort and work. But hey, it’s just your fucking LIFE and the health of your family we’re talking about. No big deal.

I didn’t say my advice was going to be the new and easy way to be healthy. Just that it would be the truth.


Most of the people attempting to shred The Game Changers film are missing the point entirely. The documentary isn’t trying to convert everyone to veganism. They are simply refuting the idea that you HAVE to eat animal proteins for high-end performance. And it does a great job of this. The science in the film is solid, it isn’t complete, and there 100% is an important place in our diet for animal products so you don’t have to become a vegan, nor do I think people should.

The use of the term plant-based vs. vegan is an important thing to note. I think this is a very powerful change in terminology and one that I hope is not appropriated by the vegan camp. Because the simple facts are this: in general we eat too many animal products and not enough plants and changing this is the most important thing you can do for your health.

The idea of the film and what I am personally attempting to get across is just this: eat more plants. Eat more real food.

It will literally save your life.

-Coach Taylor

Why Counting Calories is Worthless

It still remains the holy grail of the fitness world and the first advice spewed from the lips of every dietician out there: count your calories to lose weight. There is so much wrong here I am at a loss where to begin.

Let’s start with a bold statement: I believe counting your calories is stupid, futile, and a complete waste of your time. Additionally, I believe counting your calories is impractical and creates unhealthy associations with food in addition to creating permissions to eat unhealthy food.

For anyone who has read my blog for a while you might currently be scratching your head. “But Coach, you wrote that blog called ‘The 500 Calorie Myth and 4 Reasons You Should Track Your Calories.’” This is true. In 2015 I did write that blog.


The 500 Calorie Myth and 4 Reasons You Should Track Your Calories


For truly dedicated readers, however, you might remember an even more ancient scripture I published entitled, ‘Healthy Food Has No Nutrition Labels,’ posted in March of 2008 talking about how useless nutrition labels are and how eating healthy doesn’t require counting anything.


Healthy Food Has No Nutrition Labels


WTF is going on Coach? Your message seems a wee bit contradictory. Now what am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to believe?

I am sorry to cause you this amount of duress! I understand! There are contradictory messages here. I can explain!

I went through a phase. I had an idea, which I attempted to implement and then recognized it was an abysmal failure. I admit that. It was a bad idea. The intention was good but the process was not just unrealistic but wholly unnecessary.

To be healthy and fit it is 100% unnecessary to count your calories, weigh your food, or measure anything. Not only is that true but it also leads to other issues that I now recognize as common among fitness and non-fitness people alike.

Issues With Calorie Counting

1) Your numbers are wrong.

Those calorie counting apps and that old calorie count book in your cupboard are not accurate. The calories they list are based on a testing method in a lab and then averaged out to provide label information (Click HERE for an explanation).

Additional to the fact that the calorie content is determined in a totally different manner than how your body works it completely ignores that foods aren’t created equal. Two heads of broccoli that weigh the same could actually have different total calories based on a plethora of factors such as where they were grown, how long since they were harvested, what variety they are, weather conditions during growth, and water content. Things get even more complicated when you attempt to measure calories in foods with multiple ingredients!

The honest truth is that you cannot ever know how many calories you are eating with great accuracy. All you can ever have is a rough estimate or guideline based on laboratory testing.

2) People are different.

If three difference people were to somehow eat the exact same item of food (which is kind of impossible and as we saw above three different portions of the same type of food can be different) they would each make use of different amounts of calories.

Creative group of different people, flat style, vector illustration

Different gut bacteria, varied digestive tract lengths, varied physiology, illness, genetics and yet ANOTHER large list of variable factors come into play here. How many calories are digested and the used by the body from food fluctuates and is actually fully, 100%, completely impossible to measure. If you eat 300 approximated calories from a food it is literally impossible to know if your body converted 100 of them or 300 of them into useable energy in the body. Impossible to know.

3) Food Combinations

It is pretty rare to eat just one food at a time. We add sauces to things, create recipes, have full meals consisting of a multitude of food items, and often have wine or beer with food. Each of these factors plays a role in total calories as well as how much of that food energy is digested and used by the body.

Many alcoholics are malnourished even those who eat seemingly good food. Why? Their body spends so much time processing alcohol that it never gets the chance to properly process the food that is eaten. While your glass of wine with dinner isn’t going to make the whole meal a nutrition wasteland it will have an effect on how much energy and which nutrients you are going to be able to process and absorb.

Combining foods changes how they are digested and processed, this in turn will affect how the calories are absorb and how available the calories will be. This is the same in foods that consist of multiple ingredients. Eating raw zucchini is different than eating a zucchini chocolate cake.

4) Cooking and Processing

When you cook food it changes the bioavailability of macro and micronutrients of food. Typically the more a food is cooked the more available the calories are from that food (up to appoint, the blackened charred steak your mom used to serve you was probably devoid of any actual useable calories…). Eating broccoli raw vs. eating steamed broccoli will give different amounts of calories and change how much food energy your body can obtain from it.

Processing food into simpler forms or creating quick cooking versions of foods, again, will change how much useable energy your body can get from that food. Think of those rice dishes you buy in the plastic package that get thrown into the microwave for just 2 quick minutes to provide you a meal, those overly processed ingredients will be very different in your body than the same portion of sow cooked rice from raw grains.

Add to these factors the knowledge that each person eating the food also will utilize different amounts of food in different ways at different times and Pandora’s Box is bust wide open.

5) Disordered Eating

I am not talking about full on eating disorders here but more about the completely weird relationship our modern culture has with food. It is a complete disaster. We are constantly thinking about food, deciding what is good for us or what is bad for us, how much we should eat, when we should ‘treat’ ourselves, and about a million other variables. This is what I consider disordered eating.

Eating shouldn’t be complicated. You shouldn’t have to think so much about it. It should be enjoyable, delicious, wholesome, and a positive part of your day. Something you look forward to.

But our fixation on calories and portions and our association between these things and our bodies has created something of a monster inside of our heads. When was the last time you ate with no feelings of guilt or concern over the health benefits (or lack thereof) contained on that plate in front of you?

We are so fixated on an arbitrary number that is wholly unknowable that food has become about as enjoyable as the math test is has become. The idea that we must know the calorie content of what we eat has so permeated our culture that we have completely forgotten how to eat.



This brings us to the crux of the issue and why counting calories is a completely worthless endeavour.

Some of you might be throwing your hands in the air in exasperation at this point. How are you supposed to eat healthy? How are you supposed to know how much to eat? What should you be eating?

Somehow the human race survived for tens of thousands of years without counting calories, nay, without even knowing the concept of a calorie. Today millions of people do the same as well as every single animal and other organism on the entire damn planet. How? How is this possible?

The answer is actually so very easy, so very simple, that it just might astound you.

Here we go.

Eat. Real. Food.

Done.

As I wrote in 2008, the solution is to eat unprocessed food. Fruits, Vegetables, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, rice, and whole grains.

Variety of organic food including vegetables fruit bread dairy and meat. Balanced diet.

Make it all yourself. That’s right, you are going to have to cook. To chop, slice, dice, roast, fry, bake, sauté, steam, boil, and grate. Basic human skills that are less common now than ten more minutes surfing Instagram.

On a recent podcast I talked about the fact that there are bad foods and good food but then recommended an alternative way of thinking about things that I believe is the answer to so many health issues today. Real food vs. not real food.

The modern processed food industry is beyond scary. Protein powders instead of meat and dairy, products filled with so much corn in guises you don’t even recognize that they could hardly be called food, additives, preservatives, colouring agents, and emulsifiers. It is this garbage that truly has deleterious effects on our health.

There is no one who is over fat and unhealthy who eats a real food diet free from processed modern pseudo-food. No one. None. They don’t exist. There is no culture with an obesity epidemic that foregoes processed foods in favour of traditional cooking practices. In fact, the rise of obesity in developing cultures is always link to the introduction of western processed and massed produced food.

The answer is so simple. I didn’t say easy, just simple.

When you are eating real food there is no need to count calories or measure and weigh anything. No one is over fat because they eat too many raw veggies, farm fresh eggs, and roasted chicken. NO ONE.

Just like the thousands of years before the idea of the calorie was conceived and there was no obesity epidemic nor disordered eating all you have to do is cook and eat real food.

Somehow humanity survived.

-Coach Taylor

The One Thing You Need To Do For a Healthy Diet

That is correct. I am going to give you one single thing you can do that will improve your diet more than anything else.

A couple of months ago I had to get the brakes fixed on my truck because while I am knowledgeable about how to care for the human body I am apparently a dumbass when it comes to vehicle maintenance. The awesome local shop fit me in last minute so I didn’t miss the end of trout fishing season! That, however, is a story for another day.

I dropped the truck for an inspection to assess the problem and sat down in the waiting area with my laptop intending to write a blog. I was mostly successful in that endeavour. Mostly successful because I was fascinated by a conversation between two of the staff behind the counter that highlighted one of the biggest problems with everyone’s nutrition.

What could this be?

The conversation was between a woman and a man and the only conversation happening in the place so it wasn’t like I was going out of my way to overhear. What follows is a completely NONE accurate recounting of the discussion from my memory. I figured actually recording it was way too far lol. The gist of it I was able to recall.

This conversation occurred at 8am on a Wednesday.


Woman: I see a Hershey bar that is going to get eaten this morning.
[Referring to very large box of chocolate bars on the counter in front of her work station that was serving its purpose as a fundraiser for some school or sports team, because yes, we can only fundraise for children’s activities by selling various types of garbage pseudo-food.]

Man: Oh yeah?

Woman: I am going to try and hold off until 9am! At least until this coffee buzz wears off!

Man: That is probably a good idea.

Woman: It is definitely going to happen though.



That is all I can now remember about the conversation but it captures all of the vital details! I vaguely recall that this topic was discussed for at least ten minutes, which while fascinating to me, greatly setback my writing that day.

How does this relate to you and to your diet? What the fuck are you talking about Coach Taylor.

This is literally the greatest secret tip to improve your health I can give you. Period. If you do this ONE thing you will improve your healthy eating and nutrition habits INSTANTLY.

Here we go. I am going to drop a gigantic truth bomb on you right now.

It is so seemingly simple and you’ve heard it so many times you are probably going to stop reading and quickly unsubscribe from my blog and podcast (because you ARE subscribed to my blog and podcast, right?!) for wasting your valuable time with an idea that OBVIOUSLY everyone already knows.

Truth bomb time.

If it is there, you will eat it.

I guess I didn’t really phrase that properly. I promised a useful tip that you can enact right now and not some meme-worthy slogan to add to your pinterest board in the hopes that another motivational quip will be the proverbial straw that breaks your poor nutrition habits once and for all…

In order to acquiesce that expectation, which to be fair was how I set things up, I will rephrase that statement into an actual actionable piece of health and nutrition advice.

Do not buy or stock in your house anything that isn’t real food, especially those items that you know are unhealthy and that you have a hard time resisting.

That’s better, now you can screenshot that, pin it, post, and be well on your way to a NEW YOU!!!! (The current you is just fine, I merely like to slam the fitness industries infinitely stupid catch phrases at every opportunity).

The conversation I transcribed in masterful detail above is a beautiful example of the largest serious issue facing our diets today: access. If it is there you are going to eat it. Period.

If that box of chocolate bars hadn’t been sitting on that counter on that Wednesday morning at eight o’clock it is highly probable that the person in question would probably not eat a nutrient devoid package of fat and sugar for no reason at all. The idea that it was a pick-me-up from the caffeine stimulation is also kind of silly because we all know that the half-life of caffeine is around 5 hours so you wouldn’t be coming down off your high at 9am when you are still drinking your coffee at 8 am.

No. No the reason this person was going to stuff their gullet with non-nutritive calories on a random weekday morning is simple.

It was there.

Access. Convenience. Proximity. Addiction.

It was there.

Think about your own eating habits. If you have a bag of chips in the pantry how often do you grab a few passing by? Or as a ‘little treat’ while binging Netflix in the evening? Now imagine that bag of chips wasn’t there? Would you jump in the car and pop over to the convenience store at 9pm to grab a bag of chips so you could eat a handful while the finale of Stranger Things patiently waits on pause for your return?

You might. And if you do we need to have an entirely different conversation about your health and habits! More likely, however, you would not eat any potato chips if they weren’t conveniently awaiting your attention on the second shelf of the pantry, right beside that half eaten chocolate bar that you bought to support your neighbours kids sports team yesterday…. Might as well grab a couple squares of that too because it’s dark chocolate and that is good for your health! Plus don’t you feel good supporting that kids sports team?!

I’ve doled out this advice thousands of times to thousands of clients over the years and very rarely does it ever create meaningful change. There is always a list of excuses. A constant justification process for why the cookies, chips, chocolate, crackers, candy, etc. is there in the pantry.

“I have to have it there for the big game this weekend”

“It’s there for the kids”

“You have to indulge sometimes!”

“My partner buys it, I would never buy it!”

“It was a gift from friends congratulating me on a whole week on my new diet!”

“How did that even get in there?”

“I support ALL of the kids sports teams!”

Fine. Do what you want. It IS YOUR life. However you want to live does not affect me. I am merely attempting to tell you the number one reason you are overfat, pre-diabetic, chronically tired, and feel like shit most of the time.

You eat shitty ‘food.’ And most likely you eat shitty food because you have access to the food. Because it is right there. Because you can just reach out and touch it….

You’re addicted. You can’t say no. It isn’t an accident. The ‘food’ companies have done this to you on purpose. They have a term for it actuality. Craveability. They create all of these foods in labs with researchers to maximize the chances of making you want to consume them. [Read this book: Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Industry Hooked Us ].

There is one thing you can do: don’t have it around you.

A lot of arenas in your life you may not have control over. The co-worker who is constantly brining in baked goods. The stupid gym you pay $10 a month for that keeps tootsie rolls on their counter to tide you over between pizza days. The in-laws who insist on having Costco sized bags of candy on hand ‘for the kids.’ You cannot control these areas of your life and will only be able to rely on your personal decision making skills.

But you can control a huge area of your life. Arguably the most important one.

Your home.

It is so simple.

Don’t have it in the house. Period. Ever. For any reason.

No chips, cookies, crackers, donuts, premade pizza, candy, chocolate, sugar syrups, or pop. [Note: that was NOT a complete list of the shitty non-food you probably have in your house right now]

If it is not there you are far less likely to eat it.

Period.

Stock your house with real food and eat it whenever you want and eat as much of it as you want! No one is overfat or feeling like crap from eating too many vegetables and home cooked food. No one.

I know, you’ve heard this advice before.

Ok.

So why is your home still stocked with processed crap, or as Michael Pollen says, food-like substances?

For the kids? Why are you feeding that garbage to your kids?

Because someone brought it over? The garbage can is right over there.

Because you want to support kids sports teams? Just give them the whole $3 instead of buying the chocolate bar.

You want to live a healthier life. You want to eat well. You want to feel better. Yet you constantly set yourself up for failure.

An alcoholic doesn’t stock their house with spirits and wine just so they are there when a friend comes over. They can’t. They would never successfully curb their addiction.

This pseudo-food is an addiction. It has been crafted to addict us and huge segments of our modern culture have been crafted to drive us towards it. There is only one way to truly make a change.

Get rid of it. Don’t have it around. Don’t buy it.

If it is there you are going to eat it.

It really is just that simple.

-Coach Taylor


Did you know that I have a weekly podcast discussing all things health and fitness? I would love you to join me and I promise to only deliver the cold hard unbiased truth!

The Only Four Exercises You Ever Need to Do

This week something a little quick and a little practical.

I get so sick and tired of hearing excuses. And trust me, after almost 20 years as a fitness coach I have heard EVERY SINGLE EXCUSE you could ever think of and then some.

I am going to tell you the truth though.

There are no excuses with any merit. There is always something you can do to positively impact the physical health of your body. Always.

I am not talking about having the flu or getting a major operation and being unable to workout for a short period of time. That stuff happens. A couple of days here or there are a week or two after something major happens is just fine. That is not what I am talking about.

It’s the bullshit people make up to justify why they haven’t done any physical activity in years or even decades. Yes, there are those among us who haven’t done any physical activity besides moving around the house and going to work in DECADES.

Each to their own I suppose.

Today I am giving you a list of 4 exercises that you can do anywhere, that require NO expensive equipment, that can be learned quickly and for free, that have easy progressions from beginner to Olympic athlete, and that I believe every single human should be able to do.



If you do these four exercises everyday for the rest of your life you will maintain an excellent level of physical health. Period.

Yes, it really is that simple. Easy? In our modern day and age, no. Again it all comes down to how much you care about yourself, how much you care about your family and friends, and how much you care about your life.Because if you aren’t taking care of your physical health you are an asshole.

Here are four exercises that everyone should be doing every single day and if you can force yourself to do that you will be fit, healthy, and strong for the rest of your life.



The Turkish Getup (TGU)

Why it is called the Turkish Getup I have no idea! When I am inevitably asked what I think the ONE exercise is that everyone should do, this is it. Everyone should do a few of these every single day.

It requires strength, balance, stabilization, coordination, and cardiovascular health. It moves every single joint in the body through a full range of motion. It forces you to get down on the floor and then get up to standing. It takes up almost no space (I used to do them daily in a narrow hallway).

You don’t need any equipment. While this is often performed with a kettlebell you can hold any weight in your hand. When you are first getting started you might just hold a tennis ball to make sure you are focusing on keeping your grip activated. Then you can progress into a rock, or a weight, or a puppy… anything that is going to challenge you to balance something overhead and keep that arm vertical.

This is by far the best exercise ever. And everyone should do them.

The Pullup

I promise, 90% of people reading this article not only cannot do a single pullup, but you most likely couldn’t even grab a bar, or tree branch, or whatever, hold on and just hand there with just your bodyweight for 30 seconds.

You see, life isn’t like the movies. When the hero grabs someone falling off a cliff with one hand and the falling person has just one hand hanging on as well and then they work together to pull the person back up onto firm ground…this is a much as fantasy as your fav celebrity crush walking naked into where you are sitting right now and wanting to get frisky.

It. Just. Isn’t. Going. To. Happen.

Yet we should all be able to do a single pullup. I’m being nice. We should be able to do more than one pullup. It is a spectacular exercise requiring an enormous amount of upper body strength. Not just any upper body strength but focused on those big beautiful back muscles. You probably don’t know them you over texting fool because all that time spent on your smart phone has so fucked your posture that none of your back muscles are actually doing what they are supposed to be doing anymore.

Start with hangs, then some negatives, then work towards pullups. It might take a year or more to get there but I promise that by the time you accomplish this movement your strength will be through the roof!

The Pushup

So simple. Everyone knows what they are. Yet people suck at them and have a litany of reasons why they can’t do them. Shoulder pain, sore wrists, bad back….yada yada yada.

If you can’t do a pushup you nee to address any of the reasons why and once that is sorted out develop some basic fucking human strength and do some pushups.

Recent studies have found a correlation between how many pushps you can do and your risk of cardiovascular disease. No, doing more pushups won’t save your heart but it does appear that how many pushups you can do is a good general indication of your overall fitness level.

And none of those stupid ‘on your knees’ pushups either! That isn’t a pushup. That’s an assisted pushup and Coach Taylor doesn’t allow them. Ever.

Sprints

WHAT? But Coach Taylor, YOU HATE RUNNING!

First, yes, I personally don’t like running. I am NOT anti-running. As I ramble on all the time, however, you don’t run to train, you train to run. See the difference? Running long distance regularly is not good for the body, which can be seen pretty easily when you ask any runners to provide you a list of their injuries and aches.

I am talking about short and intense sprints. UNDER 100m. Sometimes just a simple 10m sprint is perfect. Sprinting is different than jogging, oh, it is VERY different. It is an al l out max effort demanding coordinated muscular and cardiovascular power.

Try this: mark a 50m length somewhere you can sprint. Then do it. Sprint as fast as you fucking can like a lion is chasing your ass with the intent to eat you fast from one marker to the other. Rest 10 seconds then turn around and repeat. Do this 20 times.

Let me know how that feels.

Sprinting will develop your cardiovascular system FAR more than endurance activity and it will also build strength, power, and endurance. I cannot tell you the number of distance runners I have added sprint work to, dropped their mileage in half, and watched them slaughter their running records.


This list might not be what you wanted to hear. It isn’t flashy or glamorous. It doesn’t require supplements or fancy equipment I could sell you.

But I can promise you this: do these four exercises every single day for the next four months and I GUARANTEE you will be stronger, fitter, and feeling better. You will be more resilient mentally and physically and you will have a sense of accomplishment that you probably have never experienced before in your storied exercise history.

The truth is that what your body needs isn’t what the fitness industry is selling. Because frankly, there isn’t much to sell and no one wants to buy things that while seemingly simple are also far too challenging. We live in a world of excuses and laziness. We live in a world of chasing shiny new toys every year and forgetting last years exciting new toy. Like somehow we will achieve all of our dreams and goals by simply acquiring that next best thing.

The path to better health and fitness isn’t shiny and new.

It is tried, tested, and true. It is simplicity. It is respecting the very structure and design of that gorgeous mass of flesh and bones you call you and making it move the way it was built to work.

It isn’t hard.

But it isn’t easy.

-Coach Taylor

How To Cut Through the Crap

One of the most common questions I receive is, ‘how do I know what I should be doing?’

There are thousands of fitness ‘experts’ out there, thousands of programs, fitness products, opinions, and methodologies. All have fervent supporters and ‘success stories’ filling Instagram and infomercials with the promise that you can achieve the same results.

How can you possibly differentiate between the myriad of options and opinions? How can you tell what is legitimately based on real science and what is no better than Gwyneth Paltrows vagina rocks? (Yes, she wants you to put jade eggs in your vagina to ‘clear your chi pathways and solve every other health concern you have…).

The good news is that you are reading this. And I think over the years I have established myself as someone you can trust to cut through the bullshit and deliver information based on, you know, science and stuff.

Sorry, I have no vagina rocks to sell…

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (7532627e)n Gwyneth Paltrown Goop and La Perla celebrate the Opening of Goop Gift, Farmshop, Los Angeles, USA – 30 Nov 2016n WEARING LA PERLA

For me the answer to this question is relatively simple. I do recognize that almost two decades in this industry, thousands of clients trained, a master degree in human movement, and more certifications and courses than I can remember taking does give me a bit of an advantage when it comes to sorting out the good from the bad from the ugly.

How do I do it? How do I quickly look at a program or idea and judge so quickly it efficacy and legitimacy?

History and experience.

And I think that EVERYONE can do the exact same thing if we just put a little bit of logical thinking into it.

You have been bamboozled to believe newer is better and the advancement of science has given us lordship over the needs of the human body beyond what Mother Nature could ever possibly understand. Obviously the latest tech gadgetry will allow us to surpass our genetics. The latest supplement will lead to performance increases no human in the history of time could have ever dreamed possible!

It’s smoke and mirrors.

All you have to do is put a little bit of thought into it.

How was, how IS, your body supposed to move? What was it designed to do? How has it been crafted to interact together? This is not as complicated as it seems and I think we all have the innate ability to understand this.

man athlete running by the sea at sunset outdoors

Just. Think. About. It.

We lift things up. We carry things. We pull things. We get up off the ground. We throw things. We move from one place to the other. That’s it. That is everything we do.

We lift things. At one time it was logs, dead animals, plants, logs, stones, and whatever else we needed for survival. Not its our kids, groceries, coolers of beer, and that new Ikea couch that you have yet to assemble. We bend over, squat down, and step into lunges to lift things up.

We carry things. Once we have picked something up we most likely need to move it somewhere. Why else would we pick it up? Well, unless it’s a puppy. Then you picked it up just to hold it because, puppies! Carrying things is something your body excels at and it structurally designed to do. On your head, shoulder, back, hip, or in your hands or arms, your really, really efficient at carrying things around!

We pull things. Now you’re visualizing ancient humans dragging a deer carcass, which probably was something we did, but not so much in modern times. You still pull things. Like dragging that new Ikea couch to a different part of the room or your lazy cold kids up the hill in the snow before they slide back down to have you do it again. Or, you pull YOURSELF. Climbing a tree or getting up and over a fence…lol…I know, most people can’t do that. It’s actually a huge problem. You SHOULD be able to do that. Hence the purpose of this article…

We get up off the ground. That’s right. We stand up. From the ground, from bed, from a chair, from that fancy new Ikea couch. We get up. It is absolutely amazing to me and truly, horrifically, scary to me, how many people struggle to simply stand up. We have a couch in our studio that people complain constantly is too low and they can get up from it. Holy crap people. This is a huge problem. Not being able to get up off the ground should send tingles of fear throughout your body! Not being able to get up off a couch? You should really do something about that.

We throw things. There you go again with your picturing ancient humans. Yes we threw spears at animals, I get it. We don’t today. Today we play sports or toss our keys over to someone. It is actually a little harder for me to think of examples of this action and this is a problem because the transverse plane action of throwing requires full body coordination and stabilization that is vital to your health (twisting and moving your arms powerfully is super important and no one does it!).

We move from one place to another. Walking, jogging, running, sprinting, climbing, swimming, and jumping are all basic human movements. It is how we get from here to there and from there to over there and from over there back to here. We MOVE. We have gait patterns and a host of movements that we are literally built to be able to do. Like, literally, the very structure of our bones, the placement of muscles and tendons and ligaments, are all there to allow us to get around.

And this is the secret to how I cut through so much of the bullshit.

Is your training program designed to enhance and strengthen the way we are supposed to move and to make you better at accomplishing the things we do?

Sitting on a machine is not going to do it. Isolating your biceps for a huge pump is not going to do it. Bouncing around on those fucking stupid shoes with springs on the bottom is in no way related to how your body was built to work. The leg press machine is going to fuck your back to shit because the movement and position of your body doesn’t exist anywhere except on that machine and your physiology was not designed to work like that. The lat pulldown machines is a ridiculous way to train back muscles that were actually designed to pull you up not pull something down to you. Treadmills make no sense as we were not designed to run on the spot. Ellipticals? Wtf.

I could literally sit here all day and trash 99% of the fitness industry bullshit. But I have better things to do.

What I am attempting to get you to understand is that when you look at your exercise program or a piece of equipment, can you plausibly see how it could relate to how you actually were designed to move?

Does it use the whole body as a coordinated unit? Does it relate to one of the actions I described above? Does it involve all or at least most of the major muscles? Will it force you to move in a way that just might be useful to you?

Like walking through Ikea, lifting that box, carrying it somewhere, opening it up, having the dexterity to assemble it, dragging it to the best position, and then being able to get on and off of it?

-Coach Taylor

Do NOT Eat Every Three Hours!

Does Eating More Frequently Speed Up Your Metabolism?


Eat small meals frequently throughout the day to make sure you keep your metabolism moving as quickly as possible.

Make sure you NEVER go longer than three hours without eating.

Eat negative calorie foods to help lose weight.


You have heard this advice before. Every weight loss show, every fitness magazine, and every article on GOOP espouses it with religious fervour. Deny this scripture at your own peril!

If you want to lose body fat you HAVE, you HAVE to eat regularly or your metabolism will slow to a crawl and you will resemble the Pillsbury doughboy by the end of the week and your scale will explode in protest! Every trainer and every nutritionist out there will spend a good percentage of their time making sure you understand this.

I used to believe this too and for more than a decade I lived by it and coached the same message.

The idea is this: food has a thermic effect, which essentially means that when you eat food your body goes to work to digest it and this added activity increases your metabolic rate.

This is true.

Perusing the literature on the topic is challenging because it is extremely difficult to measure and so has very rarely been studied properly. Most of the data we have is from rodent studies and unfortunately if you are reading this you are not a rat.

A general overview of what is out there appears to lend some support to the idea that the thermic effect of food accounts for between 2% and 20% of your daily calorie consumption. That is a huge fucking range. On a 2000 calorie a day diet that is between 40 and 400 calories.


[Side note: this is all also assuming that calories are easily measured and how our body uses calories is easily measured, which is one million percentage NOT the case…]


Based on this idea eating during the day mean you expend these calories to digest. So the theory goes that if we eat frequently our metabolism will keep humming along digesting all the food and we will burn more calories. Yay! No doughboy in the mirror and the scale will be happy.


[Side note: you don’t weight yourself thought right? Because you have read all of my stuff and know the scale is fucking stupid.]


There is a missing link that is seemingly ignored in this whole equation. In order to get the digestion process humming along you need to eat food. Food has calorie in it. Eating enough to really crank up the metabolic process takes more food. This means more calories.

You cannot eat enough food to decrease your overall calories because the act of eating the food to increase your metabolism means you are ingesting more calories. It is a vicious circle!

What is one to do?

Eat negative calories!!!

That’s right, there are idiots our there who think there are negative calories. The idea here is that some foods are so low in calories that you burn more energy digesting them than they actually contain. This has led people to believe that consuming these foods will help with fat loss and weight management.

The easiest way to answer this is simple: it’s not fucking true. Negative calories don’t exist.

No, eating a lot of celery wont drop off the pounds and rev your metabolism to the roof.

Like, how much celery could you even eat? Even if negative calories was a thing and you just ate celery, there is no way you could eat enough to meet your daily requirements not to mention the fact that you wouldn’t be getting enough carbohydrate, protein, and vitamins and minerals to stay alive.

This is the most preposterous idea in the world of nutrition.



When you are constantly focused on eating all the time in order to ‘speed up your metabolism’ you just end up eating more. Then all of the dieters who want to keep their calories low choose food options that leave them feeling hungry and unsatisfied and the resulting evening food binge becomes the norm. But hey, that yogurt you ate for your 3rd snack after your second meal was ONLY 45 calories – yay you!

And the real truth of the matter is that it is very difficult to affect the number of calories you burn in a day. A plethora of research over the last few years has demonstrated that our metabolisms are essentially genetically fixed. Couch potatoes in rural America burn about the same number of calories as hunter-gatherers in Africa who are active all day. Our metabolisms seem to be pretty fixed.


[Side note: the idea that adding a pound of muscle means you burn 50 calories a day more is NOT true…busting myths left right and centre here….]


What about the idea that going too long between meals slows your metabolism down? This idea to I believed for much of my career. The quick answer is simply that it won’t.

As I just described above, your metabolism is barely affected by food consumption. In many studies on fasting in humans it has been verified time and again that our metabolisms DO NOT slow down when we have long durations during meals.

I don’t know how to describe this any better. The facts are simply that your metabolism does not slow down, in fact it doesn’t change, when you have 8-48 hour gaps between meals. That’s right, 48 hour gaps between meals. Two days. Holy shit.

Anecdotally, with the hundreds of people I have coached through intermittent fasting protocols, I can tell you that adding fasting periods daily results in the following: increased energy, increased mental alertness, decreased body fat, less fixation on food, more enjoyable meals.

Terrible, right?

What about hormone crashes? You have to eat more frequently to keep your blood sugar up! If you are feeling groggy and slow the best thing to do is eat something! Get some sugars into you for energy.

Actually, no. This also is not true. In fact, there is a growing body of research that fating windows actually improve hormone activity and response in the body. Research with diabetics and fasting is actually showing IMPROVED blood glucose (blood sugar) balance.

What has been found to increase energy levels during those mid-morning and mod-afternoon slumps?

#sorrynotsorry

Exercise. Movement. Going for a walk. Doing a workout. Walking some stairs. Physical activity increases energy. Weird eh? Burning energy increase energy? It appears so…

Something else to think about. Have you ever raised kids? Or raised a puppy? Infants and puppies need to gain weight and there is only one strategy to do this. Feed them frequently. Every 2 or 3 hours.

Uh-huh. That’s right. When we want to make them gain weight we feed them as frequently as possible. And their metabolisms are through the fucking roof already as they are growing like crazy!

Yet for some reason as adults, with slower metabolisms, we feel that the same feeding schedule is necessary to maintain or lower our weight. Slightly backwards thinking.

The idea that eating small frequent meals is good for us by keeping our metabolisms moving faster and balancing our hormone levels is completely false. We need to move people towards a style of eating and living that our bodies were designed to follow. Today, this is referred to as intermittent fasting.

I am growing to dislike that term more and more as it is become a catch all fitness phrase attached to weight loss. It isn’t. Our bodies were designed to eat food sporadically and to have long gaps without having to focus on digestion. I have written about this a lot.

You should NOT be eating 3 meals a day plus 3 snacks between meals. It is NOT making you healthier, in fact, it is doing the opposite.

-Coach Taylor


The Secret Exercise to Drop Fat and Boost Performance

Something I have seen time and time again throughout my training career is the idea that a specific exercise, training tool, shoe, article of clothing, or type of food is in any way related to fitness success or sports performance.

Recently, one of the awesome members at my brick and mortar fitness studio returned from a game of golf with family. She doesn’t golf often so it was a surprise to her fellow players when her drives kicked them all in the face. Instantly the questions began,

“What have you been doing to increase your distance so much?,” “how are you getting your hips to move so well?”

The million dollar questions!

Attentively they all eagerly awaited the secret in hope of replicating the same thing for themselves. My client did her best and after years of training with us suggested some exercises that we do on a regular basis that seemingly relate directly to the improved skills. Her intentions and heart were in the right place even if the advice was somewhat misguided.

Why?

I don’t believe even she knows the real reasons for her newly acquired skills of envy and in reality that is why she hired us!

This situation plays out time and time again on golf courses, soccer fields, at dinner parties, and any other gatherings every single day. Maybe it isn’t about golf.


‘You’ve lost weight, what’s your secret?’

‘You are so strong, what’s your secret?’

‘You look amazing, what’s your secret?’

‘You are so much faster now, what’s your secret?’


That is what everyone wants, right? That’s secret. What new super food did you begin eating to shed fat? What exercise did you do that made you improve so much? What equipment did you buy? What shoes did you buy? Is it that new moisture wicking fabric?

WHAT IS IT?

Usually at this point the person coughs up a couple of things and the interrogator rushes out with credit card in hand eager to acquire their new secret weapon, or they instantly start doing whatever new exercise they have been promised will lead them to ultimate glory.

Within a week it’s over.

The new product is either still in the package or was tried twice before beginning its new life as a collector of dust. While the exercise seems promising, the week just got way too busy and they didn’t get a chance to try it. And really, it is kind of complicated and they already have a program that they saw online once from a insta coach and they are already pretty close to giving that a try and don’t want to mess that up with this exercise that doesn’t seem to really fit into that program…

And just like that it is over.

There is the odd exception, however, where someone really does take it to heart and uses their new product, consumes the new super food, and really does the exercises everyday. This person is in for a real moment of heartache when they realize that after 4 weeks of adhering to the secrets nothing has changed. I mean, they have this new pain in their lower back, their grocery budget is higher, and their new fancy product looks well used, but they don’t feel any different, or look any different, and they certainly aren’t faster or driving a ball further.

What the fuck.

They tried so hard for like, a whole few days and spent all this money.

Time and time again, over and over and over the story goes. Honestly, the number of times I have seen this happen would be impossible to count but if I was paid for each one I would be writing this article on a beach in Zanzibar.

Why is this such an epic fail? Why does what works for my client NOT work for you?

The real secret is…

There is no secret. There is not single thing. There is no fast answer. Never. Ever. Ever. Never.

That athlete hawking those fancy shoes? Their success didn’t come from their footwear. Their success came from years, decades, of diligent training, epic failures, world class coaching, and competitive experience.

That super food didn’t do anything. My client has put in countless hours being diligent about eating a real food diet, avoiding excess, minimizing poor food choices, and listening to my advice. Yes, they add in the super food because it IS healthy. But it is actually the generally most of the time healthy food choices over many months that is creating the result you are lusting after with envious eyes.

That exercise is doing nothing. I mean, it is doing something, in conjunction with all the other exercises my client does. While she adheres to a comprehensive program designed by professionals with the goal of increasing overall mobility, strength, and movement. Is that exercise pertinent to the new found skill you are seeing? Yes, yes it is. But it is a part of an overall program. In and of itself it is completely useless for fat loss or making you stronger or move better or perform better.

This is the cold, hard, truth, because that is the only thing I know how to deliver.

There is no secret.

There is no super food, no amazing product or article of clothing, or any one single exercise that is going to smash your performance through the roof or drop your body fat percentage.

Everything always, ALWAYS, comes down to one thing and one thing only.

So, maybe there actually is a secret?

Then this is it: Regular, consistent exercise and healthy nutritional habits over long periods of time.

The cold, hard, secret.

-Coach Taylor



Did you know that I have an online training platform? If you want to escape the modern fitness industry and experience meaningful change to your strength, health, and life, you should join me!

www.evolutiononlinefitness.com

The New Weight Watchers App for Kids

So the world of health and fitness is all in a tizzy recently with Weight Watchers launching a new app designed for kids with the intent of using their famous points system to teach them supposedly good food options from poor food options. As I no longer read the daily news and follow very few blogs or accounts online, I am not sure how big a backlash this will be or how extensive it will be. I have discussed it with some of my contacts and a lot of the parents I work with on a daily basis plus have dived through a few articles on it.

What does Coach Taylor think? Here comes the honest truth that might surprise some people out there.

You know me, I am not afraid to shy away from controversy if it is based on reality, which is something that is sorely missing from so much of society today. Reality, not controversy!

I am going to take one for the team here. I am going to say what need to be said. Because apparently no one else is willing to.

The truth is: I like the premise of the app, nay, I love the premise of the app.

Yeah, that’s right, I fully endorse telling kids that vegetables are good for them and cereal, cake, donuts, candy, and sugary drinks WILL FUCKING KILL THEM.

Now before you stop reading and go straight to sending me hate mail, stay the course and finish this blog, I mean, you’ve already committed a full minute of your life, which in modern times is akin to an eternity, so what is a few more minutes?

To be fair the food choices within the app are NOT GOOD. Butter and all fats are not bad for you. There needs to be a better indicator of this and a differentiation between good foods and bad foods that is based on more current research. In general thought it is not horrific. The focus on weight loss is probably a bit too strong and BMI is notoriously misleading.

The critics came out fast against the app. Parents groups and dieticians from all over have come out slamming the app and starting petitions to have it banned. The criticism was the usual rhetoric:

“Stop body shaming kids”

“Kids this age shouldn’t be on a diet”

“Telling kids foods are bad leads to a negative association with food”

“This ranking system will create eating disorders and disordered eating”

“This system will cause body dissatisfaction”

“Classifying foods as good or bad associates food with morality”

“Eating healthy is more expensive and this system will marginalize the poor”

The list of critiques goes on. But it is the same arguments that have been levelled against EVERY program or strategy aimed at dealing with the insanely huge problem of childhood obesity. And it is an insanely huge problem. When there are children as young as 6 suffering from type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome – we have a HUGE fucking problem. The groups protesting this app seemingly want to stick their heads in the sand and hope that the problems go away.

Well they aren’t going away. They are getting worse. We have to do SOMETHING about it.

The solution from the critics? Always the same. Encourage healthy eating, use positive rewards; parents should set a good example; tell them it’s ok to be obese; tell them all bodies are ok; make positive behaviour changes, make food affordable, change the living conditions.

How has that been going for everyone?

Encourage healthy eating? We have been for decades. Broccoli over cookies when they are both in the house? Hmmmm……Parents set a good example? 90% of parents have no fucking idea what healthy eating is, our culture is totally fucked there, so how is that supposed to work? It’s ok to be obese? No, it isn’t. All bodies are ok? No, there is a line where your high body fat is not ok. Make positive behavioural changes. What the fuck does that even mean? Make healthy food more affordable than McDonalds. It is, you’re just choosing the wrong stuff. Change living conditions of obese children. Um, OK, what are you going to do? Intern all the obese kids at government sponsored weight loss, I mean healthy positive living, camps?

Listen. I am NOT saying that the new weight watchers app is a solution to the issue. It really isn’t. Trust me, this app will be like every other program out there, it is going to dramatically help some kids and it is going to cause issues for some other kids. It is not the devils creation come to demonize all the kids today and shame them into the couches of therapists.

Weight Watchers is merely leveraging our already EXTREMELY fucked up relationship with food that is society wide. This app isn’t causing the problem, this app is merely a symptom of the problem.

But at least they are trying to do something.

The problem is you.

Yeah, that’s right. It’s you. It is most members of our society, it is most parents out there, it is the school system, the medical system, and just about every other aspect of modern western society.

We already live in a diet society, in a body focused society, in a weight loss society, in a body shaming society. It’s totally fucked but this app won’t make it worse.

As a culture we glorify shitty food, we glorify alcohol, we glorify parties, we glorify indulgence, we glorify ‘treating yourself’, and we glorify disordered eating. You can’t escape it anymore than you can prevent the Canadian winter from rolling in come December. Why?

It’s everywhere. Every TV show, every book, movie, commercial and magazine is filled with the message of indulgence. Every kids event is filled with the message of indulgence. Sport event? Here is the tray of cookies. School fundraiser? Let’s sell chocolate bars! Camping trip? SMORES! The weekend? Pizza! Birthday party, anniversary, graduation, anything? Cake, chips, candy, cupcakes, rice crispy treats. Breakfast? Cereal. (Yeah, I am on a never ending crusade against cereal).

Now everyone is thinking, ‘but Coach Taylor those are events to be celebrated and enjoyed!’ Yeah, true. And therein lays a deeper issue far more insidious than the Weight Watchers app. You.

Parents and educators and coaches. You are doing far more damage to little minds than the Weight Watchers app. You are associating positive life events with food. This is the flip side of the dieting culture and the part that EVERYONE ignores.

We only freak out about telling kids no and creating negative associations with shitty food. No one bats a fucking eye creating POSITIVE associations with shitty food. And when you call people out on this people fucking freak out because, ‘you have to indulge sometime,’ ‘you have to still live a little,’ ‘you have to enjoy life still.’

All true. But since when did those things have to equate to eating shitty sugar laden concoctions. You know that there are other rewards in the world besides food.

Because the truth is that in modern western civilization there is ALWAYS a birthday party, or school event, or holiday, or get together, or trip, or sporting practice, or something, that is associated with shitty fucking food.

And then it gets worse.

Love it or hate my friends, we all become our parents. I have noticed this more and more as I age. You start to hear your parents voice come out of your mouth, realize you are talking like them, feeling the way they feel about things, and moving like they move. We become who are parents are, not what our parents said.

So now comes the really hard to hear part. The reason you are more to blame than weight watchers.

Remember a few years ago when you stopped eating gluten? You know, just before you signed up with your friend for that supplement product. Which you don’t do now because it doesn’t fit with your paleo lifestyle. And you love being paleo way more than you liked low carb even before the gluten free days because, bacon. All of this is better than those nasty shakes with the green powdered vegetable concoction. Shit, that stuff was gross. And, I mean, paleo is OK but the damage eating meat does to the earth is just so bad, right? Thank fuck they make the Beyond Meat burger now! Maybe going vegetarian would work because then you could fit in wine, because wine = life.

Continue reading The New Weight Watchers App for Kids

How Costco Represents Everything Wrong With Western Culture

It used to be a typical weekend activity for me for a large portion of my life, the foraging trip to Costco. Everything you need under one large roof and in such mass quantities that the cost of good purchased is perceptively lower than obtaining products elsewhere. We would roll into an oversized parking space grab an oversized cart and meander the typical route through the store starting past the electronics and finishing at the register just before passing by the indoor version of a food truck. Along the way sampling everything at the little sample counters, discovering all sorts of new products and revelling in the glory of the amazing deals filling the cart. It was often a trip shared by various family members and the social aspect truly solidified the good feelings associated with the trips.

This is modern hunting and gathering. This is how Costco has become the behemoth that it is today, through leveraging our very genetically crafted patterns evolved to sustain the lives of ourselves and of our tribal groups. Such a masterful culmination of decades of consumer research combined with deeper understandings of evolutionary biology and modern psychology has resulted in the ultimate marketing machine.

And it is insane.

Costco is a representation of almost everything plaguing our ‘modern’ western society.

We gave up our membership three years ago and I haven’t set foot in there since. I intend to never pass through those always-open doors ever again. I don’t miss it and surprisingly my life has not degraded into total chaos lacking the essentials of life. I don’t miss it.

Yesterday I was picking someone up from our local branch and sat in my vehicle pondering this modern mecca and observing the comings and goings of the patrons. This article began to form in my head and with an upcoming holiday weekend based on the mass consumerism endemic to our culture (because yes, Easter has become just another mass-market selling opportunity. Sorry to my religious readers, of you still embody the spirit of the celebration I hold you no grievance, however, you are the minority) and I needed to get it all out.

The same pattern was repeated over, and over, and over again during my thankfully brief observational study. The majority of the people I saw were overfat, those that weren’t almost all had readily observable movement and mobility issues, gait patterns were slow, plodding, and poor, and dour expressions were the norm. I felt like I was just a few degrees away from observing an episode of The Walking Dead.

Yes. Some GROSS generalizations in the preceding paragraph but they were accurate for the majority of the subjects I observed. ‘The majority’ intrinsically implies that a large percentage of the people I saw did not fit the aforementioned description. So do not comment or write to me stating that this isn’t true of everyone. I get it.

The zombie like adherence to this modern cultural phenomenon is indicative of how so many live their lives today.

Now let’s get to the meat of this article and go through just what exactly it is about Costco that is so representative of the issues plaguing this ‘modern’ western culture.

[Side note: I keep putting ‘modern’ in quotes for a reason. We use the term modern with the implication that it is somehow better than cultural practices that existed before. I do not hold this viewpoint. While there are many amazing aspects to society today there are also many aspects that I truly believe are horrific and that we are losing some of the very essence that makes us human. An article for another day.]

 

Mass consumerism

For most of the people on the planet, homes are quite small and are often shared by immediate and extended family. That is if there is even the ability to HAVE a home and not be forced to rent or lease space to live and/or the land most people reside on. In Canada and the US almost everyone lives in, what would be considered throughout the rest of the world, massive and luxurious dwellings that are essentially empty. If you are reading this and think I am wrong you need to do a little learning into the rest of the world.

What has always blown my mind is the amount of STUFF that we have. We have so much stuff that these huge dwellings we have are absolutely packed with it. Rooms are filled, closets are filled, garages are filled, everywhere, stuff. And it gets crazier.

Like this fucking really blows my mind. We have so much stuff that we can’t even fit it all into our homes. Storage businesses are a huge and growing market. We have so much stuff that we have to go rent even MORE space and then pack that full of stuff to. What. The. Literal. Fuck. It’s actually insane.

And Costco is right there to help us fill it all up. More is better. More is cheaper. Value. Why buy one when you can have three. Last years version is done, you need this years version. It’s better. People will like you more. You wouldn’t want anyone to see last years Christmas wreath on your door would you. Horrific.

We buy and we buy and we buy. Then we store it. Or throw it out. Spring-cleaning is common here. A way to unload all the stuff you have collected so you can fill it up with newer, better stuff. Costco’s business is reliant on this. If you aren’t buying in bulk then they will go out of business.

But, Coach Taylor, I go there for food, which you have to buy on a regular basis. True. This is true. And Costco obliges. A dozen eggs? Nah, a tray of 36 eggs. Franks hot sauce? Here is the oversize bottle in a two-pack. Why buy a measly little ice cream when you can get 4 litres of it for the same cost! There are some very interesting analysis of the actual cost of Costco food that show the actual cost of the food when accounting for waste and loss (like when you don’t eat all 4lbs of strawberrys and trash (sorry, you compost, right?)) is not any cheaper at Costco than at any other grocery store.

Costco feeds mass quantities and the mantra of buy more. It is the corporeal representation of mass consumerism.

 

Animal Meat and Agriculture

 

This is going to hurt some of you. I am not sorry. You shouldn’t be sticking your head in the sand. Open your eyes my friends.

People always say to me: ‘oh, but I get my meat from Costco, it’s so much cheaper.’ Yeah, it is. Do you know why it is so much cheaper? Do you know how they get it cheaper? ‘Well they buy it in bulk and pass the savings on to us.’ True! Do you know how they get that much meat to keep all of their locations fully stocked all the time?

Have you seen a commercial beef farm? Have you seen the chicken farms? Have you looked at the photos of pigs who live in a steel cage on their side their entire short life? Oh, is that too hard to hear? Too fucking bad.

If you buy your meat at Costco you are a primary contributor to the horrific and abusive treatment of millions of animals. You just are. And you can pretend it doesn’t exist all you want if it makes you feel better at night on a stomach full of steak but that doesn’t change the fact that Costco is right up there with the fast food industry and horrific treatment of animals.

Yes, I used to buy meat there all the time. It was cheaper! And yes, I am getting quite preachy now. Because I have learned and am making every effort to change my habits. To be a better human. I love meat and I think it is good for us. But where it comes from and how we raise it are vitally important.

I won’t dive too much into agriculture here but it is reminiscent of the same types of things I am talking about with raising animals. The environmental damage that modern agriculture creates is completely ignored by most of us.

Please read Michael Pollens book, The Omnivores Dilemma, before lashing out at me over these topics. Learn first, then we can discuss.

 

Packaging

 

I don’t think I am going to spend much time on this one. The plastic. Plastic on plastic on plastic. And I get it; it’s not ONLY Costco here. But just take a walk down the enormous aisle and see the sea of bulk packaging.

Remember, this article is about Costco being representative of everything wrong with our ’modern’ culture, it is not about how Costco is so bad and everyone else is better. Amazon, grocery chains, and most retail is just as guilty, sometimes more so, Costco just represents it all so well!

 

Socialized homogeneity

 

Oh, I am sorry. I don’t mean to offend, I really don’t. But when you mass consume products at Costco do you somehow think you are unique? That you are displaying your own individual style? You and the 100,000 other people who bought the same Christmas wreath this season.

What ever happened to making our own decorations? Going to local artisans and contractors for furniture, tableware, decorations, and the like? Costco. Costco is what happened. We get spoonfed what to watch, how to dress, how to decorate, what season it is, how to setup our yards, and what is ‘in style.’ Then you have to buy it to display how on trend you are. Otherwise people might judge you!

The same goes for food. The pre-made party snacks, dips, crackers, displays, and other fare that that is purchased and then re-heated at home so you can be the consummate social entertainer. But you didn’t make any of it. You didn’t create it. You don’t know who did make it, prepared it, grew it…there is no connection to it.

It has made us a culture of the same. Drop yourself into almost any city in the US and Canada and you would be hard pressed to know where you are if you landed in the shopping districts. It’s all the same restaurants, the same stores, the same layout. It is all the same. Our houses are decorated with the same things, the food we eat is the same, the media we consume is the same. And then every year you have to repurchase everything to keep up with the trend, which was given to you by those awesome designers and buyers at Costco.

 

Gluttony and Mindless Eating

 

You wander through the store. You eat a sample of this. You try a morsel of that. An hour later you don’t remember it. And people get crazy. Butting in line trying to get their hands on the food before there isn’t any left (you think it’s an accident that those little sample tables only put out a little at a time?). And people wait. They sit and spend their valuable time standing there waiting for some stranger to heat up something our of some package that was put in there by a combination of other strangers and machines. All for what? That mouthful of hotdog with a new relish? The frozen quiche? What. I. Can’t.

Then comes the register and checkout point. The smells of the hotdogs, fries, gravy, poutine (it’s Canadian and I am not proud of that), and pizza, all accompanied but magnificent soft drinks in voluminous sizing. And cheap! Why wouldn’t you have a dog, fries, pop, and an ice crème at 3 in the afternoon after eating all the samples and before you head home to make an epic meal from all the purchases you just rang through the register.

The wanton gluttony and the mindless eating is so pervasive in our culture and Costco has capitalized this right into billion dollar profits. Food is produced to maximize calories and minimize satiety so you can eat more, consume more, buy more and get an awesome dopamine high in the process.

 

You Are The Cattle

 

I hated this at Costco. The system. You walk in and they check your card. Then you walk the way they tell you (lol, have you tried going through Costco the opposite way as everyone else? Can be quite a fun time) like a perfect little school of fish swimming down river. Then through the checkout partitions (where you wait in yet another line) reminiscent of every slaughterhouse in the world. And then the coup d’état, that fucking person making yet ANOTHER line so that they can scan over your bill on the way out. Oh man I hate that part of it all. Something viscerally enrages me being monitored and supervised like that.

You are cattle. Our entire culture treats us this way and Costco leverages it under the guise of a better shopping experience for you. Making it more efficient for your benefit! We have been lulled into a feeling of heard mentality and barely anyone is even aware of it. We have allowed this to happen and are headed to our own slaughter.

Most people go through life a mere member of the flock doing our best to stay in formation (studying bird flocks and fish schools is oddly fascinating!), fearful of what might become of us should we step outside the norm. We allow ourselves to be dictated to and give it no thought.

Why is this important? Because it makes us mere consumers that can be manipulated, controlled, and sold to.When we give up our freedom of thought and we don’t reflect on the WHY of the things that we do we end up victims of the marketing machine.

And that is exactly what our culture does and exactly what Costco leverages.

As Katy Perry succinctly serenades us, “I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.”

What Does This All Mean

 

All three people who are still reading this might now be wondering what the fuck this has to do with health and fitness. Coach Taylor has gone off the deep end, or as my wife tells me, has gone full hippie.

Maybe.

I have always been fiercely independent and I regret the years my eyes were not open to this. I am not perfect. I am not asking anyone to be perfect. But I want everyone to take a step back and really think about things. To contemplate the why. To ask yourself what you really need.

To explore what is really important in life.

And how does this affect your health?

It is because these fixtures of our modern culture all lead to everything that is destroying our health. Eating too much, mass produced food, packaged and highly processed food-like things, stress and anxiety, and environmental degradation. These things directly impact our physical health and our mental health.

Costco perfectly highlights it all. Aisle upon isle of mass produced goods. Packaged and processed shit storms left right and centre. Gluttony. Over-consumption. Stress inducing lines and parking lots. I could continue this list all day.

It is important to ask questions of yourself and your life: what do you really need? Are there better ways to procure what you need that support your more immediate surroundings? Are you over-consuming?

Intrinsic happiness for a fulfilling life comes not from consumption but from participation. Our culture has been foregoing this for decades and Costco is the modern success story of all of it.

 

-Coach Taylor

Why I Love Fasting (And Why You Should Too)

WARNING: This is long. This is important. You MUST read it. It will be vital to your life. So get a nice cup of tea, kick back, and dive in!!! 


I love fasting. You should love fasting. You should be fasting. Every human should be fasting.

Blog complete.

Lol, right. I mean that truly is all that I want to say and all that needs to be said. However, I recognize this would never be taken seriously because people want evidence! Where is the study? The fact that the vast majority of people have no idea how to interpret nor comprehend studies has no pertinence on the matter.

So I will endeavor to deliver an explanation of my opening statement, nay, of my opening conviction, in the hopes that you can garner a new understanding of why this topic is so very vital to you.

But if you don’t feel like reading at the moment, let me give you the conclusion now so that you can get on with your day: you need to have fasting periods in your life as a regular part of your health plan.

There you go. Objective completed.

For the rest of you, here we go!


I am going to present to you in this article an overview of the primary benefits related to fasting and health. The goal is that you will finish with enough information to guide your own personal inquiry. You should not believe everything I say, in fact you should not believe everything ANYONE says. You should be a competent investigator when it comes to your health. Read, learn, read more, and then formulate your own conclusions. While I am not going to include a list of journal citations (AHA Coach Taylor! I knew it!!! This is all just your personal opinion!! No citations? Then you haven’t done your home work!), I am going to provide a summation of the existing literature. I read journals and expert information on this daily but I believe spoon feeding lists of references simply leads to blind faith followers. That is not my style.

I want you to question me. I want you to doubt me. I want you to go out into the world of information and prove me wrong! This is how I ensure that my arguments are sound.

Ok, ok…I am getting on with it…

Let me first say that I hate the term intermittent fasting. Why? Mainly because it has become far to ‘catch=phrasey’, as most things in the fitness industry do. Over the last five years it has become another ‘diet plan’ or something that ‘you do’ and the true importance of fasting for your body is now overshadowed by the never-ending quest for weight loss.

There is also a complete lack of English comprehension at work here as well. Even if I chose to keep the term ‘intermittent fasting’ it is readily apparent that most people have never read a dictionary.



16:10, warrior fasting, 5:2, eat stop eat, alternate day. All labels within the fitness community for different fasting protocols. Everyone is seemingly oblivious to the fact that by following a schedule you are no longer doing anything ‘intermittently,’ right?

Weight loss. Fat loss. The two primary tenants of the modern concept of fitness. EVERYTHING is related to these concepts and if your diet and/or exercise program is not demonstrating how to lose weight it is relegated to the dustbin of failed promises. Yes, there is the other side of fitness, ‘how much can you lift, bro?’, however, those people are so enchanted by the mythology of eons past I don’t even attempt to explain to them the ignorance of their thinking

The FACTS are simple: fasting is essential to your health and is the easiest way you can make positive changes to your life immediately.

Please note that for the duration of this article I am simply going to say fasting and will be desquamating the term ‘intermittent fasting’ forthwith.

This is the point where dieticians and most of the medical industry will begin to freak out. Their outdated beliefs that we must eat every three hours to balance blood sugar and that breakfast is a vital component to ones health are so ingrained into their DNA that the mountain of evidence and information contrarian to said beliefs are completely ignored. It is disheartening and actually a little bit scary.

The peer-reviewed, longitudinal evidence available on the effects of fasting on human (and actually on all animal) health is voluminous and categorically affirmative. In my five years of studying the results of fasting on biological organisms I have yet to find a negative outcome in the literature. As stated above, PLEASE go out and find the evidence otherwise because I want to ensure I am not missing something!

Typically when people attempt to point out that the outcomes of fasting protocols do not show strong evidence, it is because they are fixated on weight loss.

It is true, ‘intermittent’ fasting as a mechanism of weight loss has mixed evidentiary findings. I would say in my learning that it is pretty evenly divided between the findings that the protocols are effective as a weight loss program and the findings that the protocols are not effective. One very strong finding here is that almost overwhelmingly the data suggests that the protocols studied so far are no more effective than other weight loss interventions. Essentially, if the goal is weight loss the fasting protocols do work, but so do many other weight loss interventions.


This brings me to the essence of this article.

I am not writing about weight loss and I firmly believe we have to take that idea out of the discussion of fasting. Well, actually, I firmly believe that we have to take weight loss completely out of the discussion for everything fitness related but that is an article for another day.

Because when we look at fasting through the lens of every single scientific field that has invested time into researching the effects on biological organisms (yes, that includes you, you beautiful homo sapien you!) the results are truly extraordinary.

Improved health, increased longevity, decreased disease risk, improved immunofunction, and improved cognitive health are just some of the verified outcomes.

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?! And isn’t that what every health program promises? Yes. Yes it does. So what makes this any different? How do you know this is for real?

Simple. Neither myself, nor anyone discovering these findings, is trying to sell you something. Because there is nothing to sell. There are no products, supplements, or specialty foods required. There is no money to be made. And this opens the door wide open to explore actual evidence with no ulterior motive of profit gain.

Trust me, that sucks. I have spent a decade and a half watching sham snake-oil sales people and idiot fitness people make fortunes, while I stay true to my ethics and make ends meet. I’m ok with it. All I truly care about is improving the quality of people’s lives.


What then is the purpose of this article?


I want to provide you a stepping stone to further learning. I am going to give you a very brief overview of my learning to date and all of the areas that fasting has shown positive results for human health. You have two options from there.

First: take what I say as factual, trusting that I have done my research and will continuing to follow all of the latest information as it becomes available. Then you can focus on incorporating fasting into your life. I will talk about strategies for this at the end of the article.

Second: begin your own learning. Use these areas I am about to highlight as a starting point to begin your own investigation into the history and benefits of fasting. Question everything. Hunt for a variety of sources. Ensure you are investigating a variety of fields of study.

***************

Here we go! The primary benefits of fasting I have gleaned from years of research, self-experimentation, and observational information from clients I have helped to incorporate fasting.

  1. History

Anthropological

In the history of the planet earth it has been the rare exception that any species or organism has had access to nourishment (food) easily and at all times. Life itself is a constant struggle to obtain enough resources to live. The physiology of animals and plants has been completely evolved around the procurement of resources to sustain us.

Only humans through the use of technology and highly evolving intelligence have been able to surpass this limitation. And only in the last 100 years have large numbers of our species been able to have unlimited access to food. Today, modern western societies and increasing numbers of other societies have access to a large variety of immediately accessible food whenever it is desired.

Of course we over eat. We are genetically built to consume and store as many calories as possible. It is how we ensure long term survival – store as much as you can when there is plenty in order to give yourself the best chance of surving the periods of scarce resources.

We are living in a time, however, that food is always available. Not just available but actively pushed on us. Our bodies were not designed for this and as we continually eat we eschew the mechanisms our bodies have to keep us healthy.

Only recently have we begun to understand that these mechanisms are not just about keeping us alive in times of scarce resources but they are actually essential to our health. Our bodies need times of scarcity in order to function at optimal levels. When we eat too often this break never occurs.

While this article is not going to dive too deeply into WHAT we eat it is important to also note here that until around the 1950’s highly processed food that was able to last for weeks or months did not exist. Later we will briefly discuss the importance of what you eat but it must always be remembered that did not evolve to eat 90% of what you currently find in most grocery stores (not to mention about 99% of what you find in convenience stores…)

Socio-cultural

Eat your breakfast! It is the most important meal of the day! Say’s all of the corporations who want to sell you cereal. There is actually a well documented history of the rise of the cereal companies and I highly recommend you look it up. Although it can be a little bit scary!

My point here is that there are many ideas that have become common place in our modern times, which run completely contrary to the actual history of humanity. I do not want to get all ‘conspiracy theory,’ however, it is important to note that if you dig a little deeper into the history of our food and our food supply almost all of our food habits and food supplies have been crafted, created, and manufactured intentionally to increase profits. Seriously, I am not making this stuff up.

The truth is that for the majority of the existence of humanity we have eaten once or twice a day, typically around mid-day, and experienced times of feast and times of famine.

The idea of three meals a day plus snacks in between is a VERY modern creation and is beginning to show its horrific effects to our health. It is going to be a very hard battle to fight any kind of change to this ideology and I personally believe it is a losing battle. There is too much vested interested in having us consume as much food as possible.

It must also be noted that feasts and treats were VERY different than what we currently experience. I have written a lot about this and delved a little deeper in my article, ‘The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You are Still Over-fat,’ so I will not go too deep here.

Feasts were rare. Special occasions and after harvests. Obviously, harvests were annual so this was beyond our control. Feasting would have been during celebrations like weddings, specific holidays, or other communal gatherings and would have been very infrequent, most likely only a few time a YEAR.

Today we feast almost daily. Weekends are a constant feasting period and in between there are birthdays, work parties, congratulations you went to sports practice today and deserve a huge meal times. It is constant.

Treats have NO meaning. Cookies, cakes, ice-cream, donuts, pastries, candy, and all of the other shit crap non-nutritive food didn’t even exist before the 20th century! Today they are consumed almost daily. We are especially bad at stuffing this crap down the throats of our children because apparently if they go longer than a day or two without it they will be emotionally devastated and their lives will be terrible.

What does this have to do with fasting? As I will touch on later, when we have fasting periods (as we should) daily there is an even greater importance needed on food quality and there is far less room in our diets for this non-food shit.

Let us dive into the documented benefits of fasting from different disciplines.

  1. Autophagy

In 2016 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discovery on the mechanism for autophagy. Why is this important? Because I want to highlight how new this information is. While we have discovered A LOT about science and nature in the last 400 years, we are still not fully versed in the functioning of our physiology. This concept was hinted at in the 1960’s but wasn’t actually elucidated until the 1990’s!

Autophagy is a term for the underlying mechanisms with our bodies that is a fundamental process for degrading cellular components and then recycling those components. Essentially, it is the garbage truck system of your body and is responsible for cleaning up the degradation of cellular components, which includes things like bacteria and viruses.


Thanks to Ohsumi and others following in his footsteps, we now know that autophagy controls important physiological functions where cellular components need to be degraded and recycled. Autophagy can rapidly provide fuel for energy and building blocks for renewal of cellular components, and is therefore essential for the cellular response to starvation and other types of stress. After infection, autophagy can eliminate invading intracellular bacteria and viruses. Autophagy contributes to embryo development and cell differentiation. Cells also use autophagy to eliminate damaged proteins and organelles, a quality control mechanism that is critical for counteracting the negative consequences of aging.

Disrupted autophagy has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and other disorders that appear in the elderly. Mutations in autophagy genes can cause genetic disease. Disturbances in the autophagic machinery have also been linked to cancer.”
-https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2016/press-release (Visited March 14th, 2019)


Did you read that? If not go back and READ IT. This isn’t some random theory spewed off from an over zealous celebrity on GOOP. This is real science that won a Nobel Prize. This process is already recognized as vitally important to our physiology and we are just beginning to learn about it!

You want to do everything you can to keep this process functioning at optimal levels. How do you do that? There are only two known ways:
1) Exercising with rigorous intensity
2) Fasting periods of 16 hours or longer.

Two things that are vital to your health. Do them.

  1. Brain Health

Periods of fasting have been associated recently with reduction in risk of many cognitive issues currently plaguing our population. Research is ongoing in the fields of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, and other areas. So far all of the research is demonstrating positive outcomes for those with fasting periods. Obviously, with these types of conditions longitudinal research will take time but with all of the other benefits, why bother waiting?

The brain itself has been shown to have positive effects from fasting periods which many people associate to the other demonstrable benefits of fasting, which include: better sleep, better focus, increased attention spans, clearer thoughts, and improved memory. There are many mechanisms being investigated at the moment and it is unknown at this time the exact physiological process that is creating these results.

  1. Improved Immune System

Improved functioning of the immune system has been observed as a result of fasting and current research is being conducted with AIDS patients as well as cancer patients.

Again, the exact processes are currently not known, however the outcomes are all positive.

As far as I can tell, the following is mostly anecdotal, but it is prolific enough that I do think there is something worth noting. Decreases in sickness and illness are very commonly reported from those who fast and I have personally observed this myself and with my clients. It does stand to reason that if fasting has positive effects on the immune system we would be less susceptible to these types of illnesses.

It is unknown if these outcomes are resultant from fasting itself or other mechanism that themselves are improved as a result of fasting, for example our microbiome, which we will discuss shortly.

  1. Inflammation

Multiple studies have linked fasting to decreases in body inflammation and inflammatory response. It is widely accepted that chronic body inflammation has very deleterious effects on the human body so any mechanism of reducing this should be explored rigorously. Again, the exact mechanisms are unknown at this time but the correlation is there.

  1. Cardiovascular Health

There is small amounts of data on fasting and cardiovascular health and to my knowledge there have not been any specific studies addressing this. However, there are many research summaries that have found links as well as fasting studies that have found links.

The fact that fasting has been linked consistently with reductions in bodyfat, blood pressure, and improved blood triglycerides is undoubtedly underlying the reduction in CVD risk.

  1. Improved Blood Sugar Balance and Hormone Level

A common fear amongst medical practitioners and dieticians is that prolonged fasting period will wreck havoc on blood sugar levels and the levels of other hormones, such as IGF-1. This in turn could negatively impact both healthy people and those with diseases such as diabetes or metabolic disease.

However, all current research as demonstrated improvements to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as reduction, if not complete reversal of metabolic disease. Hormonal research has also found the fasting protocols lead to an improvement in the bodies hormone balances.

  1. Other Medical Issues and Lifespan

It is FAR to early to think that fasting is a cure for major disease, however it must be noted that there is a growing body of research demonstrating reductions in incidences of cancer and reductions in incidences and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Again, this is not yet a viable treatment option but the correlations are beginning to be observed.

It has been known for decades that a reduction in an organisms overall calorie intake is directly related to increases in lifespan. A 30% reduction in overall calories over the course of an organisms life statistically leads to a 30% increase in the organisms lifespan. This has held true across all organisms studies. Fasting invariably leads to long term reduction in calories so it is not surprising that this is correlated to increase life span.

  1. Gut Health and Microbiota

Like autography, our understanding of our gut microbiome and our gut health is still in its infancy. To date however, all data in this field continually supports the idea that the bacteria living inside of us and all over us are VITALLY important to our health.

As I write this article, yet another article, published in the Journal of Physiology, links our microbiota with health benefits, in this case, reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.

Our fascination with sterile environments and our war on all bacteria is linked to dozens of modern health issues such as increases in allergies, increases in disease, reduced immunity, and a host of metabolic disorders. This is just to name a VERY few.

Fasting protocols have consistently been found to have positive effects on our microbome and on our gut health. As I shall discuss shortly this is most likely from two factors; giving our body a beak from constant digestive work, and creating a focus on healthier foods by limiting available eating time. Again, this research is still very new and the next few years will be very exciting!

  1. Matches Our Physiology

As I have stated, there is no organism on earth that has constant and easy access to a source of sustenance. Life is essentially a battle to obtain enough food to keep us alive so that we can procreate. Yes, humans have developed beyond that into future planning and philosophy, however, our genes and our cells do not know this. They are still operating on the premise that the purpose of life is to consume as much food as possible to prevent starvation.

Because of this fact our bodies have a host of mechanisms to deal with periods of low to no food availability. The keto club LOVES to talk about ketones, which is just one of many tools our body has at its disposal to protect us from starvation. This system flips us over to a fat metabolism in order to keep us alive and this is why people love the idea of it. Burning fat as fuel? I can finally get those abs! Our bodies also will down regulate our metabolism and they will shut of different functions in an effort to preserve energy, to name but a couple of others. There are a host of possible routes our bodies can take to protect us.

The purpose of this article is not to discuss the efficacy, nor the intelligence, of attempting to manipulate these systems as a means of conceivably obtaining some kind of culturally mediated aspiration, but is being written to discuss the benefits of fasting protocols for your body. The question of IF we should manipulate these systems can be left for another day.

The last decade has shone a new spotlight on how our bodies truly work and what has been uncovered is that because the rigours of life have created the multitude of protective systems, our bodies have actually come to need periods of eating restriction. We are literally built to function without constant food ingestion. With the richness of modern culture attempting to prevent any type of starvation because of the fact that we are able to constantly have food (unprecedented in history), the idea that constantly eating must be better for us took a strong foothold.

It is now quickly being understood, however, that this is not the case. Example after example, and data point after data point, is demonstrating that our physiology does its job the best when we eat less frequently.

Our physiology is literally designed for this. The grand experiment of constant eating has been an abject failure and we need to move forward armed with a better understanding of how we actually work.

  1. Your Teeth

As of yet I can find no empirical research on this topic so this fasting benefit is a mixture of anecdote and knowledge within the dental health world.

Anecdotally, everyone reports how clean their teeth feel. I have noticed this myself somewhat dramatically. It feels like you have had them cleaned everyday! One of the first things I notice on days with no fasting is that my teeth have that fuzzy feeling to them.

Well, just brush them! Sure, that is possible! Let’s say you subscribe to the three meals a day plus two snacks so typical of modern dietary recommendations and typical of just about every single fitness ‘expert’ out there. That would mean you are brushing your teeth five times a day. Find me the dentist who recommends brushing your teeth five times a day is a good idea. It isn’t. Over-brushing can lead to a host of tooth and gum issues.

And let us not ignore the demands of the amount of time this would eat up combined with the necessity to pack your dental tools with you constantly.

Our teeth don’t want to be covered in food constantly any more than the rest of our digestive system wants to be constantly working.

  1. Time

The last couple of benefits are going to discuss the psychological aspects of fasting.

The first of these is time. Time to cook, prep, pack, carry, and ingest food on a five meal a day basis. Anyone who has attempted this will be the first to tell you how impossible it is for anyone living in our western culture.

Yes, all you fitness buffs out there and wananbe figure and fitness models, I get it. You fucking get off on filling up your perfect little containers with your perfectly portioned little snacks and meals. Cool. Go for it. But please recognize that the rest of us have no interest and most likely no time to do this. Oh, and it’s completely unnecessary but if you disagree with me on that you have learned nothing so far reading this article.

Cooking three meals and prepping snacks for just yourself is time consuming and those who prepare food for their families or others know even more how much time this can take. And then we must also consider the amount of time for shopping, planning, prep, cleaning of dishes and pans and containers, to name just a few other aspects. The fact is that eating this way is very time intensive.

No wonder we have turned to fast food, pre-made meals, boxed and shipped to us meals, delivery, and restaurants. Our modern lifestyles simply do not afford the time to truly prep constant food supplies in a healthy way unless you are able to make that the primary part of your day.

Fasting periods eliminate much of this. Prepping one or two meals a day is far less work and allows the ability to get back to other essential aspects of taking care of our health like cooking. Couple that with creating meals that lend themselves to being eaten multiple days and we can essentially be in the kitchen every other day if that is all that is permitted. Or you can spend a Sunday afternoon preparing a few meals that can be quickly cooked or reheated during the week leaving most of the week free from food preparation.

There are dozens of ways that time is saved by adding in fasting to your life and a quick search of the internet will provide countless blogs with tips, tricks, and advice.

  1. Fixation on Food and the Psychology of Fasting

This is a very common criticism of adding fasting to our lives. The argument is that by skipping some meals we will be so hungry that we will become completely fixated on eating all the time, or that this will develop disordered eating patterns.

Even if this were the case that fasting makes us fixate on food (which it does not), how would this be any different than eating five times a day? People are already constantly fixated on food. When is the next meal? When is the next snack? What time is it…oh shit….I was supposed to eat eight almonds and six pieces of celery ten minutes ago….I’M GOING TO GO CATABOLIC – MY METABOLISM IS CRASHING! Lol. Seriously, you’ve thought this before. I know it.

The truth is, for myself and everyone I have seen go through the transition ot adding fasting, that you focus on food FAR less as time passes. Instead you begin to spend your extra time doing non-food related things and do not fill the time constantly pondering the next meal. If you eat good food you aren’t hungry, ever, and eating becomes a very pleasurable experience instead of just cramming food into your mouth because the clock says so.

We are already fixated on food. Fasting decreases this over time.

And what about developing disordered eating patterns? ALWAYS someone throws out how terrible this would be for people dealing with anorexia or bulimia. The answer to that is, as far as I can ascertain, unknown. If you have seen some data on that please send it my way. But this argument is indicative of so many problems within the world of health and fitness. I am not writing this to deal with psychological issues of a very small minority of the population, I am writing this to the vast bulk of the population who are not anorexic or bulimic. Those people should be in the care of practitioners trained to deal with them and should never be assisted by personal trainers and fitness coaches.

To date I am unaware of anyone who has attempted fasting and then become anorexic or bulimic. So I do not think this is something that need be of concern to 99.9% of people reading this article. If you do deal with those conditions or know someone that does, seek proper help for that!

For the majority of people I talk to and coach the common psychological roadblocks are simply culturally mediated. You have been trained your entire life to ‘eat three squares a day!’ and to, ‘never miss breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day!’ (You can thank Mr. Kellogg and a fancy marketing campaign for that last one. Oh, you didn’t know that cereal companies are largely responsible for many of our modern eating habits? Hmmm.) I hear constantly, ‘oh I could never do that, I just get too hungry!’, or my personal favorite, ‘my blood sugar would get too low if I did that.’

This makes me LMFAO (laugh my fucking ass of…it’s a thing…) for real. I promise you that 99% of people who complain about their ‘blood sugar being too low’ have no fucking idea of how their blood glucose levels actually work, how hormone regulation works via negative feedback loops, nor have they enough scientific understanding to even begin attempting to explain how their physiology works in conjunction with food ingestion.

Yes, many people feel hungry when they start to add fasting periods. Of course you will! You have spent decades eating all the time and changing those habits is going to be noticed. Maybe for a while, although my experience is that these feelings disappear within a week or two. And yes, you might feel low energy at times. But guess what? You were already feeling low energy periods BEFORE fasting and you were masking that behind stimulants. You felt low energy so you turned to sugar and caffeine to pick you up. Try some meditation or a 15 minute nap and see just how easy it is to get through those periods WITHOUT eating food.

Fasting periods do not lead to more fixation on food nor to psychological issues like anorexia and bulimia any more than our modern eating habits already do. These issues aren’t mediated by food timing but by a much larger host of issues that are irrelevant to when you are eating.

To date all I have seen are positive outcomes from a psychological perspective from those who adapt fasting periods long term into their lives.

  1. Fasting Makes You Eat Better

Modern food timing is insane. Eating 8 almonds for a snack in the afternoon to ‘keep your blood sugar up’ (LMFAO – that is one of the stupidest expressions out there that people toss around all the time), or to ‘increase my energy’, makes absolutely no sense. Tired in the afternoon? Did you get enough sleep the night before? Do you exercise? Are you stressed? Are you bored? Those are the most likely contributing factors to the ‘afternoon slump’ and not anything you did or didn’t eat.

When you add fasting into your life the number of meals you have to get in the calories your body needs to function becomes even more vitally important. There is less and less room for bags of chips, chocolate bars, ice cream sandwiches, Halloween candy, and all the other shit we stuff our face with mindlessly that have nothing but deleterious effects on the body. You have to make sure that you are getting everything you need.

Yes, this can be a challenge at first. Most people have no idea what they actually need to be eating and you are going to have to learn. I don’t apologize for this nor will I write an article to make this easier. I firmly believe that it is everyone responsibility to learn for themselves what healthy food is and what we should be eating.

[*** Fine. In order to prevent the bombardment of questions pertaining to this I will tell you how to source what you should be eating. Read: Food, What the Heck Should I Eat, by Dr. Mark Hyman. No, this isn’t a clickable link, search for it yourself and stop being a lazy fuck.

Buy this book, read it, do what it says. Done.]

The truth is that meals and eating are far better when you have to get all the calories and nutrients you need in smaller windows of time. Because you have to EAT. You need to get in fat, and fibre, and protein, and everything else. There is no room for chicken breasts on a bed of lettuce with a couple of almonds and a vinaigrette on the side, there simply isn’t enough nutrition nor enough calories in that meal (and shouldn’t this say something about the typical diet foods we are all conditioned to believe are the ‘healthy’ options?). You have to eat meals with more calories. Fattier cuts of meat, full fat dairy, butter, nuts, potatoes and sweet potatoes, legumes, rice, breads, and a host of other foods that are typically avoided because people think they are unhealthy.

Trust me, eating high quality food that actually is full of calories and nutrition is awesome. Getting over our cultural fucking fixation on how low we can get the calories in something like it is some kind of coveted gold standard (have you seen a yogurt commercial?) is something we all need to strive towards!

You don’t have the room in your diet to fit in the garbage that Costco calls food. Additionally, you will be full and satiated and after a while won’t crave the mindless packaged shit we all love to stuff our mouths with.



There we have it. A decent summation of the benefits of fasting to your life. Again, please, go out and discredit anything I have written with solid empirical resources. Be a good learner and put in that work. Don’t take what I say verbatim unless you already know my writing and content and have a high level of trust with me.

I want to add two additional points here.

First, it is extremely vital that when you begin to add fasting to your life it is imperative that you focus on quality food and that you get adequate nutrition. The idea here is not to starve yourself or to dramatically decrease the number of calories you eat. This is not a diet or a diet program. The goal is to get the number of calories you need for optimal health in smaller windows of time. I firmly believe that one or two meals a day is ideal, however, as I will list later, many other protocols work and are successful.

How do you know you are eating enough calories without weighing and measuring everything (check our episode 45 of my podcast for a detailed discussion on why calculating your macros is stupid)? Pay attention to your body. After a couple of weeks with fasting protocols in your life you should not feel hungry, you should feel alert, and you should have lots of energy. If you don’t then you need to eat more. If your clothes start to get tight then you need to eat less.

Second, I want to address a conspiracy theory. And while I am not a crazy conspiracy theory extremist, I do believe that there is something that warrants serious thought.

Why is their so much push-back and resistance to the idea of fasting, from the medical community, from the pharmaceutical community, and from many large institutions, companies, and organizations? It begins with a complete lack of understanding of human nutrition to be sure, however, I believe there is more insidious reasoning at work.

What if everyone did this? What if everyone ate one or two meals a day and only of non-processed and packaged food? What if people were healthier and the obesity epidemic disappeared? What organizations, companies, and industries would be devastated? Would disappear?

I have always believed in questioning everything and coming to intelligent conclusions based on continually asking questions vs. merely following the status quo. So take those questions I just posed and dig a little deeper. Do some research and analysis on the history of food, the history of food systems, and the modern industrialized food systems, and then ask yourself those questions again. I have done this and it shocked me even though I have always thought myself to be well versed on the topic.

I will leave it at that.



To conclude I want to present a brief overview of the best way to begin fasting and how to begin incorporating it into your life by looking at my experience and the experiences of the people whom I have coached through this process.

I began fasting after the evidence of its efficacy became overwhelming. Like most people, my first question was, ‘how do I start?’ I went through all of the same thoughts and feelings you are probably having right now.

I will be hungry. I can’t not eat breakfast. My blood sugar will crash. Etc., etc., etc..

My solution was to simply pick a protocol and dive right in.

I began with one 24 hour fast every week. I would have dinner on Thursday night, and then fast until dinner on Friday night. Typically Friday is a busy day for me so I figured I wouldn’t have a lot of time to sit around and think about food and that the day usually goes by pretty quickly so that would help make it easier.

The first couple of weeks were challenging but definitely not as challenging as I had anticipated. A few headaches were had and some mild hunger pangs happened during the first two or three Fridays. Interestingly, the hunger pangs were always at typical meal times, breakfast and early afternoon. I now believe that was far more psychological than physiological.

After those first few weeks it was easy. Honestly, it was literally easy. Then it started to become something I looked forward to every week. Getting over the feelings that I ‘should’ be eating was the biggest challenge. Thursday night it felt – weird – not eating dinner. Like anything, however, you adapt quickly.

I believe I did this for about a year and as I delved deeper into the learning I wanted to incorporate more fasting. Sometimes it is like tattoo’s, once you start you want more and more. I loved the feeling of being fasted so I wanted to incorporate more fasting to have that feeling more frequently.

I opted to try an experiment with what is commonly referred to as Warrior Fasting. This means eating all of your calories in a four-hour window everyday. You fast for 20 hours and eat within that smaller window. For me this meant eating dinner and then a smaller snack or meal in the evening. Dinner is usually around 630/7pm and then the rest of the food around 10/11pm.

The challenges here was my love of breakfast and getting over the long instilled idea that eating at night, or even worse, before bed, was one of the worst things you could do. The idea was to experiment with this style for two weeks and see how I felt.

That was over 9 months ago now and the result? I would NEVER go back to any other system of eating. Ever. You couldn’t pay me to. I don’t miss breakfast at all. I thought I would but I really don’t. Every once in a while we have breakfast as I don’t believe you should follow a set schedule all the time (more on that later) and everytime I do this I comment the entire day that I don’t feel as good as I normally do.

I feel sharper, more alert, have more energy, and get more shit done, than I ever have. I feel ficking awesome. I love it. I love food, I love cooking, I love spending an evening meal with my wife everyday. I love everything about it.

3 months ago I embarked on a year long Health Odyssey which saw me overhaul much of my diet and many habits as well as add in many new habits (Read about the Odyssey on my Facebook Page and in my Facebook Group). The first six months of this style of fasting I was eating a nutritious and delicious dinner meal but my next group of calories was terrible. Chocolate, chips, cinnamon buns, and a host of other terrible shit non-food that I so dearly love and used to fill the sadness I have not yet kicked at the sudden loss of my mother 6 years ago. That is a story for another day.

Before I overhauled the types of foods I was eating, while I definitely was feeling a lot different, I was buying larger clothes as the shit calories were bulking my gut to balloon-like proportions. Sadness effects us all differently.

Since the beginning of this Odyssey and some dietary changes I am developing a serious problem. I was complaining about this to my wife just the other day. I told her I might have to go back to my old habits and scrap the Odyssey.

Why? My pants are starting to fall off and so many awesome shirts that I have purchased in the last couple of years are beginning to look like drapes on me. My body fat is dropping. My goal is not aesthetic at all but the accumulation of visceral fat was leading me to a road of horrific health consequences that I know enough should be avoided.

Additionally, the food changes have increased my energy, alertness, thinking, industriousness even further. Something I didn’t really expect. This is a perfect example of how important it is to still focus on healthy food even with fasting.

It is an alarming trend within the fitness industry that I see regularly. The idea that you can eat whatever you want, fast, and lose weight. This is NOT THE POINT of fasting. Fuck. If you are interested in ‘eating whatever you want and losing weight’ then I am sorry you have read this far. You have wasted your time. It is imperative that you focus on healthy, whole foods. Period.

What do I eat? Read the book I listed above. That is my food guide. I have coupled this with two years of culinary learning and can say that my wife and I rarely eat out because there are no restaurants in our town that make better food than me. Check my personal instagram if you want to see the meals I eat (taylorsimon_renaissanceman). That is my dinners or main meal.

Here are some examples…..

I have always loved eating at night. My grandmother would have snacks and read until very late hours and my entire life night time snacks have been a highlight and a bonding experience with my family. It is something I really love. I have changed what I eat.

Instead of chips, chocolate, snack food, ice crème, cinnamon buns, and whatever other junk I used to gorge on, I now eat far more nutritious food that I truly love. Most common (not exclusively) I create a small charcuterie board. A couple of different cheeses, dried fruit, fresh fruit, two or three different nuts, seeds, crackers (made myself), and olives or pickles. Yes, all of that. Other times I will toast slices of a sour dough baguette with butter and put smoked salmon on them. A couple of times a month I will make popcorn in oil on the stove and drizzle with melted butter and salt. Every night with a big glass of kombucha an more recently with milk kefir that pretty much tastes like a milkshake.

Looks like this…

Sounds pretty terrible right? It is all real food. Reputably sourced. Hand prepared. And my clothes are starting to drop off. And I eat this sometimes at 10:30pm then go to bed right after. And I sleep like a baby waking up refreshed and happy.

Healthy food is great food, not just for you, but for your enjoyment and taste as well

I would never go back to my old style of eating. I feel awesome. I am far healthier. And life just feels amazing.

These same results are exactly what the people I coach every single day report as well. Some people have a little bit harder time with the initial adaptation phase, however, if they eat better quality food and stick it out, the result is always the same.

And over the long term we are all setting ourselves up as best as we possibly can to maximize our potential for positive long term health.

This is important because these habits aren’t a 100% guarantee you won’t get cancer, or alzheimers, or some other issue, as there is nothing that can give you that guarantee. But these habits are part of the arsenal you can employ to give yourself the best chance possible to avoid so many deleterious health outcomes.



Finally, here are the most common protocols that people follow and where I think most people should start.

PLEASE note: there is something that I love about the term intermittent fasting. It is the word ‘intermittent’ itself. You have to pay attention to this word as it is key.

For all biological organisms there are times of food scarcity and there are times of food plenty. It is never consistent. I do not believe fasting should be consistent. It should have undulations just as our food sources would have had throughout our evolution and before modern food industrialization. We would have had periods of feasting and periods of close to starvation. When you add fasting it is ok to have week with no fasting and periods with 24, 36, 48, or even longer fasting periods. In fact I think it is imperative that is fluctuates like this.

Don’t get stuck on one pattern and adhere to it with religious fervor. Allow for this idea of changing things sporadically.

That being said, here are the most common systems and the ones I like:

5:2

The first really researched protocol on humans was this style. 5 days regular eating with 2 days only eating 500 calories. While the results were present I have found this style to leave people very hungry on those low calorie days as the body never really adapts to the fasting. I have seen very low adherence to this long term and think it should be avoided.

24 Hour

This is where I began by incorporating one 24 hour fast every week. I think this is the second best place to begin for most people, however, I actually like it best as a starting place. I think there needs to be an element of challenge, discomfort, and difficulty to give you something to overcome. This leads to the best change of habit outcome.

16:8

By far the most common method. Fast for a 16 hour period and consume all of your calories in an 8 hour period. How easy is this? Eat dinner at 6pm, then skip breakfast and eat lunch around noon the following day. Most of the fast you are sleeping! It does not have to be those times it is merely important that you get a full 16 hour fasting period.

Beyond these protocols it is up to you. As long as you have a minimum of 16 hours fasted you will be ensuring that all of the benefits previously discussed will become a part of your life. Experiment with it as time goes on to see what works the best for you!!!



Remember that there is no ‘right’ way or ‘only’ way. There is no mandatory system you must adhere to forever. Our food resources have never had that kind of regularity before the early 1900’s. Find YOUR way.

I have taken the time to write this because I truly believe this is one of the most important things you can do for your physical health and for so many other aspects of your life in general. Will there ever be widespread adoption of fasting? I am unsure but I am very doubtful. Our modern western cultures are too focused on obtaining pleasure and avoiding discomfort to explore anything that might be perceived as difficult. While the long term effects of fasting are more pleasurable than the immediate gratification of stuffing our faces with sugar and treats it is s tough sell in this modern age.

If I have inspired even one person to make fasting a part of their lives then I will feel myself accomplished. Everything I do is for the love of my fellow humans. To cut through the marketing bullshit that s our lives and help steer them on a course to the best possible health. I will never quit in this endeavor and will always bring the best of my learning to those who are interested.

Much love to you all,

Coach Taylor