MY TOP 5 SUPPLEMENTS FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH

  Everyone’s talking about “two scoops of pre-workout” prior to training. Well...if that’s your main focus, you’re missing the real scoop on supplements. Taking pre workout stimulants without a solid base of nutrition is like putting a turbo charging nitro kit on a $300 1979 Honda Civic, with no muffler, bald tires and oil that hasn’t been changed in 15years. (Side note...I do miss that old car)


  Here are, WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE, the top 5 most important supplements we need for optimal health. Without optimal health, we can not achieve optimal performance.


  There ARE other great supplements out there as well, but I believe these to be the top 5, if you had to choose 5 first.

  These supplements are crucial for the health of the immune system, brain, tissues, bones, hormones, organs, and mental well being.




GREENS


  “Greens” is a term that is used for what was once a product brand name, but now a commonly used name for all similar products. It’s kind of how the word “Kleenex” is a brand of tissue, but many people refer to tissues as “Kleenex”.


  “Greens” are a powdered supplement that is a highly concentrated combination of several different plant based ingredients. These plants are often not easy to come by locally, and are in a combination that creates a powerful synergy that can supercharge our health.

 Spirulina is one of the key main ingredients and is important for the maintenance of our pH levels in the body. It helps us become more alkaline.

As we take on stress, both physical and mental, we put our body in a  more acidic state. Oddly enough, this “Stress” also includes the physical stress from exercise.  This may seem confusing, since exercise is good for us. But there is such a thing as too much exercise, which is really too bad for those who are enthusiastic enough about exercise that they want to push themselves beyond their ability to recover.

  Also, many foods we eat are “acid forming”. Eating an abundance of alkaline promoting foods is so important for so many reasons. When we become more acidic (pH number lower than neutral 7) we are more susceptible to disease, sickness, and other health related problems.


  So for overall health, greens are great. For recovery from training they are crucial for creating an environment that can efficiently absorb, and utilize, the other nutrients we ingest.




FISH OILS(OMEGA 3)


  Fish oils are an important fat source for many reasons. They are the Omega 3s in the popular “Omega 3-6-9” supplements. The 6 and 9 are also important for us, but the typical North American diet doesn’t often include as much fish as the body would like. Like many foods we need to import, there is a drop in the quality of that food source.


  Omega 3s are important for our hearts, brain, skin, eyes, metabolism, and recovery from inflammation, potentially aid with depression, asthma, allergies, bones, and mental focus.

  I always advise trying to eat the food items that can provide us with adequate quantities of what we need, but in my own opinion, I think it’s worth supplementing, just to make sure I’m topped up.




VITAMIN D(in addition to multivitamin)


  Vitamin D is key for our ability to absorb calcium. As a result, we are able to strengthen our bones and boost our immune systems. It assists in hormone regulation, making for healthy skin, and assists in body fat management.


  In North America we get too much sun in the summer and not enough in the winter, due to the tilted axis of the earth. That makes it difficult to maintain healthy stabilized Vitamin D levels. The sun is the strongest source of vitamin D producing benefits in the body. But since we can’t keep that consistent, and with risks of skin cancer due to inconsistent fluctuations in quantities of sun exposure, it is important to supplement our vitamin D with capsules or pills or liquid concentrates.


  Vitamin D is not toxic taken in larger amounts either. Consult a professional before consuming more than the recommended dosage on the labels, but you will find out that we can benefit from taking much more than the “RDA”.(recommended daily allowance)



Antioxidants

  Physical stress, mental stress, and environmental stress(toxins/pollutants) make our bodies vulnerable to diseases, like cancer, with the buildup of “free radicals”. Free radicals in our body reek havoc on our organs and tissues. This is what causes cancer. Similar to rust on metal, the oxidation of the material can be permanently damaging if not kept in check.


  In order to prevent that, antioxidants help combat the free radicals and keep our various organs and tissues strong and capable of doing what they need to do.

The kind of damage free radicals cause can spread to other areas...hence the horrible progression of cancers if left unchecked. Keeping these up in the body will increase the odds of long term optimal health.

Foods rich in antioxidants are:

  • red berries

  • blueberries

  • sweet potato

  • dark greens

  • walnuts

  • pomegranate

…and just to be sure to keep those levels up, I think it’s a good idea to supplement with Vitamin C, E, and carotenoids. Most health stores will carry some kind of supplement that will be a combination of those things. It’s defineilty worth the investment.




Probiotics

  Probiotics are bacteria that live in our digestive tract, and are responsible for our gastrointestinal health. They help protect our bodies from toxins, and they keep our digestive system working properly. They improve nutrient absorption, cellular repair, and growth.


  Since so many foods we eat don’t have adequate amounts of probiotics in them, it makes supplementation of them more important. We can’t benefit from any nutrients if we can’t digest them properly.

  Saying we are what we eat should be restated as, “we are what we efficiently digest.” If we can’t digest the foods we eat properly, they don’t benefit us the way they are meant to.



HEALTHY FOUNDATION BEFORE RAZZLE DAZZLE


  There are other great products out there as well, and room for debate on other opinions on “top 5”, but this list is sure to get you on a track to phenomenal health.

  So, before looking at pre workout drinks, or hyped up products promising “the big gains”, these supplements are a must.

  Without these, we can not achieve the benefits from all the hard work in the gym, and conscious efforts we put in to our nutrition.


  Finding food sources that provide us with these 5 things is always the best option, but in North America it isn’t always easy to do.


  Supplements to bridge the gap between our deficient nutrition is one way to ensure that we keep our body’s ecosystem running optimally.


  It’s all about how we feel, digest, sleep, and perform. That starts with a “health first” approach to supplementation. And for those who choose to explore the ever-expanding market of “performance enhancing supplements”, you will get more out of those products WHEN YOU HAVE A SOLID FOUNDATION OF HEALTH.


  


        STRONG*MIND*AND*STRONG*HEART










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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These supplements are crucial for the health of the immune system, brain, tissues, bones, hormones, organs, and mental well being.



Greens
“Greens” is a term that is used for what was once a product, but now a commonly used name for all similar products. Like “Kleenex” is a brand of tissue, but many people refer to tissues as “Kleenexes”. “Greens” are a powdered supplement that is a highly concentrated combination of several different plant based ingredients. These plants are often not easy to come by locally, and are in a combination that creates a powerful synergy that can supercharge our health.

Spirulina is one of the key main ingredients and is important for the maintenance of our pH levels in the body. As we take on stress, both physical and mental, we put our body in a  more acidic state. Oddly enough, this “Stress” also includes the physical stress from exercise. This may seem odd since exercise is good for us. But there is such a thing as too much exercise. And it is the stress we endure, while exercising, that promotes the improvement of our physical strength. The key is not to overtrain, and to assist the recovery from exercise stress, greens are on the top of my list.
As well, many foods we eat are acid forming. When we become more acidic (pH number lower than neutral 7) we are more susceptible to disease, sickness, and other health related problems. So for overall health, greens are great. For recovery from training they are crucial for creating an environment that can efficiently absorb and utilize the other nutrients we ingest.


Fish oils
Fish oils are an important fat source for many reasons. They are the Omega 3s in the popular “Omega 3-6-9” supplements. The 6 and 9 are also important for us, but in general the North American diet doesn’t consume as much fish as the body would like. Omega 3s are important for our hearts, brain, skin, eyes, metabolism, and recovery from inflammation, potentially aid with depression, asthma, allergies, bones, and mental focus.



Vitamin/mineral combo and extra Vitamin D
Vitamin D is key for our ability to absorb calcium. As a result, we are able to strengthen our bones and boosts our immune systems. It assists in hormone regulation, healthy skin, and body fat management as well. In North America we get too much sun in the summer and not enough in the winter, due to the tilted axis of the earth. That makes it difficult to maintain healthy stabilized Vitamin D levels. The sun is the strongest source of vitamin D producing benefits in the body. But since we can’t keep that consistent, and with risks of skin cancer due to inconsistent fluctuations in quantities of sun exposure, it is important to supplement our vitamin D with capsules or pills or liquid concentrates. Vitamin D is not toxic taken in larger amounts either. Consult a professional before consuming more than the recommended dosage on the labels, but you will find out that we can benefit from taking much more than the “RDA”.




Antioxidants
Physical and mental stress, as well as environmental stresses like toxins, make our bodies vulnerable to diseases and cancer with the build up of “free radicals”. Free radicals in our body reek havoc on our organs and cause the oxidization of our organs and tissues. This is what causes cancer. Similar to rust on metal, the oxidization of the material is life threatening. In order to prevent that, antioxidants help combat the free radicals and keep our bodies various organs and tissues primed up and running their best Being a system of many organs and tissues working together, this is vital to our health. This kind of damaged tissue in one area can spread to other areas...hence the horrible progression of cancers if left unchecked. Keeping these up in the body will provide long term optimal health.

To keep antioxidant levels up, supplementing with Vitamin C, E, and Carotenoids can is a great idea

Some foods rich in antioxidants are:

  • Sweet potato 

  • dsrk greens

  • red berries

  • blueberries

  • dark grapes

  • walnuts

  • pomegranate



Probiotics
Probiotics are bacteria that live in our digestive tract, and are responsible our gastrointestinal health. They help protect our bodies from toxins, and they keep our digestive system working properly. They improve nutrient absorption, cellular repair, and growth. Since so many foods we eat don’t have adequate amounts of probiotics in them, it makes supplementation of them more important. We can’t benefit from any nutrients if we can’t digest them properly.



There are other great products out there as well, and room for debate on other opinions on “top 5”, but this list is sure to get you on a track to phenomenal health.
So, before looking at pre workout drinks, or hyped up products promising “the big gains”, these supplements are a must.
Without these, we can not achieve the benefits from all the hard work in the gym, and conscious efforts we put in to our nutrition.
Finding food sources that provide us with these 5 things is always the best option, but in North America it isn’t always easy to do. Supplementing with them is one way to ensure that we keep our body’s ecosystem running optimally. It’s all about how we feel, digest, sleep, and perform. That starts with a “health first” approach to supplementation.

Nutrition Action Step 2

How's the food tracking going?

If you did complete Action Step One, and you have at least 1-7 days of Food Data, you are ready for...

Action Step 2:
Figure out the macro numbers for the foods you have written down.


Here's how I figure out my macro numbers.
C = carbs, P = protein, F = fat.

                                    C        P           F
omelette 
3 eggs                       1.5       18        15
cheese 2 cubes          0         14        20
broccoli 1/2 cup          5         2           0
onion                           -          -           -
celery                          -          -           -
coconut oil 1 tbsp        -          -          14

stir-fry
2 chicken breast         0         50        6
celery                          -          -           -
broccoli                       5         2          0
onion                           -          -           -
cauliflower                    -          -           -

protein powder
with water                   0         40         3

protein smoothie
yogurt   1 cup             30       10        20
cottage cheese 1 cup  8         30        3
berries   100g             14        1         0.5
protein powder             0         20       1


total macro count       63g carbs, 186g protein and 82.5g fat.
calories                      C - 252      P - 744      F - 742.5     Total 1738.

IWhat is a CALORIE, anyway?

If the conversion from grams to calories doesn't make sense, look back on the previous blog for a refresher on calories per gram of each macronutrient.

As I write this, I am injured, so my training is less intense. Because I am unable to train my lower body as intensely as usual, I am consuming less carbohydrates on a daily basis. If my ankle wasn't mangled, and I was able to do more leg based training or conditioning, I would have had about 100g more carbs roughly.

***My current eating pattern is based on my goals of reducing body fat and maintaining muscle mass. 

If you want to take control of your health and your nutrition, in order to reach your goals, you must become aware of what you are doing by looking at the actual numbers associated with your nutrition. Then you have the power to make appropriate adjustments to your numbers.

If you keep detailed records, I will be able to help you at the next nutrition course,

Nutrition 201
Feb 17, 2019 - 4:45 - 6:45pm


If you haven't been tracking your numbers, and you don't intend to, don't put Nutrition 201 in your calendar.

If you are serious about learning more about nutrition and will have at least 7 consecutive days of nutrition data to bring with you, put February 17th from 4:45-6:45pm in your calendar now.

The link to register will be in the next email...and so will your next action step.

It WILL seem a bit monotonous keeping track of the numbers at first, but if your snacks and meals are pretty consistent, then it gets so much easier after the first couple days of tracking. 

I am making the progress I want to be making. I don't want to say it's easy. It takes effort. But the results I am getting are totally worth it to me. 

If you need extra help from me, hit me up and we can book a consultation for some nutrition guidance, if the seminars and this isn't quite enough. I'm not trying to pitch a sale at you, and hope this information gets you where you want to be. But if you DO need more help, let me know..


Zac 

Nutrition Action Step 1

If you are planning on attending my next Nutrition 101 or 201 seminar, or working with me one-on-one to improve your nutrition habits, here is a bit of info to prepare you so you can get the most our of your time in the S*M*A*S*H classroom.

What is FOOD DATA?

“Food Data” simply means writing down what food I am putting into my body.

Zac_Workout2-40.jpg

What are MACRONUTRIENTS / MACROS?

1 gram of Protein = 4 calories
1 gram of Carb = 4 calories
1 gram of Fat = 9 calories

How many grams of each MACRO should I consume DAILY?

I really like this article that references studies and explains why a higher protein diet increases metabolism, which of course helps you burn more fat.

If your goal isn't to lose fat and gain muscle, there are other great articles out there to help you calculate your Macro numbers. A simple Google search will point you in the right direction, but what’s going to help you even more is if you come to my next seminar!


Ready to take the first step towards optimizing your energy and metabolism?

ACTION STEP 1: Record all the food and beverages you consume over the next 24 hours.

***Don't worry about the macro math just yet.

Simply record the amount of food and beverages in ml/L/grams/oz.

If you are planning on attending my upcoming Nutrition seminar or working with me one-on-one to improve your nutrition habits, you will need at least

SEVEN CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF FOOD DATA

to get started.

Once you have that, proceed to my next blog about nutrition:

Nutrition Action Step 2.

With personal service,

Zac

Hey, I'm Zac!

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First of all, thank you so much for visiting my website and reading my blog. It means so much to me to have you here!

My interest in physical fitness and strength training goes back to the first time my fitness and strength were tested: Grade 2. “Canada Fitness Testing”. I placed in the lowest percentile and remember whining to my mom about it. In a loving, and effective way, she told me, "Whining will not make you better at the tests. You know what the tests are. Practice them." She was my yoda. It worked, and so I continued on my lifelong journey to learn how the body can be trained to adapt to physical demands.

By the age of twelve, the strength I had worked hard to achieve had me feeling like pretty hot shit on the monkey bars, until I was jumped by two much older kids who tried to steal my skateboard. Somehow, I got away with just a few bumps and scrapes, and my skateboard, but I was shaken up pretty bad. That’s the day I decided to join the wrestling team. Wrestling is where I really began to learn what it means to work hard.

Following high school, I wanted a change, so I moved to Kelowna and landed a job at the best gym in town. The gym was an old garage with cinder block walls filled with people putting themselves to the grind to extremely loud music. I attained my first personal training certificate there (1994), and trained clients part time when I wasn’t managing the gym. It was the perfect job for me to have while playing Junior Football for the Okanagan Sun, which led me to playing for UBC (Vancouver, BC), in 1997. A great year to be there, with the season being capped off with winning a national championship. That was also the year I began working on achieving my Kinesiology Degree.

A few years later, my degree was completed back home, at the University of Calgary. I began training clients from all demographics, and furthered my training to include the NSCA-CSCS. More doors opened up. I was offered opportunities to train professional athletes, youth, pre and post natal women, fitness competitors, people with disabilities and brain injuries and seniors, each one trusting me to be able to help them. I felt honored, and I still feel the same way today each time I work with a client.

In 2008, I was recruited by the Canadian Armed Forces to become their fitness instructor/evaluator/and adventure training coordinator. I worked in the Calgary ASU, in the Currie Barracks, which soon after became the home of my very own training facility,

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While training for the military, I continued to train clients outside of my military hours. My personal training business continued to grow and doors continued to open through connections I made in the Canadian Armed Forces. Most evenings, I could be found yelling at a group of people in a park, pushing them to run faster up a hill or driving my old Toyota pickup with the box full of sandbags and ropes and other heavy objects. After spending a few winters renting space to train my clients in, I stumbled on to a space in the Currie Barracks near my Military building. The math looked promising on this old, run-down brick army building that was exactly my style.

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The name s*m*a*s*h came from a shirt I used to wear on game days for football, bought at Value Village for $2. As I was pondering what to call my training business one day, I noticed the shirt, and the acronym just rolled off my tongue, “Strong Mind And Strong Heart”. It fit so naturally with everything I had learned about training and life in general. The connection between the body and the mind. The Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci, has been a concept I've always been drawn to. Keeping the connection between the mind and body are crucial for overall health. And that’s what s*m*a*s*h is all about - a community people who all want the same thing - to work hard. I've been very fortunate to have been surrounded by many great people and opportunities throughout the years, and I'm excited to see how the s*m*a*s*h community will grow and evolve in the years to come!