My Morning Cocktail: TriBoom

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 1 minute

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“This morning cocktail will jump start your engine.”              -Maxwell Fayans

In the past month this has been my go to morning drink.

I have named it: The TriBoom Cocktail

Ingredients (with 24 oz hot water):

  1. 1 Tbsp MCT Oil
  2. One tea bag of Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea
  3. One tea bag of Yogi Green Tea Super Antioxidant

This drink keeps me focused, energized and satiated. If coffee doesn’t do it for you, I would definitely give this a try.

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How One Product with Hundreds of Spikes Can Make a Difference

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-3 minutes

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“Tons of spikes, tons of relief.” -Maxwell Fayans

 

I read about the acupressure mat in the book, Tools of Titans, and I decided to buy it. I bought the Prosource Acupressure Mat in blue for $19.99. It was a bit cheaper compared to others on Amazon. It is essentially a small mat the size of your back and has a neck pillow with hundreds of plastic spikes. They are sharp to the touch. I figured this could be good for pain relief and relaxation. The fine print with the product states: the mat may increase energy levels, improve blood circulation, decrease stress, relieve neck and back pain, reduce blood pressure, alleviate headaches and improve sleep. Lets give it a go.

Here is my experience:

I sat down slowly onto the mat and placed the pillow under my neck. It is important to make sure not to wear thick clothes. I let myself sink into the neck pillow and turned on some meditation music from the Calm app for about 10 minutes. I rolled my neck side to side letting the spikes do there thing. At first it does hurt and it can be a bit itchy and hot but eventually it puts you in calm and relaxed state. I felt it mainly on my upper middle back and neck so I decided to bring my knees up to my chest and boo ya: it hits the lower back nicely (you can also place a towel under the mat to hit this region). I brought my hands up to the sky to felt it deeper in my upper back. After about 10 minutes I got up and saw 100’s of dots on my back and neck. It was red too. This went away after a while but I felt super relaxed as if a lot of pressure was taken off of me. I felt very loose and mobile after. I’m not sure if it is just me but it seemed to have given me some energy. That first sense of pain from the plastic spikes goes away within seconds, then it’s just enjoyable.

One of the best parts of buying this is watching your friends and family try it for the first time. Sometimes they will scream and then go eh, it’s not that bad. Everyone has a different reaction but once they get on the mat for the first time, they will stay on it for at least a few minutes. It’s fun to watch and trust me everyone wants to try it once they see it.

Check out my post on how to stay active at work.

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These Eggs are Crazy Different

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 1 minute

I wanted to point out the difference in color between the two yolks below. The eggs on the left has 200mg of Omega 3’s which I purchased at Trader Joe’s for $2.99 and the one on the right is one of the cheaper eggs I could find at Trader Joe’s called Sauder’s Eggs. I am unsure of the amount of Omega 3’s in this egg (they do not advertise it) but I believe it is 70mg or less. You can see that the egg with higher Omega 3’s has a much darker and richer orange tone whereas the egg on the left is a bright yellow shiny color. It was nice to see that it does make a difference in the type of egg you buy.

So Why This Darker Egg? The reason is higher Omega 3 Fatty Acids which helps to keep inflammation low in the body. These fats help in building the nervous system and reducing your fat tissue. The goal is to find eggs with higher Omega 3’s.

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High Omega 3 vs Low Omega 3 Eggs

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Tips and Tricks To Add Veggies To Your Diet

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 1 minute

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“Riced Cauliflower is the new rice in town.” -Maxwell Fayans

I recently discovered an amazing new rice substitute called Riced Cauliflower. Don’t be fooled by the name. There is no rice here. The only ingredient is cauliflower. This is an amazing addition to one’s low carb diet. This can be found at Trader Joe’s right by the baby spinach and only costs between $1.99 to $2.99.

I use this as my rice substitute when I make a stir fry. I base the pan with extra virgin olive oil and put about ¼ a bag of cauliflower as the base and top off with veggies and a protein. After a few forks full of this stuff you will not even realize you are eating a vegetable. Another recipe that is tasty is to add the cauliflower to a bowl and add one egg. After cooking in a pan, it becomes a great hash brown substitute or bread substitute. I will occasionally put some avocado and tomato on top. I even heard of people putting a burger on top.

I would definitely suggest trying this cauliflower and making it a staple of your diet. Not only will you keep your inflammation and blood sugar down but you are eating a nutritious and satiating vegetable.

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Why Eat Grass Fed Foods?

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 1-2  minutes

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“Put in the research now, and it will pay dividends down the road.” -Maxwell Fayans

I finally figured out the craze behind Grass Fed meats and dairy after reading Anti Cancer. It all starts with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acid ratios. Omega 3 fatty acids are the good fats that help in building the nervous system and reducing adipose (fat) tissue. Omega 6 fatty acids promote rigidity in cells and stimulate inflammation (they still are important but in lower quantities). The ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids have changed significantly since back in the day when chickens were free to roam in their natural habitat (grass) and eat what they wanted. The ratio of these fatty acids should be close to 1:1 like it was in the past when cows and chickens had a normal diet. This has changed and these animals are now fed corn meal etc. The ratio has skyrocketed from 1:1 to 1:15 (Omega 3 to Omega 6) or higher. The reason for this is commercial motives. You are what you eat. This has prompted me to eat Grass Fed/Pasture Raised meats and dairy where the ratio is closer to 1:1 because the animals are raised like they used to be. By eating these types of foods it will keep your inflammation down. Below are some of the items I have changed to:

  • Grass Fed Butter (Kerrygold)
  • Pasture Raised Eggs or Eggs high in Omega 3’s (the closest thing to a chicken’s natural habitat that you can find in your supermarket).
  • Grass Fed meats
  • Organic fruits (to protect myself from pesticides)

I enjoy food shopping at Trader Joe’s and I searched for pasture raised eggs there but could not find any. The next best eggs were the one’s in the picture above. These eggs have 200mg of Omega 3’s per egg vs 70 mg per egg in their cheaper option. For 1$ more per carton I am happy to have made the switch as eggs are a staple of my diet. I have also been able to find pasture raised eggs at Stop & Shop and Wild By Nature as well.  In addition Kerrygold butter can be found at all three places above. This is the butter I use now.

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10 Kickboxing Essentials: Coming from a First Timer

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 1-2  minutes

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“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Technique from the get go is key to performance down the line.” Maxwell Fayans

Today was my first time attending a kickboxing class. I found Church St. kickboxing on ClassPass and figured I would give it a try. It was a great experience. I learned self defense technique, put on some gloves and worked on some sequences. It is all about technique rather than how hard you hit.  Here are the top 10 things I learned coming from a first timer. One of my goals for 2017 is to learn kickboxing and start going once a week.

  • Stance: I’m a righty so left foot forward and back foot should be more on the toes than your heel
  • Stance: Your back foot toes should be even with the heel of the front foot. You don’t want to be too wide or too narrow
  • Left Hand is the Jab hand.
  • Make a fist but keep your arms more on the loose side then the tense side.
  • Keep your elbows in and hands up at all times. Otherwise you can break a rib from a kick or get hit in the face.
  • When you jab, you step.
  • When you hook, you pivot the front foot.
  • When you kick, you open up the hip and hit with the shin.
  • Don’t lean too forward when you punch (this is something I need to work on). You want to be in balance. At the same time keep your chin down.
  • When you perform high knees or kicks: use your hips to drive forward.

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Tips To Stay Active At Work

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“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” -Tim Ferriss

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-3 minutes

I’m going to talk about a sedentary versus active lifestyle and how you can be active while you’re at work. Something I use is the Move app (it’s free) and I set it to run while I’m at work. Every 60 minutes it will remind me to get up and move. You get a cool quote with the reminder too. Something I do every morning when I get into work is I’ll do some air squats, usually 25 at a time. I also do some stretching which I learned from Pavel Tsatsouline book Relax into Stretch. This will do yourself justice by moving a little bit more each day. By the end of the work day I try to do at least 75-100 air squats.

They say sitting is the new smoking. I have moved to a stand up desk. However, standing in one spot is the not key either. It’s moving around as much as possible all day. I always have a lacrosse ball at my desk and will use it to roll out my feet once a day while standing. This self-myofascial release is key to loosening those small muscles. It feels great. I was also referred to read the book: Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett which I just ordered. One thing that I enjoyed reading from Starrett online was how to properly stand. I agree that flexing your core at 20%, keeping your shoulders back and glutes tight, will give you better posture. I can’t stand all day so I do have a chair in my office that I will sit at here and there to give my legs a break. How do you maintain an active lifestyle at work?

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Out to Eat: 32 Meals in 18 Days and the Damage Done

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-3 minutes

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Jax at the Tracks

The Damage done:
• Gained 2.8 pounds
• Had some GI Discomfort after a few meals
• Energy levels down a tad

I honestly thought I would gain about 10 lbs but staying strictly Ketogenic actually astonished me. I could not believe I only gained 2.8 pounds. Replacing the fries with greens must have really helped. It was tough and options were a bit limited but I was able to eat Keto at every meal. I was happy that restaurants were so easy going with substitutions.

Here is a breakdown of my meals while I was in the SF area:

Breakfast: I was lucky that I had continental breakfast at the hotel. I had about 3-4 hard-boiled eggs (1-2 yolks) and occasionally some sausage. Starting your day off with a high protein, low carb meal gave me a solid amount of energy and was satiating.

Here is a sample of some of the restaurants I went too and what I ate. I honestly think that every meal I had was amazing.
Lunch: My top picks for a fast lunch was Asian Box, Poke Love, Cocola Bakery.
Asian Box (Palo Alto)- Custom Box with Asian Salad, Chicken, Green Toppings and hot sauce on the side
Tava (Palo Alto)- Bowl with fresh romaine base, chicken tikka, pickled veggies, and side of chilled brussels and carrots
Poke Love (Palo Alto)- Organic Mixed Greens, Spicy Tuna and Siracha Salmon, Green mix ins, hot sauce on the side
Melt (Palo Alto)- Double Spicy Mission Burger in a lettuce wrap
Jax At The Tracks (Truckee)- Pulled pork in a lettuce wrap, cole slaw (Guy Ferrari Top Pick)
Mexcal (Menlo Park)- Short Ribs, black beans and Guacamole
Tender Greens (Palo Alto)- Chipotle BBQ Chicken Kale Salad
Cocola (Menlo Park)- Lemony Herb Tuna Salad with olive oil on the side

Dinner: My top picks were Burma Superstar, Barbara’s Fishtrap, Sajj Mediterranean
Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara)- Shrimp Bay Roll in a Lettuce Wrap
China Bee (San Mateo-Japanese Eggplant, Seaweed Salad, Spicy Cucumbers. Side Note: First Time Trying Stinky Tofu- To me it tastes like stinky feet combined with garbage but I know it is delicacy. I also got a chance to try the fruit durian).
Barbara’s Fishtrap (Half Moon Bay)- Cod Fish and Calamari, Cole Slaw
Kufu Ya (SF)-Hot Plate with Lamb and Beef
Cold Water Restaurant (Yosemite)- Cheat Meal
Burma Superstar (SF)- Tea Leaf Salad, Curry Style Fish, Oh Noh Kauswer Soup minus the noodles
Sajj Mediterranean (Palo Alto)- Steak Shawarma Salad Bowl
Amici’s (SF)- Buffalo Wings and side spinach salad
Suisha House (Redwood City)- Hibachi Steak and Vegetables

In terms of exercise I only lifted light weights a few times at the hotel and did hiking on the weekends in Yosemite (Taft Point, Sentinel Dome, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls) and Lake Tahoe (Rubicon Trail, Eagle Lake, Stateline Fire Lookout).

When I returned home: I did two days of intermittent fasting and returned to strength training (deadlift, bench press, squatting). I lost the 2.8 lbs in only 1 week. I was shocked how quick I got back.
What has been your experience while travelling and maintaining a diet?

 

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How Can You Create New Brain Cells? A single ingredient can help.

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-3 minutes

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Fall Season is Here

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” –Buddah

Did you know that your brain can create new neurons? It does, and you can have a major role in this process. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the most important factors you probably have never heard of. Even my CNS course in undergrad did not discuss this. BDNF plays a role in creating new neurons, protects existing neurons during synapse formation, and helps protect against neurodegenerative diseases. It has been shown that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have low levels of BDNF. The gene that increases BDNF can be activated through lifestyle changes such as exercise, sauna use, a ketogenic diet, omega-3 fatty acids specifically DHA, and turmeric.

Out of these the one that stood out to me was turmeric. I kept hearing about this from podcasts with Tim Ferriss and his guests. I decided to buy turmeric powder and start adding it to my diet. Turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. It has been found to be among one of the most effective compounds in the world. This is one of the main reasons turmeric can be key to disease reversal. It has been studied in regards to its effects on killing cancer cells. Turmeric is the main spice in curry and can be easily found in a supermarket. I like to add it to my vegetables with grass fed butter. I also found that Vitamin Shoppe has this as a supplemental chew. It tastes pretty good; like you’re eating a Laffy Taffy.

With these benefits, why wouldn’t you add it to your diet?

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How the Sauna Can Help with Muscle Growth, Longevity and More

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-3 minutes

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The Sauna I Use After Every Workout

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” -Mahatma Gandhi

After listening to a podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick I decided to dig a bit deeper on sauna use and its effects on muscle growth, endurance, and longevity. After a 45 min to 1-hour weight training and stretching session, I go right into the sauna. I put a timer on my iPhone for 5-10 minutes and bring a water bottle in. I use the water on the sauna to form steam and heat up the room. This is your average sauna in a gym so it is nothing special. For those 5-10 minutes I will tend to relax and use it as a form of meditation. To note: I don’t breathe deeply as this causes me to become short of breath. I then dry off, drink some water and hop in a cold shower when I get home.

I knew that the sauna was good for your skin, immune system and as a way to detox but I wanted to learn more about its effects on the body. Here is what I found. I was amazed.

As per Dr. Patrick, Sauna Use May:

Increase Muscle Growth: Prevents protein degradation and increases protein synthesis

  • Increases release of growth hormone
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Increases production of heat shock proteins (they help to keep proteins from misfolding which is associated with many diseases of aging)

Increase endurance by:

  • increasing nutrient delivery to your muscles
  • improving your cardiovascular mechanism and reducing heart rate
  • improving thermoregulatory control and reducing core temp during workout

Positive Effects on Brain:

  • Increases release and storage of norepinephrine
  • Increases the hormone prolactin which increases myelin production
  • Increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor which increases growth of new brain cells
  • Increases expression of dynorphin.

The Relation to Longevity:

  • Increases production of heat shock proteins
  • Activates the longevity gene: FOX03-a

How often do you use the sauna?

 

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