Vegan Cheating Confessional

Confession time: I cheated on my vegan diet the other day and had a little cheese in my salad. The aged cheese was a thoughtful gift from the travels of a friend and not something we bought, it should be noted haha. I felt as though I was a crazed animal with a newly found, hypersensitivity to my taste buds and palette. Oh the massive amount of guilt that consumed me. In the past, if a little cheese was on something I was eating I barely noticed, didn’t give much thought to before. But now, it’s a completely different story. It’s an once-in-a-lifetime treat in my mind. The thrill and happiness that I experienced from eating that cheese… I was disgusted with myself, how it could have this affect over me, leaving me feeling weak and powerless.

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         I was reminded of a story my mom had told me of one of her former students. The child in her class had parents that enforced very strict diets for their kids since they were born, forbidding any and all sugar. But once their children were old enough to enter school and have the freedom from their parents’ presence, they stuffed themselves sick with candy and sugary treats, going on a wild mission for it. The restrictions that were placed upon them made them hunger for it and crave the unhealthy food more than the average child, who was used to having treats fairly often. I worry about having a similar incident and the parallels that I feel to those kids and one day cracking, giving this up. Perhaps going cold turkey was not the best approach for me, too much all at once. Although “cold turkey” is not the best term of phrase when speaking about veganism, I have to admit.

My boyfriend nicely shook off my worries and advised that it’s best not to refer to my cheese transgression as cheating, perhaps to remove the “forbidden-ness” aspect out of the picture. Rather than dwelling on your cheating, you should accept your few weak moments and actions, forgive yourself, and move on. Allowing you to continue on your path and be successful and guilt free, without the all-hope-is-lost attitude that tends to spin you back to your old habits. It all sounds very similar to the diet tips for people trying to lose weight. No one guaranteed it would be easy. I must remind myself what I’m going through is normal and I am not alone in my feelings during this journey, as others before me have wrestled problems during their diet change. I also have the support and backing from my boyfriend, family, and other loved ones to help me along.

From the lessons I’ve gained from the matter, if you slip up, do not think that everything is ruined forever. You must have an optimistic and determined mentality. Just continue on no matter how many times you have to hit the “reset” button on your diet change and keep going in the direction of your goal. In fact, a lot of people go through a transition period on their path to becoming fully vegan, and it’s ok, as long as you remember the exact reason that led you to becoming vegan in the first place. That will help get you through the weak moments.

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         Because all of this is psychological, we must train ourselves, body AND mind, in order to undertake one of the hardest challenges we face on a regular basis with every choice we make; which is to delay our immediate joy/gratification, in exchange for a much greater benefit in the future. I’m forgiving my cheese offense and carrying on.

The Pursuit of Taste

Want versus need. What really, truly drives our decisions? Do we listen to what our bodies actually require rather than answer our strong, current desires each time we sit down for a meal? Is it a balancing act of sorts? As I reach the third week mark of my vegan diet, my cravings have been on the forefront of my mind, consuming any other thoughts of nutrition and threatening to drown out all the reasons why I chose to follow a vegan diet in the first place.

My boyfriend noticed my struggling and poignantly reminded me of the true, little importance that taste-based food choices have in the long-term and towards your happiness. He simply asked me if I could remember what we had to eat for dinner three nights ago and my mind drew a complete blank and I couldn’t recall. Which was astonishing because I’ve never craved, discussed, blogged, and thought about food as much as I am now. In the moment, you think how you absolutely must indulge and order those fries, buy that candy in the grocery store, and have that frozen pizza in your fridge instead of preparing a salad. Taste is your main focus. Yet, as my boyfriend has found, nine times out of ten, if you ask anyone, they cannot tell you what they had to eat for dinner three nights ago. Some time after I remembered, when I really thought it out, but his point really resonated with me; how taste is completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

That discovery gave me pause and I hope will create a shift in my thinking. Having worked as a waitress for a number of years, I am far too used to the atmosphere of a restaurant where taste is absolutely everything, customers come to indulge and gluttony doesn’t exist. I hope that’s what’s happened to me. Trapped too long in the restaurant world, warping my way of thinking temporarily. How am I so wrapped up in the present, pursuing mere taste and my wants time and time again? Allowing this inner child/brat in my head, without any regard for health, win out. In those times of temptation when I give in, I tell myself it’s just a little treat and all in moderation, as long as I’m not having this every day… maybe there’s still some truth to that, but I’m so focused on taste.

Hopefully there’s an ideal middle ground where you can have both, taste and health. I’m happily discovering it really is possible and proven to be so with the nutritious and delicious vegan cooking my boyfriend creates every day and undoubtedly surprises my taste buds with as well. There have been some things, such as juicing, that I have had trouble mustering though, even with hearing all the health benefits. Which leaves me contemplating the ultimate dilemma; how do I rise above and overcome my obsession with taste? Perhaps I have a very unhealthy relationship to food. I wonder if everyone faces this same battle, with some of us having stronger self-discipline than others, silencing their urges.

I suppose it boils down to a mental game to be won then. A test of determination. And in that case I must fight, every day, until the battle is so familiar to me that I hardly notice it, until it’s not a struggle any longer. I must resist my cravings that have built up, cutting off their power to take hold and control me. I cannot allow my heightened attention to food influence my desires and goal to maintain a healthy vegan diet. I do not wish to be at the mercy of my cravings. My problem has been that I’m too focused on what I cannot eat, instead of concentrating on all the new food possibilities that’s opened up to me since becoming vegan. I must let it go, recognize what is truly driving these unwanted urges and remember that these cravings feel and seem more important than they actually are. What’s more important to me is leading a healthy, happy life and that can easily start with diet.

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Taste is fleeting, too easy to give into, allows you effortlessly to think solely on pleasure, living in the present and not the future. Health is forever. Or in a case where you’re not thinking about health and nutrition, health isn’t forever at all. Health will be your doom and take your life sooner. Life and health are forever entwined. When you are in a hospital bed with death on the horizon, you won’t be applauding yourself for indulging all your life and you still won’t remember what you had three nights ago for dinner. Health and every food choice you make right now, add up, it is all your future stands on; it’s the entirety of your life. Taste, therefore, no matter how hard it is, must be secondary to health. Like the Rolling Stones’ song lyrics state,

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“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

The Almost Complete Zombie Apocalypse Training Manual for Those Who Wish to Thrive and Not Merely Survive

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A. I am Posting this as a -WORK IN PROGRESS- When this post is finally done, I will remove this header, until that time, know that more is coming, based on the depth and breadth of this singular map to survival, it will take time, but, you can get started now=]  Should the Zombie Apocalypse happen before this text is removed, all bets are off and you are on your own…  Godspeed, the future of humanity is up to you now.  

P.S., a sword is better than a gun in the long run and if it smells real funny, best not to eat it even if you are hungry…

We ask that you give us a moment of your time to give you some motivation that may seem…. odd at best, though with the advent of a new iPhone app to help you run called running zombies or something, who knows, I may not be as odd as I thought!

Its all about motivation and in that vein, by only using that which we know and love in order to have it be easily shared with you the reader, we feel we can be of service to you.

We feel that perhaps the usual suspects of getting in shape are no longer exerting their once powerful pull on you and that a bit more is needed.  Not a bit more, thats not right, a bit different…=]

Bicycle Touring and the Zombie Apocalypse

Part 1, making it all believable enough that it will indeed act as a positive motivational force.

Zombie-runningNow, before you perchance find yourself scoffing and guffawing, please, indulge us a few of your precious moments to more fully flesh out this idea for you.

Many of you have some belief in the idea or thought concept of the Zombie Apocalypse, and yes, this will be as marginally long winded as I am able to make it, my apologies, I do of course promise that it will be interesting, or at least as interesting as it seems to me with a couple glasses of wine and some wacky tabacky will allow for…  which upon this re-editing I have since stopped doing both precisely in order to reach ever higher levels of zombie escaping and ass kicking power.  More on this later in  the mental sharpening section…

Zombie movies are one of the more popular genre of our collective movie watching global community as seen in this partial list from WIKIPEDIA.  This being the case, lets tap into this collective consciousness and make something of our lives now beyond simply being entertained for one to two hours at a time in front of the ‘Tele’ or Silver Screen.

Why this way of getting in shape may actually have some unfortunate reality behind it…

For starters, as mentioned just 4 lines up, er.. 5 lines, we see a veritable cornucopia of films and television shows dealing with and including zombies.  Books, pamphlets, websites, even the U.S. Government Center for Disease Control has an entire section on Zombies!  I’d completely forgot the whole realm of games that deal with zombies and that every other game has a damn zombie level [more believers]!

As we all know that which you believe will eventually come to pass, and it seems that a majority of the planet is stoked on and kind of, in a way, actually believes in Zombies… hmmmmmmmmmm…  According to the science behind Physics, that doesn’t bode well for a walker free future!

Now add in all the little odds and ends you pick up about the goings on in our goverment with weapons research, and the overall fact that more money is being spent on weapons development and war than anything else IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, super soldier programs, biological and chemical warfare…

We see corporations are getting more and more massive, constantly buying up subsidiaries and getting its most heinous acts of crime against man and humanity lost in the never ending corridors of purposeful beaucratic slop, much like in the “Resident Evil” series’ Umbrella Corporation.Umbrella_corporation_by_steelgohst

Monsanto, making Genetically modified Insects, fish, plants including vegetables and embarking on transgressions against nature that boggle the mind, such as teaming up with the Government of the United States to engineer a plant seed that is good for only ONE cycle, all seed from the subsequent generations of this seed will be rendered sterile.  That this is only one of such many corporations like it in and around the world…  All that tampering with genes will invariably bring about something not good for us, hasn’t it always in the past!

Taking in all of this and coupling it with the scientific maxim, or the 4th Law of Thermodynamics, a.k.a. Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”, we see the opportunity for some very serious happenings down the line that may or may not be of the degree and scale of a Resident Evil, Walking Dead scenario.

So, what does all this have to do with my workout?

Good question… here’s a “For Instance”.  How often do you walk up a flight of stairs as quickly as you can and do you ever do it backwards?

Many of you will say, “never”, and then immediately think, “Why in Gods name would I, I mean, perfectly good elevators/escalators, why wouldn’t I use them!”.

Now as to the second part, the walking backwards, many of you will simply look at me undoubtedly dumbfounded and yet, do you know the amount of strength that comes from training in such a manner, the reflexes which are honed and sharpened to a level that you will not even think possible simply because you have never even thought of doing this?

And yet, how often does a person lose their grip on the stairs when running from the undead and this proves their undoing!  How many more will die because they were unable to turn around and fire off the requisite rounds into said zombies skull on the stairs simply because they could not execute a turn while going up stairs?

The Apocalypse will not be powered with electricity or oil, gas, etc, there will be no elevators, bullets will be in short supply and high demand, gas, what you can find will be in many stages of degradation and may or may not actually be able to even com-bust, and even then, who knows if streets will be passable.  No my friend, this apocalypse will be powered by you, ergo, you must come to rely on the most sophisticated and advanced piece of machinery known to man… himself.

The exercises put forth will be mostly of the mind allowing the body to follow.  We are seeking powerful minds here, new neural pathways and breaking new ground so to speak in your training regimen.  In most of the training we do, even when we think we are training the body, it is the mind that is being trained first and foremost, after all, think of how excited you are to even go to the gym most times….  The power lies in the MIND.

In using the “Apocalypse” as a method of motivation, you will feel totally fine in doing completely new exercises that you may have never thought of.  In doing so, you will begin to use new muscles and vis-a-vis new pathways in your mind to move about in turn bring on a whole new level of body conditioning and strength.  Also, there is something to this as we will show you in a bit.

Coupled with the fact you have a fun goal to ascribe your every heart pounding, sweat drenching moment, this program will be much easier to adhere to.  In using the whimsical idea that zombies may one day come to be a reality, some part of you will push just a little harder, for now all of this becomes more tangible to you.  You aren’t merely looking to be in shape for a loved one or for a potential loved one, no, you are rising above this, you have a purpose that pits you against yourself in an epic story of survival.  The Human Race depends upon YOU!

You will be learning to be hard, not just in the flesh, which may in fact continue to to be chubby and perchance even outright fat, but in the mind, your mind, which regardless of who you are when you start, you will become strong in the mind as you progress and this is what makes the difference in whatever world you find yourself.  Be it riddled with zombies or your co-workers who may as well be zombies.

You become something that is viable in the world and able to make a more positive contribution to it, you come to respect yourself which is the basis for everything in your life.

FORMAT

We will be using a multiple section format in this article to bring this all together for you as simply as possible as it is fairly diverse.  I’m seeking to help you undergo a complete transformation of the body and as mentioned, most importantly, the mind.  All links that are highlighted in that mustardy-orange-yellow color are CLICKABLE, they will give you more information and I highly advise you read them as this is written with them having been read as a part of the plan.

The sections will be, Ahem!:

0.  Stretching 101 and beyond.

1.  Bicycles and Bicycle Touring.

2.  Breathing.

3.  Running; to include how to “mix it up” and first aid for running injuries.

4.   Strength Training.

5.  Meditation.

6.  Diet.

6/a.  Fasting.

7.  Simple Exercises to Improve Hand/Eye Coordination.

8.  Mental Sharpening, or, Going Ninja.

9.  Medicine.

10.  Books that never grow dull.

10.  Whatever else I can think of that would be worthy to help you on your way!

A lot of this is based in martial arts, spirituality, Navy days, barefoot training and simple observation of the world around me and what I see people dong that really helps them move forward.  I will do my very best to make this as comprehensive as possible for you without making it impossible to implement.  Of course, as with anything, it is ultimately up to you.  You must be your own Cheerleader/Drill Instructor/Medical Doctor/Nutritionist/Herbologist/MacGyver/Ninja/ET CETERA.  Quite simply put…”You must be the change you wish to see.”.

Or else you will get eaten and or turned into a walker and I will have to take you down personally.  Enjoy=]

General Guidlines:

1.  Do not always use music when working out.  Music has been show to give a 5 percent performance increase minimum, for some up to 15 percent, I’m not sure how this is tallied, but then, I’m not a scientist, I simply do or do not believe.  This I whole heartedly believe, and since this will be a world in which energy is very difficult to come by, even if you have solar system [stuff breaks down like its job was to break down!], we wouldn’t want our zombie escapes to be dependent upon a soundtrack!

2.  If at any time you feel sharp pains, and the apocalypse hasn’t started yet, I need you to stop and really look at the situation and what you are doing.  There should be no sharp pains!  They are the beginning of injury, injury means you wont be training, not training is the beginning of a zombie in the making.  No sharp pains!  I always recommend seeing a trainer if you are having troubles, or a Chinese medicine Doctor with at least 4 years of experience OUTSIDE of their schooling.

3.  A dull ache can be the sign of a potential injury or that you are just tired, a lot of these muscles may be being used for the first time even if you are quite athletic [barefoot running for example], do not power through.  Soreness is to be expected and yet it must always be REspected as well.

4.  In all of this, I do not want you to use ICE for anything ever on your body.  I explained below in the running section.  Save ice for your drinks.

bruce lee stretching5. ALWAYS STRETCH. Of course before your workouts is demanded, but when you are watching your favorite zombie movie, when in the office, whenever it is you do what you do, if you have a moment, use it to stretch, always be ready by limbering the body.  Anything is only as strong as its ability to bend.  This is science, spirituality, philosophy, it simply makes sense.  If it is a mandatory ingredient for Master Bruce Lee, so shall it be for you… KNOW THAT FOR EVERYTHING HERE, STRETCHING IS A FUNDAMENTAL AND INESCAPABLE INGREDIENT!  It is and always shall be – the foundation upon which you build your new you.

6.  The Dan Tien is gong to be of crucial import as this is the basis for all power as we train and meditate.  I understand that there may be other thoughts and methids, I prefer to use this and hope you will make your training complete by observing it as well.  The Dan Tien as best I can discern is a space that, if you take yor hand, hold your fingers together and straight, place your pointer finger in your belly button, the tip of the piny finger will mark the location of the Dan Tien, of course, you would then have to go three D with the measurement and go into the body for its exact location.  Depending on your current knowledge and practice, one could reasonably argue for use of the Chakras as a guide.  if this rings truer with you than the Dan Tien, that is fine, I am here only to help you simply do something different from the norm.  It is, in my humble opinion, more fitting to use the Dan Tien as this is more geared to what you are training for, being Ninja.

7.  One of the most difficult things about all this is that you will be responsible for training yourself.  Something, which from an early age we are trained not to do, will be very difficult indeed.  We are taught to walk, to talk, how to think, what to think, how to behave etc.  So now, taking the time to pick yourself up and push yourself both mentally and physically will be most challenging.  It is in fact one of the reasons that you may be unhappy with your overall station in life.  We all seek the easy way out and do not pay heed to the weakness of the mind.  Know this as you move forward in this training.  You will have to do your exercises to failure, all of them.  You must go till you drop, rest, and go some more.  That’s how one becomes strong.  When you first learned to walk, you kept at it, though you were a fumbling package of nonsense with the stability of a lush with motor skills to match!  You must always be trying, always.  I refer now to lines from The Blues Traveler, “No such things as failure in he who keeps trying, coasting at bottom is the only disgrace..”.  No truer words spoken, I need you to train NOW as thought the situation is already real.  If you cannot push yourself now, do not look to be able to push yourself later.

8.  You will find yourself feeling the need to compete with other survivors.  I ask that you meditate on this and the following.  There is strength in numbers, in the movies cooperation seems to be a key, and it is the right thing to do according to current scientific theory about the early humans who would later move on to dominate and become what we are today.  Cooperation is now being touted as one of the most powerful “tools” they had at their disposal.  Further, when we look at societies that are based on competition and dominance of peace loving cultures, i.e., societies that preach competition as a superior form of living, they have all tumbled.  Historically speaking.  If we look to the Tao Te Ching, we see the age old sage wisdom, “He who lives by the sword, so shall he die by the sword.”.

It may be hard at first to believe this, so i would like you to start putting it into play now, that way you will be well versed in group dynamics, acceptance and everything else necessary to begin building a society.

Lastly, read through this article from stem to stern once or twice and then begin in earnest, and of course, ENJOY!

Section 0 – Learning to go with flow, to bend, to be…. NINJA!

This is the singular most important section outside of diet, which is why it is the zero section.  Diet has taken its place where it has as many people refuse to even consider changing their diets and therefore, we will stick to something that is more palatable and equally as important for the world that is coming up and that you are training for.

If you notice your initial reaction to the thought of actually getting into a stretch program, there in lies your first look at why this is so vitally important.  Your mind is weak.  Now you must make it strong and I will give you a laundry list of reasons why.

1.  Many scientific theories tie in ability to stretch and ability to survive into old age.

2.  The strongest people in the world, I speak to fighting capability hand to hand, are usually extremely flexible as well.

3.  Aesop, you know, the gentleman who wrote us those all important stories like the Turtle and the Rabbit [Tortoise and Hare], also did many on the important of flexibility, one such dealt with a mighty oak and a slender reed each undergoing a tremendous storm.  of course, prior to said storm, the Oak was calling the reed week and after the storm, the reed was explaining that it survived due to its ability to bend, where as the Mighty Oak was now split in two.

4.  It is a meditative practice of its own and is therefore good for your inner peace.

5.  It keeps your internal organs supple and in the correct position, further, it massages them and keeps them healthy.  Your internal organs are not meant to be in one fixed place unmovable from birth to death.  They must be taken care of as any other part of the body.  Stretching does that.

6.  If you choose Yoga or some group stretch class, you will find like minded people to help you when the rubber meets the road.  Further, if you are a guy who is a tough guy and does not believe in this, there are usually attractive women at yoga classes.  These women will go for the guy who tries his best in class.  What more do yo need tough guys?

So, now we begin with some simple yet powerful stretches which by no means make up a complete series, so you WILL have to do further research on your own, and I do this on purpose.  A, It will take you to other websites and greater knowledge, you will be able to truly learn and understand a subject, get to “know it” if you will, and that is what I am aiming for in all of this.  For yo to be your own Student and Master, this is what will give yo the best edge in the world you are now training for.

Stretches –

Bending at Waist – Seems so easy, yet I have met so many, even apparently healthy folks who cannot touch their toes without bending their knees!  You want to focus on really bending from the waist.  Keep your core engaged AT ALL TIMES.  Go slowly, there is no rush.  Bend as far as you are able without bending your knees.  Again, keep your core engaged at all times.  Breath deeply, as you exhale, go a little deeper into your stretch.  Hold for a few breaths, come up, shake out, and repeat.

Same as above sitting on the floor – Same thing.  Bend from the waist, go deeper on exhales, go slowly, keep core engaged at all times.

One leg Behind Back – Standing on one leg, bring your calf to the back of the thigh on which ever leg is not keeping yo standing.  Hold it, your foot/shin, with your hands and try a variety of foot positions and angles.

Holding One Leg – While seemingly very easy, it is actually quite difficult.  You must balance on one leg, slowly move your other leg up, hold it with your hand, and there are many ways to do this, you can hold your big tow with your pointer and middle fingers – a yoga style stretch, with your whole hand on the inside of your leg or on the outside, try them all as each brings about a different feel.

Hands Behind Back – This is a great chest opener and is also good for the aspiring protester.  One hand will be folded down/back and up, so your lower hand will end up in the center of your back over your spine, the other hand/arm, will be up/over and back.  The goal is to get your hands together in the mid back and really use this stretch to open the chest and upper body, also promoted strength gain.  IF YOU CANT bring your hands together, use a small rag or towel.  This will allow you to train your mind that the hands are meant to be holding each other, more importantly,m it activates the stretch in a much different way, different neurons, this is a very active stretch, not passive.  Lastly, you can creep your hands along the towel towards one another and will eventually not need them any more.

XingYi Stretches – under construction –

Bicycle_trafficNow we begin…  A BIKE.

First, I would like for you to get a bike or pull the unused bike out of your garage and get it tuned up.  During the tune up, pay a little extra to get some lessons on how to properly maintain a bike.  It’s the Zombie Apocalypse, cars, gas, all that stuff will be most difficult to A. come by, B. fix and C. etc etc etc.  The reason this is first is that it will be your most reliable means of transportation.  Above all, you have to be able to move quicker than a walking or running pace, this is my reasoning for putting bikes first.

Bikes are truly a dime a dozen, which is not cheapen them by any stretch of our imaginations, but to truly drive the point home that in a post apocalyptic world one must be most accustomed to working and using that which is most readily available…. in this case the Bike.  Please check out the WorldoMeters Bicycle page for a host of statistics that will literally shock and amaze you and give a huge amount of credence to what you are reading.  The bike will be a key component to your long term survival strategy.

For this to work well for you, you must be well versed in how to use the bike and fix it…. ON YOUR OWN.  One important tip is this.  If you find a bike and it has flat tires and you cannot find a new tube, patch kit, pump, what have you, stuff the tire with cloth or grass, or some other suitable material and keep on trucking, unless of course we are dealing with fast zombies, then… good luck.

The best bike as far as I can tell would be a hard tail, solid fork front mountain bike or Xtracycle.  The less fine machinery and parts to go bad the better, the sturdier the better.

Now, whoever you are, you now know how to fix a bike and are riding daily.  I understand that the apocalypse hasn’t happened yet and you are still at your day job.  Not a problem.  Start riding to work, on the weekends do long rides, and continue to increase your distances and especially your endurance.  These are zombies, they feel nothing, you must be able to go for a long time if there is a horde coming from behind, you must have enough energy to dodge and weave for the stragglers that will come from the front.

If by chance you live close to Tijuana, Mexico, you are in a fantastic position to learn some very specific moves that will allow you to basically ride through an entire bloodthirsty horde and emerge unscathed.  To this day I sometimes look back and wonder how exactly I was able to make, and yet, how happy I am that I did, for I gained a very important piece of mental luggage – FEARLESSNESS.  So, in using your rides to work and extended rides, you begin to gain the needed stamina and strength to make it happen.  By riding through cities, you learn the way, the art of not being flattened which someday, lets hope it never comes, will be your way of not being bitten and depending on the story line you are following, being scratched.

Other methods of riding to prepare and have a proper blast while doing so that we feel are best when used with the above training as well.

CycloCross training is one of the more useful bike sports to train in as it will really give you the skills you need to get out of tricky situations…

For instance, there you are cruising and next thing you know, BAM!  Dead bodies, wrecked cars, rubble, flipped tanks, downed copters etc., all over the place.  Well you wont be able to ride over them, enter cyclocross racing to see you through!

Lastly in the biking section, I would like you to begin going on longer rides.  Taking a day and even weekends and longer.  Camping, making fires, cooking your own food in the wild and generally learning what the basics are that you will need to be long term on a bicycle.  Lucky you I already have an entire section of this website devoted to that – Bicycle Touring.  Bicycle touring will be paramount as you will have to begin living the life of a nomad until you find a place or group that is able to carve out a section of land that can be safe.  Until such a time, you must be prepared to not only be on the move, but be on the move with a fairly often, if not daily pace.  There is no better way than bicycle touring.  Coming to terms with this now will have you properly prepared and all will be ready in advance.  When I started my ride I left with 140 pounds of gear and clothes, I am now down to 70-, people travel with much less than I.  learn to do things when it is easy, so when life becomes hard, you already know.  What is harder, learning to change a flat tire in the comfort of your own driveway or on the side of a zombie infested road?  This is not rocket science, but if you never start, you will never know!

Lastly, if you never have done a tour, you find yourself being focused to focus though tired, in the rain, dehydrated and ready to give up, but you cant.  You are riding on the shoulder of a road as you have been for the last 8 hours and 18 wheelers are whizzing by you at 80mph.  Though you are at wits end, you MUST REMAIN FOCUSED!  If someone swerves to close to you, you do not have recourse to be angry at them, your yells will fade into the oblivion of the open road, it is up to you to take care of you effectively.  Yelling solves nothing, responding well makes all the difference.

You will learn to be a Ninja as far as response, you will learn to listen to your “gut” instinct.  How many times have I had a huge urge to pull off the road and in doing so, saved my life.  This is a powerful transformer of ignorance and years of civilized breeding which turn you weak in the mind and in your very nature.

Are you diggin how this is working?  You will, be a survivor…..  You W I L L.

Part 2 – Building your foundation when not biking.

Part 2/A –

Your breathing, because once you stop breathing, you become one of them!

The proper way of breathing while doing anything is of paramount import.  For starters, Breathing is where the magic happens in you the human being.  You can go days without water, more days without food and for the best of us, according to The Guiness Book of World Records is… 22 minutes even!  Holy Iron Lung Batman!

So we see that time is measured in minutes and nothing more.  As we dig deeper into the mystery of breathing we see that there are many methods and ideas when it comes to what is the best way to do so.  Belly breathing, 3 part Ujji Pranayama of the Yogis and my personal favorite, the Microcosmic Orbit.

It is up to you to pick one and stick with it.  My choice was made largely for me as it was part of my Kung Fu training.  As i was getting one on one attention with it and the philosophy behind it, it was natural for me to adopt it.  It is such a boon to my everything I do, from running, to stress control, that I HIGHLY recommend and urge you to find a method that is time tested and taught by someone of knowledge.  Further, it allows you to use your body properly.  As a car must have a clean air-filter and the correct bends and twists in its air intake system, so must the human body which is INFINITELY more complex than a car have the same.  It is up to you to seek this out, it is too complex for ME to teach as I simply do not know it even close to well enough, I point you in the direction by letting you know it exists and is of the highest value, after all, you will last roughly one minute without it=]

Part 2/B – RUNNING[there is no real numbering scheme, I just like how it looks… keep reading=]

Running, both near and far, fast and slow…

This is one of the most important factors as it means the difference between life and death in every single zombie flick I have seen to date.  Further, it has been the difference of life and death in any situation where there is a “prey” and a “hunter”.  The key here is to last long enough in this brave new world to become a hunter.  In doing this, you will undoubtably go through a period of being prey, and even the most experienced hunter will at times find him/herself prey.

The one thing a human being has on nearly ALL other animals is its ability to run long distance without burning out.  if we look at a majority of other animals, they all seem to, at some point, begin panting.  Once this happens they begin a downward slide of decreased performance ultimately ending in the need to stop.  What sets us apart, we sweat.  We are water cooled and one of the very few animals that has this adaptation.  You will now begin using it to your advantage.

I would like you to star by doing some basic barefoot running.  Again, luckily for you, I have an entire beginner program set up with all the necessary ideas and science behind why this is so very important.  This will introduce you to the overall idea of running and proper form regardless what your are wearing.  It is most important that this be the foundation for your training as you will be doing A LOT of running, to suddenly come down with cramps, aches and pains will not serve you in this new world.  Take the time to train properly and SLOWLY to ensure success and survival!

You may be wondering why, when I have perfectly good trainers/running shoes, would I bother to learn to run barefoot?

Well my friend, there are two very important considerations.  One, there will no longer be running shoe manufacturers of any kind… at all, anywhere.  And if there were, how would they be delivered.  So, this initial complaint is now a moot point.  moving on…

Even though you have running shoes, it does not mean that you are a good runner.  And to this I am speaking directly to the physiognomy of the body, how it is made.  Your body is a machine, albeit one of the most complex ones on the planet, but a machine none-the-less, it works in a specific way, adheres to our accepted notions of physics, the laws of gravity et-cetera and has tried and true methods for for bringing out the best in it.  The kinetic chain of what you are doing in running is very important as it is in anything you do.  With running you get to see just how off the kinetic chain for many of us actually is.  Lets briefly look at the kinetic chain here before we continue so we have a greater idea of what it is we are doing.

The Kinetic Chain.

It must be fed certain things, and used in a certain way for optimum performance.  this is an accepted fact, and it is even accepted by you though you may not consciously realize it, there is a reason why you automatically respect Olympic athletes, professional athletes, mercenaries etc. They have all mastered their bodies and you know they did it in a certain way as they all had trainers and you know this.  So now I am your trainer for running in a world where you will not have access to what you want, but, thank god, if you are wise, you will learn to excel with what you have been given from birth.

Running barefoot takes a lot of time to build up to as the entire focus of your body and ergo the musculature, bones, everything changes.  Since we are dealing with many small bones and muscles, these will take time to re attenuate themselves to this new and correct way of being.  PLEASE, GIVE THIS TIME.  I would say that the average person living and working in daily life will need at least 3-6 months of daily training before reaching an equivalent level of running capability.  Good news is, once you have achieved this level, you will even use your current heel padded shoes correctly.

Two shoes, footwear that can help you are Luna’s, made by Barefoot Ted McDonald and Vibrams, an idea by Barefoot Ted and made by the Vibram Corporation.

Actual running training once you have attenuated your body and feet to this correct way of running:

Bruce Lee was said to run at least 2 miles and at comfortable jog per day.  In being in the Health Club business, the most fit elderly were the ones who continued to run.  It is a key supplement and especially with all the biking you will be doing, it will help to ensure proper bone density, fluidity of internal organs – i.e., your organs are not “stuck” in place which leads to many difficulties and diseases, health of colon and proper bowel movements, clarity, happiness and of course, the ability to get away from zombies.

We will start by alternating your runs between slow and steady for distance and short and fast with rests in between sets for strength and speed.

As you progress on both paths, and we will keep this easy and relatively simple, you will simply increase the overall amount of time you do for either set, i.e., you will slowly increase your distance and speed with the long distance runs and with your sprint days.

There are specific ways to properly increase based upon body type and other factors, for our sake, we are using the slow and steady method with alternating weeks.  For instance.

Week One will be slow and steady with an increase in distance.  This will apply for both the speed and the long distance.

Week Two will see an increase in speed, very slight, for the distance that you are able to run in week one.  These are very small increases, you must understand this or you will burn yourself out and worse, cause injury.

Vary your training back and forth until you have a good base and then begin training on different terrain.  From trail running, to sand, city streets, at the gym on a treadmill to the local high-school track.  By the way, the treadmill is an excellent place to get a great feel for your rhythm and speed, BUT, do not use this as your main source of running, nothing takes the place of supplying your own speed.  With a treadmill you are keeping up, in the world, you are keeping up with a speed that you must supply, the difference, especially when being chased by walkers will become evident all to quickly.

Training must always be varied for the maximum result based upon what we are aiming for and that is not merely survival, but re establishing the human race in the face of a global disaster.  

IMPORTANT TIP- When trail running and you come to a down hill, it is best to gallop.  I guess this would apply to any running, especially some of the hills in Ensenada, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, etc., ok, any hill!

I know this may sound silly, but the force on the knee during a down hill exerts a huge amount of shearing action on the knee joint.  This is b a d.  We do not want shearing forces on our joints as this will cause long and short term injury.  So, down hill we what, gallop.  This is a technique i learned by watching footage of an old western in which a Samurai with a baby had somehow ended up in the wild west and was fighting the Cowboys and the Indians.  Well, he had to run down a huge gravely hill, he did it in a gallop.  I thought it silly as a 10 year old and fast forward lots of years found myself with a lot of pain during my trail runs which was greatly aggravated coming down hills.  I remembered my Samurai and began to gallop.  Took me a time to really get functional with it, and now I use it to my advantage and can build great speed.  if you have trouble with it, take your time and remember to protect your joints always.

Stairs, oh my…..-

Why, because the elevators only work in the movies and why would you want to get yourself into a little metal box tethered by cables?  My thoughts exactly we take the stairs.  if there are the undead chasing us, we must take them quickly and be prepared to duck and jive with the best of them.  This will be a great place for you to be ninja, or you will find your last call here.  You can find stairs literally everywhere, you may not realize how prolific stairs are simply because your brain has tuned them out in favor of escalators and elevators, which is fine, but now its not.  Begin by running your stairs as you would your slow and steady runs and your fast, sprint training.

Some days you will run up stairs for as long as you can possibly go and once you get to the top, you will jog back down to the bottom turn about and run back up again, do this as many times as you can and seek to have ever greater times/distances and focus on how you feel doing it, this will be your greatest gauge of your progress.

Remember, fast and slow.  We also want to try and find varied sizes of stairs.  The more mixing up you do, the better this will be for you and your body!

A final way of mixing up the stairs, for running, we will have the stairs make another appearance in total body strength training later, is Spinning.  This is extremely dangerous and can lead to injuries!  Do not simply jump into this one, go slowly at first until you get the hang of it.  The primary focus of spinning is to focus and condition the mind.  As you run up the stairs, you will at every 5th or 10th, your program, spins as you are still heading up, or down.  PLEASE start out with this one slowly as the opportunity for broken ankles is HUGE!  Save this for your advanced workouts when you are beginning to find the tedium of all this new material boring.  By that point, your ankles, balance, mind and body should be ready for this.

MIXING IT UP IN GENERAL – Running – 

In general, a mix up for running that will always be of service would be what?

C’mon, think here, whats happening in this new world, whats going on, you’re running, did you drop everything and just run?  Probably not, you may have a machete, a can of food, a baby, I don’t know, but you have something I am sure.  And something that you simply DO NOT wish to let go of..

So a good mix up would be adding weight while you run, right?  Not only will this now activate different centers in the brain, but it will make you stronger as well.  I’m sure many of you scoff at the idea that a three pound weight in your hand would do anything to advance your training.  That’s only because you don’t understand.  Hold that three pound weight for an entire hour long run and you are on to something!

So start running with a backpack and add small but steady weight to your runs, both the slow/steady ones and the fast.  this will get your body and most importantly your mind used to having constraints while moving.  Then you can star adding weights in various places.  Heck, you can go hyper realistic and place things in the house like a water bottle and three pound weight and when the alarm goes off, you grab them and are out the door!

My reason for choosing the 3 pound weight is that it easily covers most smaller handguns and has enough weight to cover larger ones as well, see chart compliments of Mouseguns.

You know have a general idea of what can help to expand your running horizon.  One of the key functions we are doing with this is making your brain accustomed to the change.  Many runners go with as minimal gear as possible, choosing the lightest of everything from shoes to clothes.  We are now putting the onus of comfortable running on conditioning of the mind, not money spent on clothes and gear.  Does this make sense, if not, email me and we can discuss.

FURTHER MIXING-

You can also do things like running sideways, looks more like a sideways gallop, be very careful when you start this as obviously you can crack an ankle!  This will really help build strength and when you are doing it will be, again, like a sideways gallop.

Run backwards, you laugh, but when you hit the speeds I have surprised my own self with, you see how useful a tool this can be, now add a gun and a few zombies who are quicker than the pack chasing you, they are catching up, turn, pop pop pop, turn, now you’re on to something.

tire pullingRun with a big USED TIRE.  This is a most powerful workout indeed!  I don’t know if you have ever ran with a used tire, but dong so is a needed training instrument for two main reasons.  First and foremost, it is ungainly, quickly becomes mentally draining to carry while running, focusing you ever more specifically on all of your core musculature and posture, which I may add is very important in this advanced training lest you start to do damage to yourself.

As you can see, I am pulling my tire, I got lucky and found ship waste with rope attached, this is equally as difficult as now you have an added drag resistance, especially in the sand.  When I placed the tire around my neck to run, the rope added very slight drag, but, this did add an uneven balance factor that was a nice touch.

Secondly, you begin to get an idea for the scope of waste we currently take for granted in this world which is one of the foundational problems with our civilization which has led to the very real possibility of a Zombie Apocalypse which is why you are reading this.  From this tire, I will be making a pair of huaraches, the sandals used by the Tarahumara.

Shuttle Runs-

For your fast days, I would like you to include shuttle runs.  What a delightful and mind bogglingly painful exercise that once you break through the side splitting terror of it all, you will be bathed with endorphins that are usually reserved for a gun shot wound.

Set up plastic buckets, tricycles, set up stuff at intervals which are comfortable to you.  So, you have a starting line and 10 yards out, a bucket, 10 more yards, another bucket and so on, as many as you like, I suggest at least 2 “stations”.

Now, get down in your runner position and bolt to the first bucket [or whatever, if you have a lazy dog who will not move nor mind you barreling towards it, fine, whatever you want], touch it and immediately run back to the starting line, touch it, run to the second bucket, touch it and back to the starting line.  pass out, wake up, and repeat.  Do this until you decide to stop, if you want to be ninja, you will go until you vomit.  i have not done this yet, but know of people who have, it is up to you, its your apocalypse training right, would hate for you to be thinking, “damn, if only I would have run to vomiting I wouldn’t be being eaten just now”, of course as I wrote this it was being written with an English voice as that just makes the insane so much more palatable…  Palatable, get it!, cause your being eaten!… hahaha-ok, ahem…  sorry…

Now, to mix up the shuttle run.  We can do a few things.

The first you know, add weight, make sure the pack you are using can be snug on your body.  As you progress, loosen it a little and see what difference this makes.

Commando Duck ‘n’ Roll –

This is where you will dive into a forward roll as you are running forward and will pop up and immediately keep running.  This will be done as many times as possible during the run and your focus will be on being as precise as possible.  If you find yourself getting wild and really off focus, STOP!  This is an exercise with a potential for really bad accidents up to and including a broken neck.  So take this one easy and if you do not know how to do a moving forward roll, find someone to teach you.  I am very serious in this, the exercise is a powerful one, but only if you know what you are doing.  With any training it is only good if you come out stronger than when you started.  Tired is fine and to be expected, broken is fine if it is part of a specific training regimen like that of the Ninja [they actually break bones in a specific way to make them stronger once healed, we aren’t doing that], for you, I do not want anything broken, sprained, bruised or injured, are we clear.

RAIN

Running in the rain is not only a necessary addition to your practice, I am also hoping that through time and patience you will come to enjoy it as well.

IF YOU ARE INJURED [in general, but especially with the running as these injuries seem more common than not] 

I need you to stop what you are doing and not work through the pain, this is a pointless endeavor and should only be used when actually being chased by the undead.  If you feel that you have a light sprain, immediately shake it out, start slow and build the intensity of the shaking looking to mentally picture your foot doing complete circles in either direction.  This is what i learned in Kung Fu training and it DOES work, if the sprain is massive, you can try this same practice, but if the pain is too great, APPLY HEAT and immobilize with an ACE or otherwise bandage.  Once comfortable, seek an acupuncturist.

Why we do not apply ICE.  As I learned in Chinese medicine, it is for dead people awaiting burial and mixed drinks.  Ice, in essence, literally freezes the injury in place and causes you to potentially have the beginnings of a chronic condition.  Why would you, who have only just learned to run correctly based on your bodies set up, now suppose to know how to heal it, you barely even know how to feed it!  If the body wants to swell the area and heat it up, let it!  I don’t see you trying to breath for your body, so don’t muck up the process here either.  Kung Fu warriors as Ninjas, are REAL.  They kick ass for free and for profit and in the process of their training experience things that the average person may go a lifetime without getting to know.  Both of them have their own medicine angles, neither of them use ice!  Further, in this post apocalyptic world that you are training for, why would you use training which will have you reliant on something which simply will not exist?!?  THERE WILL BE NO ICE!

Ice is used by Western medicine, because we are weak and undisciplined.  When we are hurt,we do not go for what is best, we immediately want what feels best.  Big Difference.  As anyone who lives life, what is best and what feels best are rarely the same.  This is why we use ice, it is a localized, very inexpensive anesthetic.  The sooner you are able to absorb this information, the sooner you will be able to go about your training with a certain fervor and intensity.  He who can heal himself from the daily rigors of training is waaay ahead of the one who relies on another.  And once you know how to properly, then you are golden.

If you would like more information on Chinese medicine in your area, I suggest to you the NATSTA organization, you can also learn Kung Fu which would be most useful in a zombie apocalypse…

atlasSTRONG LIKE BULL [or BEAR depending upon your geographic location]

Strength Training –

There are a vast amount of ways to get this, the best and easiest would be, in my most humble estimation, the BATMAN WORKOUT!

My reasoning for this is as follows.  It can be done anywhere, at anytime and is cumulative in its return for you the exerciser.  Further, the lack of gym personnel and handi-wipes will initially be a discouragement to many and we may as well get used to a workout that we can be comfortable with when the shinola [S%$t} hits the BayBreeze [fan] slowly rotating on the ceiling.

Lastly, you will want the kind of strength that is 100 percent useful, i.e., to climb on top of things by pulling yourself up, in some cases very quickly, hopefully even the fast ones wont figure out the climbing thing so easily, but then, who knows.  If they do, all the more reason to be Q U I C K E R.

Going back to our running training and in general, speed will be of a huge advantage to you in this, and it will be one of the parts of the exercise routine that will help get you in shape initially the quickest as many of us never move that fast unless we are chasing a neighbors dog who stole our riding lawn mower keys or our 3 year old who found some of daddies porn collection and is scampering towards mommy in the kitchen, and of course, vice versa.  Im kidding…. hurm…..

How many of us ever snap from slow to fast in the blink of an eye, more importantly, how many of us have the neural connections to make the snap in the first place!

This speed is crucial to your coming out alive and more importantly, it is crucial in your daily lives right now as there is a whole world of things you are missing simply because you are unable to MENTALLY do this quick change in thinking.

As stated in the beginning, a majority of what is happening here is mental.  The body is what it is, perfect in every way as long as you treat it as is put forth in the users manual none of us have, but all innately know.  It is the mind which is our greatest triumph or stumbling block.

You have all checked out the Batman Workout, it will enable you to be on a near constant workout program even when working in whatever work you do, assuming you are not one of those who are unfortunately in slave labor like conditions, and this is a real and present situation in the world and I am sorry if you find yourself there.  Truly I am, a moment of silence for you.

The reason we are looking to train with our own body weight is, well, for quite a few reasons.  Aside from the fact that James Bond AND Batman use it as their primary training, it is also the one most extensively used by the elite special forces around the world.  If it is good for the men who are specifically trained to kill men, then so shall it be good for us as well in our quest to be that which will be most suited to kill undead men and women of course, and probably the creepy kid zombies, ewww, ok….

Now, my main recommendation for you would be a martial art, or some advanced military training.  Many of you will not be able to do this either due to scheduling or most likely, lack of teachers that you can really groove with.  With a martial art, you will et a whole package so to speak, the strength, meditation, focus and most importantly a teacher, someone to drive you like the cattle you are.  I do not speak down to you, I too am naught more than a dumb beast when it comes to my training, on the rare days I am able to push myself, I find it is usually because I have a partner with me, or someone I am training in Kung Fu.  If I am training, Ill be damned if they do more than me, and vice-versa, if they are being trained, they want to do more than the teacher, so it becomes a positive feedback loop.  Please take a moment to enjoy the Wikipedia explanation of said loop as it will be a valuable tool in your training.

Your last workout is that of making a FIRE, please read through the ENTIRE meditation section so that you can see why this is strength training as well, and a very serious strength training at that!

What Now?

You have strength, speed, stamina, you are cruising on your bike, a lot less jumpy, nerves of steel so to speak, what do we do now?  Well, now it is time to turn to the finer things which are the true foundations of what we have going here.  One will be diet, another will be meditation, not just sitting cross legged yogi style, but a meditative form that will be with you always at every part of the day.  We will need strategy, critical thinking skills, finesse, alternative logical thinking…  There really is a lot that goes into this, did I mention fasting.  Oh yes, not only will this be a set up for come what may, but here and now, during this time of relative ease it is good on both a physical, mental and moral level to fast.  As we are not yet at that part, we will save it for later.

the Samurai of yore would always have an assistant, servant, whatever you wish to title the person, usually a younger apprentice, who would take care or cooking food, washing clothes, finding places to stay, etc.  and one other very important function.  Many times I have heard it told that they were required to randomly sneak up on and attempt to strike their master.  This was a way of fine tuning the mind to always be ready.  You must now endeavor to do this on your own.

Lets start there…

yoda teaching lukeMEDITATION

You are currently in a most wonderful environment for this section of training.  Civilization.  What you ask, nothing could be farther from a meditative state than running around in rush hour traffic [see bike section 1], dealing with co-workers, children, bills, deadlines, making it to the gym, my cable going out etc.!

That’s the point.  You are constantly being tested on a few different levels.  A. you of course are responsible for all that you have in your life.  If this is not in tune with your thinking, then you have one of your first meditative mantras to focus on.  I use Mantra as an idea to focus on where many of you who are familiar with meditation, especially TM [Transcendental Meditation], use a mantra to help focus.  This is usually a sound specifically chosen for you by your teacher, and it should always remain secret!

B.  You have so many opportunities to be distracted you never have to worry about being tested as you are tested constantly on all fronts.

C.  When you start to behave in a different manner to situations which come up time and time again, you begin to see how this new way of dealing with the “same old same old” brings about an entirely new and much more appreciated outcome, you now have further motivation to continue deepening the practice.  It becomes a positive feedback loop.  This means that you do something, a good things happens you do more, more good things etc.  Whereas many today are in the exact opposite called a negative feedback loop and an even greater majority simply are stuck and they do not even realize it.

This is what is idealized in the training that Luke underwent with Master Yoda in StarWars.  It is all very well and good to be Zen and able to do a one handed handstand, but what about when you are being beaten with a stick, or when there are annoying noises… will you still be zen, and if not, then you are not ready.

Thats what we are aiming for here.  Your r e a d i n e s s.  To be Ninja in body but not in mind is POINTLESS.  If the slightest things throw you off, you are lost in a world gone mad.  If you cannot cope with the world you find yourself in now, what will you do then, when the undead roam the earth?

We begin…

Lets start simply and easily and work up to the harder stuff.

Begin by spending a few minutes a day focusing on your breath, whatever you are doing, be sure and keep the focus on your breathing.  Do this while brushing your teeth, trust me, you can do this=]  While preparing food for yourself, or ordering coffee, focus on your breath.  Remember, the breath is the life.  Engage your focus for longer and longer periods on this.  At some point, you will see that in times of stress you will begin to tune into your breathing as a sort of solace.  This is the beginning of self realization.  You will be live at this point, truly alive, when all other things can fall away in the face of your continuous breathing, you will be entering a new head space.  You will begin to look at everything around you in a brand new way.  Yes, your life will be exactly as it was, your job, your daily activities, the gym, shopping, all of it the same, yet you will be different.  You are now aware.  No longer are you mindlessly gong about a task while mentally creating a million possible futures while basing these on a million different variations of the past that either did or did not happen but in the end are meaningless because you can no more change what happened to them than you can change the outcome of a sports game on TV by lamenting a play that could have gone differently.  It is as it is and moving forward is the only way to go.  moving forward into the very moments that you find yourself in, not an hour from now, you needn’t trouble yourself with it, nor a day, a week or a year from now.  none of that matters, what matters is what you are doing right here and now and this is the beauty of a Zombie Apocalypse, we all feel deep down the rush of what it would be to live in this world for the simple fact we would have to be like the Samurai, ever aware of his apprentice who may smack him with a birch rod.  That’s the beauty, the thrill.  Being so pre-occuppied with what is truly happening that you have no choice but to be fully present.  Surely you have heard this from places other than here, and its true!

One is a Ninja, a Mohammed, a Samurai, a Buddha, a Bruce Lee, a Christ, an Olympic Gold medalist et-cetera, when one can be fully engaged in the minutiae of the moment and act seemingly according to the divine plan, to ones intuition on a gut level.  This is why you want to focus on your breath more and more.  While it may seem easy, it is not.

So to start, set your alarm, be it your watch, your smart phone, whatever on a 10 minute cycle.  Remind yourself to constantly be tuning into your breath.  And do of course use a decent alarm volume and sound!

Once you start to get the hang of “watching your breath, now I would like you to turn your attention to your posture, BUT, of course, still keep the focus on the breath!

POSTURE – 

Most of us at some time or another have bad posture.  Many live in a perpetual state of bad posture and do not even know why, nor do they even realize it.  There are many reasons for bad posture, from the living conditions which we find ourselves, and I am speaking to beds which are too soft, chairs that are made for creatures as yet to be identified but surely musn’t be human, a big one that is often overlooked is that when walks around with correct posture, current civilization techniques have rendered us to immediately register these people as proud.  if they are not wealthy or in a position superior to ours we will do everything in our power both overtly and covertly to bring them back down to the station we feel they should be placed in. naturally we do this to ourselves.POSTURE

It is time for all of that to go by the wayside, this is the Zombie Apocalypse.  Your posture is one of your greatest strengths when it comes to feeling well and actually being healthy!

Stand barefoot with your feet slightly apart.  Now stand up straight, really straight, like there is a strings of pearls dropped down from the heavens and grabbed hold of some of the hairs or flesh if you are bald on the very crown of your skull and gently pulled up.

Your chin will be raised and your head will be slightly back, I want you to feel a slight pull, or pressure in the throat area due to this.

YOUR SHOULDERS WILL BE RELAXED and pulled down and back.  Almost as though you are throwing your chest open.

Arms will be at your sides with the palms flat and open resting lightly somewhere on the side of your body, for most it will be the upper outer thigh, if your form is right and it is not this area, no worries, as God made us all different so its all good.  I am not looking for you to change your body, only your posture!

Your stomach muscles will be activated.  not flexed like you are vainly doing your best to look good in a beach photo, but activated, ready, they are sharing the burden/joy, of holding your body in right position along with your lower back muscles, the upper back muscles are still engaged in keeping your shoulders down and back.  This will take time to get used to, keep on keepin on.

Do you understand,….?  I am asking you to focus on this at all times of the day whatever you are doing, your breath and your posture are what you think of yourself transmitted to the rest of the world.  Be proud, but not vain.  You are alive, this is a lottery win of such epic proportions that I cannot begin to even describe it, a c t like it.

Your “tail” will be tucked, knees ever so slightly bent.  When you walk, as when you run, you move form the hips.  All of your movement in fact will come from this are.  The Dan Tien as we spoke of earlier, is the center for your physical being according to many schools of thought, from Chinese medicine and Martial Arts to Salsa Dancing.

You are now posturaly [that may or may not be a word] aligned and correct. Now you have to pay attention to this and protect it.  See how your shoulders creep up in tension when typing on a keyboard or when you are being yelled at by your boss or arguing with a loved one.  See how you slouch in your chair or shuffle your feet while you walk.  All of this is sending out a signal that says, “HEY ZOMBIES, COME GET ME!”.

Be the survivor you are and look like it!

SITTING MEDITATION-

There are many ways to go about doing this.  I recommend using a cushion to raise your butt higher than your ankles and feet to take the strain off your lower back.  Posture will be a key in your meditating as it was mentioned before, always focus on posture!

Now, you are seated, there are numerous ways to go about doing this.  First lets look at the different ways you can align your legs with this handy illustration here:

zazen_posturesGo for whatever posture feels best for you.  Seiza is using a small stool made specifically for meditation.

The point here is learning to work with and understand the nature of the mind, not to wrestle with your body.  That is what the previous sections are for.  here is where you look internally a what makes you who you are, further, what IS you?  When we refer to YOU, who is it we are referring to?

You will see through some time, patience and practice, that there is a definite separation of different parts of your mind, a sort of schizophrenia if you will.  There are thoughts, always there are thoughts, and yet there is also a part of you that can look at these thoughts, as you would water flowing by in a stream, or as OSHO recommends, “…look upon your thoughts as clouds crossing the sky.”.

There are a few different methods that can be employed, well, there are so many methods that it would be impractical to list them all here.  I will list those that I have found to work for me.

1.  One of the more powerful ones, again, FOR ME, you are reading this online, don’t be scared to do some research, FOR YOU=]  For me, I have found the candle to be a most powerful tool.  You simply light a single candle, in a dark room and keep your gaze focused on it and maintain this focus.  Once you try it, you will see why it is so powerful a technique, one wouldn’t think ones mind wonders so much until you have a specific task, such as staring at a candle, to remind you just how much your mind wonders!  Ensure that the candle is in a jar, or proper candle holder, I only mention this as I woke up to a small bonfire on my living room table after falling asleep during my meditation in Hawaii=]

2.  Another method is that of continuing to focus on your breath, AND, actually moving the energy imparted from this breathing in the actual microcosmic orbit we discussed earlier. Please know that this is not a simple practice.  It may take you some time and again, I am not a good one to be your teacher.  Please do your research and know that if you master this, you will have the beginnings of enlightenment within your grasp.

2/a  Focusing on the breath in coordination with focusing on your heart beats and then setting up, 4 beats per breath, et cetera.  I do not use this often, BUT, this is considered an extremely powerful meditation as it brings to bear your singular focus on the heart.  Scientists have recently discovered that the heart itself has a completely separate electromagnetic field capable of affecting anything within its radius which is measurable to 3 meters!  WOW.  Of course, spiritual practitioners have known this for some time.  Now you do, look it up, this could be the one for you.  Again, extremely powerful.

3.  One very pleasant meditation is by placing yourself in a completely natural surrounding, choosing a certain position which is comfortable and then not moving at all and completely being absorbed into the environment.

4.  Prayer.  Yes, I am talking about folding your hands, or bending your forehead to a mat and praising whatever God you so choose to claim as the one.  When I lived in Hawaii, I had the chance to have relationship counseling with a most masterful gentleman and psychiatrist [He could prescribe drugs]/therapist and he was studying to be a Catholic Priest.  I was most fortunate, aside from the insight I gained into relationships and myself, I learned a truth that I had never bothered to think of regarding prayer.  he told me that what the truly devout were doing with their epic prayer sessions was not simply to commune with god, whom they knew to be in themselves and a force surrounding everything, but they were seeking to replicate emotional responses in themselves.  They would pray until they literally felt JOY, or COMPASSION.  This is mentioned also in Buddhism, the COMPASSION meditation.  The reason for this, and now I am on my own here, is that these feelings bring about dramatic changes in the body.  As you know we are driven by chemicals, everything that takes place in the body is based upon a certain chemical setting off a remarkable series of dominoes.  As one sequence based on the feeling of self hate will bring about cancer, so will an equivalent feeling of joy or rapture, self love, bring about great healing and the ability to heal others.  Heal others you exclaim, yes, heal others, see meditation 2/a, the heart has that field of electromagnetism, it can affect a big area, if you have your transmitter sent to goodness and joy, you will bring about a change in the other persons electromagnetic field.  It has been measured that the positive feelings are stringer than negative ones, so in a situation where you have lets say a Monk [a non-denominational wants the best for all regardless of religious preference], praying at the bedside of a very sick person, should this monk have a strong enough belief, then it will be made real within the monks heart, this will in turn begin to change the frequency of the person in the bed and if done for long enough and often enough, good things can and will happen, to this we call – Miracle.

In all of these and of the myriad other ways to meditate, one seeming thought comes through with a regularity, you are not seeking to Silence the mind, so much as not be affected by the thoughts which will invariable arise from the mind.  You seek to not be effected so that you may turn your inner gaze to what truly matters.

It is designed, the mind I am referring to, it is made to think.  That is its job, 24 hours a day you will have neural activity until the day you die, and then you become a zombie and only then have extremely limited neural activity, usually associated with the “reptilian brain”, this is the lower portion of your whole package, the area that covers all the stuff you don’t think about, breathing, heartbeat, impulses, like eating, and once you change, eating other humans alive…  There is much to be learned about this and I suggest you turn to Google for more.

Now you may be wondering why meditation is very important in this post apocalyptic world.  I can only direct you in the basic of ways, as you wont fully get it until you have practiced meditating enough to be able to miss it from your day.  I am not trying to rope you in, by holding out, somethings, especially as subtle as this, are near impossible to explain, they can only be experienced.

We have All manner of martial artists and the most successful of the successful, and all of them meditate.  Spiritual Masters, Religious Leaders, I speak of true religious leaders, not those who would seek your money or your blind obedience.  Great Industry Tycoons, truly you will see the more you look that those who are most successful meditate… daily.

It is a way to gain clarity.  Once you begin to recognize that simple fact that was mentioned earlier, that of the brain being a non stop thought creating machine, you begin to see that every little incident in your life will create thoughts.  Once you see this, you start to see your urge to follow up on ALL of these thoughts.  Once you see this, you begin to understand how easily you allow yourself to be jerked to a fro.  It is not an intentionally “mean” thing that your brain is doing, it simply is what it is meant to do, thank God, as it constantly comes up with ideas, you are able to move through obstacles of all kinds.  Once you realize that it will always throw all sorts of ideas out constantly, you begin to see it as more a mad radio, constantly switching through stations until YOU choose one.  As soon as you choose any one particular station, more thoughts will now cascade under that main heading that got you to focus, the moment you pull out of that one particular cascade of thought, you can begin to search the limitless, thoughts – IDEAS until you find one that BEST SUITS THE SITUATION.

Another way to look at it is that of a constantly shifting menu.  Of course you would not be able to eat everything on the menu, you wouldn’t think of it.  What is a menu but a suggestion of something you could have.  It is up to you to choose from the selections which is best suited for you.  The same with thoughts, these are suggestions, do not seek to entertain them all or nothing will get done.

None of this can happen unless you are able to see the whole process for what it is.  No matter how much I write here, nothing will take the place of you actually experiencing it.  ONCE AGAIN, this will take some time, or maybe not, some are natural born ninja, I truly hope you are, I am not and am only speaking for myself when I speak of it taking time.  For many it does, and for a few, it is done before it began.

In gaining control of how your mind works, you can then use it to your best advantage in the quickest amount of time.  As you will be making many Life or Death decisions in fractions of a second which will have no reset or try again option, wouldn’t you agree that learning the way it works would be to your best benefit?

Mixing it up –

This is where we go Yoda style and you can begin to do static exercises.  I had initially wanted to put them in the strength training section, but feared that the overarching point would be lost, these will help you to become string, they will tighten the core of your body, BUT, the focal point is mastery of the mind.  I am now going to be explaining exercises that are very physically demanding as you are unmoving.

The Plank – This can be done in two ways and I would like you to use both of them.  The first you will be in push up position to start, you will raise up on your elbows and clasp your hands in whatever manner seems most comfortable and then you will stay there for as long as you can.  I suggest timing yourself or having a friend do it with you as otherwise your mind will trick you into thinking you did a long time when in actuality only a minute or two passed.  If that is all you can do in the beginning, no problem, just keep on keepin’ on and you will gain much core power and of course, mental control.

Squat at the Wall –  Very easy in concept, much more difficult in execution.  Find a wall, lean against it and slowly go down into a sitting position.  Ensure that your knees do not extend past your toes as this will bring about a shearing force which is bad for the knees.  Keep your arms straight in front of you, like a zombie, and simply stay for as long as you can.

Don’t get lazy, more meditative strength training to come…

And one last meditation method you probably never would have thought about and yet, I assure you  it is, further, it will save our life and tie in everything else we talked about prior to this point, well, kind of.

BUILDING FIRE–  This may well be one of the most deciding factors for your survival, not only in the world which you are training for, but the one you are living in now.  When I speak of building a fire, you must of course submit to my methodology until you are sufficiently progressed that you can dispense with the most important initial stages.

A.  You my friend will cut the wood for this fire and you will do it with a NON motorized saw.  It MUST be a handsaw, powered 100% by you.

B.  Your focus must be on a few different things at once.  Your hands will be hitting various angles and will try to get you to contort your body into a poor posture, you must avoid this at all costs and do your very best to always maintain proper posture.  I am not saying of course that you must always be upright, no, what I am saying is that you must always have an awareness of balance within your musculo-skeletal system.  For example.  If you are bending over to saw, I want your knees bent and a whole-hearted constant focus on the mid section, ensure that your stomach muscles are always more engaged than your lower back.  Further, when I talk about the stomach, I want it engaged all the way to your bits and pieces, the entire core must be activated lest this exercise go from strengthening to a slow degradation.  If you do not understand, we can chat on skype or through email.  It is very important that you maintain 100 percent awareness about your body during this sawing!

DIET – most important advice for whatever you eat – chew a lot.

Oh joy, food!  Given the circumstances the first thing I want to impress upon you is the sheer lack of readily available food and clean water.  Know this, it is very important that you do not for a minute think that the world will be as you know it now.  And if you choose to live now as though these things really and truly mattered, your whole life would become much more fulfilling.

Most if not all of you reading this will never know hunger, true hunger, yes you get hungry and it is only because you are not near a store or are out of a your favorite – fill in the blank – food that you are not satisfied immediately.  One of the first things we have to agree upon is what is and is not good for you based on what will be available to you, surprisingly, this has a 100 percent grounding in the world you inhabit today…  have you noticed that yet, you don’t need to wait for the Apocalypse to put this into effect…

You will find a lot of pre-packaged foods that will still be edible while the meat, dairy and veggie/fruit section have gone to pot.  Again, the revolution will not be electrified.

So, what do you do?  You need to read labels and understand a most simple law of “Conservation of Energy“.  Actually, that wont really help you as it refers to isolated systems, of which yours is only isolated in that you are of and in the world, ergo, ashes to ashes and dust to dust.  But you may as well learn about it as intelligence is its own reward!

What I am wanting to impart to you is the idea that your body uses energy to process what you eat and if it does not receive an equivalent or GREATER amount of energy, eventually, you’re up the creek with nary a paddle to be found!  This is a most basic idea that when applied to your eating brings about, potentially a radical shift in said way of attacking ones grub.

Many of us never stop to take the time to learn about how the body functions, so in order to wow you into submission, we will go through a very short and sweet explanation of what happens when you eat.

First you chew, the chewing will bring about the initial breakdown of the material, I use material because depending on what you are eating, it is either a food, or a food like substance thanks to modern science and your shit ability to eat proper nutrition and a severe lack of will power in the face of commercials.  As the chewing is the first contact you have with your food, I urge you to chew a lot, one of the generally accepted rules of thumb is to chew your age.  Even if it is a smoothie, this of course is speaking to the pre-Zombie Apocalypse, bless your heart of you’ve figured out smoothies once the damned walk, the chewing action is what gets the whole situation in gear, well, being technical, the sense of smell and secondarily that of sight truly get the ball rolling.  Watch a mother feeding a baby.  If ever a human ate food that would NOT need your assistance beyond a swallow, it is baby food AND YET, there they are, almost like they are pre-programmed to chew, they cant help it and neither should you!

One really great thing to have done is a colon flush by a professional, the kind where you can see all the little bits floating by and the technician is able to give you a surprising level of info about you and your bodies health based upon it.  One, you need to get over the fecal embarrassment, everyone who is a human, or that lives on this planet has waste, if yours smells of roses all the better to not be embarrassed.

Second, you will learn a lot about what is going on inside you from the technician – make sure you have a very good technician – I can only refer you to the only one I saw, but, when you share your shit with someone via a tube being inserted into your anus and water being flushed into it, you know fairly quickly if they are good or bad.  Healing Pathways, Kamuela Hawaii, speak to Denise.

Thirdly, is that a word, apparently so… you will see how little you chew, and because of that, how you lose out on many vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc. simply because you chew poorly.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I don’t think people would have to eat as much if they chewed properly.  A, their systems would have time to function properly and the signal from the brain to the stomach would get there in proper time to prevent overeating [which is a debilitating act that leads to many problems, more so than under eating, well, to a point, its complicated], further, you would get what you need from what you ate instead of having to eat twice as much, you would simply chew twice as much.  Its not really going out on a limb, I just said that to introduce edginess, its actual scientific finding….

Right…

The initial substance is broken down mechanically AND chemically through the saliva.  It is very important that you in fact chew your food and not as the saying goes, wolf it down.  Chewing and the creation of enzymes/saliva both take energy to produce.

You swallow, peristaltic action, this is the musculature of your mouth and throat, all the way down to your stomach work in concert to bring the food to your belly, sorry if you thought it was gravity, it is not and yes, it too uses energy to happen.

NOW we find ourselves in the stomach, many many things happening at once from specific enzymes based on what you ate, more muscular action and time depending on what was ingested.

All of this is very important, if you were wondering because food will be at a premium, whatever you do find will be of the up most value, and if it is unhealthy, it may be best to forgo it all together as we shall see, please, keep reading.

Once the food is properly digested, it will begin its travel through the intestine where vitamins, minerals, proteins… all the stuff that keeps you alive is taken out and disseminated to the body.  Once all has been extracted that can be extracted, it goes onto glory in the form of urine or feces.

Again, an energy consuming process, luckily, it is done for you and all you have to do is remember the following ideas.

1.  If the food you eat is unnatural, i.e. made with processed ingredients such as REFINED – sugar or salt, chemical ingredients, processed flours, oils,etc.,  the amount of energy your body will be able to take from them will be so very small, BUT, the energy your body will use to process them out of the system will be large.  Further, these ingredients will usually result in free radical cellular damage, this is usually a starting point for cancer, so now your body has to use more energy to kill cancerous cells, i.e., the immune system is now switched on, even MORE ENERGY.  If what you eat takes more energy to process and dispose of than the energy you actually are able to use from it, was it worth eating.

I’ll help you…NO.  Does this make sense?

Please allow me a different and yet totally palatable, get it – palatable, cause we are talking about eating.. no, O.K., anyway, different explanation.

You have a business, it costs you two dollars in business expense to make one dollar in profit.  At some point you will go out of business given enough time.  When it comes to your body, that is when you begin to get sick and eventually die.  Death=zombification.  You are reading this to avoid that, so please, I know that you like your Ding Dongs, god rest their little chemically driven hearts, but you simply must start learning to be ninja, and since you are what you eat, well, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT – no rocket science necessary=]

Your best bet is to go for the most natural and plant based things you can find.  There will, god willing, be veggies growing, you will need to find a book store and get some books detailing the local flora and fauna, while you are at it, since this is our first mention of book stores, take some books on local herbal remedies.  Ill explain more in the medical section.  If you are getting these books pre-Apocalypse, I would suggest Amazon as you can get great deals with used books, if it is post Apocalypse, well, no worries about things, take what you like.

Part of my reasoning for this push towards a plant based diet s that of sound scientific reasoning.  If you have not yet had a chance to see the documentary “Forks over Knives”, I strongly urge you to do so as it has nothing but very well thought out science i a form that is totally digestible, get it, digestible, cause we’re talking about food… sigh…  For you to really understand and see from collection of real world data the effect of food upon ones physical being.

Now, in this world that we find ourselves, I don’t know about you, but I would like to avoid being ill as much as possible, further, given the absolute lack of electricity, trained support staff and Scientists/Surgeons, I want to do my very best to ensure that my diet is not going to be the cause for any radical disease, i.e., cancer, heart conditions, diabetes etc.  I need to make sure that everything I eat is taking me to a healthy place and not one where I will eventually have to rely on modern science to cure me as, THERE WILL BE NO MORE MODERN SCIENCE!  Again, if it relies on electricity or complicated schooling/production to be of service to me, it is not relevant in this world, ergo, I must begin to separate the wheat from the chaff now, while it is relevant.  It is easiest to change a tire for the first time when the tire does not need to be changed.

As this is not an angle to try and convert you to veganism, I will finish by adding that the science is overwhelmingly in favor of a plant based diet for the health of the human body.  if you get used to it now, you will have a much better understanding of what it takes to make a diet like this work, AND, it will make your eventual homesteading much easier and will keep you on the look out for seed packets which will be the beginning of your sustainable lifestyle.  Should you be interested in learning more, I have a fairly decent article here, though, please know that once the Apocalypse begins most of it will be rendered moot, so, if you are truly interested, I would strongly urge you to start now – Vegan Beginner Guide.

Now, this brings up a very important subject that we spoke about very early on in this instruction manual.  MONSANTO.  There are a few reasons for this and you need to know of them as it will greatly impact your health both pre and post The Rise of the Walking Dead.

Monsanto is currently one of the most talked about and most aggressive companies in the field of genetically altering or natural food supply and the insects associated with it.  This is troubling to you for the followings reasons:

1.  Genetically altered fruits and vegetables are more and more being found responsible for food allergies, eczema’s, all manner of conditions which WILL NOT, make the zombie days easier.

2.  They currently own and have the co-patent with the United States Government, for the “Terminator Seed” technology.  In its most basic explanation, if you were to plant a seed that had this tech built into it, you would get one plant, so far so good.  Lets say its corn.  You now take ALL the kernels and plant them, kernels being the seeds of corn.  NONE OF THE KERNELS WOULD GROW.  This is Terminator technology.  It makes you the farmer totally dependent on the company Monsanto, or whomever they and the United States government lease this tech too.

3.  Genetically altered fruits/veggies have been shown to have far fewer of their non modified versions levels of vitamins and minerals.  In some cases, what vitamins and minerals are available are rendered, how shall i say, odd, no longer natural and so readily used by your very natural human body.

4.  Currently, the corn they are mass producing contains the genetic map to self produce BT TOXIN.  This is an insecticide which causes the stomachs of the insects to explode.  If you think that this is an acceptable by product, you probably dont need to hear much of what I have to say.

5.  Most large countries and many Third World Countries are increasingly banning use of all GMO’s due to their scientific findings of birth defects, loss of babies in-utero and upon being born, cancer growth, destruction of natural flora and fauna, the list is long an definitely warrants further review by you while you still have internet and electricity to run it all.

My point in all this, for now, have a small garden, for two reasons.

A.  You need to learn to grow a plant.  Don’t even worry about your dairy farm you meat eaters are dreaming of and seem to want to bring up when we have conversations until you at least figure out how to grow something, and no, it is not so easy.  It takes time to learn and to respect the seasons, many many things go into getting a seed to sprout, let alone getting the sprot to make food.

B. you want to learn basic seed saving methods now, while you still have Google and Youtube.

Simple Sprouting Guide.

1.  Go to store.

2.  Buy any bean that has been dried.

3.  Come home and soak beans for 24 hours in clean water.

4.  After soaking, place beans in a colander [the thing you use to get the water out of the spaghetti, that has all the little holes].

5.  Place a towel over the top of it to control the humidity, don’t want them too dry!

6.  Water the beans twice a day, morning and night.

7. Two to four days you should have magic in the form of sprouts.

8.  Congratulations are in order, try this with many seeds and nuts, show your children and change the world, THIS is the stuff that will save you!  This will not work with seeds or nuts that have been artificially dried by an over or microwave as they are now dead.  And of course, the seeds that are salted and friend in oil like the cocktail mix, if you can get them to sprout, you have some serious skill and probably don’t need to worry about anything written here.

So now you are eating well and learning to fend for yourself as far as growing food, ergo, being self reliant and sustainable, what now…  Duh, now you learn what half of the worlds population knows on a daily basis – How to Starve.

FASTING

I’m sure this is coming like a wrecking ball to your dreams of spinning helicopter kicks and precise blows to the sides of zombies heads with Ninja Swords.  I assure you that this is one of the more relevant entries in this work.  You see, in the beginning, you will have a relatively easy time of finding food, I mean to say, that for the first month, you should have good pickins’, IF YOU CAN SURVIVE THE TRIP, that’s the rub isn’t it, but that aside…

There will be deep freezes that will stay cold for some time, and places where you will be able to find food a plenty early on, but as time begins to stretch out, finding food will become ever increasingly difficult.  You will be of course in competition with other survivors, or if you are intelligent, you will be in cooperation with them.  Think on that.

Now, for the sake of or sensitivities with not eating, we have to be prepared to do such a thing.  Part of that preparation comes from understanding why we are gong to do this and then how.

Why, well, to prepare us for periods of time when food will not be readily available.  Many of us, if we go a few hours past or “normal” meal times, begin to quite literally panic as though we would die at any moment.  This needs to be worked out of the program as it is an abhorrent sickness resulting from a life that is simply to comfortable.  You have literally lost touch with what is needed and what is realistic.

A majority of the world is stoked to have 2 meals per day and does exceedingly well with it, for instance, Shaolin Monks, some of the fiercest and most refined warriors on the planet, they eat two meals, small, per day, yet they can do two finger hand stands.

A larger part of the worlds population simply doesn’t have enough to eat at all and is in fact under nourished.  It is these people I want you to focus on now.  I want you to feel what it is to be without, which, when you see what your options are, you are still doing far better than these poor souls as ITS YOUR CHOICE!  These people have no choice in the fact that they have nothing to eat.  So you will be learning compassion, one of the greatest weapons at your disposal in any situation, especially a Zombie Apocalypse.

Fasting is good for a few reasons, beyond getting to learn to live with the edginess and confusion hunger brings, which will be a most necessary frame of reference, I see how often people literally become bumbling fools upon missing a single meal, do you truly think this person is going to last in a Zombie Apocalypse.   You will need to be on point at all times, no matter what the situation.

Secondly a fast, here in this pre-apocalypse world, will give your body a chance to heal.  Do you recall what we spoke of early as to the energy used to process food, it s a lot of work, your body doesn’t multi-task as easily as you think, this time of reduced caloric intake will give your body time to heal o a deep level.  This healing will include detoxing the body of all the junk that collects through your day to day life.  I speak now to carcinogens, chemicals, heavy metals, all the products of living in society.

You probably have things going on in your body that you are not even aware of, cancers, on such a small level they are as yet undetectable and totally natural.  Everyone has errant cells in his or her body, we dispose of them regularly, as with anything, giving time to catch up on tasks is a fantastic way to ensure long term health.

How we do this…

There are many different ways to fast, we are going to go over three.  As for all fasts, I would like you to turn to a mostly raw plant diet for at least 2 days prior of any of the fasts.  So smoothies, salads, etc.  I will flesh this out as the article progresses, for now, as always, do your own research.  The most likely to survive is the one with a mind most capable of thinking for itself and finding knowledge on its own terms.

The first three days will be the most difficult.  Trust me on this, especially if you have never done it before…  It will seem like you are going to die, in this time, I would like you to really meditate on hunger and the condition of those arond the world who do not have the luxury of actually deciding to be hungry as you are now doing.  I need you to become strong for them in this time.  To grow up as a human…

The first is the Master Cleanse –  You will be drinking a concoction of lemon juice, mixed with lime, the lime is alkaline and will trump the acidity of acidic fruits, you want to be alkaline.  Maple Syrup, the real stuff as it has vitamins, minerals and most importantly sugars that are easily processed by the body.  Number one user of sugar is the brain, what happens when you get low on sugar, you get loopy, this will ensure that never happens.  Cayenne, a very powerful detoxer, not a word, and ninjaficating additive.  lastly, copious amounts of water.  Make large volumes of this mix to taste, and DO NOT make it exceedingly sweet!  This will be your entrance to oblivion!

You drink this all day and start with a 5 day cleanse at first.  Of course, as long as you are doing O.K., you can go longer!

Things to remember –

When you bitch and moan, remember, you are doing this to become stronger.  Secondly, now you know how it feels, get used to it.  Millions DAILY feel like this for weeks on end and not because they have a choice.  It is simply as it is for them.  You have a choice.  if you truly feel that a zombie apocalypse is possible, then you must get used to this now.  You will feel agitated, grumpy, you will get light headed, the works.  Better to “survive” these symptoms now and get them out of the way so that when the apocalypse comes, you don’t get munched because you are dealing with hunger pains…. How Ironic, you get eaten because you cant handle not eating….  Of course you do realize that food will not be a given, unless you are a zombie then there will be food running all around.  Most of you will die in the first few hours of the apocalypse, sorry, its just a simple fact.  For those of you who make it past the initial few hours, you will have a host of difficulties to overcome and lack of food will be a big one.

In the meantime, use this experience to help you re-evaluate the life you are living and maybe make some changes now and who knows, maybe we could avoid the whole sordid mess!

21. Know preventative maintenance for your body! Beginners Guide to Bicycle Touring… in CinemaScope!

kinetic-chain-of-joints-from-ground-up

The longer you stay on your bike, the greater the chance you will begin to create an atmosphere for injury to yourself due to the extremely repetitive nature of bicycling and the relative low impact.  Many people view low or no impact as the way to go and this is one of the reasons that they choose bicycling in the first place, it may very well be why you have chosen to go on your epic bike tour.

Lets look at the body quickly and explain some basic things to make sure you do not weaken yourself in the process of becoming stronger.

The body is a highly complex machine.  Every part of your body is based upon the components around it through a series called the kinetic chain.  To give a basic overview of the chain, its effects on the body, AND, a great place for you to start healing yourself, take a look down at your feet.  Notice the bones, the muscles, all of which are connected by tendons and ligaments.  Every time you step, a burst of force travels in an upward direction through your foot, shin, knee, hip, spine, all the way to your skull.  Now, depending upon how you walk, toes splayed out, slightly in, more on one side than the other, heel strike first, fore foot first etc., this will have a huge impact on how the energy moves through the body.kinetic-chain-of-joints-from-ground-up

The foot is designed to hit the fore foot first, on the two balls with a light heel touch and then off to the next step.  This is easily understandable when you look at the foot.  The shock absorption is in the front, not the back, in fact, if you land on the heel to hard, you will break the bone!  Modern shoes and ways of thought have us heel striking first, this is incorrect according to how you are MADE.  This is what matters, and this is why there is a resurgence of minimalist footwear, I say resurgence as native tribes have been aware of this forever, we are just coming online now and some companies are making a fortune off it!

So, depending upon how you strike the ground, a force moves through the body, incorrect walking and you could have neck and shoulder pains all related to your feet!  Idea number 1.  Start focusing on your posture and even if you wear regular sneakers, begin walking as you were designed, forefoot, light heel tap and next step.  It may be difficult at first, but that is O.K., take your time, someday you will die, it is best to walk to your grave correctly as it has impact on all other aspects of your life.

It is this kinetic chain that is responsible for moving energy correctly through the body as long as you are aware and working on your posture and foot strike.  This energy as it moves has another effect, either strengthening or debilitating.

It causes the bones and sinew to react and in the process strengthen, or, if you are moving incorrectly, to weaken.  This is why impact during sport is beneficial, again, if you are moving as you were designed, either by God or evolution, it doesn’t matter, you have a body that works best in a certain way.

This shock to the system, causes strengthening. In the case of long distance cycling, or any long period of cycling per day, like pro  or aspiring pro cyclists, they aren’t on tour, but they spend as many hours as you on a bike, you lose this as cycling is so very low impact.  One problem cyclists MAY run into is bone density issues.

Another issue is that of working a very specific muscle group for extended periods of time.  Many of you are right or left handed.  Take a look at your arms, one may be visibly weaker than the other.  This may manifest in your riding in different ways, the tendons in the ankle, knees and hips, the muscles in various parts of the body will become much stronger than a muscle group directly beside them.  This is counter productive to health as it physically imbalances you.  You do not want this as a person physically or mentally and the two are connected!  Further, when you strengthen one area and the area directly beside it is weakened, this will lead to an over emphasis of problems.  If we look at the knee and ankle, you strengthen in such a way as to push the pedals in a certain motion literally hundreds if not thousands of times per day, you become very strong for that motion.  As a human, when you walk, your body will be subjected to many different motions, such as twisting and turning, pitches in elevation on one part of the foot and not the other, next thing you know, you have a knee or ankle sprain simply stepping onto an uneven sidewalk!

So what do we do?

Everyday, stretch and engage in some sort of physical exercise which will incorporate your body as a whole.

Using Diana and myself as examples, Diana loves to run and is a Yoga practitioner/teacher, I like running and my Kung Fu practice.  Through these, we address all potential trouble areas.  We get the impact we need and because we are focused on our posture and using our Vibram minimalist running shoes, we are using our feet correctly thereby sending positive shock through out our bodies.  With the Yoga and Kung Fu, we take care of muscle strengthening and stretching.  Added to the cycling, we have become quite fit!

Of course we suggest either Yoga or Martial arts as they are tested by CENTURIES of practice and have changed millions of lives.  Whatever you choose as long as it strengthens your muscles wholly and stretches them, and you have something that will help maintain bone density, which coincidentally yoga does as stretching pulls muscles which in turn puts a stress on ligaments and tendons, which in turn put a stress on the…. BONES!  Positive stress equals strength, improper stress will bring about slowly decay and weakness, this is applicable to all aspects of your life and nature around you.  True story.

Whatever you do, do it regularly, we feel three times a week is a minimum, and do it happily, its your life, you are what you eat and your body is how you get around and experience, respect it and show it love!  You will only get this one and it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, no one else’s!  Go be Ninja!

Losing 100 pounds in 6 years… tell me your problems, i’ll tell you a secrkrit=]

pedaling for peace - effects of drinking soda flow chart

This is a story about my personal weight loss journey and mild details of my life surrounding the event.  If you would rather skip the narrative and get to the weight loss ideas, scroll down closer to the end of the story, they will be waiting for you there… or maybe they wont, maybe part of the problem is not paying attention to the journey and instead looking for the quick fix..=]

Six years, thats what I tell people.  I cant be fully sure as my memory has become an odd sort of sieve.  Some events are clear as day, though for the life of me I cant tell you within five years which day they would have fallen on!

It was at a time when my first marriage was taking an unholy toll on my mind, coupled with the stress of healthclub sales from 24 Hour Fitness, I was a menace to my body.

Soda, beer, cigarettes, fries dipped in Mayo near daily, burgers, many times weighing in a half pound or full pound burgers, some times McDonalds cheesburger Sunday eating contests with the other health club sales crew…

I was a wreck, one of the few things that helped me during that time was probably the excess smoking of weed as it allowed for serious stress reduction which at the time, well, with my lifestyle, even at 25 I was a superb candidate for a heart attack.

My day consisted of waking at 5.30, quick breakfast of something or other that had little to do with food followed by a 1 and a half hour drive in LA traffic to my health club.  I was an asst. manager for 24 Hour Fitness and worked both in the city of LA and the valley, many clubs, including the Sherman Oaks sport club which was dedicated to Magic Johnson.  Yes he worked out there every morning and yes, he was a very cool guy.

I was a great salesman, my home life was in such a state of disrepair that I was never there, i spent most of my time at the gym, and ended up being top salesman for the company.  I find it all hilarious as I was clocking in at 285 pounds by this point.  one of my best sales was to look the person in the eye and say, “You don’t want to end up like me do you?”.  Sadly, they saw I was speaking from the heart and most of the time joined, which I guess is a good thing as long as they used it.

Now, so far we can see that my attitude was not in the right place for health.  I was in a few situations that I fet were counter everything to me, and since I did nothing about them, my ego kicked in and began to compensate for me.  I began substituting momentary pleasures for an actual life I would be proud of.  I sank my sorrow in the bottle [both alcohol AND soda, soda probably the worse of the two] and in the food, the cigarettes tied it all together for me and for 4 years I pretended to be happy.

One day, a change happened.  Im not sure exactly how or why, perhaps it was waking up to low back pain from which I would have to go late to work so i could lie i the bathtub to sooth the muscle spasms.  I was that big that simply sleeping caused me pain.

One day, I cracked.  I enlisted the aid of a personal trainer whom I was good freinds with and we went to my house during a lunch break and stole back my bed.  At this point we were living in a two bedroom apartment and werent even sharing a bed any longer…. the bed had become a symbol of sorts for me, everything else be damned, but the bed was coming with me.

We go the bed, I moved in with another lady which is the beginning of another incredibly interesting story, with a much more tragic end and yet… lessons would be learned from this relationship as well, but Im losing our focus arent I?  What I want to focus on for this part of my life is the one that brought you to the story, my weight and where it all went.

In leaving my relationship, even though i got directly into another, a part of me, on the inside, woke uo.  It was this part that began to care for what was happening to the body I was living in.

The first thing to go was the soda.  Soda was an addiction like no other for me, loved the stuff, Id gobble it up all day long, and I did.  I would only stop in the evenings when I switched to beer!

Dropping soda alone for one month took off roughly TWENTY POUNDS!  I was still drinking beer, still am to this day, drinking one right now as soon as i walk away from the computer to open a new one….

hang on…

And we have sudsy alcohol water…

Soda, its a killer, plain and simple.  No one can tell me otherwise as I have lived in a pre and post soda body.

SECKRIT 1 – LET GO YOR ADDICTION TO CLEVERLY BRANDED SUGAR WATER.  if you want to lose weight, drink water, A LOT, everyday, and nothing else.  Drink at least 1 gallon a day.  You are made of water.  You have little pods of water, in bigger pods of water, floating around in water all contained in a sac made mostly of little pods of water.  Picture yorself as a bathtub carrying many little bathtubs.  All day, everyday, simple routine life begins dirtying all these tubs of water.  if you do not put clean water in the system….  You do understand dont you?  if you do not, please email me – chrisbornstein@yahoo.com.  Want a cool thing to show yourself and the kiddies, put a piece of meat in a glass of soda and check it out at 24, 48, 72 hours later, then, if things haven’t gone to foul, check it one last time at the end of 7 days…  You can also put in bone, teeth, anything that would represent what we are made out of and be prepared for a big surprise….

Water is key.  Back to the story…

There I am 20 pounds lighter for having done nothing but switching my drinking habits.  My mind begin to whirl and buzz and I thought, wat if I change my eating habits!?!  Before I lose any of you, let me say clearly and specifically, I LOST ALL THIS WEIGHT WITHOUT BEING VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN!  This change would come much later in my life and would be such a radical change that I am still doing it 6 years later and will not go back.  That, is another story for another time.  Keep calm, we have recipes and ideas for veganism and plant based diets if you want them, I am writing this story for those of you who have a diet like I had, one that was full of powdered donuts, large coffees from the green mermaid with more sugar than soda and more calories than a small pizza.  This is for those of you who feel trapped and despondent.  I say to you this, you have two options, hit rock bottom and climb, or trust in those that have gone before you and climb before you hit bottom.  if I had to do it all over again, well, I would keep it the same, I hit the bottom and it is only because of that I say to you, START CLIMBING…. N O W!

The next changes were small.  I would choose leaner meat from the grocery store eventually doing away with red meat almost entirely, I would focus on chicken and fish.  Meat still made up a majority of my diet and no great gains or losses were made at this time, but for one very important one.  Due to the stoke I was feeling fro the loss of weight i started, DOH, working out!  Imagine that, gym membership guy working out….  Sigh, I have made my road so impossibly difficult at times….=]

The work outs were key in the weight loss arena.  While what you eat is of PRIME import, moving is nearly of equal import, you know, its like choosing children, cant be done.  You are what you eat [everyone], and, If you dont run you rust [Tom petty and the Heartbreakers].  They go hand in hand, to separate them is to lie to yourself.  I remember when I was a paperboy, eons ago, and one gentleman stands out in my memory, still stands out to this day.  I remember him walking, Im not sure when he first came up on my radar, but he was big, a very big dude.  I would see him walking early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. a focused sort of walking, not just out for a stroll, really on it.  He basically just slimmed before my eyes over the months, I have no idea what his diet was, but his exercise of choice was walking, just a thought for some of you!

SECKRIT 2 – Start Moving  Simply walking with a focused intention will be a huge beginning for most of us as we set out to slim down, but most importantly, to be healthy.  This leads us to Sekrit 3 or perhaps 2a…  Whatever you decide to do, you must begin moving.  I recommend a martial art, yoga, something organized at first until you can stand on your own two feet so to speak.  Having people to train with and people who are knowledgeable will be key in your beginning stages.  Always make sure that the person you are training with knows what they are talking about from personal experience.  Do not put your health into the hands of anyone who has not done and knows very well, what you are attempting.  Bruce Lee recommends a 2 mile JOG everyday.  James Bnd and Batman wake up and do push ups and sit ups first thing.  Some guy I knew in South Beach Miami would do push ups whenever he was doing nothing, waiting for his girl while shes trying on a dress – push ups, heating water on the stove for tea – push ups… there are many little things you can do to help you with your ultimate aim.  Focus on your posture, how your feet hit the ground hen you walk, everything adds up to who you are becoming…

SEKRIT 2a or 3 [depending on your bulleting system], Lose weight Healthy style:  Lose weight not to look great, lose it to be healthy and live a quality life.  When the focus is put on simply looks, this in and of itself is already an unhealthy way of looking at the task at hand as it lends itself to petty ways of thought which are ego driven, this will always fail in the long run.  Your goal is best served by being healthy.  I cannot emphasize this enough!  There are myriad body types on this planet, silly you who seeks to look like another!  Better to seek the apex of fitness your body and ego will allow.  Focus on eating the highest quality foods, reduce meat and dairy as much as you are able as all scientific data shows us that plant based nutrition is infinitely more valuable and that meat and dairy actually inhibit many of your bodies complex systems and promote disease.  After all, why is it that the sickest people are put on a vegan diet…?  Even Conventional Western medicine sees the light when you come closest to it as well!  Bad joke, but true story.  The sicker you are, the more likely your doctor will finally, as a last dicth method, prescribe essentially a vegan diet, they wont call it that, they will simply tell you what you cant have – no meat, no diary… hmmmmmmmm, they have a word for a diet like that=]

Back to my story…

Im losing weight very slowly, but steadily, thats the key, slow and steady will what… win this!  One reason the actual weight loss seems slow, is that when combined with a strength program, you will be gaining a lot of muscle in the beginning, muscle weighs a lot more than fat in that it is roughly 18 times the density.  Keep this in mind and do not allow yourself to be discouraged!

At this point, I began to increase the amount of vegetable intake in relation to my meat intake.  The veggies went way up.  In doing this I began to have an easier time when I used the toilet and noticed more leanness to my body.  My eyes got brighter, head cleared a bit and I was now down to 205 to 210, thats a 70-80 pound loss!  Further, I dropped refined sugar and refined salt.  Later i would find out that dropping these two things from your diet allow your body infinitely greater health as they are two of the most destructive things a human can ingest!

Lets review where I am at now in my story some 4 years after the start.  Veggie intake is equal or more than meat intake.  Meat intake has been scaled back to white meats – fish and chicken primarily.  No more Soda, refined sugar or salt and I am now reading labels for any ingredients I do not know the meaning of or have been forewarned about and dropping them from my diet.  For instance, when I learned about hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, especially in one of my favorite foods, peanut butter.  Dropped the JIF and went natural.  Tip for those of you who haven’t gone natural peanut butter due to having to stir the oils in… A. get unlazy quick, its your body fool! and B. turn the can on it’s side or upside down overnight and half the stirring will be done for you!

SECKRIT 3…  Dont eat things if you dont understand the ingredients that they are made from.  You dont need it in your body.  Your tongue may tell you that it is necessary, but this is nearly always wrong if you do some basic thinking when eating.  If it is a long name that seems more at home in a chemistry book than a food label, why eat it.  If it is something common that you know to be bad, MSG, artificial color, artificial flavor, sugar, salt, hydro and partially hydrogenated oils etc.  Do not eat!  Do some research on what food is made out of and what those various things do to your body.  Act like you care about the thing [your body] that allows you to experience life and you just may end up saving yourself!

You are a natural organism.  I promise, god as my witness, you WILL operate better if you are eating a diet that is made from the most organic, local food you can find.  Further, the less meat and more fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds you consume the better still!  Eliminating Cow dairy from your diet will lead you to better health yet!  Its all dependent upon how strict you want to be with yourself and what kind of results you want.

Story, at about this point in my life, we are on or about year 5 of my weight loss.  At this point I decided to do away with drugs, I was using cocaine and was not cool with it, it wasn’t right and to this day i tell people that the reason I quit is because I woke u on the beach and didn’t know who or where I was.  Sadly, I don’t even know if this happened.  I have a whole chunk of time that is relegated to faded snap shots and confused and overlapping memories and dreams…  At the same time ~I began studying buddhism, not in a formal way, in my way, reading many books by contemporary monks, monks of old and stories of punk rocker mayhem raisers turned to the dharma path….  Two of the most important books for me at this time were the “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tsu and the “Tao of Pooh”, by Benjamin Hoff

I left my marriage, the second one at this point and moved to LA, then SF and then Australia to be a lifeguard at a water park.  By now I was fairly steady at 210 with a solid mass of muscle.  I would do my random push ups and pull ups, random pull ups are great as they force you to use all sorts of things you ordinarily wouldn’t [ledges, walls, etc.], thereby greatly increasing your hand strength.  I began my first forays into barefoot running and long distance running and got heavily into weights and lifting.

The apex and grand culmination of this would occur a year or so after leaving Australia and finding myself on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Due to an “accident”; I drove halfway around the Island to check out a guitar for my 31st B-day and upon arrival at the house, i was met with people asking me why my transmission was dumping its fluid down thier driveway.  My response was who are all you people.

They repsonded, “we’re a vegan commune and you can stay with us but you have to eat what we eat.”

They turned out to be Gentle World, the makers of the first vegan cook book, I stayed with them for three months and have been vegan for over 6 years now.  This is the end of my story.  It took a very long time.  I had to be willing to change and let go of things that gave me great comfort.  Many things, from foods to drinks, to relationships to geographical locations, jobs, I had to change who i was as a person in order to find the happiness that would allow me to be myself.  Who I am is not a fat guy when happy.  Im a healthy guy, when I get sad, I feel the inexorable pull to eat unhealthy and do things that are “bad” for me.  I have learned and simply deal with my unhappiness and not compound the issue by hurting my body for the sake of my ego.

I do still drink alcohol, not in the copious amounts that I used to, trying to forget each day so that I could face a new one, but it is still there.  Someday, perhaps I shall do away with it permanently, until then, well, no worries here=]  I like marijuana when it appears, do your research on it and decide for yourself, make sure to garner many resources in your search, it is easier to find the truths when it comes to this miracle plant, but you must still be wary of your sources as there are many business and governments who would stand to lose vast piles of money should it ever become legal.  Beyond these issues, it is a wonder drug, a miracle, many people who are in much worse shape than you and I will attest to this, listen to them.  A person dying from a debilitating disease will have little to lie to you about.  Facts taken from 100 years of data mining that show no deaths ever attributed to the plant, well, you do your research and prepare to be amazed…

pedaling for peace - Hemp uses

This is really about how I lost a lot of weight and not legalization of this or that.  My end point in all this is if you want it, a healthy life, its not rocket science.  You know how to eat well, you simply do not do it.  You know to exercise, you simply make excuses and put it off to tomorrow…  You know what to do, I am another story in defense of you doing it!  I speak for your body, just do it already, it takes time, so start now, not then.  Wait for what, for next summer, for this, for that, this is your B O D Y, it gets you through the world.  How it is treated will be a direct reflection of how it allows you to live your life.  This is cut and dried my friend,   You are what you eat, if you don’t run, you rust.  nothing is simpler, nothing more true.  If you have A N Y questions, feel free to email at your convenience, i am here to assist in whatever way I can be of service.  I know it sucks, because I have lived it PERSONALLY.  I now live something different.  You want proof, there it is.  You want help, its here.  You want the motivation to do it, its all around you, in your mirror, your aches and pains, jokes a your expense.  You want a new lease on life – GET CRACKIN!

Aloha!

Aloha!

Day 1: Exercise/lifestyle routine modification in preparation for March departure.

We will be logging/blogging our daily fitness routines and dietary thoughts/implemenations.

We would love it if people would follow along with us and give feedback so we may make a more concise and all around program to help individuals become healthier, live freer more satisfying lives and begin to take back their own personal power so that they may have a greater impact on the people they surround themselves by.   the greatest way to change the world, is to be the change you most wish to see.  As natural beings we must learn to return to basics, to nature as it were.  Given our current state of affairs, many of us do not know how to best take care of thier bodies, minds and even souls.  Through daily practice and a pursuit of knowledge dealing with the human body and it’s myraid interactions with the mind and soul, we seek to help give a solid platform that any individual may use to begin thier personal journey towards satisfaction of the basic human question, “Why am   I   Here?”.

It is difficult if not impossible to answer this question if you battle daily with stress, health problems, unbridled wants and desires..

What we are doing here is doing the things we are writing and speaking about.  We are not preaching a teaching without walking a walk.  This would be hypocritical and on a deep level would upset the trust factor in what we write about.

We began our day with a light cleanup of the house, a clean house is a reflection of a clean mind.  Your surroundings, especially your territory represent to varying degrees, your internal climate/situation.  Let this sink in.

Cup of coffee with Almond Milk made in a french press, coffee was a quality kind, La Estacion from Coatepec in Veracruz

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coatepec_(Veracruz)

Too much coffee, not a good things, there are many interactions that occur int he body due to the concentration of caffeine in coffee.  In many traditional medicines it is shunned in favor of teas.  I do not mind it if it is quality, not expensive, this is not a representation always of quality when it comes to all things ingested.  Go for good and as close to chemical free as possible.  Coffees that are artificially de-caffeinated, or heavily processed are very bad for the body, further, the reaction from the chemical processing both with the caffeine itself in the coffee and your bodie is very hard on your body to the point that it is not recommended.  You are only tearing down the walls of your palace for, at most, a 30 minute fix.  HIGHLY UNWISE.

Barefoot run on the beach, Playa Municipal –

Barefoot running is precisely that. Running barefoot. The reason for this is that the human body, as will all bodies in nature, the fish, the bear, the puma, the hummingbird, the Chihuahua, all life is best suited for the environment without the thought of covering it up. You are designed to be perfect, naked. As we expand out populations, we go to places that require clothing due to the adversity it gives our bodies. Our social customs require clothes, and depending on where you are, more or less, both unwritten and law…. This applies so expressly to our feet, an area of the body so often overlooked until there is a problem, and yet, I cannot think of a more pivotal area of the body, pun intended, as it connects you to the planet you live on.
The foot is made up of a profoundly surprising number of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerve pathways, one of the most tightly compacted bundle of tiny things int he body with such a huge effect should any one part be cut off from the rest of the picture. Usually we do this with shoes.
Shoes make the foot safer to a degree. When used CONSTANTLY, we see that a gradual degenration of mobility, flexibility, range of motion, increase in chance of injury, in finitum (etc.), occurs. This is due to the foot becoming complacent as it is overprotected and fails to function properly. key joints and motions in the foot become sloppy and weak, totally reliant on the shoe for the support it once had to provide entirely by itself. In fact, I believe that if you kept a babies feet continually covered from birth, you would cause serious trouble indeed!
The same applies to us at any age. The more our feet are cut off from true feeling, the weker they become in relation to the whole. When I speak of the whole, i refer to the kinetic chain. This is the sequence of movement in the body from point of contact throughout the whole. With the feet. You take a step, as the foot connects to the earth, every bone, muscle, ligament, nerve, tendon, activates all the way throughout the rest of the body. If they did not we would simply topple over, we couldnt move, the music of the symphony of our body would be in discord and nothing would happen. Everything must interact according to design. For istance, any mechanical device, a clock for instance, can withstand the malfunctioning of any one part, there are a few that simply cannot malfunction, just as in human bodies, for the most part, the clock, like the body can handle a certain degree or range of space in regard to functionality. BUT, ever movement away from “perfect”, results in a loss to the overall mechanism, as in the human body. The more your feet muscles/bones, etc. move away from working as designed due to getting untrained by shoes that seek to do the work of the foot and keep it continuously cushioned, the weaker teh foot gets, the more the rest of the body has to compensate for your improper gait (stride) and the greater the loss in precision. For a clock this would result in the clock running faster, slower, skipping minutes etc.
All of these minor conditions will continue to add up until the strain they place on the rest of the mechanism causes other links in the chain to begin to deteriorate as well.
Is this making sense?
This is why we jog/run/walk barefoot AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
Todays jog was taken at a slow pace, in soft sand for roughly 3 miles. The sand was warm which is key for me on any barefoot mission, when the surface is cold, it creeps right up into your kidney area and literally drains your energy, in Chinese medicine, it eneters through the Kidney 1 point –

http://www.acupuncture.com/education/points/kidney/kid1.htm

The Jing Well. I am sensitive to this and prefer warmth. Currently in the house I am walking barefoot which is cold, and yet i suffer it (lightly used phrase) in order to become stronger.
When running barefoot, initially you must take a lot of concentration, do not push yourself, the muscles and machinery of the foot are more than likely out of shape and the rest of the kinetic chain is usually adapted to your “Shoe” lifestyle and will therefore be out of condition as well. GO EASY ON THIS PATH. Be easy with yourself. Give tiem to literally allow your body to remember how to walk properly. Do not over analyze, BUT, stay very FOCUSED on your walking and feeling. Go through your research and figure out how you want you foot to strike the earth so that it is anatomically correct. Read, remember and practice. As time passes, walk/run/jog/hike/climb etc., greater and greater distances and times.
Many knee aches, lower back pains, shoulder and neck pains will be relieved and if enough barefoot walking is done, you will not only lose your pain, you will also start to reverse negative processes at work and begin healing. Bunions, joint issues, you will be able to avoid repetitive foot surgeries. You will strengthen your foot. Avoiding future need for surgery as you have corrected the cause of the problem and NOT the Symptom.
Also focused on was stretching in the sand. Simply getting comfortable with being sandy is for me a challenge at times. Stretching and a lot of stomach work. Your tummy is your core, your core is what keeps you balanced. It allows you to stand on one foot, to move through the world, to change the energy of air/food (earth)/water into energy, or Fire. Your container for this fire must be strong, as it is the fire of life, you must contain it in a proper container, lest you lose it unnecessarily.

Later this afternoon, we will have left overs consisting of mushroom risoto with extra mushrooms, some stir fried greens, nutritional yeast, and dulce flakes.

Letr, we will do a combination of yoga and kung fu.

Tomorrow we will do much the same. We will more than likely run in a different area, one that requires shoes, do some rock climbing, and, well, we’ll see.

We are very excited to share this with you from day one. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and dont push yourself to pain. Intense tired is O.K., as it goes away very quickly with a rest in between sets. Pain is not O.K., a tired that leaves you feeling wasted and spent, not O.K. Be NICE TO YOUR SELF! Take time, everyday, as Master Bruce Lee says, “Do more than the day before”.
Easy, start small, grow your body to be a tree of life, huge and strong, it takes time, it takes time all day everyday, focus on your posture even when you site, focus on chewing your food slowly being thankful that you have it, you must focus on EVERY aspect of your life if you want to change your life. Do you understand?

Much love and Aloha to you!

Upon return, we had fruit smoothies with Vitamineral Green, a supplement from Health Force Nutrition, raw cacao (raw chocolate – contains theobromine, when heated turns to caffeine, more on this later), and hemp seeds.
Taken within 30-45 minutes, your body is able to use this in the rebuild process, after this time frame, your body is in repair mode and usually does not allow any new members to the party, so the smoothie does not have as much beneficial impact.Después de unas largas vacaciones en las que nos dejamos perder un poco en el hedonismo (por plantearlo de alguna manera leve) y nos dedicamos a  soñar en la cocina preparando aquellas recetas que siempre dejamos para ocasiones especiales por complejas o monchosas, a quedarnos en cama hasta tarde y usar pijamas todo el día, a disfrutar de los vinos y cervezas locales; después de todo, es nuestra primera Navidad juntos y seguramente la última en un buen tiempo en nuestra casa, y ya que la familia esta fuera, ya esta cerrado el estudio de yoga y nos quedamos solos, pues a disfrutar!!…  como quiera, ya es hora de regresar a nuestro estilo de vida un tanto mas sano y activo.

Empezamos además a prepararnos para estar en el mejor estado de salud posible cuando salgamos de Ensenada en Marzo. Esto quiere decir: es hora de entrenar como nos gusta!  comenzando por reparar los daños hechos en las últimas semanas 😛

Nuestro régimen incluye cardio (sobre todo corrida y bicicleteada), fuerza y flexibilidad (ashtanga, kung fu, escalada), meditación, pranayama y por supuesto: un régimen alimenticio vegano y basado en alimentos vivos, locales, orgánicos -kilos y kilos de verduras principamente verdes, mucha fruta, leguminosas, semillas y superalimentos. Hoy comenzamos con una rica taza de café orgánico, seguida de un un trote descalzo en la playa de 5 kilómetros, abdominales, licuado de fresa, plátano y naranja con espirulina, polen de abeja, semillas de chía y trozos de granos de cacao. Una breve introducción al ashtanga; quizás un poco de Kung Fu mas tarde; sopa de betabel con manzana y rissoto de champiñones, meditación y guacamole con ejotes y agua de kiwi con VitamineralGreen [un polvo verde de la marca “Health Force Superfoods” (www.healthforce.com)]. Hasta nos dio tiempo de limpiar la casa!

Cuándo fue la última vez que corriste descalzo? que sentiste una textura distina a la de tus zapatos en la piel de tus pies? poca gente esta conciente de la naturaleza del cuerpo humano. Estamos diseñados para correr, a través de miles de años cazando, migrando, celebrando la vida conectados con la tierra. Y ahora vivimos con los pies aisados dentro de zapatos las 24 horas del día atrofiando puntos importantes de nuestro cuerpo…  vaya, que les daremos mucha mas información sobre este tema mas adelante…  esto me lleva al siguiente punto: queremos compartir nuestro entrenamiento con ustedes!!…  para quienes estén lejos al menos compartiendo en el blog lo que comemos y como entrenamos, dando información nutricional, etc… y quienes estén en Ensenada quizas nos acompañen de vez en cuando en sesiones de yoga, corriendo en la playa, etc…  a compartir un inicio del año que nos beneficie a todos.

Day 1: Exercise/lifestyle routine modification in preparation for March departure.

We will be logging/blogging our daily fitness routines and dietary thoughts/implemenations.

We would love it if people would follow along with us and give feedback so we may make a more concise and all around program to help individuals become healthier, live freer more satisfying lives and begin to take back their own personal power so that they may have a greater impact on the people they surround themselves by.   the greatest way to change the world, is to be the change you most wish to see.  As natural beings we must learn to return to basics, to nature as it were.  Given our current state of affairs, many of us do not know how to best take care of thier bodies, minds and even souls.  Through daily practice and a pursuit of knowledge dealing with the human body and it’s myraid interactions with the mind and soul, we seek to help give a solid platform that any individual may use to begin thier personal journey towards satisfaction of the basic human question, “Why am   I   Here?”.

It is difficult if not impossible to answer this question if you battle daily with stress, health problems, unbridled wants and desires..

What we are doing here is doing the things we are writing and speaking about.  We are not preaching a teaching without walking a walk.  This would be hypocritical and on a deep level would upset the trust factor in what we write about.

We began our day with a light cleanup of the house, a clean house is a reflection of a clean mind.  Your surroundings, especially your territory represent to varying degrees, your internal climate/situation.  Let this sink in.

Cup of coffee with Almond Milk made in a french press, coffee was a quality kind, La Estacion from Coatepec in Veracruz

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coatepec_(Veracruz)

Too much coffee, not a good things, there are many interactions that occur int he body due to the concentration of caffeine in coffee.  In many traditional medicines it is shunned in favor of teas.  I do not mind it if it is quality, not expensive, this is not a representation always of quality when it comes to all things ingested.  Go for good and as close to chemical free as possible.  Coffees that are artificially de-caffeinated, or heavily processed are very bad for the body, further, the reaction from the chemical processing both with the caffeine itself in the coffee and your bodie is very hard on your body to the point that it is not recommended.  You are only tearing down the walls of your palace for, at most, a 30 minute fix.  HIGHLY UNWISE.

Barefoot run on the beach, Playa Municipal –

Barefoot running is precisely that. Running barefoot. The reason for this is that the human body, as will all bodies in nature, the fish, the bear, the puma, the hummingbird, the Chihuahua, all life is best suited for the environment without the thought of covering it up. You are designed to be perfect, naked. As we expand out populations, we go to places that require clothing due to the adversity it gives our bodies. Our social customs require clothes, and depending on where you are, more or less, both unwritten and law…. This applies so expressly to our feet, an area of the body so often overlooked until there is a problem, and yet, I cannot think of a more pivotal area of the body, pun intended, as it connects you to the planet you live on.
The foot is made up of a profoundly surprising number of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerve pathways, one of the most tightly compacted bundle of tiny things int he body with such a huge effect should any one part be cut off from the rest of the picture. Usually we do this with shoes.
Shoes make the foot safer to a degree. When used CONSTANTLY, we see that a gradual degenration of mobility, flexibility, range of motion, increase in chance of injury, in finitum (etc.), occurs. This is due to the foot becoming complacent as it is overprotected and fails to function properly. key joints and motions in the foot become sloppy and weak, totally reliant on the shoe for the support it once had to provide entirely by itself. In fact, I believe that if you kept a babies feet continually covered from birth, you would cause serious trouble indeed!
The same applies to us at any age. The more our feet are cut off from true feeling, the weker they become in relation to the whole. When I speak of the whole, i refer to the kinetic chain. This is the sequence of movement in the body from point of contact throughout the whole. With the feet. You take a step, as the foot connects to the earth, every bone, muscle, ligament, nerve, tendon, activates all the way throughout the rest of the body. If they did not we would simply topple over, we couldnt move, the music of the symphony of our body would be in discord and nothing would happen. Everything must interact according to design. For istance, any mechanical device, a clock for instance, can withstand the malfunctioning of any one part, there are a few that simply cannot malfunction, just as in human bodies, for the most part, the clock, like the body can handle a certain degree or range of space in regard to functionality. BUT, ever movement away from “perfect”, results in a loss to the overall mechanism, as in the human body. The more your feet muscles/bones, etc. move away from working as designed due to getting untrained by shoes that seek to do the work of the foot and keep it continuously cushioned, the weaker teh foot gets, the more the rest of the body has to compensate for your improper gait (stride) and the greater the loss in precision. For a clock this would result in the clock running faster, slower, skipping minutes etc.
All of these minor conditions will continue to add up until the strain they place on the rest of the mechanism causes other links in the chain to begin to deteriorate as well.
Is this making sense?
This is why we jog/run/walk barefoot AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
Todays jog was taken at a slow pace, in soft sand for roughly 3 miles. The sand was warm which is key for me on any barefoot mission, when the surface is cold, it creeps right up into your kidney area and literally drains your energy, in Chinese medicine, it eneters through the Kidney 1 point –

http://www.acupuncture.com/education/points/kidney/kid1.htm

The Jing Well. I am sensitive to this and prefer warmth. Currently in the house I am walking barefoot which is cold, and yet i suffer it (lightly used phrase) in order to become stronger.
When running barefoot, initially you must take a lot of concentration, do not push yourself, the muscles and machinery of the foot are more than likely out of shape and the rest of the kinetic chain is usually adapted to your “Shoe” lifestyle and will therefore be out of condition as well. GO EASY ON THIS PATH. Be easy with yourself. Give tiem to literally allow your body to remember how to walk properly. Do not over analyze, BUT, stay very FOCUSED on your walking and feeling. Go through your research and figure out how you want you foot to strike the earth so that it is anatomically correct. Read, remember and practice. As time passes, walk/run/jog/hike/climb etc., greater and greater distances and times.
Many knee aches, lower back pains, shoulder and neck pains will be relieved and if enough barefoot walking is done, you will not only lose your pain, you will also start to reverse negative processes at work and begin healing. Bunions, joint issues, you will be able to avoid repetitive foot surgeries. You will strengthen your foot. Avoiding future need for surgery as you have corrected the cause of the problem and NOT the Symptom.
Also focused on was stretching in the sand. Simply getting comfortable with being sandy is for me a challenge at times. Stretching and a lot of stomach work. Your tummy is your core, your core is what keeps you balanced. It allows you to stand on one foot, to move through the world, to change the energy of air/food (earth)/water into energy, or Fire. Your container for this fire must be strong, as it is the fire of life, you must contain it in a proper container, lest you lose it unnecessarily.

Later this afternoon, we will have left overs consisting of mushroom risoto with extra mushrooms, some stir fried greens, nutritional yeast, and dulce flakes.

Letr, we will do a combination of yoga and kung fu.

Tomorrow we will do much the same. We will more than likely run in a different area, one that requires shoes, do some rock climbing, and, well, we’ll see.

We are very excited to share this with you from day one. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and dont push yourself to pain. Intense tired is O.K., as it goes away very quickly with a rest in between sets. Pain is not O.K., a tired that leaves you feeling wasted and spent, not O.K. Be NICE TO YOUR SELF! Take time, everyday, as Master Bruce Lee says, “Do more than the day before”.
Easy, start small, grow your body to be a tree of life, huge and strong, it takes time, it takes time all day everyday, focus on your posture even when you site, focus on chewing your food slowly being thankful that you have it, you must focus on EVERY aspect of your life if you want to change your life. Do you understand?

Much love and Aloha to you!

Upon return, we had fruit smoothies with Vitamineral Green, a supplement from Health Force Nutrition, raw cacao (raw chocolate – contains theobromine, when heated turns to caffeine, more on this later), and hemp seeds.
Taken within 30-45 minutes, your body is able to use this in the rebuild process, after this time frame, your body is in repair mode and usually does not allow any new members to the party, so the smoothie does not have as much beneficial impact.Después de unas largas vacaciones en las que nos dejamos perder un poco en el hedonismo (por plantearlo de alguna manera leve) y nos dedicamos a  soñar en la cocina preparando aquellas recetas que siempre dejamos para ocasiones especiales por complejas o monchosas, a quedarnos en cama hasta tarde y usar pijamas todo el día, a disfrutar de los vinos y cervezas locales; después de todo, es nuestra primera Navidad juntos y seguramente la última en un buen tiempo en nuestra casa, y ya que la familia esta fuera, ya esta cerrado el estudio de yoga y nos quedamos solos, pues a disfrutar!!…  como quiera, ya es hora de regresar a nuestro estilo de vida un tanto mas sano y activo.

Empezamos además a prepararnos para estar en el mejor estado de salud posible cuando salgamos de Ensenada en Marzo. Esto quiere decir: es hora de entrenar como nos gusta!  comenzando por reparar los daños hechos en las últimas semanas 😛

Nuestro régimen incluye cardio (sobre todo corrida y bicicleteada), fuerza y flexibilidad (ashtanga, kung fu, escalada), meditación, pranayama y por supuesto: un régimen alimenticio vegano y basado en alimentos vivos, locales, orgánicos -kilos y kilos de verduras principamente verdes, mucha fruta, leguminosas, semillas y superalimentos. Hoy comenzamos con una rica taza de café orgánico, seguida de un un trote descalzo en la playa de 5 kilómetros, abdominales, licuado de fresa, plátano y naranja con espirulina, polen de abeja, semillas de chía y trozos de granos de cacao. Una breve introducción al ashtanga; quizás un poco de Kung Fu mas tarde; sopa de betabel con manzana y rissoto de champiñones, meditación y guacamole con ejotes y agua de kiwi con VitamineralGreen [un polvo verde de la marca “Health Force Superfoods” (www.healthforce.com)]. Hasta nos dio tiempo de limpiar la casa!

Cuándo fue la última vez que corriste descalzo? que sentiste una textura distina a la de tus zapatos en la piel de tus pies? poca gente esta conciente de la naturaleza del cuerpo humano. Estamos diseñados para correr, a través de miles de años cazando, migrando, celebrando la vida conectados con la tierra. Y ahora vivimos con los pies aisados dentro de zapatos las 24 horas del día atrofiando puntos importantes de nuestro cuerpo…  vaya, que les daremos mucha mas información sobre este tema mas adelante…  esto me lleva al siguiente punto: queremos compartir nuestro entrenamiento con ustedes!!…  para quienes estén lejos al menos compartiendo en el blog lo que comemos y como entrenamos, dando información nutricional, etc… y quienes estén en Ensenada quizas nos acompañen de vez en cuando en sesiones de yoga, corriendo en la playa, etc…  a compartir un inicio del año que nos beneficie a todos.