Pesto isn’t just made from basil. You can use any kind of greens — or even, in this case, steamed broccoli! This is an old favorite for me, a way to turn an economical dish of steamed broccoli into a creamy yet nubby pesto to toss with pasta or cooked grains.
It has very little fat and dairy, aside from the feta, and nearly all of its body comes from steamed and blended broccoli. And lest you think that this is a dieter’s compromise of a pasta sauce, I’ll tell you the broccoli is sautéed with onion, garlic, and Italian parsley, and spun with lemon juice for a fantastically tangy and aromatic pasta dish. It’s fresh, easy, and unexpected!
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If you’ve been cleaning your kettlebell and have wound up with a huge bruise on you forearm, never fear, this video will cure your issue.
In this final part of this series, I will go over the “swing clean.” In my first video, we went over how to handle the kettlebell in the rack position. In the second video, we cleaned up the actual pull of the clean from the floor, or hovering just above, into the rack position.
There’s one thing we haven’t talked very much about so far: the alcohol in your beer. Hop aromas and malt flavors are fantastic and all, but let’s be honest here — the buzz that we get from a good beer is also part of why we do this!
So where does the alcohol come from? How can we figure out how much is in our homebrew? How can we adjust it if we want to? In today’s lesson, I’ll answer all these questions and show you what to do.
Scenario: You and your partner made dinner, devoured the whole thing, and now there’s a pile of dishes sitting in the sink. You know it’s your turn to tackle the dishes, but you really don’t want to. Not even a little bit. So, how do you convince your sweet, loving, adoring partner to do them for you?
When your household doesn’t follow the Golden Rule of dishwashing, and asking politely won’t quite cut it, turn to these five sneaky strategies to wheedle your partner into a little dishwashing action.
GAD stands for glutamic acid decarboxylase, and this is a major enzyme in the synthesis of GABA, which is one of the major inhibitory neurotransmitters in the body. I like to explain it to my patients as the off switch for the nervous system. GAD and GABA are mostly present in nerve cells, but interestingly enough, GAD is also found in the pancreas. GABA is stored in the islet beta cells that produce insulin, and it’s been known for a while that because of this, antibodies to GAD are a predictor of risk and progression to the autoimmune form of diabetes.
In this episode, we cover:
3:08 What Chris ate today 5:48What are GAD65 antibodies? 9:17 The predictive value of GAD antibodies 18:03 What to do if you produce antibodies
Steve Wright: Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. You are listening to the Revolution Health Radio Show. I’m your host, Steve Wright, co-author at SCDlifestyle.com.
If you’re struggling with digestive issues, poor sleep, high stress, maybe some mood swings or energy issues, or even chronic nasal congestion, I want to let you know that Chris has put together a program that’s just for you. It’s called 14Four.me. What this is is a 14-day healthy lifestyle reset program. It’s for someone like you who’s dealing with those issues, who wants to do the different pieces that Chris talks about that go into great health. I’m talking about diet, sleep, movement, and stress. Now, trying to tackle all these issues one at a time can be daunting, and so Chris has put them together in a step-by-step, hand-holding formula, where you can basically build these habits into your daily lifestyle. It’s really helpful when starting healthy lifestyle habits that you have a program to follow, so that’s what Chris did when he created 14Four.me. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I would highly encourage it.
With me is integrative medical practitioner, healthy skeptic, and New York Times bestselling author, Chris Kresser. Chris, how’s your day going?
Chris Kresser: It’s going pretty good, especially because you sound like a big-shot radio host over there!
Steve Wright: Well, you know, who knows? We could go on from here.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, we made some big changes in our audio setup. We’re trying to get closer and closer to broadcast quality. I think we’re nearly there. The last methylation podcast with Amy was on the new equipment, and now we have Steve set up, so hopefully you’re enjoying it, all you listeners out there.
Steve Wright: Yeah, leave us some feedback. Let us know what’s working and what’s not working, but I have to say I think I’m sounding a little better.
Chris Kresser: I think you are, too. These are the same mics used on much bigger radio shows like Radiolab and This American Life. I’ve been working with this guy who has just been so generous with his time and helping us to get this all set up, and I’ve learned a lot in the process! So yeah, hopefully you’re enjoying it.
Steve Wright: Awesome. Well, before we get into today’s podcast question — and for listeners, if you’d like your question answered by Chris, make sure you go to ChrisKresser.com/PodcastQuestion and submit it there — but before we actually get into today’s question, Chris, people are dying to know, as always, what have you been eating all day?
What Chris ate today
Chris Kresser: Let’s see. For breakfast, we had scrambled eggs, sauerkraut, and sweet potato hash browns. And for lunch, I had some leftover ground beef with some leftover pressure-cooked-in-broth collard greens and a little bit of mashed yuca.
Steve Wright: Nice.
Chris Kresser: With butter.
Steve Wright: How do you make that mashed yuca?
Chris Kresser: You cut the yuca into quarters, and then you try to get the hard kind of thread that goes through the whole thing, and you take that out. You don’t need to. You can mash it and get it out later. Then you cut them into chunks. Then you boil it for at least 20 to 25 minutes, and that’s important to reduce the toxin load because raw yuca, cassava, or manioc, as it’s known, is toxic and goitrogenic, and so you need to boil it first. And of course, you need to boil it to mash it, too. So then you boil it and you drain it and you mash it, and you can add ghee or butter or something like that. There’s a recipe on my website called yuca al mojo, I think, and that will give you the details on how to do it. Yuca con mojo, I think. It’s a Cuban recipe.
Steve Wright: Awesome. And for those of us who love bacon, you can just put bacon in there, too, probably.
Chris Kresser: Yeah. The mojo is not so much of a mashed one. It’s usually chunks, but it’s soft and you can mash it from there if you want.
Steve Wright: Awesome. Well, let’s roll on to today’s question.
Chris Kresser: Great. Yeah, this question is from Ruth. Let’s give it a listen.
Question from Ruth: Hi, Chris. My question is about autoimmune type 1 diabetes. I’m wanting to know if someone’s presenting with elevated GAD65 antibodies — so developing the disease — is there anything, in your opinion, that can be done to reverse or stop the progression to full-on type 1 diabetes? I find it really frustrating that there’s so much information about type 2 diabetes and reversing type 2, and I just wondered whether there was anything that could be done for type 1 diabetes. Thank you.
What are GAD65 antibodies?
Chris Kresser: OK. Well, thanks, Ruth, for sending us that question. Let’s start by talking a little bit about what GAD65 antibodies are. GAD stands for glutamic acid decarboxylase, and this is a major enzyme in the synthesis of GABA, which is one of the major inhibitory neurotransmitters in the body. I like to explain it to my patients as the off switch for the nervous system. GAD and GABA are mostly present in nerve cells, but interestingly enough, GAD is also found in the pancreas. GABA is stored in the islet beta cells that produce insulin, and it’s been known for a while that because of this, antibodies to GAD are a predictor of risk and progression to the autoimmune form of diabetes. In autoimmune diabetes, the body attacks insulin-producing cells or even insulin itself in some cases, which then leads to insulin deficiency, and that’s why people with type 1 diabetes or type 1.5 diabetes, which we’re going to talk about in a second, end up needing to take insulin in many cases because their body is not producing the appropriate amount of insulin because of this autoimmune attack.
Insulin deficiency, of course, can also occur in the later stages of type 2 diabetes, which is not autoimmune. In that case, it happens as a result of inflammation and metabolic changes that eventually lead to a destruction of the beta cells that produce insulin. And so in the very kind of end stage of type 2 diabetes, patients will often require insulin, but that’s not typically from an autoimmune cause. Type 1 diabetes, which is usually juvenile onset and appears during childhood, is autoimmune, and that involves, as I just said, the body attacking the insulin-producing cells, and you get an insulin deficiency and have to take insulin as a result. But there’s another type of diabetes that has been referred to as type 1.5 because it kind of has characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Another term for it is latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, or LADA. What happens here is it’s an adult onset of autoimmune diabetes. So rather than coming on in childhood like type 1 diabetes does, it comes on later in life and has many of the same characteristics of type 1 diabetes in that it’s an autoimmune condition and it leads to destruction of the beta cells and a reduction in the production of insulin.
Steve Wright: So the only difference between 1 and 1.5 is just the time in which it strikes or becomes activated?
Chris Kresser: There are some other differences as well, and there’s some heterogeneity in terms of how it manifests, so it doesn’t always look the same. Some people are kind of closer to the type 2 presentation, and other people are closer to the type 1 presentation, but yeah, that’s the gist of it. Typically type 1 diabetes has been strictly juvenile onset, but type 1.5 is adult onset.
What is the predictive value of GAD antibodies?
The important question here is, what is the predictive value of GAD antibodies? If somebody does a test and it comes back positive for GAD antibodies, how much does that tell us about the likelihood that they will go on to develop type 1.5 diabetes or type 1 if they’re getting this test when they’re a child? Well, it turns out that GAD antibodies, even by themselves, do have moderate predictive value, but when you combine them with other antibodies like islet antigens insulin, or IAA, or IA-2 antibodies or zinc transporter antibodies, the predictive value goes up significantly. For example, some models show that having three positive antibodies implies a risk of between about 50% and 85% over five years that the patient will develop the clinical signs of type 1.5 diabetes or 65% to 85% chance over 10 years. So with three positive antibodies, that’s a relatively high chance that within 10 years you would develop the clinical signs of type 1.5 diabetes. However, there are a few studies that put it even higher than that. I saw one model that estimated that 100% of people with three positive antibodies will go on to develop the onset of autoimmune diabetes within five years. So, one antibody appears to be moderately predictive. With three antibodies, the risk is anywhere between 50% and 100% in five years, depending on what study you look at.
However, — and I think this is a relatively big however — we have to remember who the population is that is studied. In these studies where they’re looking at people who test positive for the antibodies and then following them over a course of time and checking to see if they develop the clinical signs of diabetes, this is typically an industrial population either in the US or Europe. They are people that are probably overall eating a pretty crappy diet because we know that that’s the default for most people in the industrialized world. They’re probably not getting enough exercise. They’re probably not getting enough sleep. They’re not taking care of themselves in the same way that, hopefully, all of you who are listening to this show are. We know that those kinds of environmental factors play a very strong role in the onset and progression of autoimmune disease, so for me, it stands to reason that the predictive value of these antibodies may be lower in a population of people where they’re really taking care of themselves and following all the best practices that we talk about on this show and I write about on the blog. Unfortunately, we don’t have any data on that. It would be great if we had a prospective study of people with these antibodies who were eating a paleo type of diet and living a paleo type of lifestyle and were followed for 10 years, but we don’t have that study, and we’re not likely to anytime soon.
Steve Wright: Now, are these antibodies all related to the pancreas or beta cells? Because you mentioned many of them.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, they’re all related to the pancreas or insulin-producing cells. As I mentioned earlier, some much smaller number of people actually produce antibodies to insulin itself. That’s much less common. But all these antibodies relate to the production of insulin or that system. GAD is also found in other places, though, like the brain. GAD antibodies are not exclusive to the pancreas or the function of the pancreas. As I mentioned before, GAD is present mostly in nerve cells and the central nervous system and the brain, but in this case, they are often a marker of potential for type 1.5 diabetes or type 1 diabetes, especially in the presence of these other antibodies.
Steve Wright: I’m no diabetes expert, but I’ve never heard of some of these. How often are these ever done in a clinical setting?
Chris Kresser: It’s getting more common, but you’re right; you’re not going to find them on your typical blood panel with your primary care doctor. GAD antibodies are part of the Cyrex Array 5, which is their multiple autoimmune reactivity panel, where they screen for antibodies to a number of different tissues. And the reason that panel can be a good idea in some cases is just for the reasons that we’re discussing. The production of antibodies to a particular tissue usually precedes the development of disease in that tissue or system by several years and even up to a decade or more. So if you identify the production of antibodies early on, then you have a much better chance of intervening and preventing the development of disease as you go.
Now, there’s unfortunately very little research on whether onset can be prevented because this isn’t really the specialty of conventional medicine, as we all know, i.e. prevention. Conventional medicine is much better at intervening at the far other side of the disease spectrum, when disease has already manifested and become quite severe. I really would love to see more research on, like I mentioned before, studying people who are really taking care of themselves and determining what changes people can make to prevent the onset. What we have now is just theories, and I think there are theories that are based on evidence and research, and we’re going to talk about some of those suggestions shortly, but we don’t know with 100% certainty. We can’t make any guarantees.
Steve Wright: And just for listeners, Chris, I don’t know if most people understand the difference between having an actual disease diagnosis and the level of destruction that happens from the initial onset of the ability to detect that there is some autoimmune activity. Could you just really quickly go over that?
Chris Kresser: Yeah, that’s a good question. Autoimmunity means the production of antibodies to a particular tissue. Autoimmune disease refers to a disease state that is a result of autoimmunity, a result of the production of those antibodies. You can have autoimmunity without having autoimmune disease. An example would be with Hashimoto’s, which is the autoimmune disease that is caused by production of antibodies to the thyroid or tissues in the thyroid. Only about — well, I say ‘only.’ This may sound high or low to you. I’m not sure. It’s not true that everyone that produces antibodies to their thyroid will go on to develop clinical hypothyroidism. In fact, I think in most of the papers I’ve seen, it’s between 20% and 30% of people who develop antibodies will actually ever go on to have hypothyroidism. That tells us that the production of antibodies to tissue doesn’t always lead to frank tissue destruction to a level that would cause clinical disease. It’s important to understand that distinction because it means that if you intervene early enough, you may be able to arrest the progression from just the mere production of antibodies to the destruction of that tissue that the antibodies are tagging.
What to do if you produce antibodies
Let’s talk a little bit about what I would recommend in this situation if you see that you’re producing antibodies to a particular tissue, because although we don’t have proof that this will arrest the development of autoimmune disease, there is a lot of research that suggests that autoimmunity is triggered or exacerbated by a whole bunch of different factors, like intestinal permeability and poor nutrition, lack of exercise, inadequate stress management, lack of sleep or poor quality sleep, environmental toxins. I just read a really fascinating study, for example, showing that people with mercury amalgams who had positive thyroid antibodies, when they took out their mercury amalgams, their thyroid antibodies went down significantly just from removing the mercury from their mouth. And then there are chronic infections and a whole bunch of other influences. So there are a lot of things in our environment that we’re exposed to that can trigger or exacerbate autoimmunity and autoimmune disease, so in our work with patients, this is what we focus on. These are things we’ve talked about a lot, so I’m not going to go into detail on each category. I’m just going to give you some of the things to focus on, and then if you need more detail, you can check out the book and other podcast episodes and the blog, of course, and the free eBooks we have on the site.
In terms of diet, of course, you want to focus on a nutrient-dense paleo type of diet, but you might also want to consider an autoimmune protocol, especially if you think you have sensitivity to things like nightshades or eggs or dairy products. You may want to consider something like the Wahls protocol, which was developed by Dr. Terry Wahls for her in her own experience dealing with MS, autoimmune disease, a pretty miraculous response for her. It took her from being in a wheelchair to being able to walk and speak. I just saw her at Paleo f(x) a couple of weekends ago, and she was presenting there, as she often does. Pretty incredible results just by switching to a nutrient-dense, low-toxin, anti-inflammatory diet.
You’d probably want to test for food intolerances using something like Cyrex Array 3 or Cyrex Array 4. They have a new screen, Array 10, and we’ve been using it a little bit, but the jury is still out for me on that test and its value. Maybe we can talk about that a little more.
Steve Wright: Does that mean that the jury has come to a decision or at least a quasi-decision with regards to Array 3 and 4 with Cyrex food sensitivities? Because we’ve talked about those in the past.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, well, my feeling about those, I think Cyrex Array 3 is pretty reliable and accurate in terms of gluten sensitivity, and generally most foods that contain gluten don’t really have a ton of nutritional value anyway, and they’re not something that I think people should be really focusing on in their diet even if they aren’t gluten intolerant. The downside of removing gluten from your diet is not that big, and I think it’s the most advanced test for gluten intolerance out there, and we use it. I like it.
Array 4 is looking at cross-reactivity to other proteins, like eggs and dairy and other kind of alternative grains, non-gluten grains and things like yeast and coffee. There’s a whole debate about whether cross-reactivity even exists. I don’t want to go into that now, but I’ll just say that we use Array 4 as kind of a springboard for elimination/provocation testing. In other words, if someone tests positive for eggs, we won’t tell them, OK, that’s it. You have to avoid eggs for the rest of your life, no matter what. We’ll say, OK, let’s test this out. Avoid eggs for 60 days, 30 days. Add them back in and see if you notice any symptoms or if we see any changes in your labs, and if we do, well, then you probably should avoid them. If we don’t then I’m not convinced that they will need to avoid them, especially after we address the underlying issues. And that’s kind of how we’re using Array 10 as well as this point. If it comes back and says, OK, raw strawberries are off the menu. Well, let’s test that out before you completely avoid that food for the rest of your life. I think that’s generally how this testing should be used.
Gut health, of course, is another huge concern with autoimmunity. People like Dr. Alessio Fasano believe that leaky gut is a precondition to developing autoimmune disease in the first place, so getting tested for SIBO, gut infections and inflammation, intestinal permeability, emphasizing gut-healing foods, eating plenty of fermentable fibers and fermented foods and maybe even using commercial prebiotics and probiotics are all something to consider. And you can check out my free eBook on gut health at ChrisKresser.com to get started if you’re new to that.
Stress management. This is something we’re always talking about, but it can really not be emphasized enough. It’s crucial for immune health, and unfortunately it’s often overlooked. There are so many studies that show that the onset of autoimmune disease is associated with stress. We live, many of us, in a pretty stressful environment, so this is something that people really struggle with, but it’s really important to take some steps. 14Four, of course, that was one of the main reasons I did that program, was to give people some resources and tools to help them get started with these kinds of things.
The same is true for sleep. It’s crucial for immune regulation. Thirty percent of Americans are sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night, and most of us need 7 to 8 hours to function properly.
And physical activity. Not just getting enough exercise, but sitting less. Not sitting for hours and hours every day. Punctuating that sitting, if you have to sit, with frequent breaks, walking more, doing some high-intensity activity, and avoiding overtraining.
Again, 14Four is an excellent option. If you’re new to this and you want to nail your diet, stress management, sleep, physical activity, and even gut health, that will get you on the right track.
Finally, supporting T regulatory cell function. T regulatory cells, or Tregs as they’re often called, play a very important role in balancing and regulating the immune system. There are a number of things that you can do to support the Tregs, including normalizing your vitamin D levels, making sure they’re in the right range, boosting your glutathione levels through a nutrient-dense diet and supplementation, increasing your butyrate levels, which is a short-chain fatty acid that promotes T regulatory cell function and reduces inflammation. Things like curcumin, particularly bioavailable forms, like a liposomal curcumin, that’s anti-inflammatory and promotes T regulatory cell function.
And then if you have maybe all three of the antibodies, which would suggest a very high likelihood of developing autoimmune diabetes, you might consider something like low-dose naltrexone as a prophylactic. We did a show on low-dose naltrexone not too long ago, so you could give that a listen and talk to your doctor about it.
All right, Steve, that’s it for this episode. I hope it was helpful, and we’ll see everybody in a couple of weeks.
Steve Wright: Yeah, I appreciate it, Chris, appreciate all the research that you do. I know the listeners do, as well. For everybody who’s listening and you’re wondering what Chris is researching, what articles he’s reading, things that might not make it onto the RHR Show or onto his blog, he publishes all that stuff on social media. So if you haven’t yet, go to Facebook.com/ChrisKresserLAc and give him a follow and Twitter.com/ChrisKresser. Thanks for listening, and as we mentioned before, this podcast is created for you and also by you, so go to ChrisKresser.com/PodcastQuestion to submit your questions.
Are you making a traditional lasagna filled with layers of creamy béchamel? Maybe you are cooking a quick beef and Chinese broccoli stir-fry for dinner with a sauce that’s loaded with ginger and garlic? Or perhaps you’re considering making a sweet, thick vanilla pastry cream to fill a fruit tart this weekend?
In most cases, the secret to a thick sauce (or filling) that coats food evenly is starch, whether plain flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, or even arrowroot starch. Here’s why these starches do the job so well.
When Steve hit 305 lbs on the scale, he was so upset he told himself something had to change.
He had always wanted to lose weight, but couldn’t get himself over the hump to actually make change. And then things took a turn for the worse: he got divorced. When his (now ex) wife left the house, something clicked inside of Steve:
“I was bored. I was sitting at home doing nothing, depressed, eating my feelings as usual. I kind of just said to myself, ‘well, you have nothing better to do, might as well work out or something’.”
So, in March of last year Steve went online and ordered an elliptical. After convincing his poker buddies to help him move a 400 lb box of elliptical parts into the house, he got started transforming his life.
Starting at an XXXL, Steve now wears a medium shirt. He’s down 110 lbs (and now gaining muscle!), and dropped his waist from a size 46 to a 33!
Here’s how he did it.
Steve: Hey Steve, other than having the coolest name in the history of names, what do you do?
I’m a software architect for my day job; I write code and play video games at night, and I build and race drones as a hobby! #nerdpower
Steve: Nice, I love the nerd-cred built right into your job. So, tell me about the old you. What did an “old Steve” day look like?
The old me would eat out every day for lunch, have pizza most nights for dinner, and never exercise. I would then game all night on the computer…because consoles suck.
Steve: Whoa whoa whoa, let’s keep consoles out of this! So, tell me about the moment you decide to change.
It really came to me when I saw that number (305), and I was going through a divorce. I also realized that I needed to be there for my daughter, and I probably wasn’t going to be around for a super long time weighing in at 300 lbs+. I knew I had to change.
Steve: What was your diet strategy while you dropped all of this weight?
During my journey my diet switched slowly, and I feel like that was very key for me. To give you perspective, I was a fatty who loved his pizza (and still do). I was eating it 4-5 times a week, maybe more. And if it wasn’t pizza, it was something else that wasn’t healthy at all. I’d say my daily caloric intake then was 4000+ calories with zero exercise.
After a month of running, and no diet, I said what the heck, maybe I should track all these calories. I had lost 15 lbs and thought: well, if I can do that much without a diet, what would happen while dieting too?? So I downloaded My Fitness Pal, and started to track my calories and weight. Tracking my calories with an app helped me adjust my caloric goals, and I learned what portions were.
I bought a food scale, and started reading and doing research on better foods to eat.
I slowly changed my diet.. very slowly. At first I removed a lot of breads as they had a lot of calories. Then I added more fruits and veggies.
Steve: Small changes, not going overboard; sounds like a strategy we can get on board with! What about your diet strategy these days?
Today, an average day looks like:
Protein shake in the morning after working out, then maybe some fruit, but not a lot.
A greek yogurt as a snack at 10am.
For lunch I have a lean protein, usually grilled chicken (6-8oz), with brown rice(1 cup), and a steamed veggie (1 cup), like peas or broccoli.
At 3pm I have a snack of almonds (1oz).
Then at dinner I have another lean meat like steak(filet, 6-8oz), chicken, pork, or turkey, with a veggie.
I’ll also tell myself, “If you can eat pizza every day, you can eat chicken and brown rice every day.” I have 1 day a month where I get pizza, thin crust of course!
Steve: Love the level-headed approach! So, tell me about your workout routine – how did you start?
One of my biggest struggles was that my running caused my legs and feet to hurt SO bad, I could barely walk. Still, I got on the elliptical every morning no matter how bad. The chaffing also took a toll on me, but did not stop me. My friend Cat suggested hot epsom salt baths at night. Since my workouts were in the morning, I rested well with those baths, and they helped my legs hurt not as bad a lot!
For the chaffing I went on Amazon and bought some running shorts with a dry liner – saved me!! I never took a rest day for six months straight when running on the elliptical!
Within a few months I was doing 40 mins. / 4 miles.
Steve: Wow, so you stuck in there. That’s awesome. Then what?
After 5-6 months in, at poker, I asked my buddy Mike if I should start strength training – he’s the fitness leader for the Detroit Border Patrol. Needless to say he’s ripped and knows how to work out. He sent me an email with an old blog post on Nerd Fitness about your advanced bodyweight workout. The next day I ordered a pull up bar. Hah, I knew was crazy, because I couldn’t even do one! So I started with the under-table rows.
Ever since, it’s been a 3x’s per week of the Nerd Fitness workout, then a run every day when not nerding out. While I never took a rest day when running on the elliptical, I take a rest about once a week now.
You saved my life and have changed my body shape because of this workout, THANK YOU! My Nerd Fitness workout evolved to become:
5 min run for warmup
Then three circuits of the following:
12 1-legged squats (each leg)
20 walking lunges
30 step ups (super fast)
10 pull ups (pull up bar)
10 chin ups (pull up bar)
10 bicep curls (using cables)
10 overhead tricep extensions (cables)
1 min plank
Nerd Fitness really has given me an awesome muscular base, my arms and legs feel and look so strong, it’s awesome. I’ve always been overweight so this is all new (and awesome) to me.
Steve: Congrats man, I’m super excited for you and proud to feature you on here. What was the toughest change for you to make?
I’d say the hardest part about all of this was waking up early an extra hour each day. I don’t get much sleep because my commute is 1 hour long, so sleep is very valuable to me!
Steve: How did you track your progress? How often did you weigh yourself?
I tracked my progress using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone (I’m an Android guy). I weighed myself daily, and learned quite a bit about my body by doing that. Some days I would gain 2-4 lbs for no reason, but the next day would drop 5 lbs. It was kind of making me crazy, but at the same time I’m a detail oriented person, so I liked it in a way.
The app also shows a 3-month graph, so I saw a downward slope, so that brought my sanity back in line, hah.
Steve: That long term trend definitely trumps the day-to-day fluctuations, which many people struggle with. Good stuff, my man. Did you use any other measurements?
My waist! I watched it go from a 46 inch waist to a 33 inch waist today.
Steve: That’s awesome, brother. So, what would you say was the most important change that helped get you there?
Diet, diet, diet. I changed it very slowly, but you cannot out-workout a poor diet.
When I first got started (on the 5th day) I got the idea to email and tell all my close friends what I was doing. This started a trend, I emailed them daily with how far and how much I ran – this kept me accountable! My friends would ask if I ran had I forgotten to send an email.
Overall, I mostly leaned on a couple of super close friends.
Steve: What would you tell somebody in your situation right now to help them? Somebody who’s tried and failed but ready to try again?
Download a food tracker, track EVERY calorie, and slowly change one thing a week or month, at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. Don’t make excuses, don’t be afraid to fail or fall off track, but you MUST pick yourself back up and continue to try; it will happen if you put your mind to it.
Steve: What are you excited to do now that you weren’t physically able to do before? Any activities in particular?
Before NF I wasn’t able to do a SINGLE pull up or chin up! I can now do 3×10 of each of them! I joined softball this year, and I’m WAY more athletic and competitive than last year. I’m planning on starting hockey again. I just need some skates.
Steve: Has anything besides your physical appearance changed?
Mentally and emotionally, I am so much happier in all regards. When I was fat I had a lot of pent up anger…a lot of people don’t realize this but fat people are not treated the same as skinny people – in fact we’re treated horribly. You also realize this difference and for some (like me) it starts to build up anger or frustration from it. Over time it can weigh (hah) on us mentally and emotionally.
Steve: That’s awesome Steve, thank you for sharing your story. Okay now on to the important stuff: Jason Bourne or James Bond?
Steve: Woah, that video is awesome. The next Iron Man in the making. So, on the topic of superheroes… if you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be, and why?
Time Travel. I would totally like to see what the future looks like, and also visit and re-live important dates in history! Not to mention, Back to the Future is one of my favorite trilogies!
Steve: Quote to live by?
“Don’t eat yellow snow.”
Why Steve Was Successful
Steve dropped five shirt sizes, dropped over 100 lbs, and most importantly, built long-term habits to keep him healthy. It wasn’t easy, but Steve managed to keep the weight off, and find the next bigger and better challenge to keep him moving forward.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons he was so successful:
Small diet changes: Steve understood rule 4 of the Rules of the Rebellion: you can’t outrun a bad diet. That’s what he tried to do – for a long time! Eventually, he got his diet in shape and his transformation accelerated dramatically. In fact, he calls this his most important change.
But he didn’t change overnight. Instead he started to educate himself on how to eat healthy. While he was doing that, he made a number of small changes immediately. Taking your calories from 4,000 to 1,800 (as Steve eventually did) can be a dramatic change for your body – so don’t do it over night!
Steve kept himself accountable through his support system. He had daily emails with friends with updates on his workout that day. And since he was working out every day, it definitely kept him accountable. His friends would know if they didn’t get an email that day, and would actually ask about it!
If you don’t have a real life support system, join the thousands of Rebels supporting each other right here in the free Nerd Fitness Community. Participating in challenges and finding a buddy or two to keep you accountable can be the difference between success and falling off the wagon.
Careful progress tracking: Steve learned a lot about food, calories, and portions by tracking his weight and calorie intake. If you’ve never paid attention to calories in your life, tracking calories can be an important tool to learn what’s actually in the food you are putting in your body. Steve started by removing bread, and slowly reduced his consumption to meet his goals.
He used tracking apps, so if something wasn’t working, he had an enormous amount of information to tell him what he was doing wrong. Instead of struggling to lose weight and following that wonderfully ambiguous plan of eating “less” food, Steve guaranteed his success by measuring his progress.
Steve was consistent: When he wasn’t doing his strength workouts, Steve was running, without fail, daily. Losing weight doesn’t require working out every day, but it does require consistency. Steve was able to create a workout plan to keep him on track. He created a habit he could stick to (every day he had to do something).
If you don’t want to run every day, then great – don’t do it! But if you want to succeed you do need to do something consistently. The best workout really is the one you stick with. Stop failing with workouts you hate, and find something you can stick with for months.
The most important step Steve took was the first one. Almost a year ago, Steve could have made a different choice and NOT gotten started.
But he did get started. And today, instead of looking back with regret and wishing he started over a year ago, he can look back with pride and accomplishment, ready for the next challenge.
The most important thing is to get started. Right now. Not tomorrow – TODAY!
Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo – We swung for the fences (and promised her my first born child), but we are thrilled to tell you that Michelle Tam from is fired up to teach you all about approachable Paleo cooking for you and your family! We are HUGE fans of Michelle’s, and can’t wait to be inspired by her right alongside you. Maddie Berky of Mad Wellness – In addition to Michelle, we’ve invited Maddie to teach you cooking and nutrition basics to build your solid food foundation. Maddie is a Health Coach and Nutrition Educator who believes in aligning your mind, body, and plate to empower you to become the very best version of yourself.
Jonathan Mead of Heroic Movement– Jonathan a total bad ass who can’t wait to start hanging from branches like Tarzan with you. Seriously. Primal movement and strength are his specialty, so get ready to level up your movement diet in addition to your food diet! Your body is your vehicle through this world, and he’ll teach you how to navigate with purpose!
Kate Galliett of Fit for Real Life – Kate will not only help you with mobility, strength training, and body awareness, she’s full of advice and tips to recover from and avoid injury – allowing you to be fully strong, functional, and prepared to tackle anything that comes your way (figuratively, that is. Though…maybe literally too).
Camp is shaping up to be the most incredible weekend of the year. What are you waiting for? Get your name on one of the last 19 bunks before it’s too late!
Back when I was working graveyard shifts as a hospital pharmacist, cooking dinner was the absolute last thing I wanted to do when I got home. Fortunately, I learned that I could quickly toss some ingredients into my slow cooker and pass out, confident that I’d wake up when things started smelling good — like these slow-cooked, Asian-spiced ribs.
Q: If I buy fruits or vegetables at a grocery store in cans that are very large (6 pounds) — whole-kernel corn, for example — can I open them up and put them in pint jars and reseal them in a hot water bath?
You know what makes a summer salad even better? When most (or all) of the salad is thrown on the grill. Such is the case with this gorgeous meal — grilled chicken, grilled romaine, and grilled bread, topped with cheese and scallions or chives.
First, I want to say thank you for convincing me to do Tabata! I was struggling to lose weight and Finally I found something that helped! I really appreciate your coaching! - Craig T.
Ever since I was convinced to do Tabata I have seen huge results, I lost 6 pounds and gained energy in the first 3 weeks. I have been working out for 3 months before I decided to do Tabata and I struggled to lose weight.
At first I thought "How am I losing weight by bringing my heart rate up then cooling down then bringing it up again?" I don’t know how it works but it does!
Thank you!! - Theresa F.
The first day of Tabata, I wondered WHAT AM I DOING - I AM 56 !! Five weeks later I knew that it was what I needed. I learned that I could push myself well beyond my comfort zone and feel good later. I have a marked improvement in physical as well as emotional endurance. - Lyn C.
When I was first told about Tabata I was very excited from the word go, however that excitement stemmed from the fact that I had no clue what it meant. I missed the first week of class b/c I was traveling for work so when I came in during the 2nd week I had some making it up to do.
It was hard at first b/c my body wasn't used to working out at such a fast pace, but once I got into a rhythm I started to feel very good. These classes are no joke. If you stick with it you will leave there feeling stronger, healthier and overall better about yourself and what you've accomplished.
I would recommend these classes to anyone. Darrin is a great trainer and he'll keep you going with his energy.
- Jami L.
Warriors Fit Audio
Warrior Fit uses High Intensity Music to get ya Moooovin' So we can all "Get Our Sweat On"
The link below will give ya a freeee shot at Audible plus a couple audio books just to try it out and if you haven't used audio books on your commutes you are missing out. Get pumped up before you get to where you are going and exercise your mind. I use it Everyday. Go get yours now!