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How to get amazing sleep? 3 Hacks!

Millions of Americans suffer from difficulty falling asleep, waking up throughout the night, or waking up too early and not getting back to sleep. Are you one of these individuals? With the increasing population of Americans who deal with sleep challenges, we need to start asking “Why” and “What” is happening in our culture that is resulting in this epidemic.

After 7 years and more than 5,000 patients, I have definitely seen reoccurring trends that help explain why so many struggle with the issue of sleep.

In my book “Eliteness” I have an entire chapter dedicated to sleep because  it is such an important component to health, especially in helping you perform better as an athlete.

Here are three recent hacks that are not in the book (but can make a major difference in your sleep quality!).

Hack 1 – Shut it Down

Many people grind all day and then have trouble shutting down their minds when it is time to sleep. Their bodies are still in a state called “fight or flight”, which means being “on” all day long, keeping our bodies in a constant state of stress. The other state is called “feed and breed,” which is a more relaxed position; this calmer state is how we should spend most of our days. One of the troubles I see among my clients is that so many of them have a tough time shutting off the “fight or flight” response post-work and shifting towards “feed and breed.”

Let’s look at an example- if a tiger is chasing you, your body is not going to go into sleep mode- it is automatically going to go into a fight or flight response, right? You want to get yourself out of the tiger’s path ASAP. Similarly, sleep medication forces you to sleep even though your body is still in a stressful position, which actually increases stress hormones circulating in your body. This constant state of stress ultimately becomes harmful long-term.

So, instead, let’s shut it down and de-stress before bed. One of my favorite ways is to practice a guided meditation.

Personally, my brain fires at a million miles a second, and sitting still is very difficult, so guided meditations are key. If the same is for you, try this strategy before you go to bed tonight. Put on headphones, listen to the meditation practice, breathe deeply, and watch how your stress response relaxes and transitions you more so into a “feed and breed” state.

  1. Go to YouTube.com
  2. Type in “Guided meditation deepak chopra sleep”
  3. Figure out how much time you have, and listen to whichever suits your time frame best.
  4. Close your eyes, turn the lights off, and watch the magic happen.

Hacks 2 & 3 – Night Shift and LightIMG_6489

Studies now show that before bed, most people spend time either looking at their phones, computers, or televisions. The light from the screens tricks our bodies into believing that it is still daylight, therefore decreasing the amount of melatonin produced (which is the sleep-inducing hormone). Unfortunately, then, we are not able to actually relax and prep our bodies for sleep.

There are two hacks I have for this challenge. The first one is helpful if you have an iPhone because the newest software includes a Night Shift from sunrise to sunset. The blue light on the phone triggers your awake and alert response, so staring at your phone before bed further prevents the body from falling asleep. With the Night Shift option, the backlight dims to a different shade and blocks the blue light.

Turning on Night Shift:

1) Launch Settings app

2) Select “Display and Brightness”

3) Select “Night Shift”

4) Select “Schedule” and create your own schedule

The third hack is using a light bulb that does has a similar effect as the Night Shift. Go to LSGC.com and buy the Good Night LED light bulb that is only $39.95, which is much less than sleep therapy or sleeping pills and much more healthy with fewer side effects. This light bulb is noticeably different that an regular bulb and creates a more relaxing environment in a room. Lighting Science also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so if for some reason you are dissatisfied with the product, you can return the bulb with no questions asked.

For our daughter’s room we bought the Sleepy Baby LED light that goes into her night lamp. I would highly suggest this for all parents, so you can get your child’s circadian rhythm down early, especially since he or she is most likely going to be on technology at some point in the day. 

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What we can learn from astronaut Scott Kelly about our backs (plus 4 quick tips)

On March 3, 2016, Scott Kelly returned to Earth after spending 340 days in outer space performing different research studies.

NASA was testing his vision, long-term radiation, as well as bone and muscle health.ABC_scott_kelly_jt_150322_16x9_992

The reason why Scott Kelly’s 340 days are important to your health is because over the duration of these 340 days in space, Kelly grew 1.5 inches.

This is huge and something we should all take ideas from.

Day to day we are all fighting the negative effects of gravity from computers, exercising, and the many other ways in which we compromise our bodies. The fact is that we are all shrinking due to these negative effects – UNLESS we become proactive and live a bit differently.

The reason why a person shrinks or grows is due to the spacers in between each vertebra, which are the discs. I would bet that by living in space there is no such thing as a disc herniation or bulging discs simply because there is no stress on them to herniate. This is why we cannot blame these spinal-related issues on our genetics, and can only look to gravity and doing things to take our bodies out of gravity.

There are 4 strategies I think would be valuable to decrease the loss of height, and not coincidentally I go into these strategies in detail within my book “Eliteness”, now on Amazon.

  1. Inversion Tables
    • Every morning I spend 3-5 minutes hanging upside down on an inversion table and taking my body off of gravity to open up the spine. This tool helps with the hydration of the discs and keeping them healthier before you start either sitting in front of the computer all day or being on your feet. 
  2. Straighten Your Spine
    • This is why my chiropractic offices have integrated so much technology, because if the spine is not straight then added to gravity, the spine will weaken much faster. It’s important that the spine is straight on the front and curved on the side in order to have good shock absorption so that gravity doesn’t crush it faster. See a chiropractor who does X-rays with other technology and tracks that progress is a vital tool to becoming your best. Testimonials pour in all the time from our patients who went to their medical doctor for a general checkup and the doctor said they grew .5 – 1 inch. 
  3. Grab a Ball
    • Go to Amazon and get an exercise ball to sit on at work every hour for at least 3 minutes. These exercise balls help to create motion and movement so gravity doesn’t keep putting stress on the disc. 
  4. Strengthen the Core
    • The stronger your core, the stronger and easier it’ll be to protect those discs and make sure they don’t weaken faster. Here is a short core video I did years ago, but the principles in it are beneficial and can make your spinal stabilizers strong again.
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2 Workouts to Keep You Healthy @ Work

Every day one of the most common requests I receive from patients is what they can be doing at work to improve their health. Today’s world consists of A LOT of sitting, and the research keeps getting published about a correlation between longer sitting and decreased quality of life. This is why it’s extremely essential to make sure your body is moving throughout the day to combat the negative effects of sitting, as that lifestyle is not getting any better. 

The movements to combat this are not hard, but require discipline and commitment in order to break the sitting habit. Rumor has it that in the next few years, the government may make it mandatory for employers to give their employees a certain timeframe of standing. This was complete hearsay, but I really hope this is something that comes to fruition as it would benefit employees massively. It would also benefit the employer a lot too because of the deceased risk of injury and taking time off of work because of pain. 

Getting your body moving throughout the day will be great overall, and as someone who likes structure here are a couple things you could do every hour on the hour. There are computer programs and apps that notify you when it’s been an hour, or if you want to do 30 minutes then simply set a timer for every 30 minutes. If you have any questions about any of the movements then go to YouTube and type it in as I’m sure there will be a demo.

Movement #1

8:00 AM – 20 push-ups
9:00 AM – 15 chair jumps
10:00 AM – Walk down 5 floors and up 5 floors
11:00 AM – 25 squats
12:00 PM – Lunch
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Repeat above cycle

Movement #2

8:00 AM – 5 floors of stairs up and down
9:00 AM – Sit on a lacrosse ball on your glutes (2 min per side)
10:00 AM – 25 desk push-ups
11:00 AM – Lacrosse ball on pec minor (2 min per side)
12:00 PM – Lunch
1:00 PM – Broom stick passthroughs
2:00 PM – 10 overhead chair lunges per side
3:00 PM – Pigeon pose for 90 seconds per side
4:00 PM – 10 burpees

In our office there is not a lot of sitting, but there is a lot of adjusting and computer work. Since we’re walking around all day the goal is not to do the workout portions, but to focus more on mobility. This is why you’ll find me grabbing bands and doing passthroughs or putting my forearm against a wall and stretching out my pecs. 

The movements above are not the be-all and end-all for office workouts, but should be used as a reference for your day-to-day job. I understand that many of you workout before or after work, but hourly movements to balance the effects of sitting will be important for the long haul. 

If you have your own routine you like to do in the day at the office I’d love to hear it so others can benefit from your successes. 

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Parents (and anyone else): Cut the Crappy Excuses for 2016

I remember almost exactly 1 year ago sitting at dinner with a group of friends and we were all talking about our year. Some talked about their business successes, buying new houses, having more kids, and many talked about the vacations they went on. When I spoke, I talked about how my wife and I had a great travel year of Italy, Key West, LA, New York, and Miami. We went to a lot of concerts and one of the highlights of our year was going to Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. I talked about how I completed the Ironman Florida in November and how in September 2015 I will compete in Ironman Chattanooga. IMG_1853

Once I got done sharing my accomplishments and goals for 2014 and what I expect in 2015, I remember some people saying, “Well, next year you can cut that list in half because of your baby.” Well, if you know me well then you know that someone telling me I cannot do something or will be limited will only drive me harder to push more. Other guys at the table chimed in making remarks about “Working out regularly, buh bye” and “Going on regular vacations, forget about it”. 

We are now in the final week of 2015 and in fact, this has been one of the most accomplished and greatest personal and professional years of my life.

I was blessed in the beginning with Harlow, who has been the greatest joy of all time. Shira and I are some of the luckiest parents in the World to have such a fun and beautiful baby. IMG_0219

Even though Harlow has been an amazing addition, being a parent definitely takes patience and time which patience is not my greatest strength. However, time and managing it is one of my greatest assets and allowed me to accomplish even more for 2015. 

Every October, I set my goals (Personal, Prosperity, People, Play, and Professional) and get them locked and loaded in my brain for the upcoming year. 

In 2015, I achieved so many more goals that I ever could imagine, and many were not even on my list. 

Some of the highlights included: 

  • Speaking for over 400 chiropractors on success in practiceIMG_3463
  • Coordinating a successful nutrition practice alongside Jessica our nutrition advisor
  • Joining a Mastermind group of other people in successful businesses monthly
  • Completing Ironman Chattanooga
  • Starting a 2nd practice in Sandy Springs
  • Traveling to Hawaii, Vieques, Cancun, and Aruba (ALL WITH HARLOW)
  • Completing my book “Eliteness” which releases in 2016
  • Traveling to the CrossFit Games

The fact is many people make excuses for not being able to do things because of kids, and it completely hinders their life. Do some families have reasons because their kid is autistic or has some other neurological problem? Yes! However, over 90% of people have the opportunity and ability to do everything they did before kids, if not more.

The other day I found myself doing a workout with my baby strapped to me and looked at it as a weighted vest.

Video With Baby Workout

Is this article designed to brag and boast about my success in 2015 while having a kid? Not at all and the only people that could think like that are the same people making excuses for where they are personally or professionally while having a kid.

My favorite quote “how you do anything is how you do everything” bleeds into this topic as I have noticed those who make excuses for not living abundantly while having a kid have always made excuses even before kids. The ones who didn’t make excuses beforehand but make them now have become too complacent with their life and are not ready for that next level of growth. 


If you show the Universe you can handle any situation and achieve anything no matter the circumstance then it’ll give you more abundance. I feel the reason I accomplished more in 2015 than I have in any other year is because how much I showed the Universe that nothing can slow me down. IMG_3372

Cut the crappy excuses and make 2016 your best year by going above and beyond what you think you are possible of achieving. 

UPDATE #1

I know many people were looking for an update from Shira, but due to the madness of the new year and things that she is working on, unfortunately that will not happen. Even though she decided not to write the article, I figured I would share a bit about her side and what she experienced from what we talked about. 

First, in 2014 when we found out we were pregnant, we both talked and made a commitment to each other that “Harlow is being born into our life and we are not being born into her life”. Before getting pregnant we read numerous articles and heard lots of scary stories from parents about how life stops when you have a kid. In our mind, we were about to have the greatest gift in the world, so it was important to keep living our lives and doing what we’ve been blessed to be able to do. 

With that commitment in our minds Shira’s primary goal in 2015 was to raise a healthy and happy little Harlow. Whatever came about, she made sure that Harlow was her priority and made lots of sacrifices to allow her to have the best year ever. 

For instance, we take Harlow out to dinner with us a lot and one of us is usually entertaining her while the other eats or trying to put her to sleep while the other eats. Rarely are we able to sit through the whole meal together as a family of 3 without any disturbances. However, this goes back to our commitment of how Harlow is coming into our life and we can’t not go out because of our daughter. 

When we traveled this year Shira would tell you that the vacations to Mexico and Hawaii felt more like trips than vacations. Shira was busy breastfeeding for the majority, sleeping next to Harlow in bed (which does not mean quality sleep), and having to leave the beach early in the day to give Harlow naps. She was not able to snorkel or surf in the mornings, go for morning runs, or have breakfast with the locals. 

Shira would also tell you that working out was extremely difficult for her to do in 2015 because she would feed Harlow in the mornings and give her her morning nap. Before Harlow, Shira would work out 3 – 4x a week, but once Harlow was born she was only able to get in a lucky 1x week. It was definitely not the year of fitness she hoped for, BUT her primary goal supersedes everything. 

What the two of us experienced was completely different, BUT they were in line with our goals and raising a healthy, happy child was her top priority. Shira’s primary goals were not doing an Ironman, opening more practices, writing a book, or anything else beyond raising our healthy and happy little girl. In fact, after what I have seen this year I would say that her goal trumps anything that I put on my resume for 2015. 

The point of my article was not for people to have a negative feeling, but rather to share with parents that having a kid is the greatest thing in the world and that life does not have to stop. In fact, I can now say from experience that the first year of Harlow’s life was one of the greatest years of my life, in which I was watching her develop and grow to the healthy, happy kid she has become. You will constantly hear from other moms and dads when you’re pregnant the same quotes we made that begin with “You’re not going to be able to do…” but know that life does not have to be like that when you have a kid.  

Life and being a parent are what you make of it, and the journey is something I would recommend for anyone considering going on that ride. 

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Here’s your extra $500-$1K: Now Invest in this for 2016!

When describe the way I choose to live my life, the number-one comment I hear from people is, “I can’t afford all of that.”

The way I see it, I can’t afford NOT to live this way.

Let’s take that statement (“I can’t afford all of that!”) and break it down. In reality, many people have thousands of dollars they could use to invest in themselves.

In June 2015, the average gas price nationally was $2.78 per gallon. Today the national average price is only $2.03. If your car has a 15-gallon gas tank and you fill up every other week, that’s an extra $292 you have in your bank account. If you have a 20-gallon tank and fill it every week, you’re saving $779 a year off what you would have paid if gas prices had remained at their level in June.

Another example: Let’s say you purchase Internet service from Comcast or AT&T and pay roughly $150 month. If you switch to another provider who charges less than $15/month, then right there that’s another +$1,000 you can invest in yourself.

My question is: What are you doing with that extra cash? Are you investing it in yourself?

The point of this week’s post is to ask this: if you’ve not been getting chiropractic, massages, supplements, healthy food, or any other healthy thing for your body because of a lack of money, then where is that extra cash going?

Of course, it’s going toward your highest-value items, which may not necessarily involve your health.

With 2016 around the corner, it’s time to assess your health and consider these important questions:

1)    How do I know I’m healthy? (If you say “because I feel good”, then that’s a fail. I’ve known lots of people who felt great one day, and died the next. Sorry to be so intense, but the only way to know you’re healthy is by using an objective measure outside of what traditional doctors utilize.)

2)    What metrics do I use to evaluate my health? (If its blood-pressure cuffs, cholesterol screenings and other baseline tests, then once again, it’s time to start doing A LOT of research).

3)    Am I relying on my MD to keep me healthy? (If so, you are failing miserably. Not because MDs are bad, but because it’s not their job to keep you healthy. That’s YOUR job!)

4)    Can I do everything I want to do, without limitations? (I hope your answer is yes – and don’t use age or genetics as an excuse here.)

If your health is important to you, these questions are vital to answer and deal with.

Take that extra money you’ve been saving from gas, look at your finances, and begin investing more in yourself.

Why do I keep saying “investing”? Because your health and body – and not your 401K, stock options or retail property – are your biggest investment vehicles.

A lot of people have massive 401Ks, huge real-estate portfolios and millions of dollars in stock. They’re also overweight and can barely walk a half-mile without huffing and puffing.

Here are some ways to invest in your health in 2016:

1)    Chiropractic Care – Chiropractic has been an amazing tool for my family and I that keeps all of us healthy. We use chiropractic as a way to keep our nerves free from pressure and allow them to coordinate and control all our functions at 100%. No, we can never tell when we need to be adjusted, but we do it regularly, whether we are symptomatic or asymptomatic.

2)    Massage Therapy – The amount of work and stress we put our bodies through makes massage an amazing tool for keeping our muscles healthy. Massage is one of those therapies that should be used a minimum of once a month.

3)    Acupuncture – For someone (like me) who is always on the go, acupuncture helps relax the body and calm the nerves. My acupuncturist tells me it’s balancing my qi. The practice has been around for thousands of years, and all the Asians use it to keep themselves healthy. If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me! After all, they say, “success leaves clues”.IMG_472567199

4)    Supplementation – It’s important to find a quality nutritional advisor who can learn about your body and figure out where you have deficiencies. There are multiple ways to determine which supplements you need – but when it comes to actually buying them, make sure they are FOOD-based. Make sure the ingredients and nutrients come from whole-food sources that have not been isolated.

5)    Paleo Meal Service – In my office we take care many of successful people who are extremely busy and constantly on the go. They say the reason they don’t eat healthy food is because of time. One of the best answers to this is to have your food prepared weekly. I subscribe to a weekly paleo meal delivery service that drops off my meals every Monday. The price usually ranges from $10 – $12 a meal and gives me variety. It also saves me TONS of time from not having to cook.

6)    Gym Membership – If you’re like me, then working out at home is extremely difficult. It’s hard to get motivated at home. It’s essential for me to be in a group setting to keep me on track and pushing harder. For 2016, think about joining an exercise group and pushing your body even harder than you push it now.

 

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Ever wonder, how professional athletes think when they workout?

Every time I walk into the gym, I never know what the workout will be until I look up on the TV screen in the front and see it. 

This past Friday was a brutal one and one that when you see it makes you think about walking out. 

The workout was: IMG_2909

* 21 – 18 – 15 – 12 – 9 – 6 – 3 (Shoulder to Overhead @ 155 pounds, back squat @ 155 pounds, and then 20 double under (jump the rope two times through). 

When you add everything up it comes out to a total of 84 reps of shoulder to overheads, 84 reps of back squats, and then 140 double unders. 

I knew this was going to be a bit tougher on me since the weight was a little on the heavier side and something that I had to pace very well. The clock counted down to zero and the workout began with the 21 shoulder to overheads. 

As I got to round 18 I could already feel myself fatiguing and my pace slowing down. There were thoughts in my brain of stopping the workout early as it was extremely challenging and one that I felt was going to take forever. 

Once I reached round 15, I was going slower and at that moment, which I have done in the past as well, I realized why the professionals are the professionals. 

These professionals DO NOT have that thing that slows the average person down called “the Threshold.” In 2016, I have my book “Eliteness” coming out and it takes everything I have ever learned from elite professional athletes on their lifestyle and boiled it down to 9 simple steps. 

One of the things these athletes did not share but something I see in them is this threshold and how when they work out or do their sports there is no slowing down and their brains are missing that factor to do that for them. 

When average people like you or I work out, we reach a certain point and our brains shut down telling us to go slower. We feel the fatigue setting in and automatically our body slows down but it does this to keep us healthy and not get sick or injured. I have seen this in not only in functional training but also when I was doing my Ironman training. The professionals have that thing that we don’t have and this is a huge separating factor for why they are at the level they have achieved. 

The workout ended up taking me 25 minutes to complete but had my brain been wired like a professional athlete it may have taken me less. 

Whether you want to be a professional athlete or not the point is “the Thresholds” exist in all areas of our life beyond the gym. Many of you begin to get close to success in business then fear or some other emotion gets in and you slow down. Many of you get close to that relationship success but then you give up. In today’s world I see lots of people who work for numerous corporate companies and as they become closer to promotions and raises they end up leaving. 

That “Threshold” applies to everywhere and until you can begin to recognize it then it will work against you. Begin to look at your fitness life and watch how you think you can do a certain number of reps, weight, or time BUT if you gave it that small push you may have been able to do more. We all think we have a certain level of potential but the fact is there is MUCH more than we even know. 

Begin to pay attention to different areas of your life and see how you can break through that Threshold for more success in 2016. 

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Are you one of these 75% Americans?

In the past two weeks there has been a lot controversy and media attention given to the pharmaceutical drug industry. 

On November 17, the American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement that they would like to begin the ban of advertising pharmaceuticals on television. The CapsulesUnited States and New Zealand are the only two countries in the World where advertising on TV is legal and the AMA has finally decided to step up. The amount of hours a person will watch of pharmaceutical drug commercials before 18 is in the 5 figures. Also, the United States makes up 5% of the world’s population which means we should be consuming between 5 – 10% of the drugs produced. Sadly, the United States is consuming between 75 – 80% of ALL drugs produced so the AMA is right there is DEFINITELY a problem.

I have had this discussion with many of my medical doctor patients and they all agree it’s preposterous that these companies can advertise to the layperson. They said what they see happening is patients coming to them saying, “Hey doc, I think I need to take that drug I saw during XXXX commercial on Monday night.” The educated and intelligent medical doctors who will do what is right for the patient would rarely write the script but sadly many will do what the patient says and write the script. This means they are doing what the patient WANTS and not necessarily what the patient NEEDS. Many doctors I have spoken with do this because they say the patient will go to another doctor or the patient will complain and they don’t have time to deal with that.

In my practice, the reason our results and satisfaction scores are so high is that we tell the patient what they NEED to hear and not what they WANT to hear. Many of my patients when they first come in want quick and fast relief, which is common in our World, but the fact is healing takes time. Anything or any process in the World that is successful always requires time. 

When evaluating your doctors or any professional you work with it’s important they are giving you the information on what you NEED and not just what you WANT. 

Do I always love what my accountant says? No! Is he right? Yes!

Do I always love what my nutrition advisor (Jessica) says? No! Is she right? Yes!

Beyond what the AMA has stated, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis came out with a new song called “Kevin.” This song’s main lyrics: 

“Doctor, please, give me a dose of the American Dream

Put down the pen and look in my eyes

We’re in the waiting room and something ain’t right

All this is on you, we’re overprescribed”

The song discusses the state of the average American lifestyle and how we take one drug for a problem but then another drug for the side effect of the primary drug.

Are all drugs bad? No!

The problem happens when people subsidize pharmaceutical drugs for their lifestyle problems of poor diet and lack of exercise. Here is an important article I wrote a couple weeks ago about how we can become our best doctor. – http://draustincohen.com/how-to-assemble-your-healthcare-team/

This is not my traditional ‘to-do’blog post but it is more of a wake-up call to many of you who could be going down this rabbit hole. As we approach the New Year and many of you have great health goals, I want you all to know I am here for you. Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, or email please let me know how I can be of service, and if you live in Atlanta I’d love to see you in the office. 

One thing I have noticed is people are their healthiest when under chiropractic care and usually I find the better people feel the more inclined they are to take care of their health.

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How I Put on 10 Pounds of Muscle in 30 Days

Between 2009 and 2014, I was solely focused on CrossFit and eating paleo. In 2014 I got my weight to around 185 pounds, up from 155 pounds in 2009. At 185, I was at my goal weight, and had roughly a 5-7% body fat percentage. I could squat 355 pounds and my lifts for other movements were pretty heavy in mydesignrelationship to my bodyweight I could go about my daily life, bend over, squat, and pick things up with no aches or problems, because functionally my body was strong and fit. In fact, as a chiropractor, being in good functional shape helped me with my very physical job. Adjusting many people throughout the day can be tiring, and getting my body in tip-top condition helped to reduce the soreness and overuse injuries I could feel coming about.

Fast forward to September 27, 2015: I completed Ironman Chattanooga and finished my 18 months of brutal Ironman training. I weighed only 168 pounds. In a short 18-month period – from April 2014 to September 2015 – I lost almost 20 pounds and rediscovered my scrawny pre-2009 body. 

During those 18 months, it was tough to watch my muscle melt away and begin to see boney structures – such as a more pronounced ribcage – take its place. I knew right after the race that I would recommit to regaining that 185 pounds. 

I did it by focussing on 3 keys strategies. By integrating them, I have now gotten back to 177 pounds and am slowly making my way back to my goal weight. 

1) Work out 5-6 Days a Week

My gym schedule has been pretty aggressive, and I plan to keep it this way until March 2016, when I’ll begin to train for Escape From Alcatraz. One of my biggest challenges at the gym is discovering my new one-rep maximums, as I lost roughly 20% of my former Olympic and power-lift abilities. My typical week’s schedule now looks like:

Monday = 7:30 p.m. Workout
Tuesday = 6:30 a.m. Workout
Wednesday = Day Off
Thursday = 5:30 a.m. Workout
Friday = 6:30 a.m. Workout; 9:00 a.m. 3-mile run
Saturday = 3-mile run
Sunday = 8:30 a.m. Workout

People think I’m crazy for all working out so much, but it keeps me functioning at high levels and able to accomplish everything I do in a day. 

2) Went From High Carb/Sugar (Crap) —> High Fat/Protein (Paleo)

When I undertook 18 months of Ironman training, my workouts ranged from 90 minutes to 6 hours in length. I was putting in roughly 11-15 hours of endurance work per week and my high-fat, high-protein diet was not working for me. I felt tired and grumpy at the end of the day. I definitely noticed a loss of energy when following the paleo diet during Ironman training. Eventually I gave in, and during long bike rides or runs I began to eat Gu’s, wafers and other high-sugar and artificially sweetened products to keep me balanced. It was tough, because it went against everything I wanted to put in my body – but it helped me survive those long runs and rides.

Literally the day after my race, on September 28, I returned to a paleo diet, in which you avoid dairy, grain, and sugar. In the past month I’ve had pizza twice, two alcoholic beverages, and maybe a little sugar on someone’s birthday, but nothing extreme or on a regular basis. 

Two weeks ago, I spoke about how going back to paleo made me lose my cravings for sweets and sugars. 

I have not counted calories or written down my food intake in a journal, but I have been very disciplined about eating extremely clean and staying away from grains and sugars. 

When my book Eliteness comes out in 2016, I’ll explain more about this diet and protocol – but for blogging purposes, here’s a sample day for me: 

A.M. Pre-Workout 

Vanilla collagen bar from Bulletproof Inc.

A.M. Breakfast

4 – 5 organic eggs or
Steve’s PaleoKrunch (Original) or
Steve’s PaleoCereal (Cinnamon)

Lunch 

Salad or vegetables with pasture-raised chicken or grass-fed beef

Dinner 

Salad or vegetables with pasture-raised chicken or grass-fed beef (I eat greater amounts of beef at dinner)

Throughout the day I may snack on almonds, but only on a limited basis, as eating is pretty hard to for me to do during the day (because we’re busy seeing patients). 

3) Supplement Protocol

Ben Greenfield is someone I follow for health advice and hacking my body to reach its potential. Recently I was reading one of his e-books and began to take everything he suggested in terms of a muscle-gaining regime.

The only supplements I took during Ironman training were from Standard Process. They help with joint inflammation, heart regulation, and adrenal fatigue. My training goals were to stay healthy and injury-free, and prevent any long-term damage to my body. I didn’t care about putting on muscle, lifting more weight or becoming a better athlete.

Now that I’ve returned to CrossFit, my workout supplement protocols have changed:

Pre-Workout Supplements

* 3 Millennium CRE-02 Creatine
* 1 Beta Alanine (NOW)
* 1 Carnitine (Thorne Research)
* 3 BCAA’s (MAP)

Post-Workout 

* 1 scoop Stronger, Faster, Healthier Recovery with coconut water

These are the 3 major lifestyle changes I’ve implemented. I plan to stick to them for a long time. My goal would be to get back to 185 – 190 pounds, and then hover around that weight. I have no desire to gain add much more weight and muscle. 

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Why Meditation is Your Fountain of Youth and How to Meditate Easily

This past weekend I spoke at CrossFit Rockdale in Conyers, GA, about specific strategies on becoming a better athlete. I talked about supplements, the primal/paleo lifestyle, mobility movements, creating better mechanics, and also the mental aspect of being an athlete. CFR2

Someone asked a question about meditation, and this took us into a huge discussion on: 

* How to meditate.
* When to meditate.
* How to make it simple.
* How it can be quick.
* Why you should meditate.

This created major awareness for the group on how simple and easy it can be to perform meditation if you know the right steps. 

When I first heard about meditation I thought it was completely bogus and something I would not be able to do. My attention span is extremely short and I am always moving on to the next thing, so I believed that sitting still for 30 minutes and thinking of clouds taking my thoughts away would be extremely challenging for me. 

A few years went by with zero meditation, but as I kept hearing more and more of the benefits I began to do more research. I found out about a type of meditation called ‘guided meditation’, and this was a game changer in my life. Guided meditation is when you sit still, put on headphones, and listen to someone guide you through an exercise of meditating. Sometimes they guide me to the beach, through the forest, or take me to my happy places, but guided meditation always allows me to focus on the voice speaking instead of sitting still and doing nothing. 

Most of the time I meditate before bed, and it can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. The key is finding the right voice that works for you and using the right protocols. 

All of us want more in our life, whether it’s better relationships, more money, increased happiness, less stress, or a happy career. 

Guided meditation helps you unlock those potentials for your life and become a more relaxed and stress-free individual. 

If you go to pubmed.com, which is the mecca for finding researched articles, and type in ‘meditation benefits’, you will find a plethora of positive research showing how beneficial meditation can be when done on a regular basis. 

Here is the best way to learn to meditate: 

1) Go to “YouTube.com.
2) Type in “Guided Meditation and XXXXX’. (I usually do stress or sleep depending on my day).
3) Find a video with the duration you would like, such as 5 minutes or 45 minutes.
4) Click Play and enjoy

This is how easy it is, and you can see when I typed in “Guided Meditation and XXXX”how many search tabs came up showing what most people use it for. 

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Your Fall/Winter Sickness Began Last Weekend – Prevention Tips

For many, this week marks the beginning of the downturn of their seasonal allergies, sicknesses, and flu-like symptoms. Coincidental? I think not.IMG_3909 (1)

A few days ago many of us were busy trick-or-treating with our kids, loading up on candy and partaking in other gluttonous behaviors. This tends to be the time when many people begin eating more ‘heavy’ and unhealthy foods while drinking an increased amount of adult beverages due to all the holidays and sporting events over the next couple of months. 

This also becomes the time when the cold starts to come in, so more people tend to be staying indoors and not getting their regular workouts in. When people are indoors more, their vitamin D levels begin to sink, which is dangerous because strong vitamin D levels are linked to a healthy immune system. 

Along with the cold weather and less exercise comes the ‘busy’ season for many people, and with ‘busyness’ most people become more lackadaisical about fitness.  

I see this year in, year out, but my patients that recognize the busyness and unhealthiness that often occurs from November to February tend to be proactive with those measures. 

It’s EXTREMELY important – and I cannot emphasize this enough – to be completely committed to your health over the next 4-5 months. 

Will life get busy? Yes! However, this is the time to not get slack and give up on all the hard work you have put in all year. 

FullSizeRender (6)Some of the big recommendations I have shared on my Instagram account @draustincohen are the big 5:

1) Keep working out at least 4 days a week to keep your heart rate up and not let your body weaken.

2) Make sure your body is loaded up with plenty of vitamin D – this number can easily be checked by your local lab. 

3) Keep your body aligned so it’s performing at its best and make sure not to get lazy with your chiropractor visits.

4) Stay hydrated and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water even though its not as hot outside. 

5) Add in some greens such as chlorophyll, spirulina, or a form of phytoplankton to stay up on all your greens and antioxidants. FullSizeRender (7)

These are going to be my 5 go-to’s as far as trying to avoid staying sick and taking time off over the next few months. Fortunately, over the past 8 years of following those steps I have not missed 1 day of work for any sicknesses. 

Please comment or post any tips or strategies you use to prevent getting sick during the fall/winter season.