Every year, my family packs up and heads to Moscow, Idaho, where we celebrate Christmas with extended family and friends…
…while stuffing our gullets full of holiday food and cheer (i.e. alcoholic beverages).
For example, on Christmas day, I will probably start the morning with eggnog and champagne…
…then move on to bacon, eggs and a variety of breakfast casseroles…
…followed by a second breakfast of waffles (gluten-free of course) and sausage, likely along with more booze …
…and then I'll have just a couple hours to recover before indulging in a Christmas feast of meats, wines, cheeses and a wide assortment of very calorie rich hor d' oeuvres drenched in butter and fatty sauces.
When the smoke has cleared, I'll probably have consumed somewhere around 6000-8000 calories on Christmas day – much of it alcohol, fat and carbs.
And although you gotta “live a little” (as you learned in the article 3 Simple Big Meal Strategies To Maximize Fat Loss, Control Appetite and Limit The Damage From Overeating), this type of gluttonous scenario can cause:
-Increased blood insulin levels, which decreases fat mobilization and ability to burn fatty acids as a fuel.
-Increased storage of fat and carbohydrate and conversion of sugars into fats (even with a big meal as low as 750 calories).
-Increased sympathetic autonomic nervous system activity from a release of norepinephrine and epinephrine, which can significantly increase blood pressure.
-Increased percentage of energy coming from carbohydrate oxidation with a decreased percentage of energy coming from fat oxidation.
-Significant reduction in endothelial (blood vessel) function for up to 4 hours (even in healthy, low cholesterol subjects) due to big accumulation of circulating triglycerides.
-Changes in the blood that allow it to clot more easily, combined with increased workload and blood flow to the stomach and intestines, thus raising the risk of heart attack.
-Clusters of solid food material that can get stuck in the narrow duct that connects your gallbladder to your intestine, causing potential for gallstones.
-And the list goes on and on…including increased inflammation from overstuffed fat cells, reduction in sensitivity to appetite control hormones, and large vacuoles of triglyceride based fat building up in the liver (fatty liver).
So in today's post, I'm going to tell you the 5 things I'll be packing when we head down to the family for the holidays to keep me from getting fat and sick. Let's jump right into the first one (and even if you don't have this stuff on hand, take some notes and hook yourself up with it for the next time of indulgence, for example, New Year's!) – and as usual, I promise to answer any of your questions below the post, so fire away if you have thoughts or feedback as your read!
1. MPX100 Fat Burner
If you read calorie 3 Simple Big Meal Strategies To Maximize Fat Loss, Control Appetite and Limit The Damage From Overeating, then it probably comes as no surprise to you that one of the first things I pack is MPX100, and this my “go-to” supplement when I know I'm going to overeat.
-healthy liver function
-blood sugar regulation
-lower body fat levels
-anti-aging factors associated with longevity
Here's how MPX100 works:
Only two mechanisms have been shown to be successful in promoting longevity in higher organisms. The first mechanism lowers the levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). The second mechanism restricts calories, which usually has, as one result, a lowering of circulating insulin levels. Rock lotus influences both of these mechanisms. According to a Jutendo Medical University of Japan clinical trial, rock lotus improves liver function and fatty liver. This action resembles that of compounds known to reduce insulin levels as an aspect of improved blood glucose control.
Wild bitter melon is similarly health promoting. For example, it has been found that extracts of the wild bitter melon activate cellular machinery to regulate energy production (technically AMPK-activated protein kinase) and the way that fats are handled by the liver. Activation of this metabolic pathway is important to aging. MPX100 is sometimes referred to as “exercise in a bottle” because activation of AMPK is an aspect of the benefits derived from exercise. The effect of an extract from the wild genotype of bitter melon in MPX100 has proved to be more powerful than others on the market and much more consistent in producing positive results.
In short, rock lotus and wild bitter melon work better in combination, such as in MPX100. Both promote better blood sugar control with less insulin. Both promote healthy blood pressure. Both support healthy liver function. And both mimic changes in cellular energy metabolism typical of caloric restriction.
To get full benefits of the MPX100 fat burning and blood sugar control effects, you simply take 1-2 (and I actually take 3) capsules prior to any of your primary meals of the day, or when you know you're going to be cheating on calorie intake. If you need to learn more, you can click here to listen to an interview with MPX100 formulator Dallas Clouatre, and you can get MPX100 here.
2. CapraCleanse Detox
If you read “Why You Get A Hangover, And How To Get Rid Of A Hangover As Fast As Possible With The Best Natural Hangover Cures”, then you know that a supplement called “Capracleanse” is my liver and gastrointestinal system detox supplement of choice.
Cysteine, which you're going to find in highly absorb able form from many of the herbal ingredients in Capracleanse, shows up as a primary ingredient in many of the hangover pills and capsules you’ll find available at most pharmacies and drugstores. Basically, cysteine is an amino acid that helps your liver break down acetaldehyde from alcohol metabolism – giving cysteine a bit of a detox effect. You can get cysteine from foods like poultry, oats, dairy, broccoli, red pepper, garlic, onions, brussels sprouts, and wheat germ – but I recommend you try supplements that contain more potent doses of cysteine to help your body quickly metabolize acetaldehyde. In many of these products, cysteine is combined with fumaric acid and succinic acid, which help it to work better.
For this anti-hangover effect, and to mitigate the effects of drinking more alcohol that usual, I personally use Mt. Capra Capracleanse (since I keep that around the house as a gut cleanse anyways). For me, the Capracleanse works perfectly for a liver detox, and since I tend to get constipated anyways when I drink to much, I take 3-4 before drinking and 3-4 after.
The bonus is that when you use a high-fiber supplement like Capracleanse in conjunction with overeating, it can keep some of those fat globules and calories from getting absorbed quite as readily, so this stuff can be a good 1-2 weight loss punch along with the MPX100.
3. Oil of Oregano Immune Booster
When sniffling kids are running around and I'm not getting as much sleep as usual (along with depressing my immune system with high sugar and omega-6 fatty acid intake), I need something to bump up my immunity. You can click here to learn more and hear an audio interview about why I use oregano in this situation, but a specific type of highly absorbable and potent oregano called “Wild Mediterranean Oil of Oregano” can not only be a potent antiviral and antibacterial (especially to airborne stuff like coughs and sneezes) but can also be enormously effective in quickly eliminating yeast or fungal problems that lead to fat gain, eczema, acne, poor performance, and chronic fatigue.
The Wild Mediterranean Oil of Oregano that I use is mixed in a very unique and highly effective and absorbable 7:1 almond:oregano oil ratio, with a natural carvacrol level of 85.3% (carvacrol is the primary indicator of quality) and is harvested from the mountains of Spain. It even comes with a laboratory certificate of analysis, which the “fake” stuff at the grocery store or bulk supplement website doesn’t give you.
By simply putting a few drops of oil of oregano under your tongue or in a glass of water on a daily basis, oil of oregano can also be used as a topical anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and anti-fungal.
4. MostFit Suspension Strap Portable Workout
The MostFit Suspension Strap is my recommended budget-friendly alternative to a TRX Suspension trainer. It conveniently anchors to doors, making it easy to use at your home, office, or on the road in your hotel room. Lightweight and compact, yet extremely durable, it can also be used outdoors, looped around a tree trunk, swing set, and just about anything you can get your hands on.
For example, on Christmas, I can easily sneak away while I'm at my parents house, duck into my sister's bedroom, attach this thing to the door, and squeeze in some suspended pushups and single leg squats for 10-15 minutes when I get some free time.
The angle of the body changes the resistance for every inch you step forward or back – offering the ability to increase or decrease your challenge, intensity, and the impact on your joints. If push-ups come easy to you, you can easily put your feet in the straps and do a multi-joint, core-challenging combo exercise. If you do not yet have the upper body and core strength to do a traditional or horizontal push-up, you can do a standing incline push-up, decreasing the pressure on your joints. As you get stronger, you can change your angle to challenge yourself more.
Here's a video of me demonstrating a MostFit workout, on a slightly warmer day than what Christmas will probably be…
5. SweetBeat Heart Rate Variability Measurement.
As I discuss in Podcast # Episode #222: What Is The Best Way To Track Your Heart Rate Variability (HRV)? and also in “How To Dig Yourself Out Of The Hole – What To Do When You’re Overtrained”, I track my Heart Rate Variability every day.
And since it doesn't require me to lug around a desktop computer or any clunky electronic devices, just a heart rate monitor strap, my iPhone, and a little dongle that plugs into the bottom of my iPhone, the SweetBeat HRV system is what I use.
HRV tracking is pretty simple: I just plug in for 5 minutes each morning before I get out of bed. Not only will SweetBeat tell me my stress levels, but it will also guide me through an simple breathing and relaxation protocol in case I am actually stressed out (which will be pretty likely with all that holiday hubbub and all those kids running around and screaming).
Don't worry: I realize that if you're reading this on Christmas Eve you may not have time to grab the SweetBeat system, so here are a couple other options:
–Stress Doctor app by Azumio for relaxation, breathing and breath control
–Stress Check app by Azumio for tracking your HRV instantly (at 0.99, affordable compared to emWave2)
But in the meantime, while you're sitting around on Christmas, at least grab what you need for the Sweetbeat implementation.For SweetBeat HRV monitoring you need:
-Sweetbeat phone app:
-Compatible chest strap: http://goo.gl/GuCmM
-ANT+ adapter: http://goo.gl/6UkcM
So in summary, here's my cliff notes for “damage control” over the holidays:
-2-3 MPX100 immediately prior to culinary indulgence
-3-4 Capracleanse in morning and evening
-4-5 drops oil of oregano in morning and evening
–MostFit Suspension Strap workout, split up throughout day if necessary
–SweetBeat HRV monitoring each morning
Do you have questions, comments or feedback about the 5 things I'm packing for the holidays to keep me from getting fat and sick, or any other thoughts you'd like to share? Just leave them below, and Merry Christmas!