Why Every Kettlebell Sport Athlete Should Consider Vegging Out.

veganI’m sure growing up at one time or another you’ve probably heard that dinner table spiel from your parents; “If you want to have strong bones and muscles you got ‘a eat your meat!” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now I know what you’re thinking, how else do we get all the protein, vitamins and minerals that we need if we don’t eat our meat?

Let me be rhetorical for a minute… Where do you think all the animals that we consume get theirs?

That’s right, from a plant-based diet, and just like the animals bred for our use and consumption, we too are herbivorous (plant eaters). Here’s a few obvious reasons why; Like all herbivores in the animal kingdom, we too have a long intestinal tract, our teeth are flat for chewing and our jaws move side to side for grinding.

If we were leaning more towards the carnivorous (meat eater) family we would have fixed jaws, sharp, scissor like chompers for ripping and tearing and a digestive system that could safely consume fat and cholesterol without the nasty side effects of obesity, chronic disease and premature death.

Over our evolution, we have made no physiological adaptations to eat meat nor to consume any other animal products (milk, eggs) in our diet. If you look at our Lipid metabolism (the process by which fatty acids are digested or stored in the body) we are 100% herbivores, inside and out.

vegan-4“Humankind does not show the mixed structural features one expects and finds in anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoons. Thus, from comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to that of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores we must conclude that humankind’s GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet.” ~ Milton R. Mills, M.D

Now, I know what you’re thinking, our prehistoric ancestors ate meat, lots of meat and they survived and somewhat thrived. The difference between them and us is that they did it to survive from one day to the next. The least of their problems was worrying about long term health and preventing chronic disease.

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“People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.” ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

Knowing what we know and the plethora of choices and information that we have available today, do we really need to sacrifice and exploit others to meet our dietary needs? The answer is unequivocally… NO!

I’m not going to get into the obvious moral and ethical reasons why plant-based is the right and only choice, I want to explore the reasons why it’s a better and more logical diet for long term health, improved athleticism and overall athletic performance.

When we eat animals, we are consuming the protein, vitamins and minerals that they’ve ingested from their feed, the drawback for us is that we’re ultimately consuming the second hand, watered down, almost like version of the originals, along with a heaping serving of saturated fat and artery clogging cholesterol… Can you say Obesity & Cardiovascular Disease?

If a plant-based diet is good enough for the goose, its definitely good enough for the gander.

There are many benefits of choosing a plant-based lifestyle over one that is derived from exploiting and consuming our animal friends, and those benefits aren’t so one sided and self centered – living a plant based lifestyle is paramount in preventing many of the chronic illnesses and ills that plague our society today, such as…

  1. High Blood Pressure
  2. Premature Death
  3. Behavioral & Mental Issues
  4. Heart Attacks
  5. Cancer
  6. Diabetes
  7. Obesity

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“I cured my cancer and heart disease by eating meat, dairy and eggs.” ~ Said No One Ever!

Moving on to the athlete, here are some of the Ah-Mazing benefits and reasons why switching to a plant-based diet will improve performance and crush sets…

The Drano Effect

When you’re consuming lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains, your body gets a nice cleansing as the food is digested and the fiber works it’s magic.

And speaking of the magic of fiber, it optimizes digestion and minimizes belly bloat, which can set you back during training.

Leaving out the animal products also helps keep your cholesterol levels down and the blood flowing clog free.

When you’re light and clean on the inside, you can be quick and responsive on the outside.

Phenomenal Cardiovascular Health

Because a plant-based diet is low in cholesterol and saturated fats, you can maintain and improve your cardiovascular health with ease.

An optimal system at peak performance helps you train longer, train harder and improve recovery times between sets.

When your cardiovascular system is firing on all it’s cylinders, it’s easier to breath, maintain stamina, stay motivated and in the zone during training sets and on competition day.

Going the Distance

Many plant-based athletes contribute their increased endurance and in turn better performance to a plant-based diet.

The extra shot of endurance derived from a plant-based diet makes it easy to keep pace with all the happenings in life without having to sacrifice valuable training time.

The Side Effects

Because plant-based diets aren’t loaded with saturated fats, it’s easy to maintain a toned, chiselled physique and a natural body weight that doesn’t yoyo between meets.

As I’m sure you would agree, a well-balanced diet is paramount for all athletes – filling up on fats and non-foods will only hinder and stall any goals and progress you wish to make.

Yes, believe it or not, athletes can survive, thrive and compete with great success on a 100% animal free plant based diet.

Here are a few good plant-based alternatives that are common and easy to find.

Good quality plant-based protein sources are…

Hemp seed nut and flour

Tofu

Beans (kidney, black, garbanzo, soy, adzuki)

Legumes

Unsweetened soy drink

Good quality plant-based fat sources are…

Extra virgin olive oil

Flax seed oil

Hemp seed oil

Avocado

Non-roasted nuts and seeds

Calcium rich plant-based foods include…

Almonds

Beans

Dark, leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale)

Sesame seeds

Sunflower seeds

Iron-rich plant-based foods include…

Fortified cereal

Dried peas and beans (kidney, lima, lentils)

Bran

Enriched rice

Peanut butter

Walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds

Hopefully I’ve touched on many of the pros of becoming and plant-based athlete, because when you truly look at it from every possible angle, there really are no cons worth entertaining.

We can choose a diet of animal products that causes pain and suffering to ourselves and to others, or we can choose a plant-based one that promotes vitality, athleticism, health, and harmony for all…

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The choice is ours.

Going plant-based will improve your game and most of all improve your life and the lives of all concerned.

Nothing Beats Get’n Veggie Strong!

Coach Tim

http://www.bellstaekwondo.com

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10 Reasons Why Every Kettlebell Sport Athlete Should Meditate

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What is Meditation?.. Meditation is relaxation. It is not about concentration, it’s actually about de-concentration. It’s not about focusing one’s thoughts on one thing, but instead on becoming thoughtless.

There are many myths and misconceptions about meditation, some think of it as a  hippy-dippy practice aimed at transcendence or they envision a Buddhist monk spending a lifetime on a mountain top, cross legged,  burning incense, searching for enlightenment, but in actuality, to experience the benefits of meditation it takes only a few minutes of practice a day, once embedded into your daily routine, meditation will help put your day in perspective and instill passion and intensity into your sets.

With all the compelling scientific and sport performance evidence coming out in the past few years, meditation is becoming something that can’t be overlooked.

As any Kettlebell Sport Athlete knows, their biggest opponent has always been that little, annoying “You Can’t Do THAT!” voice inside. Meditation can give you the ways and the means to crush that voice.

Meditation research on athletic performance is still very much in its infancy. However, meditation has been shown to be a huge benefit in other areas related to athletic and peak performance.

Here are a few reasons why every Girvek & Girveka should consider meditation as part of their programming, practice and ultimate game plan.

  1. It helps you focus.

When it comes to go time your focus will determine how you perform and on how well you perform, so why not train and condition your mind to focus better? Meditation training has been proven to increase focus and improve performance, so this one’s a no brainer.

  1. It helps you cope with pain.

Pain is part of the game, whether it’s mental or physical. There’s an old cliché around athletes that no matter what, they’re always dealing with some sort of pain. Meditation has been proven to help cope, prioritize, overcome and deal with it.

  1. It helps you deal with fear.

Fears can hijack our minds from the present moment; this can lead to so many negative emotions and feelings that will self sabotage a set. Meditation can help calm the fear center of the brain known as the amygdala even when you’re not meditating.

  1. It strengthens your immune system.

You cannot afford to be sick; if you’re sick you can’t lift. Meditation has been shown to improve and strengthen the immune system.

  1. It reduces our mind from ruminating.

Ever have a bad training set, miss your goal or worse yet, end your set on competition day just 5 reps away from MS? Sometimes it becomes hard to bounce back, we run obsessive thoughts through our minds. Meditation has been shown to reduce rumination; meditation will essentially help you reset the mind to focus on the present.

  1. It makes you resilient.

The best Kettlebell Athletes in the world are the most resilient; meditation has been shown to help in this area. To become a Master of Sport or a World Champion resiliency is a prerequisite, you will ultimately fail at many times before you succeed, it’s the price you pay. Meditation helps you detach yourself from the negative thoughts that keep you from pushing forward and achieving your goals.

  1. It reduces stress.

All Kettlebell Athletes leading up to a competition are under some level of stress, depending on the level, if left unchecked it may sabotage and kill your goal. Why not embrace a practice that has been proven to reduce stress? Incorporating a little bit of meditation before your set will go a long way.

  1. It helps to stabilize emotions.

One study showed that people with more mindful traits are better able to stabilize their emotions and have better control over their moods. The nature of competing and competition causes athletes to have to deal with a roller coaster of different emotions and feelings. Why not embrace meditation and use mindfulness throughout the process?

  1. It helps with sleep.

One night of lost sleep could be detrimental before a big comp, quality sleep is one of the most valuable things every athlete should strive for. Meditation has been shown to improve the quality and quantity of sleep.

  1. It helps us to see our blind spots.

As Kettlebell Athletes we spend a lot of time lifting alone to perfect our craft, the drawback is that without a coach close by to analyze and critique us in the areas that we can’t see (blind spots), we become unmindful and essentially blindfolded to any deficiencies and shortcomings that may need tweaking.

Meditation certainly doesn’t replace the sharp eye of a good coach, but what it will do is make you more mindful, aware and in tune with how your body feels and reacts throughout the process of the lift.

Chances are, if it feels good, it must be good.

In Conclusion:

Meditation could give you that unfair advantage that you needed to crush that set or win that competition that you’ve worked so dang hard for.

For some valuable free resources and to find out more about the ah-mazing benefits of meditation for both health and sport, just click –  HERE

If you want a piece of the action, first find peace in the action…

Then Crush It!

By: Coach Tim

http://www.bellstaekwondo.com

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