I’ve churned through over 150,000 emails, social media comments and messages, and blog comments in the last 6 years.
And that means I’ve fielded a ton of questions.
As you can imagine, some questions pop up more often than others, and I thought it might be helpful to take a little time every month to choose a few and record and share my answers.
So, in this round, I answer the following three questions:
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, leave a comment below or if you want a faster response, send an email to [email protected].
Recommended reading for this episode:
- Should You Do Cardio If You Lift Weights? Science Says Yes
- Curious About Kratom? This Is the Place to Start
4:36 – Is running bad for gaining muscle and strength?
19:23 – How has having kids changed your approach to diet?
38:12 – What are your thoughts on kratom?
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello, and welcome to Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for a q and a where I answer questions that readers and followers ask me. If you want to ask me questions that I can answer for you and that may be chosen for future q and a episodes, shoot me an email. Mike, muscle for Life, just f o.
Dot com and let me know what’s on your mind. I get a lot of emails, so it may take me seven, 10, maybe even 14 days or sometimes a little bit longer, to be honest, to get back with you, but you will hear back from me and you will get an answer. And if it’s a question that a lot of people. Are asking or have been asking for some time, or if it’s something that just strikes my fancy and it’s something that I haven’t already beaten to death on the podcast or the blog, then I may also choose it for an episode and answer it publicly.
Another way to get questions to me is Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness. You can DM them to me, although. That is harder for me to stay on top of. I do try, but the inbox is a little bit buggy and it just takes more time trying to do it, whether it’s on my phone or the Windows app. But there is a good chance you will still get a reply.
Email is better, and I also do post, I think it’s every few weeks or so in my feed asking for. People to give me questions, give me fodder for the next q and a. So if you would rather do that than just follow me on Instagram at Muscle Live Fitness and send me a message, or just wait for one of my q and a posts.
And so as usual in this episode, I will be answering three questions. The first one comes from, I don’t know, anonymous. There’s no note here. But the question is, is running bad for gaining muscle and strength? The second question comes from s Jensen 12 over on Instagram, and he or she asks, how has having kids changed your approach to diet?
And I’m gonna read the rest of the question here just to give some context. So personally, this person says, I don’t ever want my daughters to see me measure slash way slash. Food for the purpose of changing my body. I grew up with a mother who was trapped by diet. Culture still is. And it destroyed my body image, self-esteem, and self-worth so much that I am still working on healing at 33 years old.
And then this person goes on to say how they don’t want their kids to feel the same way and so on and so forth. And then the. Final question, anonymous. Again, no note here on who this came from, but I’ve been asked this many times via email at least, and that is what are my thoughts on Kraim? Also, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world, and we’re on.
Because every ingredient and dose in every product is backed by peer-reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent. There are no proprietary blends, for example, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. So that means no artificial sweeteners, no artificial food dies, which may not be as dangerous as some people would have you believe.
But there is good evidence to suggest that having many servings of artificial sweeteners, in particular every day for long periods of time may not be the best for your health. So while you don’t need pills, powders, and potions to get into great shape, and frankly, most of them are virtually useless, there are natural ingredients that can help you lose fat, build muscle, and get healthy faster.
And you will find the best of them in legions products to check out everything we have to offer, including protein powders and protein bars, pre-workout, post-workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and. Head over to www.buy legion.com, b y legion.com, and just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code M F L at checkout and you’ll save 20% on your entire first order.
So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, and if you also want all natural. Evidence-based supplements that work, please do consider supporting Legion so I can keep doing what I love, like producing more podcasts like this. Okay, let’s tackle the first one Is Running Bad for Gaining Muscle and Strength.
It depends on how much running you’re doing and what type of running it is. How intense it is because many studies have shown that running can indeed interfere with muscle and strength gain as can really any type of cardio exercise. And there are several reasons for this. One has to do with glycogen stores, and glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that’s stored primarily in the muscles and in the liver.
And research shows that doing repeated endurance straining sessions, especially on consecutive days, depletes glycogen stores significantly in your muscles and glycogen is the primary source of fuel during resistance training, workouts, even intense resistance training workouts. And so then having low levels of glycogen and intramuscular glycogen in particular.
Can certainly decrease your ability to perform well in the gym, which of course is going to get in the way of getting bigger and stronger. Another reason cardio can get in the way of muscle and strength gain has to do with recovery because research shows that the more cardio you do, the more likely you are to run into symptoms related to over-training, which is an imbalance between training and recovery, and is characterized by a decline in performance or by a lack of improvement.
Stagnation and studies show that running can be particularly detrimental in this regard because of the tissue damage that is caused by the impact in particular. So there is a material difference in muscle and strength gain if we’re talking about the interference effect as it’s called technically between let’s say running, biking, which ironically in the.
Biking studies have shown that it can actually enhance muscle and strength gain in the lower body if it is done correctly. And that’s something I’m gonna talk about in a minute. But anyway, coming back to running, the point is if you are training hard in the gym, lower body is already gonna have to work hard to recover from your heavy squats and deadlifts and other lower body exercises that you’re doing.
And then if you add the additional tissue damage that comes with running, and if you are doing at. Fair amount of running, there is a good chance that your body is just going to fall behind in recovery. And again, as I mentioned earlier, that may only manifest as stagnation, which can be insidious because when you’re stuck in the gym, there are many different reasons why that.
Could be. And if you like your running and you don’t suspect that the running is the problem or you don’t really want to change that, you can waste a lot of time and energy on a lot of different wild goose chases and still just be stuck. Another way that cardio can get in the way of muscle and strength gain is research shows that longer bouts of endurance exercise 40, 50, 60 plus minutes can disrupt muscle protein synthesis, which is the process your body uses to repair, grow.
Strength in muscle fibers. And so of course anything that is going to reduce muscle protein synthesis rates can reduce muscle growth over time. One final muscle and strength related downside of cardio is research shows that it interferes with some of the cellular signaling that is related to muscle building.
And basically what happens is, After you train your muscles, after you do a resistance training workout, more of the growth that occurs from it because of the workout occurs in the fast twitch muscle fibers, the type two muscle fibers than in the slow twitch or type one muscle fibers. And this is because when you’re lift.
Weights, you are forcing your muscles to generate a lot of force very quickly, and that’s what type two muscle fibers are very good at. And in response to that, your body then preferentially builds more of that explosive type two. Muscle fiber so they can then deal with the stress of weightlifting.
Better. Endurance training, however, has a very different effect on the body. Studies show that doing regular endurance training workouts reduces the power of type two muscle fibers and decreases the number of them within the muscles themselves. And both of those things, of course, then have a detrimental effect on your physical performance, in your resistance training workouts, and in your strength in particular.
And, Whole body strength is the primary driver of whole body muscle gain, and that is particularly true when you are an intermediate or an advanced weightlifter. When you’re new, you can gain a disproportionate amount of muscle compared to strength. The correlation for the first year or so isn’t very strong between strength and muscle growth.
However, once your newbie gains are behind you, the association gets a lot stronger, meaning that the most reliable way as an intermediate or an advanced weightlifter. Is to get stronger and if you are not getting stronger, if your one MSS on your big lifts that best represent your whole body muscle strength, some sort of squat, some sort of overhead press.
Bench press and deadlift are the most effective proxies for whole body strength. Of course, you can use other exercises, but those ones in particular serve very well for that purpose. If you’re one MSS on those exercises, or those types of exercises remain either in the same range or are even trending downward, you can bet that you are not gaining any muscle to speak of.
And if you want to get bigger, you are going to have to figure out how to get those one MSS to trend upward over time. Now, all that is not to say that you should not do cardio if you want to gain muscle and strength because you can gain muscle and. And do cardio. There’s also a lot to be said for Cardio’s Health benefits, especially.
It’s unique health benefits. It’s cardiovascular benefits, for example, that you get through cardio but not through weightlifting. And there are also some unique metabolic benefits and some longevity related benefits. And if you wanna learn about. All of that. Check out a podcast I recorded maybe four to six months ago called Should You Do Cardio?
If you Lift weights, science says Yes. You can find that in the feed. And if you would rather read about it, just head over to legion athletics.com and search for cardio. And it will pop up in the results. There’s an article that the podcast was based on, and in addition to the health benefits, research shows that having good cardio being cardiovascularly fit can also enhance your performance in your resistance training workouts by helping you recover your work capacity, your ability to exert.
Effort faster in between your sets of weightlifting. So let’s say you rest on average two minutes or maybe two and a half minutes in between sets of isolation exercises and maybe three to three and a half minutes in between sets of heavier compound exercises. And that’s pretty reasonable. That is in line with.
Research on optimal rest times. But what you may find is if you are currently doing that and you have poor cardiovascular fitness, if you improved your cardio to let’s say good or even a very good level, that without changing the rest periods in between your weightlifting sets, you can just work harder.
You can get an additional reper two with your working weights and you feel fresher, you feel. More recovered in between your weightlifting sets, and if you want a little preview of what this may feel like, just extend your current rest times 30 to 60 seconds. If you don’t have good cardio, do that and then see how it improves your performance in your sets.
Now, of course, you don’t want. To be resting three plus minutes on your isolation exercises and four plus minutes on your compound exercises. You shouldn’t need to be resting that much. But again, what you might find if you improve your cardio from a current low level to a significantly higher level is two minutes of rest on the isolation and three minutes of rest on the compound exercises comes to feel.
What currently requires three and four minutes of rest and something that I’ve noticed since upping my cardio significantly for the last eight months or so. I’ve been doing 30 minutes on an upright bike, six or seven days a week, and I’m doing it at a moderate intensity. So I couldn’t record a podcast like this, but I could have a conversation.
I would just have to stop and catch my breath. Consistently, that’s the intensity level that I’m doing it. I’m not doing hit. That would be a mistake that would be way too much hit. And I’m not doing just low intensity cardio, like walking. I’m doing something that is a bit harder than walking and a lot easier than hit.
And anyway, what I’ve noticed is in my weightlifting, I not only am recovering better in between my sets, but my workouts just don’t feel as hard as they once did. And it’s not because I’m doing easier. I’m training the exact same way, although the weights are a little bit lower now than they were back in January because I was doing home workouts for like six months straight, and I only have dumbbells bands, a pull-up bar and a dip station.
So I was pretty limited and I didn’t lose any muscle, but I definitely lost a fair amount of. On all of my big lifts, particularly on my squat, I lost probably 50 or 60 pounds from my squat one r m, so I’ve had to work back up to that. But my point is the style of training is identical. So when my spreadsheet says, put 85% on the bar and do a set of.
Four. I’m doing that. I’m just doing it now with a bit less weight than I was previously. However, of course it is still 85% of one rep max for a set of four, and so again, what I’ve noticed since upping my cardio from it was about an hour a week previously to about two and a half to three hours a week.
Now is the same basic workouts that I was doing. Then just feel easier now I don’t feel as drained. From them as I did then. And that’s not to say that I was exhausted then, but I noticed that I finished more workouts now feeling like I could do it all over again. Now, I can’t attribute all of that to cardio because, for example, I’m sleeping a bit better now than I was then.
I didn’t have sleep troubles then, but I was waking up. Consistently, I don’t know, two to four times per night then and now it’s maybe once or twice per night. But I do know the cardio has contributed to some degree because in my workouts I’ve noticed that my heart rate doesn’t get as high as it used to, especially with the big lifts, especially when I’m squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, and bench pressing.
Okay, so now how do you do cardio in such a way that you can reap all of its benefits or most of its benefits and mitigate. Downsides? Well, it’s pretty simple actually. There are just a few rules to follow, and the first one has to do with volume. That is probably the most important one, is don’t do too much cardio.
How much is too much? Well, a simple rule of thumb that I learned from Dr. Eric Helms is set your cardio ceiling at. 50% of the time that you spend training your muscles. So if you spend five hours a week lifting weights, don’t do any more than two and a half hours of cardio. The type of cardio that you do is important as well.
I’ve spoken about some of the unique disadvantages to running, and I recommend avoiding running. All together if you are okay with that. But if you are not okay with that for whatever reason, maybe it’s just personal preference, you like to run, or it’s just logistics, that’s really the only option you have, then that’s fine.
But try not to go for a run on the. Day before a lower body training session, as research shows that that can negatively impact your performance in the gym and your body’s ability to repair and build muscle following that workout. And also try not to do more than two runs per week and try to keep them short-ish, maybe around 20 to 30 minutes.
Try not to go for 40, 50, 60 plus minute runs. Now. If you don’t need to run, then I recommend something. No impact like biking or rowing or swimming. And as far as biking goes, you can get a bike and ride outside, which can be an enjoyable activity in and of itself. Or if you’re like me and you have to obsessively multitask and be as productive as possible, then you can get an upright bike or a recumbent bike, which then allows.
To read. That’s what I do while I’m biking or listen to podcasts, which I would not personally do if I were riding outside on a bike because I need to be aware of my surroundings. So I wouldn’t recommend that. But if you’re in your basement, of course, or in your apartment, on your exercise bike, there is no chance.
That you’re gonna get run over by a car, so you can watch documentaries or do emails. Sometimes I answer Instagram dms, like I’ll let them kind of pile up, and then when I’m on my bike, I’ll open Instagram and the time flies by. I do, again, about 30 minutes or so on the bike, and I will be answering dms from minute one through minute.
And another important cardio tip is to not overdo the hit. You don’t have to do hit, you don’t have to do high intensity interval training. Sprints basically, if you don’t want to, there is a good reason to incorporate hit in your regimen, particularly if you’re cutting, because you’re gonna burn a lot of calories.
But even if you’re not cutting, if you are trying to reap all of the potential benefits that cardio has, then you actually do wanna probably do at least one 20 to. 30 minute hit session per week. But I would not recommend doing more than two or three of those hit sessions per week because they do put a lot more stress on the body and a lot more demands on the body in terms of recovery.
And again, we want to make sure that we are not cutting into our post strength training, workout recovery, at least in any meaningful way. We want to maximize that because that is an essential component of getting bigger and.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world. Alrighty. Let’s move on to the next question from s Jensen 12, and he or she asks, how has having kids changed your approach to diet?
And then this person goes on to explain how they don’t want their daughters to see them measuring food or weighing food or restricting food because they had a mom who was really into dieting and it sounds like the mom imposed it on them and messed up their self-image and self. And this is a great question because it’s something that I have thought about in the past and I did look into because I wanted to know if my lifestyle was going to help or hurt my kids before having them.
I didn’t want to get years into it, for example, and then start noticing symptoms of a problem that I created and that I. Easily not created if I would’ve just informed myself. So to quickly answer the question, having kids has not changed my approach to diet at all. However, I am very aware of the signals that I am sending to my kids.
So, for example, I want my kids to see me. Eating healthy foods, eating nutritious foods, because I know that kids learn by observing other people, and particularly by observing the people closest to them. And research shows that that is the case. Children do learn about food by observing the eating behaviors modeled by their family.
And their friends. So if you set a good example, if you model good, you represent, you embody good eating habits around your kids, that is a good way to encourage them to do the same thing. And anecdotally, it has worked well. My kids will eat a variety of foods, including lean protein, vegetables, whole grains.
That said, they are still kids. They’re picky. They. Eat any type of lean protein or vegetable or fruit or whole grain, but we have found options that they will consistently eat, and it’s a pretty good variety. For example, for vegetables, they will eat peas, they will eat corn, they will eat cauliflower, they will eat.
Broccoli and green beans? No, not so much. That actually didn’t work very well, . So yeah, our go-tos are the ones that I just mentioned. As far as fruits go, they like bananas, they like strawberries, they like blueberries and they like apples. So we have plenty of those around. And my wife and I also eat them.
So again, our kids see us eating the same types of foods and that encourages them to keep eating those foods. And as far as whole grains go, they like oatmeal, they eat that basically every. And that is a fantastic whole grain. I eat oatmeal almost every day as well. No big surprise there, right? They saw me eating it first, and then they tried it, and then they liked it, and now it’s a thing.
They also will eat granola, which they like to put in high protein yogurt. And my favorite high protein yogurt is skier. It’s Icelandic yogurt. I prefer that. Over Greek yogurt, so that’s what we always have in the fridge is skier. And so my kids have come to like skier and they will sometimes just eat a little pot of it, which is about 16 grams of protein by itself.
Other times though, they like to have some granola in it, and the granola we get is made locally here in Virginia with very few ingredients and no added sugar. So it is a good whole. Source of whole grains. And then other good sources of protein my kids will eat are chicken nuggets or chicken tenders.
And we try to get the ones that are the least processed that are actual chicken breast meat with some breading over them, and little ground chicken patties my wife makes. Our kids will eat those with some ketchup, homemade hamburgers. Those as well as chicken hotdogs that we get from a brand, again, that is as real food and not hyper processed Franken food as a product like that can be.
Specifically, we get the Apple Gate organics, uncured chicken hotdog, and that’s not something we give them every day, maybe every two or three days on average, and otherwise we stick to the other options mentioned. And because they’re kids and they don’t weigh very much, our son is eight and our daughter is three.
They don’t have to eat that much protein. I mean, again, one pot of skier yogurt is 16 grams, and then one little chicken hamburger that might be another 25 grams, and that’s enough for a three-year-old. For example, our eight-year-old will get probably one more serving like that, and that is plenty for an eight-year-old.
now, just as our good habits can rub off on our kids, our bad habits can as well. Research shows that eating habits, like being overly fussy about food or lack of variety, particularly if you’re eating a lot of. Unhealthy foods can have a profound effect on kids when they’re young and can markedly influence their eating habits when they get older.
Of course, they can overcome that, but they may have to work to overcome that. Research shows that, for example, kids who are raised in that type of household can have a higher risk of. Obesity when they get older. Now, I have some good news for all you fit moms and dads out there. If you are currently prepping healthy food, maybe you are doing meal preps once or twice per week and it does involve some weighing and you are portioning your foods out, and maybe you are putting them in little Tupperwares and so forth.
That is not necessarily a bad thing. That does not need to be associated with dietary restriction. That can also be seen as eating and moderat. Which is an important habit that you want to instill in your kids, and that will mostly depend on how you explain it to your kids. Why are you doing that? If you were to say, for example, that you’re doing it because you have to watch your calories and your macros very closely because if you accidentally over.
Eat. You’re gonna get fatter and you really don’t want to get fatter because you have fitness goals you’re working toward, and that means that you have to weigh your food and count your calories, and track your macros, and prep your meals and so forth. Then yes, your whole meal planning and meal. Prepping routine is not going to help your kids develop a healthy relationship with food.
If though, on the other hand you were to say that you are doing all of that because it helps ensure that you eat enough of the right types of foods and that you don’t overeat. And don’t undereat, but eat enough just to nourish your body. And if you explain that that is not necessary, but it is just something that you.
Adult like to do because it works for you. That can create a positive environment and teach your kids some good takeaways to latch onto at a young age. For example, when my son has asked me why I’m weighing or measuring food, measuring out a cup of oatmeal, for example, as opposed to just throwing in a handful, I’ve just told him that that’s the amount of food that I like to eat.
Not so much that I am super full afterward, not so little that I’m still. And that made sense to him. And something else my wife and I have been conscious about is not talking about losing fat or gaining muscle around our kids and deflecting questions. My son in particular has had about muscles and physique, so he compares his body to my body and he asks, why do I have ab muscles?
And he doesn’t. And how does. Ab muscles and how does he get bigger muscles? And when he has asked these kinds of questions, I tell him one that, oh, this is something that happens when you get older. And two, I’m careful to not impose what I think he should do. I don’t say, here’s what we’re gonna do, son.
When you’re 12, you’re gonna get in the gym with me. You’re gonna start squatting, deadlifting, bench pressing, overhead, pressing, and then you’re gonna get huge. I just tell ’em if. When you’re older, you want to have bigger muscles, or if you want to have AB muscles, then you can get into working out. I could show you how to do that, but if you don’t want to do that, that’s totally fine as well.
And then my wife and I just encourage our kids to be active, to play outside. We limit screen time. We don’t allow them to watch any TV throughout the week, or if we do, it’s very rare. So TV watching is really Saturday. Sunday morning and sometimes in the evening and that’s it. During the week, there is no tv, there is no iPad, there is no smartphone, no screen time whatsoever.
And we encourage them to play sports with each other, with other kids in the neighborhood. Although since Covid there hasn’t been much of that. And before Covid, we put our son in a soccer league, for example, and it looks like that is starting back up, actually. So we will put him back into that and we will put our daughter.
Into the same thing. And ironically, given her personality, she may be more suited to sports than her son who is competitive, but also kind of a softer personality. I wouldn’t be surprised if he grew up to be a chef or an artist, for example. Whereas Romi is a Tasmanian devil. I would not be surprised if she grew up to be a rugby player or even like a Cage fighter.
But anyway, getting back on track here, what I just shared with you regarding meal planning and meal prepping, being a potentially positive thing is found in the scientific literature as well. For example, one study that was conducted by scientists at the University of Minnesota Medical School found that engaging in health.
Full behaviors as a family. So involving the family in the meal prepping and in the exercise in the workouts actually increased motivation among family members to eat well and to exercise regularly. It also helped build relationships between the family members. It encouraged them to be active together and it increased the likelihood that they shared meals together, which of course enhances the family dynamic.
Now something else related to kids and diet that is important and is something that my wife and I, again have been very conscious of is you don’t want to extend your eating habits to your kids if they are particularly restrictive. So for example, if you heavily restrict sugar in your own diet and you try to do the same thing for your kids, research shows that it is likely going.
Backfire. For example, studies have found that when kids are given the opportunity to eat the forbidden food, so when I was growing up, my mom used to severely restrict my sugar intake. I don’t even know why. But what I would do, of course, is go to my friend’s house and eat a bunch of candy, and that’s one of those things that we don’t need science to tell us happens because we probably have all either done it or seen it firsthand.
But research does show that. Consistent. These studies have also found that under those conditions, kids will often have difficulty controlling the amount of the naughty foods that they eat, and they’ll have difficulty controlling how often they overeat them, and they will overeat even if they’re not hungry, or they’ll eat the foods even if they’re not hungry.
Likewise, putting pressure on your kids to follow a very specific diet that maybe you, yourself. The carnivore diet or the keto diet, or paleo diet, or just low carb dieting, for example, that too can be self-defeating. For instance, studies have reported that higher levels of parental control and pressure to eat certain foods can be associated with lower fruit and vegetable intakes and higher intakes of dietary fat.
So if you are following a highly restric. Diet First, I would question as to why, and I would introduce you to flexible dieting where you can eat all the foods that you like to eat just in moderation. So you’re gonna eat a lot of nutritious foods, and then you’re also gonna be able to eat some non-nutritious foods consistently in that.
Can mean sugar or whatever your thing is. And if you have not tried flexible dieting before, chances are you are going to enjoy it a lot more than restrictive dieting. And it’s gonna help you reach your fitness goals faster and help you maintain your ideal body composition and your ideal health for longer.
And it’s gonna set a good example for your kids and it’s gonna allow them too, to get used to eating a lot of nutritious foods as well as. Treats, and again, anecdotally how this has played out with my kids is most of their calories come from the nutritious foods I’ve already told you about, and sometimes they want some sugar and there aren’t many options for that in the Matthews household.
But there are a few things. We have some chocolate and we have some ice cream, and we have some ice cream bars and sometimes we get them. Ice cream sandwiches, and if they want something, then we let them have it. And I would say on average it’s probably three times per week that they even want to have some sugar.
And other times they just don’t even ask for it. They don’t even think of it. And as far as how much we let them have and is sitting, I mean, they’re kids, they have little bodies. They can’t eat that much of anything in one sitting, but it’s maybe 150 to 200 calories or so of whatever it is they want to eat.
And. Is more or less all they want usually. Even if they could have more, they wouldn’t. It’s also worth mentioning that we have a little ritual where I make us pancakes every Saturday and Sunday morning, so that’s their breakfast. On the weekends not nutritious, and usually on Friday or Saturday evenings, I like to make a pasta of some kind.
These days it has been a bolognese pasta. That is not as nutritionally bankrupt as pancakes, which is not terrible. I mean, you have highly processed pancake flour. Of course, you can’t count that as whole grains, so it does fall into the minority of calories going to nutritious things approach. It is not the 80% of your calories, your nutritious foods.
and there are a couple of eggs that I put in there and some whole milk. So again, it’s okay, but it’s not something that I would eat every day. It’s not something I would feed my kids every day. And I would say the pasta is similar. So the pasta itself is not a whole grain. It’s kind of a quote unquote junk carb, and that’s totally fine.
You can eat. Pasta, but I myself would not eat a bunch of pasta every day. I would not replace my oatmeal with pasta, for example, or any other whole grain with pasta, even if it is whole wheat pasta and the sauce is pretty homemade. I’ve done it many different ways, and what I like the most is about 24 ounces of something that is.
Pre-made like rouse marinara, as well as about 24 to 28 ounces of crushed tomato, and then some vegetables go in there, some onions, some garlic, some carrot, some mushrooms, and then meat goes in there. So again, there is nutrition there. But it is not the same as having a big bowl of vegetables or a big salad.
And of course the protein in there is fine because that is gonna be 80 20 or 90 10 ground beef. Exactly what I would make a hamburger with. And so my point with saying all that is my kids also get to look forward to those meals. They enjoy those meals. Particularly the pancakes more so than the pasta, but they like the pasta too.
And so what all of this has produced in my household is a very relaxed approach to food. There aren’t many discussions about what to eat and why. Of course, kids are gonna ask questions and we’ve answered those questions along the way, but now we just have a pretty established routine. There are. Clear boundaries.
Like for example, we just don’t have much junk food in the house to begin with, so my kids have just gotten used to eating more nutritious stuff, even bread, for example. My wife doesn’t like most bread. She likes Ezekiel bread, which is less processed and more nutritious than your. Average bread, but at the same time, our kids do see us eating some chocolate.
That’s what I’ll eat usually every day. I’ll have 50 to maybe a hundred calories of chocolate. My wife sometimes will eat the chocolate off of these chocolate ice cream bars. Drives me crazy. I don’t say anything anymore. Eats the chocolate off of the ice cream bar and then puts the ice cream part of it back in the package so our kids can eat the ice cream.
with no chocolate. And so what our kids have learned by observing us and by asking questions is that sugar is totally fine to have. You just don’t want to have too much because that’s not good for your body. That is unhealthy. But if you eat a lot of these other foods that are healthy and good for your body, you can certainly enjoy a little bit of sugar whenever you.
And if you don’t want to have sugar, you don’t have to. Now, when my kids get a bit older and they can understand things like calories and body composition and how the nutritiousness of your diet relates to the amount of calories you eat and relates to body fatness and so forth, I will explain those things again in a way that is not going to create fear or anxiety, but is just.
Educate them on how their body works on the simple cause and effect relationships between the foods that we eat and what we see in the mirror and how we feel. And I suspect that it’s gonna go over well because by then they’re gonna have many years of healthy eating under their belts and they’re going to have developed a healthy relat.
With food and hopefully a healthy body image as well, an appropriate body image based on reality and realistic expectations and not what they are probably going to be seeing on social media. That is unlikely to change. For years now, I’ve been hearing from younger people, teenagers in particular, who were comparing their body to the body of a 25 year old on Instagram, and in the case of men, a 25 year old.
Probably on steroids and wondering, asking me how do they look like that? How do they get to that as quickly as possible? And that’s why I have produced content specifically for teenagers. I’ve written an article that explains what teenagers should be focusing on with their diet and with their training.
And the long story short is save the neurotic stuff for. When your body’s developing, focus on health. Focus on being active. Focus on developing these positive eating habits and a healthy relationship with food. And learn how to eat a wide variety of foods and to eat flexibly. Don’t follow restrictive diets.
Don’t restrict your calories unless you have a lot of fat to lose, and it would be healthier if you were to have a lower body fat. But if you are at a normal body fat level, I do not recommend guys trying to get shredded abs. Or I should probably say boys, right? Trying to get shredded abs like when they’re 15, 16, 17.
Save that for later. Okay, let’s get to the third and final question. What are my thoughts on Kram? Now, in case you don’t know what Kram is, this is generally. Referring to the dried leaves of the Mitra Regina Speciosa plant, which grows in many countries in Southeast Asia, and it can be consumed in a number of different ways.
You can drink it as a tea by steeping the leaves in hot water. You can eat it as a powder, which of course is made from dried and crushed leaves. You can swallow it. You know pills of it, which contain powder. You can swallow a liquid extract, which contains concentrated amounts of these psychoactive chemicals in it.
You can chew the leaves, you can chew kraim gum, you can smoke the leaves. There are a lot of people out there who are into this, and the reason they’re into it is kraim leaves contain a number of compounds that can have mind altering effects, psychotropic effects, and at low doses, these compounds can cause mild stimula.
Effects similar to caffeine. Many users, for example, report feeling more alert and more sociable and more energetic when they’re under the influence of kra. And then at higher doses the effects are different, more similar to opioids like euphoria, relaxation, sedation and pain relief. And the number one reason a lot of people have been talking about kram over the last year or so, at least that I’ve seen is many people believe that it can help people stop.
Opioid drugs, serious drugs, heroin, morphine, Oxycontin, and so forth, and a fair amount of anecdotal evidence suggesting this has accumulated, and that’s why scientists are pushing now for more research into how Kraim may be able to help combat opioid addiction. . Now, that is not why your average everyday person uses cram.
Of course, your average everyday person is not an opioid addict. They just wanna feel better. Some people say it helps them reduce pain as well by other conditions like arthritis and Lyme disease. And some people say it helps reduce their symptoms of anxiety and depression. I keep in mind there’s no research to back any of that up.
These are people on the internet just talking and some companies that sell Kraim and kra. Products, make outlandish claims about what it can do. Some say, for example, can cure cancer and it can cure all these other maladies, no evidence, and the FDA has started going after many of these companies. You have to also keep in mind that when people are turning to any substance to help with a health condition or to reduce pain, the placebo.
Is going to be a factor, meaning that if somebody has a problem and then they use Kraim and it helps with the problem, it may not be because Kraim meaningfully impacted their physiology in any way. It may just be the. Placebo effect. Also keep in mind in that case, people are going to be more likely to downplay any negative side effects as well.
Another reason why Kram is popular with some people is they’re under the mistaken belief that because it is quote unquote natural, it is just inherently safer than. Manmade drugs, and that is not the case. There are plenty of poisonous and harmful plants and other substances out there, hemlock, arsenic, cyanide, and in some cases, quote unquote, natural medicines can actually pose larger health risks than synthetic drugs that have undergone a lot of scientific testing.
Something else to keep in mind is just because someone, maybe even you are not noticing any immediate. Side effects of kraim. We really don’t know how it’s going to affect people long-term because there are no controlled long-term studies on it. And while the FDA’s claims about the dangers of kraim may be slightly overblown, there is definitely grounds for concern.
For example, research conducted by scientists at Northeast Ohio Medical University analyzed over 1800 kram related reports from poison control centers across the us Between the years. 2011 and 2017. And what they found is that in cases where Kraim was the primary drug people consumed, 32% of them wound up in the hospital and 52% were treated for some kind of serious medical problem.
They also found that 11 people died after consuming kram. Now, as you would expect in most of those deaths, nine of them to be specific, the people were consuming cra. Other drugs, alcohol, caffeine, cocaine, benzos, fentanyl, antihistamines. But two people died after only consuming kra. The scientists also found that among people who only consumed kraim and didn’t die, 86% still experienced some kind of negative clinical outcome, like elevated heart rate or agitation, and so, Another study worth mentioning was conducted by scientists at V C U Medical Center, and in this case, they looked at the symptoms of 15 people who were admitted to poison control centers after consuming kram.
And what they found is that these people suffered from impaired cognition, agitation, seizures, and rapid and irregular. Heart rate. Now, if you are thinking selection bias, I understand these statistics don’t tell the whole story because almost everyone who calls a poison control center is suffering from some kind of negative symptom, right?
So if you only looked at that data, it would’ve. Peer that, oh, almost everyone who takes kraim gets really messed up. And of course, that is not the story that these studies tell. The studies also involved small sample sizes, just under 2000 reports of people who have taken the drug. And it’s possible that the majority of the people who use Kraim experience mild or no negative side effects, is just not reflected in the.
So I don’t wanna put too fine of a point on the dangers of kra, but based on the evidence we have and based on the lack of evidence and lack of knowledge that we have about dosing, for example, and based on the fact that many, many people in Southeast Asia are addicted to this stuff, it probably should not be considered safe until we.
A lot more about how it affects us. Alright, well that brings us to the end of today’s episode. I hope you liked it. Thanks again for joining me today and next week. I have more goodies. I have a monologue on massage guns, something that I’ve been. Asked a lot about recently, so I finally got around to producing some content on it, as well as an interview with the X N F L player and fellow podcaster, John Wellborn, on his favorite functional exercises for more stability and power.
And another round of the book club is going up this time, extreme ownership. My key takeaways from that book as well as a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, message from yours, un. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or.
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I read everything myself and I’m always looking for constructive feedback. Even if it is criticism, I’m open to it. And of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email.
That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at muscle life.com. And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you.