When I lived in Santa Cruz in California, it didn’t take long before I learned a lot about surfing. I even had classmates who choose their class schedule depending on when the best surf was. Imagine that! Living in flip-flops and with all this surf talk around me, I soon heard about Laird Hamilton, the most accomplished big wave surfer in the world. Even though I am not surfer (just being on a surf board does not a surfer make!) I have always been amazed at all his accomplishments and the way he has chosen to live his life.
The Ready State with Kelly and Julie Starrett is a great podcast to follow. They recently posted an episode with Laird that I just listened to last week. Since he is someone I respect a great deal and as he was also a part of last weeks blog, it seemed like a good idea to share this episode with you guys. Here it is on I-tunes.
Part from being one of the most iconic and innovative surfers in the world, Laird has had to overcome a lot of treacherous injuries. He has had over 1000 stitches and countless broken bones. The Reef is no gentle place to be crashing into when you fall off the surf board. Having a jet ski crashing into you is also not in your favor…ever.
Through his injuries he has learned to be smart in order to come back strong in the shortest amount of time. Nutrition and movement is certainly two of the keys to that, but they talk about a lot of other topics as well.
This podcast focuses on his way of dealing with injuries and what you can do to prepare your body to be resilient and performing at your highest level. If you haven’t heard of Laird before, check out the video below to get an idea of who he is.
Last week we talked about the good effects on sleep by taking a cold shower or an ice-bath before bed. Let’s take a deep dive into the science behind cold therapy. Below are some of the main points discussed in the podcast with Joe Rogan and Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
Cold therapy inhibits an enzyme (collagenase) that breaks down collagen. You need collagen in all of your body, but especially in your joints. When there is a dis-balance in the body, with too much of this enzyme around, too much collagen gets broken down. This causes a lot of pain in your joints, especially noticeable in your hands in arthritis. Because cold therapy helps inhibiting this enzyme, people who have arthritis find this a great help.
TNF-alpha is a signalling molecule that alerts the immune cells in your body to deal with a threat (like a bacteria). However, in arthritis this molecule has gone crazy and keeps screaming “red alert, red alert – there is an infection, fix it now!!!” all the time. The immune cells do not know what kind of threat that they are responding too. They only know that when TNF-alpha says attack, “they shall attack”, whether there is areal threat or not. This creates a situation of chronic inflammation in the body.
What is so cool about cold-therapy is that it inhibits the activity of TNF-alpha. That means that there will be a less amount of inflammation in the body. This has been shown clinically in blood tests by measuring inflammation markers with cold exposure.
Glutathion is a strong antioxidant that can help the body to heal. Just taking the glutathion in a supplement form may not be as beneficial as you think though. Why is that? Imagine you have some damage to a brick wall in your house and you want to fix it. You order a whole bunch of bricks that gets delivered to your house. However, if you do not have a special worker, a brick layer, that will come and rebuild your wall, all you have is a bunch of extra bricks laying on the floor. In terms of glutathion, that is what the bricks are. The brick layer is a special enzyme that you need in order to use the bricks and rebuild your wall. Cold therapy activates this enzyme!
You produce a lot more norepinephrine (noradrenaline) when you immerse yourself in the cold, and this is something that all the scientist do agree on. Norepinephrine makes you feel good, it can help your brain to stay sharp and learn more easily and it is also a strong anti-inflammatory.
Using cold immersion also activates your body to make more mitochondria (the energy producing structure inside your cells), which means that you will be able to burn more fat. A side effect of cold immersion that a lot of people like.
Listen to the excellent talk for all the details in this video clip.
Dr. Andy Galpin has a lot of knowledge in this field, and below is a short video where they talk about the effects of cold therapy. Depending on what kind of adaptation you are going for you may want to take your ice bath at different times during the day. Most people with knowledge in this field seems to agree that if you want to build muscle mass, you want to wait an hour after a strength training session before taking an ice bath.
Laird Hamilton is an amazing athlete and an absolute icon in the surf and water world. He has battled a lot of different injuries through his career, and working with cold therapy is something that has helped him a lot. He and his wife Gabby Reece also uses ice bath and sauna as a way to make the body adapt to stress. This can be a great way to add “training” without actually having to go to the gym. You can read more about the benefits of going to the sauna here and here.
If you are close to the ocean, jump in! It’s the best form of cold therapy that there is. Have a splashing weekend! 😉
We are still lucky enough to be in the season where we have fresh asparagus. I really like this vegetable! Not only does it make any dish a little extra fancy, but it also packs an amazing punch nutrient wise. Asparagus is also very easy to prepare, so what’s not to like?!
Cut off about 1 cm (1/2" for my metrically challenged friends) when you get home from shopping. Put the Asparagus in water, just as if they were flowers. No matter what shape they were in when you bought them, they will recover really well, and they will also last longer.
This way you could cook them a few days after buying them, and they will just be as fresh as if you had just gotten them that day.
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) have great nutritional value and especially contains a lot of Vitamin K. For these reasons it is often recommended in Detox programs. As with most vegetables, it is also high in fiber which helps with good digestion.
One of the ways I like to eat Asparagus is like this: Slice them up in fine pieces, throw them in a medium to hot pan with a bit of apple cider vinegar, together with some onion and mushrooms. Cover with a lid until the right tenderness is achieved. Add a bit of olive oil, some fresh ground pepper and you’re done!
Recently a couple of my friends have been needing surgery. One had torn ligaments in her knee, another one had a damaged disc in the lower back, and the third one crashed on his bike and broke his collarbone. This brought upon a discussion of “can you do anything to make things easier before and after having surgery?” Well, YES!
Anytime you need surgery, whether you are having a smaller problem dealt with, like dental surgery, or something larger like a knee replacement, preparing the body for what is about to come will have a huge impact on your recovery.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
No matter how good the surgeon is, having surgery will always be a very traumatic and unnatural event for the body. This is not the time to slack off, lying on the couch all day, feeling sorry for oneself and eating crappy food. Think of this as your mini Olympics. The stronger and better prepared you are for the event, the better you will do.
MobilityWOD has done a really cool and easy to follow infographic on the subject. I strongly suggest you check it out, and also, why not share it with your friends. You never know when you might need it.
Of course, you never plan to have an accident. Especially not one that requires surgery. In this case you probably will not have any time to prepare for the surgery. However, you can still do the most with your rehab, post surgery. MobilityWOD has another great infographic for that as well. You can check it out here.
Another thing to keep in mind (see what I did there) that is very powerful, is using visualization or meditation. Do not underestimate the power of your mind. Think about what you want to happen, and visualize a great result. Do this preferably in short increments during many times of the day, to set the stage for the outcome that you want. If you are not familiar with any of these techniques, I think the app Headspace is a great way to start. You can read more about it here.
I hope you will not need any of these strategies, but that you will find them useful in case you ever do.
Take care of yourselves, and have a great weekend! 😉
A couple of moths ago I was asked to be a guest host on the Swedish Podcast“Cykelpratarna”, roughly translated to “The bike talkers”. Cykelpratarna is made by Anders Adamson and Tomas Jennebo, and it has been really fun to work with them and creating this podcast. I also have a new found respect for all the great podcasters out there. It is definitely not as easy as it sounds!
For those of you who know me a little bit better you know that my life has been multi faceted to say the least. I have lived in many different countries and I have had many different “lives” from Scuba Diving Instructor in Bali, to working in a private bank to working as I do now. In one of my other “lives” it was all about cycling. First on my own competing, and then working for some of the best pro teams in the World.
This Podcast focuses on my background in cycling, but I talk about other things as well, and what I am up to at the moment. So, you do not need to be a cycling expert to be able to tag along. If you want to find out more about me, and listen to some of my favorite songs, then you can either stream the podcast here, or just download it below. At the moment it is only available in Swedish, however if you are interested in getting an English version, send me an email titled “podcast in English” and we’ll take it from there.
I have also attached some pictures from back in the days. Some of them are mentioned in the podcast with an accompanying story of course.
The famous BUTTON in Fabian’s white shirt! Here we are celebrating Fabian Cancellara’s win of Paris-Roubaix with the Team, which Marcus Ljungqvist was also a part of. Fun times!
Competing on cobbles somewhere in Belgium 2003.
Always a laugh with these two! Sport director Tristan Hoffman, and rider Kurt Asle-Arvesen. A usual afternoon for me, working on the Team.
The famous Survival camp with the Team. Here I am getting on a sail boat in the middle of the night during winter in Denmark. It was the start of three long, cold, wet days with hardly any sleep or food, and lots of hard work. A very interesting experience!
Just another day at work, here during the Giro d’Italia with Bjarne Riis. Below at the World Championships in Madrid.
Spring training camp in Italy, here with Aussie rider Luke Roberts.
Working on the WTA Pro Tour Tennis circuit and at the WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Finally all of the matches have finished for the “day” at 11pm, and we can go for dinner!
With Chair Umpire Isabell during a WTA Tournament. Remember have fun and… never take yourself too seriously! 🙂 Until next time
Yes, you read that right! Tigersports is moving to the Netherlands, to Haarlem to be exact. It is a beautiful city located right between Amsterdam and the Atlantic Ocean. Haarlem is an excellent hub to be in for my current studies, future projects and co-labs. I am very excited about some new projects, and of course I will keep you posted via the blog with what I am up to.
Why move? The adventurer and nomad in me says, why not? Luxembourg is an excellent place to be, but it is time for some new input and learning. And for that, I feel a change of place is needed.
"The only thing constant in life is change"
A couple of dates to keep in mind. I will be away for a workshop in Nutritional Therapy in NYC again from the 17-24th of July. Last day of work in Luxembourg will be the 31st of July. August is a transitioning month, and I will be in Holland and Haarlem from September on.
I very much look forward to seeing all of my current clients in Luxembourg for a couple more weeks, and know that I would have loved to told each and one of you personally about the news if I could have.
Remember, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” -Seneca
Last week we talked about the importance of protecting your internal rain forest – the microbiome. Below you will find some more specific examples on how to do that. But, isn’t it enough if I just take some probiotic tablets? Doesn’t that take care of things?
Introducing more of the good bacteria into your system aka probiotics, can be a very beneficial thing. However, these probiotics have a very short life span, so it’s not enough just to take a capsule with probiotics. You want to make sure that they survive, and that they can multiply. How do you do that? Feed them the right food, aka prebiotics.
The following are some amazing prebiotics. Try to include as many of them as you can daily andweekly, as they help your good bacteria to live well and do their work. Tomatoes, Radishes, Leeks, Onions, Asparagus, Carrots, Garlic, Jerusalem artichoke
Remove, or avoid as much as possible the following, as they feed the bad bacteria and create an imbalance and inflammation in your gut.
–Processed and Packaged foods
–Hydrogenated and Trans fats (especially fried foods)
No matter what kind of health problem that you may be dealing with, chances are that your internal rain forest, the microbiome, is a major root cause. The microbes in our gut does not only help us with good digestion, they also have a very fast connection to our brain via the Vagus Nerve. This influences how we feel, happy or depressed.
1. the microorganisms in a particular environment (including the body or a part of the body).
“we depend on a vast army of microbes to stay alive: a microbiome that protects us against germs, breaks down food to release energy, and produces vitamins”
2. the combined genetic material of the microorganisms in a particular environment.
“understanding the microbiome—human, animal, and environmental—is as important as the human genome”
Serotonin, the feel good chemical in our body, is to 90% produced in our gut, not in our brain. Bad microbes can give us bad food cravings as they love sugar. These cravings are often so strong they are beyond your self control. No wonder the gut is also being called our second brain.
Unfortunately our own internal microbiome is collapsing more and more. This is due to more pollution around us and poor food choices that does not contain any healthy pro or pre biotics. The worst offenders to stay away from is any kind of hydrogenated oil, fried food, processed food and sugar. These all feed the bad bacteria in the gut and creates a very negative feedback loop.
Instead focus on whole foods, especially fermented foods and raw vegetables. These help to create a healthy microbiome or “rain forest”. Below is a very interesting talk about how the microbiome works and how it can influence us. I hope that you will find it interesting.
Homemade jam is really something delicious, but most people do not have the time to do it themselves. The jams and marmalade that you find in the stores are full of food coloring, aromas, and fillers. And we haven’t even mentioned the different types of sugars and sugar enhancers. Even the organic jams contains A LOT of sugar. That is not ideal when you are trying to minimize the amount of sugar intake in your diet. Never eating jam again doesn’t sound like fun, so what can we do?
Try making this super easy and delicious recipe, with no cooking necessary. It takes all about 5mins to prepare, and then you just have to let it sit in the fridge for about 15min to get to the right consistency. This is also a great way to get kids interested in healthy eating, with minimal effort. For this recipe I chose fresh blueberries, but you could use any berry, fresh or frozen.
Quantities: 250g blueberries 30g/ 3 TBLSP Chia seeds (whole or ground) about 25ml Water (roughly room temperature) A splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice (1tsp) A pinch of good quality sea-salt *Maybe 1 tsp of honey
Basic Method: Wash your berries in water, and let the water run off. I like to grind the chia seeds for a smoother texture, but you can use them whole just as well. Put the blueberries in a mixer, (I like to use a Vitamix) together with the water, lemon juice, and salt. Mix it up real well. Have a little taste, and decide if you need a bit of honey or not. Depending of the sweetness of your berries you might not need any. If you do want some honey, add it to the mixture and mix it in.
Now that you have the right taste, it’s time to add the chia seeds. You only need to blend them in for a few seconds, so that it’s well mixed.
Pour the mixture into a glass jar, put it in the fridge to firm up for about 15min, and that’s it! Your jam will keep for about a week in the fridge, but mine rarely lasts that long! Depending on how firm you like your jam, you can add more or less water, or more or less chia seeds. This recipe makes a firm jam.
If you do not have a mixer you can make it by hand, no problem. Just mash up the berries with a fork, and blend in the rest of the ingredients just like above. Your jam will have a bit more texture this way, but it will taste just as good.
Have fun mixing different berries, and keep up the jammin’ 😉
Last week we talked about different strategies for dealing with a similar problem. Depending on if the origin of the problem is external or internal, our strategy to improve should reflect that. So, lets take a closer look at two different people with “the same” shoulder pain.
Ben shows up at my practice complaining of pain in his right shoulder. It bothers him at work (he works in an office) and during sports. He has taken some painkillers that helps a little bit, but not completely. He also wakes up in the night sometimes because the shoulder bothers him. He does a few quick stretches at the gym, but not always.
Upon further examination it’s clear that all the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder are very tight. When I ask him further about his sports, it turns out that he has increased his workout routine lately, and in particular he is doing a lot more push-ups. I ask him to show me how he does a push-up, and it is clear that he is lacking the proper technique. He is not supporting his shoulders properly, and therefore putting an unnecessary burden on the rotator cuffs. For a while the rotator cuff muscles managed to compensate, but now they have reached a point of exhaustion – enter pain.
Ben’s homework included learning proper push-up technique. He was shocked to find out he had been doing it wrong for all these years. He also learned proper mobility work for the shoulder, working with a foam roller and lacrosse ball for 10-15 minutes a day. Being strong without being flexible, is a road to injury. With a few complimentary deep tissue massage session he was “as good as new” within a few weeks.
Roy shows up at my practice complaining of pain in his right shoulder. It bothers him at work (he works in an office) and during sports. He has taken some painkillers but it doesn’t seem to help. He wakes up in the night, because the shoulder and neck bothers him, often around 3am. Sometimes he does a few quick stretches at the gym.
Roy’s rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder are very tight. He has not changed his work out routine in the past few months. He has dark, puffy circles under his eyes. The area around the lower end of his right rib-cage is a bit tender to the touch, and there is a slight metallic smell to his skin. These are all signs of an over burdened liver. I check his push-up technique, and it is fine.
He tells me that he drinks about 1-1,5 L of water a day, which he thinks is good. Further questioning reveals that he has had a lot of extra events at work in the last few months, which includes “wining and dining”. As he feels very tired he drinks coffee throughout the day to keep himself going. Part from the “wining and dining” in the evening, he is quite rushed during the day and tends to eat quickly on the go, mostly carbs, like sandwiches and sweet stuff. All of these things have put a tremendous burden on his liver, which indirectly through shared nerve pathways sends pain into his shoulder.
Roy’s homework is to learn about proper hydration, diuretic beverages and basic liver function. He downloads the app to re-educate himself about how much and what he drinks, so that he can adjust accordingly. He was surprised to calculate that his baseline of drinking water is almost 3 Liter a day. He stops taking painkillers as they increase the burden on the liver. He reduces the intake of caffeine and alcohol, and notice that he starts sleeping a lot better.
He also learned proper mobility work for the shoulder, working with a foam roller and lacrosse ball for 10-15 minutes a day, to speed up the recovery. With a few complimentary deep tissue massage session he was “as good as new” within a few months.
I hope these two examples has given you some ideas and food for thought in terms of problem solving. Making a change takes time and effort, but what could be more important in the long run, than investing in your own health? 😉