Monthly Archives: December 2015

Dec 28

Lyme Disease Diet

Lyme Disease DietAbout 5 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and the Igenex testing I got back a few weeks ago confirmed it. Since then, I have been putting in countless hours researching Lyme and how to recover, including the proper diet, supplements, and the different options for antibiotic treatment. I have watched videos, been reading books, and the knowledge that I’ve gained has led me to make some permanent changes in my lifestyle, and that’s exactly what I’m going to address in this post. I’m going to spend a lot of time talking about the proper Lyme Disease diet and the supplements that I am taking in daily.

First, how am I doing? I’m on my 5th week of antibiotic treatment now and feel like I have made some progress. It’s not like a typical illness, though, where you take antibiotics and feel better after a few days. Rather, it’s a slow, steady progress that might take months on end in order to make a full recovery, if that is even possible. We don’t know yet. I’m not worried about that right now, though. I’m taking it one day at a time. Anyways, like I said, I’m a little better. The “good days” are slowly taking over the “bad days,” as Lyme patients call it, and my symptoms are getting less and less severe. The brain fog has pretty much dissipated, and the next stiffness, soreness, and sharp pain has improved quite a bit, but still flares up randomly. I still have bouts of dizziness, but it’s not nearly like it was a few months back. (If you’re curious, here’s all of my other Lyme Disease symptoms I’ve been dealing with for the past 8 months.) My memory has improved and so has my speech, along with concentration, which is a really good sign. There is nothing scarier than experiencing cognitive changes. It affected my ability to do conference calls and webinars, which are a normal occurrence as a Beachbody Coach, but recently I’ve been able to start them back up again, which again, is good news. In addition, my energy has improved drastically over the past month or so. For some time there I was so exhausted that I wanted to do nothing but sleep all day, but now I feel much better and have become a little more active. I can’t do too much yet, though, because I can easily over-do it. I found that out the hard way the other day, when I took my daughters to an indoor jumping park and participated some with them. Because of my inactivity and need for rest as my body recovers, the toxins are just sitting in my lymph system, and any type of vigorous activity can cause them to move about my system, causing flare-ups in my symptoms.

My doctor, a Lyme Disease specialist, has been incredible helpful, giving me multiple treatment options and responding to my thousand questions in a very timely manner. I’ve decided on the antibiotic route because I feel it’s what I need for my current condition, and I’m confident enough to maintain a proper diet to combat all of the negative side effects of prolonged antibiotic use. Speaking of which, I feel that there are two parts of recovery and too many patients only focus on one. The one, the antibiotic side of things, is great, but if you don’t take care of what you’re putting into your body at the same time, recovery can be non-existent. What’s the point of eliminating toxins if you’re going to put them right back in? So I’ve taken personal responsibility on researching and learning different nutritional strategies to improve gut function and immune response, and I’m going to go into pretty good detail about that below.

Proper Lyme Disease Diet

Being a Beachbody Coach, I already lead a healthy lifestyle and have gained a lot of valuable knowledge on nutrition over the past 8 years. Before I started P90X, though, I ate about as bad as anyone in the country. Luckily, though, the changes I’ve made have made it a fairly smooth transition to a proper Lyme Disease diet. Like I said above, without a proper nutrition plan, recovery can be extremely slow or stop all together. What you consume has a massive effect on your body’s natural ability to heal itself. I’ve understood this and have taken it into my own hands on figuring out what is good and what isn’t good for me to eat, and I’ve had to make quite a few changes. I’ve learned most of the information below from the book called “The Lyme Diet” and the site Lyme Less Live More.

Carbohydrates

I’m a muscular guy. Before my Lyme diagnosis, I was focusing on bulking up by eating a ton of calories and following a vigorous workout routine called Body Beast. I was consuming an insane amount of carbohydrates and protein, both important for muscle development. The diets that are required to bulk up and heal from Lyme Disease, though, are practically polar opposite. For one, I have to control my macros. Let’s start with the carbohydrates. Because I’m taking so many antibiotics, it’s very common for Lyme Disease patients to develop yeast overgrowth, also known as Candida overgrowth. This happens because the antibiotics destroy both the good and the bad bacteria in the gut, which allows yeast to thrive. This is why it’s absolutely essential for Lyme patients on antibiotic treatment to take in probiotics daily. Personally, I’m taking 3 live 85 billion R.A.WProbiotics Men’s probiotics (the kind you put in the fridge) or the one I have in the picture each day, about 2 hours before or after I take my antibiotics. Anyways, Candida and the lyme spirochete itself feeds on sugar, whether it’s natural sugar found in fruits or the processed crap you find in most foods, so you have to limit the amount of sugar you consume daily. Obviously you want to completely stay away from any carbohydrates with processed sugar, which is terrible for you anyways, but you also want to limit the amount of fruit you consume as well. I’ve been sticking with 2-3 servings of fruit per day. In addition, you want to make sure the fruit you eat is low on the glycemic index. Strawberries, blueberries, avocado, lemon, blackberries, raspberries, lime, and grapefruit are all on the low end of the spectrum. Fruits like bananas, though, are high glycemic. I’ve been eating all of the good ones I mentioned above, but also get a few (I’ve been using it twice per day because of how nutritious it is) of my fruit servings from my vegan Shakeology, a nutritional supplement I’ve been taking for the past 6 years or so.

While I’m on the topic of carbohydrates, Lyme patients need to avoid gluten. Really, everyone should avoid gluten. Gluten causes inflammation, and us Lyme people don’t need any more inflammation. Foods that include gluten are breads, pastas, oats, and beer. That last one is a tough one for me as I love my beer, but I have been alcohol free since starting this treatment, and I plan on continuing that path until I’m healed. I’ve dealt with this crap long enough, I’m not going to sabotage my progress just for one night of fun. And if you are going to have pasta, I recommend brown rice or quinoa pasta, which is gluten free and much healthier for you anyways. Personally, I think they taste much better than regular pasta. With the pasta, you want to make sure you get an organic pasta sauce that doesn’t have any added sugar. Be careful, though, because even the ones that claim to be healthy sneak in the sugar. When it all comes down to it, though, you should be limiting the amount of carbs you’re consuming anyways. Most of your food should come from vegetables and protein sources.

Foods that are high in fiber are also essential in your diet. This is important for proper bowel movement and detoxification. And if you keep track, you should be having 2-3 movements per day. If you’re not, you’re probably backed up, meaning you have waste just sitting in your system, which could even be leaking into your body through something called a “leaky gut.” Obviously you don’t want that happening as you’re attempting to rid your body of these pesky little bugs and the toxins they release. If that does happen, high fiber foods will help, but maybe consider a colonics treatment or purchase an enema kit to help out. Anyways, foods that are high in fiber, like pretty much all vegetables, should be prevalent in a Lyme Disease diet anyways. In fact, the majority of your food each day should be vegetables. And oh man, I should have mentioned this earlier, but ALL of your food needs to be certified organic! Non organic food contains pesticides, antibiotics, and GMO’s, all which are not good for you, especially as you’re trying to rid yourself of toxins.

Protein

What about protein? This is interesting because I was right on the verge of switching to an all vegan diet, but after research decided against it because of the benefits of animal protein on immune and gut function. For my protein sources, I’ve been eating organic eggs, organic farm raised chicken, walnuts, almond butter, quinoa, flax seeds, brown rice, and black beans. I’m sure there are other foods I can add to that, but that’s what I’ve been sticking with for the time being. To increase my protein intake, I’ve also been using vegan Shakeology, like I mentioned above, but Sunwarrior Vegan Protein as well. The Sunwarrior brand is one of the highest quality brands out there for vegan protein. In the book I’m reading, some fish is OK to eat as well. However, I’m not a huge fan of fish. If you are going to eat any fish, it’s extremely important to make sure it’s wild caught and not farm raised. Salmon is probably the best fish you can eat.

Fats

I have to adress fats as well. Healthy fat is essential in your diet and battles inflammation. Healthy Fat Lyme DiseaseBut just like everything else, there are good fats and bad fats. Bad fats include hydrogenated oils, or the crap you find in fried and processed foods, and you want to make sure you stay away from them completely. Good fats include avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, flax seeds, fish, and flax oil. Normally, my fat intake consists of about 2-3 servings of healthy fat per day, but I have increased that slightly because of how much the omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids can help with my symptoms. In my Shakeology every day, I’ve been adding a tablespoon of flax seeds, along with a tablespoon of flax oil. I have another Shakeology snack later in the evening, where I add almond butter and coconut oil. I am also taking an Omega 3 supplement every day.

Drinks

I want to move to the drinks that I can and can’t have. First of all, I have eliminated all caffeine, including coffee, which was tough to do at first, but now it’s not so bad. I went through some withdrawal symptoms initially because of drinking so much coffee and taking pre-workout supplements, but that went away after a few weeks. I’ve stayed away from all pop, which is just a bunch of toxic crap anyways, and have been drinking a ton of water. Right now I’m drinking distilled water with a pinch of pink Himalayan salt, but am going to be making the shift soon to highly filtered water. If you didn’t know, distilled water is stripped of all minerals, and adding the Himalayan salt, which is high in minerals, adds back in the minerals I need. In addition, I have just purchased some organic teas (kombucha and Pau d’Arco) and I like to drink almond milk on a daily basis as well. I don’t drink regular milk because it’s a dairy product, and Lyme patients are supposed to eliminate all dairy anyways because it causes inflammation similar to that of gluten. Again, we don’t need any more inflammation! With my tea, I squeeze a half or full lemon into it every day because of the detoxification effects of lemon juice.

Additional Lyme Disease Supplements

Along with the supplements that I listed above, there are others I’m taking daily as well, and I’m going to list them below. Im addition to these, I’m about to start taking digestive enzymes as well.

Lyme Disease Supplements

  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Raw Zinc
  • Multi-Vitamin
  • IgG Protect
  • Glutamine
  • Raw Aloe Vera Juice

Now you know the Lyme Disease diet that I’ve been sticking with to go along with my treatment. If you have any questions, you can follow and message me on Facebook, or email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. In the next blog post, I’m going to talk about the different detoxification methods I’ve been using, so keep a look out for that. Detoxing is just as important as the antibiotics and nutrition for recovery.

*I am not a certified doctor. Before doing anything, you need to speak to your doctor. In this post, I am sharing the things that I have learned through much research and what has worked for me. 

Dec 15

Dealing With Lyme Disease

Dealing With Lyme Disease Seven months ago my world was turned upside down. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I went from being extremely healthy to extremely sick. What was happening to me? I went from doctor to doctor, and nobody really had an explanation as to why I was feeling they way I was. In fact, quite a few of the doctors I visited thought I was nuts. I knew I wasn’t, though, and kept telling everyone that I can feel that there is something wrong with my body. I just don’t feel like myself, and knew that I was battling something serious. $10,000 later (yes, you read that correctly) I took matters into my own hands and began doing a ton of research, only to find that all of my symptoms pointed to Lyme Disease. I sought out a Lyme Disease Specialist, took the proper test, and just heard back this morning that I do in fact have Lyme. So now I’m dealing with Lyme Disease.

How did I get Lyme Disease? That is the ultimate question because I have absolutely no idea. I do have a theory, though. I grew up in the country side and remember being bitten by ticks a few times. I believe that Lyme has remained suppressed within my system for years, but because my immune system has been so strong it’s never had the opportunity to pop it’s head out. That changed after I visited Mexico and picked up parasites. I believe the parasites wreaked havoc on my immune system, letting the Lyme Disease come out to play. Again, that’s a theory. It might have been that I was bitten by some other bug, or even got bitten by a tick recently without knowing it. Whatever the case, I don’t remember any type of bullseye rash that is pretty common with Lyme infections. Regardless, here I am, writing this blog, dealing with this awful disease that has tormented so many people.

What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease? Here are all of them that I’ve dealt with for the past 7 months, and they come and go in cycles.

  • Extreme brain fog
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Neck aches and stiffness
  • Joint pain
  • Memory issues
  • Headaches
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Stomach issues
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Breathing issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Ringing in the ears

I’ve come to discover that working out brings out all of the symptoms full force. It’s a Josh Spencer Beachbody Coachtough thing to swallow for a Fitness Coach. Working out is my life, it’s my career, and I will have to change some things in my lifestyle to cater to this disease. However, it’s not going to stop me from living or helping others. I made that choice about a month ago before I had no idea what was going on. When I thought about it, I have two choices. I can sit here and let this disease cripple me and let it control my entire life, leading to possibly depression, or I can choose to accept it, deal with it, and adjust my life accordingly, still remembering all of the great things in my life. I have a wonderful wife, two amazing daughters, and a little one on the way. I also love my career as a Beachbody Coach, love helping others and giving back, love the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization that I support, love my friends, and am blessed to be in an incredible financial situation because of my business. Life is good! No disease will knock me down, I won’t let it. Whenever anything negative pops into my head, I replace it with a positive thought, and I have learned how to do so through years of personal development. “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz is the book that I started with, and it’s the book that I’m currently reading as well. I’m alive and have an incredible life, and for that I am truly thankful and will never take for granted.

How I’m Dealing With Lyme Disease

So how am I dealing with Lyme disease on the treatment side of things? Luckily, a month or so ago I found a Lyme Specialist (LLMD) and he diagnosed me with Lyme before even taking the Igenex test, so I started antibiotic treatment right away and have been doing so for the past 4 weeks. In addition to that, after much research, I have made the decision to switch to a vegan lifestyle to help with the healing process. From everything I have learned,  that seems to be the most effective. It’s important to eliminate gluten (breads, pasta), meat, lower the sugar intake, and stick with raw vegetables and fruits. I just ordered a book called “The Lyme Diet” and will be reading through that soon. I’m willing to do whatever I can to get better. I’m also thinking about going through one of the best cleanses I’ve found called the Ultimate Reset. Keep following my blog, as I will update it as I go through this treatment process. And in case you were wondering how I’ve been feeling since starting the antibiotics, I’m feeling better. The mental clarity as come back for the most part, but I’m still having a lot of neck issues and have been having trouble sleeping. If I’m comparing how I’m feeling now to how I was feeling 2 months ago, though, it’s night and day.

If you are dealing with Lyme Disease or what you think is Lyme, be sure to (1) Find a good LLMD, and (2) Get the Igenex testing done. Most normal testing for Lyme Disease is incredibly inaccurate. I had 2 tests done and they both came back negative for Lyme. The Igenex test is the best one that I have found. Hopefully your case is a little different, but my normal doctors were completely clueless as I stated above. Don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s in your head or that you’re crazy! If you feel that something is wrong with you, don’t give up and keep searching for someone who WILL HELP YOU! Trust me, I know how frustrating it can be, and sometimes you will even question your sanity, but there is someone out there who can help. This is a battle you can win. I’m on my journey to recovery and will remain as positive as I can throughout this whole thing. If you have any questions or want to connect with me, just “follow” me on Facebook.

Dec 02

How to Stay Organized as a Beachbody Coach

Josh Spencer BeachbodyI’ve been around in the Beachbody Business a long time, going on 8 years to be exact, and I’ve been fortunate enough to create a very large and successful organization. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, everyone who owns their own business goes through it, but there was one moment where I was stuck and couldn’t progress beyond 3 Star Diamond. For the life of me I couldn’t figure it out, but then I sat down with one of my mentors, who proceeded to tell me that my problem lied in my lack of organization and structure. I was all over the place, doing all of my tasks when they popped into my head, and answering emails, messages, and phone calls all at the same time. As a leader by example, if I’m not organized then neither are my Coaches. I knew I needed to change, and that I did, and with what I’m about to share with you I was able to go from 3 Star to 14 Star Diamond in a little over a year. Here are my tips on how to stay organized as a Beachbody Coach.

Beachbody Coach Organization Tips

(1) Schedule your entire day. Go out and purchase a planner and different colored highlighters and break down your entire day into tasks. For example, maybe from 7 AM to 7:30 AM you answer emails and messages, in which you would highlight blue, and maybe from 12 PM to 1 PM you hold calls with your Coaches and prospects, in which you would highlight pink. Make sure you include the most important tasks in your schedule, such as personal development, prospecting, brainstorming, and even spending time with your family. You might think it’s odd to schedule time with your family, but most people will get too caught up in the business that they neglect their family entirely, which can lead to many relationship issues. It’s OK to work hard to succeed, but success is not worth it if you chase away those who are most important in your life. And as I stated above, brainstorming is important as well. Maybe you spend 10-15 minutes every day in a quiet place, away from the kids, and think about different ideas that you can come up with to take your business to the next level. Once you come up with those ideas, write them down and try them out. If something works, keep it and share it with your team, and if it doesn’t, then don’t do it again.

Something important to note, too, is that you cannot let your tasks interfere with one another. For example, when you are reading personal development each morning, you should not have your computer open and answering Facebook messages. And when you are answering Facebook messages, you should not be texting or answering any phone calls that come in. And even more importantly, when you are spending time with your family, your phone should be flipped over on silent and in the other room. It’s very easy to see a notification pop up and have the urge to check it out. When you are spending time with your family, all of your attention needs to be on them. All your tasks throughout the day need to be completely separated.

(2) Limit call times to just 30 minutes. Too many Beachbody Coaches will get on the phone and talk for an hour and a half with a prospect or Coach. You can’t let that happen. Let your Coaches and prospects know ahead of time that you have just 30 minutes for a call. Once they have that expectation, it will eliminate small talk and the conversation will be more structured and focused, and you will be able to fit in more calls throughout the day. Once the 30 minutes is up, you end the call. With my schedule, being a full time Coach, my time for calls is between 12 PM and 4 PM. At 12 I will hold a 30 minute call and then promptly afterwards I start my next call. If there is a day where all 4 hours are not filled up with calls, which is actually pretty common, then I put in other tasks into those time slots.

(3) Some of your tasks are going to be permanent, such as holding calls and answering emails and messages every day, but there are others that are not going to be permanent. Schedule time throughout the day (maybe in between calls as I stated above), where you complete important tasks. To do so, you want to start with a separate “to-do-list.” On Sunday night of every week, take some time to write down all of the tasks that you need to complete throughout the week (not the ones already in your scheduler). Once you have all of your tasks listed, go through it and rank each task in the level of importance. For example, maybe you need to send your bank statements to your account, and maybe you need to create a video on staying organized as a Beachbody Coach. If you think the video is more important than sending your bank statements to your account, then rank that #1 and rank the task of sending over the statements #2. Then during the day when you are completing your non-permanent tasks, you would complete #1 first and then #2. Make sure you complete each task on your to-do-list every week in the order of importance.

(4) Stay off of Facebook when you’re not using it, and always stay away from the News Feed. This is one of the biggest Beachbody Coach productivity tips I can give you. It’s easy to get sucked into the News Feed and check out how others’ day is going. Before you know it, 30 minutes go by and you get nothing done. Facebook can be a major time sucker if you allow it to be.

(5) Answer emails and messages once per day, that’s it. Too many Coaches will answer an email or message and then check back later in the day to see if the recipient responded or not, and then respond back once again. If your time for answering emails and messages is between 7 AM and 8 AM, that is the only time throughout the day that you should be doing it. The only exception to this is if it is very time sensitive. For example, maybe someone is looking to purchase a Hammer & Chisel Challenge Pack. If they message you back wanting to know how to purchase, you don’t want to keep them waiting. I answer all emails and messages within 24 hours of receiving them, and my customers know and expect that.

(6) Write down your goals. Something that I did back in 2010 was purchase a large dry erase board and hang it in my living room. At the time, the living room was my office because I was living in a 2 bedroom apartment. I purposely hung it in there so that I could see it every single day. I wrote down all of my major goals I wanted to accomplish during the year, such as become the Top Beachbody Coach 2010 and 10 Star Diamond, and every morning when I was about to get to work, I would look at those goals, and that would keep me focused on what I needed to do that day to continue moving towards them.

I hope you found my tips on how to stay organized as a Beachbody Coach helpful. These are all things that I have done in the past and continue to do, and they have helped me achieve tremendous success. I can sit here and and say that if I didn’t do these things, I would not be where I am today. If you really want to become a successful Beachbody Coach, you have to organize and structure your entire day every day.