Category Archives for "Healthy Tips"

Feb 21

Healthiest Organic Peanut Butter Brands

I was writing a Facebook post on my Josh Spencer Fitness page about the healthiest organic peanut butter brands and realized after doing some research on Google that most of the recommendations were terrible. The search results brought up numerous brands that claimed to be healthy, but in reality weren’t even close to it. I now feel it’s my responsibility to clear things up and make sure you are guided in the right direction when it comes to your healthy peanut butter options.

Food companies have gotten tricky these days. There has been a movement over the past decade or so with people looking for healthier options to their favorite foods. Instead of actually coming out with healthier options, a lot of companies have changed the words and labels to make others think they are healthy. Most of the “healthy” terms that these companies are using aren’t even regulated, basically meaning they can add in whatever they want. “Natural” is one of those terms, especially when it comes to peanut butter. Just because it’s labeled as “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. Sure, it sounds healthier, but that doesn’t mean shit. I’ve seen a lot of “natural” labeled peanut butter brands that contain many terrible ingredients. “Organic” is one of the terms that is regulated, but you still have to be careful because there are organic ingredients that still aren’t that good for you. In the end, it’s your responsibility to research what is in the food you buy. Eventually you will get to the point where I’m at where you have a good understanding of good VS bad ingredients.

I’m a peanut butter addict. I mean seriously, if I could eat a whole jar of peanut butter a day I would, but obviously that wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do since peanut butter is loaded with calories. Speaking of which, that is one of the “downfalls” of peanut butter, the high calorie content. I quote “downfalls” because the high calorie content could be detrimental or beneficial, just based on your individual goals and ability to control how much you eat. If someone is trying to consume 1,800 calories per day, for example, and can’t control how much peanut butter they eat, it would be considered a “downfall.” It could easily get to the point where they are consuming half or more of their total calories just in peanut butter alone. On the other hand, for someone that isn’t too worried about calories and is trying to gain mass, the high calorie content can be a good thing. In the end, just be smart about how much you consume. A serving of peanut butter is right around 200 calories. I normally have right around 1-2 servings per day.

Unhealthy Peanut Butter Ingredients

When I first started making a healthy shift in my lifestyle and began researching the healthiest organic peanut butter brands, I constantly came across ones that contained ingredients that I learned to stay away from. Here are a list of those ingredients:

  • Palm Oil
  • Hydrogenated Oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt (unless it’s sea salt)
  • Corn Syrup

Healthiest Organic Peanut Butter Brands

Now it’s time to get to the healthiest organic peanut butter brands. These are the ones that I personally use.

Whole Foods Fresh Ground Organic Peanut Butter

We are Whole Foods addicts. We love the place. One of the reasons is because of their healthy peanut butter options. Not only do they carry a lot of great brands in jars, they also have their own machines that you can use to get your own fresh ground peanut butter. Ingredients? Just fresh ground peanuts.

MaraNatha Organic Peanut Butter

MaraNatha is one of the healthiest organic peanut butter brands. When the option for fresh ground peanut butter isn’t there, like when we travel, this is usually our go to. The ingredients are peanuts and sea salt.

 

Healthiest Organic Peanut Butter Brands

Simple Truth Organic Peanut Butter

Just like with MaraNatha, the only two ingredients are peanut butter and sea salt. That’s how it should be.

 

 

Smucker’s Organic Peanut Butter

Just like the previous two, Smucker’s also makes a great peanut butter than contains only peanuts and salt.

 

 

 

There are a few other good options out there, but these are the most popular ones that you will find in stores and that taste the best. Hopefully I was able to help you find the healthiest organic peanut butter brands. Oh and one more thing. It’s very common for the oil to be sitting at the top of the jars in organic peanut butter. Just stir it in. Enjoy!

Sep 14

Your Late Night Cravings

It’s 11 PM. You’re a week into starting your fitness journey and you’re sitting on the couch, stomach rumbling because you’re so damn hungry. For 10 minutes you have an internal battle with yourself. On one shoulder the angel is telling you to be good and resist the temptations. On the other the little devil is calling you a little bitch and telling you to go grab those potato chips you have sitting in the cupboard. One night isn’t going to hurt, right? You keep telling yourself that. You say “screw it” and grab those chips and eat them like a shark attacking a half eaten tuna. Next thing you know the entire bag is gone and you’re sitting there, stomach hurting, pissed at yourself for making such a dumb and rash decision. It’s more common than you think.

The first thing we have to address here is the fact that you’re hungry late at night. When I’m working with someone and they tell me how starving they are right before bed, the first thing I ask them is how many calories they’re taking in every day. If you’re hungry, that’s your body telling you to eat. When I’m hungry I eat. It’s not rocket science. There is a reason my body is telling me to eat food. But if you’re THAT hungry right before bed, there’s a good chance you’re just not eating enough throughout the day. I was in that position when I first made a change in 2008 and would sit there pissed off that I couldn’t eat anything. So instead, I did what every person told me to do, drink water. Yeah, that never fucking worked. My hunger didn’t magically go away after I drank a glass of water. It always cracks me up, too, when people say “if you’re hungry, maybe you’re just thirsty.” No, I’m pretty sure I know the difference between hunger and thirst. When I’m hungry I eat food, when I’m thirsty I drink water. It’s not hard to understand. But nobody should get to the point where they are starving. All that does is lead to giving into temptations. Instead, try eating more throughout the day. As a 5’7″ dude that has quite a bit of muscle, I have to eat around 2,700 – 3,000 calories per day to be comfortable later in the evening. If I’m low, my body let’s me know how angry it is at me by giving me hunger pangs.

Have you ever noticed that you crave carbs late at night? It’s never “Oh man I need to eat some chicken right now.” Rather, it’s “Where the hell are the Lucky Charms?” There can be a few reasons for this. First, you’ve not kicked your sugar addiction. Did you know that sugar is just about as addicting as cocaine? No? Now you do. If you ever go from drinking 2 cans of soda a day to quitting cold turkey, you understand how bad the withdrawal symptoms can be. Shaky, headaches, and other annoying symptoms. I’m not going to go into detail about this, but this is one of the many reasons why you need to move from consuming processed sugar to complex carbohydrates you find in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It will be tough and you will have some intense sugar cravings for a while, but eventually they will subside. The other reason could be that you’re actually carb depleted. A lot of people like to do the whole no carb thing when trying to lose weight, which I think isn’t the smartest idea, but none-the-less they do it. Personally, I believe that carbs play an important role in results. I think that carb cycling is fine, where you’re doing 1 day of very low carbs and 1 day of high carbs, but eliminating carbs all together can lead to cravings and being physically drained. (You can check out my carb cycling plan here). Carbs are important for energy. If you’re not consuming any carbs, of course you’re going to crave high carb foods late at night. You’re body is craving the glycogen.

So what can you do? Normally I tell the people I work with to grab a small high protein or healthy fat food, such as a handful of almonds, a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, or a “fat bomb”. I’ll include the fat bomb recipe at the bottom of this post. But the worst thing you can do is grab a high carbohydrate food. When you eat carbs they increase glycogen in your body, which is used for fuel to get you through the day and any physical activity you do, such as your workout. If that glycogen goes unused, which it will late at night, it will be stored as fat. That’s not something you want if you’re trying to lose some weight. Normally a high protein or fat food will be enough to reduce the cravings. Something else you can do is get rid of all the crap in your cupboards. When I first committed to a program back in 2008, one of the first things I did was go through my cupboards and throw away (or donate) all the shit food, such as Oreos. Man did I love my Oreos. But if it wasn’t there I couldn’t eat it. Instead I was forced to go for a healthier alternative.

Hopefully you now have some solutions on how to cure those late night cravings. If you have any questions or would like to be Coached by me, all you have to do is reach out to me on Facebook. I answer all my Facebook messages within 24 hours.

Peanut Butter Fat bomb

  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 TBS grassfed butter
  • 4 TBS peanut butter
  • 3 TSP cocoa powder
  • 3 packets stevia
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract

Mixed all together ingredient and put in the microwave for 30 sec & stir it very well and if need more dissolved put in the microwave again 15 to 30 sec then pour into mini cup cake size then put in the freeze at least 30 mins. SERVING: 12

 

Sep 05

The Spencer Carb Cycling Plan

Right now I’m in the best shape of my life. Have I been leaner before? Yeah, when I was about 16 lbs lighter than I am now. I was ripped as hell, but I also lacked strength. In the past, it’s always been one or the other. I was either strong, big, and bulky or shredded and weak. It was never both. Over the past few years I’ve been working hard on finding a great balance between the two and I’ve figured it out. I’m lean, in probably the best cardio condition of my life, but yet still strong. Of course a lot of that has to do with the type of workouts I’ve been doing, but my nutrition has played the biggest role. I’ll get to what type of workouts I’m doing in another post, but for this one I want to explain my nutrition plan in detail. I want to talk about how a carb cycling plan is what has led me to being in the best overall fitness level in my life.

The Keto Plan

“But Josh, I thought you shifted to a Keto diet?” I did for a while. But as I stated in one of my recent “Just Man Up” videos on my Facebook page, it wasn’t sustainable. At least it wasn’t for me. I know a Keto plan works for some people because I’ve got friends who follow it successfully and have gotten outstanding results, but again, it just isn’t for me. Why? I don’t exactly know why. All I know is that when my body fat % dropped to a certain point with Keto, I began to feel extremely worn down and sluggish, especially after my intense workouts. My body needs carbohydrates for energy while I’m following an intense workout regimen. Plus, following a Keto diet is tough to do during the weekends when you go out to eat or want to have a few drinks with your friends. One beer or mixed drink can knock you right out of ketosis. I want to be able to enjoy life. I don’t want to have to constantly stress over possibly being knocked out of ketosis and that’s what was happening for a while. Did Keto work for me while I was doing it? Absolutely. I leaned out quicker than I have in my entire life, but eventually I just couldn’t sustain it anymore.

Spencer Carb Cycling Plan

I’m still following a high fat plan. Contrary to what most people believe, high fat intake doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to gain body fat. Usually the opposite is the case if you’re consuming the right kinds of fats. There are an incredible amount of benefits to eating foods like coconut oil (contrary to what the biased American Heart Association will tell you), avocado, fish, and almonds. One of those benefits is the ability to battle inflammation. Since I shifted to a higher fat plan, the pain associated with my disease has basically disappeared. Of course there are other factors involved there, but I believe the high healthy fat intake has played a major role. But just because I stopped Keto doesn’t mean I stopped eating healthy fats. I would say about 50% of my calories per day still come from healthy fat sources. I just have decided to add back in some healthy carbohydrates.

What is carb cycling?

In 2009 I was very close to the condition that I’m in now. At the time I tried out carb cycling for the first time and saw how well it worked for me personally. Basically what I did was a day of low carbs (1-2 servings), which was on my cardio days, and a day of high carbs, which was my resistance training days. The reason for the low carbs on cardio days was so that my body would focus on burning body fat for energy instead of targeting the glycogen in my system. If you didn’t know, you get glycogen from carbohydrates (rice, pasta, breads, fruits, vegetables, etc.) and your body uses that glycogen to give you energy throughout the day and during intense workouts. When it’s not there, body fat and muscle are targeted for fuel. That’s why I stress the importance of using a good quality BCAA supplement during your workout if you’re carb depleted, to stop the body from using muscle for energy. Then on my resistance training days I load up with carbs so that I have enough glycogen to provide the energy I need to get in an excellent strength workout. This is what I’ve been doing for the past 2 months and I’m seeing incredible strength gains and staying lean because of it. It’s one day of high carbs and one day of low carbs and I keep alternating. Also, I forgot to explain, on the high carb days I’m pretty much taking in a healthy carbohydrate at every meal. I’ll give a low carb and high carb sample day below.

Low Carb Sample Plan

  • Breakfast – 4 whole cage free eggs scrambled with peppers, onions, 2 slices nitrate free bacon, and black coffee
  • Snack – fat bomb
  • Lunch – 6 oz. organic chicken salad with peppers, onions, olives, and homemade italian dressing
  • Pre-workout – 2 scoops Energize
  • Post-workout – 1 scoop vanilla vegan Shakeology, banana, organic almond milk, 1 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon organic almond butter, ice, and blend
  • Dinner – 6 oz. grilled chicken, zucchini, and asparagus
  • Snack – fat bomb

High Carb Sample Plan

  • Breakfast – 4 whole cage free eggs scrambled with peppers, onions, 2 tablespoons organic ketchup, slice of Ezekiel bread with avocado, and black coffee
  • Snack – large handful of homemade trail mix (almonds, cashews, raisins)
  • Lunch – 6 oz. organic chicken salad with slices apples, pecans, strawberries, and homemade dressing
  • Pre-workout – 2 scoops Energize
  • Post-workout – 1 scoop vanilla vegan Shakeology, banana, organic almond milk, 1 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon organic almond butter, ice, and blend
  • Dinner – swordfish with brown rice
  • Snack – strawberries and a tablespoon of organic peanut butter

So that’s what I’ve been doing to get such outstanding results. Again, in this post I only covered the nutrition aspect of it. The workouts I’m doing are playing a big role as well. The Spencer Carb Cycling plan is what works best for me. Questions? Just comment below and I will respond quickly. Or you can just message me over on my Facebook page. If you’re ready to fully commit to making a change, I started a 30 day “Become a Badass” group every month. Fill out the BADASS FORM if you would like to take part.

 

Jun 05

Should I Do Fasted Workouts?

One of the most common questions that I get asked from people that I coach revolves around whether or not they should be doing fasted workouts. Anywhere you look online you will see people going back and forth on this topic, arguing with who’s right and who’s not. It’s annoying, really. Most people just don’t understand that there are multiple effective ways to work out and still get results. I have done both fasted and non-fasted workouts over the years. Believe it or not, I have gotten great results with both. My goals tend to determine whether or not I do it as well. I’m going to explain that below and talk about what I’m currently doing and how it’s affected my results.

Basically we all have two different types of goals. We either want to lean out or put on size. At least that’s how it is for me. I go through phases where I want to be really big and bulky, but then super lean and ripped. The seasons tend to influence that as well. If it’s the winter time, since I’m covered up all the time and not worried about gaining a little bit of body fat, I tend to focus more on mass gaining. During the spring and summer, like right now, I focus more on leaning out. When I’m trying to bulk, in the past I have always tried to eat a well balanced meal with good carbs and protein about an hour and a half beforehand. In a nutshell, I wanted to make sure that my body is burning consumed carbohydrates and that I have enough protein in my system to prevent muscle breakdown during my workouts. Over time, though, as I’ve gained more knowledge and gotten older, my views on the goal of getting big and bulky has changed. I wanted to be that way in the past, but I’m at the point in my life where I want to remain lean and in excellent cardio condition, all while maintaining the muscle that I have put on over the past year or so. So far I’ve been able to do so.

What exactly am I doing right now? I’m doing fasted workouts. A lot of people who are trying to lean out do fasted workouts. My process goes like this. I wake up, drink a massive glass of water and then shortly after mix 2 scoops of Energize, a pre-workout supplement, into another small glass of water and chug it. The reason for the Energize is just what you would think. I want a boost of energy before I do any type of crazy intense workout, like Max 30 or Insanity Asylum. Energize is the best pre-workout supplement that I’ve used and I’ve tried a lot of them over the years. The reason why it’s so good is because it doesn’t use shit ingredients, works quickly, lasts the entire workout, and there is no crash afterwards. You can learn more about it from my Just Man Up Episode on Pre-Workout supplements.

There is one big mistake that I see a lot of people make when doing fasted workouts, though. They skip out on a crucial intra-workout supplement, BCAA’s. If you’re going to do a fasted workout, meaning you haven’t eaten anything for many hours beforehand, I highly recommend that you sip on a good quality BCAA supplement throughout the workout. Here’s the reasoning. When you work out on an empty stomach, especially if you work out in the morning after not eating anything since the night before, your body has to find an energy source from somewhere to get you through the workout. Since there are no carbs (glycogen) or fat (from healthy fat consumption), the next place is stored fat and/or muscle tissue. Ideally, you want the body to target the stored fat for energy instead of the muscle. Consuming branched chained amino acids (BCAA’s) during the workout assists the body in doing so because it helps prevent muscle breakdown and repairs damaged tissue. In the past when I did intense routines on an empty stomach without consuming BCAA’s during the workout, I leaned out, but I always lost quite a bit of muscle mass. By the end of a 30 day program, I would have a 6 pack, but my strength decreased significantly. Then I learned about BCAA’s and the effect that they had on the body and started using them during my fasted workouts. Currently, I’m doing an insane training routine, shifting between intense lifting and Max 30, Asylum, and Asylum 2, drinking my BCAA’s during the workout, and have not had a decrease in strength yet, which is remarkable. I’ve been doing this routine for about 3 months. The BCAA’s have made a huge difference for me personally.

What BCAA’s am I currently using? Unfortunately, Beachbody hasn’t come out with one yet so I’m using Scivation Extend Raw. Just a warning, it tastes like shit. It’s awful, but I don’t use it for the taste. Rather, I use it because it’s a good quality supplement. The reason for the “Raw,” which means that it has no flavoring added, is because it’s chemical and dye free. If you haven’t read my blog post about the effects of artificial flavoring and dyes on the body yet, I highly suggest that you do so. Here’s the “Toxic Dyes in Your Food and Supplements” post. I’m all about consuming good quality food and supplements. I put one scoop in my shaker cup full of water, shake it, and sip on it throughout my entire workout.

If you’re asking me if you should do fasted workouts or not, I guess it’s up to you. Personally, I’m a huge fan of fasted workouts and will continue doing them from now on. I feel it is the most effective way to lose unwanted body fat. If you do choose to do fasted workouts, I suggest that you get yourself a good quality pre and intra workout supplement. If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. Don’t forget to LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK and visit my site JoshSpencerFitness.com as well.

May 31

Stop Avoiding Fat!

There is a huge misconception that has swept across the nation. This isn’t something that has just appeared out of nowhere either. It’s a movement that has been been around for years. We have been taught that fat is bad. For some reason most people associate being fat with eating fat. That just isn’t the case. Fat is NOT bad! Well, some of it is, but we have to start changing our mindsets to understand that there are good fats as well. Part of the blame goes to all the fad diets that popped up over the years. There have been quite a few that have preached that high protein, low fat, and low carb is the way to go. All that does is lead to a lot of pissed off, irritable, hangry people, which I will get to in a bit. But good fat serves an important purpose for our health. It’s time to put our negatively influenced views to the side and stop avoiding fat!

How did I get on the fat train? Back in 2015 when I discovered I had Lyme Disease, I started digging into natural treatment methods. Because Lyme causes a lot of inflammation in the body, I had to consume foods that would help battle that inflammation. That’s when I discovered that healthy fat sources, such as avocado, fish oil, and coconut oil play a major role in reducing inflammation. Before I made the changes to my nutrition plan, my macros consisted of about 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat. Those macros came from healthy foods, of course, but I would go through most days feeling drained. Like most people, I never fully understood the purpose that healthy fat plays in our health so I avoided it like the plague. I then shifted from a 50/30/20 ratio to 30/20/50, meaning most of my calories throughout the day came from healthy fats. This was well before I understand the energizing effects that healthy fat has on our systems as well. Once I made that shift, the pain I was feeling slowly became less intense and eventually disappeared. I’m 100% sure that the increase in healthy fat played an important role in that happening.

Fast forward a few years, I began to hear a lot about a ketogenic nutrition plan. I heard about it in the past, but I always thought it was one of those fads that I mentioned above so I always quickly dismissed it. However, after learning about the anti-inflammatory effects that healthy fat has on our bodies, I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what else a plan high in healthy fat could do for me. After quite a bit of research, I was surprised to find out all the additional benefits. They include raising the level of good cholesterol (yes, there is such a thing), lowering bad cholesterol, improving brain function, improving skin health, promoting heart health, reducing arthritis, and improving energy. Not to mention that they contain many minerals and vitamins.

The “improving energy” part is the one I want to focus on now. Just about anyone I’ve ever talked to, besides health professionals, have the “holy shit are you serious?” look on their face when I tell them that fat can be used as a fuel source rather than carbs. This is something that nobody is taught. Since we were little we have correlated carbohydrates with increased energy. Hello candy and the sugar rush! Basically this is the process. You eat carbs. Carbs are converted to glucose. The body releases insulin, allowing the glucose to enter the cells for energy. What people don’t know is that healthy fat consumption can give you energy as well. When you stop eating so many carbs and increase healthy fat intake, the body will automatically shift from using carbs for fuel to using fat for fuel. Interestingly enough, carbs aren’t even the preferred fuel source, fatty acids are. Is your mind blown yet? Don’t worry, mine was too when I discovered all of this. I subsequently shifted to a plan that consisted of 10% carbs, 60% fat, and 30% protein, sometimes increasing that 60% to 70%. Initially when I made the change my body didn’t really like it. I felt sluggish and completely exhausted for the first 3-4 days and then experienced an immediate change once my body got used to using fat for energy. Not only did I start having a lot more energy and felt great, I started really leaning out as well. The problem that most people have is that they lower the carbs AND the fat, therefore consuming a ton of protein. I’ve done this in the past and it leads to a very sluggish, exhausted feeling. The body just has nothing to use for fuel, so it eventually starts burning muscle. Not only that, but the cravings are usually out of control. With a high fat plan, because good fats are so nutrient and calorie dense, normally there aren’t any cravings. I’ve been following a high fat low carb plan for a while now and love how I look and feel. Plus, even though only 20-30% of my calories are coming from protein, I’m still maintaining strength and mass.

Healthy Fat Foods

Most people then ask me, “What foods contain healthy fats?” I’m going to list them below.

(1) Avocado. They are loaded with monounsaturated fats (the good fat). I eat a half an avocado every single day.

(2) Coconut Oil. These contain medium chain fatty acids (another good type of fat). I usually have about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily.

(3) Almonds. Contain monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber. I usually have 2 tablespoons of almond butter daily.

(4) Butter. I’m not talking about margarine or fake butter, I’m talking about REAL, grass fed, organic butter. Contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, which help improve brain function and skin health. I might have 1-2 tablespoons of butter per day. I usually cook it with my eggs and vegetables.

(5) Salmon. Contains loads of Omega 3’s. It’s important that you stay away from any fish that is farm raised and go with wild caught.

(6) Olive Oil. Contains high levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. I might have 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil per day.

(7) Eggs. The best is organic pastured eggs. I have 4 whole eggs (cooked) daily.

Fat Bomb Recipe

The last thing I want to do is give you a recipe for something we like to call a “Fat Bomb.” Basically it’s a snack that is extremely high in healthy fat. Goes great with high fat low carb nutrition plans.

  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp organic grass fed butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10 drops stevia
  • Melt oil and butter, add all ingredients and mix well. Pour into small cup mold with paper lining and freeze. Makes 4 servings.

Questions? Email Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. Don’t forget to head on over to my LIKE PAGE and follow me there! You can message me there as well. From this point on, I hope you start incorporating healthy fat into your nutrition plan.

May 17

Toxic Dyes in Your Food and Supplements

The other day I was browsing my news feed and came across someone that was recommending a certain supplement. Because of all the knowledge I’ve gained about the toxicity of our food and supplements, my curiosity got the best of me and I did a brief Google search for the ingredient list. There isn’t much that pisses me off more than someone who knowingly recommends something to others that could be potentially harmful to them. Notice I said “knowingly.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of supplement reps that unknowingly recommend a toxic supplement. They just don’t know better. Maybe they weren’t taught or didn’t do enough research into what they were selling in the first place. This rep didn’t know better. Anyways, in that specific supplement not only did I find artificial flavoring, but food dyes as well. He praised how his clients were losing weight with it, but didn’t take into factor what it’s actually doing to the inside of those people’s bodies. It’s not good. That’s why I figured I would shed some light on the true toxicity of food dyes and why you should avoid them.

Why use food dyes?

Because it makes the food and supplements look better. Yes, you heard that right. Companies are more focused on appearance than the actual quality of the product. The company shares part of the blame, but not all of it. Consumers share the other half of the blame. Interestingly enough, I just watched a video yesterday about the process fast food companies go through to make their products look especially appetizing in advertisements. It’s all about appearance. We just don’t spend any time looking into what we are eating. If it looks and tastes good, we eat it. It’s a major reason why obesity, diseases, and cancer are out of control. We don’t pay any attention to what we are putting into our bodies. A good habit to get into from now is checking out the ingredient list of everything that you consume and doing just a little bit of research to see if it’s good for you or not. Over time you will get familiar with toxic ingredients and can quickly make a judgement on the product on the spot without doing research. That’s the point where I’m at now. If I’m about to purchase a new supplement, for example, I instantly flip it over, look at the ingredient list, and search for specific ingredients. One type of ingredient that I avoid at all costs are food dyes, sometimes labeled “artificial coloring.” Organic products don’t contain dyes, so always purchase organic when you can, but sometimes that’s just not an option. Food dyes are just one of many toxic ingredients, but it’s what I’m focusing on specifically in this post.

What are some common foods (and products) you will find dyes in?

Here’s a list. It’s most certainly not just limited to these, though.

  • Cereal
  • Soda
  • Fruit Juice
  • Salad Dressings
  • Ice Cream
  • Cosmetics
  • Processed Meat
  • Desserts
  • Yogurt
  • Fish (salmon)
  • Salsa
  • Pickles
  • Most Supplements

Surprising? Most people believe that salmon is very healthy and it is, just as long as it’s wild caught and purchased at an organic grocery store. If you purchase it at a restaurant, more than likely that beautiful, pinkish color that you see isn’t what it actually looks like. Most of the salmon you find in restaurants are farm raised and dyed to look better. Farm raised salmon is gray. With ice cream, not only is it normally loaded with chemicals and sugar, it contains dyes to make it more appealing, especially to young children. Hell, as a kid I normally chose the one that looked the best. Remember “Superman” ice cream? Those colors aren’t natural. That’s the food companies hard at work attempting to manipulate people to purchasing their product. I’ve said this before, the food industry is a crooked, money-hungry, unethical industry.

How are food dyes labeled?

Usually in the “other ingredients” section you will see something like Blue #1, Red #40, Green #3, or Yellow #6. Those are all food dyes. Basically, if you see anything with a color and a number beside it, put in back on the shelf.

Why are food dyes toxic?

Believe it or not, there have been a lot of studies on the effects of food dyes. Most of those studies were done on mice and rats, though, but regardless, there were some pretty awful after effects. Red #40 and Yellow #5 are known to cause hyperactivity in children. Blue #1, Blue #2, Citrus Red #2, and Yellow #6 are known to cause cancer and tumors in mice and rats. Red #3 has actually been labeled as a carcinogen. Many of the dyes are contaminated with cancer causing chemicals. Basically, what it all comes down to is that food dyes are highly toxic and should be avoided completely.

As I say all of the time, what you consume has a drastic effect on your health. As a man who consumes a lot of supplements, I am around other guys who do the same. Most of them pay no attention to what is actually in the supplements they are buying. They believe that just because it’s labeled as a “supplement” that it’s healthy. That’s most certainly not the case. In fact, there are barely any regulations in the supplement market. Some supplements may be just as bad for you as hot dogs. That’s why I always recommend that people do their research and only consume ones that are of high quality. If you’re using supplements for the color or the flavor in the first place, you’re using them for the wrong reason. Again, this isn’t just for supplements either. It goes for anything that you’re consuming or putting on your body. In the end, you need to avoid any type of artificial coloring at all costs.

Questions? I’ve got a lot of knowledge in this area. Feel free to reach out to me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com or message me over on my Facebook page.

Jan 17

Body Beast Grocery List

Ever since I released my most recent Body Beast results, I’ve been getting a ton of emails and messages about the nutrition plan that I followed while going through the program. Below I’m going to talk about my Body Beast grocery list and the macros I followed throughout my entire 3 month Body Beast journey.

First let’s talk about the macros. I’m 5’7″ and took in around 3,000 calories per day for the first 2 months. I also took in a fat/carb/protein ratio of 30/40/30 during that time span. Really, that’s just % of total calories of each. For example, 40% of my calories came from carbohydrates. Normally I would follow a 20/50/30 ratio, but I took in a lot more healthy fat to help with inflammation with Lyme Disease. During the last month I changed around my nutrition to lean out. In the past I have gotten excellent results from carb cycling. I would go one day of high carbs and then one day of 1 carb portion or less. This time, though, I decided to do 2-3 days of 1 or no carb portions and then 1 day of high carbs. This was very tough because my energy was very low, especially on that 3rd day of no carbs, but I got excellent results with it. In addition, I dropped my calorie intake to closer to 2,500 during that last month and added in some cardio. To keep track of your calorie intake and macros, I suggest using the My Fitness Pal app.

Now I’m going to move to my Body Beast grocery list. Before I get into it (and so I don’t have to put it before every single item listed), everything I ate was organic. The reason I choose organic is because organic food doesn’t contain chemicals, pesticides, or GMO’s. I shouldn’t have to explain by now how shitty those are for you. If you’re trying to get any type of results, you don’t want that crap in your body.

Body Beast Grocery List

  • Shakeology (whole food supplement I took daily)
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Eggs
  • Almond Butter
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Brown rice pasta
  • Brown rice
  • White rice (last month only)
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Frank’s Red Hot
  • Quinoa
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (twice a day)
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos (for stir fry instead of soy)
  • Chicken breasts
  • Lean steak (on rare occasion)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green tea
  • Ground turkey & chicken
  • Oatmeal
  • Spinach
  • Brocoli
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Onion
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Pasta sauce
  • Turkey bacon
  • Protein pancakes
  • Gluten-free sesame bagels
  • Mrs. Dash & Flavor God seasonings
  • Himalayan salt
  • Pepper
  • Califa Farms coconut almond milk
  • Romain lettuce
  • Swordfish
  • Salmon

Body Beast Supplement List

  • Beachbody Performance: Energize, Recover, Recharge, Hydrate, Creatine
  • MRM BCAA+G

So there you have it, my Body Beast grocery list that I used while going through the program. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. If you would like me to be your Coach, just click here!

Jan 04

Tips Before Starting a Beachbody Program

I Coach a lot of people. I’m constantly giving tips to make sure they are on the right track with the workouts, supplements, and nutrition. Something that I tend to forget to do, though, is give them all the proper tips before starting a Beachbody program. My intentions are there and I usually give them good advice, but then a few weeks later I remember that there was something else I wanted to tell them before they got started. By that point it’s just a little too late. So there are two reasons why I’m doing this post. One, so that everything is in one place and I don’t have to try to keep remembering it all, and two, so that everyone getting started has everything in place to start properly and get the best results possible.

7 Tips Before Starting a Beachbody Program

(1) Get yourself a Beachbody Coach. Hopefully by now you have one, but if you don’t, find yourself one quickly. Having a Coach is important because he or she can help you stay motivated, add you to a support group, and answer any questions that you may have along your journey, whether it’s about motivation, workouts, supplements, or nutrition. Obviously if you don’t have a Coach I will nominate myself to be your coach because, well, I do know what I’m doing! I have literally helped thousands of people since 2008 get results using Beachbody programs. If you don’t already have a Team Beachbody account and want me to be your Coach, click here. If you already have a Team Beachbody account, but don’t talk to your Coach, email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com and I will tell you what to do next.

(2) Make sure you are doing the right program. If you’re starting a Beachbody program, there’s a good chance that you have the new All Access pass, giving you access to every single Beachbody workout available to stream on your phone, tablet, computer, or even smart TV. If you’re still paying for Beachbody programs separately, you’re pretty much just throwing money out the window. Anyways, you want to make sure you’re doing the program that’s right for you. It’s crazy to me how many Beachbody Coaches “recommend” the wrong program! Your current health condition, the amount you want to lose or gain, and the type of workouts you enjoy all play a part in which program you should choose. Below I’m going to give you some program recommendations.

  • If you’re trying to gain mass – Body Beast
  • If you’re very overweight and want to lose weight and enjoy a combination of resistance and cardio – Power 90
  • If you’re a former athlete that has 10-15 lbs to lose and enjoy both cardio and resistance – P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Hammer & Chisel
  • If you’re an athlete already in great shape and want to take your conditioning and physique to the next level – Insanity Asylum, Insanity Asylum Volume 2, Insanity Max 30, or Insanity
  • If you have a decent amount of weight to lose and want a shorter program with shorter workouts that contains a balance of resistance and cardio – 21 Day Fix
  • If you are in good shape already and have a small amount of weight to lose, want to really lean out, and enjoy shorter workouts – 21 Day Fix Extreme
  • If you enjoy dancing workouts – Country Heat, Turbofire, Hip Hop Abs, Cize
  • If you enjoy karate or kickboxing – Core De Force, Combat
  • If you enjoy shorter, military type workouts – 22 Minute Hard Corps

Before doing any program, though, make sure you talk to me or your Coach so that we can make sure you are choosing the right one.

(3) Understand the nutrition plan. As cliche as it is, abs really are made in the kitchen. If you want great results, you have to focus on the nutrition aspect just as much as you do the workouts. If not, you will have very little to no results. Every single program, whether you stream it via the All Access pass or purchase it separately, comes with a nutrition guide. Before starting any Beachbody program, you want to take the time to thoroughly read through the nutrition guide. Understand the recommended amount of calories and the macro breakdown for your current weight, height, and health condition. For example, the amount of calories recommended for someone who is 5’7″ is going to be much different than someone who is 6’7″. Macros will include the percentages of fat, carbs, and protein that you should be consuming on a daily basis. For example, in the P90X nutrition guide, during the first phase a fat/carb/protein % of 20/30/50 is recommended. You can keep track of calories and all macros by downloading the MyFitnessPal app. Get in the habit of logging everything that you eat every day. Also, a lot of the programs that have recently been released use portion control containers that make it very easy to keep track of your macros. 21 Day Fix is one of these programs.

(4) Clean out your cupboards. This is something that I did right before I started P90X for the first time back in 2008. I went through all of my cupboards and threw out any junk food. The reason is because I knew I couldn’t eat it if it wasn’t there. When you start craving something sweet, for example, if those Oreos aren’t hanging around, you’re forced to choose a healthy alternative, such as fruit or Shakeology.

(5) Have all the supplements ordered. I’m a big believer in supplements, always have been. I’ve done programs with and without supplements and I’ve gotten the best results when I use them. However, not all supplements are created equal. It’s crazy to me just how many people will head to Walmart and grab some random whey protein because they feel that all protein brands are the same. That’s not the case. There are good quality supplements and there are bad quality ones. You want to make sure that (1) You’re using the right supplements, and (2) That you get yourself high quality ones. The poor quality ones contain dyes, toxins, and chemicals. If you’re trying to make a positive change in your health, it’s not worth consuming anything with that shit in it. And you want to make sure all of your supplements are ordered and arrive before starting a Beachbody program. Here are some good quality supplements that I use and when I use them.

  • Meal Replacement or Snack – Shakeology – Vegan Chocolate or Tropical blended with almond butter, organic banana, and coconut almond milk. (Check out my full Shakeology Review!)
  • Pre-workout – Energize – 2 scoops 10-15 minutes before my workout.
  • Pre-workout – Creatine Monohydrate – 5g mixed with 8 oz organic grape juice 15-20 minutes before the workout. I only take this if I’m trying to put on mass, though.
  • Intra-workout – Hydrate & MRM BCAA+G – 1 scoop hydrate and 3 scoops BCAAs shaken with 10-12 ounces of water. I sip on this throughout my workout.
  • Post-workout – Recover and Glutamine – 1 scoop of the Recover formula and 5g glutamine powder immediately following an intense workout.
  • Recharge – casein protein taken right before bed to help with recovery while you sleep.

Recover, Hydrate, Energize, Recharge, and Creatine are all part of the Beachbody Performance line of supplements. Shakeology is a Beachbody product as well. The rest of the supplements I get at Vitamin Shoppe or BodyBuilding.com. You can purchase any of the Beachbody products in my —> online shop <—.

(6) Take “before” pictures. I always recommend this to the people I coach before starting a Beachbody program. I recommend taking Day 1, 30, 60, and 90 pictures for a 90 day program. It’s important for a few reasons. First, you want something to compare to once you starting getting results. When you take progress pictures after 30 days, for example, putting it side by side with your Day 1 picture can be a huge motivation to continue pushing once you see the changes you’ve made. Sometimes people don’t realize that they’ve made any changes because the scale doesn’t move. That sometimes happens because they are losing body fat and gaining muscle at the same time. Second, taking progress pictures is important if you decide that you want to become a Beachbody Coach after you complete your journey and help others get results like you did. Having that before and after comparison to show others gives you credibility and inspires a lot of people.  BTW, here is my most recent Day 1 and Day 90 comparison from Body Beast.

*Results Vary

(7) Make goals for yourself. I’m a big believer in goal setting. If you don’t know what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, how are you going to know what path to take? And I recommend creating shorter, attainable goals rather than focusing on one massive goal. For example, maybe you have a goal of losing 150 lbs. That’s great, but that can be extremely overwhelming for anyone. Instead, maybe create a goal to lose 15-20 lbs within the first month. Then maybe lose another 20 lbs the following month. Those small, attainable goals over time added up will lead you to your ultimate goal of losing 150 lbs. It’s important, too, that you make your goals very specific and write them down and place them somewhere you will see them every day. For example, you can do what I used to do and purchase a dry erase board, write your goals on it, and hang it in your living room. Every morning that I woke up I looked at those goals and it kept me focused on what I needed to do that day to reach those goals.

Now you know 7 things that you need to do before starting a Beachbody program! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here to help.

Aug 21

Dealing With Parasites

Josh Spencer ParasitesHere I am, 4 months after returning home from Mexico, still dealing with parasites. I’ve been trying to stay as strong as I possibly can be, especially with my posts on Facebook and my interaction with the thousands of Coaches on my team, but it would be a complete lie to say that this hasn’t been the most challenging physical and mental battle I’ve ever been through in my life. The crazy thing is that I’ve been through some rough shit before. I just try not to talk about it because I still have a responsibility to be a great father and leader, and on top of that, there are way more people out there with bigger problems than what I’m going through. I’m not a complainer, never have been and never will be. I accept what goes on in my life and just learn how to deal with it. However, I’m struggling. Why am I writing this post? I don’t know, to get it out there, to bring awareness, to possibly help others who are going through a similar situation. It’s been a tough journey, and I’m going to let you all in on just how tough it’s been.

I sat down with my dad last night at Starbucks and said to him, “Dad, thank God I’m strong because I can’t imagine not being strong and going through what I’m going through.” So what am I going through? Yeah, you know I’m dealing with parasites, I’ve made that clear, but what exactly are the symptoms of these parasites? Be ready for a long list.

My Symptoms of Parasites

  • Brain fog
  • Random anxiety and panic attacks
  • Neck aches and stiffness
  • Muscle aches
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Breathing issues
  • Dizziness
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Flu-like symptoms (from the die-off)
  • Emotional roller-coaster
  • Back pain

I don’t want to take time going through and explaining these symptoms right now because I already did so in my “Do I Have Parasites?” post, but I do want to pick up where that post left off. So where did it leave off? I was finishing up my second round of the Dr. Clark Para-cleanse. Things slowly started getting better and the symptoms began to disappear, but then out of nowhere came back again. For 5 days straight I experienced extreme dizziness, the worst I experienced yet, and then most of the other symptoms came back. For days I felt extremely sick, and then the breathing issues became very bad, so bad that I decided to go to the E.R. The only reason I went, though, was because Melinda (my wife) was scared and wanted me to, so I did. The E.R. docs were clueless and thought I was nuts. The main doctor kept telling me how rare it was to pick up parasites like that. Well NO SHIT it’s rare doc, but that’s what’s going on with me! He didn’t think so, but I convinced him to give me a prescription for a parasite killing medicine called Alinia. Alinia is  what my Chiropractic Kinesiologist who has dealt with parasites many times in patients recommended for me (after the natural approach, of course). I went through a 3-day treatment and again slowly began feeling better.

Everything began to improve from that point on, and I was feeling about 80%, the best I’ve felt in a LONG TIME, and then I made the mistake of getting a deep massage. It released an incredible amount of toxins stored in my muscles back into my system and I woke up the next day feeling extremely sick again. Every single one of the symptoms came back, including the brain fog, dizziness, fatigue, and breathing issues. They slowly began to disappear, but then the symptoms slowly began coming back again. It’s a terrible cycle. Then the day after I got my 4th colonics treatment, I “discovered” another large parasite. Yeah, it’s that in the picture below, and I apologize because it’s damn gross, but now you know what to look for. Before finding this, though, I was seriously beginning to question whether I still had parasites or if something else was wrong with me, and finding the parasite gave me a strange peace of mind because I now had an answer to my continued issues. That was last week, and I got back to about 90% feeling better after it passed, ALMOST feeling like myself again, but decided that I needed to go through another round of Alinia treatment, just in case there were more still left. And that’s where I am now. I just finished up the last day of the treatment and to be honest with you I feel like shit. Apparently there were parasites still living in me and now I’m experiencing the normal parasite die-off symptoms. I’m praying to God that this is the last time I have to experience symptoms, but if it’s not, I’ll just have to figure it out.

Dealing with Parasites

Now I want to talk about the mental battle that I’ve been going through with this. Like I said above, it’s been one of the toughest times, if not the toughest, in my entire life. When you start experiencing random anxiety, panic attacks, and brain fog, it’s very easy to go crazy because you have no idea what is going on with your body. On top of that, the parasites mess with your emotions. One moment I will feel happy, great, and then 5 minutes later I feel sad and depressed. Then thoughts like, “Am I always going to feel this way?” begin to creep in, leading to more anxiety. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle and mental game. To add on top of all that, it doesn’t help that I’ve felt sick for 3 months straight. That alone is a mental challenge in itself.

How am I dealing with it? Like I said above, I’m a very strong person mentally, and I can’t imagine being someone who isn’t that strong. I understand how it can bring on depression, I really do. However, I wouldn’t let myself get to that point. I’ve been raised to be mentally strong, and I’ve read so many personal development books on positive thinking, such as “The Magic of Thinking Big,” that I know how to handle very hard situations. It’s the reason why I’ve been so successful in business and with everything else in life, because I know how to handle challenges. And this is a challenge, a major one. Is it tough to stay so strong? More than you can imagine, but I have to. There are too many people relying on me. It does help that I know what the issue is because I can keep telling myself that all of the symptoms I experience are from the parasites. I can’t imagine going through what I’m going through and NOT knowing what’s wrong. And the bad part about it is that when most people with these symptoms go to normal doctors, they all pretty much tell them they are crazy. I’ve seen the chat forums, where people have these symptoms for years and years and have no idea what’s going on with them, and then they just “deal with it” or give up searching for a solution. Hopefully if you’re one of those people, you now have one possible explanation.

Some of the other things that I do to help get through this is: (1) Pray. I believe in God and His healing power, and know that I’m going through this for a reason, even if I don’t know that reason yet. Maybe it’s to bring light on the topic of parasites, or to make me stronger, or maybe both, I don’t know. I have already learned so much from this journey, including how to deal with anxiety properly. There was a point when I had no idea what was going on with me and had to do research to learn how to deal with anxiety because the attacks were happening so frequently. The exercises I discovered and applied not only helped with my anxiety, but it has helped me in other pressure situations as well. I can now calm myself down a lot quicker than I used to be able to. The anxiety has pretty much disappeared, and that has a lot to do with the brain fog disappearing (been about a month without it), but the exercises helped as well. I can’t find the original article that helped me, but I found one that’s pretty close to it. So if you struggle with anxiety, here are some anxiety exercises to help you feel better. (2) Talk to others about it. I’m thankful for Melinda and my parents because they are the ones I can really open up to about this struggle. When I’m having a rough day, just being able to talk through it makes me feel much better. The absolute worst thing you can do is keep it to yourself. If you are going through this and have nobody to talk to, don’t be afraid to message me on my Josh Spencer Fitness page on Facebook.

So that’s where I’m at. It’s been a struggle, but I’m pushing through it one day at a time. I miss working out, I miss eating somewhat normal (not chicken, brown rice, eggs, and veggies all day long), I miss having a few beers with my buddies, but I’m willing to do whatever I have to do to get myself back to feeling 100% again. If you think you might be dealing with parasites and have any questions, you can contact me on Facebook or email me at coachspence8@yahoo.com.

Jun 30

Do I Have Parasites?

Getting Rid of ParasitesDo I have parasites? That’s what I was asking myself about 4 weeks ago when I saw someone else post that they tested positive for parasites after returning from Mexico. I was on that same trip and began experiencing very strange symptoms. Let me share my story, and maybe it will be able to help you out. Oh and just a forewarning, some of the stuff I’m going to talk about is disgusting, but I have to talk about it.

2 months ago I visited Cancun, Mexico for the first time in my life. We had a great time, drank quite a bit, and ate a lot. I was warned about the water, which I stayed away from, but completely forgot about the ice, and never thought twice about any of the beef and chicken available. I figured that since I was at a nice resort that they would properly cook the food, but apparently I was wrong. When I returned home I experienced extreme diarrhea for 4 days straight. I’m talking “couldn’t leave the damn toilet” diarrhea. It was miserable, but it soon passed and I felt much better. About a month later, though, I started experiencing some anxiety. I remember waking up after falling sleeping on the couch and having some sort of panic attack. That’s not like me at all. I’m not an anxious person and this was the most random experience. For a week after that I began having more anxiety and then some other symptoms developed. First, there was brain fog and a “spaced out” feeling, where I literally couldn’t concentrate on anything. Then came the extreme fatigue. Around 2-4 PM in the afternoon I would become so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open. Not too long afterwards I began having very bad headaches, and there was even a point where I had a headache for 15 days straight. Along with headaches came a sore, achey, and stiff neck and dizziness. All of these symptoms worsened as time went on. I began to think that there was something seriously wrong with me.

I decided to see a doctor, but he had no idea what was going on. He named off a bunch of things it could be, but nothing really added up. He had me take a blood test, which came back normal, so here I was back at home with no answers as the symptoms got worse. I decided to take matters into my own hands and start doing some research. I “Googled” my symptoms and some pretty serious diseases popped up, such as Lyme Disease and even Lymphoma, but I was only having a few of the symptoms associated with each. Spinal Meningitis was another option, but I’ve had that before and it didn’t feel like that’s what it was. After hours and hours of research, though, I found absolutely nothing that described all of my symptoms. The only thing I did find was a number of chat forums with people experiencing the same symptoms, but just like me had absolutely no idea what was going on. I saw quite a few of them post that they have been going through this for years and years with no answers, and I was beginning to think that’s what was going to happen to me. But then I saw a Facebook post.

In a group that I was a part of I saw someone who was down in Mexico the same time as me post that they were experiencing literally the exact same symptoms as I was, went from doctor to doctor, and ended up finding out the problem after visiting a holistic specialist 8 hours away. Within a few minutes the doctor diagnosed her with parasites. They did testing, and she did in fact get parasites from being down in Mexico. After she posted that, a ton of others who were down there with us said that they were experiencing all of the same symptoms as well. I finally felt a sense of relief and knew that I needed to contact her and not only get help from her, but talk to her doctor as well. I did and have been working with him for the past 3 weeks over phone.

Before I move on to how I am getting rid of the parasites, here is a list of symptoms I was experiencing.

My Symptoms of Parasites

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Stiff, Achey Neck
  • Brain Fog/Spaced Out
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Unexplained Weight loss

How to Get Rid of Parasites

Before I had the opportunity to talk to the doctor, I went ahead and did a ton of research to find the best parasite cleanse out there, and found the Dr. Clark Parasite cleanse. It consists of Green Black Walnut Wormwood tincture, Cloves, and the Super W Blend. There is a specific schedule to take all these, and you can see that schedule in the link above. I also ordered a colon cleanse kit (recommended by another parasite cleanse site), which consists of Psyllium Whole Husks and Bentonite, which I take every morning on an empty stomach. In addition, I take a probiotic before bed and digestive enzymes with meals. The reason for the colon cleanse is because once the parasites begin to die, they release toxins and need to be flushed out of the system as soon as possible. On top of the colon cleanse, it’s recommended that you go through a few colon hydrotherapy sessionsShakeology Samples free to clean everything out. As much as I don’t want to do this, I’m in the process of scheduling my first appointment.

When I talked to the doctor, he put me on a very strict diet regimen as well. There are a lot of websites that say that some fruits are OK while doing the cleanse, such as pineapple, but he feels otherwise. He has me staying away from all meat, dairy and fruits, and sticking with pretty much all organic vegetables, brown rice, healthy oils, and some nuts and seeds. The only exception he allowed was my Shakeology supplement, which does have some natural sugars in it. Some of the foods that are said to kill parasites that I am eating are pumpkin seeds, onion, garlic, almonds, and extra virgin coconut oil. Along with that, I am drinking green tea and a ton of water. Drinking a lot of water is important because again, you need to make sure you flush out your system of the toxins released by the parasites.

Supplements I’m Using

  • Vegan Shakeology
  • Probiotic
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • *Sunwarrior Liquid Light Fulvic Acid (minerals)
  • Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein (chocolate)
  • Psyllium Whole Husks
  • Bentonite

*The reason for the Sunwarrior Fulvic Acid (minerals) is because the parasites tend to steal the nutrients from food that need to be absorbed into the body. My doctor said that the reason for the muscle lock-ups and stiff neck is because I was not getting enough minerals in my system.

My Experience With the Parasite Cleanse

The parasite cleanse is an 18 day cleanse, and I just finished up with my first round. I’m doing another round based on the recommendation of my doctor. The first 4 days were rough, and I continued to have all of my symptoms. However, on day 5 things began to change a little bit. The brain fog lifted some and I was less fatigued and my headache went away. Things got better for the next few days until I got to Day 7, and then I began feeling like crap once again. I was extremely spaced out on Day 8 and developed a very bad headache. This is expected because like I mentioned above, once the parasites begin to die, they release toxins into your system, and you can experience flu-like symptoms. In addition, I began getting aches all over my body, especially in my joints. The aches lasted about 4 days and then disappeared.

I felt OK for days 9, 10, and 11, and then all of the sudden I got hit hard with some symptoms. I got another bad headache and really began feeling bad again. I just didn’t feel good, but the worst symptom I experienced was on day 12, when I was extremely dizzy all day long. The dizziness is another symptom that occurs once the parasites start dying. And here comes the gross point, but the next day, day 13, is when I started seeing the worms in my stool. I found quite a few of them, ranging from roundworms, flatworms, to liver flukes. Yeah, disgusting, I thought so too, but it was a good sign that these things were finally leaving my system. By the way, for those of you wondering, they aren’t alive when they come out. I noticed the worms in my stool all the way up until the last day of the cleanse. When day 15 rolled around, I felt better than I had in about a month and a half. I had energy again, my neck wasn’t as stiff, I could think clearly, and I finally just felt good. Now here we are, Day 19, and I have my focus back, have no anxiety, have more energy, and finally feel like myself again.

The one thing that has been extremely tough for me is not being able to work out. My life revolves around fitness (I’m a fitness Coach), and working out is part of my daily routine. I’ve only been able to work out a few times over the past 4 weeks. I tried lifting, but with my neck being so stiff I strained something in the tendons connecting my neck to my scull.  I have had to take it easy since then. It’s probably good that I’m resting anyways, though, because of the lack of protein and calories I’m consuming. Working out would just burn more calories, forcing me to eat more veggies, and because veggies are so low in calories, I would have to stuff myself full of them. After eating nothing but veggies for weeks, there is no way I could force myself to eat MORE of them! All I know is that I’m looking forward to adding some chicken and eggs back into my diet.

So if you’re asking yourself, “Do I have parasites?”, hopefully this post has been able to help you in some way. Like I said, after going through the many different chat forums and seeing all those people out there suffering from the same symptoms I am without having any idea what is going on with them, maybe now you have one possible answer. Parasites are nothing to mess around with. If you have been out of the country or are experiencing any strange symptoms like I was, you want to make sure you see a your doctor or a specialist immediately. It’s always good to get multiple opinions as well. If you have any questions, just post below in the comments section and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I’m going to do my best to bring awareness to this issue and help out as many people as possible!

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