Marijuana for Stress?

aged and worn vintage photo of marijuana sign with palm trees

The Big Green Question?

Last week, the green stuff made the news again in Canada. Never mind the blatant hypocrisy of the media outlets for highlighting the dollar amount for Veterans using medicinal marajauna and saying nothing about the cash being syphoned to big pharma via medications like Adivan and  SSRI’s. I’m not a doctor, nor to I play one on the internet. My goal is to weigh in on this issue from a holistic/health perspective and as a veteran who was diagnosed with PTSD.  A disclaimer though, what works for me may not work for you, consult a doctor before making any changes. Don’t be stupid.

The Problem With Pot

A study from Massachusetts highlighted the fact that testosterone in males is at an all time low. The study showed that males have 17% less testosterone than men in 1987.  Now for the bad news, weed is not good for sex hormones.  The research is a little shaky here but it seems to point in the direction that marijuana decreases testosterone by inhibiting testosterone synthesis in the testicles.  Couple chronic pot use with the declining testosterone levels of the modern man and you have a low testosterone disaster.  Not only that, marijuana has also been show to be estrogenic.  Symptoms of low testosterone can include, erectile disfunction, low sex drive, anxiety and depression,  things that people with anxiety are trying to avoid.

Other Natural Solutions

Although marijuana comes with side effects, (like any drug) is it any worse for the body than traditional pharmaceuticals?  That question is not for me to answer (although I have my opinions).  There are a few natural things that help with anxiety without the possibility of growing giant nipples.  Here are a few that I like:

1 -Magnesium

2- Inositol

3- Adaptagenic Herbs

4- Meditation

5- Taurine

6- Melatonin

7- 5-Hydroxytryptophan

8- Vitamin C

9- B-Vitimans

10- Traditional Chinese Herbs


All of these things I have tried at different times with different levels of success.  The key is finding something that works for you.  There are many different protocols with exact dosages so the best thing to do is to talk to a professional who can point you in the right direction.   Again,  don’t take anything (or stop taking anything) without a doctors permission.




4 Ways to Optimize


I get it.

You are ready to make changes. You are ready to commit to a fitness program. You have tried various supplements and diets but the performance/body composition goals remain out of reach. Sometimes you wonder if there is anything more that you can do to reach your goals. So you keep pushing on, trying different variations of the same thing and hoping that things will change for you. As someone who as been there, I get it. I have also learned a few ways to bust out of the merry go round. Here are a few things that will help. Incorporate some of these principals and watch things change.

1- Write Down Everything.

One time, I heard super strength coach Wolfgang Unsold say something that changed the way I train. He said that the only thing that matters is that the weight on the bar increases (for reps). The only way to really know if you are lifting more weight for reps every workout is if you write down every single set that you do. The muscle has no reason to grow, if there isn’t a constant progression of stress placed on it. Instead of taking selfies in the gym, bring a notepad, success will follow.

2- Identify and correct strength imbalances.

This is especially important for anyone who is an advanced or intermediate athlete. I have learned in my PICP level 1 and 2 course in Montreal that many athletes have strength imbalances which make them more susceptible to injury. Even if you don’t care about injury, a strength imbalance could be what is holding you back from your next PB. Find someone who is qualified to asses strength imbalances and get them to create you a structural balance training phase.

3- Get a bioprint done.

Bioprint is a system that measures the correlation between body fat storage and hormonal imbalances. A good bioprint practitioner will be able to help alleviate the guess work involved in nutrition and supplementation. Unless you are comfortable sucking back pre workout drinks that are laced with sugar, caffeine and other goodies. Getting a bioprint done can give you clues into what is going on with your hormones, helping you to improve your body composition and general health.

4- Sleep More.

There is no easy way to do this. It is as simple as making sleep a priority in your life. Lack of sleep can hinder performance in so many ways that it would be impossible to write in one blog post. The reverse is also true, getting quality sleep can literally turn you into a new human being. I guarantee that if you are in a training rut and you haven’t addressed sleep, then you probably won’t get anywhere unless you learn to slumber. Sleep, grow…repeat

Dear Puerto Rico, Here is what I want from you…

The old rusted and deserted military tank of Flamenco beach on the Puerto Rican island of Culebra.

As I write this, I am 25000 feet above the north eastern united states. This year, I am doing things a little different, starting out the year with a month long excursion to Puerto Rico. My family and I have rented a little apartment on the beach where we can enjoy some sun, sea and get focused for a new year. I have some big business and location decisions to make this year. Here are the three things that I hope to do while I am on this trip.

1- Separate from “regular” life to gain some clarity. Sometimes life feels like I have switched permanently onto autopilot, sucking my creativity into a clock punching abyss. Leaving for a month should throw a monkey wrench into my zombie like state so that I can begin to think outside the box again.

2- To spend time with my family. Prioritizing my time and attention is something that I always want to do. I have no desire to be one of those people who have everything in the world except a good relationship with the people who matter most. I do not think that successful people who sacrifice their families for success are truly successful.

3- To let the answers come to me. I know that this sounds very granola and fair enough, it is but it is also true. It seems that the more I press for answers in this season, the less the answers come. As tempting as it is to press in and google and research, I am going to take a step back and get empty. The information age has created an environment of indecision because of the countless options and counter options.

This is going to be a huge year for my family where we will be faced with some game changing decisions. I have business ideas, invented products and I also have to decide what location that I am going to set up shop. So instead of sitting back, saving all my money, racking my brain for the right answer I am going to do the opposite. I am not sure how this is all going to work out but I am sick of living my life by the metric of what is safe or unsafe. 2016 is going to be a year where I push even further outside the box. My plan is to aim high and put all of my cards in one hand.

I would really like to hear from everyone out there. What are some of the fitness or liftstyle goals that you have ? Leave them in the comments below.

Three Supplements For Deployed Soldiers

United States paratroopers airborne infantrymen in action in the desert

I remember what it was like being a deployed soldier and given all of the stuff going on in the world, I thought that I would throw one out to the boys and girls who live some crazy lives defending our freedom. I was thinking; What would be the top 3 supplements that I would take with me on deployment?  Grab your canteen cups gents, here are my three picks.


BCAA’s, are the branch chain amino acids leucine, Isoleucine and valine. They are used in body building to promote protein synthesis, recovery and provides fuel for pre, intra and post workout.


BCAA’s are perfect for the deployed soldier because of how compact and easy they are to mix in water. I know that deployed personal often spend long periods of time without being able to eat. In those circumstances BCAA’s are perfect because they can be easily carried on person and quickly mixed into a canteen for instant fuel. This will also protect hard earned muscle mass and help the brain feel more alert. If I had to go on long patrols again, I would defiantly pack some BCAA’s in my gear.


Electrolytes are minerals that are responsible for maintaining fluid balance, blood pressure and electric activity in the brain, heart and muscles.


Well, let us talk straight for a second. As much as it is politically correct not to single anyone out in this day and age, most of the crazy people in this world live in desert climates. This probably isn’t going to change anytime soon. Soldiers on these deployments sweat more than someone running a marathon every day. Electrolytes are crucial to keep the brain and the muscles going, two things that keep soldiers alive. They help prevent dehydration, dehydration has been known to decrease every single marker of performance that we got! Stay hydrated but make sure to replenish minerals.



This is a great bang for your deployment buck. I wish that I had spend some more money on a good vitamins rather than Maxim magazines and chewing tobacco. Being deployed exposes personal to a crazy amount of toxins and foreign bacteria. Here are three reasons why a multi will help.

1- A good multi will give the body what it needs to properly detoxify.

2- It will help replenish minerals lost in sweat and because of stress.

3- It provides anti-oxidant protection to help neutralize free radicals caused by the environment, toxins and stress.

4-Rations and MRE do not give the body everything in need nutritionally. (shocker here)

This is all hindsight for me because when I was in the field, I survived by brining some decent coffee and a bottle of tabasco sauce. I hope that someone found this useful out there and if you are someone who is serving our country, thank you and stay safe!

3 Cheap And Easy Ways To Detox

Detox - Jigsaw Puzzle with Missing Pieces. Bright Green Background. Close-up. 3d Illustration.


Detoxification is something that your body is doing every day, day in, day out. Here are a few easy and inexpensive ways to help your body with that process.

1. Take a hot epson salt bath.

Baths and Saunas are some of the most ancient and effective ways to detoxify the body. The trick is to make sure that it is hot enough and long enough to induce sweating. Then allow yourself to sweat for a bit and shower off. Make sure not to rub yourself with a towel before you rinse off. This kind of detoxification has been shown to help rid the body of everything from heavy metals to the infamous BPA. For more info on the benefits of heat detox and saunas check out Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s excellent podcast on the subject.

2. Drink water.

In my previous post I talked briefly about 2 phases of detoxification. Well, phase 3 is the last phase and it involves the kidneys and the urine.  In the liver, the finished metabolic product of detoxification is water soluble so it only makes sense that body needs adequate water to flush it out via the kidneys.  A little tip though, make sure that you add some electrolytes so that you can maintain the proper cellar balance of water.

3. Take a fibre supplement.

Ah yes, the forgotten carbohydrate. This is part of the problem with polarized thinking. The paleo trend has everyone making blanket statements like “carbs are bad.” Carbs can take many forms and fibre is defiantly not “bad” in any sense of the word. Fibre helps with detoxification in a couple ways. First, it shortens the transit time of stool in the intestines so that fewer toxins will be absorbed by the body. Second, it is what good bacteria (probiotics) feed off of, creating a better environment in your gut.  The key is to rotate the types of fibre. daily so that you do not become intolerant to it. Fibre supplements, they ain’t just for grandpa and grandma folks.


It is important to view detoxification as a marathon and not a sprint. It is something that your body does everyday but given our environment and toxic load, it doesn’t hurt to provide your body with some things that will help that process. If you still want to do a juice or fasting cleanse just make sure that you include some protein or essential amino acids so that your liver can do its job.

Can a “cleanse” make you more toxic?

Athletic girl holding a green smoothie

Detoxification is a flashy word in the industry these days and for good reason. The Environmental Protection Agency did a study on human fat tissue and in 100% of the samples found toxins like plastics, solvents and dioxins. There is a lot of feel good talk out there about the body being able to naturally detox itself. This may be true under natural conditions but the fact is, scientists do not yet understand the accumulative effects of this kind of toxin exposure. This, compiled with the fact that many people are deficient in nutrients like magnesium that are essential for proper bodily detoxification has created a need to take another look at detoxification.

Cleanses, Do they work?

Most cleanses and cleansing protocols have similar characteristics. Fast (starve yourself) for a couple days while drinking nothing but juice or some kind of cleansing concoction. The science behind these methods is, at best, shady. If you are interested in eliminating toxins and hate starving yourself then I might have some good news for you.

A simple view on how Detoxification works.

The liver is the primary organ involved in detoxification. Basically, the liver works detoxification in 2 phases. Each phase requires nutrients in order to facilitate the elimination of toxins. On the surface then, these cleanse protocols make sense because they provide a ton of micronutrients in the juice or cleanse drinks. Wait one second though my dear friend. There is more to this story than just vitamins.

Phase 2 and Amino Acids

Phase 2 detoxification is important because it is the last phase before the toxins are actually eliminated by the body it is also the phase. Here is the problem. Phase 2 liver detoxification requires amino acids in order to work. So the liver needs protein to detoxify properly. What are you not consuming on a fasting/juice cleanse? That’s right, protein!

Toxic cleansing

So ramping up phase 1 detoxification (the enzymatic functionalization) of toxins without having the nutritional capacity to clear those toxins could cause some trouble and potentially make you more toxic. Where does you body keep a readily available store of amino acids? That would be none other than your hard earned, metabolically active, lean muscle mass. So this kind of cleansing is a lose lose situation for your body and your body composition.


I know that people are looking for a magic bullet of some kind to lose weight and stay health. The truth is there is no quick fix. Just a slow and steady progression of making smart choices for your body. Assisting the body to facilitate detoxification is a very important thing but one that requires some careful planning and complete nutrition. I wouldn’t be fooling around with cleansing products unless you are getting advice from someone who knows what they are talking about.

5 Things I am Doing To Heal My Adrenals

slow down, relax, take it easy, keep calm and other motivational lifestyle reminders on colorful sticky notes

A couple tours to Afghanistan, plus all of the above stresses from being husband and father can mess up the adrenals. Although it would be nice to take a magic pill and instantly feel better, stress management is not so simple. There are supplements that can help stress but if I do not take care of the source of it then I will be fighting a losing battle. Here are a few of the things that I am doing to take care of my adrenals.

1- Taking time to clear my head. This could be prayer or meditation or just simply taking a few extra minutes to enjoy all of the trees in my backyard. Functional Medicine practitioners often talk about the unbelievable power of perception. Thinking can influence many different hormones (like, insulin and cortisol) it can also influence gut bacteria and other enzymatic functions in the body.

Bottom line – Whatever you have to do to think positive and bring yourself and inner calm, do it.

2- Fixed my gut. This is actually the first thing that I did. I took 21 days and followed an elimination type diet to help eliminate food intolerances and help calm my immune system. I also used supplements like glutamine to help repair my intestinal tract. Current research has shown numerous correlation between a healthy gut and a healthy mood, 80 percent of seritionin (the feel good neurotransmitter) is made in the gut.

Bottom line- The gut and the brain are linked. Fixing the gut may go a long way in enhancing mood and well being.

3- Using Adaptogens. As mentioned in a previous post, I started using ATP”s andregenik product to help with adrenals. Well, I tried it and I completely underestimated how powerful the product was. I felt so relaxed I almost fell asleep watching a movie. This product works so well for me that I only need to take 3 capsules as needed in the evening. See the video I posted earlier for more info on correct dosing.

Bottom line- Adaptogenic supplements do work and are a useful tool in treating the adrenals.

4- Carbs in the evening. On advice from a very trusted source, I was told that in someone with adrenal fatigue it is nearly impossible to balance neurotransmitters and bring down cortisol without eating at least 60g of carbs in the evening. So that is what I am doing.

Bottom line- Low carb diets are great but if you are not getting quality sleep then you probably need to add some in.

5- Training. Coming out of the cross-fit world where everything is about “high intensity,” It has come to my realization that high intensity all the time does not equal results all of the time. If sleep and recovery are not also emphasized then it is easy to stop making progress. I have been taking care to support my workouts with proper peri workout nutrition.

Bottom Line- Train smarter not harder. Working out like a madman for 2 weeks then being injured for 10 is unproductive.

A Mom’s Fish Story


My wife is my hero. She has gone through three c-sections to bring my little boys into this world and recovering never gets any easier. Our youngest, (baby Sam) is only 15 months old. I began noticing a few weeks ago that Ana was dealing with some postpartum depression (PPD). The World Health Organization has stated that Maternal Mental Health problems are a huge issue with many social and economic consequences. Today, Ana is feeling much better after we added a certain supplement to her diet.

I learned about the benefits of high dose fish oil from Charles Poliquin. I thought that Ana should give it a shot. When I say high, I mean high.   Ana was taking a boat load of fish oil (excuse the pun) !

Researchers seem to think that in the 3rd trimester, Omega 3 fatty acids are shifted to baby, leaving Mom depleted of these important fats. Could this be one of the reason’s why postpartum depression occurs in the first place? Further more, a Norwegian Study suggested that a low Omega 3 index in late pregnancy is directly linked to PPD

Researches have began to explore other benefits of omega 3 supplementation through pregnancy and have linked it other positive things such as a 73% lower perinatal mortality rate.

Fish oil isn’t a magic bullet. Mental health issues are complex because we are complex creatures. Humans are made of a body, mind and spirit, all three of which need to be included in any kind of recovery plan. Of course more research is needed but I think that omega 3 is worth a second look for new and pregnant Moms.

A couple of disclaimers:

1. Do not try this (or any supplementation) without talking to a doctor. Depression can be a serious thing and a medical professional needs to be in the loop at all times.

2. If you are feeling depressed, find someone to talk to ASAP. As someone who has been through mental health issues, I know how dangerous pride can be. Don’t feel like you to need to keep it all together. Life breaks us all sometimes but truly strong people ask for help before it is too late.

3. Visit the Canadian Mental Health association for more information on PPD.

4. Do not take cheap fish oil! I have been guilty of using some of the cheap stuff over the years but I have talked to guys that have tested that stuff and you do not want to go cheap on fish oil, especially if you are nursing or pregnant!  I recommend ATP’s (if you live in my area, you can get it through me) or Nordic Natural’s.

Ever wonder how much vitamin D you are getting from the sun?   DMinder app can help you track your vitamin d intake from the sun in your geographical area. You can find out the best times to soak up the sun for optimal Vit D exposure.  This is one of the coolest apps that I have ever seen!


I have been spending time with many different trainers from across North America. One thing I have noticed is that whenever a bunch of fitness professionals are in the same room someone is always eating! It never fails, someone is always chomping on celery with almond butter or shaking up a shake in a shaker bottle.

One of the biggest BS excuses that I hear from people is that they don’t eat the “wrong” things they just eat “too much.” In other words, they do not have a food quality problem they have a food quantity problem.

If that were true, then these lean, muscular trainers that I sit with during courses should be obese.

Nutrition Tip – Eat healthy foods and eat lots of them. Get someone to make you a proper diet plan and you will be surprised how much healthy food that you should be eating. Processed food does not give you fuel on a cellular level so you may eat too many calories without receiving many nutrients. Eat Clean and Eat Often.