The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Florastor.
I am definitely one of those people who wouldn’t be caught dead worrying about gluten free potato chips or even msg. I know, that’s awful but true. I do care about my health and feeling good but I am a “big picture” kind of guy. I laugh at people that obsess about only eating organic food but continue to be 30 pounds overweight and have a resting heart rate of 80 bpms. What’s the point in eating perfectly healthy, but suffering from being obese and out of shape? I call that majoring in the minors – when you focus on the small stuff and miss the big stuff. However, I do believe the small stuff matters, if you are adding to an already healthy lifestyle.
I’ve always been curious about probiotics. I’ve shied away from the topic because I just wasn’t aware of the benefits, nor my need for them. Now, after a little research, along with a great opportunity and education from a leading probiotic company (Florastor), I find myself in a position where I think I could benefit greatly from probiotics.
Just recently I had a traumatic injury at work, and was forced to take heavy doses of antibiotics. I was shot with a 40 caliber hollow point round that took a big chunk of leg with it as it passed through both legs. This is a picture of me, with my bandages on my legs and my dog, Marley. The medication took a toll on my body in a lot of ways. I know it was healthy for my wounds, but what about the negative affects antibiotics play on the rest of the body?
Hard core antibiotics kill all bacteria – good and bad. I am aware of the “good flora (bacteria)” that exists in our bodies to maintain proper digestion, but I had no clue how this balance also affects our immune system, water balance, mood, and even energy levels. To make things worse, I decided right away not to let the gun shot injury keep me down. I am a fighter and I am gonna fight regardless of anything (I thought).
I started training for a bodybuilding show 3 days after getting out of the hospital. I could barely walk, let alone do squats or lunges, but I continued to try my best. Between aforementioned antibiotics, and now the increase in protein supplements and meal replacements, my body was in complete shock. My immune system was reacting to everything, especially a near death reaction (out of the blue) to Advil and Aleve.
I have never been allergic to anything in my life, and now I cant take the one medication that actually gets me through intense training – not to mention my legs were still hurting like crazy, especially after trying to work lower body in the gym. But here I am, completely reacting to Advil (photo of my crazy hives. Have you seen Hitch. Yep, that was me!).
I was learning that stress, diet, trauma, medications, and just plain ole life, can play a huge part in altering our bodies digestive health, and the biggest player in regulating immune function, nutrient absorption, and toxin excretion is our digestive tract. My digestive tract was struggling, and I could feel the evidence of this in my mental, physical and emotional health. What a perfect time to try out this “foreign idea” of probiotics.
I’ve been taking Florastor for about 3 weeks. The first thing I noticed was more regularity (but not anything crazy – meaning this is in no way a laxative or anything). Soon after, more energy. I was unaware how probiotics affect water regulation, but it definitely does. My mood and energy are restored to how I felt before I started training for the bodybuilding show.
I also noticed other small perks that I wasn’t even looking for. My skin was better, my cravings were controlled, and all and all I just felt better. Placebo? Perhaps when it comes to mood, but the other changes were very definite. I still haven’t had the guts to try Aleve again, but that will be a blog for another time.
Does It Work? My Answer…
So, all in all, I’m pretty convinced that Florastor Probiotics are effective and making me feel healthier!
Here are some cool tidbits of info…
What would you consider the perfect shoe? Maybe one that compliments that perfect ensemble? A high heel that lifts your bottom and makes your legs look a mile long? , or maybe one that eases knee pain when you run, or add stability and traction on the field? Before you can define the “perfect” shoe, you need to know “Perfect for what?”. The real question is “perfect for what purpose?”. This brings me to your needs and goals. To help keep this blog short, I want to give a quick example and review of the craziest shoe I’ve come across in a long time, and I LOOOOVE shoes. (no homo)
Reebok just launched a new outdoor functional training shoe, called the ATV 19+, designed for all-terrain training, like trail runs and mud runs. When I first saw the advertisement for this shoe I laughed out loud as UFC fighter, Rampage Jackson, gave a quick monologue boasting of its many accolades. (Pretty funny commercial)
My passion in training is outdoor functional training. Bonnie and I are the co-founders of BCx Boot Camp, an extreme functional training program that focuses on aesthtics, performance, and nutrtuion. What makes BCx different from many other training programs is all the trainiers lead by example, many time teaching the class by doing it with them. With this philosphy in mind it is important that the trainers are able to continue this high pace, class after class, safely – running on all kinds of surfaces, rain or shine. The trainers have to be right in the thick of it with the members to keep them on task.
5 months ago when I was at our MMA club, I juked when I should have jived, and I tore my medial mensicus and sustained a 90% tear to my MCL. Not just my training, but my vocation, was compromised. How could I continue to teach, lead, and fight with a serious injury?
Stability for the Unstable
The last five months have taught me a lot of mental fortitude, but that is for another time. So here we are. My knee is better. I’ve gained about 70% of my strentgh back. I have 80% of my range of motion. It still hurts, but it is there all the same. What I am dealing with, that I can’t overcome, is the instability and “freaky” feeling I get when I walk on uneven sufaces. Imagine trying to teach 30 people how to climb a 12 foot wall and climb back down a cargo net, and then sprint across a muddy field to the next obstacle, all with no confidnce that your knee will hold you. It’s horrible not to be able to do what you love 100%.
Then, at my doorstep, arrives the ATV. My first time trying them on was indoors on a hard even surface. The ATV’s pushed my foot into a neutral postion, which I hated. It felt weird. I invert (or supinate) as I walk, so I walk on the outside of my shoes. This is how my body is and its comfortable that way, so these shoes pushed against what felt natural – until I got in the grass. This, my friends, is when the heavens opened up and light shined through the clouds. The stability I gained in the grass and mud was amazing. The shoe and ground combo allowed my foot to find that solid spot that is right for just me. No knee instability – and my confidence grew with every step.
I thought that a shoe with that much stability would be heavy and clumsy, but the ATV’s were the exact oposite. I tested them out on diffeent obstacles, different terrain, and different gates. I was impressed. I was able to run on my toes through the tires, jog through the mud, and run through the uneven grass field – and do it all with confidence.
Remember back to the mid 1970’s, there was the LIFE CEREAL commercial about “Mikey”. He was the boy who would eat anything. Well, when it comes to health and nutrition, I am your “Mikey”. If you told me honey badger feces’ would make me stronger, faster, fitter, with no side effects, then I would find a way to cook it, drink it, or smoke it.
As a skeptic, I am a tad bit negative when it comes to speaking the truth. I seem to always start off with a pessimistic attitude towards new supplements, fitness gadgets, shoes, etc… But I’m also able to keep an open mind and give credit where credit is due. Recently I have been approached by GNC to try out their newest line of products that GNC will be launching this year, the, BEYOND RAW line.
GNC must have complete confidence in these products if they are going to bring these products and promises into my house, as they fully know I am going to bash them if their promises are empty. My credibility to review supplements and the pursuance of truth is dependent on my opinion staying independent from what GNC’s hopes and feelings are. With that being said, I am also putting my body and health in their hands for 60 days.
I have some big shoots and shows coming up, and by April, I need to look and perform at my best, and at 41, I ain’t getting any younger. I will let the pictures and video’s speak for themselves. In the off-chance you see me shirtless, don’t be a douschtard and call me fat, I’m very sensitive like that… must be my “metro side”… but for proving or disproving the efficacy of the BEYOND RAW line, I’m willing to take my clothes off.
I’ve never seen a company so pursuant of filling a need of their clients as the research and development GNC has put into this line. Another positive, I have been a student of exercise, nutrition and physiology my entire adult life, earning degrees in everything from nutrition to physical therapy. I guess I’ve always been my own science project, as I applied my education to my training, diet and contest preparation over the last 20 years from mma to bodybuilding. So I have a good understanding of what it will take, apart from these supplements, to reach the level of physique necessary for the media events that are coming my way in 60 days. GNC… don’t let me down. Only time and training will tell.
Once I start there is no going back, my immediate future is in GNC’s hands. Change or no change, I will stay committed to the RAW program. Secondly, when it comes to taking pics without my shirt on… I’m a little bit of a girl. Lastly, if RAW doesn’t work, I will do my best to explain why, but chances of offending some very experienced researchers will be imminent.
Check back in weekly and I will take you step by step through the products and the results. Whether the results are positive, or negative…
Stay tuned… BEYOND RAW… or bust