Hang in there because after a brief introduction I will give you a really cool recipe that I use for staying lean and healthy, despite my penchant for a few alcoholic beverages…
It was controversial for some because I claimed that ALCOHOL DOESN’T MAKE YOU FAT. It’s abusing alcohol and/or what you do while you’re drinking that actually causes the problem.
The number one way that alcohol indirectly promotes weight-gain is by disrupting important hormones that burn fat and regulate calorie-usage. Hint: your liver plays an important part in both.
One of my favorite ways to compensate for the extra calories and hormone disruption of moderate alcohol intake is FASTING.
But before I dive headlong into that, let me share my recipe so that you can get value first…
BCAA Jell-O Shot Recipe
- 4 scoops Scivation Xtend Pink Lemonade (from Vitamin Shoppe)
- Knox gelatin, pack of 4
- 4 cups water, juice, Zevia or a combination
- 1 pack Chunho Foods Hovenia dulcis Thunb 100 juice
Pour 2 cups of water into a large bowl or pitcher for mixing. Pour all 4 packs of Knox gelatin over and place into the fridge or freezer to cool. Boil the other two cups of water. Remove cold water and gelatin mix and add 4 scoops of Scivation Xtend. Pour boiling water on top and use a fork or wire whisk to mix thoroughly. Add Hovenia dulcis now if so desired. Mix for about 1 minute. Pour into large flat container or 4 individual Tupperware bowls. Place in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
*Makes 4 servings BCAA Jell-O
*Hovenia dulcis is the Japanese raisin ingredient in our all-natural liver detox and alcohol recovery formula Intox-Detox. Even if you are not drinking, it promotes recovery and adds only 4 grams of carbohydrates. Our extract is far more concentrated, but this stuff is delicious to add to many things, including iced tea and alcoholic cocktails. You get a liver boost and you fight the hangover all at once. Tip: Add this ingredient and chow down a serving of jell-O before bed to help feel better the next day, after a a night out drinking.
*For a fun twist use any flavor of Zevia sugar and calorie-free, all-natural soda in place of the 2 cups of cold water. This will make a much sweeter end product, so you may want to use 1 cup cold water and 1 cup Zevia.
*Replace cold water with vodka (or liquor of choice) to make healthier Jell-O shots! We like Titos.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Protein/Amino acids: 18 grams (includes 7 g BCAA, 2.5 g Gluatmine, 1 g Citrulline and 8 g gelatin)
For me, the authority on the subject of fasting is Mr. Brad Pilon with his excellent book “Eat Stop Eat“. Fasting does amazing things to your body, one of which is damage. Say what? How could damage be good for you? In life, there’s nothing like failure and being broken down to motivate us to new heights. And it’s the same with our bodies…
Brad Pilon probably explained it best with another metaphor. Without a doubt, exercise is good for you, especially resistance training (awesome for balancing fat-burning and sex hormones). However, if you look at a calf muscle after an intense training session, it appears to be a total disaster, according to Pilon. It basically looks like a disorganized heap of mush because you literally destroyed the muscle with micro-tears and trauma from training against resistance. But what happens next is beautiful and amazing. The fibers get to work repairing themselves to be bigger, stronger and more efficient. Assuming proper nutrition and rest, within a few days the muscle fibers are perfectly reformed into the sinewy perfection of human design. In the process, many other markers of overall health were improved by the challenge to your body. It took controlled damage to improve the calf muscle.
Fasting does the same thing to your whole body, especially your vital organs and cells that are dead or dysfunctional. Your body literally has to clean house and eat the dead waste for energy.
If that sounds hard, that’s because it is. Fasting is not easy, which is why I “practice fasting”. I don’t always succeed. I try to fast for 20 to 24 hours once per week. I don’t always make it the full duration, but I always see benefits immediately.
- People actually tell me I look younger and the whites of my eyes are brighter
- I look visibly leaner, especially in the abdomen
- After initial hunger pangs have been satisfied, I have LESS desire to eat junk food
- I appreciate food far more after having abstained
- Blood sugar levels seem to stay more stable (I have struggled with hypoglycemia in the past where I would feel manic, erratic, starving hungry and sweaty when my blood sugar dropped)
- Fasting engenders a unique euphoria of clear-minded, big picture thinking
- You lose muscle. Nope, it’s just not true. If you train regularly, your body knows you need that muscle. It will be the very last thing you burn off. It’s also Pilon who taught me that protein is not what maintains muscle. Over the long-term, yes you need it for recovery. In the short-term it is resistance training itself that signals the body on multiple levels to maintain muscle mass in order to survive. Fasting for up to 3 days does not burn much muscle away in trained athletes. It burns fat. That’s why we store fat, as reserves to burn when we don’t have adequate nutrition.
- Fasting is bad for you. Nope. It’s bad for you in the way that doing a tough workout is bad, in the short-term. Big picture, it will improve your health in almost every way.
- Fasting has to be religious. Nope.
- Fasting has to be for a long duration. Nope.
THE BIG BUT
Fasting is hard! My best advice for “practicing” the art of fasting is to have a somewhat large and fulfilling meal (but not binging or cheating) around 2 or 3 pm. Don’t eat again until 2 or 3 pm the next day. In the meantime, drink calorie-free beverages, chew gum and if you really suffer consider my little fasting cheats like BCAA Jell-O.
If it gets too hard after 16, 18 or 20 hours and I feel bad, then I just eat. No harm done. You still get some benefit out of the practice. Next week, you try to go a little longer. It’s not for everyone, but I hope these tips help you out.
MY FASTING “CHEATS”
Pilon actually predicted the future when he said that companies would start selling “fasting foods”, which is a total oxymoron of course. Fasting by definition is abstaining from calories entirely, with copious amounts of water to stay hydrated. Now, look at the rise of the Quest protein bar (fiber stick with a little almond fat and whey/casein protein), collagen-based supplements, MCT oil (we like Now brand) and bone broth. These are essentially very low-calorie foods you can eat during fasts without significantly “breaking your fast”. From my experience, “cheats” or helpers (as I call them) like these can make the difference between an 18-hour fast and a 20-24 hour one. Pilon was exactly right and I think it’s hilarious. But I still see the value in these functional pseudo-foods.
Also, anyone who has fasted before knows that when you eat again, you may have a tendency to overdo it. For me, it makes sense to gradually add calories back gently, as not to shock your body, create a huge insulin hormone spike and send you running to the bathroom. Here’s my fast disaster plan, when everything goes wrong and I can’t make the 24 hours:
Break glass in case of extreme hunger, descend downward as you gradually break the fast.
- Add low/no-calorie cheats or helpers – including coffee sweetened with Truvia, BCAAs (the Xtend Jell-O), bone broth soup, collagen protein, MCT oil (Now Foods), Apple Cider Vinegar or creatine.
- Add protein with very low/no fat or carbohydrates, leafy green or cruciferous vegetables
- Add healthy fats in small doses, such as 90% Lindt dark chocolate, almonds, half & half/grass-fed butter/cream in coffee
- Add back low-glycemic carbohydrates like quinoa, berries, apples etc.
When you decide the fast is over, have another sizable and satisfying meal combining protein, fats and carbohydrates.
After 18 to 20 hours of fasting, ADVANCED FASTING TRAINEES can hit the gym for a quick workout. Don’t set any personal bests and there’s no need to train to failure. This is not a workout for moving mountains. This workout is for burning pure body fat. Try actively avoiding failure, but using 3 to 4 sets per exercise and 30 seconds or less rest between sets. Full body workouts work great for this. Add 15 to 20 minutes of cardio and then go eat something! Here’s one of my favorite fasted full-body super-set workouts:
Leg Press/Lat Pulldowns – 30 reps, 20 reps, 15 reps (rest only while moving between equipment)
Machine Shoulder Press/Calf Raises – 30 reps, 20, reps, 15 reps (rest same as above)
Chest Press/Reverse Curls – 30/20/15
Triceps Pushdown/Bicep Curls – 30/20/15
Cardio: 4 min. Tabata, followed by 15 to 20 minutes on the elliptical
Although my main business is helping social drinkers protect their livers and avoid the dreaded hangover, I am also very passionate about fitness. So I decided to add-value to my amazing product by educating folks about how to stay fit and healthy without giving up social drinking and having fun. It’s all about balance. This is the information I wish I had known 10 years ago! I would have done things a lot differently… Why not turn my failures and valuable hard-learned lessons into your success and better tomorrow?
Intox-Detox contains 2 ingredients clinically-proven protect your liver and help avoid the misery of the morning after drinking, when taken BEFORE the alcohol. It’s also amazing for your health even if you don’t drink at all. Not to mention, that all of the ingredients – Green Tea, Panax Ginseng, Glutathione and Japanese Raisin – can indirectly promote energy, balance and healthy weight management.
Many of our customers have begun taking Intox-Detox daily for the caffeine-free boost and liver detox. Not to mention the immune system bump from a clinical dose of Setria L-Glutathione.