Two Layers of Taste

What food is best to eat? That is something I’ve thought of in the past, a way to instinctively know which foods are best to eat. That is when I stumbled upon this idea of taste having two basic layers (very Spartan principle, no?).

The first layer is what we’re used to when we think of “taste” in food. That is what we sense with the tongue as food enters our mouth and the smell enters our nose. That is the layer that most food aims at. Fast food, dessert, fancy restaurants, etc.

The second layer is everything else. It’s what you taste and feel after the food has down your throat (often the lingering effects of the first layer), how it effects your body afterward (meaning a lot of foods “taste” bad on this layer, since the negatively effect your health), and pretty much everything else that food does other than touch your tongue.

Why is this significant? Because very few people take into consideration both layers when they prepare food. Ever been told to eat something because it was healthy, but it tasted horrible? Or been told not to eat something (or to much of it, like ice cream) because it was unhealthy, but tasted good? Each of these instances, only one layer is taken into account.

That is why I prepare my food with both layers considered. My favorite dish is scrambled eggs (sometimes prepared as an omelet) with lots of cheese and butter, some salt, loads of garlic, onions, jalapeno’s, and whatever else I want. It is fine tuned to my taste buds, so I enjoy it very much. I actually have to lay down when I eat it because I eat so much.

After taking an hour or so to eat the giant bowl I prepared myself, I feel extremely satisfied, and often tired, so I take a nap. Half an hour later, when I wake up, I’m feeling the very strong effects of the second layer of taste. That high fat meal and short nap left me extremely energized. I feel amazing. The food tastes good, and has amazingly good benefits on my body, on my health. This is an ideal food for me because both layers are taken into account when preparing the food.

So basically, pick food that tastes good, is good for you, and feels good. As long as you find foods that is tuned to your two layers of taste, you won’t find anything better anywhere.

The Importance of Cold Showers

A modern convenience, a luxury we have these days is hot water. This hot water comes out little spouts for us to use in cleaning, cooking, really cruel practical jokes, or whatever else comes to mind. Since this is obviously something that primitive people in the past didn’t have access to, we should use it for bathing (or showers) because it’s superior, right? After all, the heat kills bad germs, or something like that, right? Oh, and it feels good. It’s sooo much easier then taking a cold shower or bath. And cold showers make you sick, right? And aren’t good for you? And hot showers are better?

That is about as much reason for hot showers as I’ve ever heard from anyone. The people who still take warm/hot showers and refuse to take cold ones don’t know the real benefits.

Did you know that many of those “primitive” people, like the Romans who have made roads, aqueducts and cities lasting thousands of years with precision that would challenge us to this day, continued to use cold water for bathing even when they had access to steaming hot water?

Or that Native Americans, after sitting in a steaming tent, would immediately jump in a cold lake?

The Aztecs (might have been the Mayans… or Incas) also used cold water after taking a steamy hot steam shower.

Before the big pharmaceutical companies came into play, doctors would recommend COLD baths to fix a whole host of problems.

And to this day, those who are serious about health still take cold showers.

I personally take only cold showers now. I start the water warm and get my body cleaned, then immediately turn it to cold (as cold as it will go) and let it run over me. Most times I even sit down with my eyes closed and take it for several minutes, breathing steadily, feeling the energy surge through my body.

I don’t get this with warm showers. There are many reasons for that.

When that cold water hits your body, the heart begins pumping warm blood everywhere. It speeds up everything about you. The cold bite fights against your mind and your will power. You are forced to either fight it and continue, or give in and take a warm shower just as most people would. When the water is properly cold, it can be hard. But so rewarding.

It is said that a cold shower raises testosterone levels, while a warm shower lowers them. I don’t care for the science behind it, I just know that this seems to hold true. Testosterone is the man hormone, and taking luxuriously warm showers sure isn’t very manly compared to cold ones. Ask most any tough guy to start taking cold showers from here on out, chances are he’ll refuse. I’ve done this many times, so far not one has been willing to take the challenge.

But you should. Try it once. Turn the water to cold, all the way, and don’t jump out. Wait until your body enjoys it. Sit down and let it pour over you like a waterfall. When you’re heart is pumping so much blood that the water begins to feel warm, you may step out. Chances are when you step out, you will feel as though you can take on the world. A warm shower will never give you this feeling. A testosterone building, will power challenging, heart racing cold shower like this will.

If you’re anything like me, you will long for that feeling again and next time sit in the water longer. You’ll be wanting a cold shower, even if it hurts at first. You will come to love the challenge. You become excited when the water is freezing cold, and disappointed when it is only luke warm at most. While others are complaining about running out of warm water for showers or baths, you’ll laugh and jump right in.

Did I mention that taking cold showers also helps your body adjust to the cold much better? I have a hard time in cold weather, but when I take cold showers regularly, I can handle it as well as those who love the cold.

Something else I have discovered from cold showers is how well they help the body recover. Whether it’s muscle soreness from working out or being sick from making a few bad food choices, cold showers either solve or at least help solve the issue. A cold ice bath does wonders for recovery, and bragging rights.

The temporary cold also helps strengthens the hair and skin. While most guys don’t worry about having smooth skin and hair, those are signs of health. And it is perfectly acceptable to have smooth yet hard body. Afterall, don’t we say we want our bodies carved in granite? Those statues are smooth yet hard. And the cold water will help keep everything it touches healthy (as a side note, healthy skin from cold showers also means less acne).

I’ve also mentioned it speeds up the heart, gets it pumping. It jump starts the whole body. If you were tired before the shower, you will be bounding with energy afterward. There is no way this can be unhealthy. This energy also strengthens the immune system in the process.

And one of my favorite things about cold showers is bragging rights. Most people have trouble even believing me when I tell them I take cold showers, or that I recommend them for so many problems. Having trouble with the cold? Take cold showers. Tired? Take a cold shower. Sick? Take a cold shower.

It may seem “primitive” and hard, but it works. And besides… who else is willing to try? Stand out from the crowd.

Take a shower.

A COLD shower.

Greeks and Spartans

You are aware that all Spartans were Greeks, right? But not all Greeks were Spartans. Whenever you hear the word “Greek” you probably think about vase paintings, or cool stories about gods and monsters, or music, or Olympic games, or art and fancy stuff in general. When you hear the word “Spartan”, none of that comes to mind.

The reason for this is the Spartans made an effort to separate themselves from the rest of the world in the way they lived. They may have been surrounded by other Greeks, but they were far, far different. That is why when referring to non-Spartan Greeks, we say “the Greeks”. We we refer to all Greeks, we must say “Greeks and Spartans”.

Why do I even bring this up? This blog is called Spartan Living. We should separate ourselves in a similar way. We me live in a world filled with normal people, they may be our friends and family, but we should live, act, and be so different that we are not associated with everyone else as equals, like the Spartans. The Spartans were almost a different world, a completely different culture.

Each one of us has the choice to be different then everyone else. We each have a choice to be a “Spartan” in a world of “Greeks”. When a stranger sees you, make it impossible for them to associate you with normal people. Stand out.

Standing out that much can take awhile, and it can hurt. At first you may be mocked or discriminated against. Take it.

People may think you’re weird and might avoid you, or have trouble knowing what to do with you. Take it. They’re just like any other “Greek”. You’re not.

You may be the only one lifting so hard and heavy in the gym that when you’re done all you can do is collapse (I’ve done that). You might skip Thanksgiving dinner because you’ve eaten to much food recently and your body needs a break (done that too). You may take cold showers all year long, even in winter (a word of experience: start the water warm BEFORE you turn it to cold!).

Whatever it may be, do it. Own who you are in order to become the best you can be. If you pick a style of clothes, music, or whatever, own your choice in such a way that no one will question it. There was a time when the other Greeks would cut their hair shorter for easier maintenance and additional safety while in war. At this same time, the Spartans let their hair grow out long, even if it meant more danger in battle.

Another example is of the tortoise and the hare. Heard that one? In this old story, the tortoise owned who he was, even though he was slow and he withstood mockery from the hare, and eventually won the race he was challenged to.

Or of course what the Spartans may be most famous for, the battle of Thermopylae. Leonidas and his 300 leading approximately 7,000 Greeks total against a force I’ve heard might have been anywhere from 100,000 to 800,000 Persians (the more reasonable estimates). The Spartans owned who they were so well, that they drove the Persians to a dead stop, until they were betrayed by a normal Greek. They may have lost that battle, but it left such an impression on the Persians that when the Persian army later encountered an army of 10,000 Spartans, they just gave up. The lines never even met!

So choose to stand out. It may be hard, you may lose a few “battles” at first, but if you stick to it no one will question you, and all will respect you.

We live in a world of normal people. In a world of “Greeks”. Will you be a Spartan?

Inspiration Series Part 1: Elliott Hulse

We all need inspiration in our lives. Something to get us up in the morning, something to make us train hard, something that drives us. This is the first post of many in a series where I tell you about what inspires me. I encourage all of you to find inspiration somewhere, whether it’s a song, a person, a memory, doesn’t matter. As long as it inspires you.

So today, I will talk about someone who inspires me in the health and fitness world, Elliott Hulse. In my previous post, I reviewed his Lean Hybrid Muscle Reloaded system. In that post, I also recommended it, and I only do that to systems I truly recommend. Especially from people who I highly respect, such as Elliott. He gives out lots of great information for free, wanting to help everyone become the strongest version of yourself.

From reading his emails, watching his “Yo Elliott” question videos, and just looking at all the info he puts out to help others, he has inspired me to do the same. That’s why I started this blog! He encourages to do what you love, and if you can make money while you do it. It was his words that really pushed me, inspired me, to take the risk I’ve mentioned before, starting this site.

And when it comes to training, seeing Elliott at his strongman competitions and training in his gym (lifting some pretty heavy weights like a boss) inspire me to train harder, as well as make me think over what my training goals really are. My goals have changed a lot in that regard, caring a lot more about strength then I have in the past.

I am also inspired in the business world by Elliott. He runs his own gym from which he trains his clients, and makes all his videos. One of my goals is to have my own gym to train and help people.

That is why I’m starting here, by telling people about me. Why I do what I do, and why they should listen to me long enough to become “subscribers” to my ideas. Like Elliott, I sometimes have weird ideas, but I have them to further strengthen myself and others.

Expect more of my inspiration series, and tell me what some of your inspirations are. Are they people? Real, fictional, dead, alive, doesn’t matter. A song? A book? Find an inspiration, and run with it. Take a chance.

Why I Recommend Lean Hybrid Muscle (Reloaded)

First off, I must say that Elliott Hulse, one of the creators of this system, is probably one of my biggest inspirations and has lots of knowledge and experience in the fitness world. If my little review can get him a few more sales, it’s the least I could do for all the information he’s given me.

He knows what he’s talking about, wouldn’t you say?

Lean Hybrid Muscle Reloaded. The program that does a little bit of everything. That’s what hybrid means after all, right? This program is designed primarily for anyone with the goal of being athletic, functional, strong and good looking. Sounds like most everyone, doesn’t it?

The idea behind this program is building what is referred to as “type III muscle fiber”, a hybrid that is both strong and has lots of endurance (which also burns fat). Getting yourself to that point isn’t easy, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t been able to push myself that hard yet, but listening to Elliott’s info has still done a lot nonetheless.

This is a goal that is general enough to apply to lots of people. Have a healthy amount of muscle mass (as a natural bodybuilder should) while at the same time being as strong as you look (powerlifter and strongman).

And one very important part, avoiding what Elliott calls “P.M.S.” or Puffy Muscle Syndrome. This is muscle seen from normal bodybuilders (natural and otherwise) or from anyone who follows the normal bodybuilding idea of bulking and cutting. It makes you look big… but look soft as well.

If you want an example of what I’m talking about, the hard, real muscle, just look at the picture of Elliott I posted above. He follows the very routine he has his clients go through. As a matter of fact, this program is simply a written form of what he’s been doing for years!

Something excellent about this program is it’s flexibility. If you are already big (perhaps a bodybuilder) then you change/add certain things to your current routine to gain the strength and endurance necessary for this hybrid muscle.

Already a strongman? Change/add to your routine to give you the muscular, athletic, lean look of a bodybuilder while remaining brutally strong.

Or just an average Joe? Then prepare for the beating of a lifetime, because this is built to get results.

Here’s a page where Elliott goes through creating your own personal hybrid workout (for free!). Who doesn’t love free info? And here’s a page that shows an already done example workout Elliott made for his clients at his personal gym. More free info!

What you can expect to do if you get his system (or even follow his free info) is “resistance cardio”, also known as conditioning, high rep bodybuilding work, intense strength training, and lots of sleeping, eating, and aching.

If you have a goal in the fitness realm (gain some weight, lose some weight, look good with your shirt off) this program can help you achieve that goal (or at least supplement it) while at the same time giving you an all around healthy physical strength base.

But before you’re done, and decide to be on your merry way either with or without purchasing this excellent program, here’s more free stuff! Download this free PDF that you can share with anyone.

Visual Impact Muscle Building, A Simple Review

Visual Impact Muscle Building.

A more sophisticated book designed to get a very specific look. If you’re goal is to achieve the very lean and cut look seen in the examples shown, then this book is for you.

Visual Impact Muscle Building isn’t about achieving a 500lb bench press, or adding 60lbs of muscle onto your frame (although who knows what could happen). No, it’s about becoming very lean and looking good no matter what you wear. Only buy this if it fits your goal, because it is very specific. If your goal is NOT to achieve a very lean, cut look and have a very defined six pack and body, don’t bother reading on. Read another post. If this super cut look IS your goal, read on.

Something Rusty Moore, the author of this book, mentions that I’ve never heard before is called the “shrink wrap effect”. What is the shink wrap effect? The secret he uses for getting this lean. It is a rather simple idea, which I found revolutionary. With this strategy, you get to a low body fat level, then actually build muscle at a weight lighter then your goal. After your skin shrinks down, you begin “sarcoplasmic” training for size, which causes your muscles to fill out the skin. This creates a very lean, cut look. A shrink wrapped look, as it is called here.

Does it work? It does if you do. I say that with just about everything here, don’t I? Anyway, if used correctly it certainly does work. It doesn’t fit my personal goals, so because of that one reason it doesn’t work for ME. And that is only because I don’t stick to things that don’t fit my goals. But if you’re reading this far, it is most likely because this is YOUR goal, or it at least catches your fancy.

This routine is very customizable depending on your training preferences and where you are physically. Do you prefer machines or free weights? Bodyweight exercises? Any of those will work to get the lean look, the “Hollywood” look, Rusty Moore is focused on. It just matters how you use those exercises. And that is exactly what he covers.

The “shrink wrap” effect, the “Hollywood” look. Just what is this though? Yes, I’ve already said how it is achieved, but what is it actually like?

Have you ever finished an exercise and felt an amazing pump? Did your body look bigger and fill our skin more, causing you to look more cut? This is very similar to what can be achieves 24/7 when this book is used properly.

But the real question is, should you bother buying the book? It costs close to $50. There are cheaper programs out there, and there are more expensive ones. Ask yourself this, “is this the look I want?” Do you want the shrink wrapped, hollywood, super lean look that this book is specifically about achieving? If not, why are you still reading this?

If so, check it out for yourself. Click here and to check out the sales page, and decide for yourself if you are willing to spend the money to get the look.

Take a chance. Be a Man. Be a Spartan.

When I woke up this morning I read this post from Art of Manliness, and when I sat down to work on this site, I was inspired write about it.

That post also further inspired me to continue what I began by purchasing this domain and hosting with my measly funds. Take chances, take risks. In that post, Want to feel like a man? Then act like one, it is said that in order to be the man you want to be, you must be (act like) the man you want to be.

I want to be a courageous man willing to take chances for potential benefit. And out of my many inspirations, the Spartans of course should be mentioned here. After all, they are the inspiration for naming this blog.

The Spartans were willing to sacrifice safety and comfort to become elite fighters. They took a chance every day in training. It is even said of the Spartans that to them, war was a break from training.

So then, if I want to be the man I want to  be, if I want to continue this effort of Spartan Living, it makes sense I should act it out.

That’s why I spent about half of the money I had saved in this small savings account on web domains, hosting, and ebooks. That’s why I’m not working at some fast food restaurant where I’ll be miserable and surrounded by food I don’t want to touch. Heck, that’s why I take cold showers! I have to act like the man I want to become. A tough risk taker.

So when was the last time you took a chance? How big was it? Did you spend money on this chance? Did you risk injury? Did you risk a relationship?

I know I’ve risked all those things and more in my attempts to be the man I want to be. And guess what? It’s worked. Sometimes taking the chance may not get the results I wanted, even be deemed a failure, but regardless of the result I become better.

So what if this venture in online money making fails? Well, that’s a chance I’ll have to take. And already have.

So go ahead, take a chance. Find a better job. Talk to a stranger. Grab a bag and start walking. Whether other people would consider it big or small, find something that would put you out of your comfort zone, that would require effort, that would make you risk something, and go do it.

Take a chance. Become someone new.

How To Build a Classic Physique, My Recommendation and Review

A short and simple paper back book. That’s what this product is physically. However, the information it holds is incredibly useful. Even on his site, Tried and True Fitness, The information Matt Marshall gives out for free is better then I hear from most anywhere else.

When I paid for some of this information, it just got better. What is it I paid for? How to Build a Classic Physique. A very useful and simple book, with a focus on strength and health, while still looking good.

Immediately after receiving this book, I read and reread it for about four hours straight. Maybe longer. It contains lots of good information that I was able to begin applying easily.

My favorite part about this book is it’s emphasis on strength training. Personally, I don’t enjoy bodybuilding type training where you do high reps with short rests and pound the muscles to death. Instead, I prefer to lift a heavy weight a few times then take a long break. That’s the backbone of this book (was that a pun?).

On a matter of preference alone, I really enjoy this book. It fits right along with the way I enjoy training. An average of three days a week, focus on strength training while gaining size. Lifting heavy weights. Full body workouts. Compound movements. I learned to love deadlifting after reading this book.

Beyond just preference, How to Build a Classic Physique also delivers. At least if you do…

The workouts are hard. They have to be to get good results. The only results you’ll notice at first are probably being tired and sore. But when used consistently with constant progression, you begin to get bigger and stronger.

Now beyond just the workouts. Matt actually has an entire section of the book dedicated to lifestyle. He knows that there is more to health then what you eat and what you lift. In this section, along with other parts of the book, Matt discusses the importance of sleep, discipline, even the need to take cold showers. Now, to build serious strength and health the lifestyle you live will not be easy, but it will be simple and sustainable.

Along with lifestyle he does discuss diet. Not a typical “I need to lose 30 pounds for a beach party” diet that can only be sustained for a month or two because of calorie counting and all that crap. No, instead he talks about diet in a simple, sustainable way. I’m talking about for your entire lifetime here. And unlike the bodybuilding diets you hear today where you eat 6 times a day, Matt recommends as little as one or two meals a day. That doesn’t take to much time out of your day, does it?

Using basic equipment, buying simple foods, eating only a few times a day, doing simple workouts, and training hard, this book has excellent information which deliver results as long as you stay focused and determined. This book is not for the faint of heart. I’ve had trouble walking some days because of the intense training. I’ve gone hungry while others ate cake or feasted on breakfast because I was waiting for my big meal of healthy foods. I’ve slept with the window open on cold nights and taken only cold showers.

Because I did this, I get the results I want that are promised in this book. Were I to work harder with the principles given in this book, I would see better results even faster.

If you work diligently, you can too. So, if you heard about this book and are sitting on the sidelines about purchasing it, hopefully my review will help you decide (…to get it).

If you’ve never heard about this before, but are looking for a simple, sustainable, effective means of health, click here to check out the sales page for How to Build a Classic Physique by Matt Marshall.

Note: This also makes an excellent Christmas/Birthday gift if you know someone who enjoys training and health. I got this as a little Christmas gift myself.

So it begins… My Risk

Spartans live a life of risk and excitement. Well, I have certainly taken some risk. While unemployed I bought some domains and hosting to begin making money on line. Very simple, but very risky. For me at least, since I had almost no money.

I will also begin to use my Youtube account for this name, SpartanLiving, in the near future. Just need the money to purchase a good camera.

 

Spartan Living. It’s simple, but covers all aspects of life. What you eat, your lifestyle, your mindset; so much. That is what this blog is about, living the Spartan life.

Now to work to make back the money I lost on this venture. This is rather unnerving for me, because I have no other way to replace the money lost today. So… will I succeed? Will this risk be worth it?

 

Let’s find out!