TJ’s Gym Weekly News 9/28/2018



Tatum is off to college, and we are going to miss her, big time! Come back to visit soon, Tatum! You're a real inspiration in the gym! Have a blast, and study hard. Go make us proud!


Message from TJ:

Is Red Meat Killing Us?

Heart Attacks happen all the time, unfortunately. Sometimes they are fatal, but most victims survive. Only 15% of people die from heart attacks in the United States.

Two celebrities recently had massive and well-publicized heart attacks. Fitness trainer to the stars, Bob Harper, of Biggest Loser fame, and Director, Kevin Smith both had heart attacks. I know of both of these guys, because one digs CrossFit and the other is from Jersey.

Harper had a heart attack in a CrossFit gym, for crying out loud! He actually "died" on the floor of the gym and again in the ambulance. Both a cardiac nurse and a surgeon happened to be in class with him at the time, but they give the credit to the AED that was in the gym for saving his life.

*Side note: We have AED's in all of our gyms and our staff is trained in CPR and AED use!

It turns out that Harper also suffers from genetic cardiomyopathy. His mother and father both died of massive "widow maker" heart attacks before they were 55, so his genetic code increased his chances for an episode, despite his excellent health. Harper was 52.

Kevin Smith has directed dozens of films but also tours with a standup / Q&A act on college campuses. In between shows one night, he experienced the same kind of attack as Harper. He was rushed to the operating room and, according to his doctors, survived because of the speed with which he had been driven to the hospital. Smith was 47 and obese.

Both of these guys are currently alive and seem to be thriving. Harper has come out with a new book about how healthy carbs are king, and he's now a paid spokesperson for the drug company that's literally watering down his blood.

Smith has turned his near-death experience into social media gold, marketing for whatever his next project will be.

In following their journeys out of a general interest, I came across something curious:

Why were both of these guys, like most post-trauma cardiac patient, put on vegetarian diets after their surgeries?

Let's review. Heart disease is caused by excessive carbohydrate intake (sugar), poor lifestyle (smoking, drugs, lack of sleep, stress), and genetics. Sales of margarine and low-cal/high-sugar (high-fructose corn syrup) sales are still robust, so we know some of you are still refusing science and believing in the lies created by Big Food and their "scientists" and marketing teams. I've covered that topic in a previous blog.

You can read about it HERE.

There is also a strong correlation between heart disease and your personal genetics. If you are relatively healthy and you've got high cholesterol or high blood sugar or high blood pressure, then it's most likely the fault of your parents and grandparents. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

If all four of your grandparents had Type 2 Diabetes, you should watch your sugar intake. Your pancreas hates it more than other pancreases.

If both of your parents were alcoholics, you should watch the booze. Your brain loves it more than other brains.

If one or both of your folks have heart issues and were neither huge smokers nor generally unhealthy, well shucks, you need to be a little more vigilant with your diet. Your heart just might hate bugs.

Wha..? Bugs?

Here is a super fast explanation of what happens when we eat red meat. L Carnitine is an essential nutrient that gets produced in our bodies when we eat red meat. It helps ferry energy around the body to help grow and repair the heart and skeletal muscle.

Recent studies have shown that some of us have a reaction to large amounts of L Carnitine. Gut bacteria (a good thing) gets carried to the liver where a metabolite called TMAO gets produced. With certain individuals, TMAO carries a different bacteria (bugs) to the heart, and as shown by these studies, it has a negative effect on the precious heart tissue.

This is why post-heart attack patients are put on vegetarian diets. Also, according to my doctor friends, vegetarian diets tend to keep the unhealthy population away from junk food and over-consumption. At least that's the hope.

So. Many. Studies.

You could be lost in the rabbit hole of people doing studies who are screaming bloody murder on both sides of this argument.

What kind of red meat? Grassfed, or feed lot garbage? How much is too much?

TMAO is also produced in heart healthy salmon. Shouldn't that be on the list?

Vegetarian heart disease rates are exactly the same as meat-eater heart disease rates. Can you explain that?

Oy yoy yoy. I had to walk away, because I wanted to punch myself in the face for spending as much time as I had already on this little blog post.

Here is what seems to me to be a reasonable, sensible strategy:

-Eat a varied diet of the highest food qualities consumed at low-to-moderate volumes in equal macronutrient ratios.

-Sustain an active lifestyle void of obvious dangers (think smoking, drugs, alcohol, and seatbelts). Get sleep. Don't live an idiot's life.

-Know your genetics. Sorry, but you've got baggage. Figure it out, and try not to let that baggage kill you.

You're reading this because you've chosen to not be an idiot. Please keep doing not being an idiot and using us as a sounding board. Our help moves are strong.