Lifestyle Shoes: No Bull Gives the Horns to the Reebok Nano

Shoes.  Some people have a pair of shoes for every activity that they do while others just use them to cover their feet.  I fall in the middle somewhere.  I spend time thinking about the versatility of my shoe, how much I’ll be wearing it, and how well it will suit my lifestyle.  With that in mind, there are two shoes that I’ll be discussing today.  One is the Reebok CrossFit Nano 5 and the other is produced by a newer company, No Bull.  No Bull has two shoes in their lineup right now, a trainer and a lifting shoe.  The Trainer is the one we’re talking about today.  Specifically the Black Trainer, low-top, in men’s US size 8.

So why am I even talking about shoes?  Because I recently ran my blackish Nano 5’s into the ground.  They were a good shoe, not perfect (they pinched a bit over the big toe until they were really well worn in) but good for everyday running around and CrossFit.  They have a wide toe-box which allows me to wear the proper size shoe (for once) since I have wide, short feet.  With that width, I’ve typically struggled to find shoes that fit well, especially as a kid, and was pleasantly surprised by the Nano’s when I first tried them on.  Not only could I wear them comfortably, they were designed for hard use – CrossFit – and looked good in shorts or Levi’s.  Being able to do pretty much anything in those shoes was awesome, especially with five kids who might have me chasing them down at any given time.  The Nano 5 was, for me, a do-anything shoe.  I also own a pair of Nano 6’s in custom colors, and while that shoe is more comfortable than the Nano 5 was, they are just too flashy for everyday use (I still love them!).

But I needed a replacement shoe for my everyday lifestyle.  I could have ordered another set of Nano’s… buuuut, my wife has been raving about her No Bull shoes, which one of her young friends, a CrossFit athlete, raved to her about.  I discussed sizing with my wife, checked No Bull’s website, and purchased the exact same size of No Bull shoe as my Nano’s – US Men’s 8.  Please note, I was concerned about the size because their website says, “The Trainer runs true to size.  If you are between sizes we recommend ordering up .5 size.” Normally, “The Trainer runs true to size”, means that I’m going to get a shoe that is great in length, but far too narrow in the toe-box.  Which leads to a round of return-the-shoe-and-wait-for-the-replacement.  I hate that. And I further despise that the shoe really just won’t fit correctly.  If I order up, then the length from heel to ball moves out of position… It’s just better to get a wide shoe or something like the Reebok CrossFit Nano which contains a lot more toe-box than your everyday shoe.

After talking with my wife I ordered the men’s size 8 US.  Result: perfect fit!

My No Bull Trainers are snug, but not tight, fitting to length and width in a way that I don’t think any other shoe, including the Nano’s, ever has.  The construction also feels solid, which has lived up to their advertising (yes, early days for durability, I know)Furthermore, they are CrossFit style shoes, meaning that I feel comfortable doing anything in them – running, jumping, lifting, biking, climbing, or just walking around.  I can run into town, chase kids, or do a workout without worrying about the shoes on my feet.  Or, perhaps I should have emphasized that I can do those things without changing my shoes.  That makes them a shoe that fits my lifestyle and, over the last two weeks, they have made my life easier and more pleasant.  At $129 online, they aren’t inexpensive, but I think I’ll be getting my money’s worth out of them.  While it’s early days, they feel good, look good, and work great.  What more do I need?  Nothing, and that’s No Bull.

 

A Layman’s Introduction to Nutrition Response Testing

To begin, I understand Nutrition Response Testing to be a process in which an assessor checks your body for what it is deficient in and what may be causing the body harm.  It involves a lot of arm waving and vial swapping, but it is completely non-invasive and fast!  The assessor can check an incredible number of your inner workings, including your individual organs and your immune system, often in less than an hour. While the assessment isn’t 100% accurate, it is certainly “good enough” to make dietary changes, and/or re-organize your supplement schedule, which will support your body’s current needs.  And let me make this quick disclaimer – I’m not a medical doctor, make no claims to be, and am speaking from experience, not training.  So take what I say here with reasonable skepticism!

What Nutrition Response Testing is not.  It is not a “cure” for any particular illness or disease.

What Nutrition Response Testing is.  It is a way to improve whole body health through nutrition.  The underlying principle of Nutrition Response Testing is that the body knows how to handle pretty much any illness or damage, but it may not have the resources it needs to fight off attacks or rebuild what is broken.  The old adage, “You are what you eat” holds true here. But more importantly, your body can’t use what it doesn’t have, and you don’t know what you are missing until you assess.  The assessor’s job is to discover what is missing, what is attacking the body, or what may need to be avoided, and provide appropriate guidance and support to the client.  This support is primarily done through the means of vitamin and mineral supplements and other dietary adjustments.  That’s it.  In the end, if the tester did his/her job and the client follows their program, then the body “cures” itself.

To me, this is the only real form of “preventive medicine” we can really expect to work, and I think that’s because the human body was well designed in the first place.  My opinion is that American’s are spoiled and physically rotten as a society, we just won’t admit it.

Since we’re near the topic, I’d like to address our “healthcare professionals”.  Doctors, nurses, EMT’s, and the whole realm of healthcare professionals are wonderful and necessary, especially for acute cases of illness, physical damage, or restorative procedures.  They are extremely well trained in emergency medicine, especially grave bodily harm, and can save lives or fix damage that nutrition simply can’t.  So, we still need them, and ought to treat them with the greatest respect in their particular niche.  For acute medicine they are indispensable!

That said, I haven’t seen a general practice M.D. in years, and don’t plan on seeing one until I end up in the hospital for an acute issue.  The first place I go when I get sick is to my Nutrition Response Testor to see what ails me and what supplements I need to strengthen my body.  I’m taking the only real “preventive medicine” on the market – good nutrition – which requires a Nutrition Response Test in this day and age.  No, my insurance doesn’t recognize it (not too pleased with our healthcare system as a whole), and I’m not surprised because Nutrition Response Testing looks like hocus-pocus when you see it done.  Can’t argue with that.  It’s the results that keep me coming back and paying out of pocket for it.  It works for me and everyone ought to give it a spin before letting “the system” tell you what will work for you.  It’s just adding and subtracting food, after all.

I want to challenge you to ask yourself, “Am I truly healthy?”  I thought I was healthy, or at least “fully functional”, a year ago but my liver and spleen were both weak.  Now, a year later, I’ve been in maintenance for quite some time and I’m less sick, faster to recover when I do feel lousy, and I’m stronger than ever.  And “maintenance” is a monthly visit to my Nutrition Response Therapist, but the benefits are well worth that price.  What’s more, I don’t dread a visit to the doc!

If you know of something else like Nutrition Response Testing, please let me know.  I’m a life-long learner and am always up for something that makes sense!

 

Developing a working diet…

“Diet” or “dieting”…  When I hear those words, or think them, my immediate response is, “Yuck!”  Of course, I’m referring to the weight-loss diet, the annual one with the empty promise, “I’m going to lose (fill in the goal) this year.”  I can’t seem to achieve the annual “diet”… admittedly I’m not a very self-disciplined person.  That’s part of the problem, but even deeper than that is the work.  You know, changing EVERYTHING that you eat.  Nothing “fun” or “yummy” anymore.  And eating at a restaurant is often a chore instead of convenient!  Like I said, work.

But that’s in the past for me now.  My wife and I have been “playing” with our diet on and off since we were married eight years ago.  Between our food choices changing, Nutrition Response Testing, and purchasing the basics to do CrossFit at home, we are in a good physical place.  Our diet has shaken down into something fairly consistent, and often boring, but I don’t have to think too hard about my lifestyle diet anymore.  It kind of runs itself.  It provides what I need.  It also provides most of what I want.  And the best part? I feel good.

But there was work involved, and still is.  It’s just a slower process than switching everything up immediately. Before you read on, there may be a shortcut to better health: find a holistic doctor or nutritionist who will work with you to develop a personal health and fitness plan.  For everyone else who can’t afford the money or just wants to do it themselves, here are the major steps that I think people go through, or that I work through when I find new info or need to change something:

  1. Self -Introspection – Are you willing to take responsibility for your health?  It’s not your doctor’s job or you’d be eating what he/she told you to, not what you want.  Right?  Then, what has worked for you?  What hasn’t?  That’s a great starting point. Experience is a great teacher.  *** As an aside, I’M NOT A DOCTOR, SO AS YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF, DON’T TAKE MY WORD (written or spoken) AS TRUTH EITHER!!! Ok, warning and disclaimer over. ***
  2. Investigation – is what you believe to be true, actually true?  Body chemistry is a wonky thing, yours is unique to you, mine to me.  However, there is a lot of GREAT information out there, both clinical and anecdotal.  Read both.  Sometimes the authorities around you are simply wrong.  I’m amazed at the number of people who have “cured” themselves, or their loved ones, through tenaciously learning about how the body works or trying something “new”.  This seems especially true from a nutrition/holistic or “systems” perspective. Doctors have many patients, so they are generalists, albeit very well trained.  You have one patient – you.  Act accordingly.
  3. Hypothesize – as you learn, compare what you are doing now and what a difference a change might have.  What might happen to your body if you cut out one soda a day?  Or what might happen if you begin your day with fatty foods – avocado and eggs instead of cereal?  What does bulletproof coffee do for a lot of people and how should it work for you?  And why might changing when you ate something make a difference to your entire day?
  4. Experiment – Change one thing at a time.  Does the change help or hinder?  Some things that work great just aren’t palatable – bulletproof coffee with coconut oil is very unappealing to me, even though it works.  I’m using MCT oil powder instead and it is GREAT! Also, if you don’t see/feel a difference then make sure that the item isn’t time sensitive – I mean that often it takes 30 days or more for some items to
  5. Repeat step 4 until you find your “sweet spot”, where you feel healthy consistently.

Yep, there’s a lot of work to be done here. But how do you define quality of life?  If a fit body for you or a loved one is part of your definition then these steps may be for you.  Yes, there are many challenges to my lifestyle diet, but it is working for me.  Did I get there in one go?  Not at all!  We’ve been making iterative changes for the last eight years and only recently discovered the ketogenic diet, which moved fats to the beginning of our day.  For years we’ve been kind-of using the process above to get where we are today.  And as I think about it, I know I wouldn’t have done this without my wife.  She’s the real health nut, I’m just working with her, and documenting our current situation.  But I’m enjoying the benefits of looking good, feeling good, and being capable of chasing lots of kids who have ENTIRELY too much energy, and that is a big part of my quality of life!

 

Success and the Quarter-Milestone.

Success.

Is that a loaded word for you?  It feels loaded to me.  At least right now, during the “build it” stage of things.  Probably because it, success, feels far away and no matter how much work I do today, “success” won’t arrive until sometime in the future.

Perhaps not the most positive way to think, but this is more of a feeling than a thinking.  But as I think about being successful, if I want to redirect the feeling to something more positive, I could, perhaps, refine my goals a bit? Sure, why not?

So, instead of always shooting for milestones, maybe the next “success” point could be a bit closer.  The quarter-milestone! (Which brings me to an immediate area of pleasure: quarter mile drag racing!  Gotta love the way the human brain associates things!) A good quarter-milestone, right now, is a single blog post.  Write it and post it.  Do that four times and I’ll hit a mile.  That I can do.

Success!

Lifestyle… Significance and Success?

Definitions:

  • Lifestyle: The way that an individual lives.
  • Significance: The intrinsic motivational value of a thought, feeling, deed, or achievement to an individual.
  • Success: The metric by which an individual can gauge their efforts and is dependent upon the individual’s standards which may, or may not, align with “common” standards.

Lifestyle designed to bring Significance and Success… this is an interesting place to begin a conversation.  I believe everyone is after a life that is successful and significant, both to you and to the people you care about.  Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’m probably not.  However, as much as we want significance or success, reality has taught most of us that we can’t dictate terms to life.  Quite the opposite, as events overtake us, we are emotionally, physically and especially relationally bound to our universe.  The choices that we make aren’t completely rational, nor are they completely emotional/relational.  Instead, we live a life that reflects our daily navigation of what we want or can achieve, what our community wants and tells us should be important, and what reality throws at us (like a rainy day when you could use some sun).

Now, here are three questions for you:

  1. What room for improvement is there in how you navigate your day?
  2. How would you define Significance?
  3. How would you define Success?

To help you answer these questions think about the highs and lows of your life.  Start with the daily grind – what are the good parts of your week and what are the bad?  Then, as you move to questions 2 and 3, go deeper into your life experiences, looking throughout your life.  The highs usually point to events that hold significance and/or success metrics that you actually attained.  The lows usually point to the opposite of what you find significant and/or successful.  And sometimes events that others counted as successes you saw as failures, or vice-a-versa, and those give you clues as well.  Finally, don’t let others dictate significance or success to you, because you are unique and no one knows you like you do!

Please leave your thoughts and comments!  We’ve just opened a can of worms…