Be Your Most Vibrant Self!

What does it mean to be your most vibrant self? When I think about being vibrant, I think of being the best I can be (body, mind, spirit) in order to live each day optimally. At Hot Feet we believe in encouraging and inspiring people to not only be fit, but to find their best selves.
 
In November we hosted a fitness challenge and gave direction for those who participated to see how they could make small changes in their day to day diet, fitness, and outlook in order to get healthier. We had awesome results and our winner was Zach (pictured below) who lost over 6 pounds and 2% body fat by following the plan we set for him. 
 
About the Live Healthy Program and Fitness Challenge:
Eating is one of the main forms of nourishment but it can also be one of the main forms of excess and toxicity. Looking critically at ones diet can often yield great physical results in terms of how one looks, feels and the overall healthfulness of a person. The eating plan should be approached with an understanding of what you have done in the past and an eye for what you want to change for the future.
 
Excercise if a vital portion of a healthy existance. Hot Feet Fitness is about helping people live healthy which often includes changing lifestyle choices and adding activities such as stretching, working out and yoga.
 
The goal is to live healthy. This process examines the habits that have been built in the past and sets a new course for the future. This is not a one and done project for HFF. We desire to see you live in vibrant health your entire life and realize that we all have a starting point to build from. Make progress in a given direction rather than holding up a certain standard to achieve. Live Healthy. Be fit & love it!

In Health, 

Teanna Gentry
Director of Operations 

Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness 

Food as Medicine: Protein Power

I am strongly against the consumption of any animal products including dairy but that does not exclude seafood.  I have found that a few ounces of raw or seared tuna for breakfast or lunch has a powerful effect on my fat burning ability through the day.  Raw, fresh, organic, leafy greens also contain an abundance of protein but I tend to mix them with a lot of fruit so I get a mix of natural sugar and protein which does allow the body to burn a massive amount of fat but can often be a taller mental leap than most of us want to traverse.
 
So, what is the problem with animal protein?  People have been eating it for centuries right?  How can there be anything wrong with it?  If you read one of many studies but one of my favorite by Dr. T. Colin Campbell knows as the China Study.  Under Dr. Campbell's instruction, a team performed a 40 year study on and around the consumption of animal proteins and the direct correlation with disease.  They completed this study in rural China where the diets of the people are both diverse by region but very steady by community.  In other words, people in a certain community ate the same finite things through their entire lives while others in the vast Chinese regions may have a completely different diet but also very consistently consuming the same things within their community throughout their lives.   Dr. Campbell and his team at Cornell University did not intend to put animal protein to the test when they began this journey.  The data revealed the results without coercion.  Eventually, Dr. Campbell was able to literally turn on and turn off cancer growth in laboratory animals with the consumption of animal proteins into the diets.
 
Another doctor with an incredible amount of wisdom and experience has also written a book about the triumphs of avoiding animal protein is Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  Dr. Fuhrman has treated more than 20,000 people using a "food as medicine" approach and has had remarkable results seeing people strengthen their immune system and their bodies begin to heal themselves and return to a naturally healthy state.
 
Not eating meat is really not the point here.  Understanding and accepting the fact that our culture may have it wrong is a bigger deal.  I choose not to eat meat because I have seen the affects of both consuming it and not consuming it and I have gotten to a place mentally where it is not a struggle or a challenge for me to avoid it.  Information combined with life experience is a powerful and motivating tool.
 
Many people ask me where I get my nutrients, how do I get enough protein, etc.  The truth is that there are more available and absorbable proteins as well as thousands of other phytonutrients in raw, fresh, organic produce than in any animal protein.  In fact, it is something like 12x in some of the most conservative cases where produce is wildly more nutrient dense than animal protein options.
 
I like to eat from the rainbow however and I think that is how we can ensure we get a good variety of the many micronutrients available.  Remember to specifically and intentionally include many forms of greens in your diet as they are known to be the most nutrient dense food on the planet.  

We love to make smoothies at home.  They are always different but we have a few tricks.  The first on is to save all your ripe fruit!  Pile, clean and chop it up in blendable sizes.  Place it in the freezer and run it through a gear drive juicer to make sorbet or in a quality blender (we enjoy using Vitamix machines) for a smoothie.  For bananas, wait until they are partially brown before pealing and placing in the freezer inside of a storage bag or container.  Frozen bananas are a wonderful treat as is or broken up in a smoothie or nut milk.  We use stevia and at times a little honey or agave for sweetener.  We sometimes use a vegan protein which can also add sweetness and texture.  One key is to make sure not to load your smoothies with too much fruit or too many different items.  Keep it simple with maybe just two major flavors.  For example, a wonderful smoothie could be banana and peanut butter.  We may add a little bit of apple or other frozen fruit but for sweetness more than flavor.  Add to that some vanilla, nut milk, spices, ice and you are good to go.  I like to start with some nut milk which is also very easy to make (e.g. almonds, water, dates, banana, vanilla).  Find a video on YouTube for instructions on how to make almond milk. https://youtu.be/rV28BFO6yXk
 
Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness

Give Yoga a Shot!

Is yoga really that hard? Can it help me lose weight, or tone up, or get healthier? The answer is YES to all of these questions. I often have people come into the studio that say, "I can't do yoga, I'm not flexible, or I don't think it will help me reach my goals." These statements really get me excited and chomping at the bit to share how amazing yoga is for the body. It has helped me heal from past surgeries, reduce stress, decrease body fat, tone my arms and legs, and I could go on and on. Yoga is for everybody, and every body! 

Here is a great article from Mind Body Green about how yoga can help promote weight loss. Check it out, and come try a yoga class with us. We have all levels of yoga, and a variety of teachers and class options to choose from. 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5118/8-Ways-Yoga-Can-Promote-Weight-Loss.html

In Health, 

Teanna Gentry
Director of Operations
Hot Feet Fitness 

Hip Opening Sequence

Are your hips tight? According to the article written by Sara Novak on Naturally Savvy, "Your hips are the body’s junk drawer - they hold emotional stressors when you’re not sure where else to put them, yet you’re not entirely ready to release them. Have you ever felt the need to burst into tears in the middle of or directly after a yoga class? If so, it’s likely that the class included a host of hip openers, causing an emotional release marked by a flood of tears. Our tight hips aren’t just a result of sitting at a desk, in a car, or on the sofa while watching television, they’re also a sign of emotional stress building in the body’s largest joint. The hips are the body’s stabilizers, but they also serve as storage units that house sad memories, financial fears, relationship woes, and family issues. By taking the time each and every day to focus ample attention on the hips, you’ll release anxiety, fear, depression, and sadness - See more at: http://naturallysavvy.com/care/what-are-your-tight-hips-telling-you#sthash.YHgZE0RO.dpuf"

At Hot Feet our yoga instructors like to run through different yoga flows or sequences, and we recently posted about one on Seattle Yoga News. Check out the full article and/or picture below to get tension out of your hips and feel more relaxed:

http://seattleyoganews.com/hip-opening-yoga-poses/

Hip Opening Sequence.jpg (1.76 mb)

 

In Health, 
Teanna Gentry
Director of Operations at Hot Feet Fitness 

Steer Clear to Win

Excerpt from Five Percent Chance by Jerrod Sessler

Copyright © 2009 by Jerrod and Nikki Sessler

ISBN 978-0-615-33332-8 

LCCN 200994067

 

My hope is that this book is not characterized as a book with a bunch of “don’t do’s.” In fact, I nearly omitted this section altogether because I feel it is much more important that you focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot or should not do. In other words, you can be very successful in just doing the right things right, for the right reasons, rather than focusing on avoiding the wrong things and giving yourself a bad attitude and overall miserable disposition.

With that said, I am going to be very brief here and give you a list of the items you should avoid and the reasons why. I also want you to see how these apply to my recipes for disease, illness, and obesity. After this list, I have highlighted the two biggest concerns I have after having lived this diet for a number of years.

The foods listed below create most of the physical problems we experience. To have real health, eliminate them from your diet as quickly as possible. 

 

Foods to Be Avoided

Beverages. Alcohol, coffee, tea, cocoa, carbonated beverages and soft drinks, all artificial fruit drinks including sports drinks, and all commercial juices containing preservatives, salt, and sweeteners.

Dairy. All milk, cheese, eggs, ice cream, whipped toppings, and non-dairy creamers.

Fruit. Canned and sweetened fruits, along with non-organic dried fruits.

Grains. Refined, bleached flour products, cold breakfast cereals, and white rice.

Meats. Beef, pork fish, chicken, turkey, hamburgers, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, etc.

Nuts & Seeds. All roasted and/or salted seeds and nuts. Though peanuts are not a nut but a legume, they are very difficult to digest and should also be avoided. 

Oils. All lard, margarine, shortenings, and anything containing hydrogenated oils.

Seasonings. Table salt, black pepper, and any seasonings containing them. 

Soups. All canned, packaged, or creamed soups containing dairy products. 

Sweets. All refined white or brown sugars, sugar syrups, chocolate, candy, gum, cookies, donuts, cakes, pies, or other products containing refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. 

Vegetables. All canned vegetables containing added sodium or preservatives, or vegetables fried in oil. 

Once you have stopped eating the foods that will harm your health and started eating the foods that will enhance your health, you may experience some symptoms of detoxification. If you do, take heart! This means you are getting rid of toxins that have been stored in your body. 


If I was told I could only name two things to avoid consuming and I had to limit my list to just these, then this is what I would say. It is tough to categorize these appropriately because I have really strong feelings about both but I don’t think there is nearly as much science or personal experience around the second one as compared to the first so I will go in this order:

 

Animal products of any kind would be one that I would simply avoid all together. Dr. T. Colin Campbell explains, in detail, why animal products are so bad for the human body in his book, The China Study. It has to do with the protein and how it is processed in our bodies. It is really bad for our bodies as it leads to many of the western diseases we commonly experience as a culture. Dr. Joel Fuhrman in Eat to Live confirms this, and many life stories along with hundreds of scientific studies also corroborate this fact. This includes dairy, quite significantly because dairy includes the animal protein which is the chief contributor to the physical ailments. The story around fish and seafood is rather vague, however. It seems the protein in these swimmers is not as big of a problem as is the toxic load from the heavy metals often found in them. I ate some fish during the first couple of years of the lifestyle change but it was infrequent and in small portions. Eat to Live has a chart showing which fish are more likely to contain more heavy metals.

 

Excitotoxins of all kinds would be next on my list. I learned everything I know about excitotoxins from Dr. Russell Blaylock in his book by the same name, that is, other than what I learned by experiencing the chemical poisoning from excitotoxins first hand on several occasions. Because I know you want to know what an excitotoxin is, I will provide a brief overview here but if you want to know details, then check out Dr. Blaylock’s book.

What is an excitotoxin? An excitotoxin is an amino acid. Our bodies use a lot of amino acids regularly. The problem is that there are ways of creating amino acids in such a manner that they zoom past the protective blood-brain barrier and wreak havoc on our brain neurons (receptors). These “bad” amino acids are dubbed excitotoxins for reasons you are about to learn. The excitotoxin amino acid makes its way to the receptors in the brain that control the “feel good” signals. Interestingly enough, it is sort of like a gate. The excitotoxin holds open the gate to the receptor while calcium rushes in to cause the receptor to fire in rapid succession, sending a “feel good” signal elsewhere in the brain. Zinc and magnesium are designed to hold the gate closed in certain circumstances, but a deficiency in these minerals is common and thus leaves the receptors even more vulnerable. In other words, we are duped into thinking whatever we just did (or ate) was good for us and pleasurable. Soon after, the receptors (neurons) effected by the excitotoxin die. Here is what Dr. Blaylock says about the effects of the excitotoxins:

“When neurons are exposed to these substances, they become very excited and fire their impulses very rapidly until they reach a state of extreme exhaustion. Several hours later these neurons suddenly die, as if the cells were excited to death. As a result, neuroscientists have dubbed this class of chemicals ‘excitotoxins.’”

Clearly excitotoxins are something we should avoid, but where are they found? Some of the common names would be MSG, which is an acronym for monosodium glutamate or hydrolyzed protein. The problem is that many people know about the negative effects of MSG, so food manufacturers have resorted to creating new, similar substances and conveniently renaming them something else.  We have created another blog post with a fairly detailed list of excitotoxins that you may use for reference.

It is also important to remember my encouragement to think about what you can do rather than going too far down this path of all that you are bound from. There are more options than any of us combined will ever be able to explore and experience. Find the freedom in your lifestyle instead of focusing on the “don’t do’s.”


Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness

Live Healthy Program

Starting Sunday, November 1st we are kicking off the first Live Healthy Program. Why did we start this program? Because we believe that living healthy is achievable for everyone and in community we can all encourage each other to strive to make better choices, be fit, and love it everyday. When you are a member of Hot Feet Fitness you are able to join the program at no charge and utilize a wealth of information we provide to you that all circles back to creating a better, healthy lifestyle for you and your family. 

Visit this page below to learn more about adopting a good, long term, maintenance diet. 
http://hotfeetfitness.com/about-eating 

In November we have 13 members who have decided they want to be a part of this program, and we are so excited to see the their results at the end of the month. If you see them at the studio, or see their name on the blackboard, give them a high five or quick note to empower them in their efforts towards better health. 

Are you interested in joining us on our health and fitness journey with this program? Email me to get more details at teanna@hotfeetfitness.com. 

In Health, 
Teanna Gentry
Director of Operations at Hot Feet Fitness

 

What Is A Healthy Life?

I began asking that question sixteen years ago when I was driving my truck southbound on the viaduct and I heard from my sister that I needed to get to my doctors office as soon as possible.  I had been undergoing some routine checks related to an itchy mole on my back.  It turns out the mole was a deep and growing melanoma cancer that had already spread.  They gave me a 5% chance to live and only slightly better odds if I underwent the standard medical treatment which included a variety of drugs and chemicals.

I suppose the journey that I have taken for nearly two decades could be helpful to you as well especially since I decided not to do what the doctors suggested.  I looked into my own habits and lifestyle and began to learn that various things that I had grown accustom to were actually killing me.  Yes, I was committing suicide with my lifestyle.  It was a socially acceptable suicide because I was doing all the normal things that normal people do.  But, those things also lead to dead moms of toddlers, widowed spouses, broken hearts and an endless string of questions starting with "why God?"

I know I have lost most of you now but for those that are brave enough to keep reading, I will share with you what the key ingredients are to a healthy life and I will also share with you some of the common killers that we do and don't even realize what we are doing.  But, first, let me tell you that I do not live a miserable life because I avoid certain things.  I am actually very fulfilled and joyful regarding my current lifestyle and the trajectory that I envision to get even healthier.

I wrote mainly about what to do but I also mention what not to do in the first book I authored titled, "Five Percent Chance."  In it, I articulate the wonder and amazement of our bodies design. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine a diet so wide and plentiful that I actually could never come close to enjoying it completely.  The crux of the do's is what our moms always told us, "eat your veggies."  But, it goes further than that.  I used to think that veggies were limited to what you see in the produce section at the grocery store.  But, that is only part of the plan.  Did you know there are at least 7,000 varieties of just apples?  There are thousands upon thousands of different varieties of produce and many that we have never even heard.  Some of my favorites are duran, maracuya and persimmon.  Have you tasted these?  Well, I never had either but I eat these and many others as part of my regular diet now.  

Purchase Five Percent Chance:  http://www.amazon.com/Five-Percent-Chance-Jerrod-Sessler/dp/061533332X

I won't surprise you what shows up on the "healthy life killer" lists but I want to remind you that I am not writing this for money nor am I sharing the fruitful information that I have learned through this journey for any other reason that to motivate and stir you to consider changes in your own life.  I have used the last third of my life to develop projects around this passion.  I started an organic produce delivery company called Freggies.com because I felt like real food was too expensive and I knew that we could do something about that.  I recently started Hot Feet Fitness (www.HotFeetFitness.com) to fulfill the need that I see to have a straight up exercise studio that gets results in quick fashion.  We live busy lives and we do not generally have time to fit everything in.  Knowing that I want results and you want results inspired me to build a solution.  Our first HFF studio opened in Burien, WA in July of 2015.

I eat an abundance of produce, lots of salads, many varieties of dressings, sauces, soups galore.  I also enjoy fish and any seafood in any form (raw or cooked) but my favorite is seared ahi tuna with my daughters rosemary spice rub (yum).  I eat very little packaged food and I do my best to avoid artificial sugars.  I do not enjoy white flour products and pastas mainly because they just make me feel fat and heavy (ironic that they make us look that way also...).  I avoid animal products including dairy completely and convinced fully that they are the chief source of cancer.  I also avoid a nasty little ingredient generally called "excitotoxins" but more commonly known as MSG or other terms that have the same harmful effects while tricking us into enjoying whatever it is on.

I wrote about the mental struggle and down right battle of choosing health over the wide path of our culture.  It really is just a mental decision to go one way verse another.  Once you begin to make the turn, you also begin to see results but you also experience the social stigma of the healthy side.  Again, it is a mental game and I wrote "Food Chains" to address just this fight.  It is a personal fight and one that I know well.  

Purchase Food Chains:  http://www.amazon.com/Food-Chains-Jerrod-Sessler/dp/0989699706

Grab a book and visit these pages for more information on diet guides:  www.hope4health.org and www.hotfeetfitness.com/about-eating

Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness

NO GUILT

Take a look in the mirror. Do not look with guilty eyes. Look with the eyes of a stranger gazing upon the work of another. No judgement, just fact gathering.  What do you see?  You see the results of a lifetime of work. Whatever the length of this persons life, their parents started them along a path and they took over at some point to earn the body they have.  This person was given a physical form to shape, care for, to use and enjoy.  The results before you is the sum of what has been done over the course of their life.
 
Avoid passing judgement as we are all so attuned to due.  Instead, recognize the sum of the efforts (good or bad) that have resulted in what stands before you.  Keep your analysis third person so as to avoid useless guilt.  What would you change?  Not for the sake of making this form look better but what would you change because something does not seem as it was intended.
 
This is the best place to establish a new vision.  What would you change?  Make a list.  Not because it is wrong but because it can be different, more fulfilling and more enjoyable.  Make a list of things you would change.  Remember as you make the list that all things are possible.  The form was once much different and the result is merely the sum of the years of trials, challenges, hurts and struggles.  Had those experiences been different then the form would also be different.  Make a list of those hurts.  Leave the blame there.
 
From here, make a commitment to give yourself one year.  Yes, an astoundingly long full year to redo much of what has been done in many more years before.  Commit to five minutes a day doing something active and one change in your diet each day.  Yes, five minutes of movement escalating up to vigorous movement in a few weeks and eat something different at least once each day.  Opt for water over pop, a salad over a burger, baked meal instead of fried, etc. Establish check-ins for yourself on the first Sunday of each month and go back to the mirror and your lists of hurts and changes.  Recommit and give yourself a full year before you give up.  The exercise is not as much physical as it is emotional and mental.  Tell yourself you can and you will change the sum by contributing to a different outcome for 365 days.  One of you will do this.  I am excited to hear your story someday.  Start today.
 
Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness 

IS HEALTH A CHOICE?

I am asking you the question. Can you be healthy? Can you decide if your going to be healthy or not? Most of the people I talk to agree that they can be healthy if they choose to be. I have proven it to be true in my life. I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastasized melanoma in 1999. I was given a 5% chance of making it. I believe that luck is kind to those that are prepared. So, yes, I am lucky but I am also educated and willing to fight hard. The more I learned, the more that fight became about thriving and not just merely surviving. Today, I fight for you! Too many people live knowing they can contribute to their good health yet spend much of their time worrying if cancer, heart disease, diabetes or many other ailments will fall from the sky onto their lives. I found a path that is plain and available to everyone that makes it possible to avoid nearly all dis-ease and ailments. My fight is not against people, processes, companies or even certain foods. My fight is with a culture and an era that does not actively believe that they have any control over their outcome.
 
There are two parallel paths that I travel to experience success in achieving great health and vitality. First, I make positive changes. These are made daily and incrementally. Big changes are easy because they are made daily in small choices but over time they added up to big results.  Small choices made daily become big as the results from them transform my body, my mind and my perspective. The second path is education. I continue to find myself on each of these two paths. The way these paths have worked together is key and I do not believe I would have been successful had I not done both simultaneously. As I made changes, I need to think differently. I need to be convinced that the change was right in order for it to stick. I need to enjoy it and understand why I was doing it. Had I not experienced this, I may have easily been lead back to the lies displayed on billboards, television and product packaging around us every day.
 
The sad truth is that I do not believe most people would have to stretch a great distance to agree with all of what I am saying. In fact, I would argue that all of us that are over forty were taught most of this when we were kids with comments like these: "eat your greens;" "start with your salad," and; "finish your veggies" along with other similar comments our parents and grandparents would make. So, why is it so difficult for us to implement? Why do we struggle to put pen to paper and rubber to the road when it comes to our health? Why do we know what we need to and should do but we still refuse one little decision at a time. We watch the days pass as if we are no more in charge of our health than the man on the moon is of the sun. Well, I am going to share with you the answers to these questions and give you some simple keys to producing remarkable health in your own life and the lives of those around you next month.  Until then, eat your greens!
 
Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness