The other day I listened to a podcast while driving to the post office to get my mail. It featured one bro talking to another bro about post-apocalyptic survival, the end of civilization, not knowing whom to trust, and things you have to know/do in order to evade capture. Yes, I listen to some weird stuff.

Anyway, one of the bros, a former CIA agent, said when you’re in deep shit, the first thing you have to do is throw away anything with batteries (technology) so you can’t be traced. You have to go old school.

And in that moment, waiting at the light at the corner of State and Broadway, I had a major realization. It literally blew my mind. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

We are at war, and it’s time to go old school. This war is not against Russia or Iran or China – it’s far more personal, and the problem is the most of us have been too numbed-out to realize we’re in the middle of it. In fact, that’s why it’s a war. Our entire culture is set up to make us sick, and there are far too many people who are willing to take our money from us along the way. The entire mainstream culture is complicit. 

Overdramatic? I don’t think so. And even if it is, so be it.

Because I’m 99 percent sure it takes a warrior’s mindset to break free of this matrix. My own health struggles have led me to down a road of self-questioning, many visits to PubMed, reading books, and looking for patterns. It feels like being stuck in quicksand and it’s hard to know whether you have the energy or will to pull yourself out.

None of the following is groundbreaking news. Entire books can be (and have been) written about each topic, but here’s a quick overview of the landscape.

Why you have to go off-grid

  1. The mainstream food supply can’t be trusted because it contains disease-contributing ingredients. Plus, those food products are specifically designed to be tasty and make us want more of them. I always told clients: sugar craves sugar.
    And sometimes sugar doesn’t even TASTE like sugar (but once it’s in your body, it’ll want to throw a party and invite more in). Your body is programmed to want it, because it’s fast and easy fuel – perfect for our ancestors who needed that fuel to survive. 
  2. The problem is, in the doses we eat nowadays, these foods are not good for our bodies. In fact, they are not just “not good” … often, they actually are bad. They mess with our hormonal system so we crave more of them – as well as feel foggy, tired, depressed and have aches and pains. Plus, they wreak havoc on our digestive systems, our brains, our hearts and our cells.
  3. Our bodies want to rest. That’s because generations ago, we actually needed rest – we were worn out from the arduous task of staying alive (avoiding predators, moving about, finding food, maintaining shelter). Our current lifestyle isn’t nearly so physically demanding, but our bodies still are programmed for a good layabout session, even if the most demanding thing we’ve done all day is to take a shower. 
  4. When you eventually get sick from eating too much crappy food (even food you might have believed to be healthy) and/or not moving enough, you enter the health care industrial complex where you are given pills and usually not told how to mitigate the problems you’re having.
    If you have a skeptical mind, you could attribute this to two factors:

    1. The health care professionals know you won’t make the changes anyway, because you’re addicted to food engineered to make you want more of it and you’re filled with inertia because you’ve spent a great deal of your time on the couch. They’re burned out and tired of trying to help people help themselves. So they give you your pills and send you on your way.
    2. Also, if they DO tell you what changes to make and you DO follow through, what happens to their long term income? It dries up. BTW, I’m not necessarily talking about your individual doc here but the company/infrastructure that employs her/him.

Here’s what I know for sure: When you’re in the middle of it, it feels like shit. It really does feel like you are stuck in that quicksand mentioned above.

You have to fight back

It’s time to do battle. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I also know this: when it comes to health and wellness, it’s a good idea to question everything.

You even have to question your body’s own signals, because what it craves likely the last thing it really needs – especially if you’ve been eating anything close to a standard American diet. The hormonal reactions set up by what you’re feeding your body are actually running the show: the food itself is in command.

You have to wrest back control.

The system is set up against us – processed foods, factory farming, over-farmed fields, confusing science. I’m not talking crazy “health nut” stuff here, btw. I’m talking about general health and wellness.

One of the most frustrating things – heck, THE most frustrating thing – about being a personal trainer is the little dance you have to do with clients in order to keep them motivated, because breaking the cycle is incredibly hard. It requires some discomfort.

You want your clients to get results just as much as THEY want results, but you also don’t want to scare them off. And most clients will tell you that they do not want discomfort. Even the American College of Sports Medicine soft-pedals its own exercise recommendations, in hopes of getting more compliance.

Often it comes down to recommending that clients do the ABSOLUTE LEAST they can get away with in order to get at least a modicum of results. You hope it starts to build on itself, so that they buy in to make more changes over time.

I’m not training clients any longer, so I’m going to be moving past the “least” stage when I talk about this stuff now.

I’m talking to myself here, too. Because there’s something I’ve found: when you start to get sick or are injured, your body really starts  reverting to its ancestral patterns. Those cravings get stronger and the desire to rest grows deeper. 

It’s time to go to war, even if the battle cry feels like a Monday morning whimper. The truth is, it’ll get easier (even in just a few days).

5 ways to go old school

All of the below are easy to say but can be challenging to do – which is why it helps to look at this as a war, and to build a warrior’s mindset. Get mad. Question everything, even your thoughts. Is the food running you, or are you running it? Who’s calling the shots?

1. Don’t eat anything out of a package. 

2. Cut out sugar.

3. Build a base of fruit and vegetables, add some lean proteins and healthy fats, and a little bit of non-grain carbs.

4. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

5. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night.

(Bonus) 6. Be vigilant and consistent. Don’t listen to the programming in your head. In time, the changes will stick.


  • 25 minutes on Arc trainer
  • 20 minutes of 10 percent incline treadmill “sprints”
    • Varying time and speed,  based on how close to death I felt 🙂