- Fitness Q & A
- Recipe
- Success Stories
Fitness Q & A:


Q) How can I stay committed to an exercise program when I'm so busy?

A) I have yet to meet someone who has legitimately been "too busy" to find time for exercise. It's just a matter of setting a goal that motivates you. It doesn't have to be to lose weight or get to a certain dress size, but should be something that excites you. For example, I recently spoke with an 83 year old man who wanted to know the best exercises to do so he could continue to go dancing with his wife 4 nights/week. We all know that exercising is good for us, but that's clearly not enough to get us in the gym, as just 8% of men and 3% of women in the US do any regularly scheduled exercise. Here is how to set your goal:

1. What is your final objective (make it realistic) - example: "I want to reduce my blood pressure to 120/80 and lose 10 lbs of body fat in 6 weeks"

2. Establish behavioral goals that will help facilitate your final objective - example:
- "I will meet with a trainer 2x/week for the next 6 weeks"
- "I will stop eating deserts except for Saturday night"
- "I will make sure I eat breakfast daily and have healthy snacks on hand so I don't eat junk"
- "I will reduce my caloric intake by at least 600 calories for the next 6 weeks by eliminating my Starbucks Crapaccino and switching to black coffee or expresso"

These are examples of behavioral goals that will all act as possible steps to achieve the final outcome goal. Treat your health like your business. Have clear objectives with an outlined action plan. Also write down your goals and place them somewhere you can see them daily. This will hold you accountable and increase your rate of success. It's like they say - "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".

Bison Chili


2-3 slices uncooked bacon
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 lbs ground bison
2 tbs chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1.5-2cups beef broth or water
1 14.5 oz can finely chopped tomatoes
1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
Optional garnishes:
finely chopped avocado, cilantro, grated cheese, sour cream

In large saucepan cook bacon until slightly brown. Add onions and cook until slightly translucent, add garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Add ground meat and cook until browned. Add remaining ingredients (except vinegar and cocoa), cover, and simmer over low heat for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
Uncover, add vinegar and cocoa, and continue cooking uncovered for another 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.


Sission, M. The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. 2009. p. 32-34
"Ben helped me eliminate several trainers to manage my specific back injury. It is very tricky for me to maintain muscle strength without reinjuring and creating spasms of extreme concern. Ben is capable and equipped with an unusual ability to recognize what one needs and use all the tools in his box to accomplish his client's goals, including nutrition wellness programs. Give him the opportunity to help you and he will do what it takes to accomplish your goal, whatever age or shape. Thanks Ben."

Anne - Scottsdale, AZ


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I hope this newsletter finds you well and stepping into the cooler temperatures that fall brings. It is always my intention to have this newsletter completed and sent by the first of the month, however, I'm glad that I didn't rush to put something together and took some time to reflect on topics that least to me. Here-in you will find possibly the most beneficial advice I know on how to improve your health. Nope, not nutrition, not supplements, and not even exercise, but sleep. We are dang tired and our health is suffering because of it. With so many uncontrollable things in our daily lives, sleep is one that we can control and must for maintaining and improving health.

Enjoy and as always, thanks for reading!

In Health,

Ben Brown

You Can't Lose if You Don't Snooze

"Health is the first muse, and sleep is the condition

to produce it."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Most people are well aware of the importance of a good night's sleep in order to stay energetic, but did you know that sleep is the most effective way to lose weight, heal sore muscles, improve strength, balance hormones, and perform optimally?


Up until the invention of electricity (barely 100 years ago), we synchronized our biological rhythms with the changing of the seasons. We would wake at first light, and sleep when the sun went down, providing us anywhere from 9-12 hours of sleep per night. What the heck happened? We have 24-hr electronic stimulation at our disposal, coupled with increased work stress, shift work, caffeine, sugar and TiVo, how could we possibly get to bed before midnight, there's just too much to do!

Sleep experts say the average adult requires seven to eight hours of sleep per night. There is strong scientific evidence to suggest that we (western civilization) are extremely sleep deprived, in fact, Americans today on average sleep one hour less per night than we did just 20 to 30 years go. "Sleep is just as important to our overall health as are exercise and a healthy diet," said Carl Hunt, the director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research in Bethesda, Maryland.


There are some very common sleep-related problems that need to be addressed to help curb this national sleep deficit:


1.     Getting to bed too late

2.     Getting up to work or train before 4am

3.     Getting less than 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis

4.     Always feeling tired and lethargic, especially at sunrise when it's time to get out of bed

5.     Poor sleep quality, e.g. frequently waking during the night, or restless sleep


Dissecting Poor Sleeping Habits

1. Getting to bed too late.

Many of our hormones are produced in tune with the cycle of the sun. Stress hormones (cortisol) are produced in the morning and taper off throughout the afternoon, while growth and repair (healing) hormones increase in production as the sun goes down. Our bodies are designed to wind down from sunset until about 10pm when our body should be telling us it's time to sleep. Physical repair takes place from around 10pm to 2am and psychic (mental) repair takes place from around 2am to 6am These are crucial sleep periods as healing cannot take place without adequate sleep at the right times. While you may go to bed beyond midnight and wake up feeling refreshed, your physical regeneration will be left starving for the necessary repair. This means you must be asleep by 10pm most nights.


2. Getting up to go to work or train before 4am.

Given we need at least 8 hours of sleep/night, a 4am wake-up would require going to bed by 8pm the night before. For many people this is unrealistic due to the fact that it is still light outside during certain times of the year or they may not even get home from work before then. The best solution is to get to bed by 10pm and sleep till 6am, however, if an early rise is a must, then you need to do whatever it takes to get in your 8 hours. This may mean installing blackout curtains in your bedroom and telling the kids to keep the noise down. I often see clients with "perfect" meal plans and committed exercise routines that fail to lose body fat or increase muscle mass because they are sleep deprived.


3. Getting less than 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis.

Some would suggest that our bodies are fundamentally the same as those of our ancestors. Therefore, if humans used to sleep 9-12 hours/night, then one could deduce that we need the same amount of sleep as they did back then. Most people would say that that much sleep is a waste of time and impossible. It's simply a matter of prioritizing and organizing for most people. If you want to lose weight, feel better, look better and perform better, then figure out how to get to bed by 9 or 10pm. It's as simple as that. Research show's that short sleepers are on their way to hypertension, weight gain, diabetes, and even premature aging.


4. Always feeling tired and lethargic, especially at sunrise when it's time to get out of bed.

I have a 9-month old little girl. I spent the first 4 months after her birth walking around in a trance. I was foggy headed, lethargic and exhausted. I was waking multiple times a night and never getting close to the recommended 8 hours of sleep. I continue to feel the effects from those sleepless nights. For many people this is a daily occurrence, regardless of whether or not they have small children, they continue to rack up sleep debt by frequently going to bed too late. This debt occurs by consistently getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night. The most important thing you can do is to start to pay back that "debt" by getting the adequate sleep you need at the right times (10pm-6am). The longer you have been building up debt, the longer it will take to pay back, but the health benefits will be profound, including increased feelings of well-being, energy levels, work output, body-fat loss, blood profile improvements, etc.


In my clinical practice, I find one of the most beneficial things to get clients to get to bed on time is to minimize their exposure to bright light late into the evening. Common culprits are the television, computer and even cell phones, and these effects are exacerbated when sitting too close. This light exposure acts as a stimulant on the pineal gland which can inhibit the production of melatonin, your bodies natural sleep aid. This can make people feel like they have more energy and frequently keep them stimulated past the 10pm window.


Because of over-stimulation late into the night, the natural melatonin production doesn't occur till later than normal, which can remain present in the system into the early morning hours. This can lead to the feeling of grogginess as well as the desire to hit the snooze button just a couple more times. Usually those that have sleep problems also have a hard time producing enough cortisol (natural waking hormone) as the sun rises and have an even harder time waking up. The best advice I can give is to limit bright light exposure at least 1-2 hours prior to your desired bedtime.


5. Poor sleep quality, e.g. frequently waking during the night, or restless sleep.

It is not uncommon for people to have altered hormonal rhythms during the day and night that can interfere with the amount and quality of sleep. Poor nutrition, excessive caffeine late in the day, and increased environmental and emotional stressors can all affect our body's ability to turn on and off our sleep and wake hormones. It is often necessary to consult with a health practitioner that has the ability to assess your hormone levels, develop a customized nutrition plan and help you reduce your physiological stress load.


Many people think that over the counter drugs can "fix" broken sleep patterns, but this is not the case. If you have problems sleeping, then take a hard look at your everyday activities and figure out which of the poor sleep habits you fall into. After all, sleep is our natural healing mechanism, without which our health will ultimately suffer. It is important to follow these sleep guidelines to optimize your health:

- Get to bed by 10-10:30 p.m. and sleep for a minimum of 8 hours

- Minimize exposure to bright lights and electromagnetic stressors (television, cell-phone, computer) 2 hours before bed.

- Sleep in a totally dark room without an alarm clock close to the bed.

- Avoid the consumption of artificial stimulants after lunchtime as they may affect your ability to relax at night.



Maund, C.E. "Sleep - The Forgotten Ergogenic Aid" Road Runner Sports. 2002. Volume 11/Number 2.

Wiley, T.S. and B. Formby. Lights Out. Pocket Books, 2000.

Fishman, S. "Are You Sleeping" IMAGE. April 2001.

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