Technology may have changed the way we live, but our bodies can still go back in time. The truth is, it’s not just about nutrition and exercise it’s about understanding your biological power and how to use it. When you get the inside right, the outside will naturally fall into place because our bodies are programmed to thrive.
This was the theme of Back To Basics: Reclaim Your Health – a fitness and nutrition workshop organized by my friend Joyti Bharaj, featuring international strength coach Jason Dolby and world-acclaimed nutritionist Ori Hofmekler, in support of the British Columbia Childrens Hospital Foundation. I was lucky to be able fit in a short 3-day trip to Vancouver with my Mom last weekend to take part in this 6 hour workshop.
The event took place at The Westin Bayshore, the official International Olympic Committee Hotel for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The workshop began with Sarah Jamieson taking the everyone through a few yoga moves followed by Jason Dolby covering 5 different Indian club and kettlebell exercises that one can do get in shape and improve fitness levels.
Indian clubs were once used by the Indian and Persian warriors thousands of years ago to develop co-ordination, endurance, strength, and fluidity. The main benefit of training with them being to improve joint mobility for the shoulders and to prevent injury. I used them during my clavicle rehab and personally found them to be very effective. They work a full range of motion and help strengthen the connective tissues in your shoulder girdle.
After club swinging came the strength and conditioning portion of the workshop – kettlebells! Most of the 50 people who took part in the event were new to kettlebells, so I had been asked to be one of the assistants to help show participants the proper form and technique for handling kettlebells. Like any form of training, it is essential to learn the proper technique in order to prevent undue injury. The 5 basic moves covered were swings, cleans, push presses, windmills, and squats. Everyone had a blast and was very receptive to this form of training. I’m really glad I got to be a part of it.
Next up, we had an entertaining and informative lecture from Ori Hofmekler, who is best known for his book – The Warrior Diet. If you are following any of the popular diets out there, you’re bound to learn something different here. I know I did. Ori’s work emphasizes that our health is rooted in human evolution and the biological principal of survival. In the lecture, he talked about the Survival Code, which states that we must work with the body’s survival mechanisms in order to reduce body fat and stay healthy. Humans are designed to thrive when challenged by stress. One of the most interesting points brought up was the idea of underating during the day and having your biggest meal (overeating) at night, which goes against what a lot of us have been told. As the argument goes, our earliest ancestors stayed active during the day hunting/gathering and nights were spent cooking a big meal and relaxing with the family. Based on this feeding cycle, Ori says that humans are programmed to be nocturnal eaters. A few more important points to know when following the Warrior Diet are:
1. We thrive on eating whole foods (low GI) and digest better when not under stress.
2. Meal timing is essential – start the day with raw, fresh, low calorie foods then eat more dense foods (cooked, heavy, higher calorie) as the day goes on, making dinner your biggest meal.
3. Always include positive nutrition triggers – proper food combinations
4. Daytime is for action, Night is for relaxation.
5. Exercise intensely in short intervals.
All the information presented here was very interesting and goes against what we conventionally think is the ideal timing and serving size of meals. I learned a lot and may possibly experiment and try incorporating some of the Warrior Diet principles to my own to see how effective it is.