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Showing posts from May, 2013

Book Recommendation: The Plan

I’m clearly interested in the topic of maximizing health and fitness. I’ve been studying and practicing it for as long as I can remember, starting with religiously watching the Jack LaLanne show on television before school as early as third grade. Many people have asked why I don’t write a book. It makes sense to wonder.

And, admittedly, there have been times when I’ve sat down to get the book started. If I did write one, I’d want it to be about all of the facets that I consider crucial to address to create a healthy lifestyle.  These are all of the factors that I consider whenever I’m helping a client achieve his/her goals: Water, Food, Sleep, Exercise, Stretching, Play and Avoiding Toxins.

My biggest stumbling block in writing the book is the fact that everyone’s situation is so different, it was hard to write to one audience without misleading another. And this is also the big problem I have with the majority of books out there that have already been written. I am of the firm bel…

JAG & River Rock Santa Fe

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Black Belt Jason Alan Griffin has loved teaching Nia since 1996. Since teaching Nia and enjoying an acting and modeling career in New York City for more than a decade, he has recently relocated to Seattle and got a dog and a car and is now traveling around the country spreading the Nia love. 





At the beautiful Studio Nia from noon to 1:00 pm. JAG will unleash his style of Nia on Santa Fe. 

Tuesday, June 25
Noon - 1:00 pm
Studio Nia
851 W San Mateo, Santa Fe


ROCKIN is a Nia routine created by Jason Alan Griffin. It was originally inspired by Helen Terry doing a routine to the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, and by Bill Stewart setting a classic Nia routine to Rock n Roll music. Both of those experiences took me to places I hadn’t yet gone in my Nia practice. I came back from that weekend newly inspired and I immediately went to work on what eventually became ROCKIN.





 “We will rock out to Pink Floyd, The Doors, Steppenwolf, Led Zeppelin and more rock favorites from the …

Pie Crust Proves Flakey

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Thursday


The vegetable pie thing I had for lunch was like a quiche without the eggs. It tasted good enough, although without the eggs there was a lot of empty space between the veggies.  I ended up eating what would amount to about three normal sized slices of quiche. So I may have eaten more crust than I intended, but I didn’t over eat. I also had a big bowl of soup. A very typical lunch for me lately, except for the crust, of course.

The real interesting thing is how sleepy I was about an hour later. After I ate, I kept noticing it gradually creep up on me and within an hour and a half, I was literally asleep on a living room chair with River on top of me, snoring.

This could only be due to the crust, but I also suspect that if my body is dealing with inflammation already (from yesterday’s bar), and I throw it another inflammatory item (the crust), it could react by shutting down energy supplies for a while and deals with it. I guess that is a good reason why it’s not a good idea …

A Painful Surprise

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This morning, I weighed in at my established time (8:30am) and the scale showed a weight loss of 0.2 pounds. Normally, I would take that to mean the Capitol Hill bar passed the test, but there is something else going on this morning that I think is even more significant. I’m feeling pain in my sacro-iliac joint.

I understand that when inflammation is triggered in our body, it will very often be experienced as a symptom in our ‘weakest link’. In other words, some people will get headaches, some will have acid reflux, some will experience fatigue or moodiness, and some will have body aches.

This pain in my sacro-iliac joint is something that has mysteriously plagued me off and on for years. Until this morning, I never associated it with generalized inflammation in my body. But now I’m considering the fact that something that I ate yesterday (most likely something in the Capitol Hill bar) has caused an inflammatory response that doesn’t register as weight gain (or is perhaps offset by…

Rockin Colorado

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June 23 at
Mayama Movement Studio

Come and rock out Nia style to some favorites by:

Pink Floyd
The Doors Steppenwolf Bad Company Led Zeppelin ...and many more
If you like to dance, you'll have a great time as Jason will lead the class through a very simple, but Rockin' dance workout experience. The work is pure Nia, but you don't need to know that to enjoy it. You don't need to know that you'll be doing moves inspired by Tai Chi, Yoga, Tae Kwon Do, Modern Dance, Alexander Technique, and many more movement modalities. In fact, as Jason says, "You don't need to have any type of movement experience at all and you can walk in and be instantly great in my class. Come and play in my Rockin Nia experience."

If you like to move around and you love your body and want to treat it right, and if you love good old rock and roll, then you should definitely make it a point not to miss this one-of-a-kind Colorado event.

 ROCKIN: A Classic Rock Nia class…

Testing Lima Beans

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This is Tuesday morning.  I weighed in early. It was before 8:30 and I registered the same weight as I measured at my second weigh-in the day before, which was closer to 10 am. Considering I lost 0.6 pounds in between 8 am and 10 am yesterday, and today I’m at the same weight but at the earlier time, I’m going to call that a weight loss so that I can go ahead with my new test today.  My assumption is that if I had gone back to bed and slept for two more hours and then weighed in again, I’d show further weight loss. I didn’t want to sleep all morning, so I’m making the call and I’m setting the official weigh-in time for 8:30 am going forward.

I’m going to do two more tests and then I’m going to take a short break from the program. Today, I’m going to test lima beans and then I want to test pork chops. If I don’t react to lima beans then I will test pork chops the next day, but if I do react to lima beans then I’ll put one friendly day in between the two tests. 

After the pork chop tes…

Sleep Matters

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This morning threw me a little bit of a curve ball.  I woke up naturally (as I always do, without the use of an alarm clock). Then I used the bathroom and weighed myself at what felt like the usual time.  The thing that was different from this morning was that it was a holiday (Memorial Day) so no one was stirring. My body was telling me it was morning and time to get up, but the rest of the house was still snoring. According to the scale, I had gained 0.6 pounds, which would indicate that my delicious slow cooked roast beef was inflammatory. I was disappointed. And since no one else was awake, I just crawled back into bed and went back to sleep.

I don’t know what time that was, but I woke up again later, when River crawled out of his cage and vigorously shook his body.  The flapping of his ears woke me up. This time it was just after nine am, and I thought, just for fun, I’d weigh myself again. Lo and behold, I had lost those 0.6 pounds and I was exactly the same weight I had register…

Dulse Let Me Down

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Well, this morning I got what could be considered some disturbing information from the scale. I was able to time it so that my weigh-in was after a bowel movement, so I wasn’t weighing myself with a colon full of waste. And yet, even after what I thought was largely a safe day, I showed a weight gain of 0.2 pounds.

I did throw some dulse on my salad with dinner, and that’s something that I hadn’t had so far during the experiment. I have been eating kelp liberally, and I just figured that dulse would be similar. 

Either, we have an anomaly in the data or dulse has proven unfriendly. The high sodium content might be a culprit. At least I assume there’s a high sodium content; it sure tastes salty.

I like to have a weight loss day under my belt before doing another major food test, so I was sort of pressing my luck by testing the dulse yesterday as it was supposed to be my day to recover from the Two Proteins test before I did the slow-cooked roast beef test today.

Oh well. It is a ve…

Protein Surprise

Surprisingly, I was up 0.4 pound this morning. So the only explanation can be the fact that I had two different types of animal protein: chicken with lunch and beef with dinner. I guess the lesson is that for the maximum efficiency of digestion and assimilation, it’s best for me to stick to a single type and perhaps even a single serving of animal protein each day. I haven’t tested the results of having chicken for lunch AND dinner, for example.  That might yield different results.

This is big news and something that will change my habits if I choose to implement it. (And I don’t have a valid reason why I wouldn’t implement it, except that its not something I’m used to). The whole purpose of doing this experiment was to learn about how my body reacts to certain foods, so it would be silly of me to learn something like this and then not act on it. I am used to working all of my meals around an animal protein source.  But now I’ve learned that it isn’t the way to get the most out of my …

Almond Butter and Vigorous Exercise are Good

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The only test I did yesterday was adding a session of about 40 minutes of vigorous exercise. Actually, I spent about ten minutes warming up, so it was really only about half an hour of vigorous exercise, but it was enough to change my state; it changed my energy level, increased my body temperature, deepened my breathing, flooded my muscles with blood, made me sweat and it also increased my appetite.

 This is the first day, since I’ve started on this carefully and thoughtfully restrictive plan (I’m on Day 16 now), that I’ve felt hungry at all. Last night around nine pm as I was watching a movie, I got the urge to eat, which I ignored.  I went to bed without satisfying that urge in the interest of staying consistent for my research.

It wasn’t difficult to fall asleep, as I had suspected it may be. In fact, in the past, when I’ve ignored late night signals that my body is still hungry, I’ve found it nearly impossible to fall asleep.  Somehow last night was different. Not only did I fal…

Rock and Roll Dance Party: Las Vegas Style

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June 29 at
Yoga for the Soul

Come and party Las Vegas style as we rock out and dance to some favorites by:

Pink Floyd
The Doors Steppenwolf
Cream Bad Company Led Zeppelin ...and many more
If you like to dance, you'll have a great time as Jason will lead the class through a very simple, but Rockin' dance workout experience. The work is pure Nia, but you don't need to know that to enjoy it. You don't need to know that you'll be doing moves inspired by Tai Chi, Yoga, Tae Kwon Do, Modern Dance, Alexander Technique, and many more movement modalities. In fact, as Jason says, "You don't need to have any type of movement experience at all and you can walk in and be instantly great in my class. Come and play in my Mega Rockin Nia experience."

If you like to move around and you love your body and want to treat it right, and if you love good old rock and roll, then you should definitely make it a point not to miss this one-of-a-kind Las Vegas event.

MEGA ROCK…

An Important Note about Animal Protein

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A friend of mine reminded me that not all eggs are created equal.

She took acceptance to my use of the term ‘friendly’ when describing eggs because of the deplorably inhumane conditions that the majority of egg-laying hens endure for their entire lives.

Indeed, if you were to see the living conditions of most farm animals, and you had an ounce of compassion, you’d be very tempted to become a vegetarian.

I agree with her 100%.  And I haven't mentioned this in much of my writing, because I will admit, I assumed it was a given. But she reminded me that most people still go to the grocery store for their animal products. And I find this unacceptable.

In fact, many years ago, when I first learned of what goes into the production of our supermarket meats and diary products, I swore off of them entirely. But then I got sick and was told by my doctor that, due to my blood type and my activity level, I needed to have meat in my diet to thrive.

I then discovered that there were still certa…

Rice Cereal, Eggs and Nia: All Prove Friendly

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Yesterday was a day of friendly foods and a new rice cereal and I got a bit more vigorous and added a bit more time on my aerobic activity. Still, I’m back to losing weight this morning. I’m not too surprised, but you never know what a different process can do to the chemical make up of a grain, so I was prepared for anything, but I’m delighted to have the rice cereal as a friendly choice for breakfast. It was good.

And obviously there’s nothing inflammatory about the level of exercise I was using, so I can increase it again and see what happens. Today I’ve had about two hours of moderate aerobic exercise as I worked on putting together my newly expanded 90 minute ROCKIN Nia routine, so I hope it won’t cause any undue inflammation. I never felt strained or out of breath, it was all very under control, but I did get a little sweaty. I drank an extra 8 ounces of water to compensate for the water loss.

And since I’m back to losing weight, I’m free to make another high risk test today.

Tomatoes: Still on the Fence

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Well, I’m sad to report a 0.2 pound weight gain this morning after testing tomatoes last night. I’m sad to report it because I really enjoyed last night’s dinner and would have loved to include that recipe in my rotation.  I don’t eat tomatoes all that often as it is. Ever since working for two summers in Tuscany, I haven’t been able to find tomatoes in the USA that even come close to comparing to that big luscious flavor, so I’ve just stopped trying with American tomatoes.

 Recently, I had heard that cooked tomatoes are very good for men’s health because they contain lycopene which supports a healthy prostate. But then I also read other studies that concluded that tomatoes and lycopene don't play a significant role in prostate health. 

Nevertheless, despite my conscious efforts to include more of them, when I see them at the store, they always look all pale and pink and they don’t smell or feel quite right, so I never buy them. I guess if I grew them myself, they might be adequa…

Exercise Exonerated

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This morning, I woke up and my temperature was 97! I was thrilled to see that number since it was the lowest temperature I was allowed to go before being alerted to do something about it.

Since I had fallen well below that marker, I had purchased a B-12 supplement, but I’m not really a supplement-taking type of person, so I kept forgetting to take it. I took it yesterday and the day before, though, and lo and behold, my body temp went up.

(Excuse me, I’m going to take it again right now while I’m thinking of it.)


I’m taking NOW Ultra B-12. The label cracks me up because it says it contains 83,333% of the RDA of B-12.  Seems like a bit of overkill to me, but it also seems to be working so I’m going along with it for now. It doesn’t taste bad.

It says it has three forms of B-12; as cyanocobalamin and in co-enzyme form as methylcobalamin and dibencozide. MMMmmmmmmm!

So, yesterday I stuck to a friendly diet and I did replicate the same exercises I did on “bread day” and since I did lose …

Scallops Make Waves

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This morning I weighed in and was back on my weight loss kick. My body weight shot back down to lower than it was before I ate the bread. 

In all fairness, before I jump to conclusions, I wonder if the exercise, as light as it was, might still have had some effect on the inflammation. I can’t ignore the fact that the only day that I showed any significant weight gain since starting to measure was also the only day I did any exercise. 

I happened to eat the slice of bread on the same day. So, I’m going to retest the exercise, on a friendly-food only day and hopefully rule it out as a cause of the weight gain.

Today I’m testing scallops. I don’t really like nor dislike scallops, but I chose them because they’re a seafood and I’m trying to get iodine into my life. Since I’m not much of a fan of most sources, I’m looking around for new ones I can get into. Hence testing scallops for reactivity.

Unfortunately, I think I pulled a bone head move and I bought bay scallops instead of sea sc…

Rockin Boise

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Black Belt Jason Alan Griffin has loved teaching Nia since 1996. Since teaching Nia and enjoying an acting and modeling career in New York City for more than a decade, he has recently relocated to Seattle and got a dog and a car and is now traveling around the country spreading the Nia love. 





At Britta Von Tagen’s beautiful studio called The Dojo, from 5:30 to 7:00pm. JAG will unveil the double album routine, MEGA ROCKIN. This is the ROCKIN routine with an extended playlist, featuring Rockin for a full hour and a half!

ROCKIN is a Nia routine created by Jason Alan Griffin. It was originally inspired by Helen Terry doing a routine to the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, and by Bill Stewart setting a classic Nia routine to Rock n Roll music. Both of those experiences took me to places I hadn’t yet gone in my Nia practice. I came back from that weekend newly inspired and I immediately went to work on what eventually became ROCKIN.

Fortunately, the ROCKIN routine continues to evolve, so …

JAG & River Rock Wyoming

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Jason and River are headed to Lyman, Wyoming on June 19.

Lisa Bader presents JAG Nia
ROCKIN': A Nia Master Class
Lyman Intermediate School
Auxiliary Gym
100 N Franklin

5:30 - 7:00 pm
refreshments served afterwards

pre-register with Lisa Bader for $15
or pay $18 at the door

Jason and his faithful dog, River, are going to be passing through Wyoming on June 19. With the help of Lisa Bader, we're going to stop in Lyman to do a rockin' Nia class and we'd love for lots of happy, playful, dancing, sweating bodies came out to join us.

This is an auspicious event because it will be a full 90 minute Master Class version of the classic one hour Rockin routine. There is no special experience required to attend a master class, or a Nia class in general. The term Master Class only means that it is taught by a master so you can expect to get above and beyond what you might typically get in a classic class.  In this case, I plan to spend a few minutes going over some basics of hum…

Bread Falls Flat

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I was beginning to think it was never going to happen. I thought perhaps the diet I was using was too deficient in calories to allow for a weight gain to register and I was just senselessly dieting myself away into nothing. I was losing weight daily, despite the fact that I didn’t need to lose any, and that I was adding foods that are generally considered not to be part of a healthful, weight loss diet.

Yesterday I stuck to my familiar, friendly diet and included one single slice of white bread. This morning, I finally saw evidence of my first reaction. I showed a 0.8 pound gain on the scale. As I mentioned before this is the least amount of gain I needed to see to consider that food reactive.

I had my slice of bread at lunch and felt fine afterwards. Last night, after dinner, which contained no bread or no untested foods, I felt gassy. That’s not to say that I was flatulent. And even if I were, it would be nothing unusual for me. But what I felt was like air moving and shifting arou…

Super Human Rock Nia in Missoula

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-- a Nia Playshop
June 16, 2013--
Sunday
2:00pm - 4:00pm


at Downtown Dance Collective
121 West Main St.

Missoula, MT


 Experience the Nia routine, ROCKIN' and learn some incredible secrets about the strength in your body with JAG & River.

You may be leaving some power on the table.

I'm going to teach some things you can do with your body to become instantly stronger.  Employing these little tricks can turn your human strength into Super Human strength. This isn't developing strength, although it will help with that, but this is accessing instantaneous strength that you haven't been using until now.

In this playshop I will teach you how to do movements you never knew you were strong enough to do. Then, we will put what we learned into action in a Classic Rock Nia Class. The movements of the routine will be classic Nia and we'll sweat to some good old rock 'n roll songs from artists such as The Doors, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and…

How Does the Potato Chip Stack Up?

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Yesterday, I re-tested cheese and chocolate. This morning, my weight was almost a whole pound lower than the day before, which is very significant, considering how little body fat I have now.

So I’m comfortable and confidently shifting cheese and chocolate over to the friendly list. By the way, I also had two handfuls of unsalted potato chips, so they can be considered friendly as well.
What really makes standard potato chips an unhealthy choice is the high levels of salt. Taken in moderation, unsalted potato chips can not only be allowed in my diet, but they can be a good source of potassium. Of course, they are a fried food and bringing any fat to such a high heat will change its molecular structure into an unsafe one, but the key here is in moderation and especially in avoiding salt, which will only exacerbate any inflammation caused.

Since I had a handful for a snack between lunch and dinner and then another handful with dinner, and I still registered an amazing weight loss, I ca…

Meditative Exercising

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It’s been eight days now since I wrenched my back. I can't be sure what was going on, but because of how quickly it healed, I’m going with ‘lumbar muscle strain’ and accompanying sensitivity in the sacro-iliac joint. I’m glad it wasn’t something more serious.

Starting the day after the injury, I went on a dietary experiment wherein I will be testing my body’s sensitivity to certain foods, one by one. This experiment has brought me great peacefulness--an unexpected consequence, but certainly a welcome one.

Today I am feeling strong and decided to take my first trip into my exercise studio since I hurt myself.  But I’m bringing my experimental and sensitivity detection into the room with me. It was interesting to take a huge step back and really observe my slow and calculated movements. I was committed to doing as little as necessary.

I started by doing two sun salutations, holding each position for four or five breaths. I was intently focused on finding my comfort and allowing my bo…