Let's get started!

This first component is built around three separate ideas, only one of which will require action from you right now. We call it the "Water/Five/F.A.S.T." concept, and here is the overview:

Water is the single most important nutrient there is, so we want to ensure that we're getting plenty of it each day. Your first and only action step here will be to go for a minimum of 1.5 liters of water throughout the entire day, which is less than a half-gallon. I'll show you an easy method for doing this.
Five is the minimal amount of times you should be eating something everyday, even if it's a small snack. I'll give you nine reasons why this is so critical, and we'll begin to put this one into practice as we get further around the circle.
F.A.S.T. represents the top four things you need to be aware of as you transition into the Rock-Solid Nutrition lifestyle. You will find a complete explanation a little further down the page.


Let's start with Water.

Action Step:

Drink a 1.5 liter jug of water over the course of the day


Step One: Go to the store and buy a 1.5 liter jug of regular Aquafina water.


(I recommend this brand because it's one of the few out there that has an extra wide spout for easy fill-up, the importance of which we'll discuss in a moment.)

Step Two: Start off in the morning with one of these and drink from it throughout the day. The idea is to take in steady, smaller amounts at a time, so that the jug is empty before bedtime. Of course, this will require that you keep the jug accessible throughout the day so you can continually sip from it. This might seem burdensome at first but, just like any new habit, you will soon find yourself drinking from it automatically, without even thinking about it. You will also seldom be thirsty.

Using this same jug every day is the best way to keep track of exactly how much water you're drinking.

Thirsty or Hungry?

Being thirsty can often be misread as being hungry. So if you feel hungry an hour or two after eating something, try drinking a nice hit of water first before eating again. This will often satisfy you until it's time for your next meal or snack (usually every three hours).


Rock-Solid Tip

About the only time you will not want to drink water is immediately before, during or immediately after eating something. Why? Because drinking any kind of fluid during these times dilutes your digestive enzymes, which can impede the digestion process of your meal or snack. This may seem unorthodox, given how commonplace it is to drink something with a meal. But once you get used to it, you will enjoy a better quality assimilation of your food and likely even feel the difference.


Step Three: Establish a reliable water source so you can fill your Aquafina jug up every morning. (This does not include tap water!) If you have access to a water cooler or, best of all, a purified water system, use that. If not, you might have to keep larger jugs from the store on hand. At the very least, look for the 2.5 gallon dispensers like the one below here. If these aren't available, you can use gallon jugs (with the idea being to consume the least amount of plastic that we can, and to recycle that which we do use).

(A 2.5 gallon jug will get you through about six days.)

Note: If you want or need to drink more than this, go for it, so long as you're not forcing yourself to drink. Your body is the ultimate authority on what it needs, so pay attention!

Advanced: If you are already in a groove of drinking a fair amount of water, then adjust the daily amount accordingly. drinking two-plus servings of these 1.5 liter jugs. (As a point of reference, I drink at least one full gallon per day, usually more.)



Ample water intake is one of the fundamental prerequisites to superior health. Water transports nutrients to your cells and bloodstream, plays a key role in flushing toxins from your body and regulating your cooling system, and remains a critical component to so many basic bodily functions. And yet, nearly 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. This can lead to nutrition, chemical and pH imbalances in the body, any of which can cause problems.

Compositionally speaking, your body is comprised of 70% water and your muscles, 80%, which gives you an idea of its importance from a sheer quantity perspective. Even your blood is primarily made up of water. When we're not properly hydrated, the body "recycles" its limited reserves of water in a conservational effort, even if supplies are replete with various waste materials that should be expelled. Having this "sludge" re-circulating through our system is not good! So as you drink plenty of water, you're helping your body clean house and function optimally.

This is your main action step for Starters. Go do it...now!


Starters - Part Two:
Two More "Chapter One" ideas That Are Important To Know

When you're ready to do a little reading, here is some info on the other two ideas: Five and F.A.S.T. As mentioned, these are two very important concepts that will come into play as you get further around the circle.



Enjoy Five to Six Smaller Meals or Snacks Each Day

The notion of eating "three square meals" a day is old school. The fundamental problem with this concept is that too much time elapses between feedings. This means that our metabolism (the rate and efficacy in which we utilize calories) is not optimized, and also that we tend to eat more than we can optimally digest at one sitting because we allow ourselves to get too hungry.

The Rock-Solid way to optimizing our food intake is to eat smaller, plant-based meals or snacks, at least five or six times day.


1) We get a steady influx of top quality nutrients throughout the day.

2) The good carbs and healthy fats in these smaller meals and snacks help to keep our energy levels high throughout the day.

3) We maintain an even-keeled blood sugar level.

4) We keep the "fires" of our metabolism burning more efficiently, which plays a critical role in maintaining a leaner, healthier body.

5) With our hunger constantly satiated, we're less likely to seek out or settle for unhealthy foods like candy bars, chips or fast food.

6) We experience optimal protein assimilation since we tend to take in lower, but more consistent, amounts of it per meal or snack.

7) These steady doses of fiber throughout the day keep our elimination system functioning optimally.

8) These smaller meals and snacks are easily digested so there never has to be that long of a wait before you can work out or do something physically strenuous.

9) Because we're eating something every few hours, we seldom reach that "starvation" mode where we tend to rabidly overeat or binge.


The Paradox of Losing Body Fat

One of the common mental barriers to this idea of eating so often lies with those folks who are either trying to lose weight or are afraid of gaining weight. This is one of the great paradoxes of weight loss; When you go too long between eating, and/or you don't get enough calories each day, your body kicks into a sort of trauma mode and actually hangs on to your existing fat reserves. Why? Because as it recognizes that there is not an optimal amount of fuel coming in from the outside, it attempts to conserve all of the stored fuel (fat) from the inside. So not only does this multiple meals and snacks concept increase your metabolism, but it also creates a more secure environment for your body to let go of the fat, provided, of course, that your total daily caloric intake does not exceed the amount that you burn.


How it Will Work For You:

Keep in mind that, in this case, a "meal or snack" could run the gamut from a full sit down experience with a large salad, veggie burger and multigrain chips, to a small snack like a piece of fruit or a small bag of trail mix.

Get in the habit of carrying snacks around with you; Clif bars (or similar), almonds, fruit, veggie sticks, etc.

If possible, adhere to somewhat of a daily schedule for some of your key meals. The body will thrive on this consistency.
Do not skip breakfast! Even if you simply grab some fruit or a whole foods bar on your way out the door, do it. Skipping breakfast can mean that you are depriving your body of nutrients for at least 12 hours, usually longer.
Eat slower. Sometimes when we scarf down our food in a hurry, we fill up too much and too fast. This will help to keep every meal and snack the right size.

If there's a lot of food served at a restaurant meal, plan on taking some home in a doggy bag so you can enjoy the meal twice. If the servings are sizable, you might request the doggy bag at the beginning of the meal so you won't be tempted to mindlessly keep eating.



The F.A.S.T. Way to Rock-Solid Nutrition

The key to success with the Rock-Solid Fitness philosophy is that you make changes on a lifestyle level. This is especially true with regard to the nutritional side of the equation since eating and drinking is something that we tend to do pretty often! But before we move around the "Six-S" Circle, there are four common issues in modern eating practices that beg for our closer scrutiny and revision if we want to effortlessly enjoy the high-energy benefits of the Rock-Solid Nutrition lifestyle. You can easily remember them as F.A.S.T. They are:

F = Fullness barometer - Our definition of "full" needs to be reevaluated

A = Addictions - We typically have multiple addictions (sugar, caffeine, etc.)

S = Speed - We eat too fast, which leads to overeating and compromised digestion
T = Taste buds - Our taste buds have been distorted from modern foods and drinks

Let's take a quick look at how we can get beyond these dilemmas:

Problem: Fullness barometer

Because so much of the food most people eat is devoid of many real nutrients; because we wait too long between feedings and then rabidly tear into our food when we finally get around to eating; because we eat too fast; because we've relied on food as a salve for our psychological issues. Take your pick, but the fact still remains; folks constantly eat too much at one sitting. Not only is this damaging to our health, but it has created a skewed perception as to when we hit our true point of hunger satiation. In other words, we've actually gotten used to feeling an unhealthy heaviness in our bellies as a signal that we're done eating! And since Rock-Solid foods are so easily digested and assimilated, folks will sometimes feel as though something is missing if there isn't the sensation of a big, greasy brick in their stomach after a meal!

Answer: We must redefine our definition of full as we eat smaller portions, more often, and stay properly hydrated.

Just like the adjustment that needs to be made with our taste buds, we must readjust the barometer on "full." As we engage the principle of eating five to six smaller meals each day, we rarely reach that "starvation" mode where we just shovel food down our throats. We simply stop eating when we're no longer hungry and retrain ourselves to pull away from that meal or snack a little sooner, knowing that it will be time to eat again in two or three hours.

Also, being "full" from a plant-based, Rock-Solid foods meal feels different. When your body is fed what it really needs, it's like every cell in your body just drinks it in and you will often experience a profound sense of fulfillment from a nutrient perspective. It will also likely feel lighter than the heavy animal products and thick, saturated fats that comprise the typical meal. But once you adjust to this lighter feeling, you'll enjoy the extra energy and ease of digestion that accompanies it.

Additionally, we'll talk about the role of being properly hydrated in all of this and consider the mind/body role in our healthier eating habits.


Problem: Addictions

Refined sugar, caffeine, processed flour, animal products...these are all examples of foods that cause an addictive reaction in the body. In the case of caffeine, it could be that it has literally created a biochemical addiction in your body just like any other drug. With sugar, it could be that you're "addicted" to the mid-afternoon blood sugar pick-me-up that the candy bar or soda temporarily gives you. And in the case of all of these foods, it's likely that the highly toxic, acidic environment of your bloodstream is screaming out for more acid, which is why we feel such a strong craving for these things in particular. This is science, people. Look at your blood under a Dark Field or Ultra-Light microscope and you'll see the mutiny that has taken hold in your bloodstream.

Answer: Stop poisoning your body and start alkalizing your blood

This will start to happen naturally as you transition toward the delicious Rock-Solid foods which are more alkaline in nature and away from many of the acid-forming things you may currently be eating or drinking. We'll also talk about a few key supplements that you can try that will definitely expedite the process and get your body back in a more alkaline state in no time.


Problem: Speed - Eating too fast and not reaping full nutritional benefit from our food

Yet another harmful practice we've picked-up in our fast-paced lifestyles is eating too fast. This can be particularly problematic for those eating a lot of high-fiber foods (as we suggest here) because, if the food isn't chewed up well, it's difficult for all of the nutrients to be absorbed in the digestion process. This, in turn, can lead to the body seeking out more food to make up for the nutritional deficit it senses due to improper assimilation.

Answer: Take your time and actually enjoy your food!

As we'll talk about in the Mind/Body section, being more mindful about our daily activities will help us to slow down a bit, chew more thoroughly and actually enjoy our food more. The digestion process really begins in our mouth, so we want to make sure that our teeth and saliva have a chance to do their fair share of the work. This way, by the time the food reaches our intestines (where much of the absorption happens), it's in an optimal state to be utilized.


Problem: Taste buds

In the past century or so, the food and drink industry has been operating from a profitable and efficient model that typically removes most all that is inherently good from food as its pulled from the earth, and replaces it with cheaper ingredients that are inherently bad. This is done so the products are more cost-effective to produce and so they can sit on a shelf somewhere for extended periods of time. So much of what gives this processed food its flavor has been unnaturally added back into it with ungodly amounts of refined sugar, sodium, cheap oils, beef fat and artificial flavorings, just to name a few. And that's before we get our hands on it and add more salt, sugar, flaming-hot pepper sauce (my personal downfall), or thick, creamy toppings. As a result, our taste buds have adapted to these more extreme flavors, and this is reflected in all of our most popular high-fat, sodium-laden, sugar-riddled foods and drinks that we're pounding down in unprecedented, "Super-Size" amounts. One of the many consequences is that certain natural or "health foods" might taste bland by comparison, thereby creating a resistance to eating them for some folks.

Answer: Allow your taste buds to readjust to Rock-Solid food and drink

Fortunately, your taste buds can and will revert back to their normal sensitivity...if you allow them to. And believe me, once they do, fresh strawberries or the occasional dairy-free, refined sugar-free vegan chocolate dessert will be as satisfying to your sweet tooth as any of this junk is now. I guarantee it. The key is, you must make the full transition into the new foods and away from the old ones to successfully experience this readjustment.

It’s just like when you go to the beach and you’re walking barefoot close to the rising tide. When the water first hits your feet, it might feel uncomfortably cold and you may wonder how those surfers and swimmers can stand it out there. But as you continue to walk in it and gradually go deeper, once you get past the initial breath-taking adjustment, you soon find yourself among the surfers and swimmers enjoying yourself with no discomfort, fully acclimated to the water temperature. It’s the same thing with your taste buds.

Once this adjustment happens (and it will not take long), you will also develop a renewed appreciation for simple foods, in their original forms. Plain ol' corn-on-the-cob, lima beans with very little seasoning, and even baked yams will taste better than you remember, as you notice that your palate can more easily and sensitively discern the distinct flavors in simple food, the way it was originally created in the earth for us. And as for "gourmet" vegan meals...you will find them absolutely orgasmic! Get ready to be blown away by the world of Rock-Solid foods.




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