So I was obsessed with researching bindings and was primarily focused on getting the Strata, but then I saw the 5 pack Force binding and it caught my eye.
I decided to buy both the red 2022 Union Strata and the 2021 limited edition “5 pack” Union Force binding. Ohh and before I get into it I will mention changes for 2023 and there will be links on the bottom of the page for more info on those.
Union Force snowboard binding review (vs. the Strata)
This is a review of the Union Force snowboard binding compared to the Strata. This is actually a limited edition “5 pack” model from 2021.
Of course you must be wondering…
How does this 2021 model compare to the 2023?
The highback and baseplate appear to be the same except for a different colorway. The ankle straps have been updated to the Exoframe 4.0 Ankle Strap. And the toe strap to the TS 2.0 Rhombus Toe Strap.
Learn more about the 2023 Union Force or the 2023 Union Force pro with Exoframe 5.0 ankle straps, TS 4.0+ toe straps, and the all new Magnesium S1 ratchets.
2022 Union Strata snowboard binding review
This is a review of the 2022 Union Strata snowboard binding. I rode this binding first.
The 2022 model did not appear to be any different from the 2021. The only visible difference I could see was that the word “Strata” was not on the highback.
The 2023 Strata also does not appear any different than the 2022 except for a different color way (acid green, black, white, orange).
The straps, highback (no holes in 2023), baseplate and buckles appear to be the same as 2022.
The one I got in the video above was the team highback.
What did I think?
I tried the Strata first. And it was definitely different feeling at first and a bit painful underfoot at first. Perhaps it was the mini-disk or my boots or whatever. It did feel more loose.
The footbed is wider and there was some extra space between my boot and the interior sides of the front part of the binding.
The Force was tighter fitting.
The Strata feels a little lower to the board and little more flexy. The Force feels a little more stiff underfoot (standard baseplate?) and responsive.
It’s a little more powerful and aggressive feeling to me.
The Strata looser. More casual. More barefoot feeling.
What I didn’t like
One of the toe straps on the Force (despite being the same on the Strata) would slip off occasionally and had a funny sort of warp to it. A random imperfection.
They are painted bindings and that stuff chips and scratches off easily. But perhaps most metal bindings are like that.
The extra space in the Strata (the footbed is wide).
The Strata’s a little less adjustable. There is no adjustable toe ramp and the heel area is less adjustable. The Force is more adjustable.
If you like lots of forward lean then the Strata has less cause you can only adjust it so far (3 settings I believe), but it’s more of a “freestyle” focused binding as they say so many may not want much.
And the Strata forward lean adjustment isn’t as easy to adjust but most people don’t fiddle with that much so it doesn’t really matter.
The Force is more of an all mountain binding. But whatever binding you get you can ride it anywhere, don’t feel too limited by the labels.
I suspect the Strata would feel better for jibs, but I personally don’t jib much.
As far as shock absorption goes I think they are both good. The Force has a thicker softer area underfoot. The Strata’s isn’t as high and the material is more rubbery.
Both bindings are available with holy highbacks;-) if you like them – I don’t. But the holy highbacks were discontinued with the Strata in 2023.
According to one of the Union reps I was emailing the highbacks with holes are a “tad bit softer”.
The Strata highback doesn’t really have any padding whereas the Force has a lot.
The Strata is a bit more minimalist. I like the asym shape though.
Other snowboard bindings I was thinking about
Other bindings I was considering/comparing were several Salomon shadow fit bindings and the Bent Metal Transfer. In the end I went with these two. Salomon’s kind of looked cool, I was tempted to try out their shadow fit, but being a ski company kind of turned me off a little;-).
The Bent Metals are cool. I like Mervin’s stuff (currently ride a Lib board (Banana Magic), but I went with the Union’s. Maybe they felt a little heavier to me or liked the design of Union’s better.
Older bindings I had were old Burton Missions. I’ve had a few Burton bindings and wanted to try something new.
Should yo you get a size bigger than your normal street shoes?
Usually people size down if anything.
Why? Because you definitely don’t want any play.
But it depends on you.
Do you want a “comfort” fit, a “normal” fit or a “performance fit”?
A “comfort fit” might be for the person who snowboards twice a year or maybe 3 times if they are lucky. A “normal fit” is kinda like what we do at Cannon in the rental dept.
Normally we tell people if your toes touch the front it’s okay.
Then kick your heel back, lace up or buckle up your boot then bend your knees and flex and if your toes come back a bit then your probably good.
You don’t want your foot to move around in the boot.
Now a “performance fit” isn’t for someone renting gear.
Rented boots are usually all packed out so they aren’t going to feel like a new boot.
One of the things we do in rentals is we size their foot using a Brannock device. Those are one of the things you might have used before in the shoe store.
You might be surprised what your foot actually measures.
Here I am measuring my left foot.
Ever use one of those?
This is a good place to start.
Forget your current shoe size and start with one of these.
It measures my left foot at 27.5 which translates to a 9.5 US mens and my right at about 27 which is a 9.
So that’s a good place to start, but keep in mind all boots don’t necessarily follow that.
My old boots were 9.5 Burtons then I recently got a size 9 in Thirtytwo boots which felt very tight when I first tried them.
I was questioning if they were too small, but after heat molding and 2 days I decided they were two big because my foot got loose in the boot.
DON’T GET HUNG UP ON A NUMBER (a certain size).
People come into rentals to get boots often saying, “I wear a size ___ (fill in the blank)”.
That’s their street shoe size. Some have it in their head that they are a certain size and their ski boots should be the same.
Sometimes they are and often they aren’t.
But we pretty much always start with the Brannock scale.
Here’s a little story…
Recently I had pretty much narrowed my choice of new boots online down to a 9.5 TM 3 Thirtytwo boot.
I thought 9.5 because my old Burton’s were a 9.5 and my larger foot measures 9.5 and I almost bought them online, but I decided to go back to this shop to try them on.
The 9.5’s felt like sort of comfy, but I could tell they were going to pack out and be too roomy. So I tried the 9 on and I felt pretty tight in those and after about 10 minutes I got some pain in one pinky toe.
I couldn’t imagine going any smaller.
It didn’t even cross my mind. Hesitantly I went back the next day, bought them and did heat molding. I put a little soft foam toe cap over my toes, stood and sat in them for 10 minutes+.
It was actually a little painful.
After the heat molding I took the caps off and put my foot back in and noticed they were a little more spacious although it felt like the foot bed on one foot was bunched up in the toes.
I sort of shrugged it off and figured it would fix itself.
Later I read the sign below in the boot box, examined the messed up insole and figured it was either defective or damaged from heat molding.
At the end of my first day riding in them I noticed one of my feet (actually the longer one) was sliding a little bit.
Then I did one more day noticed further play in the boot then I decided I would sell them because the boot was only going to break in more.
Depends on what you are going for. And it’s hard to see and no one wants to feel pain, but will that boot feel the same after you use it 2, 5, 10 or 20 days later?
No, it won’t.
Because it’s going to break in and pack out.
More comfort now might be more pain later (and less control) when your foot is sliding around in the boot. But it depends what you are going for. If you are someone who just rides less than ten days a year then yeah, maybe you want to stay away from pain.
It’s kinda like buying athletic shoes but different.
Have you ever played B-ball or soccer and needed some sneakers or cleats? You don’t want to play with your foot moving around in those right?
If your foot is sliding around in the boot or sneaker then your game is going to be off and that’s the same with boarding, but sneakers and snowboard boots are different in that a snowboard boot contains a lot more soft material.
That will pack out.
To some extent.
How much will a snowboard boot pack out?
Well, that probably depends a bit on the construction of the boot and liner and you.
…at least 15 hours of wear before they break in and pack out to half a size bigger.
Is pain and “curled” toes a bad sign?
Most every place you look will say “yes” but is that necessarily so?
In the rental shop this is usually a bad sign and we will give people larger boots if their toes are curled.
But what’s different about rental boots and the people who rent them?
A rental boot is usually a packed out boot.
They’re not new boots and these people are just going for a day. Most of them are newcomers and don’t want to be uncomfortable at all.
They want a comfort fit or…
If they are a little more experienced then they are probably going to want a normal fit.
A normal fit is how we try to get them and that’s toes touching the front, heels back, and when they squat their toes should come back.
Then there’s the performance fit.
I don’t think anyone comes into rentals looking for a performance fit. That’s for people who ride a lot and are buying a new boot.
A new boot is not a packed out boot.
How that boot feels in the shop when you try it on won’t be how it feels 10 days later.
So it’s tough because a little short term pain now is a better fit later. And if the inside of a boot expands in width and length anywhere from a 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch then just maybe toes curling a little bit isn’t bad.
But don’t get my wrong you could go too small.
So how small is too small?
Do a shell fit
This makes sense when I saw it. So take the liner out of the boot and put your foot inside the shell. Does it make contact with anything when centered in the boot? If so then it’s obviously too small.
Then slide your foot forward till your toes touch and see if you can stick at least a finger behind your heel.
The liner will flatten out to a pretty ridiculous degree, but the shell isn’t going to change much at all. So check your shell fit:
Take the liner out, put your foot in, if your forefoot touches the sides of the shell, you definitely want out. If you push your foot all the way forward so your toes touch the end of the shell, and have less than one finger’s width of space behind your heel, you definitely want out.
If your foot does neither of those things with just the shell, then your liner will most likely pack out enough to accommodate your foot. Most liners will lose just about a whole shoe size worth in space after 5-10 days of riding.
Start with the Brannock scale, but don’t assume that’s set in stone as each company and each boot is going to be a little different in terms of size and fit.
Do a shell fit.
I like to be in the smallest boots I can manage. At first, my toes are definitely curled up a bit. There’s some mods you can make to ease that pressure until the liners pack out, and some mods you can do to speed that process along. It’s important to really seat your heel into the heel pocket by kicking your heel on the ground before you lace the boots up. Maybe settling that heel pocket issue will be as important as making more space in the toe box.
Snowboard boots are made to snowboard in not to walk in. So walking around in them isn’t the best test. A better test is simply mimicking your riding stance.
I think doing a shell fit (above) is one of your best tests for a how a boot will feel in the long run.
Bonus: How to fix a new boot that’s too tight
Do heat molding (maybe wear a toe cap), but make sure the guy takes the footbed (insole) out of the boot 1st or it might deform it.
Wear it: around the house or just snowboard in it and possibly alternate it with an old boot till it breaks in.
Kick your heels into the floor.
Kick your toes into the floor, ouch.
Get a foot bed with less volume (a thinner insole).
Put a foot bed with a higher arch in the liner. A higher arch will pull your toes back more.
Wear a thinner sock or no sock.
Bonus: How to fix an old boot that’s too loose
Put a flat insole or some sort of dense foam in the boot between the shell and liner. Make sure it’s sized right.
Use a thicker insole.
Put some foam behind the tongue of the boot.
Buy a new liner.
Buy a new boot.
What sources say for choosing a ‘ski boot’ size
Of course you are a snowboarder, but how do skiers think when it comes to sizing boots? I took this bit from EVO.com:
Beginner/Intermediate Skiers should generally choose a boot close to their indicated Mondopoint length or slightly longer, even if it feels small. Keep in mind that the liner of the boot will compress after you ski in it a few times, and you’ll generate more space fairly quickly.
Intermediate/Advanced Skiers should also choose a boot close to their indicated size or slightly shorter, but in a stiffer flex. Pay attention to the width of the boot as well, and choose one that offers a snug fit if possible.
Advanced/Expert Skiers normally choose a shell size 1/2 to a full size smaller than their indicated size for a super precise and responsive fit, and a stiff or very stiff flex. Downsizing in ski boots may call for a collaboration with a skilled bootfitter to make the boots comfortable enough for skiing.
Any differences compared to snowboarding?
The sizing above sounds kind of like the different fits mentioned before like: comfort fit, normal fit and performance fit.
It’s like most beginners want a comfort fit because they don’t understand the difference and snowboarding is painful enough to begin with.
An intermediate rider wants a normal fit because they’ve learned.
Your average advanced rider has probably had a number of boots and knows boots break in and they want that glove like fit when it does because they want a performance fit.
Boot stiffness=rider ability???
I’ve heard skiers say that and I think it partially applies for snowboarding.
Beginners do tend to use snowboard boots that are softer and more advanced riders tend to use boots that are stiffer.
Some advanced riders prefer softer boots. For example, lots of guys (some of them professional) who ride a lot of park and do jibbing use softer boots.
They may like the flexibility for tweaking their tricks and setting tricks up at slower speeds.
Yet, then there are even pro riders who do lots of jibbing that wear stiffer boots.
People who ride a lot of steep terrain and like to go super fast also tend to like stiffer boots as they offer more stability, support and control at higher speeds.
And some people ride lots of different terrain and want an all around boot so they look for a medium stiffness boot.
The flex is part preference and not just ability.
ThanXs for reading!
There you go I hope this helps you decide on the right snowboard boot size for you. Let me know how it goes.
Yesterday I wanted to go to St. J to get some food which is about 10 miles or so and I grabbed my skateboard and took off. I was thinking no one might pick me up given this COVID thing, but I was gonna give it try and if I didn’t then maybe try to walk and skateboard.
But I actually found my first ride by an older guy who gave me a ride about 2 miles or so. Then we did a little more walking and skating and then I made this video…
About the COVID shake.
Then after a little more pushing I got another ride in the back of someone’s truck who just came from skiing in Killington.
It wasn’t that cold though. He had a camper and I saw he had a skateboard in the back. He gave me a ride to St. J then we talked a bit. So then I went to the markets to get some food and then on my way back I saw a couple young skaters maybe 10 and 14 years old.
And they were cool. They were curious… Let em try out my board even though it was like 20 years old and they thought it was cool. Then we started home and made this video.
I found this video a few weeks ago that I helped me and I wanted to share it, but didn’t get around to it. Then today I saw an episode with Joe Rogan and James Nestor talking about breathing and that reminded me.
They talked about all kinds of things related to breathing: deviated septum’s, athletics, tumo breathing, anxiety, asthma, co2, oxygen, nitric oxide and basically how to breath better.
I found the below video to be quite helpful.
Years ago I had seen some videos of Patrick McKeown and the butego method which is like plugging your nose, nodding your head and holding your breath and then releasing, but that wasn’t that helpful for me.
How to unblock your nose
I found this one and I’ve been doing this daily for probably 2 months or so now. It definitely helps.
It makes more sense to me as you physically manipulating the airways more.
A word of warning…
When you do the last part when you blow hard out through your nose (5 times) you might want to get a tissue beforehand because you are likely to blow snot everywhere :=/.
But I definitely recommend it. I think you will notice a difference. He recommends doing it twice a day for 3 weeks I think. I would do it more than that if needed. I sometimes do it 3 times a day.
I don’t think it has straightened my nose, but it has helped my breathing at least temporarily.
I’ve often thought that if the septum was made crooked by basically being pushed out of shape (struck) then maybe it could be pushed back into shape somehow.
Can you pry it open?
I bought a killian’s speculum about a year and a half or so ago and dabbled a bit with trying to pry my nose open more based on this. But it’s painful and a little sketchy.
I noticed on my right side I can’t insert it as far as I can on the left side.
I remember when I went to the ENT in SF and he used one to look inside my nose and when he did I could instantly breath better. Pushing my nose to my right where it deviates has a similar effect.
Another idea I had was to make some sort of nose guard (out of friendly plastic) at night that would push it back in place or DIY nose dilators. The later would be easier to do
I had surgery (septoplasty) in Taiwan back in maybe 2006, but it wasn’t very helpful. Actually I don’t think it did anything except cause a whole lot of trauma and bloody discomfort following. About 3 years ago I saw a couple surgeons in San Francisco and was considering it again.
One talked about removing a piece of cartilage from my rib or ear to use.
Recently started looking into it again. I remember reading once about using laser to heat and remold the cartilage instead of surgery and found the above video by Austin Goh.
I also learned in SF that I had an allergy to dust mites when I was living in an old apartment with carpets. So if you have an allergy that could affect your breathing problems too. If you have carpets and a stuffed up nose you might want to get rid of them.
Doesn’t matter if you clean them or vacuum.
I don’t think that is going to get rid of them. Dust mites are tiny and it’s not them but their feces that causes the problem so I was told.
I’ve got a crooked nose. How about you?
I broke my nose for the first time when I was 14 years old at St. Johnsbury Academy in VT. There I was standing in line in basketball practice waiting my turn and then suddenly the back of someone’s head came flying into my nose.
Lots of pain, black and blue eyes, a crooked nose and like 30 years of bad breathing habits followed.
Since I’ve had breathing problems mostly in my right nostril. And at least one more broken nose since.
Mouth breathing might have actually changed the shape of my face too and made it longer. I do have a long face. There is research out there that says this happens with mouth breathers.
About 2 years ago or so I started taping my mouth at night time when I sleep.
Research also shows that mouth breathing can also change your teeth, make them crooked, cause an open bite and even affect your posture.
Also as far as sleeping goes it’s better to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back will make your mouth open or cause snoring.
When I was 25 I started doing something that will help your breathing…
When I was 25 (circa 2000) I started practicing yoga. Initially I trained with several different teachers 3-4 times a week for a year. Then after that I I have practiced it daily for close to 20 years. I do about 15 minutes a day or so.
That helps my breathing, because in yoga most of the time you are trained to breath through your nose not your mouth. Certain positions also open up your chest and airways too.
Then when I was about 32 or 33 I started practicing meditation which was actually inspired from a book I read that talked about tumo meditation mentioned in the Rogan video above.
Simple meditation is to either sit still or lie down on the floor (without a pillow) and breath through your nose and focus on your breathing.
You can try:
Slow and steady breaths and maybe…
Holding your breath after you exhale for maybe 5-10+ seconds and then slowly and deeply inhale and continue.
6 seconds in 6 seconds out (or vary the number)
I didn’t really learn how to do the tumo meditation, but I have learned some basic meditation practices since and do it everyday for at least 20 minutes. Again it’s breathing through your nose.
Breath through your nose.
Breath through your nose.
Breath through your nose.
One of the things they talked about was that some people may need surgery to correct a badly damaged or deviated septum like Rogan did. But Nestor also had a deviated septum but said he forced it open through breathing.
Bad habits like mouth breathing may shrink your nostrils.
I notice often during the day at times I can walk around with my mouth partly open. It’s a bad habit.
Mewing might also help your breathing
Another thing I’ve been doing is called mewing.
It’s a relatively new thing named by fans of the orthodontist or dentist Michael Mew. It’s basically about changing your posture, head, neck and tongue position.
You can also look up exercises to improve your posture or “text neck”. Yoga includes many of these exercises.
Look up more
Squeeze your shoulder blades together
Tuck your chin
Do sun salutations
It’s hard to change your habits, but if you do you’ll likely see various benefits. It takes discipline and practice like anything.
To breath better you can…
Do the exercises above by Austin Goh (you might notice immediate improvements)
Close your mouth.
Breath through your nose.
Correct your posture.
Get rid of the allergen (mites, pets, food).
Do yoga, meditate and/or exercise with your mouth closed.
There are also breathing strips or dilators you could use which I haven’t tried yet.
Mew: tongue on the roof of your mouth.
Surgery is an option too, but if you get religious about the exercises then you will likely see an improvement.
I need to practice exercising with my mouth closed more. Bit by bit. Practice makes perfect.
You know I was reading the other day that Google search results are biased. True, everyone is biased including the search engine and what it chooses for you.
Why does it choose the sites that it does?
I’ve learned a lot about that since I started a website about 10 years ago.
But some say Google is politically biased. Google owns Youtube and I’ve heard stories of people’s videos being taken down because they discussed sensitive PC topics.
I think I also read most news media sites out there are left-wing leaning. So that’s maybe something you want to ask yourself.
How objective is this news that I am reading?
I found the article mentioned below about Joe Rogan.
I don’t bow hunt or find myself interested in everything Joe Rogan is or agree with everything he says, but I am interested in many things that he is such as:
art and music
I think the coolest thing about him is that he’s himself. He’s not pretentious and he can talk about a diverse range of topics including some stuff that’s “taboo” for many.
He’s like a normal guy. He’s not uptight, swears and smokes weed on his show with some of his guests.
He has had many guests on his show like 1,400+ people including: actors, musicians, psychologists, scientists, astrophysicists, fighters, and a whole lot of people with interesting stories.
Some recent shows:
Tony Hawk (He’s like 52 and still skates awesome!)
Jordan Jonas (Lived alone in the wilderness for 77 days with 10 items)
Dr. Rhonda Patrick
And speaking of Bernie…
I saw this post I mentioned earlier on Vox where the writer Zack Beauchamp quotes Joe Rogan from a video.
I was completely open and liberal about it — until there was a case where a man who had been a man for 30 years became a woman for a little less than two years and then started MMA fighting women. Beating the fuck out of these women, and then not proclaiming that he or she used to be a man … if you ever watch the fights, she wasn’t winning because she was skillful. She was fucking manhandling these women, it was ugly.
Then Zack says…
“This very short paragraph contains all the classic tropes of transphobia: a denial of the authenticity of trans people’s identity, an insinuation that they’re a threat to cis folks, and a claim that they’re using their gender identity to somehow get ahead in life.”
I remembered that video. I’ve heard him talk about that and I don’t think that is transphobia. That is just being objective. He’s an MMA commentator and black belt in BJJ and Tae kwon do.
Give him some credit.
He knows something about athletics and fighting.
Why do they have female and male divisions for all kinds of sports?
Is that sexism?
There’s a reason.
Men are typically bigger, stronger and faster. That’s not a mentality that’s a reality.
Call yourself what you want, but don’t tell people what to call you or try to make some rule as to what you should be called.
Your idea is just an idea (or idealogy) and who is to say you are right? There are many people out there in the world that don’t think like you.
And something I read once that I thought was pretty insightful.
Don’t believe everything you think.
That Vox article suggested that since Joe Rogan had some “right-wing” people on his show like Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro, etc. that he was a bigot.
But he’s had a lot of people on his show that aren’t considered “right-wing” not only Bernie Sanders, but Andrew Yang (thumbs up from me), and what’s her name…
A lot of people with different viewpoints.
IT’S MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY.
That’s how I see a lot of feminists, SJW’s or “activists” think. They’re religious.
“It’s still a totalitarian way of thinking… If people don’t comply you’re going after them. That’s everything against being a liberal progressive thinker. Exactly.” – 2 people referring to SJW’s
It extends to food too.
The my way or the highway diet
What’s the most politically correct diet? Would it be the vegan diet? Because you might as well be a savage if you are eating animal products.
But the vegan diet includes carbs and according to the keto (ketogenic) folks…
“CARBS AREN’T FOOD.”
Someone actually replied to me once with that comment. I said to go look up the Blue zone diet.
Food is one example and…
Religion is another
I once read that “brands” are like religions in a book by Martin Lindstrom. The same part of the brain that lights up with religion is associated with brands (on an MRI).
Your political party, favorite supermarket, sneaker brand are like your religion.
So maybe “keto” is a religion and feminism is a religion and ___ is a religion too.
Different people think differently.
Joe Rogan has had vegans, people on the ketogenic diet, atkins diet and carnivore diet on his show. So I say give him some credit for not excluding or censoring people who are not in “his circle” whatever that may be.
“All forms of violent extremism are rooted in this form of in-group versus out-group thinking.” – source
Oh and by the way…
If you were born with a penis and think of yourself as female or want to be called ___.
Or, if you were born with a vagina and think of yourself as a male or want to be called ___.
Then I am black.
And 30% Asian despite whatever my genes say and the fact I might look like a white man.
I am not white.
Better make a new box for my ethnicity on that application. I am still working on what I’ll call this new ethnicity.
So I recently completed 21 days with no caffeine. That’s no green tea or cacao for me. It was hard in the beginning. But I realized just how powerful these things are.
You just don’t realize.
Until you stop. Then you’ll see. The 2nd day was the most difficult for me and then it got progressively easier.
But now I have since been drinking tea over the last 3 days, but each day I am drinking less as I see how it is affecting my sleep.
You sleep better without caffeine.
The first day back on caffeine I noticed the effects. Adrenaline. More stress from cortisol. Faster, stimulated, a little more flighty and scattered and more positive feeling.
I also thought I looked better.
It’s a mixed bag.
But once you’re in the habit you don’t notice. It’s the usual and then you might start drinking more and more.
I love green tea.
Before the fast I was drinking a lot of green tea – like for half of the day. I noticed my sleep seemed deeper not on caffeine. I slept better about 90% of the time.
The internet would still eff with my sleep if I use it too late. That’s my next fast.
Previously I’ve done 1, 2, 3, 4, and a 5 day fast.
Day 1 I felt a little less energy and a bit more moody.
Day 2 I felt a lot less energy, very foggy and hungry.
Day 3 and beyond was better.
The good they say (of no caffeine)…
I agree with pretty much all of these now. Anxiety I don’t think I get much, but I can see how other people may be affected.
The bad (of no caffeine)
I didn’t get any headaches this time although I have in the past when I went off caffeine. But I definitely felt lethargy and definitely in the first few days.
I found myself more grounded feeling but I bit more depressed feeling actually. On the other hand I felt a little more dull. Towards the end of my 21 days I was asking myself if I was starting to feel more positive. Not sure.
I also noticed my complexion didn’t seem to look as good without caffeine. Actually green tea contains more than caffeine, but also theanine, theobromine, catechins and other stuff.
I also didn’t eat cacao which I don’t everyday because I’ve noticed that is definitely addicting and stimulating.
I think the effects of fasting from green tea and cacao is subtle. I think you will notice how it affects you if you go off of it for a long time and then go back on it.
Initially I was only going to do this for 7 days, but it turned into 21. I think I will do more cycling in and out of using tea in the future as well as varying the amounts I consume.
The effects of it felt quite noticeable after the 21 days and again interrupted my sleep. It also tends to go hand and hand with using the internet for me.
Before I tell you about my fast I’ll tell about my day at the beach today. So I’ve been disciplined lately about going to the beach to walk barefoot in the sand to strengthen my feet.
I was tired from the previous week of fasting, but it was sunny and I am doing 30 days of this at least despite haven’t slept well for the last 3 days. After I got a few food items from the market I rode out to the beach and complained the whole way about the damn wind blowing in my face.
I guess I start losing it when I get tired… complaining, etc.
Then I get out there try to lie down for a bit and decide to take out my mushrooms I bought so they can get some vitamin D too (you know they absorb D like we do? Paul Stamets told me so).
And they stank like these kinds sometimes do when they are wrapped tight in plastic. Hate that smell! So I continued complaining to myself, lied down in the sand for a moment until a big gust of wind blew a bunch of sand in my face.
Then I got up, and I dropped my stinky mushrooms in the sand, picked them up and continued down to one end of the beach. After I got to one end I turned around to go get my bike to head back home.
As I was walking back all of a sudden something big hits me from behind and my arm.
It was fucking hawk!
It wanted my mushrooms!
I couldn’t believe it. This is a big bird. It’s like twice the size of a crow maybe more.
That’s what I get for complaining!
After he hit me he kept circling above and watching me. I thought he was going to come back. He must of smelled those mushrooms.
I looked it up and maybe it’s called a black kite or honey buzzard and looks kinda like this.
And you know what? I should have just given them to him because they smelled so bad that I threw them out later!
So that’s nature it’s natural state is starvation.
Ours too, but…
It’s supermarkets and comfort foods nowadays. Yet, when you start going back 100 years, 200 years ago, etc. your ancestors were starving at times just like that bird was.
In reality we are all scavengers, just times changed for many of us.
Wow, I got bum rushed by a big ass hawk.
5 days no food.
Previously the longest I ever fasted was about 4 days a couple of months ago. But Sunday I finished 5 days without a bite of anything to eat. I did all right, I just drank tea and lied down when I felt tired.
The last time I did the 4 days I was going for 5 days, but started feeling sick and quit and then made a soup, but was fine.
I will probably post a video about my 5 days in the future, but I did alright then Sunday night I ate things seemed okay but didn’t sleep well again.
Then last night I don’t know… But I got really sick like thinking I was dying sick. I threw up my dinner which was pineapple, grano padano cheese, spinach and fried eggs.
All things I ate the night before without a problem.
So I don’t know why.
That cheese though I think didn’t taste right to me. It was a different kind than I bought last time.
Saturday night the last night of my fast I slept like 4 hours (that time partially my fault for listening to a podcast late at night), then like 5 hours on Sunday and then like 4 last night after like 2 hours of nausea and then finally throwing up.
I don’t know if it was bad food that I ate and a combination of fasting changing my gut or making it more sensitive or the dairy?
Yet earlier in the day I made a curry dish with raw milk, cauliflower, cashews, mushrooms. etc and I was okay.
Plus aged cheese contains almost no lactose so maybe it was bad cheese or you know the pineapple the second time wasn’t so fresh tasting it kind of had that smell like the mushrooms did a little – like it was aging
I don’t know what’s going on though it seems like the food I am buying recently is going bad fast. Maybe I will stop going to the cheap store.
Even this morning my stomach was a little sensitive. On my second cup of tea I started to feel a little nausea so I just went back to water. Since I’ve had a few meals now and seem to be okay.
I did it. Hoping for a good night of sleep tonight.
Going to bed hungry is tough. However, days 2 and 3 of this fast were fine for me and I slept well. It was that last night listening to that podcast that disrupted my sleep.
That’s what you get for staying up later on the computer or even listing to a podcast in the bath. You stimulate your brain when your body wants to sleep. My fault.
Perhaps this is part of the reset button of the fast. Let’s see how I feel in a few days.
Despite being difficult there are a lot of benefits to fasting. And more so to prolonged fasts like 5 days or more:
Increased autophagy (which decreases as you age)
Increased stem cells
Increased growth hormone
Increased vascular growth factor
Increased fibroblast growth factor
I have injuries to heal (the above reasons) that’s why I did it.
But people fast for different reasons. Lots of science out there.
Neurogenesis – reduce alzheimers risk and improve brain function
You’ll live longer and healthier if you do it and it’s the same with other living forms: yeast and mice
Valter Longo has a 5 day fasting mimicking FMD diet that’s steeped in science. His stuff is pretty interesting. I might try that in the future or some sort of longer term calorie restriction.
Some of his studies were with cancer patients doing the FMD diet 5 days a month. That would be easier than no food of course.
I think it’s good to cycle in and out of fasting.
It’s like regeneration and renewal.
So I am experimenting. I have done 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 day fasts and alternate day fasts, but really I think if you want results, well it depends on what results you want you have to make it a part of your life.
I went walking today at low tide on the sand and after I looked at my foot steps. They were rather duck footed (more than I remembered).
So I googled:
how to fix duck feet
The guy said they can be caused by flat feet or tight hips/glutes. One of my feet is flatter than the other and I’ve noticed lately over the last few years that my hips and pelvis area has become more creaky, tight or sore especially when I roll on them.
How to fix FLAT FEET (if you have flat feet you probably want to watch it!)
Been rollin on my feet with my tennis ball in a sock and aluminum water bottle (works good for massage).
My feet are a neglected part in my workout especially considering it’s a weakness. I’ve had quite a few knee injuries.
I need to work on them more.
Ian’s upgrading his workout!
Need to level up my feet.
For a long time I’ve done squats for my leg workout, but they don’t do much for your feet. Lately I’ve been doing box jumps where I’ll jump up on a bench or some platform 1-2 feet tall and then step down. Then do that 40-50 times.
And more recently frog jumps with my hands clasped behind my head.
It’s pretty good.
It will work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and maybe feet a little. I like them better than squats as squats hurt one of my knees (not the more recently injured one though).
It hurts the one that also has a tight sore hip.
So got to fix that hip and THOSE FEET.
And as I am writing this I am standing on my tennis ball.
It’s really good for foot massage actually. If you put it in a sock it won’t roll away.
It’s kind of interesting how your feet (foundation) can affect your whole body. I used to wear orthotics as a kid, but those don’t work.
I need to strengthen my foot.
Also the flatter foot my right one is more difficult to balance on like mentioned in the video.
Back in high school basketball I used to do a lot of toe raises. And probably had stronger feet then.
Considering this fact that the foot is the most distal part of the lower extremity and acts as a support point through which the body maintains its balance, even minimal biomechanical changes at the support level can affect postural control strategies. If a change occurs in foot alignment, the pelvis changes its position in order to maintain the body’s center of gravity.