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Tommy Europe Interview

Tommy Europe Interview

Tommy is an author, stuntman, retired pro football player (CFL and NFL), BC Sports Hall of Fame inductee, one of Canada’s top fitness experts, and importantly he’s a husband and dad.

 Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIkub_Tt8N0

Thank you for watching – and you are always welcome to contact us at info@sierrasil.com. We welcome feedback whether on the blog, our products, how you heard about us, basically anything that can help inform us and help us enable more people to be healthier and more active naturally (with our minerals)

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MB: I’m with Tommy Europe, welcome Tommy.

TE: Thanks for having me Tommy, good to be here..

MB: Tommy is an author, stuntman, retired pro football player (CFL and NFL), BC Sports Hall of Fame inductee, one of Canada’s top fitness experts, and importantly he’s a husband and dad.

TE: I'm a girl dad and after hearing all that and now I'm old. 

MB: You're not old Tommy. Earlier this month, you were the keynote speaker at a Health and Wellness Show and talked about the mental side of getting in shape or staying healthy.  So that’s what I'm going to talk about today. But before we do, Tommy may I ask you a difficult question?

TE Ok, shoot!

MB: You and Dwayne the Rock Johnstone both played in the CFL – but he didn’t make the cut, and unlike you also never made it in the NFL, and yet you both went on to TV and movie careers.  How come he ended up being the headliner, the “Rock” and well, you’re in a video blog with me?

TE: Well he started off in the world of WWF as it was known back then and he was known as a people's champion. I continued on a similar path helping people in the health and fitness realm and thats where I find myself and like to be.

MB: And you did star in a few shows, tell us about those.

TE: I had a show called the Last 10 Pounds for 6 seasons and another show called Bulging Brides which ran for 3 seasons, both helping people lose those extra pounds but more importantly it was about teaching those people what it takes fitness, nutrition and the mental side to be successful. 

MB: Tommy we know that being fit can enhance our quality of life and it can also help us promote our independence as we age. What are the characteristics of being fit just?

TE: Just being able to do the activities that you want to do. Whether it's skiing, snowboarding or golfing, whatever the case, you want to be able to participate in whatever external activity it is. And most importantly me being a girl dad, and my kids are very active, you want to be able to play with your kids and do those kinds of things and not be restricted with health issues, so that's how I define it. 

MB: I really love how you touched on participation and being able to participate with what you love doing. I think that's really important. Yet in our automated and distracted world being fit is hard. What are common challenges on our fitness journey?

TE: Well there are lots of distractions. I call them goal killers and most of them are self-inflicted so negative self talk and procrastination excuses are the granddaddies of them all. These things will distract you from your from [delete your] goals. Off course it's really important to kind of keep in mind what you're doing, to set goals for yourself, going after them so that all the background noises is exactly that, noises in the background not distracting you from reaching your goals and doing the things you need to do. 

MB: You coined an acronym but I think it is quite useful to address that mental side.

TE: Yes, I came up with my own philosophy, well really it's more of a mentality. SHRED mentality. SHRED stands for Strength, Heart, Resilience, Efficiency, and Discipline.

The strength part I'm really focusing on the mental strength. The obstacles are things that are going to get in your way on the path to your goal - because nothing is going to run in a straight linear line. You're going to have to learn how to deal with obstacles. Visualize things so you can visualize yourself getting past these obstacles in achieving the goal of whatever it is you want to do.

Heart is about going all-in. It's not one foot in and one foot out, you're all in. All the time and giving everything you have. At times you're going to have to dig down and it's not always going to be easy, you're not always going to be motivated. So you have to have some kind of internal mechanism to keep going.

Resilience, again that's just going through the obstacles not running away from challenges or things that slow your progress. These are to be expected and resilient people are always getting knocked down but they get back up.

Efficiency. Being efficient in what you're doing and I like noting the 3 R's in habit formation. The reminder the routine and the reward. The reminder is the trigger for the routine. For example, meditation. Every time I wake up in the morning I start with a cup of coffee, so making a cup of coffee is my trigger to remind me that it's time to meditate. The routine is the habit itself, in this case, the meditation. The reward is being more grounded, present in the here and now and thoughtful in my reactions. I'm thinking about what I'm going to say before it happens and all those things are going to play with each other.

Finally discipline which puts all the pieces to the puzzle together. Connecting the dots. Again you're not going to be motivated all the time so you have to be disciplined to your approach and think of the long term results. That means you have to trust the process because things aren’t always going to go your way all the time. Sometimes there's going to be things that you don't like very much but you're going to get through them [delete to make them happen] and that's where this discipline comes in. But all five of those pillars of SHRED all work hand-in-hand and they are present in every single success story. 

MB: That's really helpful. One of the takeaways for me [delete and that] is that it's in our control, even when stuff happens, how we respond to it. So when you talk about the visualizing you're going to get those setbacks but picture how you're going to deal with that and stay focused. SHRED stands for strength, the mental strength, heart, resilience, efficiency, and discipline. When I'm in one of your classes when you're encouraging us to do one more rep, I'm thinking that's more discipline and I appreciate that.

At your recent talk, you opened with some breathing exercises. I think they would be a great way to finish. Can you walk us through those exercises?

TE: Yes just a simple breathing exercise as a grounding force to get you present and slow things down. I use this anytime I feel stress starting to come up in a certain situation. Just a couple deep breaths, do a 4 second inhale with an 8 second exhale. Breathing in, filling up your cavity, and breathing out, focusing on the breath. I also like to bring some gratitude to it. As I inhale and exhale, I'm saying out loud things that I am grateful for because giving gratitude is extremely important. Between three and five breaths is an amazing way to get back into what's happening now and forget all the external noise that pops up in stressful situations. So that breathing exercise is awesome, breathing in and breathing out. I also like to think of something that I want that I want to achieve on that day, as in “today is the day that I will...” And I'll use that in the breathing exercises well.

MB: That's great. I think that that's awesome advice and let me just say I'm grateful for you. Not just for being a SierraSil ambassador, but also for inspiring and helping people like me on our fitness journey and helping us on the mental side of that too. Thank you so much. Tommy, how can people follow you on social media?

TE: You can find me on all social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now TikTok, @TommyEurope. If you want to look for me online at www.tefitness.com lots of fitness tips and articles For the health and fitness side and if you have any questions you can chat with me at my website, using the Ask Tommy button. And make sure you get your SierraSil of course, I'm about to go get mine right now.

MB: And if people have sore joints what do you recommend? 

TE: Sierrasil 100%. I met Michael 12 years ago probably and I was introduced to SierraSil and I've been taking it ever since. In the last few years I've been an ambassador [delete selling] and believe strongly that the product works, whether you're taking the capsules or the powder or the external Pain Relief spray. So check it out and you will like it. It is SHRED approved and I look forward to hearing from all the positives everyone has. 

MB: Well Tommy thanks for taking this time for this conversation. Thank you for all you do. I know you're also volunteering your time to the community as well through the BC Sports Hall of Fame and it's much appreciated. You are inspiring not just adults like me, but also our kids. Thank you for all you do.



TE: Thank you Michael. Have a great day.

 

N of 1 Study

The ultimate individual test. What happens when SierraSil President Michael Bentley agrees to be the sole test subject of a clinical trial of his own product?

It was over a Thai food lunch on August 24, 2015 that Dr. James McCormack challenged me to consider an N of 1 study of a passionate SierraSil customer. James is a Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC who has received awards for his education and research in two hemispheres. He has presented 100's of seminars on drug therapy over the last 25 years, focusing on shared-informed decision-making using evidence based information and rational therapeutic principles. In addition, he has published over 100 articles, mainly in the area of rational drug therapy, and served as an editor for two internationally recognized textbooks on rational drug therapy.

James had reviewed the research to date on SierraSil, our natural mineral ingredient, but did not find the clinical trial results to be persuasive enough to suggest SierraSil had an important benefit over placebo. James understands we are a small company and that research can be expensive, so he proposed an N of 1 trial that he would supervise without compensation as a favour and out of curiosity. An N of 1 trial is a study with a single patient, who receives, on a randomized basis, either a placebo or treatment in various cycles over a defined time frame. This type of trial can help figure out if a treatment is effective for an individual participant. James, based on the evidence he had seen was willing to bet a dinner that the avid SierraSil fan who participates in the trial would not notice a discernible difference.

As an avid SierraSil user, I offered to be the candidate. By October, we had outlined a scoring system and Caroline Eve, Director of Quality Control and Regulatory for SierraSil, had arranged for sets of placebo and treatment bottles simply marked A or B. It should be noted that I didn’t know which was treatment or placebo, nor did James. James then randomized the A and B products and provided them to me simply marked with hand written numbers from 1 to 8. Each contained 42 capsules of either placebo or treatment suitable for a 14 day supply. On Sunday, October 4th, I started on bottle one and finished bottled 8 on Saturday January 23, 2016. On a daily basis, I recorded my physical activity and my level of soreness on a scale from 1 to 7:

  1. No soreness;

  2. Minimal soreness (can be easily ignored without effort);

  3. Mild soreness (can be ignored with effort);

  4. Moderate soreness (cannot be ignored but does not influence my daily activities);

  5. Moderately severe soreness (cannot be ignored and occasionally limits my daily activities);

  6. Severe soreness (cannot be ignored and often limits my concentration on daily activities);

  7. Very severe soreness (cannot be ignored and markedly limits my daily activities and often requires

    rest).

Scores were recorded at a consistent time of day, between 7 and 8 AM. There were no surprises that soreness was generally higher on a day following intense exercise. On Monday, January 25, I emailed James my final activity and scoring log, and I speculated on which bottles were placebo and treatment based on ‘how I felt’ and as reflected in the scores.

Caroline Eve notified James which products were placebo and treatment. James called me shortly afterward and noted the following: One, he was impressed that I was able to guess correctly whether each bottle was SierraSil or placebo. He said the odds of doing so by chance were extremely low. Two, my four lowest average (per bottle/2 week blocks) soreness scores all linked with treatment, while the

four highest soreness scores all matched with placebo. My average soreness score (range 1-7) was 2.13 on placebo and 1.29 on SierraSil a difference of 0.84. Based on these results he concluded that for me it certainly looked like it was having a noticeable effect.

The conclusion that can be scientifically drawn from this trial is that SierraSil works for me! Given the results, James did wonder why SierraSil didn’t fair better in some of the earlier clinical trials. In my opinion it's likely due to protocols being inconsistent with our suggested guidelines both by the patient’s weight or by timing of the dose. That said, this N of 1 study was interesting for me to participate in. It proved that SierraSil reduced activity related soreness for me, and I’m looking forward to a relaxing follow-up lunch or dinner with James as bets are settled!

-Michael Bentley

What inhibits Canada (or the US) from being the fittest nation in the world?

What inhibits Canada (or the US) from being the fittest nation in the world?

What inhibits Canada (or the US) from being the fittest nation in the world?

Along with John Weston, former Member of Parliament and co-founder of the Canadian Health and Fitness Institute (CHFI), earlier this month we asked about 30 physicians, business and media people who are focused on wellness the above question over a healthy breakfast of avocado toast with an optional poached egg and a side of fruit.

But why even ask the question? I'm not breaking any secrets when I share that our health care system is in crisis, with doctor, nurse and bed shortages, long term care challenges, the over-dose crisis (killing on average 4 people a day in BC) and so on. This despite Canada investing a world high nearly 13% of GDP on "health care".

I believe that  fitness matters. But not just to stave off encounters with a challenged health care system,  fitness matters  because its foundational to our quality of life, including enjoying relationships and getting out into nature and extending independent living late in our lives. That's why I’m passionate it and why it's SierraSil’s mission is to help people be healthier and more active.

By why ask the question now? Canada is at a potential inflection point for health as pharma-care is introduced in Ottawa. Yes, there is an important and often critical role for drugs as part of patient care, but biasing treatment to drugs may risk the unintended consequence of having a widely medicated country instead of largely healthy country. Why? Economists tell us anything you subsidize you will have more of, as it alters economic decisions for cash strapped consumers.

Our medical doctors (MDs) should have more than hammers in their toolbox. They should be able to prescribe options that lead to healthier outcomes, not just medicated outcomes. Your cholesterol is high? How about prescribing a dietician who can help you with healthier food choices and or a kinesiologist who can help with exercise to support a healthier HDL to LDL ratio. If that isn't adequate, but it may well be, then consider a prescription for a statin drug (but also prescribing CoQ10).

So that is the context of the question, "What inhibits Canada from being the fittest nation in the world?". While I don't have a summary yet of all the suggestions from the breakfast gathering, here are some of the ideas that I can recall:

  • We need more opportunities for kids who aren't elite athletes to maintain the sports participation into adulthood.
  • We need kids sports events that require less driving time for parents (parents are usually idled from activity while chauffeuring children)
  • We need to be less automated in our movement (driving vs alternatives, stairs vs escalators, etc)
  • Make options to elevators more clear and highlight benefits of taking the stairs instead (for low rise buildings!)
  • We need to change our mindset from needing exercise to wanting activity.
  • We need to not "accept" the weather as a problem, but invest in appropriate clothes to enjoy activity even in the cold, snow or rain.
  • We need to incentivize business to help, for example
    • lower property taxes for the share of a food store dedicated to healthy, fresh foods vs processed foods
    • encourage employees to walk or bike more, even moving meetings outdoors, walking to/from a park
  • We need to learn how to cook healthy foods, made with Canadian ingredients, to be delicious (they can be!)
  • We need MDs to be able to prescribe options other than drugs for Canadians!

We then asked, "What should the Canadian Health and Fitness Institute (CHFI) do about it?" One of the key take-aways I got from that was encouraging youth ambassadors. Our environmental focus is often driven or lead by young people focused on their future. Can we encourage Greta's of fitness? Can Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies be encouraged to have fitness be part of their mandate, especially Ministers of Health? Again, I don't a summary yet of the responses we received, so these are but a few recollections.

I welcome hearing from you on this topic. My email is mbentley@sierrasil.com - kindly reference May Blog in the subject line. If you would like to learn more about the Canadian Health and Fitness Institute, visit their website www.https://www.chfi.fit/ And if you think health care should be more than pharma-care, please reach out to your Member of Parliament. Ask them to at least commission a study on the subject and explore the indirect costs and benefits of giving MDs more options.

As always, thank you for being a SierraSil(R) customer. As you may know our joy is helping you be healthier and more active naturally!

Michael

PS The winners of our April draw for The Tenth Nerve by Dr. Chris Honey, MD, Neurosurgeon were Joyce Willder and Teresa Fujimoto.