Ursa Major Facewash, Toner, and Face Balm

I honestly didn’t care about my skin for a long time. I’d wake up, splash a little water on my face, brush my teeth, quickly change and dart out the door. Acne was never really a problem for me until I joined the gym. In a regular gym, there’s the sweaty equipment that the previous user didn’t wipe down, which is fairly common. In a mma gym, you come along much nastier things. Wrestling mats need to be cleaned after every session…most gyms don’t do this. You just need one dirty person to infect everyone on the mats with ring worm and even worse, staph. I have had both. Ringworm just doesn’t look good and you’ll get it bad if you accidentally give it to your girlfriend. Staph on the other hand will eat your flesh.

Image

A Really Bad Staph Infection

I rarely go on the mat unless I have both a rashguard and tights on but this still leaves your face uncovered.  There are many kinds of products on the market but most are marketed to women.  Most people don’t realize that men’s skin is very different. Our skin is thicker, oilier, plus we sweat more. We also shave our faces…
Lots of products contain many synthetic chemicals. Just like the supplement industry, the personal care industry is not regulated and nobody is responsible if you become sick or get cancer.

In comes Ursa Major super natural face set. I have been using the face wash, toner, and face balm for the past couple of days.


Face Wash
99.5% natural, 51% organic
Toner
98.5 % natural, 53% organic
Face balm
100% natural, 82 % organic

You can compare your current products and find nothing near this level of quality natural ingredients.  Check it out yourself.

What does it smell like?
The mild scent of all three products is why I like them all. They all smell good but are not overbearing at all.

Directions
Let’s run down what each product does.

Face Wash- General cleaner, dissolving dead surface skin (exfoliate)
Face Toner (4 in 1 formula)- Exfoliates, cleanses, shrinks appearance of pores(toner), and post shave healer.
Face Balm/Moisturizer-hydrates and protects skin

How Often I Use These Products
Wake up- Shave, use face wash, small amount of toner and face balm.
After Gym- Face wash
Night- Face wash, toner, face balm.

Lately, my face has been feeling fresh and clean. I actually look forward to waking up and getting the day started by washing my face.  Even though my face gets punched often, has mine and other people’s sweat literally poured on it, I’m happy to know I can clean it to the best of my ability with these “super natural” products.
You can purchase these products at UrsaMajor.

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Vegan Eating

I get excited when I’m able to help others with their lifestyle/health goals.

My buddy Jhed was interested in trying some vegan cooking so I gave him this recipe I cook often.

Not only can everything be bought at the local Trader Joe’s, going vegan isn’t crazy expensive (this is a very common misconception people have).

Ingredients:

Kale  $1.99

Organic Tempeh $1.69

Organic Spaghetti Sauce with Mushroom $2.69

Organic Quinoa $3.99

Recipe:

1. Break up tempeh and pan fry using olive oil.Cook until golden brown.

2. Throw in kale into fried tempeh. Add a bit more olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Mix cooked quinoa with spaghetti sauce, top with kale and tempeh.

You could totally mix the spaghetti sauce with everything, but the sauce will drown the taste of the olive oil on the kale and tempeh.

BOOM. Perfect Protein:Carbohydrate Ratio. Wombo Combo; where you at?

Let me know what you think! Thanks Jhed for the photos and trying it out!

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

My friends know that I’m adamant about getting a good nights rest every night. If I know I’m not going to sleep more than 8 hours, I absolutely try to take naps throughout the day. The Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock was recommended to me by a friend of mine. She was wondering how alcohol really affected her and used the app to see why she would wake up in a shitty mood every time she was drunk.

Sleep Cycle uses the Iphone’s accelerometer to sense movements when placed on your mattress. When you sleep, the app can determine what stage of sleep you are in based on movements. The more motion you have when you are asleep suggests being awake or in a light stage of sleep. Deep sleep usually involved limited movement. REM sleep which in synonymous with dreaming involves limited if any movement. I was quite interested to see what the graphs showed about my sleep habits.  The app tries to wake you up within a thirty minute interval of your alarm time, at the proposed lightest stage of sleep.

I’m not sure how accurate the app would be with two people on a bed or on a really expensive, Tempur-Pedic mattress.  Other than that, I think it’s pretty clever what the creators did here.  There are a lot of gadgets that already do this but can cost around $100 or more. For 99₵, the app is pretty awesome. Below you can see some of my sleep charts. I actually noted how my sleep was on these nights.

 

Even though I slept fairly late and only had 6 hours of sleep, I felt great. I guess this might of been because most of the night I was in a deep sleep with limited movement. I definitely dreamt some weird stuff this night.

 

Slept late again but I had a really shitty morning. Maybe because I woken up from a state of deep sleep?

 

Even though I set my alarm, I was definitely playing with my Ipad for a good half hour before I really slept. The sleep app definitely could tell I was awake moving around.

I still really want to the charts of me on prescription medication, or after being really hammered :).

 

 

Score: 8

Hayabusa Kyoudo Fight Shorts

With the mma market practically flooded with clothing options, It’s  hard to stand out in the crowd. Luckily Hayabusa is practically the gold standard in mma gear and equipment. Every piece of mma gear I have purchased from them has been nothing short of durable.

I’ve had their original Kyoudo fight shorts since I started doing BJJ in 2007. You know a piece of clothing is durable when you’ve worn them at least twice a week for 4 years.

Me in Action 2 Years Ago

1 Year Ago

The Kyoudo fight shorts have a number of features which make it stand out from the plethora of fight shorts options. They feature a stretch panel located on the inner thigh which help for unrestricted motion (especially when you are attempting gogoplatas and monoplatas). One feature I liked in particular is the inner grip waistband system, which is easy to adjust and fits comfortably on my body. The shorts also contain High IQ odor prevention material which inhibit bacteria growth. I have no idea what this is (Do they blend synthetic copper in their fabric?) but I’m just gonna go with it.

There are only a few setbacks I can think of. The shorts do come at a higher price point. Though it’s you will be spending a little more money these will last much longer than other fight shorts. I personally think the current Hayabusa designs are slightly getting larger and bolder, but they have not reached the absolute ridiculously out there level that many brands flaunt (“Come on Bro! I gotta get these. There are skulls and flames on it!”).

If you’re serious about training and have no time to worry about the durability, functionality, and design of your fights shorts, definitely invest in these. The only thing I regret is not buying 2 pairs of the original Kyoudo shorts. You probably can’t find them anymore…

The OG Kyoudo

Score: Over 9000

Visvim Tabi Sashiko Folk

These shoes are awesome; I don’t care if you disagree!

 

This is Visvim’s take on the  Jika-Tabi (地下足袋?, “tabi that contact the ground”) shoe. It is a classic Japanese workboot with the split toe and woven upper. The price is extremely high at ~$800 dollars (You can find much cheaper style shoes here). I can’t stress enough how much detail, function, and history is expressed in every Visvim shoe. I have original suede Visvim FBTs that I purchased 3 years ago that have stood the test of time. Hell, at this price point  however, these shoes better last forever.

 

Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer Review

Let me first start off this review my letting you warning beforehand to not blindly consume anything that you have not researched yourself. The heath supplement market is an extremely scary industry. Virtually anyone can make a supplement product and market it with ridiculous claims such as:

“Eat All You Want! Block the Starch and Lose Weight!”

“Guaranteed to block the breakdown of carbohydrates and simple sugars from being converted into fat.”

Yes, these are actual claims on real products on the market. The only thing the FDA requires is that the disclaimer must state that the product does not “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”. Only actual drugs can make these claims. Manufacturers of supplements are not required to provide any sort of research prior to putting out the product.

To be honest, I believe, we basically have to wait until somebody dies or some huge lawsuits appear until we will have any adequate regulation in this multi billion dollar industry. Definitely do some research before you start consuming any supplement!

So where was I going? Yes, supplements for athletic performance. All athletes want to perform at their best. One very  important aspect is recovery.  Your recovery has a huge impact on fitness gains and sports performance. It is essential to muscle and tissue repair . Obviously some things you can do to recovery appropriately are by drinking plenty of fluids, eating properly and adequate sleep.

I recently have adapted a largely  vegan diet and I need to find a supplement that would fulfill my dietary needs.  As I scoured the internetz I came across the Vega Website and the Whole Foods Optimizer.

If you take a look at the ingredients you will notice that the ingredients come from natural plant-based whole foods. It is high in fiber, protein, fatty acids and contain the 100 percent recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. There are no animal products as well as no fillers, gluten, soy, sugar, wheat or yeast. You can look at the ingredients and dietary claims
here.

One thing that I would like to caution the consumer is that you may experience cleansing symptoms when first taking this product. I believe if you are a full on carnivore or eat very few fruits and vegetables….. This product will clean you out. No seriously, this product  WILL CLEAN YOU OUT.  I believe it’s the ChlorEssence’s detoxifying components that cause this. Cleansing symptoms are indicators that your health condition is improving so don’t give up.

At about a retail serving of 5 dollars, Vega Health optimizer is definitely one of the most expensive meal replacements out there. I feel you get what you pay for.  To me the chocolate flavor tastes great, though some may find the Stevia-esque taste a little overwhelming. You can buy individual packets to try out before committing to the larger size.

I used to be worn out after a single one hour brazilian jiu jitsu session. Nowadays I train much more aggressively; almost 3 hours a day, 6 days a week.  This product, combined with good diet and exercise, has helped me feel in the best shape of my life.

I could survive on this product and water alone…It definitely wouldn’t be ideal but that’s how much I believe in this product. It’s kind of like that paste in the Matrix; the single food the crew eats on the Nebuchadnezzar. It has everything the body needs.

Score: 9

Under Armour Generation II Recharge Shirt Review

I have to admit…. I’ll buy anything that promises to build my body back up after a hard day of training. When I first saw the recovery suit on CNBC, I wanted one right away. It seemed perfect for me; I train 6 days a week almost 3 hours each day. So you’re telling me… The suit will help me recover quickly and make me look like a superhero?

When you train hard, your muscle fibers tear up and take on water which causes soreness. UA states that the Recharge Energy Shirt uses super-tight compression to push the water out of the muscles so you the athlete, recover faster. The suit should be put within two hours post-workout and should be worn for 24 hours.

I buy a lot of fitness items but I was very skeptical buying this one. I’m a pretty small guy so I bought the smallest size they had. I made sure to max out lifting, showered then put the suit on.

Via Under Armour

The suit is ridiculously tight the first time you put it on. I was even contemplating returning it to purchase a larger size. But it’s the tightness of the compression suit, which allows it to work its magic (obviously). I went to sleep with it on and took it off after 24 hours. There was no soreness, no aching, just a small pump after removing the tight garment off my body.

Did this thing really work? Was it legit or was I having a confusing placebo affect; like how I feel after taking a suspect multivitamin that discolors my urine?

I waited until the next day; I usually feel uber sore the second day of a hard workout. Still, no soreness.

I’ve been using the recharge suit for about a month now and the only complaint I have is that it unfortunately did stretch out. It didn’t stretch to the point that the garment is loose but it definitely is not as tight as when I started using it. However, this is what I paid for; a tight compression suit that helps me recover faster. I think anyone who trains hard would benefit from it. I just don’t think I’d pay full price for this thing. Maybe this is why the suit is on sale at their outlet website. Proper rest, massage, and nutrition are essentials in recovery. Though it’s a nice addition, the UA Recovery Recharge Suit doesn’t need to be included in that list anytime soon.

Score (1-10): 7