All posts by the Yard

Huge Thanks to Airrosti Buda

I apologize that’s it been a while since I’ve been able to post my various ramblings. If you have known me for longer than a minute or two then you know that I have a serious issue with my L4, L5 vertebrae in my lower back. It flares up occasionally as it did a couple of weeks ago, and I tried a new treatment that was amazing!

I initially injured it, of course Power Lifting, like 20 some years ago, and it’s strange how I can lift heavy weight, do jiu jitsu, and a lot of other movements specifically because I am so cognizant of my back. And then I’m picking up a plate or a small lap desk weighing a whopping pound or less probably, in an odd position and WHAM! That little pain shoots across my lower back and down my leg.

This time however I tried a new approach on the advice of Paul Alvarez, Shoeless Sean Norton, Ross Bumpus, Walt Finch and Liz Yankiver. I finally went to Airrosti . If you’re not familiar, and you have an injury, especially a sport related one; you should already have an appointment! They are seriously that good! On Paul and Sean’s advice I went to the Buda location and saw Dr. Jones. The amazing thing, and very rare in all Western Medicine really, is that they want to fix you and have you back at it as quickly as possible! Unlike pretty much every other chiropractor, and doctor for that matter, they are much more interested in cure than simply billing for treatment!

Dr. Jones and his assistant, Dayna Lowke, an Airrosti Recovery Specialist, are simply awesome! So much so that I would and could, if they let me, hang out there all day and talk about training, injury, rehab, and all things fitness. Fortunately for them, I cannot. I’m a chit chatter if you don’t know and if it’s a subject that speaks to my passion, then it’s gonna be a conversation. Three visits and done! My Injury or re injury actually, was incredible! Dr. Jones Stand Up Paddle Boards so obviously I was stoked about that! Dayna is a Crossfitter, and was a Gymnast so I had a million questions, and began picking her brain for mobility and stretching exercises, not only for my injury, but for my Jiu Jitsu and flexibility! She turned me on to some great new ideas and stretches and was always very sweet in indulging my ramblings and millions of questions.

More than anything, Dr. Jones and Dayna get it! They understand the athletic mindset, and they want to get you back to a high degree of mobility as quickly as possible! Their patient care, demeanor, and treatment are in my estimation absolutely the highest caliber. That’s saying a great deal from me. My primary care doc probably dreads me coming in asking for this test and that test, and not only NOT following the generally accepted health guidelines that are making Americans fat, sick, and tired, but doing pretty much the opposite and being healthier than ever. But that’s a soap box for another time.

If you have any kind of muscular skeletal injury do yourself a favor and go see Dr. Jones and Dayna at Airrosti in Buda. They take our City of Austin Insurance as well. There are I believe, two other locations in Austin, but the Buda office was so highly recommended, that’s where I went. I’m still trying to figure out a way to go hang out and learn more from them without having to just make up injuries, but I’ll figure out something! Hope to see you at a Yard soon, but till then put your name on it. Walt

Ketosis is your friend, Well if you’re interested in being bad ass anyway!

On the nutrition front, I have been getting a lot of requests for some of the books I have referenced of late on diet and nutrition. I hate calling it a diet, it’s simply how I eat and fuel my body for optimal performance. As with all things I certainly have not reinvented the wheel, and it’s a very safe bet that if an only slightly more evolved primate such as me has figured something out, then good lord! You can certainly do it!

I stay fairly Paleo, or as Dave Asprey, the Bullet Proof Exec would say, Paleo 2.0, but I am really more using a Ketogenic diet, high fat, moderate protein, low carb.

One of the books I reference is a new one from Jimmy Moore and Eric Westman MD, called Keto Clarity and it’s an awesome breakdown of the Ketogenic diet as lifestyle with science, recipes, and shopping lists. It’s one of the most comprehensive books on the subject.

But for me even more intriguing is some of the articles Ben Greenfield has authored. He’s done the Kona Ironman Triathlon completely ketogenic as a professional triathlete. But first, this article about the Zen of customizing your own nutrition will get you on the right track. So the following articles are links to both Podcasts and show notes, along with some articles. It’s interesting to note that the Dept. of Defense is directing a tremendous amount of research of Ketosis especially for all Special Operations units because of the increased mental clarity over long periods of peak capacity mental and physical work load, and the performance markers in their fitness.

This link is the show notes to the Ben Greenfield Podcast where he interviews a researcher working with the military.

Here is a little more background on the Ketogenic diet.

This link is a very short, bulletpoints type article on Ketosis.

So there you have it! Some fun reading if you’re interested in performing better, increasing mental clarity, increasing performance, and feeling better. W

Awesome People, Awesome Shops, and Much Love!

It is absolutely no secret that I love to promote any one and their business I believe in, but more especially in those who follow their passion and dreams, and strive to make their mark on their own. That entrepunerial spirit speaks to my very soul. Char and I were down in Port Aransas and Corpus the last few days taking a small but very much needed sabbatical. Something about being near the ocean always sets my soul right, centers me even. And this trip was no different in that way, but this time we seemed to run in to some amazing likeminded people, more in spirit than anything but conversations and connections were made and as always I am grateful for the experiences. Some were sort of old friends, a few new ones, but it’s important to acknowledge those people who enhance your life simply by being them. As with all my reviews, recommendations I do not receive any financial or any other compensation from these folks. Just telling you what I like!

First is Wind and Wave Water Sports Surf Shop in Flower Bluff, Corpus Christi. I stop in here every time I come in to town without exception. Frank the owner, and honestly everyone working there has always been super cool and given me the scoop on the current surf conditions and anything else I needed. If you’re not familiar with Surfing Culture, there is a very clear cut, well defined etiquette. This fact is more so in play because I now use a SUP surf oriented board and as with any tribe, change and differences can create friction. That’s their Break, their home turf and as a visitor especially on Stand Up Paddle Board I am a guest there and the unwritten rules of surfing keep order in the lineup, create a hierarchy, and honestly, safety. There’s no point in getting in to that conversation here but any time I stop in the shop, any questions I have are answered, any help I need is given freely, and always a great laid back vibe! It’s an awesome place and they know the local scene whether its surf, skate, or kayaking, as well as the usual gear and clothing. You know what a sucker I am for gear! Next time you’re in Corpus, stop in and check them out. They also have a Face Book.

wind and wave

And in the spirit of my ocean/ surfing obsession, another shop I stop by without fail is in Port Aransas. The Board House Surf and Skate in Port A is a place that speaks to my soul. It’s old school meets new school in that they sell SUPs as well Surf and Skate gear, along with the usual other surf shop goodies and lines. Like Wind and Wave, the vibe I feel when I walk in is always amazing! Teddy the owner probably couldn’t tell you my name to save his life but he recognizes me the instant I walk in and remembers the board I ride. I’ve been in that shop probably 10 times at most and always the conversation, the vibe, and the shared love of something so much more than a sport, the true lifestyle that is surfing connects us. He lived here in Austin in the 70s and he gets it. If you ever get a chance to check out a book called, Surfing Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, it’s a history of area surfing over the last 50 years, you’ll find pictures of Teddy from back in the day. He’s just an amazingly cool, laid back dude and again as with Wind and Wave everyone at Board House is always, “out of their” way helpful. Both shops are staples for me, and whether you surf or not, they have a lot cool stuff and an even cooler staff. Do yourself a favor next you’re down that way…

board shop teddy

The third place was a new one for us. I saw a flyer at the local coffee shop, which in and of itself is a cool joint but it was in the coffee shop that I saw a flyer for a boutique called Sirena Water Wear and Outfitters, My love of surf wear, retail, and fiddle fucking around before heading to the beach got the better of me and we stopped by. What was interesting about Sirena is that they design, manufacture, and sell their own line of Women’s Board shorts. They carry some men’s clothing as well, but they’ve really found a niche in not carrying the same old fishing gear and really market towards women. Plus, it’s a cool. kitchy boutique with a lot of interesting things. I can say it’s absolutely not the usual Port A fishing outfitter. Why do something that’s done by everyone else. We met one of the owners Tracy and she was open, honest, and genuine about the store, her line, and some of the business decisions she’s made with starting a business fueled on passion, dreams, and an entrepunerial spirit. All the things both Char and I love and respect! In a way this whole Yard thing is like a startup, except I give away my product, but still I market it like one. I brand it like one, and it’s fueled with passion and love just like a startup. For me it’s all the more reason you should stop in to Sirena next time you head down to Port A! What was even more interesting is the sense of community down in that area. I saw Sirena shirts for sale at Board House, and Frank at Wind and Wave will tell you how to find Dock Side Surf Shop just across the way. Hell, he’s surfed with Tippy who owns Dock Side. And if you ever meet Tippy, you’ll know her right away. She knows her shit and doesn’t take any either, but that’s another post.

The sense of community down there, the ocean, the locals, the wind, sand, and surf all call to me pretty much daily. I would be lying if I said I didn’t check the Swell Report everyday just to see. But those folks down there, gracious, laid back, and just plain cool, always treat me as though I live there. And for that kindness that they absolutely do not owe me, but give so freely, I, at the very least can tell the millions of people who read my writings, well, we all know it’s about three on a good day, but none the less, to tell anyone who will listen to support good, cool folks, just doing their thing, and trying to make a living doing what they love. I can think of nothing more amazing or satisfying than combining your passion and a job! That’s a solid definition of happiness. Walt



The AHA and USDA are super excited to help you achieve Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke!

The AHA would like to cordially invite you to enjoy diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke along with obesity and poor cognition! Click the link where they will inform you to follow the USDA’s recommendations of a High Carb, low fat, diet. I mean sure there are over 20 studies that show how bad the standard recommended USDA diet is, but look the USDA has got a lot of grain to sell you and especially the rest of the world! The USDA does not take kindly to anyone getting in the way of them making money, or surreptitiously making the US population over weight and unhealthy! And what would the AHA do if less people needed the services of Western Medicine and Cardio vascular disease and hypertension/ stroke! Look there’s a lot of money in keeping a population fat, sick and tired! Just ask the Pharmaceutical industry! They make A LOT of money on your poor health! Also the makers of the oral diabetes medications Avandia and Actos are super excited to bring you increased risk of MI and even better thiazolidinediones (TZD).

How could it get better! I mean for drug companies! Need more? Pa Pow!

This is a wind fall for the Yard! Just think of how much money we are going to make on the USDA and AHA helping to making people sick and fat!? Wait! We don’t charge anything! Damn it! How am I going to get rich if I don’t charge people to help them with all their health issues? I obviously don’t understand how this works. Any who, there’s more!

How about a high fat, low carb diet?

But if you really want to be blown away, this link will give you some information that will absolutely blow your mind. It’s called, What are we putting in our food that is making us fat?

So you take a look at decide for yourself. Walt


As a follow up to my last post on sleep strategies I mentioned L Theanine as nootropic, that is to say a supplement that improves cognitive abilities.

This post is a quick guide to more specifically the nootropics that I take and a few that I have used in the past. I will also provide the links to some of the places I purchase the supplements as well as some research and info on the supplements. As usual I do not receive any money, or any kind of compensation from the links I list or anything I recommend. Everything I list is something I either take or have taken and have kept a log of how it affected me. And as always I try to keep my supplements as cost effective as possible so I will provide links and why I use the specific vendors I use and the supplements I use.

I am a big fan of a local company called Onnit that made their bones originally as  a Supplement Company selling a nootropic called Alpha Brain, I have used Alpha Brain and it is undoubtedly a great product. For me it is not as cost effective as I would like at $34.95 for 30 caps, with the recommended dose of 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening, however at this dose which I found produced the most efficacy, the cost is simply too high for me. I researched the ingredients in Alpha Brain and did a bit of trial and error and found that using the following produced the desired results I was looking for, meaning increased cognition, greatly increased focus, high propensity for recall, and increased attention span, among a few other interesting side effects I really like.

The first supplement is Huperzine A, and I purchase this one nearly exclusively on line to keep costs low. Huperzine is one of th moreeexpensive nootropics I take, at around $7 a bottle for 100mcg, at 30 count per bottle I take 1 tab in the morning, 1 in the evening. Huperzine is reported to •Supports both short term “brain boost” needs as well as long-term healthy cognitive function, reducing mild memory loss associated with normal aging.

•Effectively supports cognition, concentration, and memory.

•Protects the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a messenger molecule in the central and peripheral nervous system, and protects the number, size and function of cholinergic neurons. Huperzine is one of the supplements that have an interesting side effect of helping produce lucid dreaming. I can say personally I have had an upswing in very vivid dreams and have on occasion had lucid dreams. Also as a side note I have bouts of actually thinking while sleeping, that is being in REM sleep and having a cognitive thought process. I used the Up Band by Jawbone, which tracks movement and sleep, and shows specifically when you are in deep sleep as opposed to light sleep. I will review activity trackers in a future post.

The next supplement is Vinpocetine, I usually purchase this one on line as well, however its very reasonable in stores. I take these 10mg tabs, 1 in the morning, 1 in the evening. These don’t affect your sleep in that they are not a stimulant of any kind. Vinpocetine is reported to, Promote ATP synthesis in the Brain, Increase Brain Blood Flow & Oxygen Utilization, and Modulates Neurotransmitter Release.

The third supplement I take exclusively for cognition is Choline. I have purchased this supplement either on line or in stores, and it’s pretty readily available. As with the previous supplements, I take 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening. Inositol and choline are B vitamin-like compounds which have similar functions. Both are important components of phospholipids, which make up cellular and other biological membranes and both play a role in healthy nerve function. Choline is an essential ingredient for the production of acetylcholine, a principal neurotransmitter, while phosphorus-containing compounds of inositol in nerve cells help regulate nerve impulses.

I also take 200mg of caffeine with this stack to facilitate the uptake in to my blood stream. There are several other stacks and a good deal more nootropics than you might imagine. A good place to start if you’re interested in learning more and really exploring this field, is an amazing web site and has a huge amount of information on the subject.

I can say for me using these supplements over the last 2 years, I have found my cognition as a whole is much better than any time in my past. My diet plan utilizing a high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbs diet has also increased my brains ability to function at a higher level by increasing mitochondrial production. As an added supplement of information I’ve included a link to some more information. Using these supplements and techniques I can quantify my ability to learn faster, remember more and quicker, and my focus, as well as attention span has been greatly increased.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact me and I will give you my best guess, and, or research it and try to give you an answer. Hope this helps in some way. I value and appreciate any feedback. Walt

Cross Plants and Produce in Kyle

cross logoI recently found a small shop in Kyle that sells Grass Fed Beef from local Farmers as well as Produce grown locally! Char and I stopped in after Shoeless Sean Norton had recommended it! As you know I’m a big fan of Paleo, and have had a great deal of success with Paleo and eating a more Ketogenic diet. I’m always looking for good locally grown food and since moving to Kyle I usually shop when I’m in Austin. We stopped by Cross Plants and Produce the other day and it was amazing! We met Jennifer Cross who is the co-owner with her husband Nathan. We were met at the door by their Black Lab, Duke and Jennifer who was wearing a Crossfit tank so we knew we were in the right place!

Meeting people who are like minded, and are trying to educate folks on healthy, fresh foods and understand how very important food is on an epigenetic level is always great! And like Char and I, they also understand sometimes a pizza just tastes great too! I say this because they understand being fanatical about any style of eating and never allowing any deviation from a food philosophy is just too much! They’re regular, super cool folks following their passion and helping people.

The grass fed meat including beef, pork, bacon, cured and uncured, and bones for making bone broth all come from Farms in the area! They can also do a larger order of grass fed beef if you want to! They offer classes and their web site gives you all the information you need to see the upcoming events.

If you live in Kyle or are down that way, check it out! Super cool people and an awesome vibe! And in the interest of full disclosure, I don’t get any kickbacks or anything for me talking about the place. I just like to support likeminded people following their passion and doing something positive in the world and I shop there now!

cross plants

Sleep strategies for higher sleep quality

In the spirit of taking this site and the content towards an open source information portal for anyone, but more especially for the field provider in EMS., this post will lay out the strategies I use and have recommended for better sleep modalities and greatly increasing not only quality of sleep, but also building strategies around sleep cycles and efficacy of napping.

I believe the biggest problem within EMS is fatigue and sleep deficits. Poor sleep quality and lack of sleep all lead to many of the health problems facing the US adult population, however within EMS these problems are highly amplified in that it is the expectation of most EMS services in this country that field provider rest comes after response times, completing run reports, and any other service related issues. This has always been the norm within EMS of placing the emergency call above all else. Expectations are set with response time matrixes and a well-established history of, “I did this when I was on the truck, you can too”. This mentality however has produced a highly fatigued, less responsive work force with high markers in cardiac disease, hypertension, depression, alcoholism, diabetes, lower cognition, high cortisol levels, and increased possibilities of dementia and, or Alzheimer’s.

While the way EMS does business, as a model is slow to change, the field provider can change much more quickly if there is a desire to do so. I say this because Pre Hospital providers, that include the EMT, Intermediate, and Paramedic are the product of their industry and a certain type of personality is usually drawn to the career. A great deal of stubbornness is as much help as it is a hindrance in the Pre Hospital Provider role.

The following are the strategies that I use after I began to see personality changes with less sleep at busier stations, and realized that I had to make some changes in my life. These strategies also go hand in hand with better nutrition and exercise; however I believe you will find a higher quality of sleep using these techniques either way.

First, supplementation is very important on several levels. I take several things at night pre bedtime to not only facilitate quality sleep, but also insure I stay asleep. ZMA with L Theanine is a supplement that does several things. ZMA raises testosterone levels, and with the magnesium in it, also promotes relaxation. The L theanine which is found in Green Tea and promotes restfulness also has nootropic effects. As a side note, when taken with caffeine, L theanine has a tendency to potentiate the caffeine. The standard dose for men is 3 caps, and women is 2 caps as most supplement companies produce nearly identical dosages. L theanine can also be purchased separately and taken with a ZMA supplement not containing it already. Both are found on Amazon very reasonably. I also take 5 HTP, which is a serotonin precursor and also produces a sense of relaxation. Also readily available on Amazon. I have found a great deal of efficacy with using 5 HTP, but I would also recommend trying it out in a controlled setting meaning taking it while you’re at home and observe whether you have other effects. Some studies suggest that if you are taking anti depressants then 5 HTP is not recommended. I have used L tryptophan as well with good result, however for me L tryptophan is not as cost effective. It is also a serotonin precursor. I find that my waking mood is more my usual self during waking hours when using 5 HTP. Sleep deficits are well researched to show depletion of endogenous serotonin levels. Some people respond well to using Melatonin, however I have never found any difference in my ability to fall asleep or over all sleep quality. Again, it’s a matter of finding what works best for you. I regularly take the ZMA with L theanine and the 5 HTP while on shift and have had no ill effects, i.e. grogginess, inability to perform the task at hand, and on the contrary, even if I am able to nap for as little as 15 to 20 minutes, I have a higher level of cognition than if I don’t take these supplements. I do recommend doing your own research when it comes to any supplementation, especially while on shift.


Another tool I use and it is by far the best one I use, is more actually a bio hack. When I tell you what it is, you will likely call bullshit, but I can tell you there is huge amount of science and research on it. Using infrared light therapy just before sleep will signal your pineal gland to secrete melatonin and you will become sleepy pretty quickly. Infrared light therapy has several other uses, however I haven’t quantified those uses in personal trials. I can say that as a sleep aid it is amazing. I purchased this one off of Amazon I bought a small lamp that clamps to the bed. You just lie under the light for about 15 minutes or so, letting as much of your skin be exposed to the red light as possible. The sleepiness comes on fast trust me.


All the other sleep strategies apply as far as a cool, dark room, and white noise if that’s something you use.


One other thing I use is an Earthing Mat. I have found that it works better for naps, but it’s does promote restfulness. I have used to reduce jet lag which I have found a great deal of efficacy with. This is the starter mat. It can also be found on Amazon. The web site will be able to explain the science better than I can here and in the interest of brevity.

Another piece of tech I use on occasion is a Sleep Induction Mat from BulletProof Exec and their store web site Upgraded Self. The site provides the science of how a spikey little mat works to help you fall asleep faster. I also use the night light listed on the tech products page as a supplement to my infrared therapy. It’s used primarily as a night light to be able to see if you get up and it does not emit blue UV. From the product page, The Low-Blue Night Light comes with a unique amber LED bulb that does NOT emit ANY visible blue wavelengths of light known to suppress melatonin unlike ordinary bulbs, making it a perfect choice for people who are prone to tossing, turning, and awakening in the middle of the night. An experiment found that people who woke up in the middle of the night and saw this amber light continued producing melatonin.


While these sleep protocols work very well for me and for the people I’ve recommended them to. It is like most things, something that needs to be experimented with. I will also be writing an article on Nootropics, supplements to enhance cognitive ability, which have some sleep spill over in that you will likely have lucid dreams. Or have the sensation of thinking while you’re actually in REM sleep.


If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I will try to answer any questions you may have. I will also update this information from time to time as or if my own personal sleep protocols change or new research is found. I can tell you that using these sleep protocols over the last year has vastly reduced my overall fatigue, and allows me to make any sleep, whether a nap, or a night’s sleep, a higher quality rest. I am able to function at a higher level of cognition than I once did. I also am able to produce fairly decent physical output such as a moderate to heavy workouts after a busy 24 hour shift on very little sleep.


I hope this helps anyone who is looking to increase their sleep efficacy and feel better even after short periods of rest.


Walt Settlemyre


Yard Warrior Yoga with Omar

janelle Heavy Hands Boone and I were on hand for the very first Yard Warrior Yoga with the Kombucha King of Austin, Omar Rios! We’re going to try to make this a weekly thing. Omar has very graciously offered to volunteer his time! I’m working on getting some mats.

We just close that bay door and let it heat up a little and next thing you know, you’re in downward facing dog, or as pictured below, Warrior One Pose. Omar and I working on a time next week!

yoga omar


SUP Yard and SUP Yoga!


Aw yeah! Mac asked for it and next thing you know Yard SUP and SUP Yoga went down this morning! Hector, Mac, Jess Simmons, Jude Leonard and his girl, Jennifer, and late arrivals Paulie Walnuts Alvarez and the Alvarez gladiator academy all came for the test  of Yard SUP and SUP Yoga! Boom sauce son! W




sup hectorsup jessimage