By now you’ve probably heard about how much more affordable it is to eat at home, rather than going to restaurants. It’s one of the fundamental ways to get your cost of living down. Another advantage is that you have more control over what you eat, because you are choosing it yourself. However, this part of the advantage can easily be undermined, if you select items that are heavily processed.

With food in mind as the most obvious example, let’s look at what stacking is within the context of fitness and wellness. When you go to the market, if you want to know exactly what s going into your meal, you go get individual ingredients. Ideally they will be as natural as possible. A soup that you make from scratch with broth, fresh veggies and individual herbs and spices is practically always going to be better for you than a canned product. You know what you used: Water, bouillon, seasoning, fresh raw veggies and the rice you steamed yourself. That s pretty much it. Compare that simple list to the ingredients on commercially canned soups. Good luck with understanding all that!

If you are concerned about what is going onto or into your body, you need to know what has been put into your meals and other products. Go for the choices that have fewer ingredients, and go with the brands that use mostly or only ingredients you can pronounce and identify readily. Use this same standard for everything, not just food.

Your skin is your largest organ. It’s permeable, and nearly everything that gets on your skin will get into your body to some degree or another. With that in mind, do you know what is in your shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, lotion, and deodorant? We take for granted that the items we throw casually into our shopping carts are safe and healthful. But that should not be presumed.

Obviously it isn’t always convenient to make everything you need. What next? Am I going to ask you to milk a cow and churn your own butter? I understand anything can be taken too far, so I m not suggesting you make everything from tree bark and sweat like a 19th century Oklahoma settler. But when is it easy to make your own concoctions?

I’m glad you asked! Can you imagine it? I have an answer for you!

But back to the title of this entry: Over the course of the next three parts of this series, I will offer suggestions for blending your own stacks for building muscle, burning fat and caring for skin.

I would like to point out something before the next entries are published. Collecting the ingredients for a stack can be expensive up front; however, once you have the ingredients, you not only know what you’re working with, you’ll have a fair quantity of each component of the stack, and you will thus be able to make multiple batches. This means you will save a great deal of money over the longer course of use.

Not only will you be more confident about what you are using, but you will also protect yourself from unspecified proprietary blends that contain who knows what. You’ll also get much more use from the ingredients you have handy, which will greatly reduce the price per portion. If you can stomach the initial costs, stacking will definitely bolster your efforts to improve or maintain wellness.

info: Jack Kirven completed the MFA in Dance at UCLA, and earned certification as a personal trainer through NASM. His wellness philosophy is founded upon integrated lifestyles as opposed to isolated workouts. Visit him at and