The Beica Story

The Beica Story – Pronounced, “bee-kah”

Twenty years ago, life was pretty simple in Chico, California. You could “tube” down the river while quenching your thirst with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Everyone knew everyone, and life just seemed full of possibilities. That’s what I thought after running through the ranks of the Business and Marketing program at CSU, Chico. Chico State has always fostered a prolific social scene! That social scene continually fosters an incubator for free thinking. Chico is host to wonderful companies like Sierra Nevada Brewery, Woof and Poof, the California Cooler (remember those guys?), Overland Equipment, and Robb Wolf’s Gym, Nor Cal Strength & Conditioning. More recently the Chico Bag, Build.com, Kleen Kanteen, and Beica!

Beica is an acronym for “Because I Can” “Because I Cause” and “Because I Care.” Beica is an empowering mantra for life’s adventures and at the heart and sole of every competitor or driven individual! Whether you’re climbing Mt. Everest, a mother of three that’s competing in her 3rd CrossFit Competition, or back in action after a bout with cancer, Beica is a reminder on how we approach life! It’s taking responsibility for our food choices – eating this instead of that, “Because I Care” about what I put in my body. It’s about creating a food health movement and keeping things local (to you) – supporting your neighbor rancher and farmer! And getting others involved with this type of health movement is all about “Because I Cause!” 

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Today, we’re in the midst of environmental and economic change! We’re learning the truth about our food we eat and how important good, “REAL” food is for optimal health. The food pyramid, and now the “food plate,” is NOT making us healthy. Conventional Wisdom has taught us to “eat less and exercise more.” Meanwhile, our country is getting more fat (obese) and more unhealthy! What’s changed? What’s different? Why is this happening? It’s simple, we aren’t eating the same food as our Great Great Grandparents ate and to go further, our ancestors! Science is finding that the vast majority of humans haven’t had enough time to adapt and evolve inorder to digest grains (namely wheat) effectively. Our wheat supply has changed also. It ain’t the same wheat crop our ancestors ate either, folks! Today, the hybridized dwarf cultivar we call wheat is flat out poison to our bodies. Higher levels of gluten now than ever! Combine this with the crazy amounts of grain we eat EACH AND EVERY DAY,  and it’s a recipe for serious health problems. Cereal and toast for breakfast, a mid morning snack at the local Starbucks, sandwiches for lunch (with bread of course), a bagel for a snack, and a huge plate of pasta and MORE bread for dinner. We’re addicted, and Beica is a “war cry” against this addiction!

We cover many topics and points of interest, but the fundamental message of Beica is getting your health in order so you can do the things you love – because you can! 

Our hope is that we can inspire those around us through living a “Beica Lifestyle”

My improved health and my story “Because I Can”……

I want to first and foremost thank Dr. Deborah Penner of the Chico Creek Health and Wellness Center!! Deborah firmly suggested each time I visited her for an adjustment to, “drop the bread and pasta.” She would comment, “you’re inflamed, carrying too much weight, and constantly fighting fatigue, allergies, and digestion issues. These issues are precisely why your body is out of whack and causing you to see me!” This went on for a couple of years. Every time I left the office, I thought, “How could eating “healthy whole grains ” be bad for me? What about the food pyramid? The new “food plate”?? After all, I was running 2-3 miles a day, playing a soccer game once a week, and weight training. I’m HEALTHY Doc!

The tipping point came when I injured my knee in another soccer game. Sigh. Of course my love for the game kept me playing week after week to just “re injure” it again. This went on for about 6 weeks; almost get better, then swelling, followed by ice, get better, play, injure, and repeat – ultimately it would be a blessing in disguise. The swelling persisted. An Orthopedic Surgeon recommended surgery to remove and clean up some cartilage. Another Orthopedic surgeon recommended, “stop running.” My brain told me it’s probably over and that’s just what happens, as you get older, right? My heart told me not to give up and there MUST be other alternatives. All the while, in the back of my mind, I could hear Dr. Penner saying, “cut the pasta and bread.” Was there some truth to this? One night after limping around cheering on my teammates at our game, I decided to go cold turkey and ditch the bread and pasta. Just for a few days of course. I wanted to see if there was some truth to her recommendations. But what in the hell does one eat???? No more cereal? No more toast? No more muffins? No more sandwiches? NO MORE FET-TU-CHI-NE??? I was lost. So what does one do when lost? Google it!

I started researching no flour diets, no grain diets, low carb diets, etc. To my surprise I found dozens of sites, 1,000s of postings, and MILLIONS of people dealing with this same issue. I wasn’t alone! Ultimately I ended up buying, “The Paleo Solution” by Chico’s own, Robb Wolf because it does a good job explaining how we’ve come to this place in our society – more sick, depressed, overweight, and anxious…the majority of these issues relating back to wheat in our diet and our body’s inability to process or digest it properly! Within 48 hours of the research, buying the book, and eating REAL food, my swollen knee went from 100% swollen to 15% (a conservative estimate). AH HA! Interesting, I thought. I continued through the first week. By the end of the first week, I was walking without a limp. THIS was motivating! By the second week I started seeing some thinning in my face, WHAT? I quickly realized I wasn’t gassy or “full” feeling – stuffed, after dinner. I wasn’t taking an unexpected trip to the bathroom after dinner either, or having bouts of passing gas! I also started sleeping better, my mind started getting more clear and focused. My wife noticing I stopped snoring, and my seasonal Chico allergies were virtually GONE. I didn’t use my asthma inhaler and used zyertec or Claritin only a couple of days during that season! By day 60 I had lost more that 20 lbs and was now getting noticed on the street by people that hadn’t seen me in a while. Amazing!

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Honestly, it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever been able to maintain – sustainable from a “diet” perspective. Once you realize how ADDICTED we are to grains (namely the modern wheat hybrid) it all starts to make more sense. Believe me, the addictions are real and very well noted in the scientific community, just not advertised (side note: there are “opiate” like proteins in wheat that cause the addictions). To quote Robb Wolf, “It’s amazing to see how well you look, how well you feel, and how well you perform without them.” It’s like hitting the refresh button and rewinding the clock 20 years. Going through a “cleansing” period of 45-60 days is really the trick! Of course corporate interests, grain lobbyist groups, and big pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to stop eating “healthy whole grains.” Why would they? What’s in it for them if you stop? They will continue to preach what conventional wisdom has been cramming down our throats for years. Today, at 45, I look better than I have in years. I have more energy and I’m less anxious about life in general. Happy.

So, our goal is to inspire you to gain control of your health and vitality. It’s a welcomed lifestyle change. It’s simply about improving health FIRST, with food and a smart fitness plan! There are no gimmicks, no products, no magic potions and lotions, no silver bullets, just good honest real food – the foods our great grandparents and ancestors ate – real veggies and real meat. Drop the grains, loose the weight, and get your life back! You can do it! Because I can, you can!

Thank you for coming to our site, and let us know your story by writing to us at mystory@beica.com.

Craig Almaguer
Chief Trailblazing Officer