Alright, so it is that time of the year when every gym bro decides to do the “winter bulk” phase. Every time I hear these words it’s like nails on a chalkboard because most average gym goers think the definition of a winter bulking is eat as much as possible and lift. WRONG. Doing this will most likely have you putting on way more body fat than you ever planned on getting, and will even make your body more efficient at storing body fat due to the selection of foods you have been eating.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
When bulking you still need to be giving yourself quality food sources to ensure you are getting enough protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to achieve your desired goals. Unless you have the genetics of a God this is the only true way to keep your physique somewhat together while bulking. Their are some rare cases out there where guys can put on 15-20lb and maintain a good physique, but those are one in a million. So to be sure you are going about things properly, get yourself on a proper meal plan geared toward your fitness goals. Having someone that can break things down and simplify things for you where all you need to do is execute puts you ahead of the curve that the majority of fitness minded people struggle with. In most cases, the average person has the drive and motivation to achieve their goals, the biggest problem I see is their plan is so far off from what they really need, that it’s impossible to get where they want following what they are currently doing. So for this winter season, keep the diet in check and do not use your bulking phase as an excuse to raid the fridge!
As we all try to reach our desired fitness goals it is usually good to be practical in your approach. With work, family, business and other daily activities sometimes it is just impractical to get all of your nutrition through whole foods, even thou this is the most optimal choice. That being said here are a few nutritious protein smoothie recipes you can use to get your day started on the right foot.
1.Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie-
1.5 Scoops Slim Whey Smoothie Mix
2 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
4 ice cubes
8oz unsweetened almond milk or water
2. Banana Oatmeal Protein Smoothie-
1.5 scoops Slim Whey Vanilla or Chocolate, depending on base flavor preference
1 whole banana
2 Tablespoons classic Quaker Oats
8oz unsweetened almond milk
1-2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
4 ice cubes
3. Berry Mango Protein Smoothie
1.5 Scoops Slim Whey Vanilla
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup frozen or fresh mango
1/2 banana (optional)
8oz unsweetened almond milk
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
2-3 ice cubes
Every year I get a lot of discussion on the subject of weight loss, and with us quickly approaching this holiday season it is getting even more exposure, so I thought I would write a quick post to help those that struggle this time of year. A lot of folks will turn to the markets’ next latest and greatest fat burner to attempt to keep their weight in check, but their are other means to doing so. The combination of CLA, or Conjugated Lineolic Acid and the amino acid L-Carnitine have been used for years as a 1-2 punch to help lose weight. This way you can avoid some of the side effects like the jitters that the fat burners can cause, and still get the results you want. L- Carnitine is an amino acid we naturally store in the body. When we supplement with additional Carnitine our bodies use it as a means of taking stored fat and using it up first as an energy source. So when dieting Carnitine can be one of the best products to use to mobilize that stored body fat. Also CLA, is a healthy fat found in dairy products that is great for keeping our blood sugar stable. By keeping our blood sugar stable we are able to reduce cravings for food and also keep our metabolism in a more steady state throughout the day, leading to better weight loss results. An easy way to get both of these products together is in a smoothie formula created by musclesport called Slim Whey. This meal replacement shake has not only been designed to help provide you with the protein and nutrition you need, but also has the CLA and Carnitine both already added to the product. So Slim Whey in essence is providing you with a low calorie meal replacement, CLA, and Carnitine all together conveniently versus having to buy the separate items. I would highly recommend this product to anyone looking to clean up their diet and kick start that metabolism to reach your weight loss goals!
So we constantly get asked this question and I wanted to write this in sort of a mass response. Simply put, yes fat burners work but only if your diet is already on point. I can not stress this enough. A fat burner will not be effective if you continue to consistently eat junk. You must first have your diet in the right place, then adding a fat burner would not be a bad option. They can help assist in increasing your energy levels, which may go down while dieting, so the increased energy can definitely be beneficial. Also, an increase in metabolism will obviously be a benefit if fat loss is the goal, and a quality fat burner can do this for you. Lastly a good fat burner usually carries some type of appetite suppressant with it, to avoid those cravings when you are trying to stay on track with your meal plan. A good suggestion for a quality fat burner would be Phenta XT. Phenta XT contains a few key herbal supplements such as geranium, synepherine, and beta phenylamine, which are all great alternatives to the old ephedra products of the late 1990’s that were so popular for fat loss. Additionally, Phenta XT comes in a timed release formula, that slowly delivers over a 12 hour interval, making it only a 1 a day dosage! For something that will actually deliver I would recommend this product as a great place to start, but remember without your diet in check you will NOT maximize your potential results!
Today’s supplement industry is filled with so many options of products and brands it can make the obvious answer to your supplement needs difficult to find. A lot of hype and marketing has been put into making most of today’s supplements rather than a solid ingredient profile. That being said here are MY top 3 most essential products to supplement with. Keep in mind everyone’s supplement needs are different based on the diet you eat, and the particular goals you have. Yes, there are products that can be considered more essential, which are what I am focusing on for my top 3, but when it comes to you as an individual understand that your top 3 should be based on your specific needs, not just what somebody tells you is good. For a better understanding of where you may be lacking nutritionally, and if you may need to consider supplementing, please feel free to contact me and I will be glad to help you. So here goes…
- Omega 3 FISH OIL- I say fish oil in big letters because fish oil contains EPA and DHA, two important fatty acids that the body can not produce by itself so it is important to supplement these in. A solid daily dose would be 1000mg of actual EPA and DHA in total per day. Make sure not to be fooled by supplement brands that put fish oil 1000 on their bottles and then only have maybe 80mg of actual EPA and DHA in their softgels. Make sure you read the nutrition facts to see what the real value is before buying.
- Whole Food Multi Vitamins- Notice here I do not simply say a multi-vitamin, because 99% of basic multi vitamins are a complete waste of money. I do believe buying a multi vitamin that actually contains the nutrients we need that are from REAL FOOD SOURCES is important. But, the problem with most vitamin brands is their vitamins are derived from synthetic sources made from petroleum and even black mold….Yes black mold. Pretty sad right? So when buying a vitamin, again buyer beware and read your nutrition facts to see where these things are from.
- Protein Powder- This last one I put on the list simply from my experience working with clients directly on their meal plans. With all the information available today I am still amazed at how low most people’s diets are in protein content as a whole. This is usually related to the fact that what people perceive as a good protein source tends to be the opposite. If you are considered very active or are an athlete of some kind, the typical recommended amount of protein per day is anywhere between .80-1.1 times your bodyweight in grams of protein per day. So in other words a 200lb person that is active should be eating between 160-220 grams of protein per day. An easy way to help get your protein in is to supplement throughout the day with protein powder. Whey protein is considered a superior source based on its amino acid profile, but if you have allergies to dairy, or are lactose intolerant, you will need to use something like pea, egg, or hemp protein instead.
Wanted to share this recipe I stumbled upon with you guys. Instead of using the typical mayo based recipe this subs in cashew cream, while adding in a few other key ingredients to make this dish extremely rich in omega 3’s and phytonutrients. Check it out.
Time in the Kitchen: 15 minutes (plus at least 4 hours to soak the cashews)
- 1 cup whole, raw, unsalted cashews
- 1/2 cup water
Cashew Turmeric Chicken Salad
- 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
- 6 tablespoons cashew cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons coconut aminos
- 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1 inch piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled and grated (add more, to taste, if you like)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Cracked black pepper
It’s hard to make tiny batches of cashew cream, so this recipe will make a little more than you need for the dressing. The amount of water added here makes a thick, but not stiff, cream. Add a little less water for a thicker cream or add 1 1/2 to 2 cups water to make cashew milk.
First, soak cashews at least 4 hours or overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse.
Put the cashews and 1/2 cup water in a high-powered blender. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until the consistency is similar to whipped cream. The texture should be very creamy with no bits of nut left at all.
Cashew Turmeric Chicken Salad
Recipe Note: A microplane zester works well for grating fresh turmeric root. Fresh turmeric will stain anything it comes in contact with bright orange, so make sure to wash your grater and your hands immediately.
In a small bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons of cashew cream, plus the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, Dijon, olive oil, turmeric root, parsley and salt.
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, dressing, celery and shallot. Top the chicken salad with cracked black pepper.
How many people do you know that go in the gym and do the same routine with the same weight for the same reps, almost as if they could walk in with a blindfold on and perform there routine and leave? I would say that is over 85% of any commercial gym. This 85+% also have something else in common….They aren’t seeing any results! Isn’t this the definition of insanity. Doing something over and over the exact same way and expecting a better outcome or result. Well…it is. But unfortunately the vast majority of gym goers do it anyway. The truth is to break out of this gym rut you need to change your exercise routine. That on top of that you need to bring more intensity to what you are doing. If you are doing a set of 10 reps of a certain weight and it is extremely easy, you need to increase the weight! You must challenge yourself or you will never progress. If you need help getting a new routine going or advice on your training we are here to help you.