What is your excuse?
My Last 30 Hours…
I wake up at 4am yesterday to get ready for work. Leave by 5am, get there by 5:45am to start my shift. Work from 6am-10pm, pulled a double which is all too common in my line of work. From here I go home, shower, catch up on orders from the website, answer as many questions as I can, get a bite to eat, and pass out around midnight. Wake up bright and early the next day, get my workout in by 9:30am, which was leg day, you know, the day most people skip. From here I develop content for the website for the next week, send out emails, process orders, follow-up with clients and friends on any help they may need, get orders for the week taken care of through my vendors, and then I cap off the evening with any pick up orders that may be arriving. This mind you doesn’t include any of the home life activities we all have on our plates such as yard work, home improvements, children etc. The point is even with being as busy as I am I still make it a priority to get my workouts in. These are the times when the successful get separated from the average or below average. When you start thinking of reasons why not to do something, or any type of excuse you are toast! Forget it, it’s over. In your mind you have already screwed yourself. Listen guys if you want to change your body, you must make it a priority to get your butt to the gym, and do some work while you are there. Work hard! I promise you if you start to put more emphasis and discipline into getting to the gym, and making it a bigger priority change will happen! You just have to make those initial steps first. I hope this helps give some of you perspective. Please share this rant with someone who you think needs to hear it….Or someone who is always skipping leg day. Either Way! Rant over.
How Necessary Are They?
Going to the gym for a lot of us is more than just a task we do to hopefully help get us in shape. Personally, the gym is a way for me to stay connected to certain friends, and is also a phenomenal natural stress relief. But occasionally, it can be beneficial to take a day to re-charge your batteries and let your body have a day to relax. Going to the gym too often can potentially lead to over training, taking us to a point of diminishing returns, especially if you end up hurting yourself. Sometimes less can be more in this case. A few key indicators to pay attention to to notice if you need a day of rest are the following.
Your Grip is Weak- This one is easy and self explanatory. You may feel okay energy wise going in the gym, but when you go to pick up a given weight you normally use the weight feels like it is much heavier than normal. This is a sign you may want to just go do a simple walk on the treadmill and call it a day. Take the day and relax, get a good night’s sleep and get back at it tomorrow.
Your Joints are Talking to You- This indicator is more for the endurance athlete like a runner, or at least more common with runners anyway. Nagging, or achy joints can be a clear sign that you need to take an extra day to rest and recover. Ice down those nagging joints and take it easy for a day.
Energy Levels are low, even after a good night’s sleep- Have you ever slept a good 8 hours only to wake up feeling like someone ran you over with their car? Then as you start your day the initial brain fog you have never seems to dissipate? Yeah me too. I think we can all relate to these days a bit, considering in today’s modern world we are on the go constantly. Sometimes, just a good night’s sleep isn’t enough to recharge our batteries. Giving yourself that extra rest day can be all you need to come out fresh the next day, feeling good, and performing much better in the gym.
Listen to Your Body- One important piece to this topic I want to make sure I stress is paying attention to your body. Only you know how you feel, and you know exactly what I mean. If you are truly feeling weak, or are in real pain do not force yourself into a gym session that may end up leading to injury. But, on the flip side do not use these indicators as excuses either! Remember my post/rant about not “feeling it”. More often than not I will have clients telling me they are having an issue with their knee, or elbow, or they barely slept last night, whatever the excuse may be…..Yet they never called me upfront to let me know, they wait until we are about to begin to say something like this. Why? Because they truly know that they are fine and just don’t “FEEL” like putting in the kind of work today necessary to make change. So in a case like this, you just need to suck it up and get ready to work.
Check out these bacon cheddar breakfast muffins. Here is the approximate nutrition breakdown per muffin.
Per 1 Muffin
- 2 ½ cups finely ground almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
- 3 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into small squares
- Heat your oven to 375 °F/190 ºC and line a muffin pan with 12 liners, or use a silicone muffin pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together butter, heavy cream and egg until smooth. Stir in the bacon and cheddar.
- Combine the almond flour mixture with the bowl of wet ingredients, stirring gently to combine. The batter will be very thick.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling the cups almost to the top.
- Bake until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, about 16 minutes.
To keep these bad boys as fresh as possible be sure to store them in the fridge after they are finished and simply re-heat them in the microwave.
How are you doing?
We are officially half way through 2018 so I wanted to drop a line for you guys and ask where are you with your fitness goals? Have you met them, did you start and then give up, or did you procrastinate your way into July? The statistics for this sort of thing are never in anyone’s favor. By today, over 95% of new year’s resolutions have been destroyed, leaving most people to say, “well there is always next year”. But this time I urge you to stop and consider the following. There are at least another 170 days roughly until Christmas, I mean we are talking 5 months+ of time to get yourself in a better postition than you are now. Not only that, but at a time of year when most people are falling off there wagons with there weight loss goals, let this be the time to get back on track. You don’t have to make any crazy commitments, like going to the gym 5+ days a week, just get started. Even if it is walking on the treadmill every other day for a half hour. Everyone has to start somewhere initially to get some momentum. During this time you can take that opportunity to put together a solid plan for the next 6 months. Something realistic that makes sense for your lifestyle, not something you read in a magazine or saw online that sounds great, but you know you will never stick to. I want everyone I come in contact with to succeed, but the truth is the goals you have in mind are not going to happen overnight. You must stay patient, and consistent for good sustainable results to follow. If you need help getting started, please feel free to use me as your resource. I am here to help you. I hope everyone had a great fourth of July, and I look forward to working with you guys throughout the rest of this year. Let’s make it a great one.
Why Is It So Important?
I think partially this topic goes without saying that you need to stay properly hydrated, especially in the summer months just for the sake of your health. Lack of proper hydration can really mess with your body over time, leading to issues that may be minor like dry skin or muscle cramps, all the way to cardiovascular problems and bad digestion. So as we go into the fourth of July here, make sure you are keeping your body hydrated, especially since I know most of you are going to be indulging in alcohol. In fact here are a few of the major benefits that proper hydration can have for you.
Weight Loss Aid– Yes, that’s right. Drinking more water, especially before a meal has been shown to aid in faster weight loss than those who did not drink water.
Mood Enhancement– Even a slight case of dehydration can effect your mood due to the low level of energy you feel from not having enough water in your system. So keep the positive energy up by staying hydrated.
Natural Detox– Water of course is a natural detox, aiding in keeping those kidneys flushed out properly. One key link here that most folks do not understand is your kidneys and heart are very closely connected, so when the kidneys are healthy and running properly, the heart is generally in decent shape as well.
Natural Joint Support– Water is also a natural lubricant for our joints. Cartilage, the stuff that surrounds the joints for support is approximately 85% water, so they need plenty of it to keep the joints supple.
How Much To Drink?
So these benefits sounds great and all, but the next big question I always hear is how much should I be drinking a day? That answer lies in a few separate variables mainly being body size and activity level. The more active we are, naturally we are going to need more water to stay hydrated. Body size, mainly pertaining to muscle mass will also determine how much water you really need. Again there is no perfect answer here, but a good general rule of thumb is 80 ounces a day. For more active individuals, I would be doing at least 100 ounces or more, especially if you are drinking coffee, or taking in any stimulants that may be causing you to expel excess water. Personally, I do approximately a gallon a day.
How many of you have been on a business trip or vacation where you have been driving for hours, and one of the only options to stop and eat are the golden arches of McDonalds. At times we can get in a pinch with our busy schedules and lifestyles that can make it not as practical to eat the best quality food choices. So I decided to put together a small list of my top 5 low carb fast food meals that can help you stay on track with your meal plan….And no, they do not involve a “supersize” of any kind, sorry not sorry.
- Chipotle Bowl– This one almost doesn’t even seem like fast food being the quality of meat is better than some sit down restaurants. But one a good note, Chipotle now has online ordering, so if you know you will be passing through a certain area around a certain time, you can have your meal ready for you when you walk in, pay and get outta there probably within 2-3 minutes. As far as what to get on your bowl I would suggest the following…
*Chicken, or Steak, Fajita Vegetables, Lettuce, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Cheese.
Getting a serving of all these ingredients will put you at about 20 carbs total, mostly coming from the guacamole, which is mainly fiber.
2. Naked Chicken Chalupa from Taco Bell– Yes Taco Bell made the list! If you order there naked chicken chalupa without tomato, this will keep you around 15 carbohydrates total.
3. KFC Grilled Chicken- Order KFC’s Grilled Chicken with a side of green beans and you are at approximately 10-12 carbs total. Perfect, and plenty of protein and fat to keep you feeling full.
4. Subway Double Chicken Chopped Salad– Make sure to order this with the avocado to add some more fiber and healthy fat and you will still only be at 10 carbs total, and about 40 grams of protein. Solid option, and tasty as well.
5. Arby’s Roasted Turkey Farmhouse Salad- This one made the list for its minimal 8 carbs total.
Well there you have it. 5 solid options all from various places. When making the list I wanted to pick out different places for each one, so that way at least there is some variety. These fast food spots do have other accommodating meals for low carb eaters as well, but I wanted to put meals that I have actually eaten myself and would actually recommend to you. Hope this helps some of you guys traveling a lot to stay on track. Until next time.
I found this low carb donut recipe the other day and had to pass along the recipe to those of you who may have a bad sweet tooth like me. This allows you that slight pleasure so you stick to your meal plan as much as possible. These will definitely be 100X better than going to your local shop and getting the real deal. Here is the recipe below. Give them a shot. Enjoy!
- 2 ½ cups finely ground almond flour (280 g)
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder (1.25 ml)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (2.5 ml)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (1.25 ml)
- 2 eggs, separated
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (60 g)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (180 ml)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (2.5 ml)
- ½ teaspoon liquid stevia (2.5 ml) (or your favorite sweetener)
- Heat oven to 375° F/190 ºC
- Lightly butter/grease the donut pan.
- Whisk together almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and stevia (or other sweetener) until smooth.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients and the egg yolk mixture together.
- Spoon the thick batter into the donut pan, using ¼ cup to 1/3 cup of batter for each donut.
- Bake until the donuts are lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean, approximately 15 minutes. Allow donuts cool for approximately 10 minutes in the pan before removing. Continue cooling the donuts on a wire rack.
- Serve plain, or drizzle with melted dark chocolate for added flavor and nutrition benefits.
So I have been training clients for quite a few years now and it still boggles my mind at how many people will completely lie about their current diets and training routines during my initial assessment with them. It’s like they want to make it seem like everything up to this point has been picture perfect and they just have no idea why they are not seeing results? Then after asking a few questions and doing a little digging I find out that the diet they initially told me might as well have an asterisk next to it with a disclaimer stating this is the diet I intend to eat, but throughout my crazy day between work, school, kids, and just life throwing me curve balls in general I never get to stick to this plan. And you know what….That’s ok! But, keeping this information quiet and pretending that everything is good to go is not going to help you. So if you have a trainer, or ever do decide to get one, please remember to be completely honest and upfront with them so they can help you to the best of their ability. In fact if you feel like you need some help getting a plan together, please feel free to reach out to me and I will be glad to help you for free. Just use the contact me tab on our website and send me an email to get started.
I hear people say this way too often at the local gyms so I thought this would be a great topic to bring up. Genetics, do they really matter at all? In my opinion, for the 99% of us average folks out there absolutely not. Now, if you are attempting to be an IFBB pro bodybuilder, or fitness professional of that caliper then okay yes genetics can give you that extra edge you need to get to the top. For example, I could lift daily, eat a perfect diet, and take a disproportionate amount of performance enhancing drugs and in five years I still would not stand a chance against him. So for that scenario genetics does make a difference. But in regards to the vast vast majority of us that are just chasing a better version of ourselves genetics will not matter at all. Sweat equity is what matters when you want to transform your body and get into better shape. I see so many people put these limitations on themselves and will use genetics as an excuse to not being able to achieve the look or goal they originally had. That’s bullshit. Have some discipline and self control to stick to your program and I guarantee in time you will start to see changes. NEVER limit yourself, always be pushing forward! Complacency is the killer of long term goals, so stay hungry and stay motivated my friends!
Let’s Have a Drink!
Very Often I get asked how much do I indulge in alcohol throughout the week? Occasionally, I will have a drink or two on my off days to help unwind, relax, and usually when I am drinking I am at some type of social event with friends which is always a plus. Nothing too crazy, but of course every once in a while I do have one of those nights that are usually pretty memorable in terms of alcohol consumption. The question is how much does this actually effect your weight loss, or fitness goals in general? Let dive in…
How Bad Can It Be?
Alcohol unfortunately disrupts REM sleep, which is the important sleep for those of you that may not remember the sleep cycle. REM sleep is the time when all the magic happens with your hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone release. By decreasing REM sleep, this will inhibit some of the hormone release you would normally get from a night sober. Additionally, alcohol is very dehydrating. In fact most researchers have agreed that most of the hangover effect that happens post drinking is attributed to your body being dehydrated. Having a lack of water in the body will have your energy levels low, and have you feeling less than your normal self. From a weight loss stand point the most important thing to understand about alcohol is that when you ingest alcohol, whether its something that is almost calorie free, such as a vodka and tonic water, alcohol itself is still converted over to an energy source once ingested. This means that the body will need to use this energy source up first before it can burn through whatever else you are taking in. To say it as simple as possible, alcohol consumption will decrease your metabolism by spiking your insulin and putting your body in a storage mode vs a burning mode. Now do not feel like you should try to quit drinking all together because you are destroying your weight loss goals. There is still room for a drink or two every now and then as long as it is in moderation. The problem truly lies in the weekend binge drinkers that have 5 plus drinks in a night, and then also while they are out, eat a burger with fries and various other bad meal choices. So if you are really trying to cut body fat you will really want to consider cutting down on the alcohol consumption to maybe a night a week, to try to ensure you are not impeding any of your results.