In the Beginning
Since the early 1990’s when Bill Phillips introduced the first mass produced creatine powder, this supplement has been under the spotlight. At times, for its benefits to strength and performance in the gym, and at others receiving negative attention, and being called a “steroid” by very uneducated individuals who really have no clue what creatine even is. Creatine is a molecule that the body can naturally produce. It’s made primarily in the kidneys and completed in the liver, by three amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine. Typically, from a nutritional standpoint creatine is found in higher concentrations in red meats. So for those of you that are walking around considering creatine something that is unnatural or a steroid, you need to do a little research first.
How Can It Benefit Me?
Besides creatines’ known benefits of strength and performance it also plays another role in cell health. Creatine helps the mitochondria in our bodies’ produce more ATP, which is energy for our cells. The healthier the cells in the body are the longer they can potentially live, and the better off that organ that the particular cell lives in will be. So indirectly, creatine has cell protective properties! This is why many researchers consider creatine a superfood.
Who Can Safely Take It?
After knowing these benefits, really any adult can use creatine safely. The recommended dosage per day is 5 grams, or approximately 1 teaspoon. You do not need to do any type of loading phase, or anything like that which you may have heard of unless you are using creatine for more than the health benefits. If you are using creatine for the performance benefits I would suggest using it pre and post workout on workout days, 5 grams pre, and 5 grams post in a protein shake or BCAA drink. On non workout days use 5 grams in the morning with breakfast or a protein shake.
New low carb recipe for you guys to check out. Hope you like it!
Steak and Shirataki Stir Fry
- 2 packages or approximately 14 ounces shirataki noodles
- 1 pound top sirloin or skirt steak cut into ¼ inch-thick slices
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2-inches ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Avocado oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 4 heads baby bok choy, thinly sliced
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Open the packages of shirataki noodles and drain the noodles in a colander. Rinse well under cold water.
Add the noodles to the boiling water. Boil 2 minutes. Drain.
Heat a large skillet or a wok over medium-low heat. Do not add any oil. Add the shirataki noodles to the dry skillet and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, using tongs to frequently turn and move the noodles as they cook. This process dries out the noodles. You’ll know they are dry when they suddenly start to squeak as they are moved around the skillet. Remove the noodles from the skillet and set aside.
Whisk together tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger and garlic.
Pour half of the mixture over the beef. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet or a wok over medium-high heat. Wait several minutes for the pan to get really hot, then add the beef. Cook, stirring just a few times, until meat is cooked, 3 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.
Let the pan heat up again and add Avocado Oil. Add the shredded carrots and bell pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bok choy. Cook until just tender, 2 minutes.
Add the noodles and the reserved marinade. Toss the noodles well to coat. Add the beef to the pan and cook just until heated. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
When it comes to weight loss your bodies’ metabolism plays a huge role in how successful you will be. To be blunt, it can make or break you in your weight loss goals. So here I wanted to leave you with three rules to remember about your metabolism that may help you if you feel like you may be stalling out on your results.
Rule 1: Metabolism is Unique to each Individual
This rule should really kind of be common sense, but it needs to be said and viewed as the most important. Every person is unique in how their body metabolizes what they take in. So even if you think you are following the perfect meal plan, but are still not seeing progress, then something needs to be adjusted.
Rule 2: A Less Efficient Metabolism is Actually Optimal
One big misconception is that when we eat low carb our bodies’ thyroid production slows down naturally, and this can stall weight loss. But, the truth is that we want our body to have a less efficient metabolism. Also, on this subject, this is where not all calories are created equal. Ensuring that we are taking in quality calories, and not just “fitting” food into our daily macros can be key to get that last little bit of stubborn fat off your trouble areas.
Rule 3: The Body is Always Either Anabolic or Catabolic
Always remember the body is either going to be attempting to store fat and muscle, or losing fat and muscle. Muscle loss can be collateral damage in the process of burning fat. The only time you will notice the phenomenon of being able to lose body fat, while simultaneously keeping that lean muscle is when you add anabolic steroids to the mix.
This post is more of a tip of the day. Nothing too drawn out or fancy here, just proving a point as to how simple we can keep things and still get good results. So often I get guys and girls whom I consult that want to add on muscle, which is great. But when it comes down to putting together a meal plan they glaze over as if we are discussing advanced calculus. Listen, it does not need to be so complicated. Here is a simple way to nail down your macros as a base to start.
Where to Start
Here is a simple place to begin. Start with the number 10, and add 1 for every hour of training you do per week. so for example if you train 5 hours a week, or 5 days a week at one hour, then add 5 to the number 10. That puts you at 15. Then take the number 15 and multiply it times your current body weight. Here let’s say for example you weigh 200 pounds. 200 times 15 is 3,000, which is approximately what you can eat per day to maintain your current body mass. So, if your goal is to gain mass, then add 250-500 calories to this number, to put you in a surplus. Track your body weight from start to finish, and every two weeks I would weigh myself and see where I am at. If you have gained 1-2 pounds, then progress is being made. If you are still the same weight, then I would increase the total calories by 250 each weigh in until progress is made. Trust me, you will eventually find the sweet spot, unless you have tape worm, then you’re fucked.
What do I actually eat?
Now for the details. Again we are trying to keep things simple here so this is where I tell people the easier the better. For protein intake go with around 1 gram per pound. For carbohydrates these need to stay relatively high for a mass gain phase, I would suggest that about 35%-40% of your calories are from carbohydrates. This puts you at about 25%-30% of calories coming from protein, and another 30% roughly coming from fat. Going back to our 200lb individual example from earlier, here is a sample breakdown.
Calories per day 3000
You can break this down into 4-6 meals spread throughout the day, so at 6 meals you are looking at 500 calorie meals throughtout. Pretty reasonable. Try using this formula out if you are trying to put on mass, and if you need any assistance getting it set up please feel free to reach out and I will help you out.
How is Your Digestion?
This is something that is actually simple but gets over looked a lot when it comes to weight loss and your health in general. One major issue that can lead to you stopping progress in your weight loss goals is bad digestion. Not being able to absorb nutrients properly due to bad digestion would be comparable to us driving a car without ever changing the oil. Over time you will be running on fumes! The body needs to be able to absorb certain key nutrients that will help us not only stay regular, but also aid in keeping a healthy metabolism, which is where the weight loss issue comes into play. A few of the key indicators that you may be having issues with your digestion are itchy skin, hives, bloating, and feeling excessively full after a meal.
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.