Always Keep Pushing Forward!
Today’s topic is one that is extremely important to me and I wanted to share with you. When someone is setting out to achieve a specific goal, whether that be to lose weight, build muscle, or get better at a specific sport or activity you generally have some sort of idea as to what you would like the end result to be. And as you start to get into your training, results aren’t coming as fast as they used to and you begin to lose motivation. The fire you had in the beginning when everything was going perfect starts to fade. This is when one of the worst things you can ever do starts to happen. You accept that this is the best you can do, and you decide to settle on the results you have achieved. Well, I am here to tell you that is bull shit. When you make the conscious decision to stop pushing forward, and basically put yourself in cruise control, you are setting yourself up for failure. This is a loser mentality because you are basically throwing in the towel and saying, well that’s good enough I guess. Never, never, never set limitations on what you can do. When you begin to place limits on your results, whether you realize it or not you begin to fall into more of a complacent state of mind. Once you let the complacency kick in, it almost always begins the downward spiral to where even making it to the gym becomes a chore. Don’t let this happen to you. Always have goals, and set goals that are bigger than average. Always keep yourself pushing forward toward the next milestone. I promise you in the end you will be happy you did.
The number one thing holding most people back from reaching their goals….Fear of Failure.
For some reason many of us seem to get caught up in the fact that if we attempt something and fail, then we will be judged by everyone else as a failure or a loser, Well I am here to say fuck that. The only way you will be able to truly succeed is by overcoming failure and continuing to move forward. Failure is the greatest teacher when it comes to achieving success. The best example of this that I can recall is Michael Jordan. The guy has missed over 9000 shots, 26 game winners too, but as his career continued, and he worked his ass off, he was able to finally succeed and take his team to 6 Titles. Without that fire and work ethic, and his ability to drown out the nay sayers, Michael Jordan could have very well became irrelevant. He still would have been a good athlete no doubt, but he would not be remembered as the greatest of all time aka GOAT if he did not have the mental toughness to push through each of his struggles and failures. We could all learn something from his mindset to not stop when things get tough, or to understand that a set back is only minor, and the bigger picture is still ahead, you just have to keep going. This is why we see so many get into fitness and exercising and they stop and start every year, over and over like a broken record. They don’t see results in the first 20 days so they say screw it and give up for the next 6 months, or just accept the body they have without even considering that they may need to make some changes to there routine before they just throw in the towel. Listen I could go on and on with this subject because it is one I deal with in clients everyday, but simply put, fuck failure, and keep pushing forward. Even when you fuck up and eat bad, or miss a workout, do not throw the rest of the week out the window. Get back on the fucking horse and get to work because no one else is going to do it for you. It’s you vs you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.