Monday, July 13, 2015

Water- Drink A Ton!

I have given my water intake recommendations before; half of your body weight in ounces (although I prefer a gallon a day). However, as I am sitting in our 100 degree Florida (which feels like 200), it occurred to me that I need to give an additional recommendation-

If you live in (or are visiting) an extremely hot climate like the southwest or southeast, and are exposed to the heat for extended periods of time throughout the day, I encourage you to drink considerably more water than you usually consume.

Your body will lose water at a much faster rate in intense heat, and you may become dehydrated much faster. The goal EVERY day is to never be dehydrated (which you will achieve if you are consuming at least half of your body weight in ounces).

On top of your normal intake, you will probably need anywhere from around 30-60 ounces more water in hot climates. Listen to your body, but remember to avoid waiting until you are already thirsty...this is your body's way of telling you that you are already reaching levels of dehydration.

Train hard, and enjoy the journey!

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

MCT's For Optimal Performance!

Whether you are looking to build lean muscle, burn fat, or both, it is important to start the day off with the right kind of breakfast! Regardless of what time of day you train (but especially important for morning training), I suggest swapping carbs for a good source of fat. If you eat eggs, you need to eat the WHOLE egg, as the bioavailability of the protein is maximized with the whole egg. But really, the best choice for fat in the morning is MCT's (either from straight MCT oil, or coconut oil). MCT's, or medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to be used by the body as fuel, rather than the propensity to be stored (like saturated, or long-chain triglycerides). Because MCT's are used for fuel, they will provide a better source of fuel for a morning workout, and they won't still be floating around in the body post-workout like saturated fats (which will delay the uptake of your post workout protein).
You do NOT need carbs for breakfast, even with morning training sessions! Force your body to use the fat you provide it, along with stored fat, for fuel! This method will give you a better chance for fat burning, while still providing the body fuel and protein for muscle building/sparing. A good example for a great breakfast (especially for morning training) would be:

-a lean protein source (chicken, turkey, white fish)
-a vegetable (broccoli is a good choice)
-MCT oil, or coconut oil (can be put on vegetable or taken separately)

Try to start thinking outside the box and try eating meat and vegetables at breakfast!

Train hard, and enjoy the journey!

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Finding What Fuels You

When embarking on your fitness journey, try not to get caught up in the trappings of trying to figure out the "right" way to train. Sure, there are some general guidelines to follow for building lean muscle and burning fat, but there is no "one right way" to do it!
Fitness is more about finding what fuels you; learning what type of training you enjoy and that motivates you, so you enjoy the process and stick with it! Learn to figure out your OWN body; what works, what doesn't, etc. Everyone is different, and even if you find someone who looks nearly identical to you in height, weight, structure, etc., you can be assured that their body is completely different than yours. What works for one person may not work for another.
So rather than being overwhelmed with all of the different information out there on training, nutrition, etc., don't be afraid to continuously experiment with different training methods that you find, until you find what works for YOU.

Enjoy the journey, and train hard!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Meal Cadence (Properly Timed Eating)

So often, the focus on nutrition is what to eat, and how much to eat. But another important factor that is often overlooked is the timing of meals. When you are actively involved in fitness, how often you eat is extremely important. Forget the old "three square meals a day" adage. I believe that it is crucial to supply your body with nutrients about every 3 hours, and there are several reasons why.

Whether you are in a "bulking" phase looking to add mass, or a "cutting" phase looking to shed body fat, the 3 hour rule applies across the board! First let us look at why it is important for someone looking to get lean to eat every 3 hours; when you supply your body with a steady stream of nutrients, you keep your "furnace" (metabolism) revved up, which will in turn keep you in a better fat burning mode all day long. Second, when you eat more frequent meals, you avoid having to eat overly large quantities in a single sitting, in order to meet your daily caloric needs. Another benefit of eating smaller meals is that you do not overload your GI system, and allow your body to better absorb more of the nutrients you are providing it. It is important to note that this method of eating begins within an hour of waking up; this is very important to kick start your metabolism for the rest of the day!

Now let us look at why meal cadence is important for the person looking to bulk (add lean muscle). Eating every 3 hours ensures that you minimize your body being in a catabolic (muscle burning) state, which is counterproductive to gaining muscle. The other benefits that apply to the person looking to cut body fat also apply to the person bulking! Better nutrient absorption, less GI system stress, and the allowance of smaller meals since the frequency of eating is increased.

Whether you are looking to lose body fat or add lean muscle, eating every 3 hours or so is universally beneficial. The only real difference between these goals is the amount of food that is eaten at each sitting. While the person looking to lose body fat may have 3 main meals with a couple of snacks in-between, the person looking to gain weight will need to eat full meals at each sitting.

Enjoy the journey and train hard!

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Setting Clearly Defined Fitness Goals

One of my "50 Biggest Fitness Mistakes Beginners Make," not having clearly defined goals can be detrimental to your success. The biggest benefit of creating goals for yourself is that it gives you something to strive for, and ultimately, keep you motivated. When you first embark on your fitness journey, you have to ask yourself "what do I want to achieve?"
Setting clearly defined goals will in turn, allow you to have a plan of action to achieve them! If you do not have a goal (or several goals) before you enter the wonderful world of fitness, you are more likely to aimlessly plot along, just instinctively doing whatever comes to mind at the time. Now I will say, instinctive training has it's place, and I use it often; but I have been weight training for almost 20 years, so I have a solid foundation of experience and vast knowledge to be able to do this. I believe there is no place for instinctive training for a beginner.
As previously stated, I feel that the biggest benefit of setting goals is the motivation factor. In order to keep yourself motivated, (and trust me, you WILL lose motivation from time to time) it is best to set both short AND long term goals for yourself.
Think out of the box; these goals do not need to be strictly number oriented i.e., losing/gaining weight, lifting more weight, more reps, etc. Get creative based on what you hope to achieve. Maybe you want to be able to run a 5K within 3 months. Maybe you want to improve your resting heart rate, or go from 1 workout a week to 3 or 4! Maybe you want to be able to hike up a local mountain (sorry my Florida peeps, I know, I know..) without keeling over, near death!
Whatever your goals may be, it is important to define them, and then create a plan to accomplish them. Setting short term goals (meaning a goal you want to reach say, every 8-12 weeks) will hold you accountable week by week. Hopefully, if you can stay on track with your short term goals, you will ultimately reach your long term goals (goals that may take a year or so to accomplish). Lastly, and probably most important, is to write your goals and your plan of action down! This way, it is not just an idea in your head, but something tangible you can look at and have as a daily reminder.
Enjoy the journey, and train hard!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Free Weights vs. Machines

Free weights (dumbbells and barbells) and machines both have their place in the gym. Let us examine some of the pros and cons of each...
The biggest benefit of free weights is the requirement of stability. When using free weights, your body's stabilizer muscles that surround the joints are required to perform. This is especially true when using dumbbells, because now each arm's stabilizer muscles have to work independently. For example, if you are doing a seated overhead dumbbell shoulder press, or a lying dumbbell chest press, each shoulder, pectoral muscle, and shoulder/elbow stabilizers have to do the work. This unilateral work will ensure that you minimize strength and size imbalances between each side of the body, top to bottom, and front to back.
The drawback to free weights is safety. If you are a beginner, or unsure of proper form and usage, you have a greater risk of injury with free weights, especially if you are not using a spotter.

Machines offer a variety of exercises for every body part. There are different types of machines, i.e. cable resistance, plate loading (offers more of a free weight feel), cable resistance with swivels (to encourage extra stability work), etc. Machines are great for beginners, because they move through a fixed range of motion, which minimizes the risk for injury. Cable resistance is also beneficial in offering a different feel than free weights, which rely solely on the weight and gravity. There are also many machines that give you movement options that simply cannot be mimicked with free weights. Machines do not require a spotter, which is another benefit for a beginner. The downside to machines is that they do not recruit as much muscle as free weights, and therefore should not be used solely (without free weights).

Conclusion: I would say that my personal regimen is made up of around 70% free weights and 30% machine work. Both have their rightful place in a workout regimen, and I feel that everyone should try and implement both in their workouts. However, I feel that in the long run, free weight training will always be KING. Mass building exercises such as squats, dead lifts, pull ups, rows (barbell/dumbbell), military press, dumbbell shoulder press, chest press, etc. all utilize free weights. The best way to ensure that you are getting a well rounded workout attacking the muscles from all angles/positions is through using both free weights and machines. But I suggest that free weights should always remain the foundation of your routine! Train hard!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Losing The Fat

Stop focusing on getting "skinny," period. Instead, aim your focus on getting stronger and building lean muscle. This is the best way to burn fat. Add more lean muscle to your frame, and get that metabolism revved up!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Smart Lifting

One of my "50 Biggest Fitness Mistakes Beginners Make" topics, lifting smart vs. lifting with ego will allow you to make way better progress, and will allow you to be much less likely to suffer severe injury. Trust me, I've been through it so I can give personal insight to the topic.
When bodybuilding for aesthetics (muscle growth and symmetry), it is far more important to train with a weight you can handle (and which allows you to keep proper form) then to try and throw heavy weight around for the sake of seeing how heavy you can lift. Keep an eye out for my future eBook, where I will go into further detail on this subject. Train hard and train smart! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Calories: Bulking and Cutting (Part II- Macronutrients)

In part I of this post, I talked about where to start in terms of a calorie range for bulking and cutting. Here in part II, I will discuss macronutrients, their percentages, and why they can be even more important than counting overall calories.

For simplicity, let us first understand macronutrients. Macronutrients (or macros, for short) are the major nutrients your body uses. These are: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals.

Let me first give you a perfect example of why having a proper macro split can be more important than just counting calories: Lets say a woman (we'll call her Jane) who is looking to achieve fat loss exercises regularly (is very active), but has a slow metabolism (puts on fat easily). Jane actually found an ideal calorie range that would work for her body, but it isn't working. Lets say she is tracking her food, and I take a look at her numbers and see what her macro split is. After review, I see that she is eating 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein.

Right away I have spotted the problem. Even though Jane is active, she has a slow metabolism and easily puts on fat. Well if 50% of her calories are coming from carbs, and 30% are coming from fat, Jane is not going to be losing any fat anytime soon. She will also most likely not add any new lean muscle and will possibly burn a decent amount of her current muscle, because her protein intake is too low. I would immediately tell Jane that she should probably try a 40/40/20 split (carbs/protein/fat) to start with, and adjust accordingly from there (she may need to drop the carbs a bit more).

But a 40/40/20 split is not going to work for everyone, because EVERY body functions differently. Lets take myself for example. I am an ectomorph (or what is known as a classic "hardgainer"). This means that I naturally carry little muscle, but also little fat. I can eat pretty much anything without having to worry about putting fat on, but I have to work extremely hard to keep (and add) new muscle. All of that being said, coupled with my lightning speed metabolism, and I am better served with a 50/30/20 split (carbs/protein/fat).

This is why it is so important to look at WHAT you are eating, not just how much! It is also important to clearly define your goal(s) so you can adjust your nutrition as needed. Now lets do just a little bit of math to understand how to calculate your macros:

Carbs- 4 calories per gram
Protein- 4 calories per gram
Fat- about 9 calories per gram

Lets say you are looking to cut, are eating 1800 calories a day, and have a macro split of 40/40/20 (carbs/protein/fat). This means you need 40% of your total calories to come from carbs, 40% to come from protein, and 20% to come from fat. So...

Carbs- 40% of 1800 calories = 720 calories. Since carbs have 4 calories per gram, you are looking at
180 grams of carbs per day.
Protein- since your protein is also 40%, and protein also contains 4 calories per gram, your protein intake will also be 180 grams per day.
Fat- 20% of 1800 calories = 360 calories. Since fat has 9 calories per gram, you are looking at
40 grams of fat per day.

Hopefully all of these numbers help you learn how to calculate your macros, and why it is important. Remember, if you focus on hitting your daily macro goals, you will also hit your total daily calorie goal! Train hard, eat smart!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Calories: Bulking and Cutting (Part I)

It can be difficult to determine where to begin when it comes to your calorie needs. Whether you are bulking (adding lean muscle mass) or cutting (dropping body fat), it is important to have a clearly defined starting point. It is important to note that I am strictly talking total calories here; I am not including your macronutrient percentage breakdown, which is equally if not more important. I will talk in depth about that in the next post (part II). Also of equal importance, is that this post applies to people who ARE very active in terms of working out during the week. If you are not getting solid exercise in every week, these numbers mean nothing.

I recommend starting with 15 calories per pound of bodyweight. If you hold as true as possible to this number, you will most likely know within a couple of weeks if any adjustments need to be made. So let us see an example: a 150 pound woman looking to cut (lose body fat) would start with a baseline of 2,250 calories per day (15 x 150 pounds). If see progress with this number, then don't change anything! If you start to plateau, or do not see any results from the go, reduce calories to 14 per pound of bodyweight. This adjustment would drop your total calories to 2,100 per day. Adjustments would be made accordingly, using this method.

Let us use another example: a 130 pound man looking to bulk (add lean muscle). At 15 calories per pound of bodyweight, the total daily calorie intake would be 1,950. Again, if its working, don't change anything. If you are not gaining weight, bump it up to 16 calories per pound of bodyweight, which would put you at 2,080 total daily calories. Make adjustments accordingly.

Don't forget, there ARE variables to these calculations, so you will have to play around to find what works from you. These variable include, but are not limited to: your activity level, the speed of your metabolism, the macronutrient ratio that is right for your body (again, I will discuss next post), etc.

The sure fire way to find the numbers that work for you are to stay as close to the set number every day, consistently! When you do this, you remove the most important negative variable...INconsistency! Train hard, eat smart!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Stretching is such a vital component to maintaining physical fitness. Especially if you weight train; your muscles get that much shorter and tighter, you build up adhesions and lactic acid, and your range of motion decreases. Maintaining good flexibility throughout the entire body will only help your efforts in the gym.

Stretching when your muscles are cold can also cause injuries and/or strains. I recommend doing a light (5-10 min) cardio warm up followed by light stretching, then another solid stretching session after your weigh training. Train hard, and train smart!

Friday, June 5, 2015


Daily Tip: For everyone diligently following a fitness and/or nutrition plan, I commend you! Don't be afraid to take a day here and there to relax and indulge. It can benefit you in more ways than one! It can give your metabolism a boost (if your body has adapted to your daily nutrition), and it can also give you a mental break (and reset) from the daily rigor of following a stringent plan. Enjoy your weekend! ✌🏻️from Siesta Key 😎🌴

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hit Those Legs!

Tip of the Day: Ladies... Please squat! And lunge, and leg press, and split squat, and hip thrust, and... you get the point. Don't be treadmill Barbie!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Eat Salmon!

Food of the Day: Salmon! Specifically, pacific wild caught (I prefer sockeye), because these cold water fish are proven to be healthier and more nutrient dense. Salmon is a great source of protein but just as important, an excellent source of healthy, monounsaturated fats and essential fatty acids DHA and EPA. Fun fact: the picture below is of spawning sockeye. An adult sockeye that is not spawning looks completely different!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

10 Common Fitness Mistakes Beginners Make!

In truth, I could easily title this post "50 Common Mistakes," but I will save the lengthier info for my ebook that I am in the process of writing. There will also be an ebook to the similar effect regarding nutrition. I will keep you posted! For now, here are 10 common fitness mistakes beginners make:

1. Pushing too hard, too soon.
2. Not learning proper form, especially for the basic compound movements.
3. Not learning to have the "mind/muscle connection."
4. Not checking your ego at the door.
5. Not putting priority focus on your weaknesses.
6. Men- not training legs!
7. Women- not training upper body!
8. Not creating goals; both short and long term.
9. Not mixing up your workout routine frequently enough.
10. Not realizing that nutrition is the foundation of your fitness success!

Questions or comments? Feel free to ask...I love to educate on these topics! Train Hard!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Women: Building Lean Muscle For Optimal Fat Loss

This is a very important post because it addresses an issue I have seen way too many times to count over the years; women who want to burn fat and "tone up," so they begin a journey of endless cardio only to end up losing muscle, not burning the desired amount of fat, and not "toning up" at all...
For some reason along the way, too many women have believed that the best way to burn fat and get toned, is to do endless bouts of steady-state, long duration cardio. Whether that is in the form of walking/jogging on the treadmill, walking/jogging outside, using the elliptical, etc., it really doesn't matter; these methods are not going to get you toned and burn fat optimally.

There are several reasons why endless cardio is not the answer. First off, cardio does not put your muscle under enough stress (breakdown) to elicit any sort of change when it comes to encouraging your body to get your muscles growing. Second, long duration cardio eventually puts your body in a catabolic (muscle burning) state, once your glycogen stores (the body's energy reserves) are depleted.
But the most important reason (in my opinion) why cardio is not the answer, is that it only elevates your metabolic rate for a short period after you finish. But fear not: there is something that will elevate your metabolic rate 24 hours a day, and that is lean muscle tissue; more of it, that is!

I am in no way saying that cardio does not have a place in your fitness regimen, because it does. It increases your cardiovascular endurance and is obviously great for your heart and lung health. But if you are doing it in an effort to burn muscle, you have to be smart about it. Choose a form of high intensity interval training to maximize fat burning through cardio. Whether it is sprint intervals, stair sprints/stairmill, etc.

But even with HIIT cardio, you still need to strengthen and build lean muscle. Muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat, so if you simply work on building new lean muscle, you will inevitably increase your body's metabolic rate 24 hours a day. To do this, you have to hit the weights! Do NOT have the common fear/misconception that as a woman, you are going to get too big and bulky. It is not going to happen. Sure, everyone has a muscle group that just builds easier than the rest, or you may have naturally muscular legs, etc., but women do not naturally contain enough anabolic (muscle building) hormones to produce mass muscle.

Remember, muscle is much smaller than fat in volume, so if you gain 10 pounds of muscle and lose 10 pounds of fat, I assure you, you are going to notice a big difference regardless of it being a wash on the scale! So the next time you go to the gym, do a 5-10 minute cardio warm up, then go hit the weights! Then you can finish up with cardio if you choose. Train hard, and train smart!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Simple Carbs and Post Workout

For majority of the day, I would always recommend trying to steer clear of sugars as much as possible. However, there is one time when simple carbohydrates (sugars) are super beneficial, and that is with your post-workout protein! 
When your muscles are broken down and your energy stores are depleted after your training session, you want to get super fast digesting whey protein in your system right away (I recommend anywhere from 25-50 grams). But you also want that protein to flood your muscles as efficiently as possible. This is where simple carbs come into play. When you ingest fast-digesting simple carbs with your post-workout protein, the insulin release will help drive the protein into your muscle cells better! 
You also need not worry about those simple carbs being stored and converted to fat, because they will be quickly utilized to replenish your depleted glycogen stores! 
You want to take a simple carb that is easily digested and utilized by the body. My recommendation is dextrose. This can be in the form of fat-free candies, Gatorade, or straight dextrose powder (which is what I use). I recommend 40-60 grams post workout. Train hard! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Supplementation and Fitness!

Supplementation! Let me start by saying that if you are a sedentary individual, or someone who does not go hard in the gym consistently, this post really does not apply to you. That being said, here we go...
Supplementation is a very important part of a person's fitness endeavor. However, the type of supplements you need can vary, depending on your goals i.e. gaining leaning muscle, burning fat, performance, etc. If you have questions about what types of supplements you can benefit from, just reply in the post thread! For purposes of the general fitness public, I recommend taking the following supplements:
1. Whey protein- fast digesting, good anytime of day, best for post-workout.
2. Casein protein- super slow digesting, best at night before bed to keep a steady stream of protein flowing through the body while at rest.
3. Multivitamin- Most people do not eat a diet with a wide enough variety of foods to obtain the amounts of crucial vitamins and minerals needed, especially for the athlete/weight lifter/etc.
4. Fish oil- supplementing with fish oil (capsules or liquid) provides the body with the essential fatty acids (EFA'S) DHA and EPA which are critical for muscle growth, along with a host of other benefits.
5. ZMA- zinc and magnesium can be taken separately, or in the form of ZMA (zinc magnesium aspartate). ZMA MUST be taken on an empty stomach, and the preferred time is an hour or so before bed. Zinc and magnesium can help facilitate muscle growth, fat loss, and in some people, better sleep! Side note** you do NOT want zinc and magnesium in your multivitamin, so make sure you look closely! The image below will direct you to the maker of my protein, multivitamin, and ZMA!
Train hard!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Brown Rice vs. White Rice

OK guys and gals, here it is... brown rice vs. white rice! If you've been following me 1) thank you! and 2) you've probably heard me say repeatedly that when it comes to carbohydrates, you want to stick to complex sources. I still encourage you to do that, and I will preface this post by saying that if you are someone who suffers from decreased insulin sensitivity (i.e. diabetic), or are someone who is sedentary and/or do not train hard in the gym, then you should stick to brown rice. That being said...
I believe that white rice is better! Nutritionists/Dietitians will always tout the benefits of brown rice; the fiber content, the lower glycemic index rating, the protein (which, by the way, is a mute point because the protein in rice is not highly bioavailable), but here is what you don't know...
Brown rice contains phytic acid. Phytic acid blocks the absorption of certain minerals! This acid is in the bran, which is removed in the milling process (creating white rice). Also, if you are someone who suffers from digestive issues, brown rice is most likely going to be a no go.
If you train hard, your body is going to respond better to white rice. But what about the fiber I am losing out on? You should be aiming to get your fiber from cruciferous, nutrient dense vegetables, and fruit.
Lastly, some of the healthiest cultures in the world live on a diet that is...starch based! So there you have it, white rice is the way to go. I prefer Jasmine!

Today's Training: Back/Abs

Great back/abs training today!
Wide neutral seated pull downs 
Chin ups
DB row on incline bench
Hammer Strength seated low row
Hammer Strength seated underhand row
Standing rope straight arm pull down 
Rope crunch on knees
Dip bar straight arm hold w/ leg lifts and bicycle crunch combo
Train hard!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Eat Kale!

Food of the Day: Kale! One of the healthiest vegetables around, its no wonder it has become so popular in recent years. A cruciferous vegetable that has risk-lowering benefits for at least 5 different cancers, it is also a great detoxifier for the body. While providing great amounts of vitamins A and C, Kale packs a super punch when it comes to vitamin K. Like an 1,100% RDA super punch. Try it steamed to reap the most of its benefits!

Holiday/Special Occasion Cheat Meals

Happy Memorial Day! For those of you possibly cooking out today and splurging/cheating from your normal nutrition plan, use it to your advantage! After today, get right back on track the rest of the week and today may actually benefit you! When your nutrition is on point 90% of the time, an occasional "cheat" day can reset your metabolism and help you break through a plateau. enjoy your day!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Compound Lifts For New Muscle

Tip of the Day: For those who are new are just started lifting weights, if you are looking to add new muscle focus on compound lifts. Examples of these are: squats, dead lifts, bench press, pull ups, barbell rows, military press, dumbbell press, leg press, babe;; curls, etc. These types of movements recruit more muscle, thus allowing a beginner to put on new muscle faster.
Once you have been training for a while and have a solid foundation, you can then start to sculpt your muscles the way you want by adding in the isolation exercises needed to do so.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Tip of the Day: Eat a big breakfast! There are several benefits to starting the day out with a big meal. You have been fasting all night while sleeping, your metabolism has been slowed down, and you wake up in a catabolic state with your glycogen stores depleted. When you wake up, you want to get back in an anabolic state and get your metabolism revved up quickly. 
Aim for a breakfast dense with protein, carbs, and healthy fats. I recommend aiming for 30% of your total daily calorie allowance at breakfast! Not only will it give you sustained energy to get your day started, but it will put you ahead calorie-wise, and you won't be struggling to catch up later in the day! 

Whey Protein

Food of the Day: Whey protein! Ok, so not really a "food" per se...In today's "Tip of the Day" I briefly discussed whey protein. Whey protein makes up 20% of milk protein (the other 80% is casein). It is extremely fast digesting, and therefore the best protein you can consume immediately post workout. Quality whey protein will go right to your muscles when they need it most; after being broken down from your workout.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Protein Powder

Tip of the Day: Make sure you are taking a high quality protein powder at the right time(s) of the day depending on your goals! Whey protein is fast digesting and should be taken when you wake up, pre workout, and post workout (post workout being the most important). Casein protein is extremely slow digesting (up to 7 hours), and is best taken before bed to minimize muscle catabolism. I only use one brand of protein, and this is it:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Eat Avocado!

Food of the Day: Avocado! This fruit packs a nutrient dense punch! Just one whole avocado can give you as much as 320 calories! But its uniqueness lies in that it provides a decent amount of ALL 3 macronutrients. You should be mainly eating avocado for it's fat and fiber content; it provides almost 30 grams of fat, with about 70% of that coming from the healthiest, monounsaturated variety. It also provides roughly 17 grams of carbohydrates and an amazing 14 grams of fiber. Top that all off with 4 grams of protein, and you have one amazing fruit! Just be careful to not go overboard, as you will see the calories/fat rack up very quickly.


Tip of the Day: HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training has proven to be a much more effective fat burning and muscle sparing form of cardio than steady state, long duration cardio. If you are someone who loves long distance cardio, then by all means, continue to do what you love! Just know that if you are looking to burn fat and spare muscle, it just isn't going to happen over the long term with that type of cardio.
Long duration cardio eventually puts your body in a catabolic (muscle burning) state, because once your body has used all of your glycogen stores, it will then turn to burning your muscle for fuel. If you keep your cardio bouts to say, 20 minutes, you can effectively burn fat, increase endurance, and prevent your body from reaching the catabolic zone. 
A simple way to implement HIIT would be to do intervals of sprinting/walking on the treadmill, rather than just simply jogging at the same pace for a long period of time. If you prefer to do your cardio outdoors, you can do the same thing; sprint for 20-30 second intervals followed by 30 seconds to a minute of walking!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Eat Broccoli!

Food of the Day: Broccoli! Full of potassium and folate, as well as vitamins C, A, and B6. A super food that is a cancer fighter as well! Broccoli contains a healthy dose of fiber per cup (about 5 grams), and since it is virtually fat and sodium free and contains only about 30 calories per cup, I consider it a "free" food that does not need to be tracked (if you are tracking your calories/macronutrients). Don't overlook this vegetable, it should be a staple in your diet!

Unsaturated Fat is Best

Tip of the Day: Aim to get most of your daily fat intake from unsaturated fat sources! Yes, some saturated fat is good for keeping testosterone levels up, but for the most part you want to get your fat from sources such as olive oil, avocado, salmon, and walnuts, to name a few.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Eat Whole Eggs!

Food of the Day: WHOLE eggs! That's right, the yolk and all...a whole egg is a complete protein that gives you roughly 6-7 grams per egg, as well as beneficial fats. vitamins and minerals in the yolk. Don't worry about the cholesterol; The cholesterol in eggs does not increase your body's LDL (bad) cholesterol levels as previously touted in years past! However, if you are watching your fat intake, you can go with egg whites only.


Eat Complex Carbohydrates!

Tip of the Day: For most people, at most times of the day, complex carbohydrates are better than simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs like white bread, bagels, white rice, pasta, etc. cause a spike in insulin. They give you energy for a short period of time and then dip off dramatically. For people who do not have fast metabolisms or have decreased sensitivity to insulin, this can be a problem because the extra sugar floating around your body will most often not get used for energy, but rather stored and converted into fat. Complex carbs like oatmeal, sweet potato, lentils, brown rice, quinoa, etc. will give you sustained energy for a longer period, will not spike insulin levels as dramatically, and will also give you added fiber that you will not get from simple carbs. The added fiber is good for digestion, and will make you feel fuller longer, which will help you from over indulging.

That being said, you have to learn your body and what works for you. For example, I prefer Jasmine rice to brown rice. The calorie/nutrient values are almost identical, but I do lose out on the extra fiber that comes from brown rice. However, as someone with a fast metabolism trying to add weight, I am able to eat way more Jasmine rice than brown rice, and my body utilizes the white rice efficiently.
Even though I recommend complex carbs for most people, there is still a time when everyone can benefit from simple carbs, and that is immediately post workout. A simple carb like dextrose (corn sugar) can help shuttle protein to your muscles faster when you pair them together immediately post workout.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Eat Ezekiel bread!

Food of the Day: Ezekiel bread! Made from live, sprouted grains and containing NO flour, Ezekiel bread is a great carbohydrate source at breakfast! It is also a complete protein, so you get the benefits of some extra quality protein that you will not find with other breads. Check it out!

Get Your Protein!

Tip of the Day: In order to build new muscle or at least spare as much of your current muscle as possible, your protein intake needs to be at least 1 gram per pound of body weight. I prefer 1.5g myself. For example, if you are a 120 pound female looking to put on some muscle, I recommend eating at least 120-180 grams of protein per day!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Eat Quinoa!

Food of the Day: Quinoa! Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, contains a host of beneficial vitamins and minerals, and it is one of only a few plant foods that happens to be a complete protein! Quinoa is a great carbohydrate to substitute in place of rice, pasta, etc. It will give you sustained energy, it won't spike your insulin levels, and you will get a nice dose of quality protein!

Drink Water!

Tip of the Day: Water...drink it! Aim for half of your body weight in ounces i.e. 150b woman = 75oz a day. We know water is critical for our brain/organ function, skin health, etc., but water also plays a pivotal role in shuttling nutrients to our muscles. Drinking adequate water every day will also help to encourage weight loss, for those looking to shed a few pounds!