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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Vanilla Salty Balls with Protein

vanilla protein ballsI have to give credit to my training partner Chase.  He says that if I steal anymore of his ideas, then he will sue me.

6 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
5 Tablespoons Raw Honey
3/4 Cup of Oats
3 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seeds
1 Serving of Combat Vanilla Protein (Use whatever you want but I use Muscle Pharm)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl thoroughly.
Take spoonfuls out and roll into balls.
Place on cookie trey and leave in refrigerator for 1 hour or until you eat them

Healthy Benefits:

Raw Honey:
Increases natural energy
Used in treating allergies
Treats colds and sore throats (it coats the throat and reduces irritation)
Used as an acne treatment

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
Lowers Cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease
Makes you feel full longer
May reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
May reduce heart disease
May reduce high blood pressure
Contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
May reduce risk for certain cancers

Ground Flax Seed
Helps with digestion and good for cardiovascular system.
Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Provides anti-inflammatory properties

Vanilla Extract
Antioxidant Properties
May fight Cancer
Boost Metabolism
Reduces Anxiety
May fight infections and fever in children
Reduces Nausea

Sea Salt
Alkalizes the Body
Contains Minerals
Good for the Cardiovascular System
Good for the Brain
Good for the Skin
Important for Hydration
Boosts Immune System
Helps maintain Sugar Levels (good for Diabetes)
Prevents Osteoporosis
Prevents Muscle Cramps and Spasms
Reduces Cholesterol
Reduces Inflammation in respiratory system (Good for Asthma)

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One Day Can Change Your Life For Better Or Worse: How Will You Deal With It

One year ago today was going to be the day that signified a great day for me.  It was going to sum up all of the Self-Control, Willpower, Inspiration and Motivation (S.W.I.M.), dedication and determination that it took for me to complete my transformation.  It was supposed to be one of the best days of my entire life.  Instead one of the worst things that could ever happen to someone, happened to me that day.  No matter what I had a life changing moment that day.  It didn’t just happen to me, it happened to a lot of other people

I was getting prepared for my 16 week transformation photo shoot.  I had a little more than an hour before my shoot.  I jumped in the shower and heard my phone ring.  When I got out and picked up my phone I had a bad feeling.  One of my friends, Diana had called me and followed it up with a text (Call me ASAP, it’s an emergency).  Right away I felt like I knew what had happened.  I called her right back  and didn’t get her, so I left a message.  I really didn’t want to talk with her, I was hoping that if I didn’t talk with her than what I was thinking had happened wouldn’t have happened.  A few minutes later she called back.  She was pretty upset when she started talking, “Where are you?”  “Are you alone?”  “You might want to sit down.”  and then she confirmed what I thought that I already knew.  “Don was in an accident.  He was killed.”

Don was one of my closest friends.  I had known him for almost 12 years and we talked almost every day and hung out whenever we could.  I had gone to dinner with him and a group of friends including Diana the week before his death.  I showed up a little bit late for that dinner and he was at the other end of the table so we really didn’t get to hang out that night too much.   But we did get to talk a little.  He actually had just dropped 56 pounds after finding out that he had diabetes.  I was proud of him for making some changes that were going to help him stick around with us for a much longer time.  Since, we really only talked at the end of dinner, we were going to try to get together again some time soon.

Don had more friends than anyone that I have ever known.  He was more interested in helping others than doing things for himself.  He was happy seeing other people’s joy.  When one of his friends had a problem, Don was the first person that they would call and he would always be there for them.  He never had a drink in his life.  He had no idea what alcohol tasted like.  He had never done a drug in his life.  He got high on life.  He enjoyed life like no other.  The guy was always happy and he was always smiling and laughing.   He felt like it was a waste of time if  you spent your time bitching or you didn’t spend your time enjoying life.    He truly got everything that he could get out of life.  He even said that when he died, it would mean that his time had come and that he would have no regrets.  He had even made it clear that people would celebrate his life instead of morn his death.

When I hung up the phone, my first thought was that I had to cancel my photo-shoot.  I started thinking about it and I hear Don, calling me a dumbass.  “You can’t do anything about it.  It’s not in your control.  Live your life.  You spent 16 weeks on this and just about starved yourself the last few days and have drunk less than a gallon of water since yesterday.”  I’m sitting there thinking that it would be selfish to go forward with it.  I should just sit home and mourn him.  I knew that he wouldn’t want that.  The best thing that I could do is get out of the house.    Stay preoccupied.  I met the photographer over at my gym and let her know what had happened in case I broke down and she thought that I was crying because my photo-shoot was painful.  I know now that this was the best thing that I could have done.

Over the next few months I realized that I had learned much more from Don than I had ever thought.  Too bad he wasn’t still around while I was learning it.  I made a choice to live the way that Don lived.  I  learned a lot from my transformation, but I was inspired by how Don lived his life.  I had already begun to enjoy my life more, but now I think about what he would do and how he would treat people.  I learned that I should take every opportunity given to me.  If I want to do something than I should just go do it.  Don’t wait around for anyone if you are going to miss out by waiting.  Make your bucket list come through.  If you want to go climb Mt. Everest, than go climb Mt. Everest.  Be spur of the moment.  LIVE LIFE!  He made a huge difference in my life and how I live it.  He may be gone but for those of us who knew him, he is still with us.  When good things happen, even bad things, I still pick up my phone to call Don.

I can’t tell anyone else how to mourn, but the best decision that I ever made was to live the way that I believe my friend Don Theobald would have wanted me to live.  It makes me sad to think about him not being here, but I don’t think that I really ever mourned.  I live my life in tribute to his and all of us celebrated his life at his memorial just as he wanted.  I feel the same way.  I can tell you right now that when I die, I don’t want people to mourn my death.  I rather have them celebrate my life and if I left them something that helped them, then hold on to it and enjoy your life.

Don left behind tons of friends, relatives, a son, a daughter in law and a two-week old grandson.  I’m happy that him and his grandson were able to meet.  His grandson Charlie looks just like him and even has some of the same expressions.  Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 2.03.40 PM

Inspired By Mom: Where Did You Get Your Drive And Determination?

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 11.16.28 AM

Not long after my mom committed to participating in the Senior Olympics, she called me to tell me about her adrenaline rush during her training.  She talked about this amazing feeling that she had while swimming and thinking about her competition.  It’s one thing to go out and get involved in an athletic activity but it’s another to compete or prepare to compete.  When you visualize going up against your competitors and pulling away for the win or reaching your goals it’s amazing how much that can motivate you.  It’s a feeling that I love to get and hearing her talk about it makes me proud of her commitment.  She has always challenged herself.   She was swam mostly in order to stay fit and relax, more than anything.  I’m sure when she first started, it was so that she could get away from 3 rowdy kids (me and my brothers) for a little while.  A couple of years ago she took a Gold in the Maryland Senior Olympics and did it again this last year.  As I write this she is going on her second day of the National Senior Olympics.  Her events are 100, 200 and 500 Freestyle.  The only thing that makes me realize that she is 81, is that when referring to “Freestyle”, she says, “I’m doing the Crawl”.

She came to most of my football games, wrestling matches, swim meets, soccer games and plenty of other stuff.  She even comes to our annual Turkey Bowl sometimes so that she can watch a bunch of old guys run around and pull hamstrings.  She has always been my biggest supporter.  It’s about time, that I came out to see her compete.

I’d have to be an idiot, not to realize that I am who I am today because of her.  I definitely have to acknowledge my dad for instilling hard work and many other things into me, but this blog is about my mom.  Anyway, I remember being asked, “Who are your “Heroes”?”, when I was younger.  I would think about it and come up with some guy who played in the NFL, that I had no connection to, other than watching him play on Sundays.  Watching a talented ball player can definitely build motivation, but if I don’t know someone than they probably won’t be a “hero” to me.  I still may respect them and appreciate what they do.  There are a few people who I actually would consider “Heroes” to me and a couple of them are professional athletes that I personally know.  For me it is about more than what they do on the field.  It’s about how they prepare and commit.  These guys give it their all and then they give the other 10%.  They make a Promise to Fail in order to get better.  But they also promise not to Quit.   They are also the same guys who go out of their way to help others.  It’s not “all about them.”  Well, when it comes to “Heroes” I can’t rank these guys as high as my mom.  Being Inspired and  Motivated by her has strengthened many of my qualities: Dedication, Determination, Persistence,  Heart, Commitment, etc…  She taught me to know what it takes to Win, to Succeed.

She was also ahead of her time when it came to nutrition.  And she has always been fit and active.  My brothers and I grew up playing sports year round as well.  She participated in running, tennis and swimming.  Not only that but she was living a healthy lifestyle before a healthy lifestyle was “IN”.  Most of our meals were home cooked and they almost always  contained a protein and a carbohydrate along with vegetables.  We had a salad with homemade dressing (usually a vinaigrette) with our dinner every night.  Most of our meals were as a family at the table.  Fortunately, my mom is a great cook.  Enjoying good food everyday, is probably why I also learned how to cook great tasting food.

Honestly, based on how I eat now there are a number of things that I do not include within my Nutritional Guidelines , but for the most part we ate very healthy.   We only had sodas in the house when we had a party.  My parents didn’t really have a problem with it, because if we were out we could get it, but they were able to limit it, by not having it readily available.  After dinner we were almost always given homemade cookies and ice cream for dessert. I guess that we sort of had some kind of cheat every day.  I look back and think that it’s kind of funny that our parents never realized that by giving us sugar after we ate dinner, they were basically asking us to go kick the crap out each other until our sugar high came down.  Either that or it was to get us wound up and then tired out so that we would sleep through the night.   Not sure that the second one was the case.  I guess that was a way for us to burn off some excess calories after our meal.  We would go out to dinner occasionally, but I can not think of a time when we ate at McDonalds.  We  did have fast food maybe a handful of times, but McDonalds wasn’t one of them.  (Unless we went with friends, but not my mom or dad)

My mom would also always make us bag lunches for school.  Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches were our typical lunch along with a piece of fruit.  On occasion my dad would make lunch for us, if my mom was not around.  We learned very quickly that it was a big mistake letting him make it.  He would tend to get very creative with his sandwich making ability.  His favorite was a Peanut Butter, Butter and Jelly sandwich.  And no that wasn’t a typo and I didn’t stutter.  He really would add Butter to our Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.  And it would be a huge hunk, which he would place in the middle of the sandwich.  There is nothing like enjoying your Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich and then all of a sudden, you bite into it and are surprised by biting into a huge lump of butter.  I like butter but not a huge piece on my peanut butter and butter and jelly sandwich.  I would gag on it.  I literally almost puked.  And as a stupid kid it took me a while to figure out that if dad made lunch open the damn sandwich up and remove the stick of butter that he tried to choke you on.  How the hell would I be surprised by this every time.  It must have happened at least 10 times before I learned.  Either that or it happened once and it was so traumatic that it turned into a few hundred times.  If you want to torture your kids try it out on them.

When I was about 9 years old and my brother David and I went shopping with our mom.  As she was walking down the aisle, picking out healthy food to bring home, we were grabbing all kinds of crap and throwing it in the cart.  As soon as it would land mom would take it out and put it back on the shelf and say, “Additives  and Preservatives.  Additives and Preservatives, that’s all that these are.”  We really didn’t know what those big words  were but had assumed that they were bad.  They sure as hell tasted good.  The words just sounded funny to us.  For the next couple years we would mimic her out of the blue.  “Additives and Preservatives”.  It still comes up once in a while.  Talk about something being etched into your brain.  I guess I’ve got  additives and preservatives carved into my mind.  I can’t walk down certain aisles in a supermarket without thinking about that.  This is a good thing.

All of my friends were impressed by how athletic my mom always was and they would talk about how athletic she was…Actually they still talk that way.   Growing up hearing others talk about her definitely made me proud.  Even prouder that she is still doing it.   As my mom got older she cut out the running and cut back on the tennis, but swimming has been a great exercise for her.  It’s great to see her take it to a competitive and challenging level.  For 20 years I missed out on competition and most physical challenges.  Getting myself back into that is the best thing that I have ever done.  I did that at 45.  Seeing my mom do it in her 80’s (she turns 82 in a few weeks), is amazing.

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls

Posted on

chefs chocolate salty ballsMy training partner Chase was in South Park, Colorado and he met Chef.  He got his recipe for Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls.  These things are awesome.

6 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
5 Tablespoons Raw Honey
3/4 Cup of Oats
3 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seeds
2 Tablespoons Raw Cacao
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl thoroughly.
Take spoonfuls out and roll into balls.
Place on cookie trey and leave in refrigerator for 1 hour or until you eat them

Healthy Benefits:

Raw Honey:
Increases natural energy
Used in treating allergies
Treats colds and sore throats (it coats the throat and reduces irritation)
Used as an acne treatment

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
Lowers Cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease
Makes you feel full longer
May reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
May reduce heart disease
May reduce high blood pressure
Contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
May reduce risk for certain cancers

Ground Flax Seed
Helps with digestion and good for cardiovascular system.
Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Provides anti-inflammatory properties

Raw Cacao (Chocolate)
Known as a Super-Food
Claims to reduce cataracts, improve heart function and alleviate stress
High in antioxidant flavonoids
Claims to reduce free radicals in the body and in turn reducing risk of cancer

Vanilla Extrac
t
Antioxidant Properties
May fight Cancer
Boost Metabolism
Reduces Anxiety
May fight infections and fever in children
Reduces Nausea

Sea Salt
Alkalizes the Body
Contains Minerals
Good for the Cardiovascular System
Good for the Brain
Good for the Skin
Important for Hydration
Boosts Immune System
Helps maintain Sugar Levels (good for Diabetes)
Prevents Osteoporosis
Prevents Muscle Cramps and Spasms
Reduces Cholesterol
Reduces Inflammation in respiratory system (Good for Asthma)

 

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