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Advice Isn’t Always Appreciated

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When I’m working out I usually am so focused on my workout that I don’t really pay much attention to whats going on around me.  But it’s really not hard seeing someone who either has no idea what they are doing or just has bad form.  If you are just going through the motions or not using good form while training, don’t expect to make any gains.  And there is a good chance that you are going to hurt yourself.

I do have people come up to me and ask me for advice, which I’m happy to give them.  In all honestly, I much rather do it when I’m done with my workout, but I have no problem taking the time to help someone out in the gym.  On the other hand, advice isn’t always appreciated, when you are just handing it out to someone.  I remember about 15 years ago I was training at a local YMCA in Maryland.  There was a women who was working out.  She was wearing hiking boots with cut off jeans and a plaid button up shirt.  Since I am not a fashion consultant, I didn’t comment on what she was wearing.  If the clothes weren’t a dead give away that she had never been in a gym, the way she was lifting was a give away.  I figured that I would be a nice guy and I said something along the lines of, “You should control the weight and slow it down.”  She didn’t even look at me.  She just started slamming the weights.  I guess I motivated her to lift hard.  Or that was her way of saying “Go F… Yourself”.

One of the things that I have learned (not just related to working out) is that even if you are an expert on something, people don’t like to be told that they are doing something wrong.  Not everyone appreciates unsolicited advice.  If you decide that you are going to give someone unsolicited advice, approach them in a way where they don’t feel like you are telling them that they are doing it wrong.  No matter what, the lady in the hiking boots would have reacted the same way.  If I decide to make a suggestion to someone, I will usually say one of a few things.  “Excuse me do you mind if I give you some tips, which will help you focus more on your rear delt?”  or “Excuse me, you might want to try that a different way to help increase your bench.”  Now they don’t hear you are saying, “Hey man, your form sucks.”  In some cases they aren’t doing anything wrong but they could improve their gains with different exercises or exercises done a different way.

Yesterday, I was at the gym and there were two kids who were about 15.  They were doing some seated lateral raises and their form could use some help.  I decided to offer it.  It made a big difference right away with their lift and when they got it down, they asked me if I could make some suggestions about how to work their rear delts.  If I didn’t say anything, there is a good chance that they would have trouble reaching their gym goals for a long time.  I’m not saying I fixed their entire training program, but I hope it made a difference for them.

When you reach your goals, it’s always nice to help others reach theirs.

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What’s it take to reach your Goals? Do you have what it takes to make a successful transformation?

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It’s all too common to hear people who are frustrated with their inability to successfully reach their goals.  When it comes to a transformation that means: They aren’t losing the fat.  They aren’t gaining the muscle.  Or they aren’t getting any stronger.  I’ve been asked many times, “What’s it take to reach your goals”.  My answer usually starts with, “the right mindset”.  “You have to be able to take control of your own mind”.

Obviously, most people know that it comes down to proper nutrition and a consistent exercise program.  But where most people fail is not being able to follow through with one or both of these.  People will lie to themselves to make themselves feel better.  I’ve done it myself.  I’ve told myself that I was going to stick with a strict diet, which I did.  Or at least claimed I did.  I would just ignore the box of cookies that I stuffed in my face on a Saturday afternoon.  There isn’t really a problem if there is a cheat meal once a week or whatever.  The problem comes in when there are cheats that you are not self reporting.

There is also a difference in putting together what might be more of maintenance than anything.  Someone is setting high goals, but when they get to the gym they go through the motions.  If I’m not killing it in the gym, then I am not making the gains that I expect to make.  The way I see it, is that if I get through a workout and don’t feel muscle exhaustion and don’t feel like I just got my ass kicked, than I didn’t put the work in during my workout.

In my workout today we did a couple of circuits.  Each circuit had  5 rounds of 8 to 15 reps with 3 exercises.  We do increase the number of exercises based on workout.  Our rest period was 1 minute in between rounds.  The weights weren’t real heavy but our legs were on fire by the time we were done.  We finished up with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on a rowing machine.  We went hard for 15 seconds with 10 seconds of rest and repeated it over and over and over again.

If you aren’t stressing your body than your body isn’t going to change.  If you are just going through the motions don’t expect your muscles to be getting what they need in order to grow.  If you were to go hard for 3 weeks, your body will change in order to accommodate the workouts that you are putting it through.  At that point what was hard 3 weeks ago isn’t so hard anymore.  If someone is lifting for strength, it’s going to be a different workout with heavy weight.  However, they still have to stress their body, so that it reacts and they make their gains.

Stay after it.

 

 

You Don’t have to Sacrifice Taste when Eating Healthy. Healthy Chicken Finger Recipe

You Don’t have to Sacrifice Taste when Eating Healthy.  Healthy Chicken Finger Recipe

Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean that it doesn’t taste good.  In fact there are a lot of things that I use to like that just doesn’t taste good to me anymore.  Obviously this isn’t always the case.  There are actually a lot of things that can be made in a different way.   And I’m not the type of person who is going to sacrifice taste.  For example I spent $20 on a couple of loaves of a Paleo bread, because I cut bread out of my diet.  After the third bite of the Paleo bread, I realized that I wasn’t going to eat something that tasted like crap because I liked what I was replacing.  I tossed both loaves out and learned a lesson.
The other night I decided to make chicken fingers.  This time I really liked the taste.

1.5 lb Chicken breast
3 Eggs
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup coconut flour (if you don’t like coconut use more almond meal
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)

Preheat Oven 375
Cut up chicken breasts into thin strips
Blend eggs in bowl
Coat pan with oil
Mix almond meal, coconut flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder sea salt, black pepper
Dip chicken in eggs
Next cover chicken dipped in egg with mixture
Place chicken in pan
Cook chicken 20 to 25 minutes until golden

I used raw honey mixed with spicy mustard as a dip.  But I also ate them without any dip

Healthy Benefits:
Chicken
High in Protein (Builds and repairs Muscle)
Fights Alzheimer’s
Fights Cancer

Almond Meal
Almonds
Good for brain development (great for kids)
Helps in preventing colon cancer by moving food through the colon
Helps reduce the cause of plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart
Regulates Blood Pressure
Regulates Cholesterol
Helps fight diabetes.  Keeps Blood sugar down
Rich in fiber
Boosts Energy
(Drink a lot of water with almonds)

Coconut Flour
High in Fiber
Increases Metabolism
Good for Digestion

Garlic Powder
Contains Antioxidants
Attacks free radicals
Fights Colds and Flu
Lowers Cholesterol
Acts as a natural antibiotic (bacteria doesn’t grow resistant to it)

Onion Powder
Good for the liver
When mixed with protein they
Lowers Cholesterol
Thins blood, reduces risk of blood clots
Fights Asthma
Fights Bronchitis
Fights Hay Fever
Fights Diabetes
Reduces risk of stomach cancer
Detoxify the body of heavy metals

Paprika
Contains Antioxidants.
Anti-Inflammatory.
Helps with blood circulation and regulates blood pressure.

Cayenne Pepper
Anti-Fungal, Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Inflammatory.
Fights Cancer (prostate, lungs and pancreas).
Great for the cardiovascular system.
Reduces Cholesterol and triglycerides.
Increases metabolism.
Good for intestinal health.
Including healing stomach and intestinal ulcers.
Aids in digestion.

Cumin
Helps with Digestion
Helps stimulate and relax and helps with Insomnia
Helps with Respiratory Problems
Antiviral (fights colds)
Good for lactating mothers
Detoxify the body
Fights Cancer
Black Pepper
Contains Antioxidants
Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial.
Great for the digestive Tract.
Reduces Gas in the intestines.
Speeds up metabolism.
Supports weight loss.
Fights fat by breaking down the fat cells.
Relief from respiratory problems

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)

Olive Oil
Contains Antioxidants
Contains probiotics
Improves Blood Vessel Function
Boosts the immune system
Fights Cancer
Fights Heart Disease
Regulates Blood Pressure
Fights Diabetes
May help fight Obesity
Fights Arthritis
Fights
osteoporosis
Helps increase testosterone

Coconut Oil
New research claiming that it has been helping Alzheimer’s patients improve and even reverse effects.
Positive results for people affected with Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Increases thyroid health by raising body temperature.
It increases metabolism (increases body temp)
Increases energy
Coconut oil on the body can promote healthy skin and hair.
Increases testosterone

TEAMWORK: THE GREEN BERET CHALLENGE AND A LESSON IN LIFE

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Being a part of a team will definitely increase motivation and drive.  The problem is that if you are no longer participating in team sports, it is not so easy to find others to join you in your fitness or competitive endeavors.  It may give you a different perspective.  Certain challenges may be easier or harder for you than your teammates.  Maybe their input will be the difference in completing your challenge in a more effective manner.  There are some things that take a team.

Today I just competed in The Green Beret Challenge, in Farmington, MO.  I’ve done plenty of Obstacle Course Races and have done a number of them with friends.  Than again, I have done most of them by myself.  The Green Beret Challenge is a team event.  In order to compete you need 4 people, including yourself.  If you decide to do this challenge, take my word for it.  You will need 3 other people who will NEVER GIVE UP.   I picked my team several months prior to doing the event.  I never had a question that any of them would bail on me.  If one guy bailed that would have screwed all of us.

It’s not so easy to rely on others.  How many times have you heard someone say that they stopped going to the gym because their training partner stopped going?  I’ve had lots of training partners during my life and I’ve been motivated by all of them while we worked out.  However, things change.  You probably aren’t going to train with the same individual for your entire life.  No matter what, I have no intention of putting an end to training.  I do make changes to how I train and where I train, but I don’t rely on someone else to get me in the gym.

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At the end of the day, what is more important to you?  Not letting yourself down or not letting your teammates down.  This is a true life lesson.  I know 3 guys,  (Paul Rozek, Joe Larsen and Nick Martin) who will not let me down.  That’s the reason these guys are a part of my team.  They all showed up and they did their part.  The 4 of us maneuvered over 8 miles of rough terrain, dragging tires and sandbags.  Carrying sandbags, ammo crates.  Engineering an improvised device to carry a 55 gallon drum of water a mile.  The 4 of us lifted each other through out the course.  Times do get tough and having a team that works well together will get you through it.

When it comes to life think about the people that will do what they say.  Think about the people that will be there for you if you need them.  Think about the people that do what it takes to get the job done.  I know who my guys are.  I know who I can rely on.  I have been disappointed before, because of people who don’t follow through.  It’s one thing to try and fail and it’s another to not even try.  The guys I picked for The Green Beret Challenge not only showed up  but worked and finished as a team.

Mark Ballas the founder of The Green Beret Challenge (And a Green Beret) and all of the guys (also Special Forces) who work with him did an awesome job at putting together a challenging course.  Everything that they do is based on some of the things that they went through during their military training.  Obviously, the military is the ultimate example of teamwork.  I’m just happy that they are putting these kinds of events together, in order to give others the opportunity to challenge themselves and be a part of a team, even if it is only for a day.

This honestly was the greatest and toughest event that I have participated in when it comes to challenges.  

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Fish Tacos

 

20151205_181553.jpgI’ve been eating a lot of fish this week. Tonight was Fish Tacos
1 lb Sea Bass (or whatever you decide to use)
1/4 cut extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 jalapeno
1/4 cup cilantro
1 red onion
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 avocado
1/2 tomato
1 Lime
Tortillas made with sprouted wheat

Mix Olive Oil, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 jalapeno, cilantro

Cut up fish and put in a container. Cover with mixture. Let it sit for at least an hour.

Cut up 1/2 onion, but in a small bowl and cover with vinegar. Let sit for at least an hour

(guacamole) Blend avocado with tomato, 1/4 sea salt, 1/4 pepper and some lime juice

Heat frying pan on medium flame. Cook fish for about 5 minutes and flip over for about 3 more minutes

Warm tortillas for a couple minutes

Add fish to tortilla, add guacamole and onions and squirt some lime juice on it.

Live Life To The Fullest

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If you truly want to live then you have to make time for the things that you enjoy and the people that you love and care about.  My parents sold there house last year and moved into a retirement community.  It was because my father has dementia and is also undergoing dialysis 3 times a week.  At 84 my mom is in great shape and continues to swim.  She even competed in the Senior Olympics 2 years ago.  No matter what kind of shape she is in and how strong she is mentally and physically there is a lot that she has to deal with while taking care of my dad.  The move provides her with more support if needed and less to deal with relating to taking care of an entire house.  She often tells me that she is fortunate because there are a lot of people who deal with much more being a caregiver then she has to deal with but I can see how things are much more difficult for the caregiver then the person that they are caring for.  Honestly, my dad really couldn’t remember if he had a good day or a bad day.  My mom has to watch someone that she loves and has spent most of her life with deteriorate.  I can’t even image what she deals with on a daily basis because I have never had to take care of him even for a day.  Up until a couple years ago they were both very active and traveled quite a bit.  I remember growing up that the two of them traveled all over the world for my dads work and vacations.  As a family we (my parents and my two brothers) had trips every year up until I was about 14.  We would go skiing, camping and to a cabin in Vermont.  We actually took one last trip as a family when I graduated college, when we went skiing in Austria.  Because of my dads situation they had to stop traveling.  I know that my mom missed our annual trips to Vermont which they started back up around 15 years ago.  I joined them on about half of the Vermont trips.  I realized that one of the biggest things that my mom really missed was traveling.  Several months ago, I was talking about a cabin that I rented in the woods in Tennessee and my mom told me that she really missed going to Vermont.  At that point I realized what I would give her for her birthday.  A trip somewhere.  So on her birthday this last August, I told her that her present was a trip with me.

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I decided on Puerto Rico for several reasons.  1 – She is still very active and a big outdoors person and she loves nature.  Puerto Rico has several national parks including an amazing rainforest and a bioluminescent bay (she had been to PR but never to the rainforest or bay) 2 – It wasn’t too far away  3 – It wasn’t too expensive.

I looked at the trip several different ways.  If you don’t take or create the opportunity you may lose it.  I had never taken my mother on a trip before and now that I live 12 hours away from her, I really don’t get to spend very much time with her.  This would be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with her.  The other thing was that the amount of stress that she must deal with while caring for my father is really unimaginable.  When you spend all of your time taking care of someone else, it is difficult to spend time on yourself.  The stress can take a toll on you.  This trip would give her a nice break from it and give her a chance to relax and cut down on her stress.  I’m very grateful that one of my brothers was willing to stay with my dad while my mom was with me.  My other brother filled in for him for a day.  I couldn’t have taken her on this trip without their help.  My Aunt (her sister) also joined us on the trip.

I did this trip for her benefit, but I got a lot out of it as well.  The time we spent together has provided me with memories that I will never forget.  And at the age of 84 (her sister is 86), both of them were able to keep up.  We didn’t just go and sit on the beach.  We went kayaking in the bay and in the ocean on a rough day.  We hiked in the rainforest which had some pretty steep trails.  And we also sat on the beach.  But both her and her sister swam in the ocean quite a bit.

Live life to it’s fullest.  Whether you are 20 or 84.  Don’t take your parents for granted and appreciate everything that they have done for you.  Let them know you love them and show them that you appreciate them with a memorable experience.

Love you Mom.

Shrimp and Sea bass burritos

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1 pound of shrimp
1 pound of sea bass filets
1 can of black beans
1 red onion
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
1 Frozen Lemon
2 avocados
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/4 large tomato
8 brown rice tortillas (Gluten Free)

Preheat oven to 450.  Put Olive Oil in baking pan.  Place Sea Bass in pan and cover with sea salt, pepper and grate lemon (including peel) over it.  Bake for 20 minutes.
Place Olive Oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Cut up 1/2 red onion and saute for 5 minutes.  Add shrimp and cover with black pepper and sea salt.  Grate lemon over shrimp.
Remove skin from avocados and remove pit.  Place in bowl.  Cut up tomatoes and 1/4 of the red onion and add them to avocado.  Add sea salt and black pepper and lime juice. Mix it up with a fork.  Put black beans in small pot and heat on medium heat.  Cook for 7 minutes.  Place tortillas in over for 5 minutes to warm up.
Place 3 or 4 shrimp or tortilla.  Break up the Sea Bass and put some on tortilla.  Add guacamole and black beans.  Roll it up.

Health Benefits:
Sea Bass
Great Source in protein
Low in calories
Contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fight heart disease)
High in B-6
(*Chilean sea bass is high in mercury-Don’t eat too much salt water fish)

Shrimp
Fights Cancer (Prostate).
Good for skin, hair and nails.
Strengthens Bones.
Promotes red blood cell production.
Increases energy.
Good for the thyroid.
Stabilizes blood sugar

Lemon
Helps the body become Alkaline by increasing PH
Antibacterial
High in Vitamin C
Strengthens Blood Vessels
Great for the Heart
Good for Teeth and Bones
*Lemon Juice can destroy tooth enamel.  Dilute with water or something else.
Helps rid the body of kidney stones and other kidney and bladder problems

Lime Juice
High in vitamin C
Contains Antioxidants
Contains Anti-carcinogenics
Helps prevent kidney stones

Black Beans
High in Antioxidents
Anti-Carcenogenic
High in Fiber
Helps with digestion
Stabilizes blood sugar
Fights Heart Disease

Black Pepper
Contains Antioxidants
Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial.
Great for the digestive Tract.
Reduces Gas in the intestines.
Speeds up metabolism.
Supports weight loss.
Fights fat by breaking down the fat cells.
Relief from respiratory problems

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)

Red Onions
Contains Antioxidants
Anti-Fungal
Anti-Bacterial
Anti-Inflammatory
Fights Cancer
Fights Free Radicals
Fights Colds
Reduces High Blood Pressure
Low Glycemic – Suppresses Blood Sugar Spikes

Tomatoes
Contains antioxidants
Fights Cancer (prostate, cervical, stomach, rectum, breast and mouth)
Lowers Cholesterol
Helps keep digestive system healthy
Detoxify body
Alleviates Type 2 Diabetes
Good for Healthy skin, hair, nails, teeth and bones
Fights urinary tract infections and bladder cancer
Prevents Gallstones

Olive Oil
Contains Antioxidants
Contains probiotics
Improves Blood Vessel Function
Boosts the immune system
Fights Cancer
Fights Heart Disease
Regulates Blood Pressure
Fights Diabetes
May help fight Obesity
Fights Arthritis
Figh
ts osteoporosis

Avocado
Lowers Cholesterol
Regulates Blood sugar
Contains Antioxidants
Anti-Inflammatory
High in good Fats
Reduces risk of Heart Disease and  Stroke
Fights Cancer (Oral, Breast)
Good for the Eyes

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