Friday, June 6, 2014

3 days of meal prep for portion control.

Below is instructions on how I can prep and prepare 3 days worth of lunches and dinners in 30 minutes.  These are around 500 kcals each meal depending on how accurate you are at measuring.  These are quick and dirty recipes and can be varied with ease.  Once I have pics I may revise this post.

Pork (tenderloin) (2oz)
Kale with Olive oil and kosher sea salt, with almond slivers, with raspberry vinaigrette on the side (1/2 cup)
Sweet Cooked Apples with graham cracker topping (1 apple)

Chicken (Boneless Breast) (4oz)
Mushroom Broccoli Mac & Cheese (3 oz mushrooms, 1 cup blanched broccoli, 1 oz rotini, 2 oz cheese)
Mini Raspberry Cobbler (1 cup)
Beef Sirloin (lean cut) (3oz.)
Sweet Potato with whipped cinnamon honey butter (1/2 sweet potato, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp honey)

Mini Strawberry, Peach, & blueberry cobbler (1 cup)

4-6 oz. Pork Tenderloin
6-8 oz. Beef Sirloin (lean Trimmed)
4-8 oz. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1 Sweet Potato
4-6 oz. Baby Kale
1 Apple
1/2 Cup Strawberries
½ Cup Peach
1 Cup Raspberries
6oz Button Mushrooms
1 cup broccoli
Olive oil
1/4 cup of rotini (cooked)
4 oz shredded cheese (cheddar, colbey jack, gouda, and provolone suggested)
Herbs, black pepper, kosher sea salt, and sauce for marinade

BEFORE YOU START (Proper Planning Promotes Proper Performance*)
Organize your tools.  You will need the following
1: A good stove top and oven.
2: A roasting Pan and a Baking sheet
3: Tin Foil and Bakers paper
4: A good knife for Cutting things
5: A cheese grater
6: Bowls to mix stuff in
7: Utensils to mix stuff with :P
8: 8 mini ramekins
9: Random sized pots and pans, and a wire cooling rack
10: Several different plastic and glass food storage containers.

While the oven is preheating, prepare your pork tenderloin.  30-60 minutes before you start, prepare your meats.  Cut your Pork into 4-6 Oz. sections.  Dust with Herbs or Marinade and place in air tight plastic bag in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.  Take Sirloin and divide into 3-4 oz cuts, dust both sides liberally with kosher sea salt and let sit on wire rack for 30 minutes.  Prep Chicken by rolling breasts in Herb, salt, and pepper mix and wrapping in a tin foil pouch tightly and place in fridge for 30 minutes.

Set aside 1 tbsp butter to soften.

Start by setting the oven to preheat to 425 degrees F.  Put the Pork on a tin foil “boat” and the chicken in tin foil pouch on the roasting pan.  Poke several holes in the sweet potato and wrap the sweet potato in tin foil and place on roasting pan.   

Be melting 1 tbsp butter on low in a shallow pan (for Mac & Cheese), 2 tbsp butter in a small pot(for graham topping).  Bring 2 pots of water (4 cups) to boil.  Prepare to set 1 empty pan to medium heat and let preheat.

Once the Butter for the Graham topping is melted, remove from heat and mix 1-2 crushed up graham crackers to the butter and stir until all the butter is absorbed.  Pack half into the bottom of the ramekins and set half aside.

Line a baking sheet with bakers paper and liberally coat the kale with olive oil and kosher sea salt. 
Slice apple into chunks and sprinkle cinnamon (and a teaspoon of brown sugar *optional).  Dice Strawberries and a peach and mix with blueberries.  Mash one-quarter of the raspberries and stir.  Set aside for 5 minutes then pour fruit mixes into the ramekins.
Take softened butter and mash it and 1 tbsp honey and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon together and mix until creamy.

Place the meats and sweet potato into the preheated oven on mid rack.  Set timer for 20 minutes.

Place the Kale and fruit ramekins in at 15 minutes left.  Start beef sirloin cooking in it’s pan.  Prepare to flip the steak at the 6-7 minute mark.  Steak should be partially seared.

Put the mushrooms in their pan with melted butter and stir around, then sprinkle 1 tbsp of smoked paprika on them (*ground mustard also optional).  After 3-4 minutes on medium low, blanch the broccoli and stir in.  After 1-2 more minutes mix in pasta.  Add cheeses and ¼ cup milk and stir on low until cheese is melted.  Do not let cool, divide into portions into ramekins and place in oven

At the 5 minutes left mark, sprinkle remaining graham topping on fruit ramekins and the almond slivers on the kale. 

Check the temperatures of all the meats to ensure satisfactory done-ness.  Remove all others from the oven at the 20 minute mark.  Divide sweet potato in half, fluff the insides and add honey butter mixture to each for 2 servings. Divide into portions and let cool before putting into refrigerator.

There you go, 3 different meals with 2 servings of everything-so lunch and dinner for 3 days.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The day I decided...

Laying in bed, unable to find comfort as no position brings relief.  Sleep…  you take it as it comes.  You find yourself breaking down.  You’re worn out…  You’re in pain.

But you have to get up…  

You have a life to live.

I’m not gonna sugar coat it…  Chronic Pain is Hell and the rehabilitation process is no better.

Living with that pain day in and day out takes a toll on your physical and mental health.  There are days you will wake up and not want to move… hell, there will be days when you wish you were dead.  I am here to tell you no matter the difficulty, there is always hope.


Several years ago I woke up on the floor of my apartment with the worst headache of my life.  I sat up and wiped the dried vomit from my cheek, a month’s worth of thrown-up pills were plastered to the hardwood beside me.  My stomach was in knots and my body ached.  I knew I was still alive because my back still hurt and my left leg was still atrophied. 

In the days leading up to that, I had lost hope…  my life was fucked and the pain had become too much. I was broke, friendless, and the world was closing in.  I was an athlete who had lost the ability to do the things I loved.  I was watching my body fail and falter.  In my darkest hour, I only saw one way out.

I survived.

As I stumbled around I thought of how many people like me were out there, who had lost hope, who were in pain.  In that time I did something that few people do in their lifetime…  I decided who I was and who I was going to be.    

This was do, or die.  I would reclaim my life at any cost or die trying.  I would be an example to others of what they could achieve if they push though their struggle with pain and injury.

At the time I wasn’t getting treatment for my injury; my doctors were quacks, the insurance system was broken, and my legal team was working against me.  I decided then, Instead of accepting things I could not change… that I would change the things I could not accept. 

Through hard work and perseverance within a matter of a few months I was getting the surgery I needed and put back on the road to health.  I was reclaiming my life.  It took 3 more years of therapy and pushing through the pain, but I had reclaimed my life.  I was stronger and fitter that I had ever been in my life.  I had educated myself on the human body and had become a certified trainer.  I still dealt with chronic pain, but had learned to focus on other more important things in life.  I began to work closely with the physical therapists that had helped me keep pushing for years and teaching others how to cope the same as me.

The key to living with pain is not trying to find pain relief, it is finding a reason to live…  a purpose in life.

I want you to take a moment and tell yourself “I am here for a reason.”  Tell yourself “I am the only one who can fulfill that purpose and I will not leave this life without doing so.  Nothing will stand in my way…  no pain, no adversaries, no obstacles will stop me.”

It is time to decide who you are.   

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What's Stopping You?

When I meet people in my office for the first time, I ask them one simple question, “what has stopped you from reaching your weight loss goals?”.  Most often the response is “It just costs too much to eat healthy and pay for training”

They just lied to themselves…

It is because of a lack of self-discipline.

What if I told you that for around $50 a week, you could feed yourself (and possibly your spouse or small family) a perfectly healthy set of meals 3 times a day with some snacks, lose weight?  What if I told you it would only take 30 minutes to prepare those meals a few times each week?  Guess what, plenty of people who are busier than you ever will be do it.  Here is how.

Learn to prep meals multiple days at a time!
1: Have a meal plan.  Plan the week ahead and stick to it.  Plan to prepare your meals in advance so you aren't spending 30 minutes every night cooking.  Remember, most of the time you can prepare 2-3 days worth of meals and store them in the same time it takes you to do 1 meal.  Take the time and research diets and educate yourself on what is healthy and unhealthy.  Remember, ignorance is not a valid excuse.

Tupperware is your friend!

2: Buy healthy foods.  Stick with Lean Protein, Veggies, Fruits, Nuts & Seeds.  Depending on your goals, some starches and dairy may be acceptable.  Avoid things with added sugar and high salt.  While eating healthy food from the store is a little more expensive than going and getting a Fast Food Burger every night, the healthy food pays off in the long run. 

There are 4 servings of each side dish in this picture...
all fresh, all healthy, under $5 total.

3:  Have a designated shopping day with a list.  Stick to the list…   If your list has things like “cookies” on it, tear up the list and start again.

4: Learn to cook.  If you fail at cooking, get over it and get on the internet.  There are plenty of “how to” videos on Youtube showing you how to cook food.
Healthy Meals like this can be easily prepared for around $3
and be from Kitchen to Table in 30 minutes.

5: Learn to not make excuses.  If you falter on your diet or training regiment, it is your fault... not your boss's, not your kids, not your spouse, not the junk food manufacturer...  it is all on you.  Take some responsibility for yourself.

In the end it comes down to one thing...  don't waste time thinking about why something cannot be done.  Take control, and do what needs to be done!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gender Lines: A primer on the differences between guys and gals fitness.

First, what is the same between the genders? 

Psychologically, we all are impatient and want results yesterday.  We all want instant abs, 10 minute workouts, diets where they can eat all they want, and want a magic fat loss pill.   

Also, on the cellular level and for the most part an anatomical level males and females are pretty much the same.  Muscles and bone tissues are the same no matter what gender.  Whether guy or gal, if you train well you will develop a fit body while if you train poorly, you will be left with little to no progress. 

So how are the genders different? 

Where males and females differentiate the most is hormones, specifically Testosterone and Estrogen levels.  A healthy male can produce as much as 20 times the amount of testosterone than his female counterpart in a day.  Testosterone plays a key role in building muscles and repairing damaged tissues.  This also means that females have a hard time building up massive amounts of bodybuilder-type muscles. Hormones also play a key role in fat deposit sites so females tend to hold more fat deposits in the hips and thighs.

Anatomically, while men and women are similar there is some key differences in the hip and knee structures.  The hip and knee issues can originate in the pelvis/hip structure.  According to the authors of Women’s Health and Fitness Guide (2006), the female pelvis has a number of differences as compared to the male pelvis for the purpose of accommodating childbirth. The differences can predispose female athletes towards the femur being tilted inward compared to a male. This increased angle of the femur as compared to the vertical placement of the tibia that can be a source of injury.

Generally, as a trainer I run into men have an easier time training upper body while women prefer lower body.  This is typically because of Societal Standards of Beauty…  men focus on manual labor and don't worry about having calloused hands.  Women tend to shy away from upper body exercises out of fear of "getting too big and manly" and tend to focus on lower body thinking they will get that "toned" look everyone wants.  The psychological aspects of each gender brought on by societal norms and ideas of beauty has a profound affect on how most people train.

Also, it should be noted that from a Personal Trainer's perspective, many women are hard to deal with 1 week out of every month…  men on the other hand are always a pain to deal with.  (This is a joke...  don't spam me with hate mail!)

So what should you take from this?

No matter your gender you should give 100% if you want good results.  Your workout and nutrition plans should reflect your individual needs and limitations, but aside from some hormone balance and the knee issues the gender lines have little to do with training your muscles.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe: Filler Bars aka: Maple Oatmeal Bars

Filler Bar Recipe: AKA Maple Oat Bars

I promised this recipe to a friend weeks ago and finally have gotten my head straight enough to type it up.  This is a quick and easy recipe for Oatmeal bars.  These are great snacks to keep you full in between meals.  Great to mix with high protein Greek Yogurt.

1 stick Butter (softened)
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups Oats
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Baking soda
3 tablespoons applesauce

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats; mix well.  (Optional: add raisins, nuts, or fruit now.)
Roll out dough in cookie sheet about 1 cm thick. 
Bake 20-30 minutes until light golden brown.  Cut into 2"x2" squares.  Cool on wire rack.  Store tightly covered.  Makes ~40 servings.
Serving:  100 calories, 1.5g Protein, 4g fat, 15g Carbs


Sometimes the world falls down around you.  You get distracted.  You screw up everything…  you get lazy, you miss deadlines, you break friends' hearts...  It is at that time you have to make a decision; whether to let it break you or forge you into something stronger.  

Tightening grip on the bar…  pulse racing…  rage manifesting…

I have made mistakes in my life…  mistakes which have cost me a lot of time, money, and friendships.  It doesn't matter if I say I'm sorry…  It doesn't matter how hard I work to make things right if I still fail…

Lift off…  weight bearing down…  muscles straining…

It's times like these that I find myself in the weight room.  The destroying me, a physical manifestation of my guilt… my fears…  my hate.  It's a dark place I go.  Bottled up within my mind, holding those feelings in to shield those around me. 

Sweat dripping… veins throbbing… muscles bulging… breathing labored… 

Then it snaps into place…  Wake the fuck up!  You're here right now, alive.  Get over whatever superficial crap that is going on in your head and lift!

Bearing against the weight, giving everything I got… The iron gives way as I pour everything into it.  One by one, the weight is lifted off.  Something is accomplished.  

The weight is racked…  the pain lifted off of my shoulders.  I'm left knowing this has made me stronger...    

Sometimes the world is a mean and nasty place, and it will do anything to beat and break you.  You will have failures, it's inevitable; however, SUCCESS is defined as getting up one more time than you have been knocked down.  Even with the weight of the world bearing down on you, shoulder your burden and stand up and keep moving forward.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Supplement Primer: Multivitamins and Minerals

Multivitamins and Minerals

Because most peoples diets lack the proper nutrition (whether due to poor diet or foods generally lacking nutrients in the quantities we need). Unless there is an underlying medical issue, most people need a vitamin & mineral supplement.  Be sure to review the ingredients and consult your doctor before starting a new supplement to make sure there isn't anything that will hurt you in it.

For the regular Joe and Jane Fitness, I usually recommend a vitamin supplement like NOW brand Adam (for men) or Eve (for women).  They are easy to take and inexpensive.

For beginner and intermediate athletes I recommend Orange Triad.  OT has pretty much everything you need and a joint supplement all in a convenient regiment (3 doses a day).

For intense athletes, I turn them to Universal Nutrition's Animal Pak line.  The Pak is 11 pills (yes that's a lot) that have been formulated to time release for optimum efficiency.  The Animal Pak is not just a multivitamin though, it also has digestive enzymes,  BCAAs, Antioxidants, and Performance Blends.  The Animal Pak line also has other "add on" supplements such as joint support (Flex) or Pre-workout (Rage) that are formulated to work best with the Animal Pak.