Saturday, June 30, 2007

Why the North American Diet Sux

Sit and think about what the typical diet for your average guy is. Breakfast is probably a bowl of cereal, lunch a sandwich, and dinner may be your "good" meal where you have a portion of meat, a side of veggies, etc. Well, if you look at this diet it's obviously pretty flawed. Just take a look at the fruit and vegetable content. You maybe get some bit of a veggie serving from your lettuce and tomato on your sandwich, and maybe a serving for dinner. This is a huge problem. You have to have strategies to get these fruits and vegetables into your system.

"But Gregg, I have a salad for lunch everyday!" Well that's a step in the right direction, but we can all do better. Try adding some veggies to your breakfast meal. Maybe have an omelet with some veggies tossed inside. Skip the sandwich and make yourself a chicken salad with tons of your favorite veggies and add some olive oil and you've got yourself a solid lunch. You could even do the unthinkable and put some veggie snack bags together and them between meals.

One product I'm quite fond if is Greens+ which is great for filling in those gaps when we aren't getting our veggies. Keep in mind this is not a vegetable replacement, as vegetables should obviously be a staple in your diet. You can get this stuff at some local vitamin stores, but I've found it's pretty hard to come by, so I just order it online. I use this product at least once a day in my meal replacement shakes. And the berry flavor tastes a heck of a lot better than what I'll just call the lawn mulch flavor. If you're hardcore enough you can find some cooler flavors in Canada which is where the company is based out of. I order mine from there.

There are obviously more problems with this North American diet in that it's devoid of enough lean protein, there are a lack of good fats(Olive Oil, Nuts, Avocado), amongst the need for more fiber. I just want to get you average folk out of eating like the average north american, otherwise you'll end up looking like the average north american.


Thursday, June 28, 2007


So interval training was mixed in this week, with one day of elliptical sprints, and one day of slide board sprints.

Getting used to the slide board was pretty cool at first, but once the sprints started it was pretty rough and I almost busted my ass a couple times.

My posture is getting a lot better, and my lower back pain while sitting at my desk is virtually gone. Only issues now are my hamstrings tighten up whenever I sit down, so I'm forced to get up and move every so often(I'm blaming the Glute Ham raises).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Midnight Snack

This is what my meal looks like before I goto bed. It's out of John Williams/JB's book Gourmet Nutrition. I eat this every night about a half hour before I goto bed.

Cottage Cheese, 2 TBSP of flax, Some natural peanut butter, and some chocolate protein powder(milk protein blend with casein, not the straight whey stuff). Just mix it all together in a big bowl and eat it.

It actually tastes decent, has a good number of calories, a lot of protein, good fats, and digests slowly so you don't have that AM wake up call of your stomach telling you that you'd better eat something NOW. I like it because you can prepare it in a couple minutes as opposed to cooking something up late at night, which isn't going to happen.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day 4

So on Saturday morning I got in early and did a bunch of extra mobility and foam rolling work and completed my workout in just over an hour. I feel like my limitations are mostly physical at this point because I'm finding the workouts are easier to get through mentally, which I'm happy about. Deadlift went up ~22lbs, so that was cool and the weight still didn't feel like I was tapping out(though it was no walk in the park either). I'm looking forward to Monday as the interval protocols will be starting in addition to the regular workouts. I figure by midweek I won't be walking again, but it'll be fun and I'm looking forward to it.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Training Day 3

So after waking up with the tightest hamstrings in the world 2 days after the workout, I've found it difficult to do the once simple task of walking. I just started my new job and I'm guessing everyone by now thinks I'm some sort of cripple, so I'm waiting for people to get comfortable enough to ask me what's up with my poor stride.

So I was pretty impressed that I was able to continue working out with such tight muscles. After the warmup you just get into it, the soreness and pain tends to just go to the wayside so you can just push the weight around. Performance still takes its toll, but hopefully this initial soreness will go away in the upcoming weeks and help keep the progress moving along.

I'll be praying that I can wake up tomorrow and walk a little better, but I know it's likely to be worse. Gotta keep moving.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pain in the Glutes

Well apparently workout one wasn't all that bad, as workout 2 really kicked my ass...literally. Started with some Glute-Ham raises and as I was descending on the first rep I could feel the muscle fibers in my legs cry for help. The workout only got worse from there and I felt like yacking again fairly soon into the workout.

So I got through it, but wasn't too happy with my performance. I know I'm going to need be better prepared mentally for what is to come if I plan on accomplishing the workouts physically. I'll be incorporating intervals into off days beginning next week. Not doing them this week will help keep the soreness at bay, but I'll keep foam rolling in the meantime and getting lots of sleep to help aid in recovery(and of course eating absurd amounts of calories).


Saturday, June 16, 2007

First Full Workout

So this morning I went to Excel for my first official workout. We started with a warm-up which included some foam rolling and some of the drills seen an Cressey's Magnificent Mobility DVD. The highlight of the workout were the trap bar deadlifts which coincidentally was the first exercise we did. It was something I'd never done before and I look forward to doing them again. The thing I liked most about the workout was there was no sit around and rest time between sets. I see alot of guys reading magazines or watching tv in between sets at the gym, and I always felt they were just trying to kill time. The closest thing to some true rest were some mobility drills done in between the sets to give the time needed to let the muscles recover to do the next set.

By the end I really was sweating like I'd never had before and at a point Eric asked if I was alright, afraid that I was about to lose my breakfast. I would have been pissed if I had lost my breakfast...all those precious calories put to waste, but fortunately I was able to keep it down. The intensity of the workout was much more than I had anticipated, and I think more calories earlier in the morning will be in order down the road.

The diet hasn't been too hard to stick to, and with these rough workouts, it's motivation to keep fueling the body with good stuff. I just gotta make sure I eat enough calories as I tend to overestimate how many calories I'm eating, while typically most people do the opposite.

Gonna go put some steel cut oats on the stove for tomorrow's breakfast.

Until next time,


Friday, June 15, 2007

Making a True Meal Replacement

A great way to fill gaps in your diet is with a meal replacement shake. No I'm not talking about carnation instant breakfast, I'm talking about some real on the go nutrition. Many people nowadays can't stop and have a complete meal every 3 hours so here is a great way to put something together in 5 minutes in the morning and will save you later in the day. Here's my foundation for a good meal replacement shake:

Some Fruit - Frozen Blueberries work great here
Ground Flaxseed - Good source of Fiber and Omega-3 Fats, you gotta grind them to get the full effect.
Plain Yogurt - Gotta love those live and active cultures
Greens Powder - A greens supplement will give your veggie servings without the actual veggies, I prefer a wild berry flavor over the lawn mulch flavor
Vanilla Protein Powder - If it's a post workout shake 100% Whey is best here, otherwise a Milk-Protein blend will digest slower and as a result satiate hunger longer
Iced Green Tea - Antioxidants with a touch of caffeine amongst the numerous other positive effects make a great base for this shake

Potential adds: Earlier in the day you could add some Oats to the mix, or later in the day a handful of mixed nuts.

Now there are plenty of other shake ideas you can come up with like a chocolate peanut butter shake etc. Just throw all the ingredients in a blender adding your liquid to get the desired consistency. I like to use the shake to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner as it functions as a pick me up to get me through the rest of the workday.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

My First Day at Excel

So I've decided to blog about my experience at Excel and if first impressions are indicative of what's to come, this is going to be one heck of a summer. So to give some back story, I had attended a G-Flux Seminar by Dr. John Berardi about a month ago (and if you don't know who Berardi is, you probably should familiarize yourself with his work on nutrition). The seminar was held at Excel in Waltham, MA. At the seminar I was pretty floored by the gym layout. It certainly wasn't your typical gym, and after meeting Eric Cressey, I knew this would be a place I could get used to.

So anyways, today I headed back to Excel to meet with Eric for my evaluation. We did some testing and he had me do some foam rolling and mobility work. Then we tested my bench, and vertical jump which resulted in a 135lb. bench, and 18" vertical jump. And in case you are wondering I am aware as to how sad those numbers are. I weighed in at 175lbs. There was more to this evaluation but I'm just giving the highlights. So basically I have some posture issues to deal with, but that's nothing I didn't know already. I'm hoping to strengthen my back up as well because sitting at a desk all day isn't really doing wonders for it (nevermind the ass time from the plane rides at my last job rotation).

Oh and Eric took some before pictures. I'll try and get my hands on them, but I'm probably not going to post those until I get some after results. I'll be training 3x a week starting on Saturday. I'll have to dial in my diet for sure in the next couple days, though it's not any drastic changes as I've been pretty good lately, sticking to Berardi's Precision Nutrition.

Until next time,