Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Eat the Turkey

Just made myself some gunpowder green tea as I'm writing this and I have to say it's quite a treat. As promised I had my body composition analysis this evening, and I'll post the results for you some time next week when I get back.

I know a lot of you are expecting me to recommend you take it easy on Thanksgiving dinner, but frankly I'm going to recommend the complete opposite. If you've been getting your exercise in, and nailing down your food lately, then a free meal on Thanksgiving evening isn't going to hinder your efforts. Just remember the rule of 90%. Dial in your training 90% and dial in your diet 90% and everything else falls into place. Now if you are training for a bodybuilding competition that is another story, but I'll assume most of my readers are weekend warrior types just trying to shape up and stay healthy.

This Turkey knows the importance of vitamin D

And with regards to this wonderful holiday there is no better time for me to thank you, my readers. All of you that read this blog keep me motivated to keep posting, and keep progressing myself. Without you, I'd just be talking to myself. I'll be thinking of you all when I have that first bite of some homemade pumpkin pie.

I'm off to New York to see my family (it has been a while). Wishing you all safe travels, and a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First Class Fat

It's hard to believe that Canada has ruled that the obese have the right to get two seats for the price of one on an airplane. Check it out here.

With all that extra room maybe "they" can fit in there

Next thing you know, obese people will be getting the following at zero additional cost:
Extra horsepower added to their car because a sports car doesn't perform the same with all that extra weight.
Free Seconds at Restaurants (heck they need to eat more, why should they have to spend more)
Free Custom Car Seats (Why should they be forced to lose the weight when they can have Cadillac provide them with a larger seat at no cost)
A complete redesign to all theme park rides to accommodate bigger butts. You may remember they are already starting to do this.

Now I have nothing against the obese, but frankly this is sending the wrong message, that being fat is acceptable and we're going to accommodate you. We are applying a band-aid to the problem and not really digging into the root cause and getting these people healthy. I don't know about you but knowing I would be paying double to fly home this thanksgiving would surely make me more apt to buy that gym membership because of the net cost savings. Now when I'm flying to Canada, I'll just have to make sure I eat up so I can get that extra seat. "Yes, I'll have the middle and window seat please."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Waiting for the Stars to Align

As I am about to embark on a 6 month journey with precision nutrition coaching, I thought it was interesting getting some of the reactions of the people I told. Knowing that it starts this coming week, my friend was quick to point out that it starts the week of Thanksgiving. I also found this same comment as to why many people hesitated signing up for the program, which worked out for me, because now I got my spot and they didn't. So to get to the point, yes it does start the week of Thanksgiving, but why should that hold me, or anyone else back. There is never a perfect time to start down the path toward any goal. People often say oh I'll start this day or that day, but never get to it because "stuff" gets in the way. Thanksgiving being this week or not, there is no better day to start than today.

The stars will never be perfectly aligned, just do it!

I've taken my before pictures, filled my refrigerator with enough food to get me to Wednesday (I'll be heading back to New York for Thanksgiving) and I'm ready to go. I have to get a professional body fat analysis over the next few days. I'll share the results of that with you when time comes.

Oh, and here is a quick shot of the meal I'll be using between lunch and dinner this week. It's simple, easy and gets the job done.


~2oz. Carrots
1/3 Cucumber
2/3 Sliced Bell Peppers
2 TBSP Walnuts
2 "Light" Cheese Sticks (I still haven't found good jerky out here, the quest continues, but cheese stix are okay in a pinch to ensure I get enough protein in this meal)

This simple snack is loaded with protein from the cheese and some from the nuts. It has fiber from the nuts and veggies. Some good fat in there from the walnuts, and some great nutrients from vegetables.

Don't forget to start today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

High Volume Week is Ridiculous and Santa+Soda=Fat

So looking at the training session on paper I said to myself, you've got to be kidding me(there may have been a bit vulgarity to it). After some speed squats I was rack pulling, and after rack pulling some killer lunges from a deficit. Then a couple fancy schmancy (I assure you that is a word, somewhere) exercises to close it out. All in all it took a couple of hours to complete and rest assured I was pretty beat when I was done.

Fortunately I had a pleasant surprise as I was leaving the gym. The giant billboard outside my gym which usually features some mountain dew, vitamin water, or other random beverage ad had been replaced by yet another random beverage ad...

I pegged him for more of a milk and cookies guy, guess I was wrong

I'm sorry for the crappy image quality but my cellphone isn't the best at taking pictures of towering objects in the middle of the dark night. But you get the point, finally an ad campaign with some truth to it. Santa drinks coke. Santa is fat. You do the math. And those that were doubting my training session took so long can take note of the absence of light around the billboard. Yeah thats right I'm calling out all the doubters.

And in case Santa is reading this, I don't mean any offense. I have been a good boy this year!

C'mon you gotta respect the man who provided you with the original 8 bit NES, super mario brothers, duck hunt and even a power pad. He did this all for a mere plate of my mom's famous chocolate chip cookies and a glass of luke warm milk that had probably been sitting a bit too long. And no it's not the cookies that makes him's the soda. I'm telling you, I saw it on a sign.

Although there was this one year when I found a special package* from one of his reindeer on my roof.

*Special Package = Reindeer droppings, jeez do I have to spell out everything for you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where am I?

Just wanted to post a quick note that I am still alive and have all intents and purposes of keeping the content coming. That said I have some pretty exciting news. I managed to get in to the Precision Nutrition Lean Eating Coaching Program. It's taught by Nutrition Expert Ryan Andrews and goes for 6 months.

It filled up fairly quickly so I was lucky to grab a spot. The course doesn't start until November 24th, so I can't wait. I plan on learning quite a bit and having a lot to share so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Truth about Weight Watchers: Part I

Weight Watchers is one of the most popular mainstream methods for losing weight. While many are quick to criticize the program there are some things they do extremely well and this is why they have success.

Social Support - Accountability is extremely important when trying to lose weight. One of the best tips when going on a diet is to get those around you involved. If you can gain the support of those around you, success becomes inevitable. On the flipside if nobody knows you are dieting and you are accountable only to yourself, it's easy to deviate from the plan. This is the one thing weight watchers does so well and makes them so successful. Weekly meetings and weigh ins, though daunting, keeps everyone accountable. Knowing that you are weighing in and that those around you are counting on you will probably make you think twice about having that twinkie and maybe you'll make exercising a priority.

Portion Control - Weight watchers has a clever system which focuses on points for portion control. It basically simplifies calorie counting and assigns a point value to each food. Each day you have a set number of points you can eat. This simplicity lets you keep your calories under control without turning to a food log that can easily turn into a full time job.

A Twinkie is how many points?

Emphasis on Fiber - Foods that are high in fiber tend to have less points, so this plan will have you filling up on high fiber foods thus encouraging consumption of fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts. All of which are great choices.

You may remember from an earlier post when I talked about how the diet didn't really matter when it comes to weight loss. The most important factor was the adherence to the diet of choice. So whatever plan you choose to follow, follow it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

5 More Fat Burning Tips for You

Today we have a guest post from Craig Ballantyne of Turbulence Training. This advice is fitting as the holiday season is upon us as that Halloween candy will carry us through to Thanksgiving. Have you thrown out the remaining candy or are you nibbling on a few extra hundred calories a day until it's all gone? Whether you binge on it or graze on it, it's all going to wreak havoc on the mid section. Craig is here to provide some tips to help you get back on track.

At this time of year, we can use every last tip to help avoid
holiday weight gain.

So here are 5 more fat loss tips for beginner & advanced readers.

1) No liquid calories (with the exception of a post-workout drink).

Get rid of all the juices, the sodas, and the sports drinks. Liquid
sugar is the last thing you need when you are trying to lose fat.

You must also limit your alcohol intake - especially if you are
adding mix to drinks...that is a double calorie bomb! A single "Jack and Coke" is over 200 calories (100 calories from booze and 100 calories from mix).

2) No fast food.

Do not eat at fast food restaurants. Even if you choose what you
think is healthy, remember this:

Fast food restaurants are all about profit.

And in order to profit while giving you cheap, quick, and easy to
prepare foods, the quality of the food ingredients will be poor -
especially the protein.

Now you might have read that you can still make healthy choices at fast food restaurants. But you know what, that's just
politically-correct opinion. If it's fast food, it's poor food.

Walking into a burger joint and grabbing a chicken breast on a
white bread bun with a piece of old lettuce and a half-green,
half-pink tomato is "barely" healthy eating.

The politically-incorrect truth is that it's going to take time and
effort to eat properly. You will have to plan, shop, and prepare
healthy meals. You will have to spend time cleaning, cutting, and
cooking your food. That's the truth.

But believe me, it will taste so much better than fast food, and
healthy eating will make you more alert. Eating fast food will make you feel terrible, and will make you want to have an afternoon nap at your desk.

Make one small improvement to your nutrition everyday for the rest of your life.

3) Eat more fruits and vegetables.

If you are eating 2 servings per day, then go up to 4 servings per day by the end of the week. And even if you think you are doing great by having 5 servings per day, you still need to double that (take 2-3 weeks to work your way up to 10 servings per day).

Stick with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables - organic if possible.

4) Eat 1oz of almonds or walnuts per day (1/2 oz in the AM, and the other half in the afternoon).

Most nuts are roasted in oils (possible source of trans fats), so
stick to natural or dry-roasted nuts.

Don't panic...this small amount of nuts won't make you fat, but will fill you up and help you lose weight.

5) Be consistent with your workouts.

And make sure the workouts are efficient and effective. To make it easy for you to follow, stick with the Turbulence Training fat burning workout system.

It doesn't matter if you train in the morning before or after
breakfast, or at night before or after dinner, or at 1pm on days
when the moon is in line with Saturn...don't worry about the
details, just train consistently.

6) BONUS TIP: Go for a walk after lunch or dinner (or anytime you eat a big meal). Research shows this will help you control your cholesterol and triglycerides, plus any movement is better than sitting around watching the TV and snacking.

Improve your lifestyle everyday,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, click here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Are Flu Shots Safe?

Everyone is lining up for the flu shot vaccine, but are they considering the consequences beyond the needle sting? The truth may surprise you.

Sadly this seemingly gross exaggeration is spot on. The typical flu shot contains 25 micrograms of mercury, some dead influenza viruses, formaldehyde, Triton X100 detergent, ethelyne glycol (antifreeze). I don't know about you but last I checked formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, anti freeze in a tiny dose can kill a dog and mercury is something we were told never to play with as a kid.

What may also surprise you is that the shot has a dose of mercury considered toxic to anyone under 275lbs and this is being given to pregnant women and children. No studies have shown that this toxin is safe, yet somehow the companies making these vaccinations are getting away with it.

Patsy Hamilton writes "It is believed that some people cannot shed mercury from their systems and it builds up in their brains causing nerve and brain damage. In addition, some people are allergic to mercury and thimerosal and can experience serious allergic reaction as flu vaccine side effects. Some states have banned mercury from flu shot ingredients intended for use in children and pregnant women. But, while health advocates have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban thimerosal from flu shot ingredients, nothing has been done at this time. Many manufacturers continue to add thimerosal to their flu shot ingredients."

This recent study even showed that the influenza vaccine wasn't even effective at eliminating the flu in children. Also noteworthy is that there hasn't been any noted decrease in flu related death since the vaccination has been used.

Our foods are labeled with a list of ingredients, why aren't we informed about what is in our vaccinations?