Friday, November 28, 2008

Ditching the gut

Way too many people (mostly guys) complain about their bellies. These are often the same guys who don't limit their alcohol intake, don't get enough sleep, and basically eat like crap. Some of them actually perform a few decent exercises, but that isn't even half the battle. The make-or-break for these people is the nutrition side of the equation. If you eat like sh_ _, your progress will be next to none. I appreciate people who work out hard, but not when they eat junk. Shoot me an email ( if you need some nutritional guidance to optimize your physical appearance. Don't wait another month to start the New Year off right. The best time to start is now and I'm here to help.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Trots

"Turkey Trots" (post-Thanksgiving runs that are often 5K in nature) are something you see more and more of every year. There are a few in the surrounding towns near me and I like the idea. They're a great way for people to get together to work off the big meal they've most likely had for Thanksgiving. So many people talk about eating too much turkey when it's often some of the side dishes and desserts that people go overboard on (stuffing, various pies, etc...)

If you're doing a "Turkey Trot" this year, try and avoid the competitive nature of it all and focus more on having fun. Make the other races you do throughout the year competitive but this time focus more on simply having fun and making it more of a social experience. Get to know others in your town who are also running the race. Who knows- you may meet a future workout partner or simply a new friend.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Counting Calories

It's becoming increasingly evident to me the more I gather feedback from people looking to lose weight, the more I hear WAY too much about calories. To this day, I dont know if I've ever had people count calories. Of course, we've looked at sources of nutritously dense food, but it's never come to a point where I made people write out every single food they ate and track calories for everything. I've certainly made it a point to track specific nutrients like protein and fiber, but not calories for every item they ingest. Saying it's a waste of time sounds harsh, but a part of me thinks this is true.

Whether your goal is weight gain, loss, or maintenance, the focus should be on ingesting quality whole foods. Think lean protein (chicken and beans), unsaturated fats (fish and nuts, and complex carbohydrates (vegetables and whole grains). The detailed addition or subtraction of these macronutrients will yield optimum results, not counting calories.

One Thing At A Time

A recent sit-down with a client left me focusing on one idea- the simplistic approach to sticking to one thing at a time. We live in such an "instant satisfaction" type of society where people are in such a rush to accomplish too many agenda items in limited time spans. Focusing on one thing at a time allows us to cherish each single event, allowing them to appear more individually sacred.

This particular client was mentioning how she'd LOVE to fit into a specific bathing suit next summer. While I admired her selection of a long-term goal, I made sure to remind her that several events need to happen along the way. These events being the "one thing at a time" type of events (i.e. eating breakfast every day, not skipping meals, getting adequate rest every night, etc...) She realized that to fit into this new bathing suit would take a daily commitment of the aforementioned events. Focusing on one thing at a time is the best approach toward achieving your goals, whether short or long-term.

What are some of your short and long-term goals and what individual steps are you taking to make sure you meet these goals? Shoot me an email at the following:

I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Misleading Nutritional Claims

We try to do the right thing, but we're often mislead by ambiguous marketing. The above is a typical example of a company touting "healthy" ingredients when in reality a donut is still a donut. Sure, if you break it down calorically, a glazed donut may be a better choice than others but it's still garbage.

Another case in point is "low carb" beer. Interestingly enough, beer was never super high in carbs to begin with. (Maleducated) people still think carbs make you fat. Simply not true. Enter beer company with misleading advertisement touting low carb beer with a guy doing sit-ups. Wow.

Moral of the story: excess calories, insufficient exercise, lack of sleep, and elevated stress levels lead to undesirable body fat levels- not carbs. Put down the "whole wheat donut" and pick up a pair of dumbbells.

Excellent Nutrition Book

I just finished up an awesome book this weekend called Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Health. Authored by dietitian Barbara Rowe, this book not only explains ways to incorporate more omega 3's in your diet, but provides complete recipes for making the suggested items. The illustrations are incredible and the book is easy to follow. It does a good job of explaining how to positively manipulate the ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fatty acids we ingest. has the book for only $10. After borrowing it from the library, I made sure to order my copy to have as a constant reference tool. To order yours, click the following link:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes We Can!

I'm giving away who I voted for in the recent presidential election by doing this post, but that's OK. One reason I admire Barack Obama is his adherence to his exercise regimen. I had heard of him being a fitness nut and he was a fellow baller, but then I read about how the morning of the election he got in a solid basketball workout. While he had me sold there, it turns out later in the day he got in some weight training. Awesome! Now that is something I admire in our next president. Like me, Obama works out to relieve stress.

Check out the pic above. Not only does he lift hard and play hoops, he plays with some good competition (notice NBA player Chris Duhon).

Here's a funny clip from a recent article about Obama:

"Although he is now the most famous member of the Washington Sports Club chain of gyms in the US capital, his celebrity status has not always guaranteed admission. In June, a front-desk employee demanded that he show an ID card when she failed to recognize him."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Family Guy Deal

Here's one of my random posts. As I've mentioned in the past, sometimes it's a good thing to talk about non-fitness and nutrition related stuff sometimes. That being said, Amazon's running an incredible today. Entire Family Guy series on DVD available for only $59.99 here:

Cliff Builder Bars

One bar I do like between meals or sometimes after a workout are Cliff Builder Bars. 270 calories and 20 grams of protein and you're good to go. Sure there is saturated fat in it, but all things considered I am OK with since the protein, calories, and most importantly- taste, are all good. As you may know or have experienced, so many of these bars taste like cardboard so it's nice to find one you enjoy.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What Would I Do Without TJ's?

Trader Joe's, AKA "my home away from home," has so many incredible offerings I can't recommend them highly enough. Most people I talk to have heard of TJ's, but still so many have never been. There's a common misnomer that it's a "health food store" or that it's overpriced. Neither description could be further from the truth. Sure, they carry the basics like milk, bread and butter, but there is so much beyond that.

Here are 10 of my favorites in no particular order that I purchase on a regular basis:

  • Buffalo steak (bison) burgers

  • Part-skim string cheese

  • Almond butter

  • Ground turkey meat

  • Roasted red pepper hummus

  • Wild salmon (TJ's carries frozen fish only)

  • Banana-flavored waffles

  • Morningstar sausage (soy-based) breakfast patties

  • Greek-style fat-free yogurt

  • Omega-3 eggs

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Belly busting warning

We've just entered the time of the year I consider the MOST IMPORTANT for the general public (non-collegiate/pro athletes). October thru March are the 6 months of the year where people in the Northeast "hibernate" the most. That is, they tend to stay indoors more and seem to move less. Surely, this is mostly due to the colder temperatures, but I blame a portion of it on there being less daylight. Depression rates increase this time of year, as does average body weight levels.

I've been talking with quite a few clients recently about this lately. My message is simple: from now through March are going to be the 6 most important training months of your life. The LAST thing you want to happen is for April and May to roll around and having to look back saying "man, I really should have pushed myself harder for its beach time now and I am not happy with my physical appearance."

I'll admit I'm guilty of it. Last year I didn't push myself and this past summer I wasn't happy and regretted not pushing myself harder. It goes without saying that this isn't just a "gym thing." Rather, you need to push yourself when it comes to the nutrition side of things. Lean protein, complex carbs, fiber, etc... are your keys to success. I've made the pledge to train my butt off these next 6 months and you should too. Let's look back at this blog entry (rant) and be proud of ourselves together. I'm trying to being as healthy as I can be- just like you.

Good luck!