Wednesday, September 30, 2009

OCT Newsletter Released

The C's huddle up today to celebrate the release of my OCT Newsletter, found here:

Breakfast Bars

I was working at a health fair recently and one of the dietitians I work with brought in these home-made breakfast bars. They were delicious, so I wanted to share the recipe with you. Yes, the protein content is low, but it's not a bad choice if you're on the run and need something portable to take to work, school, etc...

Click below for the recipe:

The End of Summer

I always think of this song as the official end to summer:

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Fav. time of the Year

Training Camp starts today for my beloved Celtics @ Salve Regina College. It's amazing how quickly the off-season flies by.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's for Dinner?

A client recently asked me during a training session what a good option for dinner would be? Pair any of the following with a few vegetable servings and you're good to go. Dig in...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Corporate Wellness Program Established

Just got in from back-to-back days at Putnam Investments, one of the largest mutual fund complexes in the United States. I assisted a local nutrition company ( to help establish a corporate wellness program @ Putnam. Every one of their employees was mandated to engage in various health-related testing in order to receive a reduction in their health insurance premium. At my table, I measured Body Composition (BC) and Body Mass Index (BMI) on each employee. The results of the tests were explained to each person to ensure the distinctions between BC and BMI were clear. It continues to intrigue me the general attitudes people possess toward their physical health, particularly those whose require major lifestyle changes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

ABC's of Fiber

Fiber is something we all know is good for us, but how much to ingest and what are the optimal sources are questions that need to be answered. Core Performance ran a recent article I really liked and wanted to pass it on to you.

Check out the full text here:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The "Dirty Dozen"

Considering "going organic" with your produce? If so, consider the following "Dirty Dozen" list, courtesy of the Environmental Working Group ( The following fruits and veggies contain the highest levels of pesticides. Therefore, you should consider choosing the organic version of them:
  • peaches

  • apples

  • sweet bell peppers

  • celery

  • nectarines

  • strawberries

  • cherries

  • pears

  • grapes (imported)

  • spinach

  • lettuce

  • potatoes

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"What's THE BEST ________ Paul?"

People often ask me the best questions as I call them. For example, I'll entertain queries like:
  • "What's the best exercise for my abs?"

  • "What's the best way to lose weight?"

  • "What's the best way to gain muscle?"

  • "What's the best supplement to take?"

While my typical response to the aforementioned questions is "it depends," I can honestly say that beyond Precision Nutrition (, the best piece of nutrition literature I suggest checking out is Nutrition Action Health Letter. Published 10 times/year by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, it's the publication I advocate all the groups I teach to subscribe to. It's super cheap, informative, and a great resource. There are specific issues I refer to when analyzing supplement ingredients with clients. I keep most issues and archive them, and will undoubtedly continue to refer to them down the road.

For more information, check out the following:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Rule of 23

The #23 is famous for a bunch of reasons. I always think of Michael Jordan when I see the #23, but in this case I'm talking about 23 hours, the difference in the amount of time a client has before/after they see me to adequately care for their body. As I continue to preach to my clients, it's not what occurs during the training session. Rather, it's what happens between sessions that's crucial.

What needs to happen between sessions to accomplish your goals you ask? Regardless of your goals, the following should be your general checklist:
  • 7-9 hours of sleep, going to bed and waking up around the same time [this includes weekends]

  • adequate hydration

  • getting up every 20-30 min. at work to stretch/walk around (loosen up the tight pecs and rounded shoulders you overstress at work sitting at your desk every day)

  • stress management (i.e. keeping a journal, engaging in healthy activities you enjoy)

  • proper nutrition (good fats, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Training Optimization

The product of fresh ingredients and a quality chef to put it all together is ultimately a delicious meal. So what goes into an excellent training program? Well, many things really. I'll review 3 of my favorites, in random order:

  1. Training Environment- Make sure you train at a facility that you feel pushes you. Lifting alongside senior citizens while James Blunt plays on the radio may not push you to break your PR in chin-ups. If you're not in a place that motivates you to push your body to new limits, then it's time for a change.

  2. Program Design- Copying workouts out of muscle magazines (I see this too frequently) will NOT yield optimum results based on your goals. Sadly, a lot of those programs are often written "by guys on drugs for guys on drugs," as one of my mentors Mike Boyle would say. Make sure your program is one based around your goals. If you're not sure if it is, seek the services of a certified strength & conditioning coach or personal trainer for an assessment.

  3. Training Partners- This applies to me right now as I recently began training with a small group of individuals whose dedication I have admired for quite some time. Our schedules worked out to train 3x/week together, and it's going great. I think what I like the most is the teamwork and camaraderie. I've played team sports my whole life, but I haven't been "part of something" in a few years. Sure, I've played in recreational basketball leagues, but that's just for fun. The workouts are far more intense than some game, and it's a small group that really pushes one another. I can see now why I often push people to try group training and sometimes, group ex. classes. Motivating others and having it constantly reciprocated is something I'm enjoying. For too long, I was the one always having to push my clients and write the programs, so it's nice to be the one on the other end of the stick.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


I've seen the following video at various conferences I've attended over the last couple years. Whatever you draw from it (inspiration, motivation, etc...) is up to you.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Lycopene Absorption

Most of us have heard of lycopene, the antioxidant found in RED produce. I remember in 2004, I learned in a nutrition course that cooking tomatoes increases the lycopene absorption. That is why heating tomatoes is a good thing.

I cooked a Boca burger the other night and topped it with heated stewed tomatoes and feta (see above pic). I did baked beans and spring mix salad for my sides. Delicious!


FANTASTIC stuff from Steven Covey on self-awareness involving deep personal honesty:

Do I really want to do it?
Am I willing to pay the price?
Do I have enough strength to do it?
Do I accept the responsibility for my own growth?
Am I settling for mediocrity when I could be achieving excellence?
Am I blaming and accusing others for my own inability to set and achieve goals?

"Self-awareness prompts us to start where we are -- no illusions, no excuses -- and helps us to set realistic goals."

Re-read each of the six questions above to yourself if you've set fitness/life goals. It really makes you think. More importantly, it provided me additional motivation to achieving specific goals in my life.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Older, Wiser, Slower

A client (thank you, Janet) brought me in this article from the Wall Street Journal this morning. I thought it was interesting, in that it spoke to the message I try to convey to people as they go through their 4th and 5th decades of life: it isn't about winning anymore. It's truly about listening to your body and only doing what it's capable of. Sure, you want to challenge yourself, but there are those people who may push it too far. Anyway, check out the article and let me know what you think:

Culinary Site

Here's a good link forwarded by a "devoted reader" -wink wink, (my brother) of my blog. It's a web site called "Supercook" ( The site describes itself as follows:

"Supercook wants to make life easier for everyone who cooks at home! Our mission is to enable smarter, quicker decisions about what recipes to make and what ingredients to use using advanced technology and all the recipe content on the web. Created in 2008 and based in New York, Supercook has a distinct focus on solving the practical problems of modern home cooks: how to waste less food, how to use up perishable or seasonal ingredients, how to keep track of everything in the kitchen, how to save time and money."

I have yet to try it, but let me know what you think.