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So I’m a big proponent of eating whole foods over any sort of meal replacement.
But I also recognize that convenience is key to consistency and sticking with a healthy diet long term.
That is why I think that Protein Shakes can be a great quick snack or, every so often, a meal replacement.
While whole natural foods are always better, a Protein Shake can provide you with the protein and energy you need quickly on the go to fuel your workouts and help you build muscle and burn fat.
Below is my FAVORITE quick, healthy protein shake. I don’t have to make anything. I simply dumb ingredients into my shaker and go. It is a great pick-me-up and can even boost my energy for workouts on days when I’m dragging.
It can even be a quick breakfast when I’m short on time and have to drink something as I coach.
And the crazy part is, I’m not even a coffee/espresso lover and I’m addicted to this.
So what is my favorite…..my GO-TO Protein Shake – The White Chocolate Americano
So if you have an espresso machine at home, you can make this from scratch. I’ve also made a variation of this shake with the Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate from Trader Joe’s.
Both work well as long as you refrigerate the coffee or espresso and add water and ice to the shake.
When I’m being even lazier, I simply go to a coffee shop…In my case, Starbucks.
Below is my recipe, which would honestly work with a variety of Protein flavors. I’ve used Vanilla, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Cappuccino…All can work.
Although my favorite is definitely the White Chocolate.
The White Chocolate Coconut Americano
(It’s a great way to refuel after my workout when I have to get right back to work!)
12oz Americano (espresso and water or Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate 4oz coffee, 8 oz water unless you want it stronger)
1 scoop White Chocolate Whey Protein Powder (I used Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey)
1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Coconut Milk
Put everything in your shaker and shake then drink!
If you need an extra pick-me-up, you can even use 16oz of coffee or espresso!
What are your favorite quick Protein Shake Recipes? How do you eat healthy on the go?
I think too often now we jump from one thing to the next, searching for the next great thing to get us huge results. And if something doesn’t get us drastic results pretty instantly we don’t stick with it.
But what we also don’t realize is that drastic results usually mean drastic measures. And when we go to extremes, we generally can’t maintain those extremes for long.
What generally works best is creating a program that implements small changes we can stick with – small changes we can build on.
We want to create a program that leads to changes that start to get us results. And as those results build, we can make small adjustments to keep the momentum going or even help it build.
If you find something that works, stick with it. But realize that you can always make little adjustments to that program to make it better.
Even if those results start to slow that doesn’t mean you have to scrap the program completely. It may just mean its time to adjust.
When you make small changes, you give yourself time to allow them to become habits. And habits lead to lasting results.
Plus sometimes all you need is a small change to get the momentum going again. And if instead you just completely give up and switch programs, you may have to start all over. Not only are you unsure if the program will work, but it may take another 21 days to create the new habits and really settle in.
Also, making small changes allows you to track what is working. If you are constantly re-writing the entire program, it is hard to figure out what in each program truly created the results and changes you wanted.
So stop jumping from thing to thing or making drastic changes. Create a program and make adjustments.
And freaking give it time to work! Things don’t happen instantly! If your progress slows, then make small adjustments.
But STICK WITH SOMETHING and make SMALL CHANGES to that program. That is the way to get lasting results.
You want to keep things interesting and give yourself variety, but you don’t constantly have to be reinventing the wheel!
And on a side note:
If you are looking for 30 Suspension Trainer Moves and 5 Suspension Trainer Workouts or a great 9-Week Battle Ropes Workout Program, check out my two new courses!
A few more articles to check out… (And then hopefully next week back to more regular posting!)
Ok first off, some DELICIOUS healthy Homemade Protein Bars – Vanilla Almond COFFEE Oatmeal Protein Bars. This are a great quick snack filled with protein. They are great for pre-workout as well not only because of the little bit of caffeine, but also because they have whey protein, a little fat and some carbs to energize your workouts!
Next…Battling Ropes! Check out these 22 Battling Ropes Moves and 5 Workouts to improve your strength and conditioning. Battling Ropes are a great way to improve your power and endurance. They are also a fun way to vary up your cardio routine!
Another great cardio option that requires absolutely no equipment and is also a great core workout is CRAWLING! Crawling is also great for everyone for the beginner to the advanced exerciser and can be done at home or out at the park. Try these 21 Crawling Exercises for a great core workout that will also get your heart rate up!
LOW BACK AND HIP PAIN – Chances are almost all of you have suffered from low back or hip pain at one time or another. Whether you sit at a desk, spend hours on your bike, had a baby or have simply injured your back in the past, this post will help you prevent and alleviate your low back and hip pain. Included are moves to help you loosen tight muscles, restore your mobility and strengthen your underactive muscles. The key to preventing low back and hip pain is to strengthen your core and get your abs and glutes firing properly so that your low back doesn’t take over and do work it can’t handle. Check out the exercises and tips in this post and start including some in your workout routine!
And last, but not least, check out my new Full-Body Suspension Trainer Workout Program (shameless plug!). The new video course has over 30 Suspension Trainer Moves to work your entire body as well as 5 great Suspension Trainer Workouts. WOOT WOOT!
Just a quick summary with some great posts you may enjoy.
Check out these posts with some great foam rolling, stretching, activation and strength training moves. Get stronger and prevent and alleviate your aches and pains! WOOT WOOT! Enjoy!!
1. Alleviate Neck Pain with these 10 Tips! – Stretch out your chest, lats and upper traps while activating the big muscles of your back to alleviate your neck, shoulder and upper back pain!
2. The World’s Greatest Stretch – Warm up and get everything loose with this single stretch.
3. 5 Mini Band Moves for a Full-Body Workout – The Mini Band is a great $3 piece of equipment and a must-have if you workout at home or travel. You can work your entire body and get your glute activated using these moves (and the mini band video course linked out to in this post!)
4. 13 Sandbag Exercises for a Full-Body Workout – The Sandbag is a great functional tool to develop great core strength. You can use it to work your entire body with these 13 moves.
5. Tips to Prevent and Alleviate Foot and Ankle Pain – Use these exercises to prevent and alleviate foot and ankle pain. Your feet and ankles are your foundation. Pain and injury there can cause problems further up your body so take care of your base!
6. Dealing with Knee Pain – Here are some great tips to strengthen your legs and alleviate your knee pain. Follow these four steps to prevent knee pain – foam roll, stretch, activate and strengthen!
7. Sled Workouts – Try these sled moves and sled variations. The Sled is a great way to strengthen your legs (actually your entire body) while also improving your cardio.
I feel like all the time I’m saying, “Well it depends” when someone asks me a personal question about diet or exercise.
Because the problem (or the good thing) about diet and exercises is that there are a lot of different things that work…You just have to find the one that works for you.
So my next question is…”How well do you know yourself?”
Because the better you know yourself, the more you can figure out what diet and exercise program will work for you.
What foods do you crave most? What has led you to fail in the past? What helps you stay in a routine? What motivates you when you feel like giving up? What causes you to lose motivation? What exercises do you enjoy the most? What type of workouts have you done in the past? Does tracking help hold you accountable? Does eating certain foods trigger your desire to eat worse foods? Are you an all or nothing type of person?
These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself to figure out how to create a program that will help you stay on track.
Because what works for someone else, won’t necessarily work for you. You need to tailor things to meet your specific needs – your specific problems and goals.
You need to know your triggers. What causes you to want to eat badly? What causes you to want to skip your workouts?
Consider these things when you create your plan.
Don’t plan to eat a cookie every night if you know that cookie will cause you to binge. Maybe pick a sweet treat that will help you stay on track. Or maybe skip the sweets altogether if you know they will trigger cravings.
Or if you know that not being able to have anything sweet will lead to a binge, treat yourself to a little sweet every day.
Like for me…I love dessert. I grew up having dessert every night and I feel deprived when I don’t get dessert.
Therefore, I have dessert every night….Or well every night I want it. Sometimes, and this is probably because I allow myself to have it if I want it, I don’t end up eating dessert because I’m not craving it.
For me it is not only about the sweet, but also about the lack of restriction. I don’t feel deprived because I can have it if I want it.
And when I am craving dessert, I’ve found healthy alternatives to more unhealthy desserts because I then get the sweet I’m craving while still staying on track. Because I’ve found, at least right now, that I can’t just have one cookie. If I have one…I want 12.
So for me a healthy dessert is the way to go…And then I save my 12 cookies for my cheat day. Because this works for me.
I like eating till I have a food baby.
But it works for me. I like the way I feel when I eat clean. And I like my day to overindulge. Both feel good because of the balance.
That doesn’t mean it will work for you. For you a cheat day (and yes…I LIKE calling it a cheat day…I don’t think of it as cheating on anything..it is just what I like to call it!) may lead to you falling off your diet.
For you, indulging a little every day may work better.
But you have to know yourself and even experiment to find what works for YOU.
And as you experiment, don’t be afraid to change things up; HOWEVER, you do need to give things a chance to actually work. Don’t just try something for one day and give up when you don’t see instant results.
Also, you need to truly give things a shot. Part of knowing yourself is also recognizing whether or not you truly stuck to your program.
Often we “think” we’ve done the right things and aren’t getting results, when, in reality, we didn’t stick to our plan at all.
That is when RECORDING and TRACKING can help us learn more about ourselves and what works.
Actually tracking is probably one of the best ways to learn about our triggers and what works for us.
Start setting yourself up for success in the New Year by tracking your current program to see what is working for you.
Consider your triggers. Recognize your specific needs.
Don’t force huge changes if you know drastic changes will lead to you eventually reverting back to old habits. Maybe make small slow steady changes and wait until one change becomes habit before adjusting something else.
So I ask you now, “How well do you know yourself?”
Do you know your triggers? Do you know what works and what doesn’t work for you?
Or do you just hop from thing to thing based on what other people say works for them?
And if you come to the conclusion that you don’t really know what works and doesn’t work for you, how are you going to track your next program (aka experiment) to learn what does and doesn’t work?
Start considering these things so you can achieve success with all of your goals in this coming year! Start setting yourself up for success NOW!
I’ve had to deal with this a lot as a trainer…I’ve had to deal with seeing the potential in someone, in investing a ton of time and energy into helping them succeed, only to see them fail because they didn’t truly want it for themselves.
Because no matter how hard I encourage, how many of the tools I give them, success boils down to one thing – How bad do YOU want it for YOURSELF?
Are you ready to take responsibility for your actions and make things happen?
Because no one else can want it for you. No one else can get you there.
No one else can help you stay on track or cause you to fall off.
You are completely in control whether or not you believe it…whether or not you want to take responsibility for the fact that only you can want and achieve your goals.
Taking responsibility is knowing that whether you succeed or fail is ALL UP TO YOU.
But it is hard to take responsibility because that means it is your fault if you fail.
It is way easier to blame external factors and make up excuses than it is to take responsibility and work hard for results.
It is way easier not to hold yourself accountable and to believe that things weren’t within your control.
The simple truth though is – YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR FATE.
Yea…Shit happens…But if you want something, you will find a way. If you fail, you will hold yourself accountable, take a look at your actions and make changes.
Because even though you can’t control everything or even plan for half of the stuff that happens, you can take responsibility for your actions and your reactions to life.
You can hold yourself responsible for how you handle situations and pick yourself up after you fall.
Success isn’t about perfection. It is about learning and growing and constantly improving. But to learn, grow and improve, you must believe you are in control. You must hold yourself accountable for the actions you take and the results, both good and bad, that occur.
Only you can truly make things happen for yourself.
It isn’t luck that makes people successful…It is freaking hard work and taking responsibility for their lives that makes them successful.
As they say….
Ok so I’m tired of people telling me that they don’t have time to go to the gym and, therefore, they don’t have time to go to the gym.
Here is a workout that DOESN’T require the gym…aka it doesn’t require ANY equipment. And it will challenge even the most advanced lifter!
I’ve mentioned before that there are a ton of ways to advance moves WITHOUT using weight. I’ve shown you more difficult variations of moves…like single limb moves. I’ve shown you how to challenge yourself using a towel.
And now I’m going to show you how to create a challenging workout by slowing down the tempo of your repetitions. Each exercise is done SUPER SLOW. While all the tempos are slow, the emphasis is put on different parts of the movement so pay attention to what the tempo says!
Total Body Bodyweight Workout!
Roll out any particularly tight spots and do dynamic stretches for calves, hamstrings, hips, core, chest, shoulders, and upper back.
Perform 3-4 rounds of each superset. Complete all rounds before moving on to the next superset. Rest for 1-2 minutes between each superset.
TEMPO 5/0/1 8-12 reps each side Single Skater Lunge (5 count squat down toward ground, no pause at bottom and quick push back up. Like a single leg deadlift EXCEPT that as you lean forward and hinge toward the ground you are actually going to bend that standing leg as low as you can. So it is a combination deadlift and squat. The back leg doesn’t need to stay straight.)
TEMPO 1/5/1 8-12 reps Posterior Plank (Quick up, 5 count hold at top and quick back down. To do this move sit on the ground with your legs out straight and your hands behind you. Point your finger tips toward your butt. Lift up onto your heels and hands, keeping your legs straight and leaning your head back at the top. Get your hips up as high as possible. To even advance further, keep the tempo slow and perform a single leg plank.)
TEMPO 5/1/5/1/5/1 5-10 reps Push Ups (Hold 5 seconds at the top of the push up. Lower down to midway of the push up and hold 5 seconds. Lower down to the bottom and hold 5 seconds. Do not relax on the ground at the bottom. Push quickly back up to the top. You can do an incline push up or push up from your knees to regress. Choose a variation that you can do for at least 5 solid form push ups!)
TEMPO 5/1/5 Slow Skater Side Lunges (Sink down into a low side lunge. You are going to move slowly from side lunge to side lunge. Do not let your butt come up in the middle. The tempo will be a five count to move from one side to the other. Do not pause more than a second on each side.)
TEMPO 1/3/5 8-12 reps each side Single Leg Glute Bridge (Quick 1 second up, hold 3 seconds at the top and slow 5 count lower down to the ground. This move can be regressed to a two-leg bridge OR progressed to a bridge with your feet up on a table. Keep the tempo no matter which you do!)
TEMPO 1/5/1 8-12 reps Corner Row (Quick press out, hold 5 seconds in scapular hold and lower back down. This is basically a scapular hold with movement. Set up in a corner with an elbow on each wall as if you are going to do a scapular hold. Relax against the wall and then press up into a scapular hold on your elbows. Hold there in the scapular hold and then lower back down to the wall.)
Stretch out and roll out hamstrings, hips, glutes, chest, shoulders and upper back.
All of these moves are challenging…both physically and MENTALLY. It is always a mental challenge to force yourself to move slowly when your muscles are burning and you just want to get it over with!
Enjoy! And even try slowing down the tempo on some of your other favorite moves!
I wasn’t planning to write about the events from yesterday or even the Marathon itself, but honestly I can’t stop thinking about them. I can’t even describe how I feel about them, but I just feel the need to write SOMETHING.
So when people usually ask me what I miss about Boston, I usually can’t really think of anything to say…
The weather in Cali is SO MUCH BETTER. There are so many more outdoor activities that I have easy access to. There is Mexican food EVERYWHERE…There is no MBTA here or snow or cars splashing puddles of water on you or rain that turns your umbrella inside out so that you actually get wetter than if you just walked without one….
I mean what would I miss about Boston!?!
But yesterday watching the horrible events at the Marathon and a visiting from one of my favorite Boston lifting ladies, made me really miss Boston.
I spent the last seven years there and even though I can’t describe WHY I love Boston or even why I miss it….I really really do.
The atmosphere of Boston is unlike any other. I can list a ton of things that I don’t like about Boston…and even when I can’t list one thing that I really specifically miss…I miss Boston.
It’s like it seeped into my bones…
Anyway, the events yesterday affected me deeper than I expected and am just thankful that all my friends are safe. My thoughts are with all those who were affected.
It did help in an odd way to see a friendly face from Boston yesterday.
On a lighter note, seriously strong chica, Judy, came in for a little “torture” session last night, which she CRUSHED!
It was a metabolic Monday and she forced her partner to work extra hard. Her partner even said to her, “I can’t keep up with you!”
Judy, you are awesome! I’m so glad you came to visit!
So I don’t know how many of you follow or read Paleo blogs, but there has been some drama going on in the Paleo blogosphere.
And frankly, I haven’t really been interested in commenting or getting at all involved until I saw a tweet by Mark Sisson the other day.
This twitter conversation was sort of the last straw for me.
I will address his tweet and the comments first before I begin my rant on about the women behind a lot of the drama.
For one, Mark is completely right. You may find an article or post on a site that you agree with, BUT that doesn’t mean that you agree with everything on that site.
I mean shoot….I know I have actually quite a few readers who are vegetarians. They obviously don’t agree with my perspective on nutrition, however, they do like what I have to say about working out!
So they may link out to a workout post on my blog.
If someone from their blog, clicks on the link to the workout article they posted and then happens to stumble on to an article about how much I LOVE meat, I highly doubt they are going to go accuse the author of the blog that posted my link of being anti-vegetarian just because they linked out to a post they did happen to agree with on my blog.
I know I’ve definitely linked out to conventional wisdom blogs that have ONE post that I agree with even if I don’t agree with anything else they’ve ever posted.
A good post, is a good post…PERIOD.
So when readers attack a blog author for linking out to posts from another site just because that site has other questionable content is COMPLETELY INSANE!
If you don’t like the other content on the blog linked out to, THEN DON’T READ THAT BLOG!
Secondly, I would like you to note the last comment on Mark’s tweet by Evelyn. I almost completely blanked out her info because I don’t really want to give her any more publicity since she is apparently seeking it out based on all of the rude comments she and another woman have been leaving ALL OVER THE PLACE!
But seriously lady!?!
Why insult him on a personal level even if you don’t agree with the links he posts? WHY make that comment about the memory supplement!?! WHY!?!
Also, as I stated above, just because you support one post on a site doesn’t mean you even agree with anything else. And if you, the reader, doesn’t like the site linked out to…DON’T READ IT!
Which leads me into the rest of the Paleo drama….
A couple of women have been attacking a number of the big “Paleo” bloggers…like Robb Wolf and Free The Animal, Richard Nikoley (who I actually don’t even consider a “Paleo” blogger).
They have even created a site that supposedly addresses:
Problems with the paleo community: misogyny, quackery, orthorexia, and more. Posts are by a variety of people. You can submit your own as well.
I refuse to link out to the site as I don’t want to help their rank on Google or really promote it in any way. If you choose to go in search of it and read their freaking ridiculous posts, the site won’t be hard to find.
But honestly, it isn’t even the site that really bothers me despite all the completely disrespectful shit-talking that goes on.
Hey…on your site, you can say WHATEVER you want. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to read it. Hence, I read a couple of posts, HATED THEM and refuse to go back onto the site.
BUT what I do have a problem with is when you start to take your fight onto OTHER people’s sites.
Honestly, I NEVER understood making nasty comments on someone else’s site. If you don’t agree, then don’t read their stuff!
If you don’t like the fact that Free the Animal uses the “c” word, DON’T READ HIS STUFF! Shoot write on your OWN site that people shouldn’t read his stuff, but don’t make nasty comments on his site about it! What’s the point!?!
Oh wait…the point is to get yourself publicity…not to ACTUALLY, TRULY make a point.
YOU JUST WANT ATTENTION!
One of the women involved in this drama actually created a fake account to attack one of the other commenters on a blog post and then denied it and finally admitted to it because the other person was supposedly “stalking” her….What a way to make women look bad!
It seriously drives me crazy when people do crap like this.
You can literally say whatever you want on your own site. I don’t care even if I think you are completely and utterly off base.
BUT if you are allowed to say whatever you want, ladies, then why can’t these other bloggers!?!
The whole point of a blog…the whole point of twitter, Facebook…social media…is to be able to say what YOU think!
And if a reader doesn’t like it? They don’t have to read it!
Plus I do just want to point out that what does misogyny really have to do with diet and exercise? Just because you don’t like their personal views doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to diet and exercise.
Also, quackery!?! UHM I would say you could use quackery to describe just about every opinion in the health and fitness field. You can find studies to prove and disprove just about EVERYTHING! We are all just experimenting and trying to find our way so really who knows what works.
If someone wants to try something and then write about what they found, WHO CARES!?! If you think their diet is stupid, DON’T DO IT!
And orthorexia!?! Please…For one they are writing a BLOG about diet and exercise…It is their BUSINESS. It isn’t like they are randomly going to talk about computer software on their health and fitness blog. I mean that is like condemning a golf website for only posting about golf stuff!
Anyway, that is my rant for today. And if those ladies DO happen to stumble across my site and my rant, I wonder what the would say.
They couldn’t get mad at me for cursing…since I rarely do.
They couldn’t get mad at me for being a misogynist because…well…I’m not.
I guess they could say I’m orthorexic…But then they should see the cheat day I had this week.
I guess they could also find some link on my site where I’ve linked out to a blog that has “hateful” posts. They could then accuse me of supporting a hate-filled site…
But then again…I didn’t link out to their blog…So that is one hate-filled site I’m definitely not supporting.
So now I ask…What do you think?
You know…the clock is counting down and I still haven’t yet decided what my New Year’s resolution is going to be.
I do know however that Zaggora HotPants will not be part of my New Year. $112 for pants that will supposedly help you lose weight….BOGUS! Please PLEASE don’t fall for scams like this!
Make it your New Year’s resolution NOT to waste money…especially on bogus stuff like Zaggora HotPants!
Happy New Year Man Bicepers! I wish you all the best in this New Year!
P.S. Random fact but 2013 is the first year since 1987 that has four different numbers in it!