Fitness Over 40

No “Guaranteed Results!”

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”- Carl Jung

About to turn 46, I would believe at this point that I have learned quite a few things about life and human nature, all which I am grateful for and able to apply to my life on a daily basis.  One of the reasons I was motivated to sit down and write “Reinvented: A Survivors Guide” was that I remember feeling just few years back, when I had achieved probably the best level of health and fitness in my life, how I would have bet I found the answer!  Each day, was just a pillar in my belief system strengthening my foundation towards a healthy and active lifestyle.  I thought there was absolutely no way, having learned what I learned, applied what I was applying, that I would ever result back to being out of shape and over weight again.  Several years later, I can remember just thinking, “what the hell happened?”

Life

Writing the book was a therapeutic journey for me to reflect back on the changes I had made in my life, and how creating these small successes in my life, and being grateful for all that my life had to offer me, helped develop my mindset to shed well over 30 pounds, and feel better about my physical and mental state than before.  The hard part, was then having to dig into those memories and occurrences in my life that began to subtlety tear apart the fabric that had been woven in my life.  Small stresses that I allowed to dominate my thoughts, and cultivated those beliefs until it grew into constant anxiety.  Anxiety that soon had taken over my subconscious mind and the only way to alleviate moments was through alcohol.   In combination with the reduced anxiety and stress, also reduced my ability to control my will.  I found that during the day, I would eat healthy and stay motivated, until the mental laxative of alcohol soon let everything come out.   I would be quick to anger, quick to explain everything that was wrong with society, and quick to eat whatever the frick I wanted.  Slowly, that weight of 190lbs was over 200, then 210, then 220 and ultimately 230lbs of depressed and frustrated man.

I needed this though.  Just last evening, sitting with my family for dinner, and my youngest son said to me, “dad, I like when you’re sober.”  I wanted to first get up and dismiss myself, not from anger at my children, but from complete embarrassment.  This was their father?  I had let it get that bad?  But hearing that, was just more confirmation of why I am doing this.  For them.  I know it will not be easy, and it will be a daily struggle, but I will replay his statement to me every second I can think of it.  Which is what I explain in my book, and why I titled this post “No Guarantees” because in order achieve anything worth while in life, requires constant, consistent effort.   Chances are, if something comes quickly, it will be gone just as quick.  Reinvention, so to speak, occurs on a daily basis.  We all wish we could hit that “reset” button and start over, but unfortunately, every day we face the world, we are going to be hit as hard as we are willing to push.  This is why now when I see weight loss claims about “losing it and keeping it off” I am just like, “no, no, that is not how it works, sorry.”  This reinvention has to occur everyday, and everyday you choose to pursue that goal, you must gather the strength to tackle that task.  The greater the reward, the greater the resistance.  I knew I had to change, and I knew the strength was building inside me, and I so badly wanted it to happen immediately, however, I wasn’t ready.  The world still hadn’t prepared me to reinvent myself into the person I knew I should be.  I still had to go through some more bumps and bruises.

I can still remember though, the day I woke up and said, “today is the day” and from that moment, I was like a fist of fury, obsessed with my outcome and the 21 Shred was how I was going to prove to myself that I still have the mental fortitude to pursue and persist.  As I write this, completing 2 days of workouts, and 19 more to go, I am sore as you know what, but my passion is just growing stronger every second to prove to myself that I am one of the most persistent and mentally strong people I know.  I have never accepted defeat easily, and I will look for every opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

So my wish, during this journey, is to hopefully inspire, at the least, provide someone the encouragement that failure does not exist until accepted as such.  I think Bruce Lee said that, but if there is something you want, you are going to have to go through walls, but if in your mind, you have already decided it has been accomplished, it now just a matter of time and consistent effort, and the Universe will decide when you are ready to receive.   I would highly recommend that you download my 5 Steps To Manifestation on the sidebar if you are at a point in your life that you know you want and deserve more, but are not too sure how to get there.  I put myself through this exercise, and this process is what connected my thoughts to the Universe and taught me how to listen.  Once you listen, the Universe will align you with the people and the opportunities that will guide you to your desired outcome.  THIS, I guarantee!!

I wish you health, happiness, and success in your days!

Fitness Over 40

Supplements of Choice:

Always the million dollar question.  I would probably say that if questioned about specific types of supplements, I tend to favor the natural way over adding a bunch of questionable ingredients into my system, produced from who knows where, and with who knows what in them?

I have found in terms of helping me recover a little bit faster, giving me a little more energy, and more focus throughout the day, here is my afternoon cocktail when I feel like in times like this, my body can use a little extra push:

bulk

Fitness Over 40

Day 1 on 21 Shred: In the books

Like anything in life, the excitement of beginning something new helps fuel the motivation and ambition to succeed.  When that “honeymoon” phase wears out, it is what separates the doers and the not-doers.  So completing day 1 was a success, and I am proud of my accomplishment (more the decision to undertake this mental and physical challenge) and I will look to use the accomplishment as more motivation to keep myself going.

Took my son with me in the afternoon to shop for food at the wholesale club and our local farmers market for some organic fresh veggies.  Here was my list:

  • Coconut milk
  • vegan burgers
  • raw almonds
  • vegan vanilla protein powder
  • avocados
  • guacamole
  • wild caught swordfish
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • organic corn
  • organic black beans
  • spaghetti squash
  • turkey
  • bananas
  • spinach

I posted my 21 Shred routine in the previous blog, so this one is dedicated to my “Veg-aleo” approach to my diet yesterday.:  All the times are “-ish”.

  • 11am: fruit and veggie smoothie with almond milk (no pic
  • 12:30: tried a new vegan burger and was impressed!
  • 2pm: handful of raw almonds and apple
  • 4pm: my favorite baja salad over whole sprouted brown rice and quinoa
  • 7pm:  turkey spaghetti in a bowl of spaghetti squash.
  • 9pm: fat burner tonic to cleanse the body

Now that the food intake is complete, nothing will be consumed(except for black coffee in the morning) until 11am the following morning.  Yesterday, I weighed myself at 227, which was about where I expected, but still hard to digest how fat I have gotten.

Definitely was sore this morning from yesterdays day 1 workout.  Wasn’t trying to go easy, but also wasn’t trying to kill myself either.  But no doubt, the glutes and hamstrings are sore, so needed a little more warmup this morning before Day 2 of 21 Shred.

Have an awesome day!  All recipes are posted on our private facebook page.  Register now at www.whatsyour21.com and use coupon code 21Shred for 50% off for a limited time.

Fitness Over 40

Tomorrow: My life changes forever!

It has really been a mental warm up to get to this point, but I am ready for the challenge, and more importantly, the change.  Tomorrow morning will be my first day on my 21 Shred challenge, which is going to test me mentally and physically by going 21 consecutive days performing the 21 Shred workout program, and the 21 day nutrition plan that includes Veg-Aleo and Intermittent Fasting.  Truthfully, that is the easy part for me.  It is also the first time in almost 10 years that I will be refraining from alcohol for that long of a period.  It seems so sad to me to even write that, but it’s true.  But I am doing this for my children, and most importantly, my middle son with special needs, who needs his dad around for a much longer time.  He will be my motivation through this.  No doubt, I am excited, but at the same time, so nervous.  My anxiety has been a challenge to deal with, and the use of alcohol for almost 10 years has created that dependency that will be hard to break.

My hopes are that I will be able to connect with others who are going to be going through similar challenges, and we can all pull together to encourage and motivate one another to create this change that will hopefully be long lasting.  I have been around the block long enough to know that it takes 21 consecutive days to form a new habit, and at the age of 46, teaching this old dog a new trick will be nothing short of a miracle.

Tomorrow morning will be my first of the exercise program, which not having exercised rigorously for over a month, I am going to welcome the challenge.  My objective however, being that I have to do this for 21 consecutive days, I will have to remember to not completely exhaust myself in that I will create soreness that will make day 2 very uncomfortable!  I have my dumbbells, and I have my space cleared out to get this program under way!

This is a call to any out there like me, who have been wanting to overcome either a food or lack of motivation habit, and want to finish the year of 2017 in a stronger and healthier body.  Go to www.whatsyour21.com and consider joining the challenge with me!  The more we get together for support, the better chance of success we will all have!

Cheers to a healthy and happy rest of 2017!

Fitness Over 40

Tackling Monday Like a Champ!

Started the day off with a great workout, and had some wonderful food that nourished my body and mind! A successful day!

My post workout meal, with some Hemp seeds sprinkled on top of peanut butter and banana on Ezekiel toast.


Lunch time smoothie, letting the ground up chia seeds soak in water


Time to add some parsley banana and a carrot into my nutribullet


Afternoon snack was some rolled oats, almond/coconut milk with vegan protein powder


For dinner, after some carrots and hummus snack, had a bowl of my quinoa and rice with green beans and some wild caught swordfish. Oh that was so good!


Here’s to a good day! Onward and upward!

Fitness Over 40

Early Morning HIIT this 24th of July 2017

This morning completed 10 rounds of:

  • 150 meter row
  • 10 TRX crunches

Funny, after the first set, I was thinking “hmm, I might want to add another exercise to make this more difficult” well, by the 5th set, I was sucking eggs! Why I like this is that the concept keeps track of the entire session, so now my goal is to be able to complete faster than my 27 + minutes.  (The calorie is not cumulative, but per 150 meter.)

Here is a little summary of how things went.  Thank god it’s over!  Trust me, it is still embarrassing having my shirt off, but I guess its not where you’re at, it’s where you’re going!

Without hesitation, when asked what is the best fitness equipment to own, the first two things are the Concept 2 Rower and a TRX Suspension Trainer.  You can accomplish so much with these!

TRX is running $40 off right now!  That is an awesome price since I never see these things go on sale!

Fitness Over 40

The “Food-Like” Culture

As I write these food related posts, I must begin to explain that I too, like the rest of society, has been sucked in to the culture of “food-like” nutrition that has plagued our American diet.  I spend a lot of time discussing this in my book, since overcoming the addiction of what food manufacturers have created is by far, the biggest obstacle to overcome in the quest for proper health and nutrition.  So what is “food-like” products?  I would probably imagine by now you can read between the lines and figure out it is food that has been converted, processed, refined, artificially flavored, colored, and preserved and put into a very attractive bag or box, celebrity endorsed or just heavily promoted, and typically inexpensive food that sits on the shelves at your local grocery store.  I briefly touched on this in my last post about the meat industry, stating that 100 years ago, there was no such thing as any of the above listed items found in our food.  The introduction of all these chemicals have created a very unhealthy society, and it’s only getting unhealthier.

Unfortunately, as much as these products taste good, our society truly doesn’t understand the magnitude of the food they are consuming.  Again, pointing back to the fact that we have become so detached from our food, that we don’t even question its relevancy anymore to our overall health and well being.  To us, it’s about enjoying the taste, and providing the calories that our body and mind think we need.  I will spell it out right now:  THIS IS NOT FOOD!  I know that the old phrase, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck; it’s probably a duck.  So you think to yourself: “it smells like food, it tastes like food, so it must be food!”  Unfortunately some truth there, but looking further into the industry behind that food sheds light on a completely different picture!  There is a great book by Michael Moss, called “Salt, Sugar, Fat,” which really opens the door to discussing how the food manufacturers are working to create a food so closely to have the same addictive properties as a drug.  By combining those three things into food, and at exact amount in order to create something called a “Bliss Factor” which creates this immediate pleasure to the system that says, “oh yeah! I want more of that!”  It is really funny to think about the idea that these food manufacturers are basically scientists that are in a lab, adding more of this, taking away some of this, adding this, and all in search to get you addicted to their product so that you keep coming back for more.  This is how sad our food system has become, it has pretty much gone away from the farm, and now is built inside a laboratory.

With this much effort put into creating an addictive food product, no wonder it is so hard to try and eat a well balanced and healthy diet! Not to mention, if you are a father like me, having 3 teenage boys who see these commercials and they see their friends bringing it in their lunch bags to school, they ride your coat tails to get some in the house. And of course, in a weak moment, you come home, you are hungry, it will take 30 minutes or so to prepare a healthy meal, so it is so easy to just grab that bag or box and eat a few, and a few more, and some more, and next thing you know, you have consumed the same amount of calories you would have consumed in that healthy meal you were about to prepare. So what do we do?

This was an area I had to discuss about more thoroughly in my book, since the psychology of eating plays a much greater factor in our food choices than simply the nutrition or purpose.  I (at the time of my vegan run) had to daily work on verbally announcing to myself when I saw a bag of something on the shelf or a box of something in the pantry, I had to tell myself, “that is not food!”  and I would have to search my house for something that nature had provided me, not the laboratory.  Simply put, the only thing I would allow myself to eat would be a food item where the ingredient, was the ingredient!  Make sense?  It had to in its natural form, a piece of fruit, vegetable, or something else that grew out of the earth, but not in a processed form!  If there were more ingredients than the ingredient, it was off limits!

This little activity actually began to give me power.  Sounds funny, but having the strength to say no to artificial food-like food and yes to something natural, even though I would go through periods of feeling hungry, this sense of inner strength made me proud of my decision and each time, it became easier and easier.

Try practicing this activity, and I promise you will begin to see improvements in your health and energy levels!

Fitness Over 40

At 45, It’s More About Functionality

As much as I look on social media and see these dudes all ripped up and shredded and want to look like that, I have learned my body well enough to know that keeping it strong and injury free has to take precedents in my exercise routine.  Today was lower body stability work after my 2000 meter row, finishing with 4 high intensity intervals on the treadmill.  Why functional training is so important, and especially to me, after a knee surgery in my teens, I have had continuous knee problems in my left knee, resulting in an atrophied left quadricep which creates a imbalance in my movement system.  You will see in the video when performing the TRX lunge with the left leg, it is much harder to maintain balance.  For this reason, I need to be focused on functional strength and flexibility.  This morning I completed 3 sets of 2-3 reps per leg on the TRX and then 3 sets of TRX stretches to finish my lower body workout.  I ain’t no spring chicken anymore!

Have a great weekend!  Stay healthy and happy!

Fitness Over 40

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

If there is one thing I learned from being Vegan for over a year, it is how to make some pretty awesome tasting non-meat food.  I came up with this recipe through trial and error, but even my youngest son loves these!  Any vegan will say the hardest thing about eating Vegan, is being able to make patties that actually stick together.  I learned that grabbing a box of Falafal mix helps a considerable amount.  In a pinch, I also learned rolled oats works well too.

What I use:

  • 1 can black beans rinsed
  • handful of parsley
  • 1/2 zuchinni
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 package of falafel mix

The key is to do the Cuisinart in stages so that it gets everything well shredded up.  Also, since the zucchini and  carrot have a high water content, I shred them separately and fold them into the mix.  I forgot to add 2 cloves of garlic, so I had to use garlic powder. I cooked in some olive oil and served with sliced tomato and avocado over some spinach.  My seasoning is:

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Coriander powder
  • cayenne red pepper powder
Fitness Over 40

Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan? Which is best?

I love food and nutrition.  I almost went back to school to receive my nutrition degree, but I believed at the time preparing my son for college was more important.  I didn’t think that having that degree would significantly advance my career.  But during my time teaching college, I would teach a basic nutrition course for my students, and we always enjoyed learning about the “popular diets” and eating styles that people engage in, all looking for that “secret” to better health.  Let’s look at a few of the most popular ones:

  • Vegetarian: no meat products, but will eat byproducts of those such as eggs and dairy.
  • Vegan: Absolutely no meat or meat related products.
  • Paleo: Eat as first humans ate, just from the land.  Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and meat.

There are plenty of other diets that fall into the category of “fad” diet, so I would like to focus on these and lead into how Veg-aleo came into play.  Looking at that list, if you had to choose which one our body was most conditioned to follow from a basic human nature standpoint, which would you choose?  I hope you said Paleo, since for millions of years until up to the last almost 100 years; the human being only was able to eat what the land provided.  There was no such thing as a cookie (in today’s terms at least) a thousand years ago.  So it is logical to think that we are conditioned to eat in a certain way, it is in our DNA, and it is how the human evolved into our current state.  Now, advancement and the current evolving of our society is going to change, there is no doubt about that.  However, it cannot be argued that we are in the unhealthiest of states we’ve ever been and it just gets worse every year.  The food we eat becomes more and more processed (looking for that bliss factor), and we become more sedentary as a society, putting everything within our finger tips reach.  My point is that this has just occurred over the last 100 years, and it’s only getting more advanced by the minute.  But the hundreds of thousands of years before that, the human being did not eat foods that were filled with artificial ingredients and chemicals.  This has become a shock to the body, and the only way the body can react is to become sick and unhealthy.

For me personally, I believe you cannot go wrong consuming as many fruits and vegetables in a day as you can tolerate.  Most people don’t realize that by consuming more fruits and vegetables, you will fill up the stomach much faster than processed foods and fats.  I love this diagram:

veggies-oils-fats-1024x576

This is why during the day, I try to keep my cooler filled with a bag of spinach, apple, banana, carrots, strawberry’s, kale and any fresh stuff I can get my hands on.  I keep my nutribullet at work with me, and every few hours, I grind up some chia seeds, let it sit in the water for about 15 minutes, then throw in my fruits and vegetables.  In the afternoon, I also like to add a scoop of vegan protein powder and some branched chain amino acids for muscle repair.

a1

I purchase mine right online from A1supplements.com.  Today I added a handful of organic spinach, about 8 strawberries, teaspoon of ground up chia seeds, a scoop each of Muscle Martini and Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder.  Trust me, add 1 or 2 all fruit and vegetable smoothie into your diet, and you will be surprised how little your blood sugar spikes and crashes, leaving you feeling more satisfied throughout the day.