01/16/2014 - 2014 GOALS!

Goals!

Welcome to 2014! We are roughly halfway through the first month of the year and you’ve been bombarded with Happy New Year wishes, advertisements encouraging you to “change” X, Y, and Z about yourself, and discounted gym membership offers. Now that the craze is starting to die down, I am going to ask you not to change or join my fitness program (at a discount or otherwise), but to set your sights on something for 2014 and work your tail off to get there.  Before declaring your goals, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

What do I want to accomplish this year as it relates to my health and fitness? 

What tools/skills do I already have to help me achieve my goals?

Who can support me in pursuing my goals?

If you haven’t been able been able to identify any goals for the coming year, why not? If you are actively engaged in a training program, you must have some driving force behind all the sweat, soreness, and callouses you experience during your training! So…pick something that makes you tick, gets you fired up and excited, and write it down. Then, tell others so you have support. Next, make a plan for achieving your goal(s) and finally, work your butt off training to accomplish your goal(s)!

Every year, I set a few fitness/health goals for myself and I train hard to reach them. I am sharing my goals from 2013 and my goals for 2014 with you…for support, for accountability, and because writing them down and sharing them make it more difficult to forget!

Here’s a recap of my fitness goal from 2013. If you notice, I fell short not once, but twice. I am batting 0.333. If compared to a baseball batting average, I make a pretty solid candidate for the Hall of Fame!

GOAL #1:  Clean and Jerk 225 pounds by 11/30/2013. 

RESULT: I cleaned 235 pounds and I hit 220 pounds on the Jerk. When I then put the two movements together to achieve my Clean and Jerk goal, I fell short and ended up failing at 225 pounds after succeeding at 220 pounds. I came up 5 pounds short of my goal. Technique and some additional strength will get me there. I’ll keep working!

GOAL #2:  Run a 5 K in under 18 minutes by 12/31/2013.

RESULT: I missed this goal by a long shot. My best 5 K race of the year was 19:02…I have a lot of work to do in this area if I am going to achieve sub-18 minutes!

GOAL #3: 100 consecutive Russian Kettlebell Swings  with 24 kG bell.

RESULT: Completed on April 24th, 2013…a little bit faster than I expected. Perhaps I should have reached a little bit higher like 150 swings.

 

What are my fitness/health goals for 2014?

GOAL #1:

Run 100 days. Interval workouts, tempo runs, and races all count toward my total. Through 01/14/2014, I have completed 4 days of running.

GOAL #2:

Win my age group in the 2014 Greenville Dirt Series. The first race is 01/25/2014.

GOAL #3:

Go 90 days without any alcoholic beverages. My rationale for this goal is to monitor my performance, improve my sleeping, and see how productive I can be with my mind completely unaltered at all times. It’s an experiment and one that will be interesting. I began my streak on 01/06/2013…it’s been 11 days (today included) and things are looking good! Check back in a few weeks to see an update to how my experiment is going.

So, now it’s your turn. Put yourself out there and post your goals to comments or Facebook. We’re here to support you and check in with you about your progress. Good luck!

New Class Times in Hapeville!

FREE YOGA SESSION and OPEN HOUSE!

Hello and thanks for reading! Please join us for our Open House and Free Yoga session Wednesday December 18, 2013 from 6:30-8:00 PM at our indoor facility. Hope you can come to check us out!

Beef with Cabbage Recipe - 12/06/2013

Boost Testosterone with this recipe!

As it is the holiday season, my wife, 8-week old daughter, and I have ventured out to do some shopping over the past week. Most of the time, even though we intend to shop for family and friends, Kmugs and I end up stopping and looking at things for Lilly. It is during these stops that I have encountered something strange…I find myself saying things previously unfamiliar to me such as “Awww…that’s cute!” or “Lilly will look so precious in that!” or “I love that pink sleeper with the little cupcakes on it!”

After thoughts like this enter my head, my inner voice usually responds with,  “Wait…a minute, did I seriously just think that? If I did, what the hell is wrong with me? Am I sick? Has someone been sneaking soy products into my meals?”

So…what is wrong with me? Naturally, my immediate response is that I must be under some duress and am experiencing a battle with Low-T…that’s right Low Testosterone. Clearly this is the logical culprit! What else would explain my uncontrollable urge to use the words cute and precious over and over again each day?   And to actually enjoy helping my wife pick out holiday outfits for our daughter? Since I am not a huge fan of going to the doctor or taking supplements, I decided to try and attack this problem naturally by preparing a meal bursting with flavor and rich in testosterone boosting foods. Studies have determined red meat to be an excellent food for boosting testosterone (for a humorous self study on the effect of red meat on testosterone levels, read Tim Ferris’s book, “The Four Hour Body”) and other studies link increases in testosterone to eating cruciferous vegetables rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C).

I had some Grass Fed Beef and green cabbage in the fridge and decided to put them together in a meal to help attack my “self diagnosed” Low-T issue. The recipe is simple and the entire meal including prep took less than 25 minutes!

Grass Fed Ground Beef and Cabbage

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 pound of Grass Fed Ground Beef

½ Head of Green Cabbage (shredded or sliced into thin strips)

1 medium Onion (diced)

1 Red, Green, Orange, or Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)

3 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)

1 tsp. Olive Oil

½ tsp. Chili Powder

½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the grass fed beef (season with salt, pepper, and chili powder) over medium heat (3-5 minutes). In the meantime, dice the pepper and onions, slice the cabbage into thin strips, and finely chop the garlic. When the beef is finished, remove from the skillet and set it aside as you add the cabbage, onions, pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Add the cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and saute for 6-8 minutes until cooked. Toss the beef back into the skillet, stir and allow to cook together for 2 more minutes.  Add additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Enjoy!

Just to be clear, do I really think I have Low-T issue? Not likely and as Kmugs pointed out, “Maybe you are just quickly adapting to being the father of a baby girl? Did you ever think of that, Mr. Low-T?” Such an obvious answer, no wonder I missed it! At least I discovered a tasty new meal to put into the rotation and maybe it will provide me with a boost of Testosterone as a bonus! (such a cute ending to the story…Ugh, there it goes again! More cabbage please!) As an added bonus: Despite the testosterone boosting power of the meal, Kmugs was able to enjoy it without any repercussions commonly associated with elevated testosterone, so ladies don’t worry, you aren’t in any danger of looking like a man after eating this meal! 

Quick, Tough Kettlebell Workout

3 Minute Kettlebell Workout

I was browsing the internet today searching for a demonstration of some Kettlebell exercises and came across the Kettlebell Training – 3:00 of Hell  video from YunTraining (Kettlebell Khaos). The workout consists of 30 seconds each of the following movements:

One Arm Kettlebell Swings

One Arm Kettlebell Clean and Press

One Arm Kettlebell Front Squat

Perform 30 seconds of each exercise on the right arm and then switch to the left arm and complete 30 seconds of each exercise.

I gave it a shot this morning, but wanted to do a little running with it, so I altered the workout by performing the 3:00 minute squqence 3 times with a 0.25 mile run in between each round and used a 24 kG Kettlebell (53#). It was a great, quick  (less than 15 minutes) workout and excellentfor the minimalist approach as it only requires one piece of equipment. It’s also a great workout for when you’re on the road as it offers plenty of opportunity for scaling and adding your own creativity to the workout. For example, as an alternative, you could set the clock for 10 - 20 minutes and complete 3-5 reps of each exercise, switch to the other arm and complete 3-5 reps of each and try to accumulate as many rounds of that sequence as possible in your selected time frame. Another option is to add a sprint every 90 seconds and continue working for a predetermined amount of time or rounds.

Give this one a try sometime…perhaps with family and friends during the Thanksgiving Holiday. It will definitely prime your metabolism for Turkey Day feasting! 

11/12/2013 Restaurant Review

Grecian Gyro - Hapeville, GA 

It’s been awhile since I have posted a restaurant review, but I couldn’t let this place slide by without spreading the word. Even though I have driven by it more times than I can count, I had never eaten at the Grecian Gyro in Hapeville, GA until I was cruising around yesterday looking for a place to eat and stopped in to give it a try.  The food was excellent and despite the hustle and bustle inside the space, the outdoor area was relatively quiet and provides views of the planes coming and going at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. I love Greek and/or Mediterranean food because it fits so nicely into my dietary preferences and because it usually offers a range of proteins for your plate. I had the Souvlaki plate, but subbed the potatoes with extra salad and doubled the meat. The Souvlaki was delicious and the salad was anything, but boring. Nick’s Grecian Dressing was a tasty blend of oil, vinegar and spices without overpowering the flavors of the greens and veggies in the salad.

If you’re in the area and looking for a quick, yet healthy meal, the Grecian Gyro is a solid option!

11/05/2013 - Workout/Exercise Ideas for New Parents

New Daddy/Mommy Workouts

As a newly minted father of a beautiful little girl, Lilly (right), my free time has become a fading memory and my priorities have been shifted toward spending time with my wife and daughter instead of in the gym. It’s been an amazing, yet challenging first month and I have had trouble finding time (and energy) to workout with the same vigor and consistency I had been so accustomed to prior to Lilly’s arrival.

So…this post is for all the new Dads and Moms out there looking for quick workout ideas to do in between feedings, diaper changes, and naps.

Here are a few workouts I have done over the last month (some of them more than once!). Each workout can be done in under 25 minutes including 5-7 minutes for a warmup. Try this Dynamic Stretching routine if you are looking for a quick, yet effective warmup.

Enjoy and if you try any of these workouts, hit us up on Facebook or in the comments section with how you did!

Workout #1: Total time 23 minutes

Warmup (90 seconds Jump Rope followed by Dynamic Stretching Routine)

Run 1.5 miles

5 Rounds of

10 Box Jumps(I used a 22” wall at the park by my house)

10 Squat Thrusts

10 Squats

Run 0.5 miles

 

Workout #2:  Total time 14 minutes

Warmup (90 seconds of running followed by Dynamic Stretching Routine)

50-40-30-20 and 10 reps of

Russian Kettlebell Swings(use a heavy bell)

Situps

 

Workout #3:Total time 20 minutes

Warmup (90 seconds of running followed by Dynamic Stretching Routine)

Every minute on the minute for 15 minutes complete the following

7 Dumbbell Thrusters

4 Burpees

***NOTE #1: No DBs at home? No problem! Use two 1-gallon milk jugs or water jugs. No jugs? No problem! Use two objects you have around the house that have relatively equal mass and can be safely handled and pressed overhead…be creative! If you have twins, use them! I am kidding (kind of)!

***NOTE: #2: If you are relatively new to exercise, you will want to scale the reps down a little. Try doing 4 Thrusters and 2 Burpees and work up for there if you need more.

 

Workout #4: Total time 12 minutes (in case you really need a quick workout and need to do it quietly in the living room!)

Warmup (90 seconds Jumping Jacks followed by Dynamic Stretching Routine)

Complete as many rounds as possible in 7 minutes

3 V-ups

5 Pushups

7 Squats

Happy sweating, diaper changing, baby soothing, and baby feeding!

10/25/2013 - Bill's Birthday

"What happened to my birthday?"

This past Wednesday, Bill C. (member of the Barrett Park All Stars) celebrated his birthday (I'll withhold the actual number, but let's just say that in his lifetime, he's been around to witness Hank Aaron hit majority of his 755 homeruns!).  It was a different kind of birthday for Bill this year...No cake, no pizza, no beer...maybe his family forgot?

Not a chance!

Take a look at the pics below and you'll see that this is Bill's first Paleo style birthday! Tasty meal, awesome dessert, and lusterous, new a pair of dumbbells for a present! Nice work to his wife, Diane, for putting together his eats and picking out the gift, (to quote Cousin Eddie)..."that keeps on giving the whole year!" 

Congrats, Bill and I hope this is the first of many more to come!

 

 

Simple Marinade for Chicken or Pork

Here’s a really simple recipe for a 30-minute marinade to be used on your chicken or pork before tossing it on the grill. I use it regularly for pork tenderloin and boneless chicken breasts.

Ingredients

½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Spicy Brown or Dijon Mustard

1 clove Garlic finely chopped

½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Pinch of Sea Salt

Pinch of Black Pepper

Directions

Place your pork or chicken in a one-gallon ziplock bag. Combine the Apple Cider Vinegar, Mustard, Garlic, and dried spices in a small mixing bowl. Slowly stir in the Olive Oil and continue whisking until complete. Pour the marinade into the bag along with the meat, seal and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You’re ready to rock, so get that grill fired up and get those sides prepped! 

Let me know what you think and enjoy!

Nutrition Challenge 2013

GOAL:  To eat clean, unprocessed foods; log our intake, document how we feel physically and mentally, and learn about how our body responds to the foods we consume.

WHEN: October 21, 2013 – November 18, 2013

Basic Requirements for Participation

Every participant must:

1. Keep a log of everything you ingest. Be detailed and specific, it is not necessary to weigh and measure your foods, unless you think it will help keep you accountable. If after a meal you feel you have over/under eaten, record it, so you can adjust at your next meal.

2. Keep a log of your sleep each night. Record how many hours you slept, if you feel rested, and any events that occurred to disrupt your slumber.

3. Keep a log of how you feel each day. Be specific about your energy levels, mood, and physical states.

***Note: You can keep all this info in one log. Use a page for each day or if you prefer electronic logging, download Evernote to your phone and keep a log there. Evernote is a great resource for logging because you can share it with others and they can check out what you are eating, how you are feeling, and they can help keep you accountable. You can even take pictures of your meals and build them into the Evernote log. I use Evernote with several of my clients to help them stay on track with their fuel and it has proven to be very effective.

4. Take at least 1 picture before the challenge begins and 1 picture at the conclusion of the challenge so we have a record of your body composition changes. If you desire, although not required, take measurements of your waist, neck, chest and thighs.

5. Tell your family and friends what you are doing and get their support! Let them know it’s important to you to learn how your body responds to food.

Levels of Participation

GOLD:  Remove grains/gluten, beans (legumes), sugars/sweeteners (no sugar substitutes even if they are labeled “natural”), and alcohol from your intake.

SILVER:  Remove grains, beans (legumes), and sugars/sweeteners from your intake. Alcohol is allowed, but make sure you are avoiding grain-based alcohols.

COPPER:  Remove grains from your intake.

 

Grading-Compliance-Scoring

You must record your “compliance grade” each day.  To keep it simple, there are only two grades; an “O” or and “X”, but you can use a minus sign (O-) if you feel you had a good day, but had a small slip. For example, if you slipped and added sugar to your coffee, but nailed everything else all day, you could give yourself an “O-“.  A large slip receives only one grade…an “X”. Be honest with yourself.

Some things to think about…

1.     What to eat: Lean meats, nuts and seeds, vegetables and fruit, little starch, and no SUGAR!

2.     If it doesn’t rot in 7-10 days, it is probably not food.

3.     Stay away from foods that have more than 5-7 ingredients on the label and the ingredients listed should consist of words that do not require an advanced scientific degree to pronounce.

4.     The perimeter of the grocery store is your friend, the aisles the enemy. Food located on the perimeter is usually fruits, veggies, and fresh protein sources. Food located in the aisles is usually highly processed, boxed crap that has an indefinite shelf life…aka NOT FOOD.

5. If you made a great meal, snap a pic and tell us about it! I'll post it to share with others.

Resources

One of the main goals for this challenge is to LEARN how your body responds to the foods you eat and how it feels without the foods you are not eating as a result of participation in the challenge. There is a wealth of information on the web and in books. I encourage you to seek your own answers to questions and educate yourself on why it is important to eat a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods.  You can also use the “Healthy Eating Guide” I sent you as a quick reference for what to eat.

Here are the websites I visit most often when in need of resources for nutrition and recipes (in no particular order):

a.     http://www.marksdailyapple.com

b.     www.Robbwolf.com

c.      www.whole9life.com

d.     www.paleocomfortfoods.com

e.     www.growinguppaleo.com

f.      http://www.thepaleodiet.com

 

You CAN do it! Good luck and happy eating!

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