This weekend I have been away at Disney World, learning from the best in the fitness industry. Most of what was covered was very simple and based on habits. So it got me to think about the fitness journey and the impact our habits have on our success or failure.
What are the habits that successful people have? In my humble opinion, here they are:
- Eat Whole Foods What is the ultimate secret to fitness success? Eat like you want to be successful. Eating non-processed, non-packaged, non-shit (sorry for the language) is the secret. Cleaning up just one aspect of your diet will make a huge difference. Focus the next 30 days on something, whether it is to eat more vegetables, cut out alcohol or eat more protein. We will call this the Aspire30. A 30 day whole food challenge. Are you ready?
- Stay Consistent No matter what you do, consistency will always be key in success. No one needs to workout every day. Decide upon a frequency (preferably 3-4 days per week) and commit to it. Again, let’s institute the Aspire30. 30 days straight of at least 3 workouts. That’s 12 workouts per month. Commit and execute. Also, stay consistent with your nutrition. Pick a focus and go for it for 30 days. This turns into a habit.
- Get Plenty of Rest Work + Rest= Success. You only gain muscle and lose fat during rest. Sleep is vitally important to that body fat loss. 7-8 hours per night. Focus for 30 days and see what happens.
- Lift Weights This is a no brainier. People who want to be in the best shape of their lives lift weights. The road to success is not on the treadmill or elliptical. It’s in picking up heavy things multiple times for a long stretch of time.
- Stay Hydrated Being properly hydrated effects your results…period! Those who don’t get results are not hydrated enough. Drink at least 100 ounces of water each day to maximize your goals and feel better.
- Have Laser Focus Focus on each task at hand with laser precision. For every problem there is a solution, your solution is to focus on the weak areas without being distracted. Do not cancel on yourself!
- Never Give Up Sometimes it doesn’t come to us as easy as it did. Sometimes we need to evaluate our habits to see if that is the problem of why we don’t results. Regardless, you should never give up. Never stop fighting and sure as he’ll never stop believing in your dreams.
- Bonus: Have Non Negotiables Set times periods you devote to workout. If you schedule a session, don’t cancel it. Make every effort to commit to the time you set aside. To take yourself where you want to go or have never been, you must focus on the habits you form. Your thoughts become your reality, rid yourself of clutter and unnecessary static. Use the habits above to build a healthier you and look the best you can.
Dear Mr. President,
This is your future Ebola Czarina checking in. You’ve been pretty busy lately, so if you missed my blog about Ebola, you can read it here: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ebola? Seems like we have Ebola under control at the moment, so kudos to the current Czar, but if you would like to write in a succession clause, I’m your girl.
But I digress, Ebola is not why I am writing. Earlier this week, exactly 56.2% of the 46% of Kentuckians who even bothered to show up to vote sent Mitch McConnell to represent them in the United States Senate. (Note: let’s be fair, Lexingtonians and Louisvillians are excluded from this statistic, they actually voted to send Alison to the Senate in the same proportions)
I have to believe that a certain percentage sent him back, not because they liked him, but to bring home the “pork” to Kentucky, as Senate majority leader, because after all, it’s the American way. I’m not sure how I feel about those people as it is this logic that has completely bastardized the resource distribution of our democratic government but that’s a letter for a different day.
Those Kentuckians didn’t send him to represent me, as I promise you that the votes he will cast will never reflect anything that I stand for. And you know that saying, “You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”. Yeah, well let’s just say that too many Kentuckians will fall for anything, and evidently that disease is pretty contagious among the voting electorate in the mid-terms of 2014.
On Wednesday, after those Kentuckians who cannot see that they are being lied to and their votes and souls are being bought by fear mongering billionaires, decided that Mitch McConnell, after 30 abysmal years of legislating, was yet again their man, you invited him over for some food, fun & fellowship at the White House. You said, I quote, “I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell.” Now Mr. President, I will take you at your word that you meant what you said, but I have to assume it would be the bourbon that you would enjoy with Mitch McConnell, rather than the discourse.
In this state, bourbon flows like water. We drink it in any manner you can imagine, we’ve built a trail around it, we make candy out of it, we have even been known to light it on fire when served as part of a decadent dessert or two. In a few hours, I myself will be tailgating with it at the UK vs. Georgia game, but I think you get my point.
But Mr. President, this Kentucky girl is here to tell you…there isn’t enough bourbon. You could push Bourbon through the veins of Mitch McConnell intravenously and he still wouldn’t see what you and I see.
- To see that people are people, and Corporations are NOT
- To see that inconvenient truths not addressed for decades, could become species ending nightmares at the end of the millennium
- To see that legislation passed in his name is often exactly what Jesus WOULDN’T DO! (not WWJD!)
- To see that choosing “Pork” in Washington, in the long run, harms the men and women bringing home the bacon
- To see that profit maximizers don’t self-regulate
- To see that ending the “War on Coal” fuels a war on clean drinking water and irreversible environmental damage
- To see that access to healthcare makes us all healthier
- To see that Student Loans are as important, if not more important, as Business Loans
- To see that Planned Parenthood serves low income women in ways they will never understand
- To see that birth control pills are used for dozens of women’s health concerns, only one of which is preventing birth
- To see that being Pro Life should mean feeding, clothing, and nurturing these children long after the birth is over
- To see the importance of funding Sesame Street instead of Wall Street
- To see that tomorrow’s criminal is today’s abused, neglected, and broken child
- To see that neediest children come to school to be loved as much as to learn
- To see that Head Start isn’t just an academic start, it is the ONLY start for many of these children
- To see that choosing butter over guns is not only the right thing to do but the smart economic thing to do
- To see that love is defined by the heart, not the type of genitalia
- To see that government can and should reduce suffering, instead of inflicting it
- To see that as Americans we are, and should be our brother and sister’s keeper
So now that the Bourbon Summit is over, keep fighting the good fight, please get back to doing what you have gotten really good at, rebuilding a country and economy you inherited 6 years ago that was decimated by 8 years of the policies of the same party that just dropped by for a bite of lunch.
And while these next two years are going to be a nightmare of preventing the passing of legislation that will undo the economic growing, deficit & governmental fraud reducing and consumer protecting accomplishments of your presidency, please know that history will be kind to you.
And Mr. President, if Mitch didn’t bring the Pappy Van Winkle, he brought the wrong stuff.
This morning had an awesome start. The 4 1/2 minute drive from my house to the coffee shop rocked — literally. I really nailed Eddie Vedder’s voice and the air guitar solo in a Pearl Jam song playing in my car.
But while in line for coffee and waiting to meet a business associate, I couldn’t stop looking at two very distinguished looking businessmen about to meet with each other. While I was stirring half-and-half into my coffee …at the condiment bar an even more impressive third member joined their party and they decided to take the “large table in the back.”
The guy I was waiting to meet wasn’t as impressive as these three and I was secretly hoping they would notice me at the condiment bar and invite me to join their table and their meeting. I even asked one to pass me a stir stick and gave a very confident and “important” look as if to say “We have a lot in common. More than the guy I am waiting to meet.” But nothing.
I sat down at a tiny table that hadn’t even been wiped off and tried to look like I was thinking about about a large financial deal. Finally, my guy shows up. But walks past me to say hello to the three guys at the back table.
What if they invite him to join their table and I am left all alone at my small and dirty table? That would really suck. As great a start as my day got off to it was now cratering.
I tried to think of a way to make my table, as I sat by myself, look cooler than the other tables — but feared it wasn’t working. And the worst part of all is I don’t think anyone in the coffee shop even knew about the Eddie Vedder song I lip-synced so flawlessly just a few minutes earlier.
November is here and so is the holiday season. Holidays are the worse when it comes to temptation to eat foods we ordinarily wouldn’t. But that does not mean we should throw our fitness goals out the window til January. Here are a few statistics and helpful hints to keep you working towards your fitness goals during the holidays.
1. Average person will gain 10-15 lbs between November 1st and January 1st
2. 75% of all candy consumed in the United States will be consumed on Halloween
3. There will be 180 million pints of alcohol consumed on New Year’s Eve
4. Average meal for Thanksgiving is 3500 calories
Halloween- The Sugar Holiday. Where Insulin and Glucose run rampant.
Thanksgiving- The Overeaters Anonymous Holiday. Trytophan the cause of Nap time?
Christmas- The Sugar, Fat and Santa Holiday.
New Years Eve- The Adult Beverage Holiday.
Client Survival Tips
Be active, everyday. Do NOT cancel your workouts. Now is not the time to cancel your workouts, it is the time to squeeze them in if you are busy. These are important, each one is a momentum builder. Lift weights, do a little cardio, walk your dog…something. Everyday.
Control stress. Stress makes everything worse.
Focus on weight maintenance vs. weight loss during the holidays. If you are currently overweight and want to lose weight, this is not the time to do it. Maintenance of your present weight is a big enough challenge during the holiday season. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making unrealistic goals for yourself.
Plan on NOT dieting after the New Year. Anticipation of food restriction sets you up for binge-type eating over the holidays (“after all, if I’m never going let myself eat this again after Jan. 1st, I might as well eat as much as possible now!”) Besides, restrictive diets don’t work in the long run. They increase your loss of lean body mass vs. fat, slow down your metabolism, increase anxiety, depression, food preoccupation, and binge eating, and make weight re-gain more likely.
Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties. It is not a good idea to arrive at a party famished. Not only are you more likely to overeat, but you are also less likely to resist the temptation of eating the higher fat and higher calorie foods.
Choose your beverages wisely. Alcohol is high in calories. Liquors, sweet wines and sweet mixed drinks contain 150-450 calories per glass. By contrast, water and diet sodas are calorie-free. If you choose to drink, select light wines and beers, and use non-alcoholic mixers such as water and diet soda. Limit your intake to 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per occasion. And, watch out for calories in soda, fruit punch, and egg nog as well.
Enjoy good friends and family. Although food can be a big part of the season, it doesn’t have to be the focus. Holidays are a time to reunite with good friends and family, to share laughter and cheer, to celebrate and to give thanks. Focus more on these other holiday pleasures, in addition to the tastes of holiday foods. The important thing to remember is balance and moderation. It’s OK to eat too much once in a while.
Maintain perspective: Overeating one day won’t make or break your eating plan. And it certainly won’t make you gain weight! It takes days and days of overeating to gain weight. If you over-indulge at a holiday meal, put it behind you. Return to your usual eating plan the next day without guilt or despair.
Now that the ballots have been counted and the concession speeches have been delivered, it’s time to rest those campaign-weary feet and kick back for that age-old tradition: the post-election martini. Whether your candidates of choice emerged triumphant or disappointed, we can all breathe a sigh of relief at the end of another grueling election cycle. There were highs and lows, from inspiring policy ideas to soul-depleting ads. Nonetheless, it is always an affirming sight to see friends and neighbors lining up to put their thoughts into action on Election Day.
You should take this opportunity to have a bit of a breather. Before the next flurry of debates, ads, and fundraisers begins (probably much sooner than we’d all like), take a little time to sit, reflect, and enjoy a rejuvenating treat. For that, may I suggest the Moonshine Martini, a bracing refreshment. Whether you’re taking a victory lap or need a nip of comfort, this taste of Appalachia combines rural and urban elements as a reminder of the enduring power of both constituencies.
If your style of imbibing lies along the sweeter lines, I have something for you as well. In the spirit of fall, try this ginger cake. The fragrant spices will soothe the senses, and the ginger will settle your stomach from the nausea-inducing spin. So kick back and give a “cheers” to surviving another political season; you’ve earned it.
3 ounces (1/4 cup) clear corn whiskey
1 teaspoon dry Madeira, dry sherry, or dry vermouth
1 pinch of kosher salt
3 boiled peanuts or 1 pickled onion for garnish (optional)
- a) Combine the whiskey, Madeira, and salt in a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
- b) Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the peanuts, if using.
(Source: The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen by Matt Lee and Ted Lee)
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus a little extra for the pan
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1 cup unsulfured light molasses
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 packed cup of dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup finely grated fresh ginger
A stand or handheld electric mixer
an 8-inch springform pan about 3 inches deep
an 8-inch circle of parchment paper
- a) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and position a rack in the middle. Grease the springform pan very well with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with the parchment paper circle, and put the pan on a baking sheet.
- b) Sift the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl and stir well. In a small pot, stir together the boiling water, molasses, and baking soda until the molasses has completely dissolved.
- c) Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can use a handheld electric mixer.) Mix on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Occasionally, scrape down the butter and sugar that clings to the sides. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low, add the egg, and mix until incorporated. Then add the grated ginger and mix some more.
- d) Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until well combined. Do the same with about one-third of the molasses mixture, and repeat the process until you’ve used up both mixtures. Stop the mixer from time to time to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- e) Pour the batter into the springform pan and place the baking sheet (pan and all) into the oven. Bake just until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out almost clean and no longer wet, about 1 hour. Before you remove the ring of the springform, let it cool a bit.
(Source: A Girl and Her Pig by April Bloomfield)
This is my facial expression that I just had to use at Starbucks which says, “Would you please hurry heating up my Michigan Cherry Oat Bar because I am running late for my meditation meeting.”
This is not an easy message to communicate and is a nuanced combination of “East end haggard bad ass” and “New agey metrosexual hungry.”
But I think I pulled it off.
I have been traveling the last few days and have had several conversations with people on the planes I’ve been on about fitness. One in particular with my taxi cab driver who picked me up at the airport in Florida.
The lady must have been in here early 40’s and in decent shape but really wanted to be in better shape. After finding out what I did for a living she instantly started probing me for information. And as it is in many cases the person will ask questions or state beliefs only to validate their own beliefs regardless of my opinion on the subject matter.
15 minutes into our ride she had told me how diet X didn’t work for and neither did diet A-R but diet W and Z were the bomb.com. What?! She also referred to anything lifting related as the “man zone” and quickly wanted to tell me how doing an hour of cardio was great but was boring and she wasn’t sure she could tell a difference. You don’t say?
So, as only I can do, I referred her to my book 12 Steps to Fitness Freedom as a step in the right direction for her. Maybe the book could do a better job of explaining the components of fitness than I could do. Either way these random conversations with people boggle my mind. I still cannot understand why we have such a hard time understanding the core principles of fitness. We continually over diet, we look at food as either bad or good and we have no concept of what is too much or not enough.
Let’s set the trend here with the 3 Thoughts We Should Stop Having About Fitness:
Thought 1: Diets Work
If diets work then why is obesity and the number of diet books on sale at an all time? Diets don’t work. Have never worked. Will never work. They are often too stringent and restrict our favorite foods. They are also not nutrient driven and only focus on the amount of calories you eat, forgetting about the nutrient value of protein, carbs and fats.
Thought 2: More Exercise is Better
Using exercise to lose fat is like using a band aid to on a gun shot wound. Thinking you can go workout to eradicate that pizza you just ate or that bottle of wine you just drank is lunacy. The average person cannot eat what they want then go workout and expect to look the way they want. You also can workout TOO much. Your nervous system can only handle so much (this is where the value of rest comes into play) exercise thang it can become fried and will need a break. 3-4 days of vigorous exercise is usually enough for most people, anymore than that and the body will not be able to handle stress (unless nutrition, rest and genetics intervene).
Thought 3: Lifting Weights Makes Women Look Like Men
It doesn’t. Never has. Never will. There are outliers to everything, however those are few and far between. Want to be leaner? Want to have a defined waist, shoulders and back, pick up heavy things. With the help of great nutrition habits, lifting weights will make anyone look great naked. And that’s a great thing!
My hope is I can put these to bed and never have to discuss them again. But the majority of you reading this already know these so if you could forward to friends and family, it would help he education of the exercising public and maybe increase my subscribers! Until next time.
A common question I get from clients, “can I drink alcohol and still get results?”
As with most questions I receive, there is no yes or no answer, it simply just depends. It depends on how much and how much of what you are drinking.
I am a firm believer in moderation and balance. I believe you can achieve your fitness goals and still have a drink or two, here and there. So for argument sake lets define moderation; no more than one alcoholic drink for women and no more than two for men, per day. An alcoholic drink is defined as 4 oz. of an “adult” beverage.
So JB what are the drawbacks to drinking alcohol as it relates to my workout?
Glad you asked, here are 5 side effects to drinking alcohol and working out:
Muscles are composed of 75% water.Inadequate water intake zaps the muscles of strength. When alcohol is in the system the kidneys must filter large amounts of water to flush the alcohol out of your system, causing dehydration. Too combat this, after drinking alcohol drink 32 oz. of water. This should help with the dehydration and lessen your hangover.
Although alcohol is a carbohydrate, it does not convert to glucose like most carbohydrates but becomes a fatty acid and is more likely to be stored as fat. If you exercise and drink alcohol, it causes your fat metabolism to be put “on hold.” The caloric content of alcohol adds up to seven calories per gram. A 12-oz. beer, on average, contains around 146 calories, 13 g. of carbohydrate and a few vitamins and minerals. A shot of gin has around 110 calories.
Alcohol depletes vitamins A, B, C, calcium, zinc and phosphorus.This nutrients are vital in the retention and increase of your muscle. To combat this depletion, if you are going to drink take a multi-vitamin prior too. This will help decrease the depletion because you are taking in excess nutrients.
Alcohol increases estrogen in men, thus lowering the free testosterone in the body. Testosterone helps build muscle tissue.
This could go with fat storage but a common characteristic of a man or woman that drinks too much beer is the beer belly. Because alcohol is a toxin, the liver must filter it out of the body. If taken in excess over the course of years the liver will secret a fluid that will build up in the abdominal wall. Causing the dreaded beer belly.
2 “Healthier” Options
There are better options to drink than others. Again, these options are lower in calories but anything in excess, regardless of caloric value, will derail your progress in body transformation.
Is the most friendly of all alcoholic beverages, averaging just 20 calories per ounce for most wines. Check below!
Calories Per Ounce
||Per 5-oz Serving
||100 calories, 2 g carbs
||100 calories, 2 g carbs
|Zinfandel® White Wine
||100 calories, 2 g carbs
||100 calories, 4 g carbs
|Merlot Red Wine
||100 calories, 4 g carbs
Not exactly sure why it would be called hard but these are more caloric intensive than wine but not as bad as liquors, mixed drinks or some beers. Refrain from adding sodas to the mix or the calories will go up.
||Calories Per Ounce
||Per 1.5-oz Serving
||64 calories, 0.4 g carbs
||77 calories, 8 g carbs
||98 calories, 0 g carbs
||104 calories, 0 g carbs
||104 calories, 0 g carbs
||104 calories, 0 g carbs
||104 calories, 0 g carbs
||104 calories, 3 g carbs
||104 calories, 8 g carbs
||119 calories, 0 g carbs
A life with synergy requires balance and drinking alcohol has its benefits but also its drawbacks. Anything in moderation will be fine, the probably lies in excess and will lead to lower muscle tissue, increased bodyfat and lower quality of life.
We live in a world that goes 100 miles per hour…everyday. Sometimes the last thing on our mind is preparing food. Though a necessary evil, preparing our food is always the best practice, instead of eating out. However there are times where going to a restaurant are warranted.
For nearly 7 years, I traveled up and down the roads and eating out was the only option I had. Through that experience, I developed some “tips” to eat my body full of nutrients and to fuel my workouts at the same time eating out.
Here are my 5 tips:
1. Game Plan
If you know you are going to be traveling, Google the restaurants close and if need be look at the nutritional facts. If you are in a hurry or you have a business meeting, plan where you are going that you know has healthy options. To use the excuse of a meeting or didn’t have time, is not acceptable when there are so many better options.
2. Survey the Menu
There will always be better options and most places have a “healthy” option selection on their menu. Just look for it or ask the waitress. Texas Roadhouse in Lexington has the JB Fit Menu
3. Learn How to Order
When I order at a place I tell them specifically what I want:
“No seasoning” “No butter” “Grilled no fried” “Sweet potato plain”
To most this may seem like a pain but it saves you in the long run. Most cooks at restaurants will pile on the margarine and salt, making for an unnecessary nutritional nightmare. Just ask to not have it. I do it all the time, it will be OK!
So you steak comes with fries? Hey yo, substitute green beans for those fries or a plain sweet potato. Over the long run this will help you. Meal comes with two sides and everything looks like old school country fixings? Sub out a house salad (salad dressing on the side). Easy substitutions will save the calories in the long run.
5. Control the Portions
They give you too much food. You don’t need all the food they give you. Eat half and save the rest for lunch tomorrow (if healthy). No reason to big out if you do not need too.
5.1 The Table Setting
Some places will give you bread (for free) when they seat you. Resist or tell the host you do not want any bread. Resist the temptation before you gorge yourself on bread before a big meal.
5.2 Cookie Monster
“Would you like to see a desert menu.” Answer no! Again, you will fall into temptation that you will not be able to recover from. Just say no to cake!
Take it from me, I have done my fair share of eating out. But it should not interfere with your fitness goals and the way you feel. Hope you enjoyed this post!
I haven’t confirmed this with my parents, but I am quite sure that this is the first year I will not be attending the Great Minnesota Get Together since I was born 29 years ago. The Minnesota State Fair is my favorite “holiday” and a Minnesota tradition I can really get behind. Lutefisk being the only other Minnesota tradition that I [unwillingly] participate in each year, but who can get behind lutefisk as a tradition for anyone but their worst enemies?
It’s hard to pick the best part of the Minnesota State Fair. Is it the abundance of twangy country acts performing for free at the Leinie’s Lodge? The grandstand shows featuring bands that were popular decades ago, but you can still sing-a-long to? The people watching? The toothless carnies in the Midway or the plethora of food on a stick?
While the people watching is second to none, leading you to stare uncomfortably at entire families of people so rotund they couldn’t find a shirt to cover their belly and are eating chocolate dipped bacon on a stick. Going to the State Fair can really be an esteem booster as you leave wondering when the last time many of your fellow fair goers saw their feet. But, the people watching wouldn’t be half as entertaining without an artery-clogging treat on a stick to eat while you cattily observe.
It is especially fun to see what those crazy fair organizers will come up with each year to out-do deep-fried Snickers Bars. Some of my favorites include; pork chop on a stick, I’m convinced it tastes better just because it’s on a stick, mini donuts and the best Fair treat there is a buttery piece of sweet corn on the cob. None of the food on a stick I have encountered in Asia has been as tasty as Fair food, but it’s been much more bizarre.
Below are the top five foods on a stick I’ve had in Asia:
1. Ecto-Cooler Slime Dough Balls
These were actually looking like a good snack option as they were being made fresh at the night market in Luoyang, China. However, after we ordered them we were getting ready to pay when the sauce extravaganza started. First was a squirt of what looked like hot sauce, then a “healthy” helping of mayonnaise, which didn’t see too bad until she squeezed on the neon-green ecto-cooler slime and sprinkled pork floss on top. We ate them anyway as we had paid a whole 40 cents for them and I can’t tell you if they were good or bad because there were so many strange flavors happening at once it seemed like something only Willy Wonka could have dreamed up.
2. Ancient Ice Cream
This is genius, right up there with dippin’ dots only far less creative. From what we can tell this “Ancient Ice Cream” is no different than any other ice cream except in it’s cement block shape and high price. But someone is making money because we fell for it.
3. Deep fried gyoza roll
Read the rest of…
Erica and Matt Chua: Food on a Stick