I Need Your Opinion

opinion

I was a little disheartened by an email I got from an ‘ex’.

I say ‘ex’ because she’s now an ‘ex-reader’.  She probably has some of her own issues unrelated to me, but it still tends to hurt my feelings when I get this sort of thing.

hate mail

*Read from the bottom up on the string of emails

 

I think it’s a little cowardly to sit behind a keyboard and spew this sort of venom, but that’s just me. I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on the subject. My purpose is to provide helpful tips and advice. My assumption is that’s why you’re here. Any advice you can offer me to support YOU further is much appreciated.

I’ll go ahead and post the tips that I sent in that email despite the fact that I offended that person. In fact, I was flattered that a different reader asked me to post these tips on my Facebook page and on my blog too.  Sometimes I wonder if the info I share is a little TMI, but if anyone can benefit from even one tip, then I’m happy.

Here was the email that I sent out:

I returned from a week in NYC with my almost 20-year-old daughter Hannah. This was a trip that mother’s dream of having with their girl. Further to this, I was happy that Hannah asked me how I manage to stay lean and fit while traveling. I do a lot of it and she realized while traveling with me that it’s not always easy.

Here are a few things off the top of my head that we discussed:
A workout – A short 20 min bodyweight hotel workout is fine in a pinch. Getting a workout done in the NYC Lion Kingmorning is best so that the day doesn’t get away and excuses don’t pop up. It takes NO time at all and keeps the metabolism revved up.

Drink up – Water that is. For me it’s the cure for headaches and dehydration. Although difficult at times I have no liquid calories pretty much EVER (except the odd glass of Malbec).

No bread - This isn’t due to gluten intolerance, it’s just an intolerance to a ‘muffin top’ ;) This really works as hard as it is to do at some places especially, but passing on bread saves massive amounts of calories.

Cut out evening starchy carbs – Keep it to protein and veggies at dinner 99% of the time. Of course being in NYC, my ONE time break in this rule was a treat of cheesecake after the Lion King performance on Thursday. This leads to the next big idea…

Plan a cheat meal – It’s easy to pass on tempting foods when I know I can have them (eventually), Nothing is on the never never list. Here’s how I planned my NYC cheat: we didn’t have dessert all week, we had sushi with no rice and sashimi for dinner (low carb) and I did a metabolic workout with Kate Vidulich mid afternoon (filming for videos). Simple things to set up the perfect storm for a big treat. Oh, and I fasted until after my workout the next morning.
Regular sleep – Going to bed and waking at a similar time daily is key for me. We pretty much stayed on schedule with our own time zone (not always possible I know).

Step out of the comfort zone – Every day was an adventure. Did we know where we were going and what to expect? Not always. We didn’t risk life and limb, but we were definitely out of our element in the big city. Doing something scary makes you feel alive.

NYC times sq H and me

Do a good deed – I found a wallet and could only imagine the panic I’d feel had it been me that lost mine. I turned it into the doorman and was thrilled that I made some strangers day who came back for it 5 minutes later. I never found out who it was but, man, it felt good to know some one had a good day because of that small gesture.

These are only a few things off the top of my head: small things that over time add up to better health.

*****************************************************************

Make sure to let me know how you feel about the comments from ‘Barb’. And like my Facebook page here too.

Never Sit Down Never Grow Old

No one really plans on getting old.

Of course we all know it’s a reality, but it’s something that happens to others and it’s difficult to see in ourselves. Often it hits us in the face when we see a photograph or when we see someone that we haven’t seen in years. It’s either a pleasant surprise or a dose of a little too much reality (often served up with a dose of mortality on the side).

I just turned 51.

Fitness008This is a recent photo that I had taken and evidence that years of doing sweaty workouts are definitely time well spent. I’ve been a gym rat for over thirty years. I want to encourage all of you who hit the gym on a regular basis now to NEVER stop or sit down.

Life has a funny way of putting obstacles in the way of training. You might find that you’re super dedicated now, but then you may get a big job, you have a family, you go on holiday or may find any number of valid reasons to have an interruption in your training schedule and then it happens: you get out of your routine and your workouts are shelved. You may think it’s temporarily, but too often it’s longer than you plan.

I know you may say it ‘won’t happen to ME’, but seriously, I tend to be the exception and not the rule when it comes to the ‘super fit and over 50’ category. All my ‘gym buddies’ from past training days have long since found a comfortable chair while I have not. I don’t rely on stories of my ‘glory days’ as an athlete from the past; I continue to live the ‘glory days’ with personal challenges now.

Do you want to have visible abs when you’re 50? Do you want to be able to do pull ups, human flags, and have strength like you do now? I’m here to say it’s not only possible, it’s probable if you play your cards right. I’m as strong as I’ve EVER been and probably even leaner than I was in my 30’s. You can be too.

It’s the 10,000 hour rule: This is the idea that it takes approximately 10000 hours of deliberate practice to master something. The ‘something’ in this case, is your body. Sadly many people spend more time and money on their car than their body.

Here are ten tips to keep in mind so that years will be more of a friend than a foe:

- Consistent short workouts trump longer sporadic ones. Often times I get asked how long I spend training each day; more important is the consistent commitment of a short amount of training time over the long haul.

-Take notes. Training journals are helpful accountability tools. I can compare performance from 20 years ago. I know what my body is capable of and I can push my limits. I can log an ache or pain so I can track what caused it, what things to avoid, when to get treatment when needed and what treatments worked.challenge workout journals

-Small smart nutritional choices add up BIG TIME in the long run. You don’t have to be a total food freak, but making hard choices 80% of the time makes a huge difference in your physique over time.

-Beauty sleep is important. Having consistent sleep patterns help recovery and keep cortisol levels low. We know that a high cortisol level is associated with increased belly fat and adrenal fatigue.

-It may sound too motherly to say ‘moderation in all things’ however that’s what works when it comes to lifestyle.

-Training need not be ‘moderate’ though. In fact, ‘pedal to the metal’ is more like it. Train with passion, intensity and intelligence.

-Train heavy. Lift as much weight as you safely can to increase and maintain as much metabolically active muscle as possible. Muscle is the fountain of youth: it keeps your metabolism fired up and helps staying lean that much easier.

-Continue to setgoals goals and give yourself physical challenges.

-You may require more recovery between workouts. Listen to your body. Sometimes less is more, as long as less is part of a deliberate plan and doesn’t become ‘nothing’ when it comes to intense workouts.

-Pay attention, your body is an incredible machine, learn how it reacts to life: training, eating, stress, sleep, etc. The great thing about aging is it gives you more time in your own skin to really get to know yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.
I hope that you’re passionate about your physique right now. I hope that this is something that only grows in intensity. Your passion for training is hopefully as ingrained in your daily lifestyle as brushing your teeth. The challenge of maintaining a kick ass body as you age is really the epitome of all challenges where YOU become the ultimate winner with great health to live life to the fullest.

aging

I never use age as an excuse and neither should you. I can help you with your fitness through my blog and challenging workout plans. I know some of the workouts I post are a little too aggressive. Some of you may be very intimidated by the workouts I have on the here.

If this is you, I have good news.

I was lucky enough to be included in the videos for a program called Functional Fitness.

 

If you are:

  • new to fitness or at all intimidated by fitness
  • recovering from an injury
  • 50+ and need a ‘gentle’ approach
  • looking for ‘follow along’ videos
  • need ‘coaching’ along the way

This is an at home fitness solution for you.

Here I discuss the program with the creators, Dr. Cody Sipes and Dr. Dan Ritchie:

Here’s a sample workout:

Level 2 Workout #1

Equipment: Tubing anchored chest level, dumbbells

Time: 17 min

  • Split Squat–12 reps each leg
  • Sleeping Dog front and back–3 reps each leg
  • Two arm standing dumbbell lateral raises–12 reps

(repeat)

  • Standing alternating tubing rows–12 reps each arm
  • Sleeping Dog side to side–5 reps
  • Standing alternating chest press–12 reps each arm

(repeat)

  • Standing alternating lat pull down–12 reps each arm
  • Heel Toe Rocks–30 seconds
  • Side Step Ups–12 reps each leg

(repeat)

  • Bridge with arms together–3 reps (5 sec hold)
  • Bird Dog with limb movement to side–2 reps each limb

(repeat)

dan r functional fit 3 Never Too Old

This is a fantastic program to get you moving safely.  If you need a place to get started with your return to fitness, this is the one.

Check out Functional Fitness

dan r functional fit 4 Never Too Old

OR, if you’re ready for more of a challenge, you can check out my various workout programs:

Challenge Fat Loss

Challenge Jump Rope

Challenge Burpee

Challenge Complexes

Pull Up Challenge

Female Fat Loss Over 40

Do YOU have any ‘look and feel young’ strategies? I’d sure like to know. I can use any and all advice since I plan on living to be at least 150 years old ;)

(This is your cue to comment below!)

 

 

5 Things to Know About 4 Minute Workouts

Guest Post by Kate Vidulich

Author: 1000 Calorie Accelerators System BSc, ACSM, Master CTT

Burn 1000 calories in one workout?

Here’s one way from my pal Kate Vidulich, she has a video workout and an article below.  Well worth the read to dispel the mis-information floating around about the good ole ‘tabata’.

Check out this workout first:

The Plan: Circuit 4: Fat Loss Accelerator

- Do as many reps as possible in 45 seconds with perfect form

- Rest 15 seconds between exercises

- Repeat for 2 rounds (10 minutes total)

  • 4A) Walkout to Push Up
  • 4B) Ski Jumps
  • 4C) Prisoner Reverse Lunge (alternating)
  • 4D) Squat Thrusts
  • 4E) KB or DB Swings

This circuit is from 1,000 Calorie Accelerators System (Elite level) and designed for advanced folks only.

In the program, you’ll do a dynamic warm up, followed by a tough Ab Accelerator, a metabolic resistance training circuit and then do battle with this density fat loss accelerator.

If you like this workout, get the entire 1,000 Calorie Accelerators System here

5 Things to Know About 4 Minute Workouts

By Kate Vidulich

Some years ago, okay many years ago, I was a young Aussie whippersnapper studying at the University of NSW in Australia. One day in the research lab, we tried to replicate the infamous 4 minute Tabata workout from the actual study.

Oh. My. tired puppy

Fail. It wasn’t fun for one second. In fact, that 4 minutes was the closest I’ve come to a near death experience. No kidding. I was literally speaking French… and I don’t even know French. Or English for that matter. ;)

But this insane 4 minute workout craze has caught on – and thousand of people worldwide are rocking “Tabata” workouts without a clue what they’re actually doing. So when I see people doing “Tabata” squats, “Tabata” twerking, or God forbid, “Tabata” crunches, I can’t help but get my rant on.

It’s NOT the real deal.

Here’s what you need to know about the most-talked-about workout in the fitness industry today.

1. It’s ULTRA Intense

In the study, the Tabata group did a 10-minute steady state warm up followed by 7-8 continuous cycles of 20 seconds at 170% VO2 max, then 10 seconds of rest on a braked cycle ergometer (it’s a fancy bike in the research lab).

Do you have any idea how hard it is to sprint at 170% VO2 max for 2 seconds, let alone 20 seconds?

Imagine the feeling and intensity of the hardest exercise you’ve ever done. Now multiply that by a gazillion. That’s 170% VO2 max. And in case you’re wondering, it’s not fun.

2. It’s Not Proven Effective for Fat Loss

burn fatNowhere in the Tabata study did they mention anything about its effectiveness for fat loss. They didn’t even study it. In fact, the Japanese speed skaters were trying to improve their athletic performance to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Not to fit in their skinny jeans. So sure, maybe it does work for accelerating fat loss. Or not. It’s unknown. I personally think Tabata would work for fat loss, (well it better, right?) but it’s never been tested against any other interval training method.

Even the latest Canadian study in 2012 did not specifically measure fat loss. Instead, they showed doing “20:10 intervals” of bodyweight exercises does work for increasing cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance – which is awesome – but it’s not the same as true Tabata.

3. They did slow cardio too…

In the original study, the athletes trained 4 times per week using Tabata, PLUS another day of steady-state training at 70% VO2 max with the cardio group.

That’s right, over a course of a week, the athletes did one day of steady state cardio as well. 

Ruh roh. <= thanks Scooby Doo. Busted. The cardio police are on the way.

4. This protocol was tested on athletes, not humans

The subjects were Japanese Olympic athletes – to be exact. They were ichallenge workout throw upn peak physical condition and could safely push themselves to this insanely high intensity.

Which ultimately means that if you haven’t exercised in years, let alone done intense training, Tabata is not for you.

Why? Because you might throw up. And that’s not cool.

5. You burn approximately 15 calories/minute

A recent ACE study took the 20:10 “Tabata-style” protocol and tested it on real people. In a 20 minute “Tabata-style” workout, subjects burned between 240 and 360 calories, for an average of 15 calories per minute burned.

However, it should be noted ACE sponsored this research study, which always makes me suspicious it’s dodgy. Don’t bet your life on it being accurate.

Four minutes to fitness? Maybe not. As you can see, the 4 minute workout is no miracle fix. Sure, it’s better than nothing. But even with the afterburn effect in full swing, it’s not enough to create the calorie deficit you need to get rapid fat loss results.

So what can you do?

Simple. Your workout needs to be longer. Like the portion of the workout at the top of the page…

Get 1,000 Calorie Accelerators here You’ll use the ‘tabata style’ protocol along with other proven methods to burn the calories you need for the accelerated fat loss results you’re after.

 

kate 1000 cal accel prdt grp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Minute Total Body Workout

Guest Post by Derek Wahler

Beat up, worn down and mentally drained.  It was all finally starting to add up.  I felt embarrassed to even be feeling those emotions, but I couldn’t take it anymore.

For years, I prided myself on being the person who stuck with their workouts.  The problem was, I was doing it all wrong.

I would spend 60-90 minutes a day, 6 days a week, lifting weights, doing cardio and adding in some sprint intervals as well.  I tried all the popular home workout programs, as well as created my own, to get in the best shape I possibly could.

It’s hard to admit, but looking back on it now, I was doing all the wrong things.  Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t get seriously injured, because I literally didn’t give my body any time to rest.

At the time, I was like most of you who follow Shawna K. and read her blog.  I wasn’t in the fitness industry, just a guy with a regular day job at a software company, working 40+ hours a week.

I would work all day, head to the gym immediately afterwards to work out, then make it home around 8:00 for dinner.frustrated-woman-at-computer

That was fine when I was a single guy who didn’t have a whole lot of responsibilities, unless you count making it home in time for your favorite TV show, before DVR was around.

But it doesn’t really fly when your life starts to change.

After getting engaged, moving in with my fiancé’ and the coolest dog in the world (our yellow lab, Turk), getting married this past spring, and now expecting our first child, I can’t come home at 8:00 every single night.

Not unless I want to have all my clothes thrown out in the front yard, with our neighbors peeking through their window blinds, trying to catch a glimpse of the show.

I realized a change had to be made, which is where Turbulence Training and the godfather Craig Ballantyne stepped in.

In my career transition into the fitness industry, I became a Certified Turbulence Trainer.  With this came access to Craig and his MOUNDS of research studies.

Through our conversations, I let him know about my passion to create a shorter workout program, for busy people who don’t have hours to spend in the gym.

Then it happened.  One day, an email came through with the subject line ’10 Minutes’.

Inside there was a link to the revolutionary “Spark” study, which was conducted by Dr. Glenn Gaesser.  It was designed to determine if many short bursts of exercise would have the same health atweak i love burpeesnd fitness benefits as the standard 30-40 minute workout.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always skeptical about the extremely short workouts.

How much benefit are you really getting out it?  I can’t imaging breaking much of a sweat in only 10 minutes, unless you’re doing burpees the entire time (I can imagine Shawna’s eyebrows raising up curiously.  Sorry readers, I may have just given her a new idea!)

In the study, the exercises included walking, weight lifting, stretching, and aerobic dancing for 10-minute “bursts”.

Dr. Gaesser’s study showed results in just three weeks.

  • 10-15% improvement in aerobic fitness among middle-aged men and women; the equivalent fitness level of a person 10-15 years younger.
  • Increase in strength and muscular endurance from 40 to 100%; the equivalent strength level of a person 20 years younger.
  • A 15-point drop in total cholesterol; even higher for high-risk participants.  A 1% reduction in cholesterol reduces heart disease risk by 3%.  This means the average Spark study participant reduced their risk of heart disease by 20% – those in the high risk range reduced their risk by close to 40%!
  • LDL or “bad” cholesterol dropped 10 points in the group as a whole – and 29 points for those in the high risk range.  More importantly, everyone who started the study in the high risk range got out of it!

Those are some amazing results, simply by breaking up their workouts into short 10 minute bursts!

I was immediately hooked and started creating short 10-minute workouts to use in my boot camps, along as in my own training.

There’s only one caveat with the 10-minute workouts.  You must push yourself hard!  We’re only going for 10 minutes at a time (yes, there are short rest breaks included in some workouts), so in order to get the results you want, you must push yourself through each of the exercises.

intense workoutBut if you’ve done any of Shawna’s workouts, you already know that!

Here’s a special workout I created exclusively for all of you readers at ChallengeWorkouts.com.  It isn’t included anywhere else, it’s strictly for you.

The 10-Minute Total Body BombShell Workout

We’re doing this one pyramid style!  You’ll do 5 reps of each exercise, one right after the other.  Once you complete the first round, you’ll then do 10 reps of each exercise, followed by 15 reps, then back down to 10 and finally back down to 5 (5, 10, 15, 10, 5).

You’ll go up and down the pyramid as many times as possible in 10 minutes.  There is no scheduled rest, simply rest whenever you need to, especially when your form starts to dip.

  1. Prisoner Squat Jump
  2. Reverse Lunge w/ Knee Up
  3. Double Pushup Burpees
  4. Total Body Extensions

The key to the 10-minute workout is to make every second count.  We’re not adding in extra sets or reps in at the end.  Once the 10 minutes are up, you’re done.

It’s how you can strip away the unwanted belly fat, build lean muscle in a short amount of time at home, and most importantly stay off the ‘you know what’ list with your significant other!

If you like this workout, then you’ll love the 120 10-minute fat loss workouts I created just for you.  They’re easy to fit in throughout the day, so you can keep your energy levels up no matter what your day throws at you.

I Have 120 Additional 10-Minute Fat Loss Workouts for You to Check Out Here

About Derek Derek1

Derek Wahler is a Certified Turbulence Trainer, as well as a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  As a recently married man, with his first child due in a few months, he knows how quickly fitness and nutrition can be pushed to the side.

With his constant determination to make workouts shorter AND more effective, he focuses on getting advanced results in a minimal amount of time.  Derek currently lives in Madison, WI, where he runs his own fitness boot camp.  He also trains clients across the country online with his easy to follow home workout programs.  He’s also been known to spoil his yellow lab Turk (yes, he’s named after the Scrubs character!)

Pizza, Pull Ups and The Perfect Sub

Challenge workoutsQuestion: I love pizza :(  Do you have any alternatives so I can still enjoy it guilt free? Sort of like having my cake and eating it too, (but only pizza). Martin

Answer: Martin, here’s an interesting alternative that may solve your pizza dilemma, it’s definitely guilt free given that it’s dairy and gluten free and full of protein. Give it a try…

Pizza Chicken Roll

For the Dairy Free Cheese Spread

  • 6 oz (about 1 cup) raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon waterfamily friendly fat burning food grphc
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ clove garlic
  • dash of pepper

For the Pizza Roll

  • 4 organic chicken breasts
  • 30 slices pepperoni
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups pizza sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole pan with olive oil.
  2. Wash the chicken breasts and pound out to ½ inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Spread 2 Tablespoons of the Dairy-free Cheese Spread on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle with basil, then arrange pepperoni on top of the chicken breasts in an even layer. Roll each breast and place, seam side down, in the prepared casserole pan.
  3. Pour the pizza sauce over the rolled chicken breasts and sprinkle with the remaining basil. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through.
  4. Slice each chicken breast roll and serve warm.

You don’t need to feel guilty and you won’t get ‘fat’ and bloated from this meal. You can have ALL of your favorite foods with ZERO GUILT because all of the recipes in this cookbook are gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, and soy free.

And, in honor of author, Diana’s birthday, you can get it until tonight for half price. She has a ton of recipes so you can eat delicious foods and still burn belly fat all day long. Even I can make her recipes and they’re definitely worth the effort since they’re so healthy and yummy.

Check out the meals (and desserts) you can enjoy guilt free here.

*************************************************

Question: I’m on day 10 of the 21 Day Challenge Diet and I’m doing great. I have a function this weekend, would a couple Canadian 67 beer really hurt me at this point?  I had 10lbs I wanted to lose, I’ve lost 3.5 this week.  Chris

Answer: You need to ask yourself what your goals are and if you mind being set back a few days. It’s a slippery slope to not hitting your goals. If you can enjoy the weekend and a few beer and then get right back into the swing of things, then just realize that you’ll be a few days behind with your goal. It’s up to you. My purpose for you in doing the 21 Day Challenge Diet is to develop lifestyle skills that will be ongoing.

It’s all about finding a healthy balance, only you know what that is for you. I hope that helps your decision making. There will always be an event or occasion where food/drink is a temptation. It’s healthy to give in SOMETIMES, especially when you plan for it. Perhaps you’ll make this part of your treat meal that’s suggested in the program.

*************************************************

Question: If you could give ONE tip, what would you say to help me get from 5 to 10 pull ups? Don

Answer: Don, you’re doing the first thing already and that is to actually DO pull ups. Some folks do too many other movements, like pull downs and assisted machine pull ups and expect to increase their pull up power. This won’t work. Do more pull ups to increase max pull ups ;)

Now, to increase your max pull ups, here’s a good strategy.

  1. Do a max pull up test when you’re fresh.  ultimate pull up ebook cover
  2. Let’s say that on a good day, you get 6 clean pull ups.
  3. Every time you come across a pull up bar, do 1/3 of your max reps. (Just one set.)
  4. So you’ll do multiple sets of 2 reps all the time through out the day when ever you see a bar that you can pull yourself up to (at the gym, on a door frame, at the play ground, where ever you can!).
  5. Do this for 4-6 weeks.
  6. Re-do your max test.
  7. You should see an increase in your maximum reps without having over trained or risked injury to your joints.

Grab my Pull Up Challenge program for a dedicated plan to increase your pull up power. The cool thing with this program is that it’s very balanced so you’ll increase your strength and power in many lifts. You’ll also transform how you look and impress others ;) cuz doing pull ups is bad @ss)

*****************************************************full body extensions

Question: I am unable to perform high impact exercises. Do you have any substitutions for jumping exercises that I can do?

Answer: The perfect non-impact exercise to replace burpees, jumps and more is the Total Body Extension.

*****************************************************

Question: Are the 21 Day Challenge Diet  workouts meant to be done every day with a recovery day over the 21 days? I noticed there were 18 workouts so figured there was 1 recovery day per week. Sometimes I do my own workout. What do you suggest?

Answer: I love getting your questions but make sure to be asking questions and commenting on the Facebook group page where you’ll get a ton of support and encouragement.
As far as the 21 Day Challenge Diet workouts go, the whole point is to MOVE every day with intense workouts that are short. My intent is that you do something EVERY DAY, if you have your own workouts that you do, then that’s fine, but they need to be of the nature that mine are to experience the results that others in the Challenge Diet community are experiencing.

If you go for a 40 min run, you won’t get the same results as if you do a burpee workout for 20 min.

I’ve included 18 workouts, but some will be repeated depending on your fitness level, access to equipment and preference. Try to do some kind of workout daily, this is really the ‘challenge’ with the 21 Day Challenge Diet since you’ll see that the eating part is a piece of cake – well, not quite ‘cake’, there’s no real cake on the plan, but you know what I mean ;)

*****************************************************

Marcus Lutrell and meI was fortunate to be able to attend the Patriot Tour featuring Marcus Lutrell and several other ‘heroes’.

Four speakers took the stage prior to Marcus to share their stories of serving their country and what it means to them. The crowd was receptive and there were several standing ovations. Then Marcus and his dog, Rigsby took the stage.

Now I’ve read the book Lone Survivor and I’ve also seen the movie; while these were incredible, they just didn’t do Marcus justice. This man is truly a modern day hero. He comes across as a humble and modest man, really the reluctant hero.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, basically four Navy Seals were dropped into the hostile mountains of Afghanistan with the mission to capture a known terrorist. The team encounters the Taliban and a 3-hour gun-fight ensues. I’m not really spoiling the story by telling you that Marcus is the ‘lone survivor’. The story is beyond tragic but filled with inspiration and hope.

During his talk, Marcus clarified some points that were somewhat misrepresented in his movie. (If anything, the movie downplayed the situation that Marcus and Team Red Wing endured.) He spoke a little of his purpose to serve, all the while, his dog Rigsby sat on stage lazily.

As a Canadian, it was a little strange to be surrounded by all these American patriots on stage and in the audience. I have the utmost respect for Americans and particularly those that serve and protect (from all walks of life).

It was an honor to be able to shake the hand of Marcus, a man that was pushed to the limit doing the right thing.  He rose to the ‘ultimate challenge’ on the mountain. From what I can tell, every day since that fight for his life has been a challenge since. He’s driven to be a testimony to the men that died on the mountain that day. Please keep Marcus, and the families of the fallen men, in your prayers, I know I do.

Breakfast Bird Nests

You know that curbing your carbs will help you lose weight and tone up, so try this low carb breakfast. It’s a great way to eat some veggies with breakfast.

Servings: 4

Breakfast Bird Nests

Here’s what you need…

  •     4 large, round tomatoes
  •     1 teaspoon olive oil
  •     1 clove garlic, minced
  •     1 small onion, finely chopped
  •     3 slices organic, nitrate-free turkey bacon, chopped
  •     dash of dried oregano, plus more for garnish
  •     optional dash of salt (added salt is not in nutritional analysis)
  •     dash of pepper
  •     4 organic, omega-3, free range eggs
  1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2.     Wash tomatoes, slice off the tops and scoop out the insides. Place tomatoes on a pan, and bake for 5 minutes.
  3.     In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic. Add onion. Add chopped bacon. Saute for 5 minutes, until mostly cooked. Add the spices and mix well.
  4.     Turn oven to broil.
  5.     Fill each tomato with the bacon mixture, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top of each tomato. Crack an egg into each tomato then sprinkle with oregano. Place in the oven under broiler for 5 minutes. Remove from oven once the top has set, and you’ll have perfectly done over easy eggs.
  6.     For well done eggs: change oven temperature back to 400 degrees F, and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 98 calories, 5g fat, 162mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, .6g fiber, and 9g protein.

What Can I Eat? (Snack ideas and more)

challenge workoutsQuestion: Please let me know the next 21 Day Diet Challenge window since this one was completely passed by due to an insane schedule that barely allowed me to catch my breath.

Answer: You can jump on board the 21 Day Diet Challenge at anytime. You don’t have to wait for Monday or a certain date. People are starting at different times and it all works.

You’ll see folks starting, in the middle or finishing the challenge on the private page, but the good thing is that everyone is cheering everyone else on and providing advice and encouragement.

I hope you decide to join us!

*****************************************************

Question:  I am a meat and potato guy who never acquired a taste for vegetables other than potatoes, green beans, and maybe a carrot at times and can’t stand the taste of fish.  Are there any healthy recipes out there that you can recommend to a person like me????  Pasta and beef, or beef and potatoes are staples of mine.  Lean pork and chicken are good also.  But what I liked about your 21 Day Diet Challenge and workout plan was that you have all those great recipes for people (other than me).  People like me need your help too.  I am not so far out of shape, but good use a better diet, but a diet I will enjoy eating.

Answer: I wish I had a better answer for you :/ meat and potatoes

I think if I had an answer or diet that was super yummy with pasta and potatoes and could promise weight loss, I’d be the fat loss savior.

I honestly don’t think it’s possible and if anyone tries to tell you or sell you on a pasta and potatoes diet without any veggies, they’re probably full of it.

I hated veggies as a kid. At the age of 18 I decided that I wanted to be healthy and eat responsibly. So I kind of forced myself to try new things (veggies) and I developed a taste for them.

That’s my best advice. Try veggies cooked in various ways, try different salads and interesting combinations.

Yes, my answer may be lame, but it’s the truth, sorry I just can’t try to sell you a bunch of bologna (altho maybe you’d eat bologna? ;)

**************************************

Question: I love to eat tuna on whole grain cracker for lunch.  What is your suggestion for an alternative to crackers?

Answer: The tuna part of your lunch is great, the crackers, not so much. I’d choose a lettuce leaf over a cracker if possible. If that won’t work, you could try the Wasa crackers (not sure if they have them in your area), but they’re as low carb and low calories as you’ll get.

Most crackers are (sadly) very unhealthy.

I love this resource. It really helped me learn about fat burning foods, what’s healthy and what’s hype. Check it out here.

**************************************

Question: I love to snack but it seems all snack options are not very good for me, any advice?

Answer: I’m an advocate for eating often. It helps to keep blood sugar levels steady and energy levels up. I know that it may seem difficult to find delicious snack options that are healthy and quick. Here are some ideas:

real healthy recips pic

  • Handful of nuts      
  • Vegetable sticks like celery and carrot with healthy hummus or tzatziki (recipe follows)
  • Protein powder and a bottle of water ready to mix (keep this with you ALWAYS)
  • Small cans of tuna
  •  Protein and low carb muffins
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Apple and natural nut butter
  • Small tub of cottage cheese with fruit or veggies chopped through
  • Small bowl of natural Greek yogurt with berries and cinnamon

For more great ideas, go here

Try this fabulously tasty and healthy recipe for hummus with a twist from Diana at Real Healthy Recipes

Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Hummus

  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini (feel free to leave this out if you’re on a strict low-fat diet)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon waterhummus Snacks on the Run
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4-6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  1. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and combine until smooth. For a thinner consistency add water, 2 Tablespoons at a time.

12 servings

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals:  72 calories, 2g fat, 100mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 3g protein

Make it easy for yourself and take a little time on the weekend to plan for the week ahead.    These ideas and many more can be found at Family Friendly Fat Burning Meals

**************************************

bday dinner NYC 2014Speaking of food, I have a confession…I went to NYC to visit the one and only Kate Vidulich for my birthday. We ended up at the Strip House on Friday night.

Now, don’t get all excited here, the Strip House is a steak house in the village ;) (What were you thinking?)

Man oh man was it a great meal: filet mignon, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, broccoli, also someone ordered potatoes fried in some kind of delicious-ness and a few may have accidentally fallen down my throat.

Of course along with the food, the company was spectacular, we alwbday dinner Kate and me nyc 2014ays have a great time together. In a way, Kate and I live parallel lives. We both do online coaching, we both run a Fit Body Boot camp, and we both have a love of….cheesecake…

I figured I’ll only turn 51 once in a lifetime so we dug in….It was about the size of my head, so there was plenty for the four of us. Possibly the best cheesecake I’ve ever had.

NOT on the recommended ‘get lean’ snack list, but it sure was yummy. Sorry if my ‘Strip House’ confession disappointed you…were you expecting something else? ;)