My favorite smoothie!!!


I love making smoothies because they are so easy to make and taste great as well! My absolute favorite smoothie is very easy to make and packs a lot of protein. This smoothie is also very easy to make.

Here’s how simple it is.

1. 2 cups of frozen mixed berries

2. Adam’s all natural peanut butter (one heaping spoonful)

3. Ninja Blender

4. About 8 oz. of water

5. Red solo cup

6. Straw

7. Low-fat greek yogurt

8. 2 scoops of whey protein (about 40 grams of protein)

I simply throw all of the ingredients into the Ninja Blender and serve it up!!! Takes about 4 minutes or less to make this delicious treat! Enjoy.

2013 Fitness Challenge

Time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s crazy to think that the 2013 fitness challenge is here and just kicked off. This year I’m more excited than ever and ready to take my performance to a whole new level. This is my third year in the fitness challenge and now I have high expectations as I know what it takes to see results. I want to talk about the past 2 years and my results and how I’m more excited than ever for this year and what I expect to accomplish.

Recap of year 1:
Uninspiring results. Waaa Waa uhhh. This years results were down right pathetic. Here are my top excuses to why I sucked this year. I got a new job and wasn’t able to work 9 to 5 and then find time to work out. I didn’t realize what it meant to eat healthy. I used every holiday, birthday, going away party, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday through Sunday as an excuse to eat what I want. In my mind a cheat meal was justifiable each and everyday!!

Recap of year 2:
Great transformation! But not quite there. This year I really focused in on my cardio!! Towards the end of the challenge I was doing intense cardio about 5 or more times per week. I was doing kick boxing, soccer, running, and staying very active. I still managed to justify a few too many cheat meals, and looking back I’m disappointed that I didn’t stay consistent with lifting weights. I was doing lots of pushups and situps but didn’t hit the weight room as often as possible.

What to expect for 2013:
Time to take it to a whole new level. This Year I look to put it all together as Im more inspired than ever to win it!! Last year I lost the competition by one vote… Yes that’s correct one lousy vote. I thought I did well but when the results poured in I received 11 votes while Caleb received 12 votes! To say the least I was very upset and actually pissed off at first. I thought I did a great job and knew how hard I worked. I actually felt like I was definitely going to win because when I look at the transformation I saw a big transformation. Oh well it’s in the past. So, what does that mean for this year??? It means that I’m more motivated than ever to step it up. I know what I need to do and am ready to put forth my best effort. I plan to eat six healthy meals each day and lift 4 or more times per week. I will also do cardio 3 plus times per week. I seem to either have great exercise habits, or great nutritional habits but now is the time to put it all together and see just how far I can excel. So, let the games begin!!!

The Fitness Challenge Transformation



The fitness challenge is coming to an end and the results have surpassed last year by quite a bit… I was more determined this year to compete and give my all and it’s funny looking back because I didn’t realize I was that out of shape. That is the crazy part about health and fitness is that it’s a lifestyle and whatever you consistently do is where your results will be at.

Highlights…

  • LOST 17 LBS.
  • LOST 5.25 INCHES OFF OF MY WAIST (39 TO 33.75)
  • WENT FROM PACKING OUT A 38 JEAN TO FITTING INTO 33’S (I found an old pair of 33’s in my closet and tried them on…Still wear 36’s because I like a baggier fit)

Before/After Pics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before: 226 lbs. 39 in. waist

After: 209 lbs. 33.75 in. waist

This year I would say was a success for 3 main reasons:

1. My energy level went way up!

2. I learned how to eat way healthier

3. I saw some dramatic results


 

 

 

 

 

 

Where are you at with your fitness level? Do you have any questions, comments or tips? Please let me know I would love to talk with you and share more about the 3 month journey I was on.

Turns out everyday is a holiday or celebration…



The fitness challenge has less than a month to go and I’m starting to realize that everyday is a holiday or there is some reason to celebrate. Here was my breakdown of reasons to celebrate… March 14th went to see my best friend, Grant, in L.A. and hadn’t seen him in a while… March 17th St. Patty’s day… March 23rd was my b-day (turned 25, somewhere in between being old and still being young)… March 29th up to Bellingham, WA with all of my college roommates… March 31st a wedding… April 1st April fools … April 2nd is the first Monday in April… and so on!

It turns out that all my friends, family, Americans, relate celebration to eating whatever you want and not worrying about it cuz hey “It’s _______ (fill in the blank… i.e. your birthday!!!), so don’t worry about it!” This has to be the most difficult part of the challenge by far. I’ve been able to eat well throughout the days on all of these occasions but when the night rolls around is when my slip ups occur.    So what’s my advice? Don’t have friends, family or be social… or have really cheap friends so they don’t want to go out on the town… No I’m kidding, well half kidding.

I think one of the best things to do is make sure you have snacks around and make sure you take it slow on the festivities. I try to eat healthy food before I go out on the town and then I’m not going to down a whole pizza out of a hunger spike. Instead I might have a slice and feel satisfied with that. Also, because whenever I go out it seems to turn into a feast, I look to order a couple of things and then order more if I actually need it. This has helped me a lot in not overeating. As I’m writing this I realize how I used to really eat whatever I wanted and it’s kinda kinda crazy.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that experiences this challenge of always having a celebration so I would love to hear your thoughts and how you handle this situation? I would love to hear your comments because I’m still not the best at fighting off the celebration monster…

Reward system

During the fitness challenge there have definitely been some ups and downs. With these ups and downs it’s good to remember that overall I am working hard. I have been rewarding my hard work each Sunday with a treat. My treat of choice is a Kombucha
drink. Some of you may not know what this is (and those that do may say YUM or eewwwww) and to be honest I don’t even really know how to explain the taste of this tea/fruit drink/fermented concoction . The first time I had KombuchaI really didn’t like it, but I have grown to really like it. I like the fruity kinds but there are also more herbal kinds as well (I know stores like Safeway have very limited flavors, but stores like Whole Foods or healthier supermarkets tend to carry a better range or flavors).

According to Wikipedia…”Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that is often consumed for its anecdotal health benefits or medicinal purposes. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture.”

The 3 benefits that this reward does for me:
1. Let’s me celebrate good weeks
2. Makes me refocus
3. Makes me focus on being healthy

Let’s me celebrate good weeks

I think it’s vital to celebrate good weeks. It adds some fun to the challenge and helps make me feel like I’m really accomplishing something. I think if I didn’t do this reward system the challenge would grow boring and I wouldn’t be as focused. The celebration allows me to re-energize and get after it week after week.

StrengthForce.com Celebrate

Makes me refocus

The reward system has been a great way to reflect on my week. While I enjoy my Kombucha I take time to observe what I did great throughout the week, and take time to think about what I could do better. It makes me take at least 5 to 10 minutes to think about where I am and where I want to be.

Makes me focus on being healthy

I chose to make my reward something healthy and I feel like this has been awesome because originally when I was thinking of rewards I was thinking that I should reward myself with cookie dough ice cream or flaming hot cheetos. My thought was, hey if I workout and eat well all week I should reward myself and eat whatever I freakin’ want. The real truth behind that thought was, hey there’s no point in busting it all week just to do the absolute most counterproductive thing possible and sabotage my diet. Looking forward to a healthy reward puts me a great mindset and in the end is best for me.

What are some different rewards or ways that you celebrate? I would love to hear some ideas because I think it’s really important to bring a sense of fun to getting in shape.

Also, are there any other Kombucha fans out there? And what flavors would you recommend? My two favorites are ‘Strawberry Serenity’ and ‘Multi-Green’.

 

Hot yoga – I recommend it

I did hot yoga for the first time the other day and I have to say I am a fan. I wasn’t really sure about it at first. My preconceived ideas were that it would be very girly, too hot, and that I would be uncomfortable for an hour. The reality was that it was relaxing, challenging, and refreshing.

The goodness:
Relaxing
Challenging
Refreshing

I did Hatha Yoga, which to be honest I didn’t realize there are hundreds of types of different yoga styles… It was relaxing because the whole time it felt like a nice big stretch. I think doing yoga on Tuesday after having had an indoor soccer game on Monday was part of why it felt so great. I was sore from the night before and this really helped stretch/strengthen everything. It was also relaxing because the room was dark, it was silent, and I had the chance to focus on my movements.

I like that it was challenging! There were some poses that made me look like I was (according to the instructor) “Pregnant and sitting on a horse” which made me laugh. Here I was for my first time trying something new and the instructor called me out in front of 35+ people. I thought it was pretty funny. There were different poses which require balance and strength and then the heat added on top made it challenging.

It was very refreshing. I must’ve sweated at least 5 pounds of water weight. The most refreshing part for me was when it was over I went outside (about 35 degrees) and just kicked it for a couple of minutes. I’m not sure if that is healthy or not, but it sure felt good.

While I say I’m a fan there are a couple things that I did wrong or thought were bad about hot yoga.

The badness:
I didn’t re-hydrate enough.
Breathing (so many instructions…)

I left the yoga session feeling great and ready for bed, because it was tiring and almost 10 p.m. on a work night, and I thought I had replenished my body with enough water. The next day when I went to work I realized I had only drank about 12 oz. of water in the water bottle that was chillin’ on my passenger seat… So when I go again I’ll be sure to re-hydrate a lot more!

I found the breathing aspect of it to be challenging/annoying. Every time the instructor told me to exhale I felt like it would be a good time to inhale and vice versa. I was trying hard enough to just do the movements correctly and then he kept telling me how to breathe. My guess is that it will be much easier the more I go.

Overall it was a great experience. I will be going back again. In fact I get 10 sessions for $10 and only have 30 days to do it, so I may be going quite a bit in the next month here.

How I lost 3 inches on my waist in 3 weeks

I lost 3 inches on my waist in 3 weeks!! It’s true. I started the fitness challenge 3 weeks ago and came into it a lot more prepared than last year. This year I started out about where I started out last year, but I’ve already seen some decent results. I know it’s still early and I have a long way to go but I’m glad to see that I’ve lost 3 inches on my waist so far.

StrengthForce.com measuring tape

My waist started at 39 inches and (simple math) is now at 36 inches. The truth is I’m not looking to lose much more (if any at all), but I’m looking to transform everything from fat to muscle. So how did I lose 3 inches in 3 weeks… to keep it simple I’ll tell you the 3 main things that helped me.

1. Cardio

2. Weight Training

3. Healthy Snacks

1. CARDIO: I’ve been doing more cardio in the past couple of weeks than I’ve done in the past couple of months. My go to… Indoor soccer and the treadmill/stair stepper.

StrengthForce.com - Indoor Soccer

Indoor Soccer: It’s so much fun!!! I’m lovin’ it! I play on a co-ed team on Monday nights. The games are about 50 minutes long with a running clock. It’s a great workout because it’s so fast paced and the ball is flying from one end to the other. If you have a indoor soccer arena in your area I encourage you to join a league or go in for some pick-up games.

I recommend being in a league because it holds you accountable. For example: This last week I was exhausted from an 8 hour work day, I ate a large (healthy) chicken burrito at 5:30 p.m., then napped til 7 p.m. before a game at 7:30 p.m. and still made it to the game because my team was counting on me. I really don’t think I would’ve been motivated enough to make it to a pick up game. 

Treadmill/Stair Stepper: On the treadmill I’ve been walking for about 30 minutes at 3.0 to 3.5 mph which would be really easy but then I crank the incline to the max it will go (my treadmill is level 15). On the stair stepper I go for 30 minutes and put it at about the middle setting (10-12 out of 20) and do the fat burner program.

– Isn’t that way too easy??? On paper 30 minutes on the treadmill or stair stepper looks incredibly easy. That’s on paper. The truth is I’ve always found myself drenched in sweat by the end. If this is too easy for you increase the speed.

2. WEIGHT TRAINING: I have consistently been doing weight training 3 – 4 days per week.

StrengthForce.com - Olympic weights

I like to do something similar to the following:

Sunday: Chest and Bis

Tuesday: Legs

Thursday: Back and Tris

Friday: Shoulders

I definitely switch it up and make sure that I give myself enough time to rest.

3. HEALTHY SNACKS: Overall my nutrition has been AMAZING compared to my old eating habits. I really don’t stress too much about food and my main focus has just been eating 6 meals a day and only eating nutritious foods. I would talk more about my overall nutrition but my main point here is that my snacks have been a lot healthier.

StrengthForce.com - Snacking habits

Old snacking habits:

* Chips: I especially like flaming hot cheetos, and Tim’s Cascade Chips “Jalapeno Flavor”

* Fast food: Burger King, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut

New snacking habits:

* Smoothies: Frozen berries and greek yogurt, or peanut butter and bananas. I used to use a blender, but now I use a Magic Bullet since it’s so much easier to clean up and take on the go.

* Apples and healthy dips: Dips= honey, hummus, almond butter. Do you have any other ideas for what goes well with an apple???

– Apples I highly recommend:

1. Fuji apple

2. Golden Delicious

3. Granny Smith

I personally used to hate red apples until I got a fuji apple (highly recommended) and now I might like red more than green. My other go to apples are Granny Smith, and golden delicious.

I’m kind of a sucker for gadgets and I have to say I really recommend an apple slicer. It’s definitely really convenient and easy to prepare apples for snacks for later.

There you go! 3 simple ways that I lost 3 inches on my waist in 3 weeks. Please let me know if you have any great ideas or tips. I’m lookin’ to keep it simple.

Week 2 – This week gets a B+

Week 2 was overall a pretty great week. My nutrition was pretty much spot on, and I got some great workouts in. I want to share a little bit about my Highlights and Lowlights and share a Recipe that I HIGHLY recommend.

Highlights and Lowlights… 

Highlights:

  •  I finally got up and did a morning workout! That’s right, that means I woke up at 5 a.m. and made it to the gym for a 5:45 a.m. workout.
  • I did Ab Ripper X (P90X). This has left me sore for over 48 hours. It’s a great workout and isn’t all that long.

Lowlights:

  • A wedding… Let’s just say there was some great wine… and cheese… and meatballs… on the brighter side there was salmon, tons of vegetables, and dancing…
  • Still didn’t track my day to day weights. I know what exercises I did and how many reps, but I didn’t mark down how much weight I was doing. Goal this week, buy a fitness tracking planner and start recording.

Recipe…

Ahi Tuna Salad:
Ahi tuna – This was made with a big ol’ Ahi Tuna Steak from Costco

StrengthForce Healthy Meal

Directions:

1. Cut tuna into small chunks (about 1/2 inch thick and inch x inch)
2. Preheat pan on medium and spray with pam
3. Cook tuna in pan for about 7 – 9 minutes on medium heat
– Cook until turns brown (don’t overcook – it will get too tough)
4. Add spinach and ground pepper to tuna and cook about 1 minute more
5. Put this all on top of mashed red potatoes.
* Mashed red potatoes – Boil red potatoes about 10 -15 minutes and mash up (pretty simple)

YUM YUM and nutritious.

Strengthforce.com

Great week 1 – The best part of all…

Just started the fitness challenge last week and so far so good! The best part of all… is how great I feel!!! The endorphins are definitely flowin. I was sitting at work mid-week and found myself smiling and thinking dang I feel really good. I’m lovin this. It’s amazing what some solid exercise can do for the spirits.

Here is the breakdown for the week:

Day 1… Saturday: Full body workout with free weights

Day 2… Sunday: Back and Shoulders – free weights

Day 3… Monday: Indoor Soccer (Scored 4 goals in about 4 minutes!!!)

Day 4… Tuesday: Walked on treadmill uphill at 3.0 mph for about 35 mins.

Day 5… Wednesday: Rest

Day 6… Thursday: Chest and biceps with weights

Day 7… Friday: Rest

Day 8… Saturday: Back and Triceps with weights

Accomplishments:

I feel that week one was a good start. I started out with fairly light weights but I was still sore a lot. I broke a good sweat everyday I worked out and my nutrition was spot on. I had a lot of eggs and really enjoyed the Hynes Protein Pancake.

Hynes fitness pancake

Needs improvement:

I need to start tracking the amount of weight that I am lifting. I need a journal because although I was sore I don’t really know what weights I need to use this following week and it would be nice to know, especially because I’m looking to lift heavier and heavier and need to make sure that I am pushing myself.

Overall a great start and I’m excited to keep going. I appreciate any videos resources, recipes or anything else you feel could help me out.