Food Prep 101

I just posted a quick fitness tip on the topic of not skipping meals (TFT#45) and it made me think about the topic of food prepping. I’m sure you’ve seen pics of that “dedicated” person standing in front of what appeared to be mountain of food filled tupperware. This only gave you anxiety because you thought to yourself “how and the heck.. I don’t have time for that!.” Well, I can’t give you anymore time than you already have, but I what I can do is give you some tips on how to food prep. This WILL require that you manage your time, but it’s not as hard as you think.

So what is Food Prep?

Food Prep is simply making (preparing and packaging) all of your meals before hand so they are ready to be eaten at a strategic time. The goal of food prepping is to maximize your nutritional efforts which will in turn support your fitness, health, and performance goals. This doesn’t just apply to what you do in the kitchen, but also how your approach eating. Being prepared mentally is just as important as having all your food sorted and ready to go.

What will you need?

  1. zip lock baggies
  2. tupperware, but glass is better
  3. maybe a carrying bag (http://www.sixpackbags.com/) 
  4. time
  5. food, sorry I had to 🙂

Basic Tips:

Chop veggies Only twice per week-

  • chop half of your weekly veggie purchase as soon as you get home from the store and chop the rest when done eating the first half (3 or 4 days later).
  • once everything is chopped you can sort into baggies or glass containers. Your best bet is to sort the veggies by type; green peppers in one bag, red peppers in another bag, and so on.
  • the same approach should be done for fruit as well.
  • consume 1-2 fists of veggies with every meal.

Pre-cook your protein-

  • a BBQ grill is great for this, you can prepare a big batch of chicken, turkey sausage, burgers, etc.
  • my favorite protein right now is ground turkey and chicken thighs, so I make large portions of both it and take it on the road (to work) with me. I cook the ground turkey in a pan with olive oil and the thighs get thrown in the oven.

Make big batches of stir-fry and chili-

  • these two meals can be pre-cooked fully and then re-heated has needed
  • you can even freeze and use for later

Get personal meal-sized tupperware

  • we all have that cabinet in the kitchen that’s filled with all types of mis-matched tupperware. Clean that out and get all that organized. You might need to invest in some new containers. Are tupperware parties still going on??
  • fill your containers with last-nights dinner or your choice of veggies and protein

Eat wraps instead of sandwhiches

  • sandwiches are always the “go to” food item but usually they will be too low in protein and veggies.
  • Try a wrap instead! Pack it with some of that pre-cooked protein and some veggies.

Use blenders and shaker bottles

  • pre-blend your shakes are home and store them in the fridge at work
  • get a blender for office. The magic bullet will be a lot more discreet. https://www.buythebullet.com/

The Wrap Up

The hardest part of this might be getting into the habit of doing it. If you can’t plan for the whole week, start by only prepping and packaging your leftovers and build from there. As with everything that I coach, this process needs to be something that you can do confidently, so don’t be afraid to start small.

Yours In Health and Fitness,

Coach Rob 🙂

Credit Given to Precision Nutrition for “Basic Tips”

Where Do I Start??

Okay, so you’ve decided to get fit/ healthy and maybe you even re-activated your gym membership. Your fired up and motivated, but that big question looms- WHERE DO I START??

  • Do I focus on my eating?
  • Do I go on a diet? Which Diet: Paleo, Zone, Atkins, Soup, or whatever the hottest celebrity is doing?
  • Do I workout everyday? What type of workout: boot camps, HITT, TRX, Zumba, Pilates, Personal Training, or Yoga?
  • What supplements should I take? Do I need a fat burner?
  • Do I do all the above?

This list could continue, but you get the idea. When starting a fitness program there are so many things to think about and the “starting point” can become completely overwhelming.

So Where Do You Start??

FOCUS ON ONE THING AT TIME!! Yes, you should move more (exercise) and control your intake, but what’s most important is identifying what your Limiting Factor is. A limiting factor can be summed up as that “one thing” thats greatly impeding your progress. It’s the one thing that needs to be handled first and foremost.

A few examples are:

  • Exercise more Productivily
  • Consume less alcohol
  • Manage Stress
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Eat less processed foods
  • Increase intake of key nutrients and fiber
  • Start a supplementation regimen

The goal is to identify what factor is limiting you and then work to improve it. This will be your starting point! Once you identify your Limiting Factor (LF) convert it in to an action step- something that you can actually start working on. Keep it simple and make sure you’re completely confident that you can face this head on. If you are not 100% certain that you can follow through then make it easier. Don’t focus on multiple items, just focus on ONE. Make it easy!!

You will now spend the next 14days (minimum) on this habit and tweaking things up until it’s absolutely convient for you to do. Once this is completed, you will then pick the next LF and start the process over.

Be Creative

This is a creative process! A process where you create the type of lifestyle you want one step at a time. Everytime you identify  and begin to work on your LF you are in the process of creating future success. You are setting yourself up for sustainable progress. The objective here is to have a normal lifestyle that moves you closer and closer to better health and fitness. Many crash and burn because they “swing for the fences” and go all out. They neglect the power of “baby steps”!

Summary

So, if you are at the Starting Line in your fitness/ health pursuits and not sure where to start, begin by identifying what your Limiting Factors are and tackle them one by one. Start with the biggest and go from there. Remember, when conventing these factors into habits, seek to make it as easy as possible. Your confidence in following through needs to be 90%-100% otherwise you will get frustrated and end up crashing. This does not need to be about will power! This needs to be strategic, so spend some time thinking through your biggest road blocks and make a plan (a simple one). Make this process personal by taking inventory of your lifestyle and look for “opportunities” where you can make the greatest inroads.

  1. Make a decision to start
  2. indentify the limiting factor
  3. convert into a habit and action step
  4. be 90%-100% confident that you can do this
  5. Work on it for 14 days, tweak things until the habit is “convient and doable”
  6.  Repeat process and start anew with the next Limiting Factor

Yours In Health and Fitness,

Coach Rob

Bulking 2.0: Your Guide To Lean Gains

Fall is upon us and if you are a seasoned lifter that usually means- its time “bulk”. In this peace, I’m going to share with you some ideas that you can use to add mass without getting FAT. The whole idea of bulking (putting on excess fat pounds to gain an edge in increasing muscle mass) is an old school approach and is simply counter productive.The notion of Getting Fat to Get Gains is WRONG!!! I’m going to address some strategies that can be employed to help you pack on some lean mass this winter.

Two Reasons why you don’t want to get too fat (BULK) when trying to add muscle:

  • your fat cells will produce estrogen (not something you want to have too much of, if trying to add muscle)
  • your leaning out strategies will only be harder

Nutrition

Nutrition is at the core of adding lean gains. To build more muscle, you will have to lift with more intensity (heavier loads) and to do this you will need fuel. Here are several nutritional insights:

  1. Increase Calories Slowly: You will have to increase your caloric intake to support hypertrophy (muscle growth) but, don’t do this all at once. Pick one meal to increase and go from there. If the gains are too slow then you can increase portions at another meal. The goal here is to make baby steps, that way your efforts don’t spill over into fat gain.
  2. Optimize Your Protein Intake: The amino acids found in protein is the building blocks of muscle tissue, so adequate protein consumption is a must. General range is 0.8grams – 1.5grams per pound of body weight. A healthy individual thats training intensely should go for the upper end of this range. A word of caution here: You Dont Need Mega Doses of Protein to build muscle! Taking in hugh quantities will not make the process any easier. Excessive doses of protein will be excreted out of the body thus putting more load on the kidneys. Use the palm of your hand to determine amount of lean protein per serving. Men can consume two palm-sized servings, while women can consume one. Good sources of protein include poultry, grass-feed beef, eggs, venison, bison, fish, and protein powders.
  3. Carbs Are Okay: there has been so much controversy over this important macronutrient. Heres the deal, don’t fear carbs because in of itself it will not make you fat. Carbs are converted in to glycogen which is what your muscles will need to push through those heavey lifts. If you are active in the gym and having an generally active lifestyle, then your body will need this fuel source to keep you at optimal levels. Well… how much?? Don’t focus on a number, but focus on getting your carbs from wholesome sources like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa, sprouted bread, whole-grain pastas and brown rice. Use your cupped hand to determine the amount of grains you should have. I don’t recommend having carbs at every meal, but typically consuming them around the time you are going to be active. Something else to consider is to cycle your carbs. By this I mean being aware of your activity and adjusting your carb intake accordlingly. For instance, if you’re traveling or stuck on a project that cuts back on your ability to train, lower the carbs. This will ensure that you’re not taking in extra energy that you wont need.
  4. Your FAT Friend: you need fat because healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated) help to keep testosterone elevated and keeps your joints lubricated. There are a host of other benefits but we won’t go into it here.

Training

Now that you have the fuel to grow, its time to put in the work. Luckily, building muscle is less confusing than nutrition. To build muscle this simple truths still applys: Lift Heavy and Lift Often!! The blueprint is below:

  1. Perform Your Reps in 8-12 Range: this range is the general sweet spot for creating more hypertrophy. This allows the load to be heavy enough to be challenging while allowing you to get a good muscle pump (getting blood and nutrtients into the muscle bellys).
  2. Use the Big Lifts: Squats, Deadlifts, Squats, and Rows are the foundational exercises for putting mass over the entire body. By working this movemements progressively, every major muscle group (and then some) will be stimulated for growth. Isolation movements are good, but big compound movements are better.
  3. Be Progressive: the progressive overload principle says that a muscle needs to be constantly challenged with heavier and heavier loads in order for it to grow. The body is highly adaptive, so if your not consistently pushing your boundries, then you are flirting with stagnation. Periodize your training, by making it a plan to lift heavier loads.
  4. Embrace Failure: to know that you are getting everything out of every lift and every set, you need to train to musclular failure. Have a rep range in mind, but don’t focus on that!! Your focus is on getting every little bit out of your muscles. This will take intensity and focus. If you get to rep 12 and you can keep pushing, then keep pushing. The numbers don’t dictate the workout, your Intensity does!! 
  5. The “C” Word: remember what we are talking about adding lean mass. You need to keep a steady dose of “aerobic” activity in your program. Cardio will help you metabolize all the calories and will maintain general conditioning so you can be at your best under the heavy weights. Find the right amount for your particular body type but don’t over do it.

So there you have it, The New Bulking Plan!! Getting fat as a means to add “muscle mass” is just plain laziness. Take your time and be methodical about how your approach this, it will save you time and frustation when it comes time to really leaning out.

 

Yours In Health and Fitness,

Coach Rob

This For That #27

A glass OJ is missing the pulp, skin, and full fiber content of a orange. Skip the glass and go with the whole piece of fruit to reap the benefits of this healthy snack

One 8oz glass of OJ has close to 2.5 times the sugar and just one-third the fiber of a typical piece of fruit. The stats from caloriecounter.com: the small juice contains 112 calories, 0.1g fiber, and 20.8g sugar, while the fruit has 45 calories, 2.3g fiber, and 9g sugar

Eat your fruit, don’t drink it

Try it!!

#eatitdontdrinkit #fruit #cleaneating #healthyeating #swapping #upgrade #thisforthat #maketheswitch #skillsforlife #fitnessisajourney #fitnessmotivation #wellness #health #r2 #resurgentfitness #coachrob

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This For That #26

This is the worse.. You plan on going out to have a nice healthy dinner with every intention on keeping it low cal. And this is what ends up happening, you end up doing everything in your power to not eat the bread or you just give in altogether.

Why put yourself through that hassle and temptation?

Put yourself in the driver seat, stay home and cook! Cooking at home will more likely result in a healthier meal.
So your not the cooking type? Well maybe it’s time that you become more savvy in this area. There are countless recipes and food books out, so just pick one and make an attempt.

Try it!

#swapping #cook #eatinnotout #upgrade #thisforthat #maketheswitch #skillsforlife #fitnessisajourney #fitnessmotivation #wellness #health #r2 #resurgentfitness #coachrob

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This For That #25

Eat a PB&J or another post workout snack rather than buying a protein bar.

We need post-exercise fuel but not in the form of excess sugars.

Try it!

#postworkoutfuel #makeityourself #nutritioniseasy #swapping #upgrade #thisforthat #maketheswitch #skillsforlife #fitnessisajourney #fitnessmotivation #wellness #health #r2 #resurgentfitness #coachrob
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This For That #24

If you are new to exercise or even a seasoned lifter then you probably know what it’s like to be sore after a workout. Instead of popping an otc (over the counter) anti-inflammatory,
try a glass of tart cherry juice.

Tart cherries are loaded with important nutrients such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. It’s only 137 calories per 1-cup serving, and it is beneficial for cancer prevention and heart health.

Try it

#swapping #upgrade #thisforthat #maketheswitch #skillsforlife #fitnessisajourney #fitnessmotivation #wellness #health #r2 #resurgentfitness #coach#swapping #upgrade #thisforthat #maketheswitch #skillsforlife #fitnessisajourney #fitnessmotivation #wellness #health #r2 #resurgentfitness #coachrob
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Underperforming Client? Poor Sleep Habits Could be to Blame.

Do you ask your clients about the quality and duration of their sleep, and offer them help if they need it? If not, you should! Chronic sleep deprivation, so prevalent in our competitive culture, may be to blame for all sorts of common complaints you hear from clients — why they crave sugar, feel fatigued, seem moody or depressed, can’t focus…

http://blog.quve.com/underperforming-client-poor-sleep-habits-could-be-to-blame/