How To Kickstart Your Day(And Metabolism)

How To Kickstart Your Day(And Metabolism)

Breakfast. The Cornerstone Of a Healthy Metabolism.

I know, you don’t have time… there’s a million and one things to do before you leave for your busy day. That doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice your health & well being because of one meal.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~Sun Tzu

No matter what your goals are, if you don’t fuel up properly you won’t make it to the end.

“I know I should eat healthy, but I don’t have time” or the more famous “I grab a banana/bagel/apple/(insert food) on the way out the door and eat it on my way to the office” type of thinking is the noise before the defeat. Getting a nutrient balanced breakfast(sorry, coffee doesn’t count) is not easy… trust me, I understand, I’m up and out the door before 4:45 every morning!

Like I said before, breakfast is the cornerstone of a healthy metabolism. There’s a rule I like to stick with, 30 Grams of Protein within 30 Minutes of waking. This is a surefire way to get your metabolism going for the day and prevent a number of metabolic disorders, it also keeps your energy topped off for the day, so you don’t have to reach for that 4th cup of coffee at 10am!

So, now that you have a basic understanding of the importance of properly fueling up for your day, here’s a simple way to make sure you get your protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake quick and easy( did someone say minimal effort and time?) during your busy morning routine. Although, making a less busy morning routine would be ideal, let’s start small and we’ll work up to the harder stuff… After all, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Now, this doesn’t seem difficult on the surface, but the discipline to keep at it every day long enough to create a habit is what will really make all the difference.

Now, on to the simplest breakfast you’ll ever have to (not) cook.

Overnight Oats

There’s some key building blocks to this that shouldn’t be changed. If dairy is a problem for you, it will be difficult to meet the same amount of calories, although most people are okay with the Greek Yogurt, make sure you know your body and what it can handle before you do more damage to your digestive system!

While almond milk or full fat coconut milk are substitutes, they don’t offer the same amount of protein or probiotics found in Greek Yogurt. So if you can, make sure to include it in the ingredient list. Sticking with a high quality brand helps, so no Great Value or knock offs here, after all, your health is worth more than the few extra pennies you save by going with a “store brand”. Also, avoid using soy milk on a regular basis, every once in a while is okay, but you’d be shocked how much soy is in foods you eat daily and like anything else, it can have adverse health effects if too much is consumed. Plus, soy is right up there with corn in terms of being GMO and laden with pesticides…

Foundational Ingredients:

Steel Cut Oatmeal.

Why Steel Cut? According to men’s health: “Steel-cut oats, like those found in McCann’s Irish Oatmeal’s metal tins, are almost fully intact, including the bran. As such, they’re high in fiber, burn off slowly, and will keep you feeling full for hours. “The more whole the grain, the longer it takes for the body to break it down,” explains Kleinert. But few people will spend the 30 minutes to make a pot of hot cereal in the morning. Skip the time suck by cooking a pot, freezing it in individual portions, then simply thawing and heating it.”

Now, letting these sit and soak will take care of the cook time, so the whole spending 30 minutes to cook it thing is kind of out the window, plus, the longer soak will make the oats easier to digest. It’s a good idea to soak/sprout all of your grains before cooking them.

Plain Greek Yogurt

Why plain? Mainly, there’s no added sugar(which we’ll be adding in form of fruit, honey or maple syrup). You really don’t want to be spiking your blood insulin first thing and having that crash later on in the morning anyway… kinda defeats the purpose of doing this whole breakfast thing.

Organic Whole Milk(Or Almond Milk/Full Fat Coconut Milk)

I try and stick with the milk if possible. Make sure you can handle it though, last thing you want is to be huddled up in a corner(or on the toilet) just to get a few extra grams of protein and fat… Almond milk or preferably Full Fat Coconut Milk are other options if dairy is out. I know most people hate the flavor of coconut, however, I’ve found once your a few bites in it really isn’t that bad.(I’m not a coconut fan myself…) The issue with almond milk is kind of twofold 1.) the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions that people absorb the nutrients in milk and milk products better than they do those in plant-based milks(from Livestrong.com and 2.) without getting into too much sciencey stuff, there are ingredients in almond, soy, and rice milks used to thicken them(texture is an issue with some people) that is thought to cause health issues related to digestion(i.e. inflammation of the “gut”). So, if you can stomach it, go with the Organic Whole Milk or just skip the milk and stick with the yogurt, using water instead.

Chea Seeds

Yup, you got it right, just like the commercial we all remember – Chia Pets! These little seeds are loaded with fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids in addition to them being a great digestive aid. A big bang for your buck here.

Honey/Maple Syrup

I personally like to stick with the maple syrup here. It seems that a bit more honey is required to get the taste right, and that means more simple sugars. Now, honey has several health benefits and shouldn’t be avoided at all costs, but you should play around with the ratios here and maybe even do a hybrid. I typically get honey in other times throughout the day, like my favorite post workout desert – peanut butter & honey toast. Either way, your better off than throwing a lump of sugar in the mix!

The Portions

  1. ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt.
  2. ½ cup (heaping) rolled oats.
  3. ⅔ cup unsweetened milk of choice.
  4. 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax meal.
  5. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
  6. Pinch of salt.
  7. 0-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup.
  8. Slivered Almonds(optional)
My Own PB&J Concoction 🙂

These are just the basic ingredients, and you can go crazy from here, anything from a PB&J to chocolate Peanut Butter Banana, or whatever other concoction you choose to cook up.

Personally, I like doing the above ingredient list with some raisins and a 1/2 serving of Muscle Gain protein powder and my girlfriend prefers to mix it up and put no protein in hers, but it takes no extra time to mix em all up at once.

Once you have the ingredients combined in a mason jar, mix them up with a spoon or by shaking then put the whole thing in the fridge to enjoy in the morning. I find that if you want a nice toasty warm breakfast microwaving for 1 minute, stirring, then about 30 or so seconds gets it to a nice “just right” temperature, but you’ll have to experiment with your microwave’s cook times.

Remember, this is something you want to do within a 30 minute window of waking up, it’s an easy way to get breakfast nailed down and takes barely any time to either cook or consume in the morning. We typically like to do at least 3 or 4 days worth of these little guys to keep us on track, otherwise someone forgets breakfast(it’s not me…).

A little hint that will help you make this a habit is to do this consistently for at least a month, after that, 90 days, once you’ve done something for 3 months basically it is a habit and will be extremely hard to break. So, come hell or high water stick with it and make it happen and watch the difference it will make in your energy level, strength(if you’re into that sorta thing), and body composition(if it’s a goal of yours).

Some More Recipes 🙂

  • ½ c old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed
  • 1 tbsp. all-natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter powder
  • ½ banana, diced
  • ¼ c non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ scoop protein powder**
  • 2 packets of Truvia (or sweetener of choice) Dash of cinnamon Honey
    Source: www.bornfitness.com

(Sample Recipes from Wholefully.com 8 classic overnight oats recipes below)

Chocolate Peanut Butter

  • ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (heaping) rolled oats
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxmeal
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 0-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Banana Chocolate Chip

  • ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (heaping) rolled oats
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax meal
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 0-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • ½ ripe banana, chopped or mashed
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips

Tropical Fruit

  • ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (heaping) rolled oats
  • ⅔ cup full-fat coconut milk (in the can)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax meal
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 0-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh or canned pineapple
  • ⅓ cup chopped ripe mango
  • ½ ripe banana, chopped or mashed
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
Your Fitness Tracker’s Dirty Little Secret.

Your Fitness Tracker’s Dirty Little Secret.

In the last few years these fitness trackers have been all the rage.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

They’re popping up just about everywhere, from your local friendly Walmart & Walgreens to Amazon and everywhere in between, and are made by everyone from Apple(a computer company…) to the big names like FitBit & Jawbone and all the little cheapy guys trying to imitate their big brothers in the industry.

But why then, with so many people owning these little gadgets, are there still so many people not achieving their fitness goals?

Let’s start with a fun story…

A client of mine was telling me last year or so she had a friend in California who owned a FitBit and was obsessed with getting her step goal for the day… even if she cheated.

What her friend did was quite ingenious, while stuck in the godawful traffic I’m told plagues Cali, she would shake her hand back and forth to get her step count for the day!

Genius, right?

Well, no.

Here’s the dirty little secret about that ol fancy piece of jewelry around your wrist.

We, as human beings, LOVE to feel like we’ve accomplished something. Even silly little things that, in the grand scheme of things don’t make a significant impact on the end result. Honestly, who brags about getting their step count in for the day…

We like this so much in fact, we’d be willing to cheat ourselves out of results to get the perceived amount of “activity” for the day.

This can breed some bad habits.cigarettes-723126

For example – If you’re cheating on your steps, you’re probably going to be less likely to track those couple handfuls of candy you had at the office today, after all, there was only 14 pieces (each time), so they don’t really count, right?

Or maybe…

You actually did your steps for the day, so you decide to skip the gym and go out to celebrate with a healthy(ish) dinner and an adult beverage…(okay, maybe 2 or 3, it’s been a hard week at work… so far – wooo! made it to Wednesday!!)

You can see how this spirals out of control.dizzy-148161

I’m not saying to throw out your fitness tracker. What I’m warning against is the inappropriate use of a tool that can help you get better results, but can also destroy them just as easily.

In fact, most fitness trackers will say you’re average  strength training routine only burns about 100 cal or so, I don’t think that’s totally accurate, especially if you’ve been to one of my classes…(I can assure you, you burn much more than that)

Take the info with a grain of salt.

The information is only as good as what you use it for, and sifting through and finding the right data is key.

I could honestly go on for quite a while on the do’s and don’t(s) of what info you should look for, but where’s the fun in that, this would easily turn into a 4,000 word post, and it still wouldn’t help you get the best results. Remember, everyone is unique, so it’s impossible to discuss every variable…

Here’s what I’ll give you(to wet your appetite)

Start with what you want to achieve.

Determine what “data” will best help you get to that goal – and throw out the rest.

journal-1577764Be ReligiousTrack everything consistently and monitor the changes(results) you see on a somewhat regular basis. I’d say no more than once a week, and even that is pushing it…(scale weight one week, measurements the next, body fat % the following week, you know, that ol chestnut)

Pick 3-5 “variables” to track(the input) more than that is too much and will cause more harm than it will help. **HINT: Food Journaling is THE THING that will help most out of anything(Nutrition is King), after that would be sleep(shoot for 8 hours a day), then workouts, then daily habits(what you do at work and whatnot)

I’m sure I can think of more things to track, but honestly even the last one is kind of pushing what you really NEED to have, but hey, do what works for you. Just keep in mind, the more focused your efforts on the things that will make the biggest change the results will come faster, and stay longer.

As far as tracking output, like I said above, don’t jump on the scale every day, or even 2 or 3 times a week. The best thing you can do, honestly, is notice how you’re clothes fit compared to how they used to. And a $1 tailor’s tape measure is going to be your absolute best bet for tracking what’s actually going on(I don’t know the name exactly, it’s one of those flexible cloth-like things they use for measuring tuxes and such, you know the one)

If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do, feel free to drop me a line (justin @ post35.net) and I’ll be happy to help you out as I do have some experience with these things.

Stay Strong My Friends

~Justin

What I’ve Been Reading, Why You Should Start(why you should even care)

What I’ve Been Reading, Why You Should Start(why you should even care)

blue-eyes-1684954

I know, this may not seem like a big deal to you… but…

I was hit by a stroke of “inspiration” to write this post the other day after perusing through some emails between a friend of mine and myself, and noticed he’s sent out an email entitled “What I’m Reading” to his nutrition clients.

At first I was like, “why the heck would he share that, nobody really cares, do they?”

I know some of you might not care about WHAT I’m reading, and I’m going to share with you anyway, and that’s fine, but you should read on to see WHY I’m reading them. (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not my first time through these books!)

So, while I’m sitting here enjoying my cup of coffee and burning some hard earned coin to help warm my old bones, I can shift my focus away from such silly things as my toes being cold or contemplating what I’m going to eat for lunch toward more productive things.

So, why all about these books then, eh?books-1002123

First off, this post has nothing to do with the actual books!

Jim Rohn always talked about growing your library and gaining new skills…. sales skills, job specific skills, personal development skills, physical skills, cooking skills, you know, skills. His reasoning is that(at the time) we were approaching a new millennia where new frontiers that had never been made available to us before are available at our finger tips(and fast). And that so succeed, at anything really, you need to grow your skillets and knowledge to get ahead and become successful.

So really what it does have to do with is making you(and me) better.

“They” say knowledge is power, and the more you know…. I’m calling bull on that, because you can know and not do and the knowledge does nothing, it’s the application and understanding of the knowlege that makes the great people great. It has nothing to do with regurgitating “facts” or “statistics” or whatever, you need to internalize what you read to get a good understanding of what is written down in black and whit right in front of you, otherwise they’re just words on a page.

And that is the reason I read(and the reason for this rambling session)

Over the past year I’ve filled up my Audible library with countless personal development, fitness, and nutrition books, again, not in the hopes of being able to spit out facts at people(you know how much everyone loves those people) but so I can apply what I learned into practice, make adjustments, learn from mistakes(the right way), and move forward better than I was yesterday, last week, last month, or last year…

So if you want to get good at something, I mean really good, this is where your focus needs to be, in exercising the most important tool you have – Your Brain.

Here’s my current selection of literature, to give you an idea of the randomness I’ve been using to develop my person.

  1. Fat Loss Happens On Monday – Dan John & Josh Hillis
  2. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg

Now, obviously the first book is very industry specific, and is usually what most people focus on when they’re in a specific job type thing, but the second… that’s for yours truly.

You see, I’m probably one of the most disorganized people there is… I mean, I know where my stuff is(mostly) and I try to get a lot of things done, but sometimes I just end up becoming my own worst enemy because of several things, and that’s where this book has started helping me out. It’s a work in progress, trust me, but it helps me analyze myself(not easy) and start implementing steps to improve(slow and steady) in a way that the principles stick.

This is the ultimate goal.

Not just to know the stuff, but to apply it, otherwise why did you read it in the first place? Really…

This brings me back to my original point.knowledge-1052010

How many times do you think I’ve read these books?

Once…

Twice….

I’ve read each one of these at least 3 times, and plan on reading them more as time goes on…

The first time through you may not pick up little nuances, you know those things that will help you have a break through? Those little nuances…

It might be the state you’re in or you’re focused on a specific idea or thought so much you missed something right after, or even the fact that it may apply now where as before you weren’t ready for the bit of wisdom imparted to you by the author.

Whatever the case is, it’s important you don’t just read a book once and put it down forever.

I’m reminded of an old martial arts saying that’s been quoted by Bruce Lee and some other sorta famous people…

Fear not the man who had done 10,000 different techniques one time, fear the man who has done one technique 10,000 times.

The point being, the more practiced the skill, the more effective(deadly in the above example). This is how you should treat anything you do, as practice, and the game is life. There’s no timeouts, no do-overs, very few breaks, but a huge reward for succeeding. Wether you’re trying to lose some weight(practice cooking), get stronger(practice movements), learning to defend yourself(practice techniques), or get a new job(practice necessary skills), the key is to be disciplined, doing what’s needed when it’s needed and sticking to the plan. Even bad plans if stuck to produce better results than a good plan not followed.

The next step for you my good reader is to go out, buy a book in an area you want to improve and read it, read it again, and read it again until you have the material down so well you can’t get it wrong and watch yourself grow into a new, better person.

Stay Strong My Friend.

~Justin

P.S. Here’s a list of books you should check out:
(I’m sure there’s more I’ve forgotten/haven’t read, if you have some favorites, comment below)

Fitness
Fat Loss Happens On Monday(from above)
Intervention – Dan John
Simple and Sinister – Pavel Tsatsouline
Boxing WOD Bible – P. Selter
Paleo Workouts for Dummies – Pat Flynn
Training for Warriors (series) – Martin Rooney
Enter the Kettlebell – Pavel Tsatsouline(pdf is available FREE online)
Power to the People – Pavel Tsatsouline(pdf is available FREE online)
Relax Into Stretch – Pavel Tsatsouline(pdf is available FREE online)
Athletic Body in Balance – Gray Cook
Can You Go? – Dan John
The Gray Cook Lecture Compendium -Gray Cook(Audible)

Business/Personal Development
The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster – Darren Hardy
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Jack Trout, Al Ries
Zero To One – Peter Theil, Blake Masters
Trust Me I’m Lying – Ryan Holliday
Anything written by Tim Ferriss
Growth Hacker Marketing – Ryan Holliday
The Content Code: Six Essential Strategies to Ignite Your Content Your Marketing and Your Business – Mark W. Shaefer
Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger
The Like Switch – Jack Shafer, Ph. D. Marvin Karlins
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business – Gino Wickman
Traction – Justin Mares, Gabriel Weinberg
48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene
Free – Chris Anderson
The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason

Other Books(for thoughts and things)
The Black Swan – Nassin Nicholas Taleb
Antifragile – Nassin Nicholas Taleb
Facing Violence – Rory Miller
The Book Of 5 Rings – Miyamoto Musashi(pdf is available FREE online)
Relentless – Tim S.  Grover(Michael Jordan’s Personal Trainer)
The Professor in the Cage – Jonathan Gottchall

Stop Guessing and Start Planning

Stop Guessing and Start Planning

A Lack of Planning is Planning To Fail.

Food. The Downfall of an fitness program.

I’ve been there, and maybe you have too… So, what’s the biggest pitfall? Lack of planning of course!

What? You don’t have time to make that meal? Maybe McDonald’s is looking pretty tempting right now, and it sure smells good… might as well get some drive through, right? WRONG!

Bad choices are bad choices, not to say you can’t indulge here and there, but why would you put yourself in that percarious position to begin with? I mean after all, you are after a goal here… right?

I can’t say too much because in the last few months, a quick stop at the store to just grab some “snack food” or going to Qdoba because I’m running behind has been one of my many shortcomings when it comes to prudent planning…

So I went on a journey, to find some resources that would help me make the most out of what I shove down my pie hole(but not pie… that’s not so good, although satisfying)

Here’s a few resources I’ve found to be helpful:

http://moneysavingmom.com/downloads/meal-menu-planners

http://www.tipjunkie.com/post/meal-planner/

https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator

If you’re still stuck… it’s not a problem, Dawn happens to be an expert(literally) at this sort of thing, and offers a free consult to all newcomers. Unlike myself, who just dabbles in this area, Dawn has extensive schooling and experience when it comes to the ins and outs of specific meal planning as well as assisting you with what is sustainable for you.

There is always a way for those who seek out the path. And this should provide you with enough to choose from that if it doesn’t work on your own, you at least have a guide!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

~Justin

P.S. Want more info? Fill in the form below to get a direct line to Dawn and she can get you started on your path to the better life! And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more goodies in the future!!

[inbound_forms id=”963″ name=”Dawn”]

5 Reasons To Hydrate This Winter

Winter is just around the corner.

I know, nobody wants to think about this yet but Wisconsin is a cruel mistress when it comes to the winter months, so it’s good to be prepared. Piles upon piles of snow, 20 layers of clothes, and of course the sub-zero temperatures that make hibernation seem like a great idea.

But here’s the deal, all too often we forget that we need good ol H2O to keep us from dehydrating. One of the least thought of aspects of the long cruel winter that is undoubtedly upon us.

Why do I need to stay hydrated? It’s not even hot outside??water-bottle

Great Question, Here’s 5 Reasons Why:

  1. Your body actually loses just as much, if not more, water through evaporation as when you sweat. Think of that fun cracked and dry skin you get, why do you think that is?? It takes a ton of water to keep your skin from turning to dust, as the drier air leaches moisture from your skin. :O
  2. Dietary changes, like eating less fruit and hydrating raw veggies lead to less fluid intake. You don’t feel the sense of being parched when you’re cold as when you’re hot, so the urge to have a nice cold glass of water doesn’t seem very appealing or necessary.
  3. You pee more. Gross, right! But it’s the truth, when you don’t perspire as much your body needs some way to get rid of toxins. So even though you don’t sweat you still need the same fluid intake to get all that garbage out!
  4. You lose water when you breathe! Ever notice your breath in the winter months…  This is from the respiratory process, and it happens a LOT more in winter than summer.
  5. Soup doesn’t hydrate you as much as you think. Especially if you are buying canned, the sodium content is already up there and canned soups are even higher. Sodium actually draws water from the cells in your body, so make sure you drink a nice tall glass of water with that soup!

I think you get the jist of it, so drink up, drink up. Water and tea are some of my highest ranking(and favorite) drinks, with hot chocolate and coffee ranking in the not so often category of my winter drinks list. Higher levels of activity such as sledding, skiing, and shoveling snow should always be accompanied with plenty of fluid intake(remember, the water evaporates off your skin without you really noticing).