WORKOUTS Week of 4/24/16-4/30/16

Sunday: REST

Monday SHOULDERS/FULL BODY CIRCUIT:

  • repeat 5x little to no rest:
    • 15 clean & press 60#
    • 15 KB swing 35#
    • 400 meter run

then

  • 5×7 heavy upright row 30# DBs
  • superset 4×15 Lat raises (12.5# dbs)
  • 4×12 Plate front raise (25#)
  • 4×12-15 face pulls
  • 4×10 Leaning lat raise (15# db)
  • 4×12 rear delt raises (10# dbs)
  • Steering wheel burnout with 10# plate, 3xto failure

Tuesday LEGS:

  • Back squat: 1×8 100#, 1×8 110#, 1×6 125#, 1×6 130#
  • Front squat: 1×5 75#, 1×5 85#, 1×5 90#, 2×5 95#
  • Bulg split squat w/ 45# KB, 5×10-12 per leg
  • Walking lunges: 64 total, 35# dbs
  • Leg press 5×20 @ 200#
  • Plie squat: 1×15 75#, 3×12 80#, 1×10 85# superset 12 tricep pushups
  • Ham curls: 4×10
  • 3x 10/10 banded side walks
  • 3×6 toes to bar, superset 50 mountain climbers on medicine ball

Wednesday CHEST/shoulders/circuit:

  • Bench press 2 warmup sets then 6×6-10 heavy, 75#, 80#, 85#, 75#
    • superset 6×3-4 pullups

then repeat 5x:

  • Power cleans 2×10 @ 70#, 2×10 @75#, 1×10 @80#
  • 10 Burpees

then

  • heavy incline DB press 5×8-10 (30# dbs)
  • overhead tricep extension 3×10 superset 10 burpees
  • Tricep kickbacks 4×10 20# dbs
  • russian twists 3×50 25#
  • 3×50 weighted bicycle crunches
  • 3×10 per arm plank up/downs
  • 2 weighted plank holds – 45 seconds each

Thursday FULL BODY circuit:

  • 5 TIMES:
    • 5 burpees
    • 10 HRPU
    • Power clean into–> 15 front squats, 75#
    • 400 meter row
  • Then 3×4-5 pullups
  • 3 sets farmer walks 45# DBs
  • 3×7 hand-stand pushups

Friday: REST

Saturday: LEGS/BACK

  • Lat pull downs: 6×8-15
  • Back squat: 1×8 100#, 1×8 110#, 1×8 115#, 1×8 125#
  • Front squat: 1×5 65#, 1×5 70#, 2×5 75# (hatch squat app)
  • Barbell row (I use underhand grip) superset RDL: 8 sets, 5-10 reps each (I used 75-95#, so the heavier sets had fewer reps); I did 5×10 Romanian deadlift (RDL)
  • Seated wide grip cable row 5×10;
  • regular grip cable row 4×6-8
    • superset weighted hyperextensions 5×15 25# plate
  • single arm DB row 4×10, 40#
  • double arm DB row 4×10, 30# DBs (that’s 30# per arm)
  • straight arm pull down 4×12-15; superset 4×10 biceps curls (20# DBs)
  • 3×6 heavy curls, 25# DBs
  • bicep burnout with 15# DBs
  • 3x21s (12.5# DBs and 1 set with 15# DBs
  • 3x: 400 meter row superset 15 HRPU

 

 

Don’t forget to refuel after and stretch!!!!!

Confused on what to eat? My Rules HERE!

I know if you are new to this lifestyle you may be very confused as to what is healthy and what isn’t…what you can or cannot eat/should or should not, etc. I get it! And over time this will not be an issue! You will eventually be choosing foods easily and it will be second nature. So let me discuss a few things to think about constantly when grocery shopping, and how to make the lifestyle work for you!

  • Center the bulk of your eating on foods WITHOUT labels. This should be a no-brainer. The majority of your food should not have a label. You should spend the most money shopping the border of the grocery store and filling your cart with tons and tons of organic vegetables (at lest the dirty dozen should be purchased organic), sweet potatoes, grassfed beef, clean meats/organic/pasture raised pork, chicken, eggs, organic oats in bulk, organic jasmine rice, frozen organic fruit, etc. Follow my grocery shopping list here to ensure you don’t miss anything!
  • If you want to snack on chips and a dip (rarely a good idea), you can pick a healthier option. If I get chips for guacamole or salsa, I like to buy Terra chips as they are non-gmo and they make vegetable-based chips! I avoid corn as much as possible because it’s not paleo, is inflammatory, and isn’t digested well. The goal of this lifestyle is to eat food that our bodies need, food that is nutritionally dense, and not empty calories! So I would definitely consider any kind of chip a treat and not to indulge on these daily as it can lead to mindless eating…
  • Avoid protein bars/pre-packaged “health” bars, diet shakes, etc. These are not good for you, usually. Once again these come with a label and this is the main thing we want to avoid. LABELS! If you start shopping and buying things and eating things that come without a label, then you are on the right track. It’s really as easy as that. You can make healthy snack bars at home with organic oats, coconut or almond flour, honey, raw nuts, etc., and those are so much better for you than the pre-packaged ones that usually have sugar, corn syrup, or other nonsense added to them.
  • Bread is never healthy and I recommend you stop eating it. I don’t care what anyone says about this…bread is just not necessary and if you love it then you are probably addicted to it. Cutting bread out is the best thing you can do for yourself and you will feel a million times better. Bread is not doing you ANY favors. If you believe you can argue to me that you are getting vital nutrients from bread that you cannot get elsewhere then by all means, please, make your argument. But that is doubtful. Eat more veggies is always the correct answer.
  • Most yogurt is not healthy, either. Actually I would go as far to say that most yogurt is poison and I wouldn’t touch it, ever! 90% if not more of the yogurts out there have so much added sugar and garbage…and most are not organic or made from grassfed cows. If you eat dairy, which you should definitely LIMIT if you do, you simply must buy grass-fed/organic. Again, the bulk of your eating/snacks should not be pre-packaged yogurt. I would recommend boiled eggs, raw carrots, almonds, raw cashews, apples, etc. over yogurt ANY DAY! Boiling back down to the “avoid food with a label” idea…
  • Don’t get me started on cereal as this is NEVER HEALTHY and milk is terrible for you. Please trash all the cereal boxes in your house asap!
  • Artificial sweeteners are poison and cause cancer. Please don’t consume these either. If you have to put these in your coffee or tea, you are addicted to them and MUST cut them out. Once you’ve been off sugar/artificial sweeteners for a while your taste buds will alter and you won’t crave sugary junk food/crap anymore. Just read about why they’re so terrible for you here. As well as 7 hidden dangers here.

I know this may seem time consuming, extreme and impossible, but it’s not!! And you will start to feel SO MUCH BETTER when you consume real food on a daily basis! You will lose weight and feel amazing – what more could you ask for? You will also reduce your risk for needing prescription medication (and by reduce I mean eliminate because food is medicine, y’all). You will be healthier, look better, and your risk  of getting diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, cancer, etc. all of those things will essentially be out of the question if you are consistently following this lifestyle and exercising. But you have to be 100% committed! My health is my number 1 priority and being able to cook and eat the clean food that I love is what makes me happiest in this world. I hope you can one day find the same passion I have about eating clean and organic food because it’s truly the best way to live.

 

Cocoa-Banana Protein Shake

If you’re craving something sweet, but don’t want to eat something bad, I highly recommend this delicious & filling & nutritious shake!

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces water
  • 1 large handful spinach or kale (organic)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened pure 100% coco or cacao (I have some from Trader Joe’s at the moment)
  • 2 scoops Sun Warrior vanilla protein (optional)
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • Cinnamon

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender and enjoy! Easy as that! You get your veggies + chocolate and there is no added sugar.

 

Rice: How Much Do I Eat and Which Kind?

I eat real, whole foods as much as possible and I DEFINITELY limit my grain intake, i.e., rice. I prefer sweet potatoes as my main source of a starchy carb. But, I do eat rice on occasion – a few times a week; and I always buy organic. I discovered after doing some research that rice can fit into a Paleo lifestyle if you are eating the right kind of rice – and that’s actually WHITE rice over brown. Yup. I know we’ve always been told that brown rice is superior and that you should not eat white rice – but in reality, they are BOTH CARBOHYDRATES and WHITE RICE is MUCH more easily digested than brown! And to be honest, who eats brown rice for nutrients?! I eat rice for a carbohydrate source – I aim to get my nutrients from vegetables, fruit, and grass fed beef/chicken/etc. **Note: if you are trying to lost weight/fat I do recommend you severely cut your carb intake and consume more veggies as your carb source – remember you can eat as many raw or steamed or roasted veggies as you want!***

Paleo lifestyle avoids grains because most/if not all grains irritate the gut. If you cut them out of your diet, I promise you will feel a million times better (or at least eliminate most of them! I still eat organic oats 1-2x per week and have no issues). I eliminated wheat/gluten from my diet in 2012 and ever since then I feel SO much better in terms of not being bloated or stopped up! But anyway, back to rice. Brown rice has a protective coating created by the plant which acts as its “shield of armor”. This shield contains toxic compounds that can irritate the gut. White rice is essentially the inside part of brown rice – so it’s very easy to digest! It has no nutrients, but also no toxic compounds. Read all about it here. Oh and FYI – if you have heard about the potential for arsenic to be in the rice you eat, well, it’s also more likely to be found in brown rice because it’s soaked up in the outer layer!! Read about that here.

So there you have it! If you must buy and eat rice, do buy organic, and choose a white rice variety! It is much easier to digest and allows you to get some extra carbohydrates if needed. I personally love the taste and texture of white jasmine rice. Try it out. It’s very inexpensive from Whole Foods and it’s so wonderful in many different dishes! It is important to select organic as rice often has lots of pesticide residue. Jasmine rice often comes from Thailand and according to this article here, many farmers use pesticides. It’s always important to choose organic when possible, because the USDA Organic stamp is not easy to obtain and the product must undergo many tests including non GMO verification.

References:

 

Starting to feel sick? DO THIS!

I don’t get sick very often and do everything I can every single day to fuel my body with proper nutrition, get adequate rest, sunshine and exercise. However, occasionally even the healthiest of people will get some kind of virus/illness. Below are things I do if/when I start to feel sick.

  1. Eat 1-2 (up to 3, safely) cloves raw garlic per day. Yes, raw garlic. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and can help you if you have a sore throat or if you feel like you are getting a virus. When I start to feel a sore throat coming I immediately eat some raw garlic daily, for a few days. Mince the garlic and eat it with a little raw local honey to help with the taste! Which leads me to my next suggestion…
  2. Eat raw, local honey! Honey has antimicrobial properties and can help you stop coughing. It’s also very soothing to a sore throat. Manuka honey is also an excellent option!
  3. Drink more water. I already drink at least a gallon of water daily but if I start to feel as though I am getting sick I try to drink even more. Water helps flush toxins out of your system!
  4. Make hot tea with ginger and orange peels. Hot tea is so soothing any time of day! When you are sick, making hot tea with fresh slices of ginger and orange peels is so beneficial and can, in my opinion, help boost your immune system so you recover quicker. Ginger has numerous health benefits and is very anti-inflammatory. Orange peels have loads of vitamin c and when these two are boiled together in a large pot of water, you get a very nutritious and delicious hot tea.
  5. Eliminate sugar (besides the raw honey like I mentioned/manuka honey) and limit carbohydrates (you should be doing this anyway as sugar is toxic to the body). Eat more veggies.
  6. Get more sleep. Your body needs to rest more if it’s fighting off infection so go to bed earlier!
  7. No alcohol. This should be obvious. Once again, if you are fighting off infection the last thing you need to do is overload your system with alcohol which your body has to use even more energy to process.
  8. Make fresh juice – don’t drink store bought! Unless you are juicing fresh veggies and fruit in your own kitchen, don’t drink any juice. One yummy recipe I do is carrots, apple, ginger, lemon. Most, if not all, store bought juices are pure sugar and your best bet would be to eat the fresh fruit itself or juice it! Celery, green apple, kale, ginger is also delicious and so good for you! That way you are getting the nutrients as soon as they are juiced as opposed to them sitting on a shelf/in the fridge for weeks!

So that’s it! Avoid taking medicines if possible! Most medicines contain extra ingredients that are crap and we don’t need that in our system. I rarely take medicine! I try to cure myself with natural remedies if possible. Sleep, vegetables/diet, sunshine, exercise = best medicines and best way to stay healthy! So if you want to avoid getting sick I would definitely adopt the lifestyle that I live and breathe!

COFFEE: Why you Should Buy Organic!

I looooove coffee! I won’t drink just any coffee, however. It HAS to be organic. Many people hate the taste of coffee and honestly it’s because conventional coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides and it does taste like absolute crap. So people load their coffee down with tons of sugar or artificial sweeteners that cause cancer and weight gain. If people would just buy good coffee i.e., organic and ground fresh, they would realize that coffee is delicious BLACK – or with just a touch of coconut oil! It’s so much healthier that way! I am going to discuss why you should start buying organic coffee and grinding it yourself. You will find that it tastes so much better than Folgers, Dunkin Donuts, or Starbucks coffee. I don’t even like nor do I drink Starbucks coffee for that matter – it tastes bitter and awful to me! I buy dark Italian roast from Whole Foods or Sprouts and I grind it fresh, there at the store. It’s DELICIOUS. Anytime I travel I bring coffee with me because I refuse to drink the crap that’s out there.

Benefits of coffee (again, buy organic as coffee beans are sprayed with tons of pesticides!!):

  1. Helps burn fat (because of the natural caffeine) and boosts metabolism
  2. Improves physical performance (coffee = my pre-workout for 530 am gym sessions)
  3. Contains nutrients, and especially when you drink 3-4 cups like I do, these nutrients add up!: vitamin b12, b5, magnesium, vitamin b3 (niacin)
  4. It may protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia
  5. Coffee has protective effects on the liver
  6. Coffee can fight depression
  7. Coffee drinkers have lower risks of getting certain cancers including liver cancer
  8. Coffee drinkers appear to live longer
  9. Large source of antioxidants
  10. Increases cognitive performance

Now Reasons WHY organic is BEST:

Organic coffee beans are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. This means cleaner beans (HELLO more antioxidants) and cleaner air and land! Not only is this better for you to drink but it’s also better for the earth as no toxic fumes are emitted. Most organic coffee is also grown the natural way – and the way the beans prefer – which is in the shade of forests! Most conventionally grown coffee beans are actually hybrids so that they can be grown in the sun – since it’s much easier to tend to a crop in an open field as opposed to a forest. So the non-organic varieties are hybrids designed to grow in the sun/open fields. Rain forests are demolished so that more open space is created for these conventional coffee beans which kills tons of animals as well as destroying natural habitats of these animals! Without tree cover/shade for the coffee beans, when it rains there is more water runoff, therefor most of the nutrients from the beans is washed away and then the chemicals used as pesticides washes away and into local water supply!

From Equal Exchange Website: “Most organic coffee is grown the natural way – within the shade of lush forests, providing a home for wild plants and animals, sustaining soil fertility, and keeping unique regional ecosystems alive. These forested farms also more resilient and better equipped to handle unusual weather patterns that are a result of climate change, making them a safer investment for farmers and their futures. Hundreds of thousands of acres of South American rain forests have already been demolished for various industries, but Equal Exchange has partnered with co-ops that are working to restore the land to its natural forested splendor while growing organic coffee.”

Hopefully after reading this you will consider buying organic coffee! Not only is it better for you, but you are also helping preserve rain forests and animals’ habitats as well as the lives of those animals! You are doing better for yourself and for the earth. Choose organic! It tastes better too!!

 

Sources:

Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

I LOVE a good stir fry with a ton of fresh vegetables. It’s my favorite thing ever – a meal with tons of veggies. Seriously can’t go wrong there. This is even more delicious because of the fresh ginger which adds SO much flavor to a dish. You simply can’t go without it! Here’s how I made this:

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Ingredients:

  • 3 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 organic bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Brussels sprouts, 1 cup chopped
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 small head broccli
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • dash of sea salt (liquid aminos is already salty) and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • coconut oil (or organic sesame oil), for cooking
  • Arrowroot powder

Method:

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Melt some coconut oil in a large skillet and brown your chicken over medium high heat. When fully cooked, remove from heat and set aside. Next saute your onions and garlic for a few minutes with some more coconut oil. Add the grated ginger and carrots and cook for a few minutes more. Then add the liquid aminos, honey and remaining veggies.

Meanwhile, mix together the arrowroot powder with some water and set aside (if you buy Bob’s Red Mill it will tell you exactly how to prepare).

Stir the veggies and continue to cook for a total of about 10-15 minutes.

Mix the arrowroot powder/water in last just before removing from heat.

Remove from heat and toss with the chicken in a large bowl. Serve over organic jasmine rice! Enjoy and enjoy all the leftovers!

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