Ingredients: 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed 1 tbs olive oil 1 tsp red pepper flake 1 tsp cumin salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 300°. Cut kale leaves into chip size segments, and set aside in a large bowl. Add olive oil, spices, salt and pepper. Toss thoroughly to coat. Working in batches, roast the kale one layer at a time on a baking sheet for 14 minutes, until crispy.
Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Leave extra on the sides to use as handles for removing the bars when they are finished. Set aside.
In a food processor (or blender), pulverize the almonds and cashews for about 10 seconds into small pieces, leaving some large chunks in tact. In a large bowl, combine the oats, ground flax, crushed nuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and raisins. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Mix together melted peanut butter and honey in a small bowl and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix until each bit is fully coated. Scoop the mixture into prepared baking dish and press firmly until the tops are completely even. You’ll want to pack it down nice and tight.
Place bars into the refrigerator to set up for at least one hour. Cut into 16 squares. Bars may be stored at room temperature for up to 10 days and in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
2 pounds (32 ounces) chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 cup salsa with corn
1 cup petite diced canned tomatoes (choose low-sodium)
2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1 cup onions, diced fine
½ cup celery diced fine
½ cup carrots, shredded
3 tablespoons sour cream, reduced fat
Place the chicken in a slow cooker. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the meat then layer the vegetables and salsa on top. Pour a half cup water over the mixture, set on low and cook for 6-8 hours. The meat is cooked when it shreds or reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. When ready to serve, break up the chicken with two forks then stir in the sour cream.
Making the transition from the clean to the jerk is a skill that can leave athletes feeling a little clumsy and confused. If the readjustment isn’t made smoothly, valuable energy will be spent trying to rework the grip taking away effort the athlete would otherwise focus on putting into the jerk. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t get caught short in this transition:
1. During the clean recovery, continue to overdrive the barbell creating a slight separation at the top. Use this separation to reposition your hands and arms to your desired jerk set-up.
2. Practice this transition as it’s own skill using just an empty barbell. If you can’t do it well with an empty bar, you probably aren’t going to do it well when you’re mid-lift with a heavier weight.
3. As you recover out of the clean, think about readjusting into a solid push pressing position.
Nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition is the foundation. Everyone—has experienced a situation where nutrition positively or negatively affected his or her physical or psychological performance. The Paleo dietary prescription is as follows: Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load. Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric load. Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load. Calories should be set at between .7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass depending on your activity level. The .7 figure is for moderate daily workout loads and the 1.0 figure is for the hardcore athlete. Eat Meats and Vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. It really is that basic. I think people try to make it harder than it is. What it comes down to, is mind over matter.
Its unfortunate but true. Nowadays people live to eat, rather than eating to live. Socializing consists of food and drinks, and were constantly planning lunch while eating breakfast, and planning dinner while having lunch. Portion sizes have turned into “King” sizes and “Super” sized. Americas #1 way of consuming a potato is in the form of a French fry. Teas are no longer consumed for a natural remedy or a natural caffeine boost, but rather doused with loads of sugar. We have become so consumed by these changes over time, that we forget that foods are a necessity to live, rather than a luxury of entertainment.
Good Nutrition is simple. Meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, light starches and no sugar. Keeping consumption at a level that will support exercise but not body fat.
•6 cups soy milk or skim milk
•4 cups old fashioned oats
•4 bananas, sliced
•3/4 cup chopped walnuts
•6 Tbs. brown sugar (I used Agave)
•2 tsp. cinnamon
•1/2 tsp. salt
•Vanilla yogurt (optional)
1. In medium sized slow cooker, combine milk, oats, bananas, walnuts, sugar (or Agave), cinnamon and salt.
2. Cook on LOW for 1-2 hours, or MEDIUM-HI for 1 hour. Stir occasionally, or until desired consistency.
3. You can serve it with yogurt, and you can also serve it with fresh berries on top.
For the people that ask ‘Do you keep your abs all year around?’
The dreaded off season, year end photos:) The only way to make gains is by gaining weight- thats just common sense- If that means losing my abs for a couple of months then so be it!!
The morning began with the taking of progress photos, measurements and body fat testing. For the first time EVER, my measurements were equal on both sides of my body (this is why I avoid using machines when I work out- free weights force the body to do equal amounts of work)
According to my measurements and weight- My estimated lean mass gain for the year is probably around 7-9 LBS. Thats HUGE numbers for me! Where as the newbie in this industry can gain anywhere from 13-15 pounds in a single year fairly easily- for the more advanced trainee it can be very difficult to add even a few pounds of additional lean mass.
My training this last year was a completely different type of regimen than years previous. For many, many years, I trained for endurance. I competed in triathlons, duathlons and endurance cycling. Averaging anywhere from 20 to 30 miles running, 100 to 200 miles weekly on the bike, and 5 to 6 hours dedicated to swimming- I consumed just enough calories to support my training, but nowhere near enough calories for weight gain. For many years during my off season, I would immediately return to a low carb diet in fear of gaining an ounce of body fat (along with many endurance athletes, I unfortunately saw any additional weight gain as a negative effect on my training and would at times reduce calories taking it to extremes). It took me two years of studying Sports Nutrition, application in my training and putting faith and trust in the process to overcome this unhealthy off season cycle.
While I still thoroughly enjoy bouts of endurance training- My training goals have changed tremendously. My year round focus is training for strength- During race season, my techniques have shifted more into HIIT Training (more muscle sparing) and their is no such thing as ‘low-carb’ in my nutrition program.
We’re all asked this time of year ‘what are your goals or resolutions?’
A new year exemplifies a fresh start- a new chapter- new beginnings-
A perfect time to put fourth effort into something that perhaps scares us or tests our strengths and weaknesses. What better time than a new year!
I personally love setting new goals and challenges at the beginning of a new year. I am a person that believes 100% in doing something daily to take myself out of my comfort zone. My greatest accomplishments to date have been the ones that scared me the most. Fear is our biggest enemy. To be brave takes courage and strength. Fear causes doubt that tells us we can’t, were not good enough or we will fail. Courage is facing our fears. Accepting the fact that I may not be the best, but I’ll be damned if I don’t put fourth my very best.
My goal every year as a human being is to be better than the year before- and this applies to all aspects of my life and in everything I do. My first and foremost goal is to simply be a good and descent person- to be compassionate, loving and nonjudgmental at all costs. Its not always easy, but each day and year it gets easier. To be good is something that I don’t have too much pride to say- can at times be testing- being genuinely good in this world can be difficult at times.
My second goal that plays yearly on repeat- Worry less about what others think. I came to terms a long time ago with the fact that not everyone will like me- and thats OK! We are all different personalities- we all have different outlooks, beliefs and lifestyles. Not everyone will agree with the way I live my life or the decisions I choose, but that’s just it- its my life and no matter what paths I choose- there will always be someone who supports it and others that don’t. Most importantly, as long as the God that I serve makes me feel ok with my life’s choices…thats ok with me.
And finally- to grow stronger- Mentally and Physically. For anyone that has participated especially in endurance sports or training can understand the power of a strong mind. I know personally, mental strength can be my most powerful source or my biggest enemy. Second tier athletes become top competitors when they train their mind to surpass their physical strength. Once this type of control is understood; applying it to daily life situations is empowering.
I have enormous strength- and in order to use it in a positive manner, I set goals for myself- whether it be yearly or daily, these goals keep me focused. As long as I keep looking forward, I know I’m always headed in the right direction.