Now Eat This! Diet

I have a secret I hardly share with anyone. So why I'm sharing it on a very public blog, I don't know, but... I love The View! I like hearing all the ladies share their, often, varying opinions.

Watching The View has kind of become a morning ritual for me. I wake up, put on a pot of coffee, make my breakfast and snuggle up on the couch to watch the show.

Well getting to the whole point of this confession, on today's show they had Rocco Dispirito on to share his  new book Now Eat This! Diet.

It seemed like any other diet (claiming the book offered food that tastes good and makes you lose weight at the same time), until he said (paraphrasing) it's medically proven that if you eat more you'll lose more weight. That got my attention!

The funny thing is, the woman's plan only lets you eat 1200 calories a day!!

Does anyone else have a problem with this??


Food Post :)

I promised you guys a food post. So here it is!

These are meals that I've been eating almost daily for the last couple of weeks. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit!

1/2 cup steel cut oats, 1/2 cup egg whites, cinnamon, and almond butter.

1 serving plain Greek yogurt, grapes, and cashews.

Vegetable frittata with salsa.

Smoothie with vanilla protein powder, spinach, unsweetened almond milk, strawberries, and ice.

Protein muffins with cream cheese frosting. I keep a batch of these on my counter, and a tub of light cream cheese in my fridge at all times! I crave them daily.

Chicken breast with green beens (I barely cook them at all. I like my veggies to be crunchy!) and teriyaki sauce.

Cajun chicken breast with salsa and avocado.

Hope this gives you guys a little inspiration. I'm loving these right now.

I also made these granola bars a few days ago. They're incredible!! I can't stop eating them.

I'll talk to you guys soon. Thanks for the comments :)


Bad, bad blogger

Hey guys,

Sorry for being MIA. I was away from home for a few weeks visiting family, and now that I'm back I'm playing catch up with school - doesn't leave me much time to blog.

But any ways... I've made a few changes to my workout plan and diet plan I can share today. Tomorrow I'm planning to post meals that I've been eating a lot of lately. I know the food post are always my favorite!

So I've made changes to my plan because I'm trying to cut out about 4-5% of body fat. I never wanted to gain a ton of muscle, in fact, I'm more than happy with how much muscle I have now. I just want to trim off the fat. So I'm trying new ways of doing that.

Workout plan: I've added lots of intensive interval training to my current plan. Bodyrock.tv has been amazing site to get my workouts!

I love Zuzana's approach to fitness. The short workouts are super tough and often times leave me feeling shaking and sick to my stomach. So don't try them thinking they're too short or easy.

Eating plan: I've dropped my carbs significantly! I've taken on the "earn your carbs" approach. This means that I have to complete a workout before I can eat oatmeal, bread, and most fruit (excluding berries and green apples).

                                   (I just love this picture haha)

If you haven't noticed from my blog, I get bored easily. I need to keep on changing things to keep myself interested in fitness and eating right. There's nothing wrong with trying new things (I encourage it!). Go out there and try something new today! It's the best way to get out of a rut.


Why I Do Cardio

This is the post I was telling you all about. Dane -- a trainer in Seattle -- wrote this post. He's the one who has convinced me cardio should remain part of my program, and you know what? I've actually really enjoyed it. I like the feeling of pushing myself to the limit, and cardio is a great outlet for that.


I can’t tell you how hard it is for me, as a fitness professional, to read all the hate mail that has been put out there against cardio in recent years. I hate cardio as much as the next guy and have tried to find a good bit of evidence, that can be studied out and maintain its standing as a valid argument against cardio, that well let me feel good about ditching it from my workouts. Unfortunately, I don’t think substantial enough evidence exists to convert me to that camp.
                Granted I do not hold a Ph.D. in physiology, but my research and humble knowledge of fitness and the cardiovascular studies done throughout my certification process, as well as continued education, shed light in my mind on holes in the arguments against cardio. Frankly, I think there is a demand to acknowledge the importance of cardio in any fitness regiment.


                I do not dare refute the fact that that traditional cardio is not the most effective overall calorie burner, it is absolutely not. If you are simply trying to burn calories do a good leg workout. You will definitely burn more overall calories during and after your workout and for a longer period of time post-workout.
                I would like to take this time to draw your attention to some benefits of incorporating cardio into your workouts. I had thought about writing this in such a way as to cover a more broad view on cardio but on second thought I am going to keep it focused on how it can benefit you as a bodybuilder/weightlifter.
                I think it’s safe to assume that we all understand what cardio is. Doing anything that gets your heart rate up and increases circulation. But not all cardio is the same. Increasing your intensity on the weights definitely counts and can be greatly beneficial in the overall consumption of calories and in the end burning fat, getting lean, etc. but its important to understand why. Basically, the number one consumer of fat in your body is muscle. The more muscle you have the more fat you will lose. But just like any other muscle in the body, your heart must be trained and exercised as well. If you are seeing all the gains you want in the gym and looking lean and mean, but, you get winded walking up the stairs in your house, there is need for a change.

                The heart is exercised with cardio. But the increase in heart rate experienced during a set of any particular lift is not sufficient enough to actually increase the strength of your heart. You must sustain the increase of demand on your heart, by getting into your target heart range and staying there for 20-30 minutes.
                The heart is so important to your bodybuilding aspirations too. An improved heart means improved performance. When you train with cardio, cardio actually forces your body to develop more capillaries. These capillaries are microscopic delivery paths big enough for one red blood cell to squeeze through and are delivery pathways for nutrients to be delivered to your body. The better conditioned your heart and circulatory system is, (lungs too. Also improved with cardio), the harder you can lift and the faster you can make gains.  Furthermore, cardio can decrease your recovery time as well. After a hard lifting session doing a few minutes of cardio exercise will help carry away some of the byproducts produced during your workout and reduce your D.O.M.S.,(delayed onset muscle soreness). Cardio strengthens your body’s ability to send oxygen rich blood to your recovering muscle group, aiding in the rebuilding and recovery process, letting you get back quicker.


                Because of its affect on the metabolism, cardio will also help you maintain weight as well. Or lose depending on what the case may be. As for the “getting lean” aspect of the world of bodybuilding, I still swear by traditional methods of cardio as well. I know I touched on muscle being the largest consumer of fat in the body, it still is. But cardiovascular exercise actually imposes a stress that creates an environment for utilizing fat as a means of energy. The University of New South Wales in Australia recently put out a study showing that interval training such as interval sprints burns three times more fat than slow consistent cardio.
                Finally, cardio is cardio, yes. An increased heart rate is an increased heart rate. But, it is not all created equal as it relates to benefiting your results in the gym. The cardio method I signed onto for a long time was increasing my intensity in the weight room. Active rest, abs in between sets, supersets, burnouts. Whatever I could do to keep my heart rate going. The problem I ran into, was being so sore! It would take me a full extra day of rest to recover from a workout because my body was so traumatized by the stress I imposed on it. The problem I was running into was the over-exertion of my muscle groups. Yes, technically I was doing cardio and it was burning calories. But I was further increasing muscle fatigue, increasing my DOMS. Traditional cardio allows the same burning of excess calories, but without slowing recovery time. Thus, enabling the more frequent working of the same muscle groups, bringing about bigger gains!


Catch Up

It's about time I blogged the rest of my workouts this last week! Sorry it's taken so long, but I didn't have time to blog until now.

Shoulders and Arms:

Superset 1:
Upright Rows: 20 pounds (each arm), 12 reps, 12 reps; 25 pounds, 8 reps, 8 reps
Barbell Curls: 22.5 pounds, 12; 32.5 pounds, 10, 8, 8

Superset 2:
Push Press: 30 pounds, 12; 40 pounds, 12; 50 pounds 10, 10
Preacher Curls: 30 pounds, 8, 8, 8, 8

Superset 3:
Bridge Press: 32.5 pounds, 12; 45 pounds, 9, 8, 8
Reverse Grip Barbell Curls: 32.5 pounds, 8, 8, 8, 8

Superset 4:
Barbell Front Raises: 20 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12
Skull Crushers: 30 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12

Superset 5:
Machine Shoulder Press: 40 pounds, 8, 8, 7, 7
E-Z Bar Tricep Extensions: 30 pounds, 9, 8, 6, 6

Time: 53:23
Calories: 269
Max HR: 158
Average HR: 122

Legs and Abs:

Superset 1:
Barbell Squat: 50 pounds, 14, 12, 12, 12
Leg Raises with swiss ball: 12, 12, 12, 12

Superset 2:
Barbell Front Squat: 50 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12
Crunch on swiss ball: 20, 20, 20, 20

Superset 3:
Leg Press: 130 pounds, 12; 145 pounds, 12; 160 pounds, 12, 12
Decline Sit Ups: 12, 12, 12, 12

Superset 4:
Quad Extensions: 115 pounds, 12; 130 pounds, 10, 10, 10
Flutter Kicks: 30 seconds each set (4 sets)

Superset 5:
Lying Hamstring Curls: 55 pounds, 12; 70 pounds, 6, 6, 6
Crossover Sit Ups: 10, 12, 12, 12

Time: 1: 03
Calories: 420
Max HR: 170
Average HR: 139

On my leg days, I never go heavy on squats. 50 pounds is very light for me, but I'm worried about my hips and my knees (I have issues with them, and need physical therapy to keep them pain free), so I tend to go for more reps than more weight.

The rest of workout days this week (two other days), I'll either do yoga, or cardio. My cardio has either been incline walking or the stepmill. I love the stepmill. It feels like I'm working really hard, and my heart rate is always super high.

I hope this gives you all an idea of where I'm at, lifting wise.

Please, if you have any questions send my an email, or ask in the comment section and I'll try to answer them as best I can.

I'm no expert on lifting or fitness. It's really just a hobby for me at this point. I like to be healthy, and have active goals I can work towards. This goes for fitness, school, and my personal life. I think to be healthy as humans we need to be continually growing and bettering ourselves.


Back and Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I slept in today. It was wonderful, but left me feeling pressured for time. Considering how long my workouts have been lately.

So I shoveled in breakfast. No picture, but it was 40 grams oats, 1/2 cup egg whites, and 90 grams of apple, with splenda and cinnamon.

My workout this morning was not easy. Day 2 of week 1 is a back workout. Just like day 1, I do each exercise in the compound sets back to back with 1 minute rest in between each set, and I do 4 sets of each compound set.

Warm up: 5 minutes on the crosstrainer.

Compound Set 1:
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 50 pounds, 12 reps; 70 pounds, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps
Seated Wide Grip Cable Row: 50 pounds 12; 70 pounds, 8; 60 pounds, 10, 9

Compound Set 2:
Reverse Cable Grip Pull Down: 70 pounds, 12; 80 pounds, 8, 8, 8
Neutral Grip Row: 60 pounds, 8, 7, 7, 7

Compound Set 3:
Neutral Pull Down: 80 pounds, 8, 6; 70 pounds, 10, 10
Underhand Row: 60 pounds, 8, 8, 8, 8

Compound Set 4:
Bent Over Barbell Row: 45 pounds, 8; 40 pounds, 10, 10, 10
Straight Arm Pull Down: 30 pounds, 10, 10, 10, 10

Compound Set 5:
Straight Leg Deadlift: 60 pounds, 12, 12, 12, 12
Shrugs: 60 pounds, 10, 10, 8, 8  

Cardio: 15 minutes on the stepmill at the end (this is all I had left in me, I would have liked to do 20 plus minutes, but I didn't have time for a second workout today).

My heart rate monitor wasn't working for the first 15 minutes and a few other shorter times throughout my workout, so these stats aren't accurate, but it gives you some sort of idea.

Time: 1:14: 04
Calories: 441
Max HR: 172
Average HR: 147

Post Workout Smoothie:

Same as always:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 5 grams glutamine
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ice
About an hour later I ate some leftovers for lunch

  • 4.5 ounces salmon with a dill yogurt sauce on top 
  • 1/4 cup (measured uncooked) wild/brown rice
  • 1 baby zucchini cooked with garlic and olive oil
I also made these Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting today.

I found this recipe somewhere online (I don't remember!), but tweaked it. 



    2 Eggs, beaten 1/2 cup pumpkin 1/2 cup almond breeze 1/4 cup applesauce 1 1/2 cup oat flour 2 scoops vanilla protein powder 1/3 cup splenda (could use more, if you like things sweet) 3 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix first four ingredients together, add splenda, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour and baking powder together 
Pour into greased muffin tins
Bake for 20 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting (for two muffins):


2 tablespoons light cream cheese
1 tsp splenda
1 tsp almond milk

What to do:

Mix the ingredients really well and spread them on top of the muffins. 

Stats for 2 muffins with the frosting: 214 calories, 8.3 grams fat, 32.6 grams carbs, 16.2 grams protein 

Shortly after I gobbled these two muffins up, it was time for dinner. 

Another chicken stir fry. I'm not going to post the ingredients, cause they are the same as always. 

After I ate this it was time for class. During my class I ate this. 

After class I had another one of April's protein cake:

I ate it with a serving of plain yogurt and 80 grams of strawberries. 

Well there you have it! I'm gonna finish watching the Bachelor (yes, I watch the Bachelor. I love it!), and call it a night. 


Chest and Abs (AGAIN)

Well I got a couple comments the other day about posting my workout details. Sooooo I've decided to redo week 1 of my program and post the details for you guys!

Day 1 of week 1 is chest and abs.

I try to only rest for 1 min in between supersets and I do each superset 4 times. It gets tiring quickly!

Superset 1:
Dumbbell Bench Press: 20 pounds (each arm), 12 sets; 25 pounds, 12; 30 pounds 8, 8
Leg Raise with Swiss Ball: 15, 12, 12, 12

Superset 2:
Dumbbell Incline Press: 22.5 pounds (each arm), 12 sets; 25 pounds, 9, 8, 8
Bicycle: 20, 20, 20, 20

Superset 3:
Dumbbell Flyes (machine was broken at the gym): 15 pounds, 12, 10, 8, 8
Russian Twist: 20, 20, 20, 20

Superset 4:
Machine Chest Press: 55 pounds, 12; 70 pounds, 7, 7, 7
Machine Crunch: 55 pounds, 15, 15, 15, 15

Time: 54:41
Calories: 323
Max HR: 147
Average HR: 128

So there you have it. I'll try to be diligent and post every workout I do this week. Thanks for reading :)