We’ve MOVED!

17 04 2011

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Easy Quinoa Recipe

7 03 2011

I totally forgot to share this recipe the other day when I threw it together. I am a huge fan of Quinoa…Quin-WHAT?!?!  I know, that’s what I thought when I first heard about it.  It is pronounced “KEEN-WAH”.   It is known as “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom”.  It is is technically not a grain as it comes from a leafy plant.   But, it contains more high quality protein than any other grain and can be used in place of rice and couscous in recipes.

WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?

It is light, fluffy, creamy and a little crunchy and nutty.  It is lighter than your traditional pastas and grains. And like I said, it has way more protein…6 g vs. 3g in rice.  It really is a good nutritious carbohydrate option to maximize your energy levels and without compromising your waistline.

RECIPE GRIFFIN AND I THREW TOGETHER

  • 1 cup of Ancient Harvest Quinua (as pictured)
  • 2 cup of water
  • 10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 1 clovediced garlic
  • 1/4 cup black beans

Directions: Cook Quinoa as directed on box include garlic (10-15min).  Add other ingredients during the last 5 minutes.

That’s it…it’s that easy.  Add it to your easy recipe favorites:) We had left overs the next day so we added in chunks of chicken for our lunch…so good! Might try adding it to a soup recipe next time!





Week 5! Did the Recovery Week work for you?

5 03 2011

Hey all, how is everyone?!?  I hope you are feeling good and you crushed your workouts this week.  Sommer and I talked, and both of us felt a bit stronger and bit more in shape after our recovery week.  That got me thinking about how important that recovery week is for our bodies, so I decided to do a little more research on it and hopefully bang it into your heads a little more 🙂  The reserach I  did said that a recovery week is crucial to long term fitness success.

Here are a few reasons why…

For one, physical exercise and weight training puts an enormous amount of stress on not only the muscles of your body, but also on your entire immune system.  Exercise has been proven to boost your physical well-being, but like anything else, too much over too long of period can be bad.  The muscles require rest in order to grow.  Extended time periods of day in and day out exercise, may impede that growth.

Mentally you need a break too.  Sometimes it feels good to sleep in, or not have to worry about taking a change of clothes, or thinking about a workout all day if you didn’t get it done in the morning.  I know I do that.  After your recovery week, you will find yourself mentally ready for exercise again.  If you are anything like me, you were anxious to get back to the hard stuff and see what improvements your body has made.  Giving yourself a ‘reward’ for all your hard work will keep you coming back and will make exercise a permanant part of your life.

It is okay and  actually encouraged to have an active recovery week.  Sommer and I follow P90X and it makes it easy for us, but having something light, yet challenging planned is a good idea.  Incorporating body weight movements like push-ups and squats, as well as, light cardio days will keep the blood flowing, while also allowing your muscles to rest.  Group exericeses like basketball or soccer are great ways to get some exercise in while enjoying your recovery week.

Finally, nutrition, like every other day, is key.  You have to be feeding the fire, as they say, if you want to see your body transform.  Giving your body the nutrients from good eating habits allows those torn muscles to heal and recover….as always, it is the key!

MY STRUGGLES

I think both Sommer and I were feeling a little depressed and anxious over the time we have left on this deployment.  It is a constant struggle.  I have learned lately, that I do like to eat when stressed, so I have turned to Shakeology on more than one occasion to keep my hands out of the cookie jar.  One struggle I saw Sommer have was not eating enough…she is very busy and actually forgets to eat sometimes.  I will talk to her on the phone and its 9PM and she is just then cooking a meal for herself…I am sure a lot of you have the same issue.

Work is starting to ramp up too, finishing up certain qualifications, getting stuff ready to come home and people moving jobs have all added up to make me fairly tired at the end of the day and has made rolling out of bed early far more difficult.

FIX IT!

Sommer and I are trying to talk about more than just where we are in our lives right now, and concentrate more on what the future will hold for us, particularly when I get home.  Its almost unavoidable to not mention how much we miss each other and how I can’t wait to get home.  Talking about it too much seems to make the time drag on.  I am trying to find the silver lining…kind of tough sometimes.

Also, I have made a pact with my self to get to bed by 11PM EST, which is 9AM Afghanistan time (I’m on the night shift), and try and to get at least 6 hours of sleep, which isn’t enough, but more than I have been getting.  Hopefully that helps too…plus, the more I sleep, the faster the deployment will go :).

SUCCESSES

I am down a pound.  Not looking to lose weight, but I suppose that is good anyways.  Both Sommer and I had great workouts this week and both of us were able to get all the way through Ab Ripper X without stopping.  For those of you who have done it, you know how tough it is.  As I said earlier, we both felt stronger this week, although I am very sore at the end of the week.  I suppose that means I had some awesome workouts.

Chad:  6 Workouts and 9 shakes, plus 1lb lost = 55 miles

Sommer:  7 Workouts and 7 shakes = 56 miles

CALL TO ACTION

Keep going!  Plane and simple.  Just keep going!  We are at a point in our challenge when people often get busy in their everyday lives and their health falls to side and then eventually, falls right off the cliff.  If you need to, re-dedicate yourself to your nutrition and your workouts.  Remember to work hard these next couple weeks and a recovery week will sneak up very quickly.  By the time we get there, we will be over half-way done and on the down slope to the finsh line.  I hope you all had a great week.  Good luck and remember, we are all in this together.  Talk to you soon…Chad





Week 4 Recovery..Done. Back to work!

26 02 2011

                                 Sommer, week 4…AMAZING!

Hey everyone!  This is Chad.  Sommer is out-of-town for a business event and some much-needed rest and relaxation.  She certainly deserves it.  I enjoyed my recovery week and I hope everyone else did too.   I do feel re-energized and I am actually looking forward to some hard work-outs…Plus, we are 30 days  into this challenge.  Can you believe that?!?  I am, for one, very grateful for that and I imagine you all know why…

MY STRUGGLES

Diet, as always, was a struggle.  I did manage to steer clear of most ‘bad’ things, although a large shipment of cookies, Doritos and candy threatened to derail this.   I had to fight the urge to crush an entire bag of Oreos, which like Sommer has been so kind to point out, I have been known to do. 

One thing I do want to talk about and one thing I struggle with everyday, is stress.  Stress can have a profound impact on our mind, body and soul.  Stress can elevate your blood pressure, affect your sleep and interaction with others, as well as push you towards some unhealthy eating habits.  Some of these eating habits you might not make otherwise.  Another nasty and very significant thing stress can do, is increase your Cortisol levels.  Cortisol is known as the ‘stress hormone’  and secreted by the body in times of stress.  In small, normal amounts, it is good and provides an increase in immunity and mental function; things needed in a time of stress.  It’s basically one of your ‘fight or flight’ hormones.  However, in our culture of extended stressors, continuous releases of Cortisol, and a failure to return to a non-stress state,  it can have some very negative effects.  You are likely to see higher blood pressure, blood-sugar imbalance, and lastly, abdominal fat gain…that’s right, it ‘helps’ your body maintain that abdominal fat that leads to so many life threatening illnesses.  Good times, right?

To be successful on our fitness journey, we need to find a way to cope with and alleviate stress…easier said than done, I know.

FIX IT!

My challenge to all of you and especially my wife :), is to figure out a way to adjust our stress levels.  I am as guilty as the next person at having too much stress in my life.  So,  I have tried to commit to a few small things everyday to try to reduce my stress levels.  Along with exercising, I am going to read a book that Sommer has sent me a few minutes each evening before I go to bed.  It helps me feel closer to my family and realize what really is important in life.  Maybe for you it is taking a walk, taking a bath or watching a TV show with your wife or husband.  Maybe its playing tag with your kids in the backyard…Whatever it might be, make sure you do it, and realize that being mentally healthy and ready to take on the challenges of the next day is a very important step in achieving your fitness goals.   This is a big challenge and one that won’t be achieved overnight…like anything else, achieving peace has to be worked at (Probably just made you stress out, right? )  🙂

SUCCESSES

I did fairly well with what I ate this week, so I am proud of that.  I did all my recovery week workouts which was very nice to have.  I feel like I gave my body the rest it needed and feel ready to start Week 5.  I actually added some pull-ups on to the end of my light workout today and was able to do 27 in a row, which is the most I have been able to do in a long time.  So, I think I have improved my overall strength these last few weeks.  My core feels a bit stronger too and Ab Ripper X doesn’t completely destroy me like it used too. 

Sommer: Down 2lbs. Back to 123lbs.

 Body Fat:  Back to 16% which she is very happy about 🙂

6 workouts and 7 Shakeology drinks = 43 miles

Chad: 6 workouts and 7 Shakeology drinks = 43 miles

CALL TO ACTION

As always, please leave your struggles and what you are doing to make your fitness journey even more successful.  This week’s subject is stress reduction.  Maybe your idea will spark something in someone else and bring them success.  We have done an awesome job encouraging each other…lets keep that going!  Good luck on Week 5!  We are committed now, no turning back!





Is this really what we are feeding our kids?!?!

23 02 2011

Okay, so I don’t usually get on a soap box like this but I was blown away today. I am headed out to Washington to host a fitness event tomorrow.  My parents are coming to take care of the kids for me (thank you, thank you, thank you) and they asked me grab some “easy” meals and snacks for the kids at the grocery store.    This is usually not my style but since they are being so generous as to come help me I didn’t mind at all.

First of all, I get all the way checked out when the cost blew my mind.  I thought prepackaged food that is is practically nutritionally void is suppose to be cheaper.  I bought enough for just 5 days and it cost me almost as much as when I buy all the nutrient goodness I usually buy for a week…for all of us.

Then I get home and start looking at what I actually bought.  My mom asked me to get  stuff like Kid Cuisines and Graduates for Toddlers.  First of all, I can’t pronounce half the ingredients…that can’t be good.  And the sodium in one of Riley’s Graduates is 470mg…HOLY CRAP!!! Here kidneys are going to have work overtime to process that. Griffin’s little Kid’s Cuisine has over 500mg…that is NUTS!! He should be around 1200 A DAY…and his getting over 1/3 of that in one sitting.  I about had a heart attack right then and there!

Then I started to realize…parents are feeding this to their kids every single day.  I almost had another heart attack.  What ever happen to preparing things in advance…the good ol’ fashion healthy way where you can pronounce all the ingredients.  Why not bake up a whole batch of of chicken on Sunday, cut them in cubes and have them ready for the kids the whole week.  Or buying a bag of steamable carrots, cooking them and putting them in a container ready for the next 3 days.  Why not more fresh fruit and less Gerber cheese puffs…is there even any nutrition in those.  When did we start to think Gold Fish are a good healthy snack.  Or Mac n Cheese…what the heck is even in that….is that even real cheese?!?!  And I just checked…640mg in the individual packed Velveeta Cheese Shells I got Griffin while my parents are in town.

I will get off my soap box but seriously, it is no wonder that over 2/5 of all kids are overweight or obese.  I mean, did you know that for the first time in history our kids won’t live as long as we do.  That breaks my heart…shame on us!  I hate to have to say it, but it all starts with us.  We as parents control what go into their mouth and we are setting them up of a life filled with struggle when it comes to health, body image and self confidence. But you know what, since 2/3 of all adults are either overweight or obese I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.   I’m definitely not saying that I am perfect…that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I have Gold Fish in my cupboard too.  But I do try to help my kids to eat healthy 90% of the time…they depend on me for that. I don’t know.  What do you think it’s going to take?  Are we all just too overwhelmed and busy? Have we all just forgot what a healthy plate truly looks like? I don’t know but I hope we figure it out soon…for our kids sake:)





P90X Workouts: Week 3 in the Books!

20 02 2011

I really can’t believe I am already done with week 3 and starting my active recovery week.  I really can’t tell you how excited I am for this “break”…my body definitely needs it!

My Struggles

Diet was a struggle this week…for both Chad and I.  Things just seemed to be a little more stressful this week with the planning of my trip out to Washington to host a fitness event.  I feel like I had a huge urge to stress eat.  I was craving sweets and I rarely do that.  It really was incredibly frustrating and I gave in way too many times…ugh! On top of that, I am just struggling to eat enough.  I have a lot of allergies and the kids keep me so busy that I just “give up” on eating sometimes…or more specifically, I don’t eat enough at each meal. I talked to Chad about it and he was having the same issue with cravings. We just seemed to have lost our focus when it came to nutrition.

My body also felt a little extra worn down this week.  I knew I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I was going to bed too late.  So, the I only got up 2 times at my normal 5:45am workout roll out.  That was disappointing to me since I really prefer to get it out of the way so it doesn’t weigh on my mind the whole day.  Still, I recognize that sleep is just as important when it comes to muscle repair and the release of the fat burning hormone so I made sure to allow myself  at least 7 hours of sleep.  I still got my workouts in but it drove me crazy until it was done.

FIX IT

So, we committed to each other to refocus on the nutrition guide.  We have the workouts down and we haven’t missed any so it is time to really focus on the other piece of the puzzle.   He convinced me to cook up a whole bunch of chicken ahead of time and stock up on my Lara Bars…so I am never without a snack.  I also went back to making a weekly dinner schedule so that I know exactly what I am eating every night so I can’t skimp on dinner…it is already planned. When it comes to sleep, I promised Chad that lights would be out by 10:30 every single night, period!!  I made that promise to him so I will stick to it:)

SUCCESSES

Hmmm…we were both feeling pretty down about this week so it was hard for me to focus on a positive.  However, I forgot that I was able to go up in all my weights.  I was able to do all my biceps with 15lbs and did some sets on my back with 25lbs.  I also have noticed a huge increase in my pull-ups.  Even more, Ab Ripper is night and day for me since day 1…my core has improved the most:)

weight: up 2lbs 125 but I know I am retaining some water since it is that time.

body fat %: went up to 17 but again, the time of the month throws of accuracy…still, i will take 17% any day.

Miles this week: 36 (workouts) + 6 (Shakeology drinks) = 42 miles

CALL TO ACTION

Please take a second to share you struggles and successes for the week and don’t forget to report your miles:)  Many of you are not following the P90X program and that is fine.  However, I want you to consider taking an active rest week periodically as your muscles really do need that time to fully recover and build…which in turn speeds up your metabolism and burns more calories for you at rest.  Many people never take that rest and it is a huge mistake.  Even when I have people take before and after pictures for Beachbody I stress how important it is to take the after picture after 1 week of program completion.  The body will transform that much more…all because those muscles had a chance to rebuild and fire up that metabolism.  I always take an active rest week every 3rd or 4th week.  How many of you commit to a rest week?





Oak Harbor, Washington Fitness Event

18 02 2011

Join me and my team of coaches for a FREE workout session in the Oak Harbor area at Living Word.  Everyone is welcome to attend and of course, there is NO charge!  Anyone can join regardless of fitness level:)

Short Team Courage presentation followed by a kick butt workout featuring my boot camp style and routines from P90X, TurboFire and INSANITY.  We will wrap up the event with an exercise-nutrition question & answer session while samples of our favorite supplements are served.

 

FREE FITNESS EVENT

Date: Saturday,Feb. 26th 2011

Time: 10AM-12PM (registration starts at 9:30)

Where: Living word

490 NW Crosby Ave

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me and please RSVP if you plan to attend by filling out the information below

*Be sure to bring a water bottle and a towel with you and wear athletic clothing








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