Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mind Blown

I hit a bunch of CrossFit webpages religiously.  I start my morning checking out the WOD for my local CrossFit box, CrossFit SOAR. After that I check out, the crossfit journals, and then  That's along with the RSS feeds that go to my inbox from the many paleo websites and blogs that I follow.  A post that caught my attention was a recent CrossFit journal video that spent a day with Graham Holmberg and Rich Froning Jr. before the 2011 CrossFit games and cataloged their workouts and diets.

I had heard of two-a-days, but these guys are insane.  There is a reason they are the fittest people on earth.  They must have done somewhere around 6 workouts during the day.  They would wake up around 5 am and then go to bed around 10-11 at night.  They also ate very little compared to what I eat during the day.  Rich also ate peanut butter and jelly out of tupperware container......

It's important to remember that these guys are training for the games and to be the absolute fittest in the world.  Most of us have jobs and most of us just want to be healthy and fit.  This was just an insight into the fittest in the world and my mind was blown.  If you can see this video, watch it.  It is amazing to see what the human body can do.

UPDATE:  I found the link, it's a free download and a MUST see!  Enjoy!  Number 1 and Number 2: A Day of Training

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paleo Lemon Bar Recipe

So what's the best part of a new diet? Finding all the treats that fit into it.  I did some research and found the a recipe for paleo lemon bars.  I made them this past weekend and they are delicious.  Be warned, they are very sweet and heavy which makes them great but if you're someone, like me, who thinks they can polish it off in one sitting, it will present a challenge.  The ingredients call for honey, which I normally would stay away from just because I don't want the extra sugar but as a treat, I allowed it.  I will post the instructions and pictures here and also link you to where I found the original recipe thanks to a CrossFit affiliate. 

Ingredients for Topping:
  • 3 whole cage-free eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
Ingredients for Crust:
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 cup of pecans (or other nut, I used cashews)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of melted unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 whole cage-free eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions for the topping:
I started with the topping to allow it time to cool.  I started by taking a sauce pan and blending the eggs, honey, and lemon juice together.  After they are blended, I turned on the heat to about medium-high and slowly added the coconut oil.  I would probably add it all at once or all in small pieces.  I stirred until the mixture begins to solidify and bubble.  You will see the mixture thicken and in my case, the oil didn't melt before it thickened (which is why I would add it in small pieces and not the glob I used).  Once it got to the point where it started bubbling, I placed the topping in a bowl and put it in the fridge to solidify further.

Instructions for the crust:
I only had a 1/2 cup of almonds so I used that with the other nut I had in the house, cashews.  So I put the 1/2 cup of almonds and the 1 1/2 cup of cashews in a food processor and pulsed them to where they were finely chopped.  I stopped often and mixed the nuts up so that I didn't turn the nuts into a butter.  Having some nut chunks is fine.  From there, I placed the rest of the ingredients (honey, coco oil, eggs, sea salt) in the food processor and pulsed a few times until everything was well mixed and had something that resembled a chunky batter.  I placed the batter into a coconut oil greased 9 x 9 inch baking pan I had and placed it into the oven that was preheated to 400 degrees.  I let that bake for about 10 minutes.  I took it out, placed a knife in and it came out pretty clean.  I placed the crust onto a cooling rack for a while.  Be gentle because the crust will come out very soft like a cake. 

When everything was cool, I placed the cake onto a plate, spread out the topping across it and placed it back in the fridge for a little while until after dinner.  What came out was an awesome dessert.

I found this recipe from EAT THIS.  Check them out!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vitamin D

In the paleo diet, there isn't a need for MUCH supplementation because we are supposed to get everything we need from the real food we eat.  Of course, that doesn't always happen and everyone has different goals.  I, for instance, take a generic multivitamin and a fish oil pill with breakfast and dinner.  I ran this by my doctor along with the basics of the paleo diet, of which he was familiar, and said that I was doing everything perfectly.  I also mentioned that I had taken some Vitamin D in the beginning and he began to warn me about oversupplementation with Vitamin D.  Let's see why we need Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is produced by cholesterol in the skin when in contact with sunlight (UVB to be specific).  This is why getting at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight every day is recommended.  Mark Sisson says, "One thirty minute session of full-body (no shirt, shorts, no sunblock) sun exposure when the sun is at its strongest, for example, can get you between 10-20,000 IUs of endogenous vitamin D production. If you get 20,000 IU a week, you’re way ahead of the game."  That's if you can get that much.  The issue also comes in during the colder months and for those that work indoors all day.  You may not get that kind of powerful sun exposure at all during a work week if you are in this scenario. 
Lets go back to the doctor's office.  His concern is that he saw an extreme abundance of kidney stone cases coming into his office.  He links it to the current over supplementation of Vitamin D.  Vitamin D, sometimes taken with calcium, can cause kidney stones when taken in large doses.  He didn't tell me to avoid the Vitamin D supplements altogether, he just said to be careful.  It was an interesting point of view from a DOCTOR who could also spit out studies to backup his claim.  He is a reputable source of knowledge for me and hopefully your doctor can be for you too.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Preparing for the Level 1 Cert

I'm scheduled to take the Crossfit Level 1 Certification in less than 2 months!  I think this is a great place to study.  I will be posting some study points that will benefit my readers as well as myself. 

The certification process involves a two day seminar in which numerous areas of fitness, lifting and anything related to crossfit will be covered.  This culminates in a 45 question test in which you must get 35 correct to pass.  The test covers programming and legal issues, nutrition, technique, the movements, "What is Fitness", and "What is Crossfit".  The course outline complete with some test questions are available on for those interested. If you need to study up or just want to further your own abilities, the training guide is available from the crossfit journal. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Paleo Chili

When I get a free Sunday, I like to sit back and watch football with a nice bowl of chili. Normal chili isn't that paleo so I decided to make my own.  Here are my ingredients:
  1. 2 pounds grass-fed beef
  2. Red Bell Pepper
  3. Onion
  4. Cumin
  5. Oregano
  6. Chili Powder
  7. Garlic
  8. Organic Crushed & Diced Tomatoes (make sure there are no extra ingredients added)
I started by browning the beef and onion in a pan. From there I placed the beef and onion in a crockpot and mixed in the rest of the ingredients.  I don't have exact measurements because I mostly eyeball the pot and add as I see fit. I let it simmer for about 4 hours.

In the end, I feel like it may have been missing one more ingredient and I will investigate to find out what that is.  This didn't stop the chili from being an excellent snack for me during football.  For dinner that night, I cooked some wild caught cod fish and placed the chili on top.  This proved to be an excellent combination along with some sauteed spinach and my wife's delicious California mashers on the side.  Give it a try for your next football Sunday.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The home gym

Let's be honest.  There are days you just don't want to leave the house.  Sometimes, getting that workout in would be great if it could be done in the house.  There are plenty of ways to get those workouts in.  Soon, I'll be posting some home based, weight-free, workouts.  For now, check out what my good buddy Chris did in his garage to start up his home gym.

Click THIS LINK to check out a video from the main site about another sweet garage gym.

Words of Wisdom : "Youthfulness is not determined by age. It is determined by one’s life force. One who possesses hope is forever young. One who continually advances is forever beautiful."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dynamics of "The Box"

CrossFit is all about health.  For me, it's that and a whole lot more.  It fills that void left out by not participating in competitive sports anymore.  A friend of mine and myself frequent the local recreational football league.  We decided not to participate this season and instead, I'm focusing on CrossFit.  My goal is to become the fittest of my box.  Every day a new person arrives with a different skill set that I wish to surpass.  I don't know why but I have a competitive drive to be the best.  I also want to cheer on all of my fellow CrossFitters to maintain the growth with me.  If I train to beat them and they train to beat me, we all get better.  A close race is a lot more fun as well. 
The difference between this and the local gym is that we all celebrate everyone's achievements. We all celebrate milestones and great workouts.  The community makes the CrossFit experience that much better.  I log all of my times and my max lifts.  To see the lifts leap higher and the times shrink down is a great feeling.  When everyone around you is cheering for everyone else, you push a little bit harder and get those PRs.
CrossFit is the perfect fit for me.  I can compete against myself, compete against others, and cheer on my team all at the same time.  For now, I shoot for small goals.  I shoot for PRs.  Would I love to be one to compete at the CrossFit Games?? Absolutely.  That will take time though.  It is my belief that my diet is what separates me from the normal athlete.  It will also be my work ethic that will separate me from the great athlete.  Cheer on your fellow athlete and they will cheer for you.  Better yourself, work as a team, and always have fun!

Words of Wisdom: "The exclusive pursuit of one's own interests cannot bring true happiness.  It is in striving for the sake of others that the great path to genuine happiness is opened."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Enhancing your health

I follow a lot of different people on many different avenues.  All of them provide different ideas and points of view relating to diet and exercise.  Each one has their own qualifications and different experiences.  To fine tune my own diet, I take the ideas of everyone and fit them to fit my needs.  I also weed out the ones that I don't think make sense.  In the end it's all about fitting what you want and what will make you happy.  I follow a number of people on twitter like @fit_chutney, @paleovillage, and @cnstantlyvaried.  I follow a number of blogs like Against the Grain, Robb Wolf's website, Gary Taubes blog, Mark's Daily Apple, and more!  Even if I don't agree with everything they have to say, I will still listen to their point of view and compare it to mine.  If it is something I have never considered, I will give it a try (if it makes sense to me). 

Science constantly changes and new ideas, points of view, and RECIPIES! come out all the time.  Try to absorb as much as you can from many different sources.  Sift through it all and go with what makes the most sense and, most importantly, what makes you the happiest and healthiest person you can be.

Words of Wisdom: What will inevitably doom is a lack of commitment to fundamentals.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ego Check!

CrossFit is one of the most humbling sports I have ever encountered.  (Is CrossFit a sport?  That's for another post.)  I have played football, baseball, basketball.  I have ice skated, climbed walls, ran 5Ks.  Nothing slapped me in the mouth like a WOD (Workout Of the Day) at the local crossfit box. 
Recently, I pulled my groin.  Never a fun place to have an injury.  On top of that, my hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes were sore to the point where I've been hobbling around the office.  One of the hardest things to do is also one of the most necessary things to do.  That is taking it easy when you're hurt.  The whole competitive spirit of crossfit is one of the many areas that makes it so addictive for me.  I'm constantly competing against myself and others to improve and beat times.  Taking a day off just seems unbearable but it must be done.  I still went to my local crossfit and stretched out the problem areas and did some light exercises.  I went heavy on some upper body but made sure that I did not jeopardize the recovery of my lower body.  Taking a break is essential.  SLEEP is incredbly essential.  It's one of the core values of health that is frequently overlooked and put aside.

To summarize, crossfit is the ultimate gut check and you MUST check your ego at the door.  Take a break when you're hurt and don't rush back.  Remember, the reason we work out is so we can enjoy our life.  You want to be able to push yourself slowly and get better with each workout, not worse.  You don't want to be hobbling around the office like me, do you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My own true story

While I am not a doctor, I have done plenty of diets, workout routines, and all of the latest fads.  I've never been overweight or nonathletic.  I just strive to get better and get as close to the best as possible.  I haven't seen a drastic change with my performance or my physical appearance like I have with switching to a paleo diet and starting CrossFit.   First, a little background about myself. 

I have ran track all my life along with playing youth sports like football, baseball, and basketball.  I was always skinny fat.  I would run track and devour 3 double bacon cheese burgers and a large order of fries every day during the summer.  I would get physicals that the most sports required and they always came back without any issues.  My diet was terrible but I was active enough to maintain that diet without getting obese.  As I got older, I started professional wrestling.  I looked into bodybuilding and trying to gain (good) weight.  I would lift some pretty good weight in the gym but never really leaned out.  I began to get slower and less flexible as an athlete. It wasn't until very recently when I saw a friend of mine (the same friend I used to get those cheeseburgers with) who looked like he turned into the terminator.  He looked like the fittest person on the planet.  He wasn't huge in the bodybuilding sense, but he looked like he was powerful and healthy.  I found out that he had joined his local crossfit gym and started following a paleo diet.

Fast forward to today, I follow a paleo diet of grass-fed meat, free-range eggs/chicken, vegetables, fruit, seeds, and nuts.  I no longer count calories or macronutrients.  I eat when I want to eat.  While I've dropped from about 215 to 200lbs, I've begun the climb back up by doing something I love.  EATING MORE!  My waist went from a 38 to a 34 and I've been able to lift weights, lift my body, and lift my energy to a point that I have not experienced.  All of this happening within a span of a couple months.  While I won't say that everyone should do this (I do think everyone should), I will say that this has worked wonders for me.  I don't always provide the links to the scientific studies that accompany what I say, I have done the research and have my own body as proof.  If there are ever any questions, I'm here to help!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paleo Puppy

I have an english bulldog.  He is about a year and a half old.  We got him as a little puppy.  When he started to grow up, he developed what appeared to be allergies and skin issues.  He would get raw in between his folds no matter how well we cleaned him and kept after him.  He would lick and bite his paws and they had a red yeast in between them. 

We eventually found a pet food that worked for him.  His allergies went away.  The redness between his paws that caused him to constantly lick and chew had cleared up.  His face was now clear and smooth like it should be.  What kind of food did we switch him to?  Well, its still a processed dog food, but you actually know what the ingredients are.  It's grain free and full of real food.  All of the ingredients are either fish (his favorite) or fruit or a vitamin supplement (just like his daddy).  The key is the removal of the grains and "extra" ingredients.   Now, he can play in the stream and bully the other dogs all day long.  All thanks to him being a paleo puppy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Get Grass-fed!

Are you confused while walking through the store and seeing "grass-fed", "organic", and a bunch of other fun catchy words to describe meat?  Well, in the Paleo community, we want the grass-fed beef.  It can be more expensive than regular beef but the health effects are priceless.
Why do we want grass-fed meat?  Because grass-fed meat (usually) isn't fed any fillers or grains, the meat is very lean.  Because it's extra lean, it's lower in calories.  The big plus of the grass-fed goodness is the fat content.  It is low in the bad fats and high in the good ones.  Grass-fed meat can have two to SIX times more Omega-3 fatty acids than regular meat.  Eggs from pastured hens can have as many as 20 times more omega-3's than eggs from caged hens!  Also, as I've documented before, grass-fed meat has a greatly improved taste.  Here is a link for some more detailed and documented information on the benefits of grass-fed farming: Benefits

Grass-fed meat can be hard to find in large quantities.  If you don't have farms near you that sell grass-fed products, you can order online.  Just be weary of where your food is coming from.  You don't want your food taking a week of travel time just to get to you.   A good resource to search for grass-fed meats in your area, visit this website: EAT WILD

Try my wife's new favorite, the grass-fed ground goat!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paleo Treats!

After all, what good is dieting without the cheating!  Of course, we're talking about having a treat while still staying on track.  Some helpful items are Coconut milk (or coconut anything for that matter) and Cocoa.  Recently, I had a wonderful person make Paleo brownies and coconut milk ice cream for me.  Is it perfect for the diet?  No, but it's a great treat while still maintaining that overall health.  Almond pancakes are another great treat when you're just craving pancakes.  Google recipies for them.  Just remember, don't make them for every meal.  Everything in moderation and constantly varied!

Monday, August 8, 2011


I do not call myself a nutritionist, I am not a doctor, nor am I certified.  I merely pass along information I find from the internet, resources, other people, or my own life's experiences.  One such resource is the blog Mark's Daily Apple.  Mark Sisson, the author of the site, has written many books and has a degree in biology.  He's a little more qualified.  He wrote about a fellow readers confusion about grass-fed whey protein and decided to explain a little bit about why it is more beneficial to get grass-fed products, in particular, grass-fed protein.
  • Grass-fed has better fatty acids.  They contain more omega-3 and more CLA (good fats).  Whey isolate contains no fat at all.
  • Grass-fed has a better micronutrient profile.  It contains more minerals and more vitamins.  Whey isolate does not contain either.
  • Grass-fed tastes better.  I can vouch for this one.  A grass-fed steak tastes great.  It's hard to explain so get one and try for yourself!
Grass-fed foods are great because they are a more complete food.  Your body will get more out of grass-fed beef, fat, and dairy (if your stomach can tolerate it).  Start out with one piece of beef and see how you like it.  Both your stomach and your body will appreciate it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The emegence of Crossfit

Crossfit is beginning to gain massive popularity.  Affiliates are opening everywhere.  The Crossfit games, which are a competition of the fittest of the fit, have been sponsored by Reebok.  Last years prize was $25,000.  This years is $250,000.  The paleo diet is also the latest diet craze.  So much so, there isn't a single library remotely close to me that has Robb Wolf's or Dr. Loren Cordain's books on the diet.  Is this a fad?  Possibly.  Will it fade?  It might.  The difference between this and something like the Atkins diet or step classes is that everyone sees the results.  When you walk into a crossfit gym, you see people in great shape.  Spend a little time in one and you can see results too.  You just have to try....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

De-Stress for Success

As it has always been stated, stress is toxic for the body and the mind.  It causes you to tense muscles and put unnecessary constant strain on the body and your internal organs.  Chronic stress can cause heart disease, impaired brain function, impaired immune system, etc.  Stress can also negatively affect your emotions.  There are plenty of different methods of staying level-headed and in a calm state.  Reducing stress in your life and your body, in particular, is great for your health.

 One way to reduce stress is through meditation.  Recently, a study done at UCLA suggests that people who meditate have stronger connections between different brain regions and reduced brain atrophy from aging.  Another favorite stress reducer is yoga.  Yoga not only reduces stress, it increases flexibility and blood flow.  The increased flexibility will greatly help your workouts. 
Always make sure to take time out of your day to relax.  Simply closing your eyes at your desk for 10 seconds can help you regain a sense of stability.  Gathering a sense of calm by controlling stress levels in your body can be great for your mind, mood, and overall health.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beat the heat

Where I live, there is a huge heat wave going on right now.  Hitting temps near 100 and heat index of 115 at times, it's important to listen to your body.  This post goes side by side with the last post about common sense.  Listen to your body and your mind.  Do not go crazy in the blazing heat.  Stay hydrated.  Also, as health coach Laura Pappas says, it's important to stay away from items that will dehydrate you.  Check out her blog HERE for important tips to beat the summer heat!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Common Sense

Dieting is all about common sense.  It should be simple.  We all have common sense, but if you read the news or talk to people, you will see that not everyone uses it.  There aren't magic pills or anything special that help us burn fat and get in shape.  There are some strange theories out there that I just can't say I would adopt because it doesn't sound right.  For instance:
  • Walking around outside without shoes on to get the physical connection to the earth cause electromagnetic stability in your body
  • Eating dirt because it is filled with plenty of vitamins and minerals, after all, that's where our food comes from.  (I SWEAR I JUST READ THIS)
  • Eating ::insert insane amount of certain food:: here 
Now fasting has been shown to have its benefits, but going days without eating is just not healthy.  I also understand the walking around without shoes on, but it was the reason why that made me laugh.  You should eat natural foods.  Common Sense.  Eat fruits and vegetables.  Common Sense.  Consume a decent amount of water throughout the day.  Since we're mostly made of water, sounds like common sense.  If you don't know what's in it? Don't eat it.  Common Sense.  Get SOME exercise.  Common sense.

These are simple ideals that can turn anyone from unhealthy to healthy.  Use some common sense when determining your lifestyle and your body will thank you for it.  Simple.

Motivation: “Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes.” - Proverb

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Shoes and your feet become a real important aspect of your lifestyle.  I could care less what they look like but I do care about how they function.  A bad pair of shoes can have a negative effect on your posture, which can affect your joints, muscles, balance, etc.   While working out, your shoe can make a certain lift more difficult by affecting posture and balance as I found out during a recent lifting session.  I had been wearing a pair of traditional nike basketball shoes.  Since they have a curved sole, on certain lifts, I found myself rolling forward on the balls of my feet instead of powering through the heels.

Now I can't tell you what shoe to wear because it really depends on the person.  When I lift now, I prefer to get myself as close to what nature intended as possible so I do not wear shoes.  If my Workout of the Day includes running, I will wear a pair of shoes since my running is outdoors and I don't know what I'll step in.  When running, I will want a pair of shoes that keep me on the balls of my feet to spring forward and promote proper running technique.  Regardless of the shoes you wear, if they start to wear out, replace them.  You don't want a part of the shoe rubbing against the back of your ankle or wearing out the sole to the point where you can see the ground underneath.  When starting out with a new pair of shoes, don't run long distances at first.  You're shoes will be stifBe smart and listen to your body.  If it feels uncomfortable....if you don't have good balance.....if your KNEES! start to bother you.....maybe it's time to look into a new pair of shoes.

Motivation: "Begin to be now what you will be hereafter." - William James

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stay on track

So the weekend passes and you had a BBQ.  You went to the party fully motivated and told yourself, "I will have some chicken and a salad.  That's it."  As the night wears on, you have some chicken.....with some pasta....cheeseburger.....french cream....and some cake.  Ok, so you failed.  That is perfectly fine.  One bad day you can live with.  That will not make you obese.  Use the "bad day" to motivate yourself.  Take the next day to get yourself on track.  Start with waking up in the morning and having a solid meal.   Hit the gym hard and stay focused.  One bad day does not need to ruin the next 6 months.  Let this monday serve as a kick start.  Hit the gym hard.  Focus on your meals and Carpe Diem.

Motivation: "He who hesistates is lost." - Proverb

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Edition!

My first attempt at a Crossfit benchmark workout went as expected.  I could only physically finish 3 rounds although the rx is for 5 rounds.  I'd like to blame on the paleo pancakes my wife made before the workout but it is probably the fact that I did not drink anything since I woke up.  A big, big mistake.  So "Barbara" (the name of the workout), beat me up pretty good so I returned home to eat.  There was nothing quickly available as I normally drink a protein shake after a workout.  The normal protein shake doesn't quite fly with Paleo.  So, I improvised.

4 oz. Coconut Milk
4 oz. Water
1 tbl. Almond Butter
2 scoops Whey Protein
2 handful of ice cubes

That went in the blender and I sort of had chocolate ice cream.  While delicious, the protein powder could be better quality and next time I would add a little more coconut milk and a little less ice cubes.  Try it out!  If you have your own post paleo meals, feel free to share!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crossfit so far

Crossfit recommends 3 days on and 1 day off.  I am going to half enjoy this day off.  After my first three days at Crossfit SOAR, I am beat.  It is incredibly addictive though.  I get pushed to the limit every time and I love it.  The great people there definitely help.  The community aspect is the perfect touch to the workout.  Strangely, the people are why I stopped going to a conventional gym like Retro Fitness.  Every workout is the true meaning of friendly competition.  It is competition against yourself and it can be against others.  I watch other people working out around me and try to do the same or outpace them.  At the same time, everyone is rooting for everyone else.  If this keeps happening, everyone gets better and everyone wins.

I'm using today's day off to do some food shopping.  I'll be heading to whole foods to pick up as much grass-fed beef and other paleo goodies that I can find.  Maybe gathering ingredients to make these: Paleo Donut Holes

Motivation: “When you reach the top, keep climbing.”  -Proverb

Monday, July 11, 2011


So this past weekend, I participated in the Rugged Maniac 5K run.  It was a blast!  It was a 5K run through Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ.  There were mudslides, crawling through rivers, hoping walls, and tons of other obstacles along the run.  If there is ever and adventure race like the rugged maniac near you, I suggest you try it out. 

As for today, I feel great and I'm about to join my local Crossfit center, Crossfit SOAR.  I'm excited and looking forward to the WOD (Workout Of the Day).  Of's deadlifts.....

Motivational Quote: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."
—Ambrose Redmoon

Friday, July 8, 2011


Let's jump right into a big controversial topic.  Eggs!  A great source of proteins, vitamins and minerals, eggs are the staple of all diets.

Western society tells us that egg whites are full of protein and the egg yolk is bad because of high saturated fats and cholesterol.  Avoiding egg yolks should not be something you incorporate because of its numerous dietary advantages.  Some paleo enthusiasts have said to me, "Why would you not want the part of the egg with all the nutrients and vitamins?"  So I've done a little research.  What paleo believes is that you should stick to the cage-free eggs that have the bigger amounts of omega-3.  Just because a carton says brown eggs, does not mean they are cage-free.  Someone about 60 pounds lighter than I am says he eats 4 whole eggs every day in the morning.  As a results, I started eating 5-6 whole eggs in the morning.  I was immediate scolded by my wife who did her own research and found that a well-known paleo supporter, Dr. Loren Cordain, suggested eating 6 eggs a week.  It appears the good doctor has changed stance a little and advocates whole eggs.  In fact, he states that egg whites can increase intestinal permeability which is a cause of autoimmune disease!  The second big part is the study that suggests that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are not leading factors in coronary heart disease.  In fact, diets with high dietary cholesterol can be beneficial.  Here at quotes from the doctor himself,
"Although eggs are one of the most concentrated sources of dietary cholesterol (212 mg per egg), dietary cholesterol has a minimal effect upon blood cholesterol concentrations in most people. Further, high cholesterol egg diets cause an increase in blood HDL particles (the good particles that remove cholesterol from the body) and reduce the highly atherogenic small dense LDL particles while simultaneously increasing the less atherogenic large, “fluffy” LDL particles."
Now, a dozen eggs shouldn't be automatically thrust into everyone's diet.  There are people with egg allergies, existing autoimmune diseases, etc.  If you want to read up some more, I've included a couple articles that are worth a read:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Paleo Meal

Last night's dinner and today's lunch was a first for me.  Now that my wonderful wife has decided to give the paleo diet a try, she cooked up a nice dinner.  Spaghetti squash and homemade pasta sauce made with turkey sausage.

Being italian, I need my pasta fix once in a while and this did the job.  After dinner, she did some reading and saw she could make her own almond butter.  Since we didn't have any in the house, she grabbed some raw almonds, threw them in the food processor, and in a few minutes had her own almond butter.  Well now what could she do with all this homemade almond butter??

It was muffin time.  As an even bigger fan of pastries, these were perfect for after dinner.  Coconut almond muffins.  Google the recipe.  It's starch free and great with a couple blueberries on top.  Try these out yourself.

NEW FEATURE!!  If you look to the right of the page, we have added the Foodee Meal of the Day!  Another spot to grab some great paleo meal ideas!  Check back often.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rule #1 - DIET!!

You can do all the workouts you want to try and lose weight/get muscular/etc.   The only way you will see any permanent change is through your diet.  Ten millions crunches a day will not get you that six-pack.  It is your diet.  The concept is the same as a car.  The better you take care of it, the better it will run.  Fueling with the best possible gas will give you the best possible results.  While you can get very specific, you should follow these very basic principles.

1. Stay away from sugars!
  - Refined sugars are the worst and will go straight to your fat stores.  There is almost no reason to have any refined sugars in your diet.

2. Drink plenty of water.
   - Many believe you should be drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water.  I try to go for at least a gallon of water a day.  There are many reasons to drink lots of water.  Water will flush your body of toxins, which none of us want in our bodies.  Also, muscle grows efficiently in a hydrated environment.  How will it get there??  Through drinking lots of water!

These are the two biggest rules that I see broken daily by everyone.  Some other points to follow based on the paleo diet are:
- Do not eat grains or starches (like bread, pasta, noodles, potatoes)
- Do not eat beans or legumes (including string beans, kidney beans, peanuts, peas)
- Avoid dairy

Items to eat are:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, Chicken, Fish
- Eggs
- Nuts (Not peanuts or cashews)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Big Changes

I think it's time to give this blog the ol' kick start again.  When I get a better cell phone, I'll be able to post more often.  Until then, it's time for an update.

I spent the July 4th weekend at my good friend Chris' wedding.  He is a crossfit guy.  They are basically a totally different breed than the usual bodybuilder types you see.  I had been preaching the values of the bodybuilder for a long time and after this weekend......changes are in store.  I'll be looking up my local crossfit to see if I can join.  A crossfit gym is very expensive so I'll see what I can do about the price until I can set up my basement for such workouts.  I spent two workouts at Crossfit King of Prussia and it was one of the best workouts I have EVER had.  The people are great and the community aspect is something I have not seen in a long time.  It is something that can make being a part of a crossfit family well worth the cost.  It also gives me something to strive for.

In the most basic of terms, a crossfit workout is usually less than a half hour long and is made to be 110% effort throughout.  This is very different than the hour to hour and a half you can spend lifting weights in a gym.  The diet is also different as it is based on the diets of that of the cavement (Paleo diet).  Of course, there are a lot more details than that but this is what I will be adopting from here on out.  All of the people I met are inspirations.  Chris himself is an inspiration and someone who's times and weights I now have to reach for.  I'll be documenting my findings, my travels and overall tips so check back often and leave comments!  (I'll also get better at writing articles.  Right now I just spew out random thoughts.  Enjoy!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tips of the Day

Generally, I don't talk about things like appetite suppression because if you're body is telling you that you are hungry, you should feed it.  It's saying, "HEY I'M OUT OF GAS! TIME FOR A REFILL".  You wouldn't do that to your car so you shouldn't do it to your body.  I received an email today from which talks about natural appetite suppressors.  I will pass this on to you because while they may suppress your appetite, these are things that should be done for overall health.  Follow these tips everyday for general health and well being.

1. "Avoid Refined Carbohydrates and Simple Sugars"
This should be a no brainer.  Stay away from the pastas, cookies, cakes, etc.  The crash and ultimate fat you would add to your body is not worth it.  Now by all means, have some when you feel like it once and a while, but it should not be a staple of your diet.  This also means you should have complex carbs in your diet.  Eat fruits and veggies.  Mom didn't lie when she said they would make you strong.

2. "Drink plenty of water"
Water is what we're mostly made of, after all.  I try to drink a gallon of water a day.  Yes that is a lot of water and it does not result in as many trips to the bathroom as you think.  I am also a large person who eats large amount of protein.  The water is necessary to flush out my system.  Eight 8-ounce glasses of water is a good place to start for most people. 

3. "Eat the right amount of fat, fiber and protein"
My darling wife thinks the more fiber she gets in her diet the better.  That's great if you like spending your life on the toilet.  Fiber does make you feel full and that can be a good thing but excess anything will get expelled from the body.  As I've said before about fat, just because it has fat doesn't mean run as far away as you can.  There are some good fats and your body needs them.  Healthy fats can reduce excess body fat which is what we want gone from our body's anyway.  Finally, getting plenty of protein is important.  It is the building block of muscle.  Getting a salad will do nothing for your health because the lettuce is nutritionally empty.  Add some chicken, fish or beef on there and now we're talking.

4. "Supplement nutrients if you need to"
Take your vitamins!  A good multivitamin will help you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals that you may not get in your diet that can keep you in the best possible shape.  If you don't like swallowing horse pills, you can get the gummy bear vitamins.  They have them in all kinds so if you hate pills, get yourself some gummy vitamins and you can actually enjoy taking them.

5. Exercise
Won't exercising make you hungry?  Possibly.  Although, exercising will tech the body to use stored fat as fuel instead of whats in your stomach.

6. Eat more meals
5-6 smaller meals throughout the day is better than 3 big meals.  This will keep the body burning and speed up your metabolism ultimately burning more fat.

7. "Address the emotional hunger issue"
Don't eat because you are bored.  Don't eat because you are upset.  If you set up your diet ahead of time, you will know what is acceptable to eat and what isn't.  This can help avoid eating just because you feel like eating.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Motivation is the hardest thing to get and then maintain.  Sure, you have all the motivation in the world when you're watching Rocky.  What about when you're sitting at your desk?  What about when you're sitting at home in front of the TV?  That's when you have to have the will power.  That's when it benefits you to surround yourself with people that share your goals. 

Maintaining that drive is something I have been struggling with lately, which is why I decided to write a small post about it.  I have my routine.  I've planned out everything.  I know what days to do which workouts.  I've planned out meals and at what time.  That's step 1.  Step 2 is following through and making adjustments when necessary.  Holiday parties, birthday's, get togethers, etc. should not deter you from your goal.  Bring that bottle of water with you when you leave the house.  Look ahead and plan out your meals if something through a wrench in your normal plans.  Keep that picture of Stallone or Arnold in your car.  Know where the finish line is and go full speed ahead!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Be Active

You should do some sort of activity most days of the week.  I do believe in one day of rest every week.  For example, when I am on my game, I go to the gym and lift weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Yoga on Tuesdays, and Plyometric training on Thursdays.  This leaves me with a flex day during the week if things get to hectic.  I will move a workout to saturday.  I play football on sundays so at some point during the week, there will be one workout free week. 

The body needs rest.  That includes stress.  Stress is a great way to get yourself unhealthy.  While you need a physical break, you should also give yourself sometime to have a mental break.  Allow yourself some time to relax and fade into a book or a movie.  Always leave yourself some time for you to enjoy life.

For those looking for a daily workout to follow, check out Chris's local Crossfit webpage (, Crossfit KoP.  There they post the workout of the day.  Give it a try.  If it is too complex for your skill level, scale it back and just try to get the movements down.  Remember, a workout is supposed to push you.  If it's easy, it's not much of a workout now is it?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pet Peeve #1

Here is one of my biggest pet peeves.  If something has to tell you it's healthy, it probably isn't.  FAT FREE!  HIGH IN FIBER!!  GREAT SOURCE OF 13 VITAMINS AND MINERALS!!

I'm sorry, Froot Loops are not good for you in any way possible.  Do you see eggs with a big "PACKED WITH PROTEIN" sticker on them??  Are there signs on vegetables?  No, because no one needs to tell you that they're good stuff.  My favorite is the 100 calorie packs.  Just because they're 100 calorie packs does not mean you can eat 4 packs and be great for lunch.  It sounds like common sense when you put it this way but people fall for this all the time.  Please, do not fall for these.  These are good to help extremely obese and over-eaters reduce their calories.  Weening off of an unhealthy diet is great if you need to use these to control yourself.  They should just be eliminated completely in the end. 

Be weary of the "healthy" claims and be smart.....unless you're cheating, then go crazy and eat all 11 vitamins in that pop tart.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Almond Butter

I am not foreign to almonds or even almond butter, but making my way through Trader Joe's this past weekend, I noticed something.  I was torn between two jars, Raw creamy unsalted almond butter and creamy unsalted almond butter.  This confused me as everything in trader joes is organic.  Both should include just almonds.  I grabbed the one that I had eaten before and it was the regular kind.  Upon researching, the difference was whether or not the almonds were roasted.  Interesting......

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


After a long long day, I would normally take a day off.  Something my body loves is normal good food and lots of water.  Water is something that a lot people ignore.  Don't drink coffee, don't drink snapple iced tea, don't drink something from starbucks.  Water is great for flushing out the system.  Yesterday, during my donut binge, I realized that I drank very little water.  Today, now that the dieting is coming back on track, my body is looking for water again.  I try to drink roughly a gallon of water every day.

Rest is another hugely overlooked item for health.  I am skipping my rotation in the gym today because my body is still exhausted and recovering from the beating I gave it yesterday.  I will go to bed early tonight and try to catch up on the sleep that I've been depriving my body.  Lack of sleep can equal sickness very quickly.  You should be getting AT THE VERY VERY VERY MINIMUM, 7 hours of sleep per night.  My body seems to be fully charged after 9.  Nine hours of sleep is a lot in this day and age but I try to get it whenever I can.  You also do not want to lay in bed all day, but that is a given.

Today, I may jog down the log hallways and sprint to and from my car today.  I also find myself stretching whenever possible.  Getting the blood flowing (not through added stress) is great for ones health.

Today's diet so far:
3 eggs, 1/2cup of egg whites
Jenn's delicious turkey chili (ground turkey, diced tomatoes, beans [she wants fiber all the time....i dunno...], onions, spices)
Cup of brown rice.

I should be back to normal tomorrow depending on the amount of rest I can get tonight.  Until then, get your butt moving!  Park farther away, jog to your car, use the stairs! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8th

Today is my birthday!  YAY ME!!  There is no such thing as a diet today.  My diet so far has consisted of donuts and a bbq chicken wrap.  It will end with burgers, fries, and cake.  This occurs one day throughout the year.  It probably isn't good to go crazy and into a diabetic coma like I do today, but its only one day. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Peanut Butter?!

Peanut butter.  The staple of every body builder.  However, as my good pal Chris would tell me, the peanut is not actually a nut.  It is a legume.  What is the difference exactly?   Well, in a nutshell (LOL, ok i'll stop), a nut will usually only have one or at most two seeds.  Legumes have many.  Also, a true nut will not open on its own while a legume is open naturally.  Of course, it's never as cut and dry as that.

From a nutrtition standpoint, the legume is a gut irritant.  It can cause small perforations in the intestine which is not fun for anyone. What it comes down to is that you should aim towards something like Almonds for your diet instead of peanuts.  I currently incorporate both into my diet for the mere fact that getting almond butter is just too expensive.  This is also a big reason that body builders go for peanut butter.  Regardless of which you choose, the product has to be natural.  You do not want all of the added chemicals and sugars that come with processed foods.  Yes, that means Skippy does not count.  For me, I shop at Trader Joe's.  You really can't go wrong with many of their products.  I grab a bag of Raw Almonds for my healthy fats (Yes you need fat in your diet but thats for another discussion) and natural creamy peanut butter. 

Dan's Portions:
2 tbls. Trader Joe's Natural Peanut Butter once per day for meal 2
1 serving (approx 20) Raw Almonds with lunch (Meal 3) and with meal 4

Thanks for reading my first post.  I'm sure this topic and many other areas will be elaborated on in the future.  Leave any ideas or comments!  Thanks.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Welcome to your NEW favorite blog

While I may not be the original Iron Geek, I will say I am THE Iron Geek.  On this blog, I will share my wealth of knowledge regarding the two things I know best, Technology and Health.  With that said, this will probably be mostly about health.  Nutrition, working out, etc., are all things that are full of myths.  I hope through my blog I will clear them up.  On this site, I will provide workouts, diets recipes and general fitness tips.  Sit back, enjoy the ride, and tell your friends!