Lean, mean, protein filled Chili

This is a great quick and easy dinner solution that’s great for an end of the day meal, and stores well for a next day lunch.

What you’ll need

  • 1 Can of Rotel tomato with green chili flavor (not drained)
  • 1 Can of diced tomato (not drained)
  • 1lbs of lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken (your preference)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • Shredded Cheese
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Can of cooked black beans, not drained

Cooking

  • Heat the oil in a medium/large skillet
  • Brown the meat until almost all pink is gone. Stir in the onions, cumin, and chili powder
  • continue cooking the onions and meat until meat is done and onions are almost transparent.
  • Add the black beans to the meat and cook stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the can of Rotel and Tomato (remember not to drain them as the juices from this and the beans will help create the “sauce”. If you want a less “soupy” feel, drain the beans and tomatoes)
  • Stir in making sure to mix everything thoroughly.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer, occasionally stirring for 15-20 minutes.

Put in a bowl and add a little cheese to the top or enjoy straight out of the pan! Hope you enjoy and if you make any changes to the recipe that you like be sure to let me know, I love to try new things! Remember these recipes are intended for active lifestyles and will provide plenty of energy and protein for the next day. So get out there, stay active, stay strong, stay healthy, stay happy!

Image

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breakfast shake of champions

This is a great breakfast shake if you don’t have time to sit down and eat a full breakfast. It contains all the essentials: Carbohydrates, Protein, potassium, calories, and it taste great!

What you’ll need: Peanut butter, chocolate soy milk, Oatmeal, Banana, Ice, Whey Protein, Coffee grinder, Blender.

Image

  • Grind up 1 cup of oatmeal in the coffee bean grinder until it’s a fine powder
  • Combine Banana, 1 scoop of Whey protein (flavor of your choice) 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 1/2 cups of ice, 1 cup of soy milk, and ground up oatmeal in blender
  • Hit blend. You may need to stop a few times to scrape peanut butter and protein from the sides. Just make sure you get it all mixed in there.
  • Drink and enjoy!

This shake contains around 800 calories and 40+ grams of protein. Great way to get a good breakfast in on the go if you’re trying to bulk up!

Image

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Healthy Shrimp and Rice

From today on I will be posting one new tasty, healthy, quick and easy recipe daily for one week. If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask away in the comment section. Remember you can follow me on twitter @Daviddouville1 or on instagram @ddouville1. Enjoy Today’s recipe!

This recipe requires cooked shrimp, cumin, chili powder, olive oil, rice, black beans (optional), a large non-stick skillet, and a medium size pot.

  • Wash the shrimp and then cut the tails leaving as much meat on as possible
  • Heat the oil in the nonstick skillet for about two – three minutes. Add shrimp.
  • Cook Shrimp for approximately 3-4 minutes, then add cumin and chili powder to taste (I prefer about a tablespoon of each).
  • In a separate pot begin boiling water for the rice (any rice will do, I prefer Uncle Ben’s brown rice).
  • Continue to cook the shrimp and occasionally stir to make sure the cumin and chili powder thoroughly coat the shrimp, continue cooking and stirring for approx. another five minutes.
  • OPTIONAL – If you want to add black beans for some extra taste, add the drained black beans to the shrimp now
  • Cover shrimp, reduce heat and let simmer for another five minutes. At this point you should have added the rice to your boiling water, which should also take five minutes to cook.
  • Remove both the rice and shrimp from heat and let it sit and cool uncovered for five minutes.
  • Rice on plate, shrimp on rice, and enjoy

shrimp

This quick, tasty twenty minute recipe is easy and high in protein, fiber, carbohydrates and low in fat. Play around with the recipe adding things to taste like jalapeno peppers during the simmer phase. Remember clean eating starts with a plan and an open mind! Eat clean, stay strong, stay healthy, stay happy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Clean Eating”

We’ve all heard the phrase before, clean eating. It immediately elicits mental images of eating nothing but carrots, V8 juice, no red meat, and carbs are the enemy. But what does clean eating really mean?

Make good decisions

Clean eating doesn’t mean you have to cut any one thing out of your diet. If you’ve read my original blog posts you know I’m all about moderation. Clean eating starts with a conscious decision to eat healthier, and a basic understanding of food in general. For example what foods are high in carbs, what foods are high in protein, what foods are high in fat. The second part comes from understanding the body and the way it works.

The Body in general

I say “in general”  because everyone’s body is different and genetics play a large part in what your diet should look like. But here is a basic break down of the three basic sources of energy, how your body uses them, and how you can better monitor them.

  • Carbohydrates – Your body NEEDS carbs, plain and simple. They are the first tier of fuel for your body. If your body has no available carbohydrates to burn, it will turn to the fat for energy, and then the protein (muscle). The biggest mistake people make is when they eat carbs. A high carb meal should be consumed on a day with rigorous activity, as your body will need all the energy it can get. In order to avoid putting on unwanted weight, avoid high carb meals on non-active days and for dinner. A high carb meal before your body goes into a rest state is one of the reasons people put on so much weight. Look for a leaner, lighter dinner such as salad with a lean meat such as chicken or fish.
  • Protein – Protein is the basic building blocks for all muscle, they aid in muscle repair after a work out or exercise session. There are two types of protein, whey and casein. Whey is a fast digesting protein and often used immediately after a work out to aid in muscle recovery. Casein protein is a slower digesting protein and best used for when the body will go a long period of time with no other sources of protein (such as night time). 
  • Fats – Woah woah woah…fats? Those are bad right? Yes and no. Your body needs fat, but just like anything else too much of it is bad. Your body uses fat to protect your organs, keep you insulated, and absorb certain fat soluble vitamins. Around 20-35% of your daily caloric intake should come from fats. Great sources are milk, greek yogurt, and avocados.

Understanding what your body needs will better help you plan your meals ahead of time. Planning is the key component in a solid diet. Going to the store to “browse” for dinner is never a good idea. Do your best to plan ahead, sit down on a Sunday and look on the internet, cook books, and wherever else you can find ideas from in order to know what you need from the store. Don’t be afraid to make recipes your own, if it’s an awesome enchilada recipe but you’re a vegetarian, just sub some beans for meat and call it a day.

Eating for your goals

Now that you have a better understanding of what the three macro-nutrients are and what they do, you are better armed to create your meal plans to suit your personal goals. Someone looking to add lean muscle mass (such as myself) would have a high protein, high carb diet. Someone looking to lose a few pounds might cut back on carbs in the latter half of the day. Here is an example of what my meals look like on a training day.

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal (carbs for energy) with two hard boiled eggs (protein)
  • Snack – Banana (potassium to keep muscles from cramping)
  • Lunch – Whole grain bread (slow digesting carbs for sustained energy) with Tuna (protein for muscle recovery)
  • Workout
  • Snack – Protein shake with milk for calories, fat, and muscle recovery
  • Second Lunch – Brown rice (carbs to replace energy burned from workout) with chicken stir fry (protein)
  • Snack – Greek Yogurt (fat)
  • Dinner – Fish and bean enchiladas on whole wheat tortillas (had this last night, fish and beans were great source of protein and tasted great, whole wheat tortillas for carbs before dinner since I’m trying to GAIN weight).

The sources vary, but the macro nutrients are the same. Understanding what your body needs to accomplish your goals of weight loss/gain are key.

Cheating

I am by no means a body builder, and never will be for one simple reason; I have a killer sweet tooth. I love cookies, I love ice cream, and I LOVE cake. If you can eliminate your sweet tooth cravings all together, I applaud you. However, if you are like me you will learn how to shop so that you can satisfy your sweet tooth on the go without going over board and ruining your entire weeks worth of diet. My personal favorite is to go out and buy a package of chips ahoy cookies. This allows me to grab one, maybe two cookies here and there when I feel the need to eat something sweet without going crazy. However, there is never more than one sweet thing at a time readily available to me. I provide myself with the ability to “cheat” on my diet, but within a strict set of parameters to keep me from ruining everything I’ve done all week. I also allow myself the weekend to eat my burgers, drink my beers, but I understand that whatever I do on the weekend, it’s back to the grindstone come Monday morning. It gives me something to look forward to, a reward for doing well all week.

A summary of Clean Eating

As always, knowledge and moderation is the key. At first you won’t know what to cook, you’ll hear clean eating and immediately picture a tasteless salad (yuck). Go out and buy a cook book to help you learn, inspire you, and guide your trips to the shopping mart. No one expects you to give up sweets and eat like a body builder or bikini model (unless of course you are one). Healthy eating, just like living a healthy lifestyle starts with knowledge, which then leads to better decision making, which then leads to a cleaner, happier, healthier lifestyle. Remember it’s a process not an overnight success. Within the next week or two I will be posting some of my favorite “clean eating” recipes so keep an eye out and remember clean eating and exercise is the first step to staying strong, staying healthy, and staying happy. Don’t forget to leave comments and subscribe so you don’t miss the next posts and the up coming recipe ideas!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding the right gym for you

Ever since I started writing my health and fitness blog, I have actively kept an eye out for all the gyms around Atlanta where I live, noticing the big corporate run gyms, the small hole in the wall gyms, the 24/7 fitness gyms, and the small signs posted near bus stops “We come to you!”. Finding the right gym for you is the hardest and most important part of getting started in your new life of fitness, and with all these choices it can be tough, overwhelming, and sometimes put a solid halt in your progress.

Which gym is right for me?

Finding the right gym will depend on the following: Skill level, dedication, schedule, and budget. Corporately run gyms are often the best for people who are already in shape as they have better access to equipment such as squat racks and hammer strength machines. If you have no clue what I just said and are getting started, then a little hole in the wall gym is best for you. Work crazy hours? 24/7 is always there for you. Here is a break down of some of the pros and cons of the different gyms out there.

Corporate gyms often require upfront payments of first and last months as a “joining” fee and require you to sign a year long contact at minimum. At first they may seem like they really want your business and they care, calling you, offering you free “consultation” classes, but once you sign that contract it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of every day gym life. Corporate gyms also attract a wide variety of the “body building” crowd. You know, people who are there to look pretty instead of be healthy. When I first started working out years ago I walked into the gym racked my first bench press bar with two 25lbs weights, struggled through my first set, sat up and watched a guy come in and curl what I was benching to warm up. Extremely discouraged I got up, went home, where nothing productive got done. Being surrounded by people who are leaps and bounds ahead of you as far as physical shape can be daunting, and when it comes to getting started you need all the focus you can get. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is YOURSELF. The one thing I can say that corporate gyms offer that many other places don’t is group classes, from cycling to yoga to zumba many of the smaller gyms just don’t have the money or client base to be able to afford those classes. If you are looking for a fun group activity to get started you may want to check into seeing if you can pay separately per class without having to sign some lengthy contract.

24/7 fitness gyms are my personal favorite because of my schedule. It allows me to workout whenever I want, without feeling rushed to finish my workout before the doors get locked. You sacrifice access to some of the “fancier” equipment, but if you are just starting out, old school push ups, sit ups, dumbbells and barbells will do just fine. Also as an added bonus the personal training staff really will feel like just that. A personal trainer. Smaller gym does mean a smaller client base, and while it depends greatly on the quality of personal trainer you have a much better chance of feeling like someone has your personal needs in mind at a smaller gym. 

The smaller gyms around the area that are not 24/7 offer the same benefits without the added flexibility of the anytime schedule. The best about hole in the wall gyms is they are everywhere allowing you to pick one close and convenient to you. Some are better than others, so make sure you go in and give it a good look around.

I have never personally experienced a house visit from a trainer, but I would imagine if you are comfortable with someone coming to your house this would be the most convenient. However, with the exception of perhaps a few dumbbells, anything a household visit trainer could bring you could do on your own and save the money. If you are having trouble coming up with exercises head over to my blog post “Circuit training at your own speed” for some ideas.

Gym check list

Whatever you decide to do, here are some all around questions you should go armed with in order to find the best gym fit for you

  • What is the start up fee, contract, and if there is a contract what is the cancellation policy?
  • How does the personal training work, and what are the trainers qualifications? (you might sound a little rude, but you don’t want a trainer that has only trained body builders if you are training for a marathon)
  • What are your hours/days of operation?
  • What group classes do you offer, and do I have to be a member to participate?
  • Can you give me a tour and over view of what the different equipment is for?

Signing up for a gym can be tough but it is the first step, and while contracts may be bad for some people it is also a financial motivator for others. Knowing you are going to pay regardless of going or not going can sometimes motivate people to get to the gym and do something be it run on a treadmill, participate in a group class, or just randomly run around lifting weights (if that’s what you’re doing I recommend asking someone for some advice, done be shy). At the end of the day, doing something, anything is better than nothing.

If you guys and girls out there like what you’re reading do me a favor and take a few seconds to subscribe, and if there is anything you’d like to see posted I’m always open to comments! And remember, stay strong, stay healthy, stay happy!

David

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Circuit training at your own speed

So you’ve decided you want to improve your overall athleticism, but you aren’t sure where to start. Below is one of my favorite circuit training routines geared towards increasing endurance, strength, and speed with minimal time spent in the gym. I will include three exercises (beginner [B], intermediate [I], and advanced [A]) so that something is included for all shapes, sizes, and gym experience.

How it works

Five exercises, one minute each geared towards a full body workout. Preform as many repetitions (reps) per exercise per minute as possible. There is no rest in between minutes, but you will allow yourself a three minute rest between your three, five minute “rounds”. Keep a running tally of how many reps you have preformed overall, ex. First minute I did thirty-five push-ups, second minute I did one hundred crunches, my total score so far would be one hundred and thirty-five. In between each five minute round write down your score. The objective here is to learn how hard you can push yourself WHILE learning to pace yourself as well. If you score 500+ in the first round, but second round you drop to 250, followed by a third round score of 100, you went too hard the first round. Each round score should be close to each other, with a slight increase in score, ex. 300 > 350 > 400. If you get to the end of the three rounds and feel like you could go again, you didn’t push yourself as hard as you could have. This routine should be preformed two to three times per week with a day of rest minimum in between.

The exercises

  • [B]Reverse push-up – Push up position, keeping your body flat lower yourself slowly until you are laying flat on the ground, return to the original starting position and lower yourself steadily again while bracing with your core. This is a great beginner exercise for those who can’t preform a full range of motion push-up. [I]Push-up – With hands shoulder width apart, brace your core and slowly lower yourself until your chest and core are both approx. two inches from the ground, and with an explosive and steady movement, extend your arms back to the starting position. [A]Burpee – Lower your butt to the ground in a squat position, place your hands directly in front of your feet and kick your legs out into a push-up position. Preform a push-up and explode with your feet back to your hands, returning to the squat position, jump up clapping your hands above your head. Repeat.
  • Crunch/Sit-up – Regular sit-ups will suffice. If you feel  you are more advanced raise your feet off the ground and crunch your knees to your chest without letting your feet touch the ground.
  • [B]Body weight squat – Pick a high point on a wall to focus on in order to help keep your back straight. Place your feet shoulder width apart with toes slightly angled out. Slowly squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor, press your heels into the ground and stand back up. Do not lock your knees out at the top. [I]/[A]Box Jumps/Squat Jumps – Find a box about knee/mid thigh high off the ground. Squat low and explode jumping onto the box and landing in a squat position. Step down safely and repeat. If no box is available lower yourself into squat position, explode digging your heels into the ground and jump, raising your knees as high as you can trying to jump and touch them to your chest.
  • [B/I/A]Barbell shoulder press – Using the appropriate weight, place your hands a little more than shoulder width apart on the bar. Rest the bar on your chest and step one leg back for balance. Brace your core and push the bar straight up above your head stopping right before your elbows lock out and immediately lower the bar back to starting position. Add weight as necessary.
  • [B]Assisted reverse grip pull-ups – Most gyms have an assisted pull-up machine. If yours does not however, find a chair and place it under the pull up bar. Grab the bar with your palms facing back, and using your legs with the chair to assist you, maintain a tight grip and pull your elbows down to your stomach raising your chest to the bar. [I/A] Reverse grip pull up – Grab the pull up bar with a reverse grip, remember to pull with your arms and use your back along WITH your biceps. Rest as needed and maintain solid form.

Wrapping it all up

Your rest period should be no more than three minutes and no less than two. Preform this routine two to three times a week for a month. If you are an athlete your goal should be to increase your total over-all score each week. If you are just starting out set your own personal goals. Maybe you want to be able to preform a real push up, or a real pull up at the end of the month. Remember keep a journal, and take those before and after pictures! The great thing about this work out is it gives you an overall idea of the shape you are in, and helps you challenge yourself to increase your endurance and muscle strength. I’d love to hear from anyone who tries this and see some of the results or scores you get over the course of the month. Remember to stay dedicated to the routine and as always, stay strong, stay healthy, stay happy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Marathon of healthy living

Most guys have at one point or another, fallen prey to the idea that when it comes to the gym, bigger is better. Bigger muscles, bigger weights, bigger results. And who can blame us? With every magazine in the sports section sporting (pun intended) pictures of muscle bound men with the captions “take your garden snake arms and turn them into pythons in just three weeks”, it’s hard to imagine anything less as being adequate. So we hit the gym, find the biggest dumbbell we can find, and start curling away. But what are we really accomplishing? Here are some things to think about when going after that ideal “summer bod”.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

First off, if you wait until May to start working out and eating right hoping to be bathing suit ready for June, you are going to be sorely disappointed. In order to safely make any drastic changes to your body regardless of the starting condition you need to move slowly. Set long term goals for yourself and allow yourself time to ease into a diet and exercising routine. Most people do not have the willpower to wake up one day, pour out all the soda in the fridge and start working out five days a week. Here are some simple steps to help you get started.

  • Bigger Lunch, smaller dinner
  • Don’t replace “junk food” and Soda once it’s gone
  • Set aside a specific time daily for your workouts
  • Short term, reasonable goals. i.e: Run a mile without walking, run two miles without walking, etc.

Easing into a healthy lifestyle can be much less daunting and more satisfying to some, and reaching our short term goals gives us a sense of accomplishment and pride in our work, and who doesn’t like feeling accomplished?

Find a workout routine that suits you

It sounds simple, but look at the routine and ask yourself, is this reasonable for me? Maybe the end result is the one you are after, but remember…marathon, not sprint. Start with something that will push you, but that you can accomplish and progress through in order to keep from getting discouraged. Also the accountability of a scheduled routine makes it a little easier to push yourself to the gym on those days you may or may not be “feeling it”.

Track your progress

This is going to sound super cheesy, but before you get started grab that camera, head to your bedroom when no one else is around and snap a quick “before” photo in the mirror. You live with yourself, all day every day and the changes that you make in the gym are going to be small, slow, and unnoticeable to you. But they ARE going to happen. Update your photo about once every six to eight weeks to see the changes your making and stay motivated. Don’t be shy or embarrassed, no one has to see this but you. Staying motivated and excited about the next step is whats going to get you to the gym on those days when you’d much rather just sit at home. Also go out and buy a .50 cent notebook to track repetitions of exercises done, and weight lifted so the next week you can aim for one more rep, or five more pounds.

Eat to sustain

As you start to exercise you are going to find that your body is going to need more food, and better quality meals to keep your energy up. Listen to your body, you will start to drink more water, eat healthier, and feel better all around. If you aren’t sure what foods to eat, grab a cook book and learn! Remember it’s a process and will not happen over night. Slow and steady wins the race.

You are your only competition

There is only one person you should be competing with in the gym, and that is yourself. I’m sure there is a guy that is bench pressing five hundred pounds, but that’s his business. If you go to the gym to compare yourself to other people you won’t last the month. As long as you are making steady improvements, it doesn’t matter how small they are, you are succeeding.

With all of this in mind, you can (incoming pun) lift yourself up to new heights in the gym, stay motivated, and stay on course to that summer body you want every year. Getting started is the hardest part, it is much easier to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle than it is to get there in the first place. Keep working hard, keep those pictures updated, and remember to stay strong, stay healthy, stay happy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment