The Mass Gainers Essential Egg Salad

When I think back to my Gold’s Gym days, a time I was most definitively learning “the ropes,” as well, my way around a gym floor. I can clearly remember a few very serious lifters – with some very serious dedication – sitting on equipment between their sets eating from large containers full of egg salad, and drinking out of gallon water jugs.

Egg

If they were “off season” or not I couldn’t tell you, I didn’t give it quite that much thought. However, I definitely think it has something to do with why, to this day, I go through so many eggs. In fact, I know it does.

Egg

I was a gym neophyte, a newbie, the quintessential ectomorph striving for gains. The proverbial sponge, I listened to any and everyone and their advice, read everything I could, and ultimately relied on good ol’ trial and error. Lets call it, Applied Bodybuilding.

Protein

So – you wanna get big? Ya need a lot of protein. Our muscles require it, and how. We know of protein’s importance to our overall growth and development. Standard advice is one gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you don’t want to take my word for it click here. To gain a serious bulk, plan on upping that ante to 1 – 1/2 grams per pound. Ya, man. Everyday. Sound like a lot? It is.

This is not the sweet pickle relish deliciousness that mom used to make for the pot luck, (which I love) though I do believe it to be a serious contender.

Just be sure to wait until you are off the workout floor to consume it. The management will appreciate it.

Ingredients

  • 12 -16 eggs
  • 1/2 of a medium size onion, diced
  • 3 – 4 tbs mayonnaise
  • 2 – 4 tbs spicy, brown mustard
  • salt & cracked black pepper to taste

The Perfect Hard-boiled Egg

Step 1

Submerge eggs in a large pan of room temperature water and bring to a rolling boil. About 8 minutes. Boil for exactly 10 minutes.

Egg

Remove pan from heat and let sit for exactly 10 more minutes. Remove the eggs from the pan and submerge in a bowl of ice water. After about 5 minutes of cool down, test one. Voila.

Step 2

Combine all the other ingredients together well. Peel the eggs and roughly dice. (no need to get hairsplitting meticulous here) Fold the mixture into the eggs. I measure 4 eggs per container. 6 grams per egg x 4 eggs equals 24 grams of pure protein per serving. Done.

Egg

Back in the day

That Gold’s was an enormous cavern of a space. We were truly spoiled. The dumbbells stretched half the length of one side, and the leg area was the envy for miles around. Even during peak hours you rarely had to wait for a machine. And one more thing – it was clean – really clean.

Ripley would not believe it, but monthly membership was only $15. Ah, the good ol days. Any and everybody came and trained. I knew former bodybuilders, physique competitors, true gym rats, two CEO’s, and everyone in between. Gyms are communities, and there is something to be said for community. This was a cross-section of everyday folk just trying to get fit. I like that.

Aside from the customary self-absorbed knuckleheads, most everyone was supportive and had some knowledge and experience to share. I like that old school environment. Watching those bodybuilders eating all that egg salad got me curious about eggs. I’d always liked eggs. Growing up my father taught me how to make the perfect omelette, using water not milk. They inspired me to learn everything I could about them, building muscle, and more. Again, don’t just take my word for it.  click here

For total randomness follow @jwilltrain on Twitter.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”  – Aristotle

White Bean & Tomato Soup

“I live on good soup, not fine words” – Moliere

Soup season is upon us and there are few things better than a pot of simmering home cooked deliciousness – particularly on a sub zero day during an “Arctic Blast.” Would I rather be sailing? You bet.

Soup

Provence is where I’d rather be

My bucket list has no end in sight, and until I am waist deep in cerulean blue waters I try to recreate the Mediterranean lifestyle as much as I can – in my kitchen.There is something about this rustic chic region that appeals to me. Stone, wood, “Au natural” shall we say. And yes, the weather. Stews are commonplace in Provence most notably Bouillabaisse. As with many dishes from the region, it’s deliciousness originated among the “working class” and later through the years came to satisfy the gourmet palettes. Soups and stews are not full of hassle – you put in pot and simmer. And the more you simmer the better it gets. So how do you take a minimal amount of ingredients and turn them into a bowl full of amazing flavor? Well, it really doesn’t get much easier than this. Really.

Related Articles

Mediterranean Diet & Getting Started

Black Olive Tapenade

Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you’ll need” – Julia Child

White Bean & Tomato Soup

soup

  • 1 (16oz)  bag of Great Northern Beans
  • 1 (28oz) can Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1 medium white onion finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 2- 3 tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 heaping tbs Herb de Provence Seasoning Mix
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 8 cups water
  • Salt & Cracked Pepper to taste

“Cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy” – Julia Child 

DIRECTIONS

Soak the beans in water overnight, or at least 8 hours.

Step 1

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat then add the onions. Saute onions until translucent, about 8 – 10 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2  minutes being careful not to burn. Drain the beans and add  to pan with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil skimming the top for any foam. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Step 2 

Stir in tomatoes with juice, seasonings, and additional water. Salt and pepper to taste. Return cover and continue simmering for 1 more hour. Towards the end tomatoes will break up easily with a fork.

The cooks privilege: To taste periodically and adjust the seasonings.

Quality Control Check: After 2 hours the beans begin to soften the way I like them. 30 more minutes and I’m good to go.

As for living on good soup? But of course. Soups like these are hearty. Northern beans are an excellent source of protein and unlike meat are a cholesterol free. And garlic is, well, garlic and a little goes a long way. Tomatoes are full of lycopene – which makes them red – and are one of the few foods that release more of their nutrients as they are cooked. All the more reason to simmer down, simmer down, simmer down now.

For more of my obsession for all things Mediterranean follow @jwilltrain on Twitter.

Soup

Want more ideas for the stove top? Contact jwillcook:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

Is Social Media Ruining the Fitness Industry?

media

Is this a rant? Kind of.

We’ve all seen those insanely shredded, jacked up and perpetually pumped fitness folk with quotes like,“Your only competition is yourself” or “Harness the Power  – Conquer,”  touting a bottle of BCAA’s. Then there are the overly made up, contoured, false eyelashes and all, glamour shots with the side pose-glutes-out-ridiculousness. One more thing, (scratching head) how have some managed to accumulate over 250k + followers? Apparently now everyone is a physique model with a sponsorship. – spoiler alert – or, perhaps just a Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

What’s even more astounding are the sky-high prices (no joke) being offered for “Online Training.” (But still have gmail accounts?) Things that make you go hmm…. Let’s just dispel one thing – no, they are not all organic followers. So, into the spam they go.

To scroll or not to scroll

That is the question. It’s called feed scrolling syndrome and it’s legit. That being said, social media has provided us with a way to constantly occupy ourselves, aimlessly going through picture after picture. As I see it, this really is no genius creation. Back in the day we called them photo albums. The big difference here is that after taking the pictures and anxiously awaiting for them to be developed, we compiled them in an album for display.

According to goodtherapy.org “Young people turn to Instagram, Facebook, and texts to communicate and find a sense of belonging, which can lead to unrealistic expectations of happiness, a decrease in empathy, false presentations of self, and possibly isolation.” 

There is a big difference between doing something to get attention and getting attention doing something. Fuggedabout the apps with filters and the ability to cleverly adjust shadows, contrasts, structure, and brightness. So, sans the perfect overhead lighting and filter, let’s get to the real meat and potatoes shall we?

Instant Fitness

Working out isn’t a glamorous activity. You work up a sweat, at least you are supposed to, so I’m sure mascara in the eye isn’t pleasurable. And do we really need to see another transformation pic? Let’s not get it twisted, I applaud the hard-work. When I think back to my early twenties, and leaner than a walking boneless chicken breast, I had one thing on my mind and that was to build muscle. I poured over magazines, books, and asked everyone I could for advice and those magic tips that would help me get the results I was after. Now we call them “Gains.”

media

Every gym has a mayor. You know, those peacocks who strut around lats’ flared, like they own the place. Except they don’t – they pay a monthly membership fee to be there just like you and me. They like to regal us all with their knowledge so I would ask anyone I could, for pointers and ways to become a mayor just like them. I listened, took the knowledge I thought was relevant, and moved on. I met people in the process too. One day I walked in and people noticed changes. There was no need to say anything. Results speak for themselves.

It’s called social interaction. 

Over time, I began to see results. But not without hard work, sweat, determination, and most of all patience. Once I left the gym exhausted, went into the parking lot and puked. I worked my ass off that day. On one hand I was miserable, and on the other proud. I pushed myself to the limit. This was long before social media, however, and I wouldn’t have felt the need to let people know any way. Particularly not with a “clever spin” one-liner. It was what it was.

The Takeaway 

With age comes wisdom. First, we should never compare ourselves to others. Ever. We are are all individuals, with our own genetic makeup. Second, is progress easy? Hell no. Nothing is. However, when you see the memes about the summit, don’t forget about the mountain. Nothing is instant and results take time. Instead of “transformations” we should be focusing on how to get there. Ways and techniques on how to achieve those results. I applaud the short videos on demonstrating technique. And the ones showing just how creative a person can get with standard attachments and boring routines, are down right brilliant. But what’s with the hair styling videos? I thought you where a “Fitness Model.”   

And just for the record to some of the youngsters: We older folk who have been around, and in more than our fair share of gyms, know the signs and symptoms of, shall we say, someone who isn’t natty. If in fact that word still means “natural.” We know what to recognize. Just saying. (Insert emoticon winking) So, please stop doing what I believe is a major disservice, and telling people its natural – when it isn’t. Just come clean with everyone. Many will probably still follow you.

Hitting the gym on days the sofa calls out, following a nutrition plan designed specifically around your goals, and sticking to it, and continuous hard work, dedication, and sweat pays off. Really, it does. Not everyone aspires to be a physique competitor. We should all aspire to be stronger, healthier versions of ourselves though. 

And so, all rants eventually must come to an end.  Before you go scrolling through inspirational memes again, keep this word in mind: Realness.

For more realness follow @jwilltrain on Twitter.

6 AM – 8 PM Monday – Saturday

By Appointment

“Where you’re headed is more important than how fast you’re going”

Early Morning Workouts

morning

“Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It’s the best part of the day.” – George Allen Sr. 

I haven’t always been a morning person. Over the years, I’ve had to make myself one. Now, my days just aren’t the same without starting with a good workout. Seriously.

More often than not, we push our workouts to later in the day. “I’ll do it tonight,” you tell yourself. Then, after a full day of responsibilities and tasks, you are worn out. You may still go to the gym – but your workout just isn’t reaching it’s full potential. Plus, evenings tend to be “peak hours,” what, with the, “Can I work in?” Yeah, no. After a long day of the struggle being real, sometimes the last thing I want to do is share my bench press. Just saying. The early bird gets the worm.

“Set a goal that makes you want to jump out of bed every morning” 

Early Morning Benefits

Every morning workouts have several advantages.

Keep it Quick There is no need to “kill it” every session. Unless you’re going for your IFBB Pro-Card, save the intense workouts for the weekend or your day off. Moderate exercise for 40 – 55 minutes three times a week is recommended. Stretching, a little cardio, free weights, mix it up.

Metabolism Boost Our metabolisms begin kicking into high gear when rising and peak around high noon. According to Metabolicclock.com “Think of your metabolism like a miniature sun. At sunrise it’s waking up, it gathers momentum and is at it’s peak at midday. Then it glides gently into sunset slowing down and resting.” The coffee memes are funny and all, but nothing beats a great session.

Accountability There is no, “I’m to busy” first thing in the morning. Once you make a personal goal and keep it – it feels good. Start small. I tell clients all the time, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” Work your way up to Rock star. Instead of “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” say, “I am.”

Accomplishment The rush from endorphin’s and dopa-mine leaves us with a sense of well being. A quick shower and change of clothes and you’ll be boardroom confident. People will love to hate you because you have so much energy, smile all the time, and walk around with your shoulders back. Own it.

For more early morning inspiration follow @jwilltrain Twitter.

6 AM8 PM Monday  Saturday

By Appointment

Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat.