Eating Clean 101

Clean your Plate

Eating clean is a term used quite frequently now more than ever. That’s a good thing. If it’s mechanically separated or I can’t pronounce it – chances are I won’t knowingly eat it. To each individual though, it means something different. It does take a village.

I spent many years in the Food & Beverage industry and learned a great deal about various cuisines, styles of cooking, as well as various types of service. It wasn’t until a few years back, when I had the opportunity to run a small cafe of my own did I really begin to fully grasp what eating clean was really all about.

I called it “my little sandwhich counter”, but it was more than that. Space was at an absolute premium and my goal, besides offering the freshest items I could, was to streamline the operation. I learned everything really, by default.

I made all my salad dressings from scratch. I even had a customer insist she could sell my Balsamic. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. I think Paul Newman cornered that market anyway.

Because space little to there, and I was the main guy doing everything, I kept dishes and their preperation simple and uncomplicated. Fresh.

Peak Week

Now, a bodybuilder particulary during a prep phase for a show, probably the most grueling and restricted part of competition training, may tell you that boiled chicken and steamed asparagus is eating clean.

I learned all about that, carb-loading, and sodium manipulation when I experimented myself for a photo shoot. That type of diet is tough to maintain, and should only be done in moderation and supervised by a professional who really knows what their doing.

For the every day person we need not go to such extreme to consider ourselves eating clean. We simply need to start paying attention to the amount of processed foods we consume on a daily basis. Eliminating as many additives and preservatives is an excellent start.

PicsArt_1409884484027

Around the time I was operating the cafe I read somewhere, some excellent advice I try to adhere to to this day:

  • When at the supermarket, try to only shop the outer parameters of the store. Produce, meats, dairy…..foods at their freshest. 

I venture into the inside aisles’ from time to time for some things. Like chunk white albacore tuna in the can, black olives, and pasta.

 

As one begins to appreciate foods in their more natural states, the palate becomes more and more discerning. Another tip to help get started:

Do you have the desire?

“Be as you wish to seem” – Socrates

mo • ti • va • tion
noun

  • the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Physical fitness means different things to different people. I particulary like the second half of that definition: “The desire or willingness”. Perhaps you want to lose a few pounds for the upcoming epic spring break. Maybe you have a wedding to prepare for. Or did the doctor tell you it was in your best interest to start an exercise regimen?

I just want to look and feel better about myself.

Honesty is the best policy

The more I work with individuals, I continue to strive harder and harder to understand the reasons people find not to stick to an exercise regimen.

Here’s why: In todays day and age of modern technology and various social media platforms, I find it truly amazing that the average person, which studies have shown, spends an average of three (3) hours a day on facebook, continues to try and explain why they cannot dedicate three hours a week improving their body, mind, and spirit.

Sound harsh?

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life” – Socrates

Ask me no questions

Be as you wish to seem

While I do not expect everyone to become a fitness fanatic, I do hope that as our culture moves further into the new millinium, regular exercise becomes as important as “checking in” and status updates.

Ancient logic

The GREEKS, with whom I am fascinated with and spend a great deal of time researching, discussing, and quoting believed that a strong body equalled a strong mind. I speak often on how much better I feel mentally after a great workout. If I am too tired after a long day, which happens, and I cannot make it to the gym, I don’t freak out. However, I do make it up. I find a time in my schedule – later.

In the section here entitled MOTIVATION, I try to show ways to help find and keep “the desire and willingness.”  Way’s to incorporate various forms of exercise in your life.

And who knows, perhaps feel better about yourself at the same time.

 

Aim High

Aim

“The secret to change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new”

Socrates 

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Training Wisdom 101

Smart
Smart Power in politics is a term used in reference to the combination of using both military strength and diplomacy. There is also S.M.A.R.T. Business. An acronym that stands for:

S-pecific

M-eaningful

A-djustable

R-eachable

T-imely

But this isn’t a political piece, nor business acumen. It’s about exercise, physical fitness, and reaping the rewards of hard work.That being said, the same acronym above is used in Fitness Training. The key to success in anything is a well thought out plan. Charlie Batch, a NFL quarterback once said, “Proper preparation prevents poor performance”.

Document it

I still carry a Top Flight, college rule notebook and pen into the gym for every workout. In today’s day and age a bit archaic I’m sure, however I do not use an app to document my workout, and suffice it to say, don’t believe that to be the case with the majority of people on the gym floor with their phones either. But’s that not for me to criticise nor judge.

I use my device at the gym for it’s stopwatch. I’ve always been a very detail – oriented person but suffer from serious ADD So I log what muscle group I’m working, the exercises, the amount of reps/sets, the order in which I do them etc.

Bench Press Bench Mark

I use this information to not only plan my next workout, but to chart my progress….in four (4) and six (6) week intervals.  And then I adjust accordingly as I go.

Modus operandi

To me, training smarter also includes paying close attention to form and technique. And not just for the obvious. Safety first, and learning to check your ego at the door, is crucial. Theodore Roosevelt once said:

“Walk softly and carry a big stick”.

This isn’t a rant either, but I feel it important to point out I do not feel the need to swing, yank, jerk, or slam heavy weight around to let out my inner beast. So often I see really, really bad form. Training smarter also means understanding fundamentals like proper form and how stimulating muscle fibers helps them grow. Targeting the muscle with pinpoint precision isn’t easy, but much like riding a bicycle – once you master it, it’s there.

Time sensitive

Smart

The greek philosoher Aristotle said, “Patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” We all want progress, gains, the pay off and the gold watch. In an age of instant everything it is important to remind ourselves (and not let it discourage us) that results take time. Set a date. “By tbe end of January I will have increased my squat by x.” “By my birthday I will have lost 15 pounds.” It is amazing how the closer the big day comes, the more determined we get at working towards it. Sometimes those little tricks work better than any preworkout ever could.

It can be done. Be smart. Be patient.