3 Honest Examples of What I Eat

I’ve been asked lately about what I’ve been eating so here is a quick post to share with you today. You can see that even though I aim for nutrient dense foods, I also intake some inflammatory foods which I think is inevitable in real life.

Monday:

4AM: Chlorella algae powder w/ matcha powder (of green tea leaves). Feeling: Energized.

mysecretchlorella

Matcha (bright green, powerful energizing, brain boosting, antioxidant rich substance). Chlorella (dark green, extremely high chlorophyll making it a potent cellular rejuvinater and energizer).

5:00AM-7:45AM (coaching)

8:00AM – 8:20AM: abbreviated workout (20 mins of sleds)

 9:00AM Scrambled pastured eggs cooked w/ coconut oil. Black beans, a small avocado, some pepperjack cheese, a few bites of raw saurkraut (PROBIOTIC), and boiled chard.
12:30 PM Another round of chlorella/matcha because I was going back to coach.
1:15 PM: Meeting at the studio, food provided by management. Berries, then some of those deli wraps which did have flour, processed meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
3:00PM-6:30 PM (coaching)
6:45 PM amazing chamomile tea from Roy Street coffee
7:30 PM Organic grass fed raw home-made Kefir (PROBIOTIC)

Tuesday:

3:50 AM: Chlorella algae powder w/ matcha.

4:45AM – 7:30AM (coaching)

7:35 AM: Lots of blueberries as a gift from VIP member Deniz at LQA. Also a small peanut butter ball / protein snack that I had on the go walking from one training location to the next.

Blueberries are for antioxidant winners!

8:00AM – 9AM (coaching)
9:45 AM: Wild Alaskan King Salmon 8oz w/ raw saurkraut. (I wanted to have more veggies, but didn’t want to feel rushed during my short break so I just made it easy on myself and had the kraut).
11:00 AM: Americano from Analog Coffee. (nothing added)
12:20 PM: Small coconut nut butter protein ball (another little gift given to me from earlier) as a pre-workout energy source.
12:45 PM: Workout
1:45 PM: 16oz of coconut water (I just love a cold coconut water after the workout, not that I scientifically think it’s the best post-workout. It just makes me feel better than any of the hundred other post-workout drinks I’ve tried)
2:00 PM: Brew DR. Kombucha, “Spiced Apple,” flavor while chillin’ at Cal Anderson Park.
ITSDREFITNESSCalAndersonPark2017Sept26th

Picture at Cal Anderson park yesterday for my Instagram followers and blog readers.

3:00 PM: 24oz of Wild Alaskan King Salmon. Took 20oz of fresh spinach and steamed it/ate it. Also 2 bundles of chard which I boiled and ate that. Only had half an avocado because I was getting so full from the veggies.
5:30 PM – 9PM (coaching)
9:45 PM: Organic grass fed raw home-made Kefir (PROBIOTIC)

Wednesday:

5:40 AM: Chlorella algae powder w/ matcha

6:15 AM: Workout

7:20 AM: Post-workout, I had the Boar’s Head, “Rainier,” sandwhich from the QFC deli in Broadway Market w/ a coconut water of course. Another Brew Dr. Kombucha, this time “Clear Mind” flavor.
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM (coaching)
10:20 AM: During a quick break between coaching HIIT classes, I drank part of store bought Kefir called “Grace Harbor Farms, Plain Kefir” from QFC. This particular brand IS real legitimate kefir, unlike many store brands.
11:40 AM: Drank the other half of the bottle of kefir (Sometimes I only get a few moments to consume anything so I try to make it count, or otherwise I go too many hours without eating probably).
1:45 PM: Pho Than Brothers Pho #1 Large with extra broccoli.
2:30 PM – 4PM (coaching)
5:00 PM: One Chipotle Burrito Bowl with white rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, chicken, pico, salsa verde, corn, 1/2 serving sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce.
7:30PM: Goat Milk Kefir and start preparing for my day tomorrow.
kf

Kefir, a fermented milk beverage with promising health benefits.

Planning ahead for tomorrow

 Tomorrow I’ve planned that I will have more salmon/greens because today wasn’t my best eating day. I’ve taken on more work and helped other trainers at OTF so I notice that when my schedule becomes more demanding, I find it more challenging to consume the top foods. I’m sure you can relate.
Healthy food

I can’t wait to get salmon back in my body.

I already know that I’m going to have my matcha/chlorella around 4:00AM tomorrow. By 9AM, I’ll have some pastured eggs meal similar to that I had on Monday. Then when 3-4PM rolls around, I’ll be preparing my meal of fresh salmon / greens that I’ll have just picked up from the store. I try to go to bed around 8PM because if I get less than 6 hours of sleep, I already know it’s going to be a STRUGGLE to choose healthy foods. Sleep is so crucial for making the right choices.

Tomorrow will be a new day though, with more opportunities for nutrient dense food. It’s not glamorous that I have to wash a bunch of pots and pans to keep up with my cooking, but you just gotta do what you gotta do. I sometimes remind myself what a blessing it is to have access to some of the best nutrition in the world here in my city of Seattle. Why let the opportunity slip by?

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17 Random Thoughts about Fitness, Health, and Nutrition by Dre

Here are some random thoughts, in no particular order about relevant fitness related topics.

It’s not even 7PM as I begin writing this and I’m already thinking about getting myself ready to coach people at 4:45 AM tomorrow. But first, 17 random thoughts…

1. You should really make an effort to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Nasal breathing increases the respiratory system’s ability to warm and humidity the inspired air compared to oral breathing and reduces the drying and cooling effects of the increased ventilation during exercise. (Pubmed)

nosebreathing

Sometimes we need a reminder to be intentional with our breathing. I’ve experienced in Yoga practice, we are much more intentional with our breathing than a cardio class. Seems almost counter-intuitive that high intensity workout participants aren’t focusing on their breathing.

2. Breathing is one element that separates the novice from the elite.

Many people have muscles and strength and decent work capacity for a short period of time until they run out of breath. The problem is that they only start thinking about breathing when they are already out of breath and then it’s too late. Why? The muscles are starved.

I always start my intentional breathing moments before engaging in high intensity exercise. As I take in the air through my nose, I’m also visualizing myself succeeding in the upcoming task and then I’ll exhale my doubt and GO!

I ran a 4:56 minute mile for the first time in my life and it was due to nose breathing.

3. People always talk about how sex burns calories but I can think of a lot better reasons to do it.

I’ll stick to high intensity interval training and weight lifting for my calorie burn thank you very much!

I prefer Barbell Hip Thrusts anyway, the iron will always be there for me and weightlifting will make me hard like steel.

4. Almost every person I know has low/sub-optimal levels of Vitamin D.

vitddef.jpg

vitamin d weight loss

Vitamin D is essential for bone density, hormone metabolism, immune system, brain health, breast, prostate and so much more. Do yourself a favor and get some high potency Vitamin D from Amazon A.S.A.P.

5. Cheat days are a trap!

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I’m still trying to figure out what the hell is a cheat day?! Is that a day that you decide you’re done caring for yourself? Is that a day where you decide you don’t matter? Are you just going to slap a label on it and go to town?

Look, I’m all for being reasonable and going out and doing things. I eat Mexican food. I love sushi. I went to Las Vegas.

There’s no way I’m going to put a label on my day and call it a “cheat day.” That’s because when I am true to myself, I have nothing to cheat on.

I don’t have a cheat day because I realize that life will go on and all we have is this present moment. I’m not going to be the type of person who is off again and then on again and then off again.

If I go off track, then I forgive myself and choose the path forward. I can’t always see where I’m going. I will, however, stay authentic to my core values and manifest discipline whenever I have the strength to allow it!

6. Cheat meals are meant for bodybuilders and people who want to go on stage and show their bodies, not for regular people.

rkcht

I notice how trends from the hardcore fitness people then find their way into the mainstream. Regular people DO NOT NEED CHEAT MEALS. The reason is because regular people should not be dieting period. Is that controversial to say?

99% of people in America just need to adopt an attitude of mindful eating and make an effort to plan their meals around nutrient dense foods. Maybe you should take it a step forward and plan your day around nutrient dense foods as well. Again, we’re not dieting because that is restrictive.

I want all of us to be able to live a life of abundance — we should eat colorful, fresh foods that are high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics, and other currently undiscovered nutrients that likely benefit human health and well being.

7. Alcohol is the number one reason why you’re not leaner than you are.

This is a generalization and for people with non-alcohol sweet tooth (or potato-chip-aholics) this may not hold true for you.

alcghg

Everybody knows that alcohol is calorie dense. Alcohol actually has more calories per gram than both carbohydrates and protein. In addition to being calorie dense, most people neglect to understand that even moderate amounts of alcohol are toxic to the internal organs.

Here’s a shortlist of why alcohol prevents you from burning fat:

  • Stresses out the kidneys and liver so that your organs are no longer in a fat burning mode.
  • Weakens insulin sensitivity which encourages more food/energy to be stored in the fat cells instead of in the muscle cells (or burned off).
  • Causes inflammation in the gut, which tends to create a gut environment that favors the bad bacteria instead of the good bacteria. Research indicates that obesity is strongly related to the type, ratio, and volume of bacteria in your stomach.
  • Also increases overall systemic inflammation by stressing out/weakening the immune system. Research indicates that all disease must occur in a state of inflammation — so many diseases such as cancer are brought upon by lifestyle choices (read: more than 7 drinks a week and more than 1 drink per day are bad).
  • Hurts your sleep and recovery. You wake up feeling like sh*t and your subsequent workout will be weaker or maybe you’ll be lazy and not do anything at all.
  • Higher cortisol/stress hormone caused by alcohol consumption may lead you to make poor choices about food the next day. 

Wow, I could keep going. Just educate yourselves please. I know alcohol is the most common and socially acceptable drug out there. I know it makes socializing more fun. I also know that there are more ways to socialize, communicate, and grow community that don’t need to involve alcohol.

8. I still drink sometimes.

I’m not sober, but I can go a month without drinking and it’s not a big deal. I am mindful and realize that everything has risks. That being said, I limit myself to about 2-6 drinks maximum per week.

If you take somebody out for drinks, I feel like two drinks is the sweet spot anyway.

9. I still know how to party.

Okay I guess that’s not something to be proud of necessarily. I’m just saying that I can add a lot of value to the party and am a good person to know.

10. Please don’t ask me to go drink with you.

I’ll never drink just to drink. That’s why I ask that you don’t ask me to go drink with you.

Here are the circumstances that I’ll drink usually:

  • On vacation (preferably exotic / beach location)
  • With my brothers, because they are family and always will be.
  • If a very attractive woman asked me, but they never ask me. They wait till I ask them.
  • Birthday party, or career celebration party, weddings, or other special type of event (especially if it’s on a rooftop).
  • Did I miss anything? If you saw me drink or if you drank with me, post in the comments below.
kickballgame

On a really warm Sunday Funday, a couple cold beers and kickball!

11. I wish I was an owner/investor in Halo Top Ice Cream.

All I know is that Halo Top is taking my friends money like crazy. I wish I had stake in that company because I’d be rich.

For the record, I don’t like to eat ice cream more than a few times per year (I could count on my two hands).

Ice cream reminds me of my teens during a time in which I hated my body and also ate a lot of ice cream. I ate candy and so much ice cream and I just hated the way I felt about myself.

I don’t judge you for eating it, but I still think ice cream should be reserved for special occasions only.

httd

Even Halo Top still has added sugar. I’d rather get my sugar naturally from pomegranate seeds and cherries and blueberries. WAY more antioxidants than Halo Top and no sugar alcohols.

12. I just started my YouTube channel, won’t you subscribe?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKA1Lz-JAxg4ob7qGo3syGw

Most recent video:

13. Most people don’t eat enough vegetables.

This one is pretty obvious. I have worked one on one with hundreds of people now with their nutrition so I’ve learned A LOT about what people actually eat. I also peak into people’s shopping choices when I’m in the mood.

veggs.jpg

Vegetables simply aren’t glamorous or exciting (but they are beautiful). There are lots of benefits for vegetables though:

  • Leafy green veggies promote healthy hormones.
  • Vegetables contain life-promoting and anti-aging antioxidants
  • Many veggies create a gut environment conducive to healthy bacteria, which is very important for digestion, immune system, and of course fat loss.
  • Vegetables can literally turn the “ON” switch for the fat burning hormone known as adiponectin.

I could go on. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re just trying to be healthy and feel better or if you want to see your abs for the first time in your life, You. Need. Vegetables!

14. You probably eat a poor ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

I am big on fatty acids. It is known that consuming too many bad fats will wreck your immune system and clog up your cells. Of course partially hydrogenated oils aka trans fats have gotten lots of press for being bad and that’s true. Try not to eat those.

However, there are “Essential” fats known as Omega-6 fatty acids that are only known as “Essential” because you have to get them from diet. The problem is that Omega-6 fatty acids are extremely prevalent in our diet and now we have run into the situation of having too much of a good thing.

omegasss.jpg

The harm of having too much Omega-6 fatty acids in your diet is that it increases levels of inflammation in the body. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m big on inflammation because disease only exists in a state of inflammation. Aside from trying to prevent cancer, inflammation also matters because high levels of inflammation cause stress on the body and make it VERY challenging to burn fat and get a lean body.

15. Unless you eat Wild Alaskan salmon twice per week, you need more Omega-3’s in your life NOW.

Do yourself a favor and get some Nordic Naturals Omega-3 on Amazon now.

Omega-3 Benefits include: heart health, bone health, eye health, brain health, fat loss, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic health, liver health, kidney health, reproductive organ health, skin health.

Ya follow? Time to up your omega-3.

16. You probably need more flexibility in your upper back, and more stability in your lower back.

Flexibility in your upper back: Thoracic spine extensions, Yoga mountain pose into a back bend, having better posture during the day.

Stability in your lower back: Lower back exercises like bosu back extensions, core exercises like bird dog, dead bug, TRX pike/knee tuck, Turkish Get Up, and Glute exercises like bridges, thrusts, squats, deadlifts.

17. I’m not convinced that marijuana is the best sleep aid.

Even though marijuana can promote some deep sleep, it does disrupt the REM cycle and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I know a lot of people in Seattle use marijuana for sleep purposes. I would like to nudge you in the direction of other things.

First, maybe you can try quiet time, meditation, or yoga. Maybe stretch lightly in the evening, turn off all artificial light except some soft red light and listen to relaxing music.

Second, maybe you have a nutrient deficiency that you don’t know about. Poor sleep could be linked to a number of nutrient deficiencies. Magnesium and other trace minerals are involved in so many processes in the body, yet even “healthy” diets fall very short of the recommended daily allowance. Especially if you exercise often, drink alcohol occasionally, and have a low calorie diet, it’s EASY to become DEFICIENT in some nutrients.

My favorite Magnesium supplement is called Trace Minerals and it is a GAME CHANGER, let me say. It relaxes the body and basically cures muscle cramping immediately.

Third, perhaps you should try small doses of melatonin or other relaxing herbs such as chamomile, Valerian root, holy basil, and ashwaganda.

These are just some things to consider! Educate yourselves and never stop learning. I go to bed around 8PM on four nights per week so I know a thing or two about getting to sleep. 1-3 milligrams of Melatonin does it for me and I make sure to get 200-400mg of magnesium every day.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

I feel that we’re really heading somewhere powerful and even though this blog has been around for some time, we’re about to take off! Leave a comment below!

 

End Scrawny: 5 Fixes to Gain Muscle Mass for the Skinny Guy

How to Gain Lean Bulk for the Skinny/Underweight Male

Guys who are skinny are skinny for either one of two reasons.

1. They are young, somewhat active, and still experiencing growth

OR

2. Most skinny guys haven’t learned how to eat properly

The author with a 50 lbs difference in body mass

The author with a 50 lbs difference in body mass

Consuming food is easy, while consuming nutrients takes dedication.

Because most underweight males are at their weight due to lifestyle choices, we should focus on certain quick fixes to help gain some success and confidence. First I will discuss a few quick fixes, then I will relate the reasons why it is fundamental to create new eating habits.

Quick Fix# 1: Breakfast 

This is simple and it should be happening at least 6 out of every 7 days. Sure I can speak for days as to how breakfast enhances human metabolic processes… but you just need to do it.

  • Smoothies (berries / milk / protein)
  • Oatmeal (milk / whey / almond butter or peanut butter / or coconut oil)
  • Shake (fresh juices, vegetables, fruits, powders)
  • Eggs + vegetables
  • Many possibilities

Quick Fix# 2: Allow yourself a minimum of 20 minutes for breakfast

Okay, so the first two MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN DO are both related to breakfast. That should give you a glimpse as to how extremely valuable this time is for your body.

You cannot rush through breakfast and expect to have healthy digestion and consumption.

Go to bed 20 minutes earlier the night before if you must.

Quick Fix# 3: Eat Big Carbs before / after workout

To gain muscle mass, you want to increase the energy storage within the muscle. Carbohydrates, particularly glucose or food that readily converts into glucose are the muscles preferred sources of energy.

This guy understands the benefits of healthy carbs.

This guy understands the benefits of healthy carbs.

As muscles adapt to training stimuli, the overall amount of glycogen stored within the muscle will be increased.

Let me put it this way: The more lean, athletic muscle you possess, the more carb-based energy will be stored within the muscles. This is one reason that gives the muscles a larger physical size/appearance. It also means you have the potential to be more powerful than most other people.

Quick Fix# 4: Consume Protein before / after workout

Protein contains bonds of amino acids which are essential for the body. Powerful body-strengthening mechanisms are activated by protein.

After your workout, your muscles will be increased sensitivity to uptaking carbohydrates and glucose. When the muscles uptake glucose more readily, it has a carryover effect of uptaking protein as well. In other words, carbs help attract muscle building amino acids into the actual muscle tissue.

Quick Fix# 5: Take Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement 

Some people eat Wild Alaskan Salmon three times per week — and they might not need an Omega-3 supplement. However, most people, especially skinny guys NEED the nutrients and will utilize Omega-3’s to support anabolic processes.

You will cripple your progress unless you consume adequate omega-3s.

You will cripple your progress unless you consume adequate omega-3s.

A lot of people talk about the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids — I know all about them. If you want to know more, google that. Let’s talk about the MUSCLE BUILDING and ANABOLIC properties that omega-3’s possess.

  • Improved insulin sensitivity (translates to –> more protein/glucose IN your muscles)
  • Joint lubrication (translates to –> less achy joints, quicker recovery time from exercise)
  • Supports Inflammatory process (translates to –> inflammation is regulated to improve adaptation to exercise)
  • Brain health (translates to –> you learn skills /exercise form quicker and can progress faster)

Gaining Lean Mass requires Lifestyle Alteration

Regardless of genes, your lifestyle is the reason for why your body looks the way it does. In order to enhance the muscularity of the body, you must also enhance the internal health.

I take a strong holistic approach towards gaining weight in a healthy way. You must pay attention to the bio-feedback and signals from your body in order to truly achieve a state of wellness.

A few things to consider during your journey:

  • The role of gut health / bacteria in nearly all realms of human health condition
  • Sleep and other cycles
  • Hormones, how to optimize male / human hormones to exist in a muscle building state
  • Stressors — your ability to adapt to everyday stress
  • Coping strategies. Example… health = exercise. Unhealthy = smoking / drinking.
  • Antioxidants and intracellular optimalization

Muscle mass must be earned, every day. every week. and every month. 

The best things in life don’t come for free. The requirements to achieve greatness will always come with sacrifice and character building opportunities.

You can choose to make excuses… or you can force mental adaptation (lifestyle change).

Some perspective…

Exercise: 3-4 hours per week

For the other 164 hours of the week, you need to be owning up to habits which promote healthy metabolic functioning. And in your case, that means forcing physical adaptation through recovery methods (sleep, nutrition, unstress, and soft tissue work).

Stay tuned for the next post for an Exercise Routine to help the skinny guy.