Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Journey to Kilimanjaro.

Thank you for your COMMITMENT & DEDICATION. My wonderful clients, from all walks of life,  all have their own reasons for working out and staying fit. Commitment and dedication, though, are two distinct qualities they have in common. Mike, in particular, inspired me this week to write about these qualities.

Our culture has become so deathly afraid of these two words.   I mean, geez, this entire article probably daunts you because:
1)It's too long 
2)The Facebook bug is creeping in OR  
3) there aren't any pictures of funny cats or #hashtags to accompany it.

"It's like, I dunno, maybe, who knows, like let me think about it!". With the many advances of today, one hard truth is that we live in an age where attention spans go about as far as your index finger!  "ADD" gets tossed around like candy, often used as a term of endearment as if it's a quality to be admired. It's not. ADD is actually quite debilitating for those who genuinely suffer from it. Pardon moi, I digress.

Let's start again- As this work week began, I started to think about how lucky I am to have such COMMITTED and DEDICATED clients, who gave me hope that there are those who still carry these qualities like our mothers and fathers and all those who lived before FaceTweetGram.

Mike specifically inspired me because next week he departs to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro - a journey that started in December of 2012, when he approached me with this goal. For those of you who are not familiar, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world and a VOLCANO!! By December 2012, I had been training Mike for several years and he always challenged himself physically, but this decision to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro was the biggest commitment yet. We discussed in great detail what kind of training regimen this climb would require, the obstacles, and the level of commitment and dedication needed.  It was almost as if I was trying to talk him out of it.. I mean this is a guy who works 60+ hours a week, he is married, and has a dog! After laying out the plan and discussing the training regimen he looked at me with a big smile and replied with two words, "I'm ready!" And so it began, the journey to Kilimanjaro.

Here we are almost 9 months later and the metaphorical egg is about to hatch. He has worked his ass off! Training with me 3 times a week, eating right, and sticking to the plan. All of this has led him to be in the best shape of his life, feel the best he has ever felt, and have such healthy blood work that doctors ask him for advice.  This will most certainly be a monumental moment in his life. A moment that represents what hard work, dedication, and commitment really are.

If you've made it this far through the article, thank you!  You are one of the strong who can move past the "fear"  that is so prominent in our everyday lives especially when it comes to health and nutrition. It is my belief that commitment and dedication require self discipline, accountability, the ability to see beyond today, and most importantly hard work. Qualities I see everyday in my clients. Clients like Mike.

It is in you. It is in all of us.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Whites vs. Browns

No, this isn't a political issue regarding race and fences being built. This is the debate involving two types of rice - White and Brown!

As is true with most topics dealing with color in this country, this issue far exceeds what is on the surface. It is not only rices but what about potatoes? Breads? Pasta? No one is safe and nothing is what it seems.

The issue of white rice versus brown rice has long been debated. For the most part, everyone agrees, brown is better. Right? Absolutely...but do you know why? Ask anyone in Hollywood if they eat white rice and you will probably get a response that has the combined scoff and furrowed brow. With the over abundance of casting calls, cross fits, boot camps, juice cleanses, and reality television - it's been years since anyone has had a carbohydrate, brown or white.

Here is some basic knowledge of carbohydrates:

Two Types of Carbs
      1)    Simple – candy, white sugar, fruit   
      2) Complex – vegetables, oatmeal, brown rice

1. Carbohydrate enters the body

2. Broken down into Sugar

3. Sugar is then metabolized by the liver to be utilized as energy

4. Excess sugar not utilized for energy is stored as FAT

The main focus here is that all carbohydrates are used for energy. What differs from one form of carbohydrate to another is how long the process takes to break down the carbohydrate to be used for energy. Let me explain this in Sushi terms:

You go out to dinner with your friends to your favorite sushi spot. It's sushi! What can go wrong? You order the dynamite roll, the shrimp tempura roll, the spicy tuna roll, the roll roll, and some saki to wash it down. What do all these rolls have in common? That white sticky layer of delicious rice that holds all the cream cheese, avocado, and fried shrimp together. This is what happens next:

Sushi goes into your mouth and down the pipe;

it's digested and broken down into Fats, Carbs, & Protein (aka avocado, rice, fish);

the sugar from the carbs are metabolized by the liver, to be used as energy,

but it's 10 o'clock at night! And, since you are not exercising now, your body stores the energy for later. 
Stored energy = Fat

Like I said before - not all carbs are created equal. Yes, they are all eventually broken down to be used as energy, but there are some factors that slow down this process so that you don't have an immediate rush of sugar that hits your blood stream. 

The problem - "White" carbs (pasta, white rice, and white bread) are processed so that they no longer carry any of their original nutrients making them easily digestible and bland enough to go with any meal. 
Fit Fact-  Rice is naturally brown. Not white. It becomes white after processing that makes it white and easier to cook. Same goes for breads. 

The solution is to opt for carbohydrates that are - 
1) Unprocessed (or as close to natural as possible)
2) Have added nutritional value 
3) High in fiber 

Here's a grocery list of good carbs: Oatmeal, quinoa, flax, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, apples, pears, brown rice, fiber one cereal, sweet potatoes, ezekiel bread, peanut butter, & berries. 

When you have added nutritional components such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, your body has to work much more to break it down. This means it has less potential to be stored as fat. Plus, the added nutrients work to lower cholesterol, satisfy cravings, repair cells in the body, & provide long lasting energy source for the day ahead of you. 

It's that easy. Now don't go telling everyone I said not to have sushi. Just opt for some more sashimi, seaweed salad, and shishito peppers! 

Drop the cookie. Train With Danny. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Train With Danny.

Drop The Cookie and Do Something!

A huge thank you to the two people who created this for me, Zach Bainter and Vance Malone!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Real Reason February Makes You Fat!

February has begun and I get this familiar feeling in my gut - the tides are changing. Gym attendance slowly declines, energized January faces are now pale and haggard, determination lies somewhere deep in the gym bag in your backseat, and the treadmill looks like the bouncer of the hot club you’re never getting into.

Every year it’s the same trend!

January -You are “in it to win it”, hitting the gym harder than ever, your New Year’s resolution is in full effect, and you’re looking and feeling great!

February (“wah wah”)-  You’ll skip the gym for a day or two, think one day of pizza, fries, and pasta wont hurt? Your back hurts, but you’ll get back into the gym next week for sure!” February 20, Gym? What’s that?  And you’re looking and feeling just okay.

This year, you can change this horrible trend! Don’t just fork over your monthly $49.99 while gym managers enjoy this “easy month” and cash in on their bonuses – Cha-ching! Of course it’s not going to be easy- life is hard and the clock is always ticking.  I understand- I am not some 21 year old with endless amounts of energy. I have a beautiful 4-month-old 15lb bundle of joy, a wife, a business, and a personal life, yet I still find time to keep my health and fitness a priority and here is how:

Keep tabs of when you work out. Journal, iCal, a notebook, and/or foursquare. Holding yourself accountable each week creates focus, progress, and a commitment to yourself. How many days do you want to get to the gym this week? 3-5 days is ideal. Pick an achievable number and stick with it.

Workout with a friend. Hire a trainer. Sign-up for that 5k run everyone is talking about. Buy a dress that you don’t fit into. Join a local group exercise class. All these things keep you working towards something, and add an external motivator to keep you moving forward.

Commonly overlooked because people nowadays hate to commit to anything. Create a schedule that you will follow every week. Look at any successful organization, business, or wealthy individual and structure is a main ingredient.

It has been scientifically proven that a person who eats a significant amount of fruits and vegetables daily will snack less, exercise more, feel better, and store less fat. Don’t pass the produce!

Follow these steps and success is but a squat, push up, and ¼ mile away!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ho Ho..Oy Vey!

The holiday season is coming to an end and many of us are heading towards the common January 1st feeling. What feeling do I speak of? You know, the feeling that makes you say “Today I’m gonna start fresh!” or some variation of that. That feeling you get when you stand in front of your mirror and all the mistakes you made are staring right back at you. I’m not talking about the mistake of a costume you wore on Halloween. Nor is it the undercooked turkey everyone in your family ate at the risk of food poisoning because they didn’t want to hurt your feelings. It’s definitely not the crappy gift you got for your spouse.
It’s the food! All those glorious calories hidden beneath a façade of what appears to be pure deliciousness. Examples of common “mistakes” include –

  • ·      Holiday cheeses
  • ·      Gravy
  • ·      Turkey
  • ·      Ham
  • ·      Cupcakes
  • ·      Regular cakes
  • ·      Mini cakes
  • ·      Butter with Vegetables (not a mistake)
  • ·      Latkes
  • ·      Chocolate
  • ·      vodka, gin, tequila, whisky
  • ·      Sweets of all kinds
  • ·      Casseroles
  • ·      Mashed potatoes
  • ·      Honey
  • ·      Steak
  • ·      Stuffing

Don’t get me wrong; I love a hearty plate of stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy as much as the next guy, but something needs to be done because every year the same pattern repeats itself - 99% of the world’s population joins a gym and starts a diet on January 1st (Percentage is an approximation). Many of you ate too much, drank too much, and exercised too little. The guilt will set in at midnight like Cinderella turning into a 15-pound heavier version of herself.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Here are some tips and tricks to get ahead of the curve and start the year out healthy and right!

1)    Drink 8oz of water for every cocktail you have. Stay buzzed but keep hydrated. Water helps burn fat and keep you satisfied.
2)    Meat served last on your plate. Stock up on veggies and grains first, then meat.
3)    Exercise on Dec 24th and December 31st.  Boost your metabolism as a preemptive strike against holiday foods.
4)    Less salt on everything. Holiday dishes are already notorious for high sodium levels.  
5)    Remember salads exist.  Cold weather does not equal a lack of veggies at the supermarket.
6)    Exercise before the family gets up in the morning. Once aunt Becky, your dad, sister, & dog get up, your chances of working out decrease by 38% (Percentage is an approximation).
7)    December is Vitamin C month.  Keep your immune system strong with carrots, guava, oranges, strawberries, and brusells sprouts.
8)    Measure your gut.  Get measuring tape and line it up with your navel. Take note of that waist size. Knowing is half the battle.
9)    Watch sports. Oddly enough, people are more motivated to work out if they watch sports of some kind.
10)  Lastly, please don’t eat canned cranberry sauce. It should be a crime around the world that this gelatin-like substance calls itself food.

That’s all you need to do to beat those winter woes. Ten easy steps that will save your waistline but keep the holidays merry, jolly, meshugganah, or whatever you like to call it. So, go ahead and drunk text your ex and instagram way too many photos of yourself in santa hats – those are easier to forget about than those extra pounds on your belly.