What makes this cold weather a little more bearable? Soup, of course! Here is a recipe for a delicious, creamy tomato seafood bisque.
What makes this cold weather a little more bearable? Soup, of course! Here is a recipe for a delicious, creamy tomato seafood bisque.
It is officially upon us the holiday season. This is the time of the year that stress levels tend to increase. We have family pressures, our time become less ours and more dictated by outside forces, we also have ample opportunity to eat poorly. I am here to tell you it’s ok and we will get through this better and ready to attack 2020! Here are 7 tips to make it through this holiday season guilt free and wearing the same pants size you do now (or maybe even an improved body).
Create a chart with 7 days and 4 boxes per day, each box represents an eating opportunity. Every day put a check in a box when you stuck to your plan. Put an x in a box when you cheated on your plan. Score yourself out each week. Do not be too harsh. If you only followed your plan 50% of the time then just get back at it next week and aim for 60%. If you try to be perfect all the time you’ll only get frustrated and fail. So enjoy the time with friends and family, get some exercise and enjoy the sweets, just not all of them.
This week for our Meal of the Week we are going to change things up just a bit. We are now 8 days out from Thanksgiving. We all know that this is the ultimate “cheat day.” Here at Union Fitness we truly believe in helping each and every one of our members in and out of the gym. You may spend 1-10 hours a week in Union Fitness and we hope to empower you during that time to be your best self and live your best life. Too often as strength and fitness professionals we all lose sight of the end game, a better life. So with this in mind we are preparing to stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving day with friends and family and invite you to do the same and feel no guilt about enjoying your day.
The other thing we want to do is take care of yourself and others. On Thursday November 28th we invite you (and friends, member or non-member) to come down to Union Fitness and join us in our biggest class. We have named this class the Turkey Burn. If you are using our discount and running the Turkey Trot with our friends at the YMCA we will let you slide on this one. If you are free come down and join in the superclass. All we ask of you is three things:
The workout will consist of some cardio class, some lifting as well as a special Powerful with CJ workout. We will have the entire gym to ourselves so should be a great day of training. The workout will begin at 9 AM and wrap up at 10 AM, just in time to check your burnt turkey at home.
If you have any questions please ask any of our staff members. Now let’s empower each other for greatness.
It’s Wednesday so that means it’s time for meal of the week. We at Union Fitness love a good spice and nothing says spicy food like a cold day, so with winter creeping upon us we give you this recipe from Charles Jasper (CeJ, CJ, CG).
If you’re looking for some quality spice in your life, I suggest you try out this tasty salsa recipe. After my buddy Anthony B tried it out, he gave me his high five of approval. I’m not a guy that follows recipes to a tee but here is the baseline of ingredients .
For those that may not know, powerlifting is a weight class sport and in hope to maintain the theme of the upcoming meet, I am going to talk about my mindset going into weigh-ins this meet. This may be my first full power meet that I don’t try and cut weight to make a weight class. The thought alone messes with my head a little for a few reasons, but I am trying to find peace with it being an option. I am slightly above weight so once we reach 7 days out I will decide if it is something I can and want to manage.
For someone with a past of eating disorders, I am very aware of my own triggers. I am still learning how to entirely combat those feelings, but I am also learning to accept that it will be a process of good and bad days and even better and worse moments. Leading into this meet, I am acknowledging that a few of my personal triggers are developing and when this happens I have to prioritize those that I can control and cannot control.
With that said, for the time being, my goal is to eat enough to regain energy, to train and recover as necessary, and to COMPETE well.
I made a big pot of chili over the weekend for one of my meals. I rarely use measurements and tend to use my eyes as a judgment call for recipes like this. However, these are all of the ingredients:
93/7 ground turkey
90/10 ground beef
Light red kidney beans
Dark red kidney beans
Green, yellow, and red pepper
Can you say superfood?! Salmon has so many health benefits as well as being uber tasty! It’s probably top of my favorite sea meals. Going forward, I’m trying to incorporate new dishes into my prep besides just chicken and rice. I want to add some flavor to my routine so let’s see how these couple weeks go, and I’ll keep you updated!
So back to what you came for. Salmon is a good source of potassium, balancing blood pressure, and your immune system. It also is an anti-inflammatory so helping with recovery thanks to its Omega-3s for all my lifting friends.
With this main dish, I would pair it with 1 cup of 5 min white rice I usually squeeze lime juice and garlic powder to give it some flavor as well as 1 cup of steamed brussel sprouts. I just buy mine from Aldis usually cost around $1.27 for a bag. Their 5min white rice usually comes out to be $1.70.
So delicious! And guess what it takes only 20 mins for the whole meal, so if you’re looking for a quick dish this week this one is a goooo!
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
2 tbs oil
1 lime (juice/zest)
2tbs cilantro, coarsely chopped
½ jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped (I used 1tbsp of minced garlic)
2 lb salmon fillet
1.5 g carbs
30 g protein
During our “fake fall,” my cravings for warm, comforting things came back full swing – weighted blankets, sleeping in, pumpkin spice everything, and naturally, soup.
It’s 90 degrees out right now, so that’s a bummer, but I’m still on the soup train. I’m working fairly late, so by the time I get home and take care of BB, I have to get food in pretty quickly in order to get to bed on time. For a long time, that meant eating a prepared salad and calling it a night, but I’ve been making a little more effort as of late. Here’s a soup option that won’t take more than 15-30 minutes (with a little prep). It does include a few special ingredients, but I’ll include some substitutions that you’re more likely to have on hand.
What You’ll Need:
This particular bowl came out to 750cals, 62g protein, 69g carbs, and 23g fat. Right on target for me, and totally customizable for you!
Say hello to my newest obsession: Edamame Noodles.
I stumbled upon these bad boys at Aldi this weekend while my kids were searching for the perfect noodle. (Unbeknownst to me, I might have found mine too!) They settled upon linguine and I popped these organic, gluten free & vegan noodles in the cart too. A good gluten free noodle is hard to come by, so naturally I was a little wary. I’m happy to report that they got a gold star from me!
I’m always excited to find a noodle that has a hefty amount of protein and just one serving (about 2 oz dry) packs a massive 24g of protein, only 20g of carbs and 3.5g of fat. Wins all around!
For lunches this week, I tossed the noodles in about ½ teaspoon of pesto sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, paired with BBQ grilled chicken and fresh from the farm green beans.
It’s mid-December and the holiday season is now fully upon us. What does that mean? Probably a little less time in the gym, a few more cookies than usual, and hopefully a lot more time with friends and family. Good things all around in my humble opinion.
If you’re traveling over the next few weeks, you might be feeling a little anxiety about skipping your workouts and training sessions. Here are a few quick and maybe unexpected tips to help keep you on track:
Hey you, when’s the last time you actually took a prolonged rest? Did I hear never? Well, look’s like now is your time! And what better occasion could there be to give your body the rest it needs to recover than when spending lots of quality time with your loved ones? You’ll likely be eating a little more than usual, giving your body some extra fuel to use towards recovery. When January 1 comes around, you’ll feel refreshed and super motivated to get back to your normal training routine.
Remember that not every meal in the month of December is a holiday meal – most of the time you’re going to be eating the normal, healthy food that fuels you. Right? If not, give that some thought. Holiday food is delicious and should be savored, and it loses its luster when you’re overindulging. Eat grandma’s famous nut roll and enjoy the hell out of, but not every night for a week. You are capable of moderation, and your body will thank you for it.
One of my favorite things to do when I go home to visit family is to try out different gyms and studios. Never tried yoga? Find a local studio and rent a mat! Climbing gyms abound recently and are a ton of fun, even for casual climbers. Think spinning isn’t for you? You might be surprised.
If you’re looking for a cool place to lift, don’t hesitate to ask the UF staff! We may know a place that suits you (we’re all meatheads after all).
Union Fitness is a pretty sweet spot and we have a lot of cool equipment you probably won’t find at your basic commercial gym. Be flexible in your training for these few weeks. It’ll be easier on you mentally to head into the gym and just focus on the basics. This doesn’t mean you can’t push yourself! Maybe this is the week you give try a set of 20 reps on your squats?
I recommend Fitness Blender to friends all the time for travel workouts. They have tons of workouts that can be done with just your bodyweight (or you can include any equipment you have access to). You can choose how long you want to work out for, what body parts, and what type of training.
They’ll destroy you no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Happy Holidays from the Union Fitness Team!
One of my favorite questions- “what supplements should I take?”
Everyone from mom and dad to Ray Lewis have turned to supplements at some point in their lives. Why? Sometimes out of necessity- doctors orders. Sometimes to gain a perceived edge over their competition. And sometimes out of ignorance.
I don’t want to comment on the morals of the fitness industry- it’s a rabbit hole I’m no interested in going down for the sake of this article. The industry as a whole is “OK.” But I’m going to be critical of the supplement industry, and deservedly so.
Supplements ARE NOT regulated by the FDA. They can be made in someone’s kitchen, branded, marketed, and sold anywhere, even GNC. Of course GNC decides what to carry and what not to carry, but no matter what, NONE of the items on their shelves are FDA approved. Do I think the FDA regulations do a good job of protecting us- the short answer is no. But would ANY oversight in the supplement industry be helpful- yes.
CAVEAT EMPTOR (Buyer Beware)
Fat burners, Testosterone boosters, Weight gainers, Detox pills…the list goes on.
Fat burners raise your heart rate, period.
Test boosters lower your estrogen levels so your testosterone is higher (relative).
*FYI gents, we need estrogen just as much as we need testosterone.
Weight gainers are typically loaded with sugar.
Detox pills…how about let your liver and kidney’s do their job?
So we’re back to the question that almost everyone asks- “What supplements should I take?”
How about this- “Should I consider taking a supplement?”
A supplement is defined as something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.
Answer these questions honestly, and you can very quickly determine what, if anything, you should be taking:
If you aren’t eating well balanced meals or are getting a lot of processed foods, you’re missing out on essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). If you aren’t getting 8 hours of sleep, your body’s hormones are already out of whack. And if you don’t know what, if anything, you’re deficient in, why supplement? You don’t even know what you’re supplementing.
And supplementing poor habits is a waste of money. Eat healthy. Sleep more. If you can’t take commit to those things, put your wallet back in your pocket and save your money.
Now, I realize most of you will not go through all of this before supplementing. So I’ll give you the basics, as I see them. This is not a recommendation and I am not a doctor.
Zinc, Magnesium, B6
One of the greatest supplements ever invented. It will help you sleep and provides two minerals that the majority of the population is deficient in. *the most bang for your buck
We don’t get enough sunshine in Pittsburgh, so this is likely another area where you could be deficient. It will take months after starting supplementation to see a significant improvement in levels, but this should all be checked through blood work. Remember, it is fat soluble, so it needs to be taken with food that contains fat.
I prefer glycinate because it is absorbed easily with little GI discomfort. Too much magnesium will having you running to the bathroom, so start with small doses. Again, most people are deficient here. Magnesium is used in over 300 chemical reactions within the body…it’s important. And if you go to the gym regularly, you need more than the average none gym goer to put it technically.
This is one of the most studied supplements ever. It helps with athletic performance by facilitating ATP production (ATP, if you remember from high school biology, is cellular energy). If you dose this too high, it will strain your kidneys.
Moral of the story- don’t try any of these without consulting your doctor.
Then supplement, maybe.