Category Archives: Nutrition

Meal Prepping When You Are Busy or Feeling Lazy

Everyone has those days or weekends where we do not feel like meal prepping, whether it be constraint in time, money, or motivation. However, having adequate nutrition after training hard is crucial to make new gains or to lose pounds. So today, I will write about how to plan out super simple prepped meals so you can reach your goals in the gym.


First meal is a crock pot chuck roast. The ingredients you need are: chuck roast, obviously, I like to get it from Aldi as they have the cheapest option. 1 table spoon of olive oil for searing, salt and pepper – season roast with a fair amount of salt, otherwise it can taste a little flat. 1 yellow onion, cut into strands, 1 whole peeled garlic – be sure to use fresh garlic for the best flavor here. 1 can of beef broth, Worcestershire sauce for seasoning, 2-3 Yellow/gold potatoes 2 big carrots, and corn starch if you want a thick gravy like broth.


Sear both sides of the chuck roast on a big pan by heating up the 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a pan. After searing the chuck, pat it dry with paper towel and set it aside, use that same pan to sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes with beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Now put all the goodies in the crock pot, the layer goes: beef-onion & garlic-potatoes-carrots. Set that bad boy aside for 8-9 hours on slow cook option, and now you have yourself a protein rich meal ready to go the next day.


Second meal is called “I don’t want to cook at all chicken and rice combo,” which is my go to meals when I don’t want to cook, at all. You need a rice cooker and Kirkland brand canned chicken from Costco, or their famous $5 rotisserie chicken. Literally just cook the rice (please wash them, it’s the honorable way), put your chicken on it, and top it off with some bagged spinach or sauce. Is that the most college kid like meal ever? Yes, but it is healthier than a cup of instant noodles.


Thanks for reading my blog, perhaps one day I’ll bring some crock pot roast for everyone to try!



Keto Diet: What is it and is it effective?

The keto diet is a relatively new fad diet that has been circling around the fitness community for years now. However, I would not say it is short lived because it is still quite popular due its popularity of aiding people in weight loss. For those that do not know, the keto diet is a diet that consists of only fat and proteins with minimal or zero carbohydrates. In short, this means that the person who is on the diet does not ingest sugar, bread, pasta, rice, and other carbohydrates of that nature. Instead, they often will tend to eat more meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, vegetables, or high fat vegetables such as avocados.


I will admit that this diet can be effective in losing weight but is it the right choice for you? In my opinion, every person should eat all 3 macronutrients that we have available to us. This means a person should be eating carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The reason I believe this is because each macronutrient has a specific function in our body. Carbohydrates provide us with energy that is used in our bodily functions and daily activity. Protein aids our bodies in repairing and building tissues that is not just limited to muscle. Lastly, fats help regulate our bodies hormones and can also provide energy. Now when we put our bodies through a keto diet, we are eliminating a whole macronutrient and some of its functions. Yes, fats can be an energy source so in theory fats would take over as the primary energy source instead of carbohydrates but is it the most efficient?


This creates a debate that divides the fitness community. Is keto healthy for the average person with the elimination of an entire macronutrient? Researchers on both sides can argue for both points with validity for both but in my own educated opinion, I think there is a better way to lose weight. This can be done without eliminating carbohydrates, losing weight gradually or slowly on a week-by-week reduction in calories, and proper exercise. Our bodies were intended to use all 3 macronutrients. The keto diet eliminates carbohydrates which is why I think there are better ways to lose some lbs.



Why Do We Need Protein?

Proteins are large, complex molecules that play several critical roles in the body. They do most of the work within our cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Some call them the “building blocks of life.”


When it comes to protein, there are complete (essential) and incomplete (nonessential) proteins. There are 9 essential amino acids that the body can’t produce by itself. To get these amino acids, we must consume foods that contain all of them, making them complete proteins. Those foods that do not contain one of more of those 9 essential amino acids are considered incomplete proteins. We should strive to receive a majority of our daily protein from whole food sources, but otherwise you can supplement with a good ole reliable protein powder.


The standard Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein = 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. To show a quick example, I weigh about 77kg. So, for me: 77kg * 0.8g = roughly 62 grams/day. However, needs will vary depending on activity level and health status. Moderately active individuals may need closer to 1g per kg of body weight. Those who are more intensely active may need more than 1g per kg of body weight, so it all depends.


Most of us know and associate protein with building muscle. While this is certainly a key reason as to why we need it, there are several other reasons why we need protein to maintain good health:


  • Supports a healthy immune system
    • The amino acids help turn our antibodies and other T/B cells into “germ fighters” that spot and kill harmful cells that enter your body before they can start an infection.


  • Builds and maintains muscle
    • Muscle stress caused by exercise will damage the protein filaments in our muscles. As a result, our daily protein intake will help to rebuild those filaments and help the muscles stay functional.


  • Can help with weight management
    • Protein takes longer to digest than other types of nutrients, so it can increase satiety and satisfy our hunger for longer periods of time.


  • Supports the growth, development, and repair of cells


There are many different food sources out there for you to get your daily complete and incomplete proteins in. Some of my favorites include beef, pork, eggs, and poultry for my complete proteins and nuts, beans, rice, and vegetables for my incomplete proteins. What are your favorites?



Curt’s Meet Prep Nutrition

I’m currently 10 weeks out from my next Powerlifting competition. During this time, I always adjust my diet to fit my goals and needs for strength, hypertrophy, and recovery. Below is a sample of my day to day nutrition intake for the last few months leading into a competition. This is still very similar to what I consume even outside of competition prep, just with slightly increased protein and carbs. Keep in mind, this is what I’ve found to work best for me and my body. When I consume food, it is simply to nourish my body for performance, and rarely for actual enjoyment, which is why it is very simple and routine. I don’t always enjoy this, however, it’s just one less variable that I have to worry about as I’m focused on being the best athlete that I can be. 



24 ounces of water

4 whole eggs

Diced potatoes

2 pieces sourdough bread

Greek yogurt

10 ounces of black coffee



24 ounces of water

Crockpot chicken breast:

Chicken breast with salsa

White rice

Black beans



Pre workout snack:

24 ounces of water

Cream of rice

2 splenda packets

Drizzle of honey


Intra workout:

Granite intra workout w/ BCAAs, EAAs, Cluster Dextrin, and Electrolytes

Post workout shake:

4 ounces of milk

8 ounces of water

2 scoops of Whey protein

1/2 cup of oats

1 banana

Handful of strawberries


Dinner (Monday & Wednesday):

24 ounces of water

Taco bowls

Ground beef

Hard shells

Shredded lettuce

Diced tomatoes

1 Avocado

Shredded cheese

Taco sauce


Dinner (Tuesday & Thursday):

24 ounces of water



Zucchini & squash 


Dinner (Friday):

24 ounces of water

New York Strip or Fillet

Roasted potatoes



Dinner (Weekends):

24 ounces of water

Occasional beer, wine, or cocktail depending on occasion

Leftovers or a fun restaurant date

Night time snack:

12 ounces of water

Greek yogurt with Granola



Breakfast of Champions

Before I begin this blog I must add a disclaimer. I am not a Registered Dietitian or a Nutritionist. I am a person who worked in strength and conditioning, as well as the fitness industry for over twenty years. I cannot and will not tell you what to eat.


We see far too many “coaches” these days. There are life coaches, nutrition coaches, strength coaches, fitness coaches, speed coaches, and many others. The reality is most people don’t need a coach, and most people who coach are not qualified to coach. I feel confident with these statements, as I have seen way too many inexperienced people get a degree, pass a certification, and magicly they are a coach. I am not here to coach you I am here to empower you. Be careful selecting a “coach”, instead learn from a multitude of people.




It has been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I agree with this statement. We must avoid breakfast cereal, sugar filled oatmeal, and yes even doughnuts. Breakfast is our chance to start the day off right.


I have eaten the same variation with my breakfast for years.  One word of caution, if you eat the same food daily the body will eventually reject what you are eating. Variety is very important.


My breakfast consists of eggs, local seasonal vegetables (during winter I do bend this rule), water, coffee, and half a Dave’s bagel with peanut butter and jelly. Today the vegetables were mini eggplant, spinach, tomato, peppers, and mushrooms. Each of these came from either my CSA or the farmers market. I just add a few eggs cook it up with some garlic and a touch of salt. One important rule is to always begin the day with a glass of tepid water. The reason this matters is I always drink coffee. Coffee is a wonderful food and supplement, yet throwing a boiling liquid into a cold GI Tract is not a great way to start your day. Prepare your body with water, and not cold water. Remember the GI tract is no different than other parts of the body, it too needs warmed up.


I have a nasty habit of starting my day off right with a great breakfast, and then falling off and eating bad the rest of the day. This is when meal prep matters. Eat a healthy breakfast, yet be prepared for the rest of your day.


Health to you.


3 Things That May Be Holding You Back From Reaching Your Goals

I think we have all been at that point where you’ve been making the changes, putting in the work, but feel like you have gotten nowhere. This can be extremely discouraging but it doesn’t mean you should accept defeat. This should be your sign to look closer at what you’re doing to pinpoint exactly what’s holding you back. Let’s look at some of the most common things that could be hindering your progress.


1. Nutrition: This is hands down, in my opinion, the number one reason people do not hit their fitness goals. Proper nutrition is so important! However, it can be tricky to get right, so let’s make it simple.


  • Decide your goal (lose fat, gain muscle, or maintain).
  • Calculate your macros (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). There are tons of macro calculators you can find on the internet to make it quick and easy. Here is one


You must choose a calculator that accounts for your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). It is also very very important that you give yourself a realistic time frame to hit that goal. If you say you want to lose 10lbs in 1 week it will probably calculate a very small calorie intake which is extremely unrealistic and dangerous. For a guide, recommended calorie intake for adult women is 1,600-2,400 cal/day. Recommended calorie intake for adult men is 2,000-3000 cal/day. Again, everyone is different and requires different things so what may work for you may be outside of that recommendation.


  • Choose foods that are going to help you hit your macros, and most importantly that you’re going to enjoy.


-For protein, prioritize fresh, lean, minimally processed sources: eggs & egg whites, fish, chicken, lean beef, plain Greek yogurt, etc.


-For carbohydrates, focus on whole, minimally processed sources with nutrients and fiber with a mix of starches and fruits: beans and lentils, oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole or sprouted grain bread, bananas, etc.


-For fats, aim for a mix of whole-food fats and pressed oils: extra virgin olive oil, cheese, egg yolks, nuts (cashews, pistachios, almonds, peanuts, etc).


  • Hit your macros and prioritize your protein! Following a high protein diet can preserve or increase fat-free mass, increase satiety, and aid in body fat reduction. This is especially important for those eating in a calorie deficit. A good guide is to eat 1g/lb of body weight. For example, Joe weighs 180lbs so he will eat 180g of protein.


2. Recovery: This is something that is often neglected. Recovery can include stretching, proper hydration and nutrition, proper rest, and even chiropractic or massage services.


Rest is essential for muscle growth. When you exercise it creates tiny tears in your muscles and during rest is when your body repairs those tears. This is how we build muscle. Each time the muscles tear and repair they get stronger. So, by not getting in the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night you could be killing your gains.


3. Patience, Consistency, & Adaptability: These things take time. You can’t do one cardio session or eat one salad and expect a six-pack. You must work hard and stay consistent. That’s where the food and exercise choices become so important. If you are gagging eating mouthfuls of kale and crying while doing burpees, then don’t ever eat kale or do a burpee again. My point is if it’s not something you enjoy, and it won’t aid you on your journey then get rid of it. Continuing to partake in things that are agonizing for you is just going to make it that much harder to stick to. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself, allow for the slip-ups. All that matters is that you get back on track as soon as possible.


Remember that we’re all different! What works for someone else is probably not what’s going to work best for you. This is your journey; make it about YOU!


Cheers to hitting your goals,



Hungry Food Fun

Hello my hungry homies,


If you follow along on my adventure shenanigans you can see that I love cooking and trying new exciting foods with a twist. What you may not have known is that I’m pretty much a veg head these days. Long ago a grumpy gray bearded man told me I couldn’t get bumpy by being a veg head, so we had to stubbornly prove him wrong. Also, I’m team animal and team save the planet which helps fuel the fire, and forces me to think outside of the box and be more creative. With all that being said, I have two fun and easy food recipes to show you that will definitely spice up your life and give you a twist on some classics, veg head style of course.


First we have the Black Bean & Beet Fiesta Burger which was inspired by our trip to The Independent, a Squirrel Hill tavern and restaurant (a fan favorite).


Take your Beets (fresh is better for most things) black beans, chickpeas, quinoa, jalapeños, onion, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, a bit of A1(for that umami hit) and send it all through the food processor. Mix all that up well and refrigerate for a bit, then create your patties and cook them like you would your favorite burger. Then Boom, toss your go to toppings, some guac on that burger and send it between some fresh buns. There you have it, a quick and easy twist on a tasty burger.


As a nice side for the Triple B Fiesta Burger we created a Cashew Queso, for our lactose belly ache friends out there. I believe we first had this on our adventure pit stop at a brewery in Boulder Colorado but it could have also been on a ride up Pacific Highway 1. I’ll consult the elders for the determination.


Any-who, get some cashews and soak those puppies overnight to start the process. Boil some potatoes, take some unsweetened vegan cream or almond/ cashew milk, diced tomatoes, chopped jalapeños, garlic, salt, onion, cayenne powder and nutritional yeast. That is correct, I don’t measure anything, just all eyes and elbows over here. Blend all that fun stuff together and TADA Cashew Queso. Dip your chips and enjoy.


There you have it my hungry homies. Let me know if you tried these out and how it all went. Hold onto your butts for more twisted food ideas.




Meal of the Week; Breakfast of Champions

Years ago I used to write for elitefts, I was lucky enough to be a columnist for a decade or so with them. For the younger or newer people reading this elitefts was the go to for all things strength. Dave Tate had assembled some of the top coaches, lifters, and scientists to write about training. On a few occasions we did programs or articles together. One article was entitled, “Breakfast of Champions.” I am going to borrow that name for today’s blog. The article was just a pic and description of what each of us ate for breakfast. Today I will do something similar, and hope you start your day off with a healthy and nutritious breakfast.


My diet tends to be solid at the bookends of the day. When I am at work I fall apart due to all of you bringing me treats (don’t stop please). I am at the point in my life where I don’t worry too much about my diet, as long as it isn’t terrible. For breakfast I pretty much stick to the same outline with small variations daily. It is important to have some variation to your food no matter how healthy. Without going too deep into science you must vary your food or even the healthiest of foods can become unhealthy.

Eggs are key. I don’t eat much meat so I need to keep my protein up. From there veggies are a huge part of breakfast. One mistake I see often is people wait to eat their veggies. Get them in early, today is radishes, tomatoes (fake veggies), peppers (more fake ones), garlic, and tons of mushrooms. Add eggs and a little cheese, this is the perfect main course. For the sides I go with fruit and a Dave’s bagel (Tenzing calls them Popeye bagels). Add some water, freshly ground coffee and there it is.


When people hear what I eat daily the response is often, I don’t have time to do that. My entire set up takes 15 minutes. So find 15 minutes to get your day started right and you won’t be disappointed.





Know Your Protein



We always talk about Getting Bumpy but often don’t mention one of the building blocks of the bumps, protein.


Getting enough protein is important for muscle, metabolic, and tissue health. However, not all protein is created equally. There is complete and incomplete protein. The difference between the two proteins is the amount of essential amino acids they contain. What are amino acids you ask? Well they are molecular building blocks that combine to form the protein you eat. When you eat protein-rich foods, your body breaks those proteins back down into amino acids. We then use those amino acids to build muscle, repair tissues, support metabolism, and support other processes in the body.


Out of the 20 amino acids, 9 are essential, meaning the body can’t produce them. Those 9 are, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The only way to get these amino acids is through food. Foods that contain all of them, and in amounts similar to those required by the body, are called complete proteins. Those that do not contain enough of one or more essential amino acids are incomplete proteins. All animal-based foods; meat, dairy, and eggs contain complete protein. The majority of plant-based protein sources, such as whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, spinach and others are incomplete. However, some plant-based foods, such as soy, quinoa and buckwheat are complete. Many incomplete protein sources have some of every single essential amino acid, just not in levels high enough that protein can accomplish everything. Leucine, which is a main driver of muscle building, tends to be relatively low in most incomplete proteins. If you’re eating meat, you’re good to go with essential aminos and if you’re eating a wide variety of plant-based protein sources you can get all of the amino acids you need also. Thankfully, whether you try to pair protein at each meal or do so throughout the day, you don’t have to worry about memorizing each amino acid. Just focus on variety of sources. Eat your whole grains, veggies, legumes, seeds, nuts for you veggie heads, toss in some meat for you carnivores and you’ll be good with your portion variety. 


Variety is the spice of life and let’s keep our meals interesting. You’ll be seeing some fun food recipes coming your way very soon from my end of the blogs. 


Eat up my friends, 



Sugar, Sugar, Sugar, and HFCS

The good old American diet, quick and assessable greasy fat or sugary foods. YUM, am I right? In America, there is heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and an obesity epidemic. There is room to point fingers at a lot of reasons but in this, we’ll focus on added sugars like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  


HFCS was invented in 1965 and in the 70s it was being marketed. Over the years, this has been used more often for food and drink products. Which is found in most of the foods and drinks we consume (e.g. bread, soda, juice, canned fruit, cereal, & coffee creamers, etc). This has become a common ingredient because it is cheap and easy to manufacture. 


High-fructose corn syrup is an artificial sugar made from corn syrup. HFCS needs to be broken down into glucose, glycogen, or fat by the liver before being used as fuel. In America, the increased sugar consumption per person per year has greatly increased. This increase consumption can cause serious health issues mentioned in the beginning. Glucose will stimulate the area of your brain that controls appetite, whereas, fructose does not, which means you could eat more than planned. Are you wondering what overeating can lead to? Well, have you heard of visceral fat? It is the most harmful type of body fat. HFCS will promote visceral fat build-up on your major organs such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, intestines, and heart. This can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, artery disease, diabetes, and some cancers.


I’m not saying avoid HFCS or sugars at all costs. These sugars are everywhere and can be hard to avoid, especially in our more sedentary, grab-and-go society. Just try to be mindful of what you are putting into your body.