If It Fits Your Health (Do It)

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Have you ever woken up after a day full of eating all sorts of food (some good and some junk) feeling absolutely miserable? I’m not talking about feeling guilty (even though that’s part of it). I’m talking about actually feeling physically ill. Maybe it’s stomach pains or maybe it’s a headache. Even worse maybe you feel a cold coming on or a sore throat from all the excess sodium you consumed. As soon as your eyes open, you know all that food was a bad idea.

Well, I’ve woken up like that before. And to be honest I’ve felt crappy due to my diet choices many times. It’s not a fun feeling waking up and immediately knowing the day ahead is going to be a tough one because I’m physically not up to par. It’s truly a motivation killer to realize that getting through the day’s activities is going to be an uphill battle from the start.

At times we don’t even realize that our lack of energy or enthusiasm for the day is due to our diet choices. We eat like total crap on a Sunday and wake up wondering why Monday is so daunting. It’s no wonder that getting to the gym feels like an impossible task when our bodies hurt and our energy is on zero due to all the stress we put our digestion system through.

This is such an important topic. I hope that you walk away from reading this with a better understanding of where we’ve gone wrong with nutrition as it relates to our health, fitness levels, muscle and fat loss goals, and our enjoyment of life. I’m just as guilty as the next person of making huge mistakes with my personal nutrition at times over the years. I’m writing this blog to open your eyes to how unbelievably powerful our eating habits can be.

 

If you google “The Best Diet to Lose Fat” be prepared for an overload of information. Hundreds of diets, meal plans and products will be shoved down your throat before you even start eating. You’ll be stuck in an avalanche of product pushers, strict meal plans, and the latest and greatest diet strategies. Save yourself the trouble and forego the google machine. Today’s world is truly the most confusing it’ss ever been when it comes to diet and nutrition. It’s also a battlefield between who’s right and who’s wrong when it comes to their diet “methods”. The truth is that nutrition is actually quite simple so there’s hope, but it’s going to take some work.

The common theme for most online “gurus” or “coaches” is to take on clients and start them off on a very strict meal plan. They tell them what to eat and when to eat it each day to lose fat, build a toned body, and feel great. This is all based off their “expert” analysis of the client’s needs and goals. The client comes to them with the attitude of “tell me what to eat and when because I don’t want to think about it” so it makes perfect sense that these coaches cater to the clients demands. The client jumps on the meal plan and immediately starts to see results. This may go on for a month or maybe a few months before the client realizes that it’s just not sustainable for them to eat the same foods day in and day out. They start to get irritable and they feel ashamed when they report to their coach that they’ve cheated on their diet again and again. After all, following a meal plan is what all the top fitness competitors do so it’s the best way to get in great shape…right? Wrong.

Strict meal plans that limit your food choices and force you into a set regimen each day can cause more harm than good long term. It’s been proven that meal plans can set people up for a terrible relationship with food, create a desire to binge, and severely limit the healthy aspects of a diet full of variety. Not to mention, it’s pretty hard to live an enjoyable life when you have to follow a meal plan to reach your goals. Most people who follow a strict meal plan end up reverting back to their old diet habits once they realize that their meal plan just isn’t feasible for their lifestyle.

For the longest time, if you wanted to lose weight or build muscle you would hire a coach or nutritionist and they would immediately put you on a meal plan. However, after many years of severe restriction, the fitness industry fought back.

Enter: If It Fits Your Macros.

Counting calories has been around for quite some time. Arnold Schwarzenegger was known to count calories (and he actually had a pretty well rounded diet plan). However, counting calories has recently made a huge comeback. It’s gone one step further too. We know now that it’s not just about calories. It’s about the type of calories you eat too. Having the right amount of protein, carbs and fats in your diet is crucial for overall health and wellness. We all have our unique needs when it comes to these nutrients so just counting calories won’t cut it. We need to figure out where we get our food from so tracking macros has become all the rage.

However, as we’ve seen in the past, the fitness industry can take a good idea and turn it into a very bad one very quickly. Macro counting has been dubbed IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) because the new rule of thumb (keep in mind this is in response to the strict meal plans) is that you can ANYTHING you want as long as it fits your daily numbers for protein carbs and fats.

This could literally mean eating ice cream every day along with some candy because it fits your daily numbers. Ok confession time. I’ve been known to promote this type of eating over the past couple years. Why? Well because I count macros each day and my mind was blown a few years ago when I dieted down to 5% body fat eating ice cream just about every day before bed. Was this a healthy approach? Heck no! I would wake up and hit the toilet with a very irritable bowel movement just about every day. I didn’t feel great every day because I was eating way too much junk food simply because it fit my macros. I was rebelling against the severe restrictions of meal plans (an understandable reaction) but I wasn’t paying attention to my health.

Knowing how much food we eat is very crucial to our long term success when it comes to taking care of our health and feeling/looking great! However, simply applying numbers to our day and eating whatever we can fit in is not the healthiest choice. We’ve taken a great concept (counting macros) and turned it into a cult following. It’s become all about what sort of junk food concoction we can create that fits our macro needs. Health and feeling awesome is secondary to hitting perfect numbers with as much variety as possible. We forget to take into account whether or not we are getting enough vitamins and minerals. We ignore how our bodies feel when we fit in some McDonalds simply because it fits our macros. This is a dangerous path to go down.

If you’re still reading this…it’s not too late.

You might be confused at this point and that’s normal. It’s a very confusing topic for most people! However, let me simplify it for you. I’m very fortunate that I was born with the strong desire to learn as much as possible. Plus, I’ve been super lucky to be surrounded with very smart people who have helped me craft my current approach to nutrition and now it’s my job to pass along that help to you.

I want to walk you through my approach with my clients when it comes to setting up a successful nutrition strategy. Some of you reading this will be more advanced than others, but I still think its important to cover the basics as a refresher. You’ll be pretty amazed to see that we often forget about the basics.

Let’s say I have a married couple come to me looking to lose fat. They aren’t happy with their appearance and how they can’t seem to get motivated to get in shape. They’ve been eating a ton of food and not working out for about 6 months. They’ve tried all sorts of diets but nothing seems to work. We won’t address their workout plan in this blog, but let’s jump into the diet strategy.

First things first, I want to know what they’re eating now. I would like John and Jane Doe to write down everything they eat for a few days and report those food journals to me. Now, I would also keep in mind that working with a coach can cause some food journals to look better than an average day so I would also ask them to write down exactly what they ate (if they can remember) the days leading up to working with me. This gives me an accurate idea of what their nutrition looks like now so that we can start to implement new habits.

So, the next logical step is to write a meal plan right? Wrong. Taking a client from zero to 100 in a day isn’t realistic. We need to implement good habits one at a time while building momentum to increase motivation.

One of the first habits I want people to implement is to avoid drinking their calories as much as possible. I’m referring to sodas, sugary drinks and the lovely Starbucks menu that is jam packed full of sugar and high calorie drinks. Having a diet soda here and there down the road is fine, but for now I would suggest that John and Jane stick to water, coffee sweetened with Truvia, and tea. If my clients enjoy alcohol consumption, I would recommend cutting out alcohol for the initial portion of the plan. I also want to educate them on how alcohol works. If cutting out alcohol completely isn’t an option due to work demands or upcoming events — I would outline a simple strategy to control their alcohol intake.

While we implement the liquid habits, I also want my clients to start to track what they are eating in an app or food journal. Tracking calories and macros for a period of time can truly be eye opening. Most people severely underestimate their calorie intake. It’s important to gain the knowledge and information so that we are educated on what we are putting into our bodies.

The next habit I like clients to utilize is getting 2–3 servings of green veggies and 1–2 servings of fruits per day. Obviously I want my clients to listen to their bodies and take note of how they are feeling after they eat certain foods. Most people feel a lot better after getting into the fruits and veggies habit due to increase in fiber and vitamins and minerals. Eating more of these amazing nutrients will also help curb cravings and help most people feel more satisfied. Health is our number one priority and fruits and veggies are a tremendous source of health benefits.

Now comes the only time that I utilize meal plans. I never instruct my clients to follow an exact meal plan each and every day. However, it can help to write out a “perfect” day of eating a wide of variety of healthy foods to show clients how it can be done. This usually means 3–4 meals that contain a tremendous amount of nutrients but also provide the client with meal options that could be eaten at a restaurant if needed. To make things even easier, I like to provide my clients with 3 or 4 options at each meal to ensure that they never feel tied down to a meal plan. Plus, I want my clients to continue to track what they eat so they can learn how much food they are consuming and they can plug other foods in to ensure they are getting adequate variety.

Educating ourselves on how much food we need each day can help guide our food choices. Learning to eat properly for health and wellness takes time. Plus, there may be goals or events coming up that require us to change course and implement new strategies. There may be times where our bodies just aren’t feeling right and we need to make changes to our nutrition to ensure we feel our best at all times.

This leads me to the most important point that we all need to understand. If we aren’t feeling right, something needs to change and often times it’s our eating habits. Having a meal plan or macro numbers to hit every day doesn’t take our health and how we feel into consideration. If we are feeling overly full at a certain caloric intake then we probably don’t need that many calories. If our energy is terrible on low carbs and we feel super weak, then we probably need to add some carbs into our diet. The same can be said for low-fat. If we try out a keto diet, but we just don’t feel great — then it’s not the diet for you!

I hope this blog sheds some light on nutrition. I’ve made all the mistakes so want to help you avoid them if possible! There is no one-size-fits-all method that works for everyone. If that existed then this blog wouldn’t be necessary. You have to find a strategy that you can follow every day and make small tweaks to as your goals change. Going from binging every 3 days to eating “clean” meal plan is not a tweak. That’s an eating disorder and we need to stop creating more problems for ourselves by going from one extreme to the next.

 

Let’s stop eating things if they fit your macros — instead let’s eat things if they fit your social, taste,  mental and physical health (IIFYH).

I’m always here to help — just email me josiah@thetruetransformation.com or visit www.thetruetransformation.com/start-here to get started on your own journey today!

 

The Only Thanksgiving Survival Guide You Need to Read

 

Looking For A Jump Start To Your Fitness? Click Here For The 7 Day Guide 

 

There’s a million Thanksgiving Survival Guides out there from a variety of health and fitness professionals.  This is the only one you need to read. 

 

Thanksgiving Survival Guide : Read This First

Let me start by saying, you don’t have to follow any of the advice I’m about to give you when it comes to “surviving” Thanksgiving.  The truth is that you can do whatever you want, I’m not your Dad or your Boss.  You can make the call when it comes to how you approach Thanksgiving and I promise you there will be no judgement from me.

However, if you’re interested in how a former overweight, depressed and confused guy like me (plus my clients) handle the Thanksgiving holiday feast…read on!

 

The Problem with Trying to Survive Thanksgiving

Whenever someone contacts me in panic about how to survive Thanksgiving, there are usually one of two reason why.  First, that person has been near perfect with their diet and training and are deathly afraid of losing all their progress.  This is something that I can definitely relate to after losing 80 lbs of body fat and working to keep it off over the past 8 years.  That fear of eating to your hearts content and then somehow waking up back inside your overweight body is something out of a horror flick for sure.

The second reason that someone would freak out over Thanksgiving is due to the fact that they haven’t been disciplined with their diet and now the fact that they’re entering a calorie feast makes them super insecure about their lack of consistency.  The realization that they should be more strict and focused on their nutrition is slapping them in the face and they start to regret the time they’ve wasted.  It’s like when your vacation creeps up on you and you realize you forgot to get lean. That panic button gets hit real quick!

Both scenarios are understandable, but completely unnecessary.  The problem with the whole “Surviving Thanksgiving” idea is that it elevates one day of high calories to a state of national emergency when it’s truly not justified.  Imagine if one day of fasting (zero food) would mean that you’d wake up malnourished and anorexic.  If you’ve been doing great with your nutrition and workouts – one day won’t derail you (unless you allow it to to turn into a week or two of over-eating).  If you haven’t been on track then it’s time to take action and get on track, but in the meantime be sure to enjoy Thanksgiving.  One day won’t make or break you.

 

Skip Breakfast on Thanksgiving and Enjoy Dinner 

There are a few strategies that can work for making Thanksgiving a bit more controlled.  However, my best advice is to keep it simple.  Counting calories or trying to watch portions is fine if you really want to.  But, I’m guessing you won’t so the best bet is to keep your food intake low to zero earlier in the day and just waiting to feast later on.  Funny enough, most of my clients follow intermittent fasting where they skip breakfast and wait 4-6 hours after waking up to eat their first meal.  This translates very well to Thanksgiving, so if you’re already following this approach don’t change anything.  Maybe keep lunch light or munch on some appetizers before enjoy a good amount of food for dinner (plus some dessert of course).

The only real rule you might want to think about is never eating to the point of being sick.  That’s just unnecessary.  Being so full that you feel like throwing up is terrible for you.  Eat to your heart’s content, but don’t get sick.  Being satisfied and full is fine, but thinking about pulling the trigger is flat out dumb – don’t do that.

Enjoy A Few Drinks if You Feel the Urge

Food and alcohol is something I usually suggest clients avoid combining, but in this case – who cares?  Happiness isn’t just about being fit and healthy.  At times happiness and enjoyment means drinking a few drinks and enjoying some alcoholic beverages with friends and family.  If you’re someone who enjoys a cocktail or two, have at it.  Try and avoid a ton of sugary drinks, but if you end up having some higher calorie beverages, don’t panic…you will be ok.

Once again, my only rule of thumb here is to avoid getting sick.  Plus avoid being the “drunk” of the party.  Nobody likes someone who’s too tipsy, unless you get really funny and entertaining when you drink like I do (no joke, it’s the truth). Just be sure to avoid driving if you drink and be responsible.

By the way, my favorite drink for any occasion is a Moscow Mule.  Vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice…amazing!  Don’t forget the copper mug!

 

Workout if You Have Time and Energy

I highly suggest getting a morning workout in the day of Thanksgiving.  Why?  It simply feels awesome to start the holiday off after an awesome workout!  Plus, burning a few extra calories never hurts right?  It will get you fired up to enjoy the day to the max and since you’ll be eating and drinking, you’ll feel much more at ease knowing you got a good sweat on prior to the day’s events.

If you’re following a workout program that’s been working great – just stay consistent with that.  Or if you’d like to try something new, here’s an awesome and fun workout to try:

  • 1 Mile Run
  • 50 burpees to pull-up
  • 1 mile run
  • 50 burpees to pull-up
  • 1 mile run

 

Or you can give this one a shot:

20-1 Ladder (Do 20 reps of each movement, then 19, then 18…all the way to 1)

  • Medicine Ball Slams
  • Push Ups

 

These are just examples of some fun (and challenging) workouts that can be added to your current routine or done on their own.

Relax and Enjoy the Day

If you only take one piece of advice from this article – take this one: RELAX and ENJOY the Day!  Happy Thanksgiving!

 Click Here To Download Your Free Guide 

 

What Happens After Thanksgiving is What Really Matters

The biggest issue people struggle with is getting back on track after a splurge day like Thanksgiving.  Leftover food and alcohol sit there in front of your face and tempt you to consume it all.  You think “Oh this shouldn’t go to waste” and next thing you know Thanksgiving Day turns into Thanksgiving 6 weeks.

Your best bet is to enjoy the Holiday, give massive thanks and remind yourself to be thankful and full of gratitude daily (not just once a year). Send the leftovers home with relatives and store the alcohol for a special occasion.  Clean up the house and get back to business on Friday.  And by business I mean your daily routine.

I can’t lie, this might be challenging, but be prepared to face resistance and temptation to keep the party going.  Just keep in mind that Christmas and New Years is now within reach so there will be parties and more food coming your way, therefore it’s important to stay ahead of the game.  The cool part is that within a few days you’ll see the Thanksgiving bloat and water weight go away and you’ll be back to where you were (maybe even slightly leaner) after a few short days of consistent eating and training.   Just promise me you’ll send me thank you email for encouraging you to live life instead of sweating the small stuff.

 

 

 

5 of the Healthiest Meals Ever Discovered

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Looking for the healthiest meals ever seen?  These 10 are the healthiest meals (and best tasting) that you’ll ever find.  Give them as shot!

 

healthiest meals black bean

Healthiest Meal Option 1: 

Mexican fare makes up some of the most mouthwatering plant-powered meals in the universe. These easy quesadillas are a simple solution for getting a healthy meal on the table in 30 minutes. Once this recipe becomes one of your favorites, you can mix things around by substituting 1¾ cups of your favorite cooked beans (like pinto or white) or cooked lentils instead of black beans.

Skill level: Beginner
Serves: 4
Start to Finish: 47 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 32 minutes

Ingredients:

One 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained, liquid reserved (or 1¾ cups cooked)
1 medium tomato, diced
½ small chile pepper (e.g., jalapeño, Anaheim), finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, minced
¼ cup finely diced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
¼ cup plant-based shredded cheese, optional
1 medium avocado, peeled and cut into thin slices
Plant-based sour cream, optional

Instructions:

1. In a small mixing bowl, mash the beans with a potato masher or fork, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved bean liquid to make a thick, lumpy mixture.
2. Add the tomato, chile pepper, lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro to the beans and mix well.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large skillet.
4. Spread ½ cup of the bean mixture onto two tortillas smoothly. Place them in the skillet, bean side up. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of cheese, if desired. Top with another tortilla. Cook the quesadillas over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until the bottom side is browned. Turn over carefully and cook the other side for about 4 minutes, until browned.
5. Remove the quesadilla from the skillet and garnish with avocado slices and plant-based sour cream, if desired. Repeat the process again to make 4 quesadillas.

Recipe by Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life. 

More recipes from Men’s Fitness like this one can be found here:

5 Game-Day Recipes that’ll Keep You Jacked >>>

 

Healthiest Meal Option #2: 

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

You should have at least one NOLA recipe in your repertoire and what’s better than barbecued shrimp! Although shrimp has a bad reputation for being high in cholesterol, the latest Dietary Guidelines Committee Report recommended the cholesterol guidelines be eliminated. This is because there is a lack of evidence connecting the consumption of high cholesterol foods, with raising your blood cholesterol. Now you can enjoy your shrimp guilt-free!

Skill level: Beginner
Serves: 8
Start to Finish: 20 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 pounds of raw shrimp, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (I like Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends Seafood Magic)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup low-sodium beef broth

Instructions:

1. In a large skillet set over medium heat, pour olive oil. Add rosemary, pepper, Cajun seasoning and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice, and shrimp. Cook until pink.
3. Add beef broth. Cook 2 to 3 additional minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Serve.

Recipe and photo by Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, LDN of Skinny Louisiana

(Credit: Men’s Fitness)

 

Healthiest Meal Option #3:

Mexican Casserole

This casserole is a perfect meal to cook and freeze. Make a full batch on the weekend and once it cools, slice half and package into freezer-safe containers so you can eat healthy any night of the week, especially hectic nights.

Skill level: Beginner
Serves: 8-10
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 cup brown rice or quinoa, uncooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bell pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
½ cup spinach or kale, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¾ cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and cook in skillet until fully cooked (no longer pink in middle) about 5 minutes each side. While chicken is cooking, add all seasonings (chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne) along with garlic, onion, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, until onions and peppers are softened.
4. Prepare the brown rice or quinoa in a large pot by measuring 1 cup uncooked quinoa and combining with 2 cups of water. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer and cover for about 12-15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with fork.
5. Add the chicken, pepper, and onion mixture to the large pot of quinoa. Drain and rinse the cans of black beans and fire-roasted dice tomatoes. Add to large pot with the spinach (or kale) and cook (on low) for about 2 minutes. Add the Greek yogurt, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, and ¼ cup cheddar cheese. Stir together until well-combined and pour into a casserole dish (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray).
6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese (1/4 cup cheddar, 1/4 cup mozzarella) on top of casserole and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cheese should be slightly brown on top. Remove from oven and let cool several minutes before serving.

Recipe and photo by Angie Asche MS, RD, LMNT of Eleat Sports Nutrition, LLC.

Credit: MensFitness.com

 

Healthiest Meal Option # 4: 

Fish Tacos 

You always need one good fish taco recipe in your collection. This version is made with delicious, protein-filled tilapia, and topped with a simple homemade peach salsa. Peaches contain antioxidants A and C, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals that help prevent and fight disease) including lutein, zeaxanthin, and flavonoids.

Skill level: Intermediate
Serves: 4
Start to Finish: 35 minutes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

For the fish
1½ pounds tilapia fillets
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons coconut oil

For the salsa:

1 peach, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ lime, juiced
Cilantro, to taste

For Chipotle Lime Dressing:

½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice
½ teaspoon paprika
2 small garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½-1 teaspoon salt (depending on flavor)
½ teaspoon ground pepper, to taste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Lettuce leaves, for wrapping

Instructions:

1. Dice peach and tomato. Mix in a bowl with lime juice and cilantro. Let sit.
2. Meanwhile heat a pan over medium heat with coconut oil.
3. Cut fish into sections.
4. Mix paprika, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Rub mixture onto fish and place in oil.
5. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side. May need to add more oil when flipping to get that browned look.
6. Remove from heat and cut into small pieces.
7. For the Chipotle Lime Dressing, Add all of the ingredients to a blender except olive oil and puree.
Slowly add olive oil into the top of the mixture while mixing over low speed. (Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.)
8. Assemble with a lettuce leaf, blackened fish, peach salsa, and chipotle lime dressing. Enjoy!

Recipe and photo by Alexa Schirm of Simple Roots

Credit: Mensfitness.com

 

Healthiest Meal Option #5: 

Chicken Enchiladas 

These healthy enchiladas are made with a homemade enchilada sauce that you can feel good about. It’s a simple weeknight meal that takes a total of 30 minutes to make—it can also be cooked on the weekend and frozen for later. Serve with a side of beans and shredded lettuce.

Skill level: Beginner
Serves: 8
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1-2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
1 cup puréed tomatoes
¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked shredded chicken (about 8 ounces)
8 corn tortillas
3 ounces (3/4 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In small sauce pan over medium heat whisk together garlic, chili peppers, chili powder, and cumin until chili peppers dissolve.
3. Whisk in tomatoes and chicken broth until combined and remove from heat.
4. In medium-sized bowl, mix chicken breast with 1 cup enchilada sauce.
5. Coat 13x9inch pan with cooking spray and spoon mixture evenly into 8 tortillas. Roll each tortilla and place seam side down.
6. Drizzle prepared enchiladas with remaining sauce and top with cheese.
7. Preheat oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese melts.
8. Top with green onions and sour cream, and serve with lots of shredded lettuce and beans if desired.

Recipe and photo by Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD of Love & Zest.

Credit: MensFitness.com

 

Recipe of the Week – Butterscotch Smoothie

Josiah Novak

It’s National Butterscotch Pudding day – and since I’m a #DailyPowerSmoothie guy I figured I’d share a butterscotch smoothie recipe for all my butterscotch fans out there.  I know you’ll enjoy this one.  Side note – this smoothie is great for post-workout.  I usually have a smoothie around 10AM-11AM (about 16 hours after my last meal the day before).  You can learn more about my Intermittent Fasting routine on this post. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Butterscotch syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Macha Root powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 banana

DIRECTIONS:

  • Combine all ingredients in blender
  • BLEND
  • Serve with non-fat whip cream and a little drizzle of butterscotch syrup
  • ENJOY!

What  FIT GUYS  Know  about  being  lean

Josiah Novak
Imagine being at the pool, beach or that summer vacation and feeling totally at ease with walking around in your bathing suit.  Your body is lean, confidence is high, and you feel proud of the fit body you’ve achieved.  How would that feel?

What if there was a secret that all these fit guys walking around had that could drastically cut down on the struggles you face when it comes to getting in shape?

Feeling comfortable with taking your shirt off in public and revealing a lean body comes from more than just doing a few sit ups and chugging some protein shakes.

And while there are no magic pills that can give you a dream body overnight, there is one strategy that I want to share with you that can get you results 2x as fast in 1/2 the time.  Interested?  Cool.  Keep reading.

While your friends are all hopping from one diet to the next and from one crossfit box to the orange theory down the road….I’m going to change the game for you.

It’s TIIIIIMMMEEE!! (UFC Voice)

There’s a secret that all these lean guys have that took me years and years to learn.

It was literally 10 years ago that I was sitting on my bed, stuffing my face with Papa Johns pizza, and wondering if living life even made sense anymore.  I was 80 lbs. overweight, depressed, broke and just flat out sick of life.

It took me a long time to come out of that dark place and get my life in order.  It took many ups and downs to figure this whole “getting fit” thing out.  I can’t say it was easy.  In fact, it sucked ass a lot of the time.

However,  I uncovered a secret that the guys who have abs and seem to enjoy the heck out of life have.

You ready?

Instead of chasing after every new diet, new supplement, new workout routine that comes along, or some other weird voodoo method that some guru preaches about….they simply do the work.

They have a simple routine.

Their diet is both strict and flexible when it needs to be.

They don’t follow the trends.

They do the work.

While everyone else chases keto, paleo, or eating poptarts – they stick to the basics.  They ignore the 10 new forms of creatine that come out and instead they invest in quality food.

They train consistently.  Sure, they change things up, but its always with a clear purpose.

Bottom line…

They do the work.

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It’s not the sexy stuff that’s going to give you the satisfaction of achieving your dream body.  There are no magic potions or strange diet hacks that will bless you with abs tomorrow.

It’s all about the work.

The consistent weight training workouts.

The consistent and well balanced nutrition plan.

The good sleep you get most nights.

The flexibility to enjoy life and get back on track right away.

As my friend Daniel DiPiazza said – “having ideas isn’t the hard part – actually creating art from those ideas is what separates the best from the average”

Getting lean and having a body you’re not ashamed of comes down to work.

Are you ready and willing to do the work?

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33  TIps  That Will  Help You  Start A  Fitness  Plan

“Hey Josiah – I haven’t been working out for awhile and I want to get back into it.  Where’s the best place to start?  What kind of routine should I follow?  What about my diet –  what’s the best diet out there?”

I get this question or something similar just about every day.  People tag me all over social media when someone asks about starting a weight loss plan or getting back in the gym, so I figured I’d write a helpful checklist for you.

I know how hard it can be to start on your fitness journey after being away from it for awhile, so I’m going to break down some real simple things to think about as you get back into the swing of things.

This is a list I wish I had when I was struggling to find my way years ago.  I’ve made plenty of mistakes and my goal is to help you avoid doing the same thing.

Ready to start?  Let’s go!

  1. Know your why, but make it matter – having abs isn’t going to make you happy.  Being alive for your kids will.  Make your why count
  2. Have an objective goal (what you want to achieve) but focus more on behavior goals (daily habits).
  3. Write down your goals – seriously this matters.
  4. Focus first on FEELING better, not looking better. Looking better takes time, but feeling incredible can happen quickly.
  5. Set up an accountability system.  Hiring a coach, having a workout partner, or support partner can be a huge difference maker.
  6. Don’t expect overnight success.  Sure, you might get some fast results, but if you don’t, just keep pushing forward.
  7. Focus on progress, not perfection!
  8. There is no magical pill.  Repeat that 10x.
  9. Remind yourself daily that consistent exercise and good nutrition will be the ONLY thing that ever truly works.
  10. You don’t need to hit the gym to start. You can get a lot done at home or at a park nearby.
  1. you enjoy things like yoga, jogging, or riding a bike – do them!
  2. Need some ideas?  Here’s one: Start your workout routine with just a daily walk in the morning (or at night).
  3. Next add 3-4 resistance training workouts with weights, bands, or bodyweight.
  4. Full body workouts 2-3 times a week also work great for those who are super busy.
  5. Remember, the routines that you read about the fitness models doing are usually unrealistic for the average person.  That fitness model’s job is to workout each day.  I would hope they have time to train since that’s their main source of income!
  6. Schedule your workouts in your calendar each week.
  7. If you think you have zero time to workout, try working out while you do other things.  For example, most of us are working during the day.  Try this fun “game” with yourself.  3 times a week try and see how many push-ups and squats you can do during work hours without it affecting your work.  Trust me – it s an amazing game.
  8. Once you’ve been consistent with a basic routine, feel free to add in additional workouts if time permits.
  9. Always include recovery days no matter how advanced you get.
  10. Recovery days do not mean laying around on the couch and eating Nachos all day while watching Breaking Bad reruns on Netflix.
  11. Stay active even on days when you don’t train.  Take walks, go hiking, do some stretching and mobility work.
  12. If you’re super short on time and want a challenging workout that will boost your metabolism try incorporating metabolic cardio – these are higher intensity workouts that will push you to your limit in a very short period of time. ​
  1. You don’t need to count calories to lose weight, however it’s a good skill to learn to have in your toolbox.
  2. Your nutrition should be based around lean proteins, veggies, some fruits, healthy fats and carbohydrate sources that work well with your body.
  3. A great place to start if you have a lot of bodyfat to lose is to go low-carb, high-fat when first starting out.  This will help improve your body’s ability to handle carbs later on when you reintroduce them.
  4. Start by making a list of healthy food that you enjoy eating and that makes you feel great.
  5. Never include foods that make you feel lethargic or crappy – even if someone tells you to eat it.  For me that was oatmeal.  I’d eat it and immediately feel like death.  Everyone swore by it, but I couldn’t stomach it.
  6. Fill up half your plate with green veggies or salad (keep the dressing and butter on the side).  Give ¼ of your plate to protein and ¼ of your plate to healthy fats and you’re good to go as a starting point.  Eventually you can replace a little bit of the plate with some carbs and maybe some additional healthy fats.
  7. Drink water, tea and coffee. Liquid calories are such a pain in the butt and they’ll kill your progress QUICKLY.  Avoid them!
  8. Once a week enjoy a FUN meal (not a Cheat Meal).  The word CHEAT is so negative and it builds an unhealthy relationship with food.  Think about it like this.  Your spouse says go out with your friends and have FUN!  She/he doesn’t say Go CHEAT right?  Thought so.  So enjoy a reasonable meal.  Share an appetizer, dinner and share a dessert with a beer or glass of wine sounds about right.
  9. Prepare food in advance and wipe out all the trigger food in your house. Trigger foods are foods that you will immediately eat on sight!  For me it’s peanut butter and oatmeal raisin cookies.  I can’t be around them!
  10. Measure your progress by measuring your body parts and taking pictures.  Do not rely on the scale for at least the first 3-6 months.  The scale will love you one day and hate you the next so avoid it.
  11. Health and fitness is never owned.  It’s rented and rent is due daily.  Being fit, lean and healthy is never going to be super easy, but it will become easier and more enjoyable as you progress.  You will eventually fall in love with the process and learn to love the benefits you get from working out.  Building habits and routines take time, but the journey is well worth it! ​
As you can see from this picture above – I wasn’t always ripped or in shape.  It took awhile to become the man you see on the right, but most importantly it took one step forward each day.  Starting a plan can be tough, but the results you can achieve once the momentum gets going will be incredible and well worth the struggle!

If you need additional help in starting your fitness journey – please reach out to me at [email protected]