Will Good Nutrition Beat Any Supplement?

Clean or not clean, you have heard debates on both sides of this long-standing internet battle. Some of us don’t want to take anything that isn’t natural or an actual food. Others want to have a couple of aces up their sleeves, so to speak, and use supplements, along with the food that they already eat. I don’t want what I’m about to say to be taken the wrong way but so much of your success in exercising boils down to willpower. If you have started a fitness program and stopped, I’m not saying that you are weak, you just haven’t found the right system yet.

food or supps

People call out various supplements for being risky and getting recalled, while the same thing happens with food we eat. Sure, the supplement industry is under a ton of heat, currently but it doesn’t mean that every piece of food that you eat is safe. To be honest, I have gotten food poisoning three miserable times in my life. That being said, I have never been seriously ill at the hands of a supplement. Perhaps, I made smarter decisions and did my homework when it came to getting the latter, or maybe I was just lucky.

The debate between what is a clean workout program and what doesn’t meet those qualifications will always be a highly contested series of arguments. I would always put food first, above using supplements, for many reasons. For one, food is almost always going to be cheaper and you have a lot more options. Being seemingly endless, there will always be a food that you haven’t tried. I would also have to tip the scales in favor of food for sustenance because it is going to taste better. There is a big difference between being full and feeling full, one is healthy and normal and the other could end up damaging you permanently. Looking at the other side of the argument, supplements (only the best ones) will be far more effective than a cheeseburger.

I think that a healthy combination of food and supplements will keep anyone on the right sports nutrition track. When discussing the use of supplements, even though not as many as food would have, you will still notice that there are an astounding number of options. I recommend using D-Bal for immediate strength gains. Below is a video of a reviewer who actually takes the time to tell you WHY it works, instead of just trying to talk about how strong he is and wasting time.

5 Gym Bag Must-Haves for Good Arrangements

Do you have a gym bag? If you say no, I am judging you. Having a bag to bring with you can make all of the difference in the world. Do you want to pay the high costs of needing to get a simple drink? I didn’t think so, best of all, these bags are easy to find. I would choose a bag with more durable straps, but that is just my opinion, they seem to make it easier for carrying around. If you do choose flimsier straps, the moment that your bag flies free and smashes on the floor, everyone will know it.

Being in a busy part of the subway, only to have sweats and supplement fly everywhere is agonizing. Getting a gym bag that is as strong as you, with think sturdy shoulder straps will keep all contents contained. If you are pickier than others, choosing to get a bag that has more compartments for carrying would serve you well. For those who have to customize every item of apparel that they come into contact with, there are an insane color and pattern choices for you to make. Women may want to get gym bags that are floral patterned and pink, while the men could pick a bag that is plain, with no girly patterns. Once you have said bag all empty and ready to be taken care of, here is what I would put into mine, as listed ahead.

1. Water Bottle -This is more of a safety tip but you should also have this in your bag because it’s just good for you. Don’t go cheap with the bottle/cup that you use. I have gotten deals on a cheaply-made shaker cup, only to have it leak in my bag, ruining all of my clothes.

2. An Extra Set of Clothes – What would happen, if you were needing to be somewhere, only to be stranded because you have nothing to dress up in? Bringing an extra shirt and pair of shorts can get you out of many tricky situations. Have you ever spilled a smoothie you got, after hopping into your car? Another scenario that you don’t want to run into is being stuck with only the stinky clothes you had from the previous outing. Especially if you are wanting to impress someone special while you are exercising, you can kiss that goodbye in clothes that are riddled with the smell of body odor. I will be told that I’m weird for wanting to have an extra change of clothes, it doesn’t bother me. I’d much rather be prepared in case of a spill, than sitting in stained workout wear.

3. Extra Set of Headphones – The earpiece, something that you will be left without, at the worst possible time. Fear not, get a cheap backup pair of headphones and you can ensure that you will never have to exercise in silence.

4. Deodorizer – Albeit, not the easy selection to make, as it doesn’t have much to do with your actual training, having a substance to keep your bag smelling fresh should always be a priority. Smells can take over your bag and their odor can linger into your car and house.

5. Extra Bag Straps – I’ve covered this one earlier but I need to stress how important that it is. Always carry another set of straps for your bag, if the old one goes, it could potentially ruin everything that is inside.

strapping solution

Smoothies that are Supposed to Energize

Traded out to lonely mall stands, the smoothie has been neglected for far too long. Maybe a beverage that fits into the girly, there is nothing wrong with anyone being able to enjoy a delicious and nutritious smoothie. I am an avid kitchen experimenter, here are some smoothies that I have enjoyed the most. One of the more versatile drink categories, you can load up a smoothie with everything but the kitchen sink. No matter whether you prefer fruits or vegetables, if you know how to use a straw, there is a smoothie with your name on it. If you are new to blending drinks in your own home, most household blenders have become affordable, once you have that, you are ready to rock.

Blueberry and Banana Energy Boost
Mix some blueberries, bananas, ice all together and let that machine run for about thirty seconds and you have heaven in a glass. Not just for taste, the mixture of healthy fruits will give you natural sugars, leaving you in a frenzy of energy and ready to take on what lies ahead of you. If you enjoy one fruit over the other, you can always adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Strawberry Orange Delight
If you like your beverages a bit thicker, you can easily add milk to the next smoothie of choice, without having a nasty aftertaste. Already welcomed by the world as a morning starter, you can’t go wrong with adding oranges to any smoothie you come across. Loaded with vitamin C, you can give the old immune system the care it requires, while having a drink that you will want seconds of! I toss in strawberries to add a flavor to the milk base, while cutting out the bitterness of the oranges.

Hulk Juice
This particular beverage was my own special creation. More of a dare than a treat, I came up with this because of how difficult it was for me to eat vegetables. I suppose that I never grew up because I can’t stand most vegetables, at an age that I’m too embarrassed to admit. Mixing spinach, celery, carrots, and apples for the sweetness, this smoothie is all about getting those leafy greens. Those with the tastebuds for it shouldn’t have to use any apples at all in this recipe, I just do to help with the vegetable taste.

Red Drink of Strength
Made from an old inside joke, while on vacation to Mexico, this drink will is great for another kick in the energy department. Load the blender up with the following: strawberries, apple slices, raspberries, and a tomato. I know it is gross but you need to get antioxidants and the tomato is full of them. Better yet, all of the sugars in this fruit blend will overpower the tanginess of a tomato.

When it comes time to choose a blender, you don’t have to have all of the bells and whistles. You can select a juicer, which is better for strictly making smoothies. I have chosen to get a blender in my home because I also enjoy making milkshakes as well. You can be as creative as you want with the smoothies of your choosing. A great way to sneak in the foods that we should all be eating, blending them into a drink just makes it much easier to get the vitamins and minerals that we can miss out on. No longer for the rich or health nuts, making smoothies in the home is a viable option.

New Food Management Apps I’ve Been Using

Even though, talk of various fitness apps have been spoken of, don’t you agree that there are always new apps for better lbschanges being made? It is crazy to remind myself that, not even ten years ago, a cell phone played no real part in exercise. I can recall seeing signs hanging up, wherever I would go that wouldn’t even allow cell phones to be on your person, while around equipment. Fast forward to today, where the cellular phone is now the king of how we live our life. From checking your emails, texting, you name it and there is probably an app made for any purpose. We don’t want to know about every app ever made throughout the history of time, we want to know what will be true aids in your corner.

The first app I have to mention is called Buddy, well that is how it is pronounced anyway. To be more proper, the Bvddy app will help you to get you a friend, woo hoo! Not really my cup of tea but I could see the usefulness of this application, matching you with like-minded fitness enthusiasts. I can remember times where I had wished for this app, while I was lifting on an odd schedule, with no one around to spot me. What makes this app unique is that matches are based on different criteria. For example, wouldn’t it be awkward to meet up with another person, but neither of you even do the same exercises. Matching up a bicyclist to train with a 20+ year weightlifting veteran is a situation where those two probably wouldn’t have a lot in common. Flipping things around, if you match up two runners, you already have a major hobby locked down. Even going as far as to match based on workout experience levels, the company behind Buddy should be seeing a larger following. Use this app to get partnered up with a person who knows that they concentrate on their diet, no risk of going out for fast food.

Next, is an app that offers a transformative approach, being called Couch to 5k. As you can guess, the concept behind this app is to turn anyone from a couch potato to being able to compete in a 5k run. Not primarily running, I have only just now started to use this program and it is great at being able to work with any fitness level. I hate when trying to run different running applications, only to be feeling like I was being silently judged. Remember developers, sometimes beginner really does mean that one could be just first beginning to attempt a way of fitness because of downloading your app. I really have a greater sense of what I am capable of, when I am provided with the kind of detail that Couch to 5k has. Integrated are impressive trackers, a big plus of this app is that works with all levels of familiarity with this hobby. Over the course of time that I have spent with this program, it does start to seem like you have your own personal trainer. Goals are attainable and I never feel like I am being pushed too hard or having it all be too light, just the perfect blend of variety for me. Keeping your diet in check can also start to be accomplished with this app, which you know I am all about.

With these awesome programs, you shouldn’t be in short supply of interesting updates to implement to your next update. Be on the lookout for more notifications on how innovations continue to give us the joy of easier (almost effortless) management of all the activities that we do.



No, You Don’t Have A Fast Metabolism

Having been under the impression that I had an easy way out, I was a long-time proponent of someone that thought he was being sabotaged. As it turns out, many others think that they have a metabolism that is too fast for them to gain weight. While a small percentage of human beings have fast metabolisms, all the rest of us have to deal with a normal metabolism and a forgetful mind. I mention forgetfulness because it is the number one reason why aspiring weightlifters aren’t packing on the pounds. If I asked you to recall to me, every food and beverage that you consumed over the course of yesterday, you would probably have a difficult time reciting that information back to me. There is an old saying that talk about doing the same thing over again and expecting a different outcome, as being the root of insanity. It is important to remember that meals will have to reflect upon your new lifestyle choices. When needing excess calories, try making an awesome shake that will add around 1,400 extra calories. Best of all, just supplementing this shake as a breakfast will add a hefty amount of fats and carbs to your morning. By choosing to gulp down a specialized shake early in the day, you set yourself up for victory because you now have extra nutrition to carry you through. If your stomach can handle it, try blending a shake to consume more than once per day. Here is the recipe for a mass gainer shake that is cost-effective and easy to make:

4 tablespoons of peanut butter
2 scoops of whey protein
1 scoop, vanilla ice cream
1 cup of rolled oats
2 cups of milk

You are going to need a blender for this shake, as the consistency will be very thick. When speaking about how the finished product, I do need to say that this shake will not be like the ones you would purchase at an ice cream shop. The taste is good enough to drink but the mixture will be hard to chug down, at first. You are going to need to summon willpower to get down to the last drop of this drink, not because it has an unpleasant taste but how dense and full you will feel.

scalefile002As a last ditch effort, if you have problems with textures of drinks, try freezing the contents of this shake to make an edible treat. No matter how you choose to consume these ingredients, you will have a base of five of the highest calories foods, necessities for gaining weight. I left a couple of ingredients a bit vague but that is only because there is a lot of room for experimentation with this shake. For example, you can choose whichever flavor of protein powder and ice cream you would like to. If I am feeling sick of vanilla, I can switch it up and get chocolate or strawberry flavors to shake up how I gain the weight that I need to.

Versatility is how you adjust to having to meet new requirements. What makes this shake great for needing to gain fat is that you can adjust flavors. Grab the ingredients needed, load up the blender, and drink your way to slowing down a fast metabolism. To all beginners trying this shake, it is not a race, you should sip slowly as not to irritate your stomach from such a heavy meal.

Newer Composition Scales Tracking Body Fat Indexes

Wow, technology has really helped to cause some major eases of life! I remember having to watch an old red line and an analog set of numbers, now it seems like that they have thought of everything. I had seen word of scales that were futuristic coming out for release, I was positive that it would take decades before I ever was able to buy such crazy technology. I was on Amazon and when I saw how cheap scales were going for, I had to reconsider not grabbing one right away. The problem that I have with the scales of yesteryear are that, while providing an accurate measure of how much you weigh, they leave out crucial details.

If you are taking the scales word for the truth, you are going to be missing out on other important measurements that need to be taken. Going by weight, as your sole indication of how your body is responding to exercise and diet is a broken system that won’t get you too far. Using body mass index is another measurement but don’t use this system if you are a weightlifter, or have a lot of muscle on your person, it will recognize you as overweight or, even obese! A good indicator of how well or poorly your fitness efforts are being used would be body fat percentages. Just a short while ago, you would have had to get some funky looking mechanism to read how much body fat you had, now they are putting the technology seamlessly into these newer weight scales. I welcome the addition of such cool findings when I go to weigh myself.

The more that I have learned about the right ways to gain weight, the less I have found myself heading into the bathroom to get on that old scale, it is starting to not be able to serve a purpose for me. Yes, I do like to see how bulks are going by weighing myself but when it comes to trying to drop some blubber, old scales don’t work the same way for me. I can’t wait to try and order up one of these newer models of weight information technology and see how my body fat measurements fluctuate. By knowing more than I did with older scales, it would make life much easier to see new layers of detail that weren’t there before. What else I have been blown away by is how scales can now track your weigh ins, on a basis that you choose.

Don’t obsess over a couple of pounds.

I could see this spelling disaster for those who are tempted to keep weighing themselves all of the time, those folks will need to take it one day at a time. However, if you can keep the times per day that you are weighing yourself under control, the tracking capabilities are an informative touch. This isn’t the norm but I have also viewed scales that can tell you how much water you have in your body, notifying you of where your own percentages lie. The person who has the most information about how themselves will be the ones that can change up their routine on the fly, without it meaning that they will have setbacks to worry about. Most every scale that I was pulling up was going for a fair price, another great bonus to owning one of these. I had a tough time managing to see one or two of these weight measuring devices that went over fifty dollars, I’m not exaggerating about that. If you have a spare thirty dollars and want to have a new digital coach for your weight management, go and check out what the new school of scales are all about.

Influential Fitness Names that are True Greats

Sifting through all of the dirt that gets dug up on the famous stars, it is a welcome change of pace to hear a more positive side to life. I want to bring that to you with some big time names that have performed some monumental tasks, all in the name of charity. These great and nice people should be a reminder to all of us as to what is truly important in life. With all of the wild things that are happening right now, we could all use a bit of their spirit.

I wanted to make sure that the three names you are about to see aren’t ones that you would expect. I tried my best to highlight the people that I thought would fit this little list perfectly.

Dolph Lundgren

Not only does he possess an extremely high IQ, he also has a massive amount of kindness in his heart. Known for hosting various big time charity events for various causes, he is a great example of the fit people still having time to take out of their day for causes that have a different degree of personal importance.

John Cena

Cena has been a big figure in promoting just how kind the world can be. Almost since the beginning of his career, Cena has become someone that the younger generation looks up to. I don’t know how he does it but John Cena has fulfilled more Make a Wish requests than any other prominent figure. If the previous example isn’t an example of an awesome guy, I don’t know what is! With over 500 wishes granted for those in the program, I can’t say enough good words about this man, what an inspiration. True story, about ten years me and a few buddies were eating at a restaurant in Oklahoma and John Cena was a table or two down from us. My friend had to make a run over and get his autograph and said that Cena was super nice and friendly, even while eating, I couldn’t say the same for me in that situation.

Sylvester Stallone

Stallone is an icon in the world of film, with a legendary physique, as can both be seen by watching any of his blockbuster films. Stallone is a frequent contributor to many charities and has also auctioned off movie memorabilia of his, with the proceeds going to charities. If these giant names can take time to provide help to others that could be less fortunate, shouldn’t we all try and do the same?

Could Pickle Juice End Muscle Cramps?

Don’t be sour, we are only speaking about a connection between pickles and cramping, achy and sore muscles. I am someone who had their first pickle at 28, if you can believe that! I can’t believe that I was missing out on such a tasty and healthy food this whole time. As someone who likes doing research (as you can probably tell by now), I wanted to learn more about what kinds of pickle flavors were out there. It was during this hunt, I found some mini bottles of pickle juice, said to be some kind of instant relief for muscle cramps. Looking further into this cure, there were even pickle flavored ice pops that were offering that same relief. Recently, my father was very ill and became dehydrated.

Thankfully, he is doing well now but, when the sickness got bad, his legs and fingers would violently cramp up. I believe that, due to the lack of water he was drinking, his muscles did not have what they needed to function properly. He has always loved drinking pickle juice and tried some to help alleviate what had become a scary symptom of his illness. One big bonus to using pickle juice to treat muscle cramps is not having to worry about extra calories and sugars, as pickle juice is usually calorie free.

pickles in bowl

As I have recently learned, the juice of pickles is high in electrolytes, essential for giving your entire body ready to stay moving. Certain brands will even contain higher amounts of electrolytes than many of the big sports drinks you will find. I have seen the mini bottles of pickle juice available online, although I wonder if it would just be cheaper to buy a big jar pf pickles and save the juice. If you are someone who suffers from muscle cramps, having a big jar of pickles nearby could get rid of that pain quickly. Before all of the information was released about pickle juice being such a sought after option for protection from aches and pains, I had another use for this wonder drink. Suffering from headaches, that often will progress into migraines, you know that I have tried many different home remedies.

Whereas most of these remedies couldn’t do too much to touch my headache, pour out the juice from some pickles that were in my fridge knocked out the pain in about ten minutes. If I hadn’t known better, I would have falsely assumed that this craze of pickle juice was all a bunch of hype. You aren’t just reading about one man’s discovery that pickles are great for anyone who is always on the go, science backs up these claims. It has been shown, in many different studies, that pickle brine is great for a remedy from sore and aching muscles, often resulting in painful cramps. If you are like I was for most of my life and have never tried a pickle before, be warned, it could be an acquired taste. One thing is for certain, you have got to be prepared that you will not be drinking a sugary sweet type beverage. If you do reach for a pickle flavored beverage to cure your cramps, be ready for a salty and sour tasting product that is best when drank quickly. You don’t have to be under the weather to enjoy this sort of treat, it will carry the most value for long-distance runners and hikers but can be used by just about anyone.

Being Vegan and Still Meeting Requirements

Even if you are avoiding eating any kind of meat, that doesn’t mean that you won’t gain as much muscle as the carnivores. I am not a vegan, personally, but I do know many folks that are, and I am all for it. Truthfully, I have seen some of my vegan friends working out at a pace that I can barely keep up with. The old sayings that you have to eat meat to be anywhere close to being a good weightlifter are full of you know what. Looking into the eating habits of a vegan, your selection will be limited. One aspect where the vegans of the world gain ground over the meat eaters is that their food choices will be safer. I love meat as much as the next person but we carnivores have to agree, meat isn’t always the food that is best for you. I honestly wish that I could go back in time and become a vegan but I know that I am too far gone. I simply enjoy eating meat, even though it isn’t the smartest option for my long-term health. Although the food selection, among vegans, is somewhat limited, there are plenty of foods to utilize in growing muscle and keeping your body in working condition.

First, we have lentils. I had not tried a lentil until I was already an adult and I wished I had started eating them sooner. Don’t be fooled by their smaller size, this food packs a nutritious punch and is amazing for any weightlifter to try. Loaded with both protein and fiber, you can easily down some lentils after a workout to ensure that your muscles are eating right. One big drawback that I get from people who don’t want to be vegan is that they would miss out on their all-important milk fix. This attitude against not wanting to make a change was all well and good decades ago, but let’s get with the times and learn about an awesome vegan option, where you can still enjoy milk. Soy milk is what I would suggest trying, loaded with the same nutrients that any aspiring exerciser needs, the vegans have a great option to get some faux dairy.

I had known someone who was lactose intolerant and would later become vegan, this person showed me what I was missing out on, by not incorporating soy milk into my diet. If you still need more convincing that you have to consume meat to get truly large, look at some of the leading vegan bodybuilders out there. Whether they be huge international superstars or some local bodybuilders vying for their big break, you don’t have to look far to get that vegan doesn’t have to mean small. If you are thinking about starting a vegan lifestyle, you can still combine those new choices with the same old workout program that you have been using. Maybe my parents were right when they always preached about the importance of vegetables. Even after trying to blend a little more vegetables on my dinner plate, I have lost about 10 pounds of fat. I have always heard about people talking about eating healthier and feeling better and I never thought that could be true. It could be the weight that I have lost but I do have to say that vegetables are really making me feel much better and more energized. Who knows, perhaps one day I could see myself becoming vegan?

Certain Nature Valley Bars Have Been Recalled

Hey, it’s me again with another update on a recall that is going on that I needed to tell you about. There are a couple of varieties of Nature Valley bars that are currently being recalled due to possible Listeria being contained within them. This is a type of recall where the manufacturers are doing everything possible to fill in the public on this so that we can all be safe. I have been a big fan of the Nature Valley bars for quite some time and know that these recalls aren’t the best thing but they do happen. Don’t give up on the company itself because of something that was most likely out of their control. As far as I know, this recall is only affecting certain flavors of the Simply Nut and Protein chewy line.

Don’t Let a recall sour you, try these other flavors

If I hear any additional information about other kinds of bars being recalled, I will post it here for you. After all of the recall speculation dies down, I wanted to present some information about the bar flavors that I like, as you might end up enjoying them too! I will often grab some of the oat and honey variety of these bars, as you can get a variety pack for pretty cheap and they taste awesome. Nature Valley even offers a sweet and spicy chili bar, I am not quite adventurous enough to give those a shot. If you have had the chance to try the sweet and spicy chili granola bar, let me know how that tastes.

I know that a recent trend of chocolate being added to peppers has become popular but I don’t have the guts to combine sweet and hot, it’s just not a taste that I would be into. Adding to that, they are loaded with fiber and protein, which are two essential ingredients that anyone who cares about nutrition should be getting enough of throughout the day. Don’t let one story like this one, sour you from trying anything from this company. I have been purchasing these nutrition bars from the store, since around ten years ago and have never had so much as a single problem after I have eaten them. I also know that any company who puts the recall information out there, to be on the safe side, that this is a company that you can trust and stand behind.

I have heard it mentioned that the Clif bars have also been under a similar type of recall. I would have to say that the same is true of the Clif bars, as well as the Nature Valley bars, both companies make delicious and healthy options for those of us who need that on the go type of nutrition. I have seen some people go about making their own granola bars at home but this seems too tricky for me to attempt, I am just not that good of a cook.

yummy granola

I’m not as good as the pros!

I had actually tried making these bars in the past and I failed miserably at it. It was funny because the final results of my homemade granola bars looked like something out of a science fiction film, like an alien!  Let’s all put the pitchforks down and let these companies get this recall resolved and we can all go back to enjoying those delicious and nutritious treats before we know it!