Archive for April, 2011

Nobody Likes Sloppy Seconds!

Has this ever happened to you:

You go to a restaurant and enjoy half of the massive serving that they gave you. You ask for a “to go” box, and you are already fantasizing about how great it is going to be tomorrow for lunch. But the next day you go to reheat the food and it looks like a completely different dish!

What happened?!

Oil and salt happened. When you go out to almost any restaurant (even when they claim to be healthy), they cook with massive amounts of salt and usually use a lot of oil. When your food has had a chance to sit overnight, the salt has also had a chance to pull the water out of the food. This, combined with the oils that have solidified underneath your food, makes for a disgusting and pathetic looking meal. This is why most people don’t like “left-overs.” This is also why it is hard for me to get some of my clients to prepare their meals ahead of time.

The most successful clients I have ever worked with are the ones who log their food, and prepare it themselves. But let’s face it: most of us don’t have the time to cook every day. Especially multiple times per day! If you want to be healthier, lose weight, and save money, then you really need to consider preparing your meals ahead of time.

The chicken I grilled for this week!

But John, what about the “salt and oil” bit that you were just preaching about??

That won’t happen. (At least not  so noticeably) Healthy cooking should mean more than just buying natural, whole foods. It is also knowing what amounts of those foods go into your meals. For example, do you want to cook with less oil? Then let it heat up first! It is very common for people to drizzle  oil into the pan (which hasn’t finished heating up) and immediately place in whatever they are cooking. It sticks. So the next time they use more oil. The cycle continues…

Really, try first letting your pan heat up, then the oil. I promise you wont need as much, and you will cut down A LOT on the extra calories! (Oil contains about 120 calories/ 1 TBSP)

Here is your challenge: next Sunday try cooking some extra food to bring to work for the week. Trust me, it will only seem like a pain in the ass until you notice that your pants are getting loose and your wallet is getting bigger. Then you can email me a “Thank You” letter!

Looking forward to your responses!


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I Cheated… But it Didn’t Mean Anything! Promise!

As you well know, I live a pretty structured life: I workout 5 days per week, eat 6 (measured) meals per day, and spend the rest of my time teaching others to do the same. And then last weekend something happened…


Besides my vacation in Italy last summer, I cannot remember the last time I ate Spaghetti. It has literally been over a year. Saturday was the day that I gave in. I mixed a jar of my favorite all natural Marinara Sauce (Rao’s) with lean ground turkey  (that I seasoned and browned) and let it simmer for an hour. Here’s where things started getting dirty: Instead of grabbing a Spaghetti Squash to serve as my “pasta” I grabbed some good ol’ Spaghetti noodles. 7 minutes later, and there I was…  cheating on my diet, but I didn’t feel bad! Here’s why:

  1. Because I am so regimented with my diet and exercise, my body has become a fat burning machine!
  2. My lean body mass is higher than ever before, so I burn more calories at rest.
  3. I changed the serving size of my next meal to counter the extra 200-300 calories from the pasta.
  4. I took my wife Kayaking for 2 hrs the next morning to burn off anything that my body may have stored!

So here’s the deal: if you’re going to splurge, cool. But if you have a fitness goal that is important to you, then it should be a calculated splurge. Don’t just go crazy. When you do that you will often feel guilty afterward. Guilty feelings are stressful. Stress raises cortisol levels, and high cortisol levels make it harder for your body to lose fat. Bad cycle…

BTW, the weather was beautiful and Kayaking was a lot of fun! It is a great way to burn calories, take in the beauty of nature, and get some alone time with your significant other for some quality conversation. Here is a video I took on my phone: (and that is my beautiful wife doing all the work while I take in the view!)

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You Butternut Add Any Cream!

So… I have been trying to cook some different foods so that I can share the recipes on my blog. (I normally eat the same foods all the time) I have been wanting to try to make a Butternut Squash soup for a long time, and I finally did this weekend. There are so many different ways to prepare this soup, but almost all of the recipes that I found called for butter, cream, cream cheese, or cream of coconut (delicious, I know). Well, lets see if we can make it taste good without all of the ingredients that make us jiggle when we walk!

Here’s what I did:

Peel & cube 1 large Butternut Squash. (I now realize it would be easier to bake, then scoop out…)

Toss with 1-2 tbsp olive oil, place on cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt

Roast in oven @ 400 degrees for about 30 min or until cooked through, turning once during.

Bring 32 oz Low Sodium Chicken Stock to a boil, add squash and reduce to a simmer.

Blend with an immersion blender, or in blender and add back into the pot.


1 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1.5 tbsp agave nectar

Sea Salt to taste…

Then let it simmer for a bit so that all of the flavors can come out. I really enjoyed this- it is like a dessert!

Only about 50 calories per cup. What do you think?

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What is Exercise?

Why are you exercising? What is in it for you? Are you working out to achieve a certain aesthetic goal, or are you just trying to stay healthy? Both? Great!

The reason I am asking is because people are always telling me that exercise is boring, or it is “not for them”. But, what is exercise? It is getting your butt off of the couch and moving around for a measurable amount of time! You are burning calories, lubricating your joints to prevent arthritis, and (if you exercise outside) getting some much needed vitamin D to help support your immune system and keep your bones strong! So many great benefits that will help you live a longer, more enjoyable life, but there are so many excuses to not do it…

This weekend, instead of sitting on the couch watching reality shows, make a commitment to get outside and move around. You don’t have to go to the gym, go for a run, or join a bootcamp. Just move! Walking is great cardiovascular exercise, and it doesn’t have to be boring. Instead of walking to a street sign and back, try walking or riding your bike to a store that you’ve been wanting to check out. Maybe you can even ride your bike down to the local Kayak rental place and go see what you can find out in the water!

Trust me, your day will be better, your energy and mood will improve, and you can feel good knowing that you just did something that will improve your quality of life. Need some ideas on where to go? Check out

Enjoy your weekend!

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