Journal Entry 317 – Short One

Another week in the books. No major plateau busting this week other than I’m crunching the most for abs I ever have before. I really do think working abs almost every day has really helped increase my lifts. Still doing very little isolation and sticking to the Push / Pull / Abs everyday setup


Sarah and I are going to a party tonight with some of my co-workers. Our company has a big release set for Monday, so we figured we would party before the extra stress starts from work. Another Pro Tip: Keep dietary fat low on the days you drink. This greatly reduces the risk of storing fat.

Other than that I’ve been watching the original Berserk show on DVD, that I borrowed from my good friend Cameron. It’s been awesome so far. Very graphic show, but it is anime. It is far from a fairy tale and the theme is very dark. It has very little lighthearted comic relief like a lot of other shows have, but I think this make for a more dramatic and epic show. I’m a huge soundtrack fan, so here is a song from the show: Gut’s Theme.


Journal Entry 296 – Too Much Fiber

So I’ve been hitting a calorie deficit for about 2-3 weeks without really cheating in awhile. I’d have a day where I would eat more, but not really a cheat day. Yesterday I decided to have a large cheat meal of whatever I wanted. I decided on Cheese Fries from Kickback Jacks along with a Chicken Ceasar Salad and some wings. I woke up this morning looking much fuller than I have in awhile. I actually look like I lift again! It’s amazing what flat looking muscles can do to your physique and mind when cutting. Not fun.

I was really pumped to get back into a higher protein / lower carb way of eating, but realized I was overdoing it on high fiber / low carb food items. This really can wreck your digestion and make you bloated. I always love how Nutritionists latch on to certain ideas like “Fiber is the best thing you can eat” or “It’s almost impossible to get too much fiber, because it’s good for your gut bacteria.” Um yeah, actually it’s extremely easy to get too much fiber and getting too much can literally wreck you. When you add in high fiber tortillas/bread on top of fruits and vegetables and high fiber protein bars (almost all of them in today’s world), then you have just very easily hit well over 50-60 grams. I think I even hit 80 grams one day. I swear it felt like it took me 3 days to clear my bowels and just to feel like I didn’t have a full stomach all the time. After it finally was clear, I decided to go on a very low fiber diet and I felt very good and I looked even better. My stomach was consistently flat all day. I used to wake up with a flat stomach and go to bed looking like buddah. With low fiber, it’s always flat. It’s easy to overlook factors in your diet that you associate with being healthy when in reality they can be a problem. High fiber leads to almost constant distension and a not very aesthetic appearance.

Some foods I have found to be very beneficial to this way of eating AKA non-bloat:

  • Wings
    • I’ve really been into wings recently. A little bit higher fat, but I always save some room for fattier items in my diet.
  • Peanut Butter
    • Doesn’t bloat me at all.
  • Meat
    • Mainly eating Tyson chicken strips, but digests well.
  • Egg Whites
    • Can make you a little gassy, but not overly bloated.
  • Berries
    • Small handful. Berries don’t bloat me like other fruits.
  • Green Vegetables
    • Well cooked and only small amounts at once.


Journal Entry 254 – PC issues, Madden and Diet Update

This week I have done zero cardio in the mornings. I was having a lot of computer issues and had to do a system restore and then do a ton of updates, which I did when I got home from work and the morning before I left for work. I somehow picked up a virus that attacked my drivers. This disabled my external mouse, trackpad and displays. It also prevented me from doing updates, so I had to restore the whole system back to factory settings. This wiped out ALL files. Luckily I backed up all my files a couple of weeks ago, so I lost nothing. I took the time to organize all of my files on the external hard drive and now my computer is running better than ever. I put all the files on my computer into 4 different folders. Pretty organized looking. ūüėČ

So, the PC trouble was a pain, but ultimately¬†it turned out drastically boosting my computers performance. I also bought Madden 16 for the Ps3 for the first time in 5 years. Fun game, but I remember why I stopped buying it; it’s the exact same game with the exact same playbooks and plays as Madden 12! Buying that game every year is a complete waste of money. All you really need is to download the rosters and load them in the game. Problem solved. Also, Michael Vick is still WAY too good in that game. I like the man because he’s a Hokie, but unfairly good. I was playing on a low difficulty setting though.

As for training this week, I did zero running this week. I lifted every day during my lunch break and have been steadily increasing my strength. My split:

  • Chest/Tris
  • Back/Bis
  • Shoulders/Traps
  • Chest/Tris
  • Back/Bis

Both the chest and back workouts were exactly the same except for a couple of moves. The most important factor of each workout is getting bench press stronger and chinups¬†stronger. Right now I’m benching 190lbs for 8,6,5 reps. This is also going all the way down to my chest. For back/bis, I do chinups with 25lbs between my feet for my around 3 sets of 6 reps. I’ve been feeling these very good, so I should go beyond that this week. I plan on doing my cardio on back to back days this weekend, along with some abs.

Diet has actually been consistent this week, at least in the early part of the day. Really been enjoying it too. I’ve also been eating way more carbs and less protein. Fat is more or less always the same, between 55-70 grams.

  • Coffee – 7:30AM – 11:00AM
  • Meal 1 – 11:00 AM- ¬†2 packets of oatmeal with berries and small scoop of protein powder
  • Workout from 2-3PM
  • Meal 2 – 3:00PM- Bag of Popchips with a Quest Bar
  • Meal 3- 7:00PM – Varies daily – Always a big meal though
  • Meal 4 – 10:00PM – Protein Pudding with Peanut Butter

Carbs between 200-300 grams, Protein 100-120grams, Fat 55-70 grams. Calories between 2000-2200 during the week. Usually much more on Saturday and Sunday.

The Gluten-Free Fad

As a nation we have officially pinned gluten as the root of all evil.¬†Sugar, low-fat diets, low carb diets all had their turn, but now it looks like the tide is turning once again.¬†Its the next food fad that food manufacturers are cashing in on and what dietitians are excluding from everyone’s diet. ¬†Is it fair or overblown? – In my mind, its fair for sufferers of Celiac Disease, but people without the disease are jumping on another bandwagon.

There is something about the way the news portrays gluten and how supermarkets are offering up “gluten free” options that is leaving a “bad taste in my mouth.” ¬†Its just way to similar to the low carb phase that I really wish never started. ¬†I’m not really defending gluten, but just saying that this fad is being overblown. ¬†Every time these fads happen, people blame all of their problems on this one sole source, when in reality its a combination of factors.

Health food? I think not.
Health food? I think not.

What is Gluten? РGluten is a protein found in many wheat products, cereals, crackers, pasta, pizza and is even hidden in many products such as  sauce, beer (made from grains) and some soups.  It helps bind flour together and gives it texture, such as pizza dough.  (Note: gluten is found in MANY low carb tortillas and breads to help give texture to the foods.)

Why is bad?If you have Celiac Disease, then even the smallest amount of gluten is terrible for you. ¬†It triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine. ¬†This interferes with vitamin and nutrient absorption and can lead to serious health problems. ¬†This also leads to GREAT GI (gastro intestinal) discomfort and severe bloating. ¬†FOR THESE PEOPLE, gluten is NOT A FAD. ¬†It’s a very real problem and I’m sure they appreciate the extra grocery shopping options. ¬†Although, a lot of whole foods not derived from wheat don’t have any gluten anyway.

Most people don’t have Celiac Disease and never will. ¬†There is a term called GLUTEN SENSITIVE, which is basically what many people claim they have. ¬†Gluten sensitive is similar to celiac disease without the damaging of the small intestine. ¬†In other words, people still get the bloating and discomfort from not being able to process gluten without the severe health problems.

My problem with gluten-free – Like I said, I’m not really defending gluten. ¬†If you truly notice bloating and low energy levels after certain foods then don’t eat them. ¬†I do the same thing with certain foods.¬†Gluten doesn’t make up a large part of my diet on a daily basis, but I don’t exclude it all costs either and I feel like I’m doing alright. My main¬†problem with gluten-free is everyone promising “magical weight loss and energy levels” on a Gluten-free diet, when in reality a lot of people gain weight on it. ¬†Check out this article,¬†6 Worst Gluten Free Foods. ¬†Food manufactures are preying on people that think Gluten is the root of all evil, so they buy food products thinking these are “extremely healthy.” ¬†The same thing happened in the low-carb phase. ¬†In other words, people here carbs or gluten is bad and they immediately associate that to mean all carb and gluten free products are healthy. – WRONG.

Bottom Line – Gluten free is not a cure all. ¬†You may experience less bloating without it and you also may eat healthier foods in the process of trying to avoid it, but some people give it a little too much credit. In other words, unless you have Celiac Disease then going gluten free may make you “mentally feel better” and produce less bloating, but dont expect the miracles many people are praising it for. ¬† One more thing to note and this is true for many foods that people bash on, (carbs, fats, etc…) anytime you purposefully take a food out of the diet for a prolonged period of time, your body becomes hypersensitive to it (forgets how to process it). ¬†So if you a fan of pizza, crackers, wheat products, bread, beer and other “social” foods, you may want to think twice about just completely getting rid of it.


Healthy Eating on a Budget Part 2: Protein and Fat

In the previous article, I posted my recommendations on saving a lot of money when buying starches and carbs.  This will focus on protein and fat items.


Protein and Fat items can vary greatly, but I tend to me a monotonous eater and usually eat the same foods over and over.  Here is a list of my recommended money saving protein and fat foods:

  • Frozen Chicken Breasts – Highly recommend Costco at $20 a bag that contains over 40 servings.
  • Canned Chicken Breast – Kirkland brand taste amazing also at Costco $9 for 8 cans
  • Rotisserie Chicken – $5-6 at most places (get two meals out of this)
  • Lean Chicken Sausage – $4 for 4 or $13 for 18
  • Eggs – $2-4 for 18 pack carton
  • Lean Beef – Trader Joe’s 96/4 lean beef $5 per pound
  • Seafood Mix – Sam’s Club has a giant bag for $10
  • Greek Yogurt – $5
  • Low fat Turkey Pepperoni – $3.50
  • Almond Butter – $5
  • Coconut Oil – $6
  • Fish Oil – $7 at Costco for a huge jar
  • Quest Bars – $3 (These aren’t exactly cheap, but the taste and health is worth it)
  • Protein Powder – Elite XT Fudge Brownie and Vanilla $32 for 4.4 lbs (highly recommend)
  • Smoked Salmon $4-9, a little more expensive, but Trader Joe’s has a very good selection
  • Fish $8 per pound (usually dont eat fish that often)
  • Laughing Cow Reduced fat Cheese Wedge $6.50 for 3 at Sam’s
  • Goat Cheese – Costco
  • Bolthouse Light Ranch – Best tasting healthy ranch on the planet (highly recommend) $3.50
  • Low Carb Ketchup $2.50

These are most of the foods I eat and they are definitely a little more costly than starches.  But here are a few more tips to avoid breaking the bank, while trying to eat healthy.

  • If you want to buy organic, then shop at Trader Joe’s. ¬†AVOID WHOLE FOODS and FRESH MARKET. ¬†I actually like Whole foods and Fresh Market and they are both very nice stores, but their prices are Ridcioulus. ¬†They want to prey on people trying to eat healthy and “organic” so they jack up the prices to force people to pay. ¬†Trader Joe’s has many organic and grass fed products that are actually affordable.
  • Don’t buy organic eggs if you use a lot of egg whites. ¬†Some people are die hard fanatics about organic eggs, but they use 6 eggs total, with 1 whole egg and 5 egg whites. ¬†(What are your doing?) They literally just payed way more for “organic eggs” and threw away the nutrient density of the food. (which was the point of buying more expensive organic eggs) ¬†Egg whites are dirt cheap and are the same no matter what. ¬†If you buy organic eggs and use a lot of egg whites then buy organic eggs for the yolk and buy cheap eggs for the egg whites.
  • Costco and Sam’s club are your friends. ¬†Seriously if you buy a lot of whole foods do yourself a favor and join either one of these. ¬†You can buy in bulk and save a lot of money.
  • Watch out for protein powder as it tends to get very expensive. ¬†Protein powder gets marketed very heavily and if your not careful can burn a hole in your wallet, especially with some of the new brands coming out. ¬†Elite XT tastes awesome, has a large serving size for the price, is a slow release protein (keeps you fuller for longer) and is also thicker than whey which makes it much better tasting with food and in protein shakes. ¬†Highly recommend this brand and I’ve been using it for over 2 years.
  • Don’t get into supplements. ¬†If there is one thing you take away from this article please let it be this. ¬†They largely do nothing and are very expensive. ¬†Besides a multivitamin, quest bars (protein bars), fish oil and protein powder I wouldn’t get involved in anything else. ¬†You would be amazed at how much they add up and most people never feel any benefits at all from them. ¬†If they do have some initial benefit it just takes more and more of that supplement to feel anything from it, which is even more money lost.
  • A final tip – don’t get obsessed with being TOO HEALTHY. ¬†Meaning buying organic everything, shopping at Whole foods and thinking your diet is superior because you spend $1000 a week on “the healthiest food on the planet”

I hope this article was helpful and I definitely want to keep this post updated in the future if I think of any more tips to include.