Recipe of The Week: Breakfast On-The-Go

29 05 2012

Ok, here’s a scenario I’m sure we’ve all been through…

You haven’t gone shopping in over a week and you’re down to protein powders, water and maybe some oatmeal or a couple of eggs.  You need a quick breafast before working out.  What do you do?

You improvise!

This is the easiest thing to make.  I’ve done it many times, even if it’s just to eat something before going shopping (or out of town and don’t want to shop for the week):

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Oatmeal (always choose the tub over the packets!)
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein (I find Dymatize cooks the best)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 egg whites

Directions

  1. Place oatmeal and protein powder into a bowl and mix
  2. Add water to mixture and let sit for a minute to soak in
  3. Place two egg whites into bowl and mix again
  4. Put bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 2 1/2 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a minute and enjoy!

If you like it a little bit sweeter, feel free to throw in some stevia extract or any berries you may have left over in the fridge.  The great part about the egg whites is that you don’t get the savory taste profile, which would conflict with the sweetness of the protein powder.

Remember: the idea is to make the best of what you have lying around.

Bon Apetit!

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Your “Motivational Monday” Primer (5/28/12)

28 05 2012

Happy Memorial Day, GymGeeks!

Today,  I want to talk about balance.  It’s such a mind-numbingly easy thing to do that we often take it for granted, whether it be at the gym or in our every day lives.

This past weekend, I happened to be in Fort Lauderdale for the third time in six weeks (with four in eight coming soon thanks to a wedding I have to attend in Kentucky via Ft. Lauderdale International Airport).  Because of that, I’m not as readily available to the GymGeek Nation, since I’m not as attached to my laptop as it may appear during the week.

At first, I thought it would hinder my performance and my “street cred” with you guys.  Maybe you’re a weekend warrior looking for something to read and I’m not delivering as often as I should.  In the digital age, where it’s a 24-hour news cycle, it’s tough keeping an audience (if you’d like proof, I’ll show you the stats on the site and my fluctuation of followers on Twitter).  This really freaked me out, since it made me feel like a total hack and made me question whether or not I was really making a difference.

Then a thought occurred to me: I am always going to be the biggest critic of me.  That’s always been the blessing & curse of being me.  It helps push me harder to be great, but also knocks me hard on my ass when I don’t push.  The truth of the matter is I know I’m here for you guys (and those who have e-mailed me know it, since I respond in a timely fashion).  So if I miss a review or a tweet, it happens.  Just have to learn how to work around it and keep going.  The stats may suck on those few days, but I’m not in it for stats.  I’m in it to help and if that’s five people or 500, so be it.

In your lives, you should have the same approach.  Yes, I talk about how living a healthy lifestyle should be the goal, but if you’re beyond hell-bent for too long, you lose sight of it sometimes.  When that happens (and you have the fortunate opportunity of catching yourself), take a step back, breathe, and remember why you’re doing it in the first place.  In my fitness goals, it’s to not be the guy I was eight years ago, physically and mentally (low self-esteem, depressed and just overall angry).  For you, it may be that you come from a family where heart disease is prevalent and you want to fight against genetics.  Find a device that helps you remember that and take a few minutes out of every day to focus on it.  When you do that,  you’re less likely to let your mindset snowball to the point of cracking.

Well, that’s my rant & rave for this gorgeous day.  I’ll be on the road back to Orlando to get my shopping done and get my pieces designed for the Winter Park Health Fair this upcoming Saturday.  I hope everyone enjoys the end of their long weekend…school’s back in session tomorrow!





Sunday Night Recap

20 05 2012

This week was definitely interesting.  The naming of each day gives TheNerdyGymRat a bit more organization in what stuff gets rolled out and when.  As with any site or blog, consistency is key.  I know I quit reading Gizmodo when they went to a random design and I threaten to quit Facebook every time they change the layout.  GymGeeks deserve better and I’ll make sure to do my part!

Now, here’s what all you newbies missed this week:

  • Mondays will now be known as “Motivational Mondays,” where we’ll come up with a way to get rid of all of your excuses.  This week, we talked about the major guts in a man’s life.
  • Tuesdays are “Tasty Tuesdays!”  This one definitely got the best reception.  We’ll be talking about a muscle building or fat burning food, as well as share a recipe for the week.  We took a break from fish dishes to go with a little chicken stir-fry.
  • Wednesdays are “Workout Wednesdays.”  On these days, you can expect to see ways to spice up your lifting & cardio routines.  Abs and Tabata training were on the agenda this week.  I sure as hell used Tabata before volunteering at Orlando Beer Fest last night.  In four minutes, I was sweating like a mad man!
  • Thursdays…well…let’s just call them “Friday Eve Fit Tips.”  On Thursday,  pay close attention to Twitter and Facebook for some great tips on nutrition, fitness, workouts and just an overall healthy lifestyle.  It also frees us up for the quite-popular “Gym Pet Peeves.”  Hopefully you’re not the meathead that I talked about this week.
  • Fridays will be “Fun Shit Fridays,” where I’ll have interviews with professionals in the fitness industry, as well as some reviews of items and news in the sports technology department.  The Under Armour E39 caught my eye, so I wanted to share it with my GymGeeks!
  • Saturdays are going to be all about supplements!  I reviewed GNC’s “Re-Feed” (which, if Twitter is any indication, GNC loved seeing).
  • Which brings us to today, “Serenity Sunday.”  For most people, this is the “rest day” in their workout/diet regiments.  It’ll definitely have a laid-back vibe, where I’ll share a playlist or even fun things you can do on your day off from the gym.

I also want to take a second to thank everyone that’s been reading here, following over at Twitter and liking the Facebook page.  For something I started up on a whim three weeks about, you guys have been a phenomenal group.  I think a healthy lifestyle is something that needs addressing and I hope I’m helping.  I know I hated being talked at in a way where I felt I was being preached to.  I wish something like this existed when I was 240 lbs., so this is my way of paying it forward.  I can only hope you all do the same 🙂

Now get some rest…we start all over again tomorrow!

Jonathan





Welcome to “Serenity Sunday”

20 05 2012

Yes, for the first time this week, I’m not ending a headline with an exclamation…

I, for one, had a long-ass week.  Between the gym, the office and this blog, I can only think of one image on a Sunday:

So, in honor of Mr. Frank Costanza, I declare Sundays “Serenity Sunday” here at NerdyGymRat.com.  On these days,  I’m going to get more personal with you guys and my progress with my fitness goals.  One thing I’m debating, as I type, is what my next challenge is going to be.  On one hand, I had a blast doing the “Men’s Fitness” shoot.  It definitely got me thinking about the idea of fitness modeling.  On the other, I want to win an intense obstacle course competition a-la Tough Mudder or the Warrior Dash.  One that I’m considering is the “Men’s Fitness” Ultimate Athlete competition in September.  I’ll make a pros & cons list later.

Another thing I want to do on “Serenity Sunday” is give a recap of what’s been posted during the week.  I understand the way this thing is layed out makes it laborious for new GymGeeks to play catch-up.  Only the highlights; no filler!

So I’ll leave you guys today with a question; how do you spend your “Serenity Sundays?”  Do you cook for the week, or are you more about laying by the pool?  Whatever it is, I hope it helps you recharge your mental batteries because, come tomorrow, “Motivation Monday” is BACK!

Jonathan





GNC BEYOND RAW “Re-Feed” Nighttime Blend

19 05 2012

For a guy who wakes up at 4:00 in the morning to be at the gym at 5:00, I sure as hell have a lot of trouble getting to sleep.

Now,  I’ve always used a casein protein of some sort as my last meal of the night.  The reason for it being to prevent overnight catabolism of lean muscle, which is bound to happen when you don’t eat for eight hours.  When I found out GNC had a casein with an “herbal relaxation complex,” I was curious.

To help with my sleep, I already use ZMA, but I was at least willing to give it a shot (since I’m a gold card member and get buy one, get one half off).

Part of the “BEYOND RAW” series of GNC supplements, I have to say “Re-Feed” does exactly what the name leads you to believe.  Packing 25 grams of protein per serving (2 scoops), it also has L-Leucine and Fenucreek, two muscle building blocks to fight your body’s want/need to find energy sources to build while you’re sleeping.  The five grams of L-Glutamine also help in recovery from a day of killing it in the gym.

Nerd Tested; Gym Rat Approved

With the “herbal relaxation complex,” it’s chock full of valerian root, as well as other plant extracts, so there is nothing habit-forming like you’d get from a sleeping pill.  That was my biggest concern before buying, but GNC is very good about being transparent on their nutrition labels and ingredients lists.

With 10 oz. of milk, it gives a thicker texture than most casein blends.  I tend to make it with an extra cup of ice and a banana, since potassium also has been linked to restful sleep.  The result is an amazing shake with great consistency.

The only complaint I have is the lack of flavor options.  Currently, it only comes in chocolate and vanilla ice cream.  Of those two, I highly recommend the vanilla ice cream, which tastes quite a bit like Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream to me.  The chocolate is a little bitter for my taste.  Hopefully they come up with a few more options (including my favorite option when available; cookies & cream).

At $49.99 for a 2 1/2 lbs. tub,  I recommend it for those who are SERIOUS about building muscle.  Otherwise, there are other brands out there that’ll suit your needs (Dymatize has a great one, as we’ve said before).  If you’re a gold card member, it’s only $39.99.  Even then,  I’d wait until you need something else to take advantage of the buy one, get one half off of anything in the store (basically) before trying it out.





Ginger: The Fat Incinerator!

15 05 2012

And you probably thought I was going to talk about the chili powder in the Chicken Stir Fry recipe

A study was recently done at Columbia University, in which ten men consumed 2g of ginger powder dissolved in hot water with their breakfast.  The study showed that the men who consumed the powder had lower levels of hunger, lower amounts of food consumption and higher levels of fullness versus those who did not consume the 2g of ginger powder.

The study also showed a natural thermogenesis in the body, which means it could be linked to weight management.  Translation: it is a natural thermogenic and not some pill chock full of caffeine and other random junk that’s not FDA-approved!

Aside from the stir fry from this week’s recipe, you can also use ginger with sushi (or sashimi, if you’re going low carb), in curry or really any sort of meal that you want to add a little extra spice to.  I suggest buying it in root form and dicing or grating it up yourself, as opposed to in powder form.

Between ginger and the capsaicin found in chili powder and hot peppers, your metabolism will be through the roof.  If you’re looking for a little help losing weight, these aren’t bad (natural) ways of helping, so pile it on!





Welcome to “Tasty Tuesdays”

15 05 2012

Happy Tasty Tuesday, GymGeeks!

I thought this would be a good day of the week to formally start talking about nutrition.  On Tuesdays, we’ll be talking about a fat burning or muscle building food that you may (or may not) know about, as well as a recipe for the week.  I’m currently in talks with a few guest bloggers who know how to cook way better than I do (although I’m getting much better as I go) and also have a vast database to choose from.  Until then, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I’ll share.

Mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-day snack all ready to go!

I also wanted to take this “Letter from the Editor” moment to bring up a very important rule of fitness and health: WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU EAT!  This is something that goes neglected more often than not.  Sure, you can read a nutrition label on a box of something, but it doesn’t really sink in when you don’t step back and see how much of your daily intake that serving actually makes up.  A food journal is a great thing that I discovered a few years ago and it’s helped me on the journey to weight loss, as well as my current journey to put on 10 lbs. of muscle.  In fact, I’ll share with you my current meals during the day (I never go longer than 3 hours between meals) and the TOTAL intake of the important building blocks (calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates) I take in during the day:

Breakfast (4:00 AM)

  1. 1 whole extra large egg
  2. 4 egg whites
  3. 2 tablespoons of salsa
  4. 1 medium navel orange
  5. 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  6. 2 cups of coffee (black)

Post-Workout (6:30 AM)

  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex

Mid-Morning Snack (9:15 AM)

  1. 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  2. 1/2 cup diced pineapple

Lunch (12:00 PM)

  1. 2 slices 7-grain Ezekiel Bread (no flour, all sprouts & grains)
  2. 3 oz. Boars Head Low Sodium Chicken Breast
  3. 1/3 cup Alfalfa Sprouts
  4. 1/2 cup spinach
  5. Handful (about 14-16) of almonds
  6. 4 oz. baby carrots
  7. 1 medium golden delicious apple

Mid-Afternoon Snack (2:30 PM)

  1. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1 scoop Dymatize Elite Gourmet Protein Blend
  3. 1 large red delicious apple

Dinner (5:00 PM)

  1. 1/2 cup of salad
  2. 1 tilapia filet (roughly 4-5 oz.)
  3. 1 medium pear

1 hour before Bedtime (8:00 PM)

  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 2 scoops GNC Beyond Raw “Re-Feed” Protein (Casein)
  3. 1 medium banana

Total Intake:  2050 calories, 31g Fat, 182g Protein, 257g Carbohydrates

A couple things to note about those numbers:

  • I always try to shoot for around 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight (which should be 240g for me), so I see that I need to up the intake in that department.  It allows me to re-adjust for next week (maybe use 2% milk with my protein shakes) to ensure gains!
  • I keep my starchy carbohydrate intake down after lunch.  Since the ones I use are slow-acting (oatmeal, Ezekiel bread), the body absorbs them slow enough to use as a source of energy throughout my day.  The rest come from fruits (in the form of fructose, a sugar) and vegetables.  Avoid sugars like high fructose corn syrup (and even chemically enhanced calorie-free sweeteners)!  Both have been linked to crashes in insulin levels and cancer.  Scary enough, right?
  • The fats in my diet come from my protein sources and nuts.  This means they are either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, which are necessary for healthy cardiovascular health.  These are the OK types of fat!

So on that note, what are you guys eating today?  Make sure to write it down!  You’ll learn a lot and have piece of mind knowing what’s going into your body.

Jonathan.








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