Everyone Is On A Diet

It is estimated that at any given moment about 108 million Americans are following a diet.  I would offer that everyone is on a diet.  What I mean by that is if you eat,  you are on a diet or a habitual pattern of eating.  Typical Americans are on the pizza and burgers diet, alcoholics are on a liquid diet, and, according to my latest bank statement, I’m on the Starbucks coffee diet.  

A diet is a way of eating. The way you eat regardless of what amount of effort or planning and regardless of if it is a “good” or “bad” diet.  What you eat most of the time is your diet.  Chances are most people would not buy most other people’s diet book.

Your Diet Is The Starting Point For Success

Since no one is buying your diet plan, it may be worth asking “why not”? Eating or obtaining nourishment is one of most basic needs of any single celled organism, plant, or animal.  Man included.  The nutrition obtained from food decides how well we are meeting this basic need.  If you are leaving this basic requirement of life to chance, you are leaving YOUR  life to chance.  The more nutrition you obtain from your diet the more successful you will be at meeting other higher level needs.  These needs include health, fitness, safety, economic security,  and even love and career.  Your diet determines your success in life.

The Diet Environment Has Changed

Many people, in particular men, eat whatever they want.  Never giving any thought to what it is they need.  If it taste good, we eat it.  There was a time in man’s history where sweet meant “good” and bitter meant “bad”.  The environment from which we chose food was much different at that time.  We procured food by foraging, hunting, and gathering in forests and grasslands.  Now our forest is the isles of the grocery store where we forage for snacks, we hunt for pizza that’s “not delivery.  Its…”, all the while we gather fat around our mid-sections.

The food environment is no  less dangerous than when we were in the wild.  Discern what is real nourishing food from  what is chemically engineered formulations designed to make you eat more and that can make you sick and fat.

Diet Propaganda

What makes our current food environment even more dangerous is deception in the form of slick, gimmicky marketing.  “Try our low calorie, low fat snack.  It’s lite, so it’s better!” We fear calories and fat like they are poison.  Propaganda turned out by the government tells us so.  “Eat less calories, weigh less.”  “Eat less fat, be healthy.”  “Never mind sugar.  It’s just a carbohydrate that is lower in calories, so its better”  This has been the doctrine of the USDA since the 1960’s.  Yet, we are fatter and sicker than we have ever been.  It makes little sense to trust an agency that is responsible for the food supply with agriculture as well as creating the demand with nutrition guidelines, but this is exactly what the USDA does.

Change Your Diet, Change Your Life

Unfortunately I have no definitive answers to the diet dilemma.  What I do offer is this.  If you do not like the way your life is going and you are not as successful as you want to be, you need to check your diet.  Make a conscious informed choice  what you buy at the grocery store the food industry or the world will decide for you with bright Television ads and food guide pyramids.  Put your self on the diet you believe is right or the world will put you on it’s diet.

How To: Feeding Kids Like Man

They are diabolical sociopaths looking to manipulate you in any way they can.  I’m not talking about criminals.  I’m talking about kids.  As a single father, I know the challenges of feeding kids, let alone trying to get them to eat healthy.  But once you follow these steps and realize you are bigger and have more money than them,  you will be a pro at feeding your kids like a man.

Feeding Kids #1:  Your Job

feeding kids

As a parent you want to see your kid eat.  You want them to grow into the stud athlete you never were.  Who knows maybe if you can get your son to eat his peas, he’ll be the next Gronkowski or if you can get your daughter to eat more than bread with butter she can be the next Serena Williams.

Contrary to common belief, your job is not to make your kids eat.  Your job is to provide and give structure.  You only have two roles when it comes to feeding kids:

  1. Provide them time to eat.
  2. Provide them nutritious foods to eat.

So basically let them know when it’s time to eat and decide what’s on the menu.  Sure the kids can have input, but at the end of the day you have the final say.

How’d They Get That

I had a client years back who freakin’ hated the fact that her kid had the audacity to go into the fridge and pull out shinny pouch after shinny pouch of CapriSun to drink.  The kids was four at the time, mind you.  I asked he “You don’t like your kids drinking CapriSuns?” She said “No, I think they are unhealthy, and she just gets them out when ever she feels like it.  I can’t stop her!”  The rest of the dialog went like this:

Me: “Does your 4 year old know how to cook?”

Parent: “No”

Me: “Do you think she has any business being in the kitchen?”

Parent: “Probably not”

Me:  “What is the consequence for her being in the kitchen?”

Parent: “None.  I just tell her no.”

Me: “Do you think young (child’s name I can’t remember) would like a burn, fire or chemical or otherwise, from playing around in the wrong place at the wrong time?”

Parent:  “God no!”

Me: “Okay, lets make that a rule.  We’ll also establish some meal and snack times.  Now, how much money does the kid make?”

Parent: “None.  She’s only 4!”

Me: “Then how is she affording all this CapriSun?”

Parent: “I buy it because she likes it.”

Me: “She’s 4.  She’d eat candy and cake all day if you let her.  From now on what she eat’s is up to you.”

The parent was so relieved and empowered.  It was like she became the pack leader again.

Feeding Kids #2:  Their Job

feeding kids

No time like the present for your kids to get a job.  I know’s little Jimmy’s five, but you know what they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.  Kids get the easy part.  All they have to do when it comes to eating is:

  1. Decide how much to eat.
  2. Decide whether or not they want to eat.

That’s right.  Forget about clean your plate or no seconds.  Forget about “you’ll sit here until you eat, Missy!”

Once you have sat them down to a table that has nutritious food, the rest is up to them.  What do you do if little Jimmy and Susie aren’t eating at all, you ask?  Tell ’em to take hike.  Let ’em know they can have it for a snack later or they can wait until breakfast tomorrow.  Only hungry kids sit at the table!

What ever you do, do not become the short order cook.  If they do not like what was for supper then they must not be that hungry.

Grown Man’s Experience

feeding kids

I do not say these things as a dietitian only.  I also have three kids of my own.  This is how I learned my oldest daughter is not much of a meat eater but loves peppers and tomatoes.  It’s the way I found out my son likes purple cabbage but does not like fat on his steak (yet).  And this is how I know my youngest may a not eat much of a dinner in the evening but she will chow down some breakfast.

Let me know your struggles with feeding your kids in the comments below, dads.  Maybe the Grown Man can be of assistance.  

Summer ’16 Lifting Dirty Eating Clean #14

Lookin’ for revenge

I got up late this morning.  No reading, no breakfast, and all coffee.  That did not stop me from having a kick ass day.  I got to work on this sunny Monday, August 1st and planned out my month.  Never underestimate the power of a good plan.

Around noon I had a baked chicken breast and zucchini.  I read some interesting research on the effect of healthy testosterone levels have on memory, visuospatial skills and other parts of cognition this afternoon.  I became interested in the part of cognition called executive control.  If you’ve never heard of it, google it.  It will blow your hair back.  Before I knew it it was 3 pm.  Snack time.  Same as lunch.

In the even it was bench press time.  Here was my workout this lovely evening:

  • Bench press – 45×10, 95×8, 135×5, 185×3, 210x5x5
  • Incline press – 135×10, 165×8, 185×5, 135×12
  • T-bar row – 2 plates x10, 2.5 plates x8, 3 plates x8, 3.5 plates x6, 2 plates to failure, 1 plate to failure
  • Tricep extensions
  • bicep curls
  • Core exercises
  • stretching

I feel like I am making nice gains in the bench press.  Friday’s max effort bench press should be fun.  I tried to do a little squatting and deadlifting with the just the bar.  My left quad is annoyingly weak.  No pain in the back but I definitely need to get my legs activated again.

After training I had a protein shake and a couple bananas.

For dinner I got a little  creativity.  I had some shredded pork, sun-dried tomatoes, and cream cheese.  I put it all on whole grain bread for a couple open faced sandwiches served with a side of roasted cauliflower. Bam!

open face pork sandwich

That’s it for the evening.


Summer ’16 Lifting Dirty Eating Clean #13

Lookin’ for revenge…

Day off mutha f’r!  I needed it too.  I drank coffee and read all morning.  It was great!  Come noon I had pulled pork sandwich and a bowl of berries.

After lunch I did a bunch of meal prep ahead because I’m going to celebrating my ladies birthday all weekend.  I put a pork shoulder in the crock pot which is still simmering as I am writing.  I roasted some chicken breast.

But it’s not all about the meat.  I also roasted some zucchini and cauliflower (recipe here).  To finish I boiled some corn on the cob.  “Everybody wanna eat clean, but nobody wanna cook.”

Once I was done in the kitchen it was time to go finish out my workout for the week.  Today was the first time I maxed bench press in a long time.  And it wasn’t really a true max.  I did 245 lbs for 3 and I left a rep or two on the bar.  I didn’t have a spot.  Here is the full workout:

  • Bench press – 45×10, 95×8, 135×5, 185×3, 225×1, 245×3
  • Close grip bench press – 185×15
  • Pull-up – bwx6 bw+20×5, bw+40×1, bwx11
  • Fly – 3 sets
  • Curl – 2 sets
  • back rehab

Once I got home I had a protein shake.  It was an interesting recipe.  Whole milk, 1 serving of graham crackers, berries, protein shake, and creatine.  Bam.  Now I am getting ready to go to dinner with my special lady.  Italian.  I can’t wait for some pasta and a beer.  Later!


Summer ’16 Lifting Dirty Eating Clean #12

Lookin’ for revenge…

Yesterday was pretty stressful but I found time to take care of a lot of my important tasks.  In the morning I read, had an egg sandwich with mango, and did my back rehab.  I don’t care what people say about spot reduction.  It works.  I should preface that by saying it works as long as you are eating right, and doing a complete workout that works your whole body at least 3 time a week.  I get comments from my girlfriend that she is seeing more abs since I started doing my back rehab workout.  If you are curious about what my back rehab program consists of, here it is:

Work was quite stressful, but I managed to eat lunch in the cafe.  For lunch I had a buffalo chicken wrap, and a salad.  I was so busy that I did not get to lunch until 1:30pm.  I was a grumpy manager.  haha

cobb salad

In the evening I relaxed my face off.  I had a cobb salad around 5pm and it was great.  I firmly believe a cobb salad is perfect for men.  It has chicken breast for protein, bacon and eggs for healthy testosterone building fats (yes I think saturated fat can be healthy), and a variety of veggies that support men’s health.  Though, I did cause my girlfriend to have an allergic reaction.  She is allergic to fish and the green goddess dressing had anchovies in it.  She didn’t eat any but I did kiss her after we ate.  So she’s dead.  haha kidding.  She took benadryl and she was fine.

poor dog

One note worthy event of the day was taking our dogs to get fixed.  Something about taking an animals balls has never set well with me.  But the powers that be say it has to happen or we’ll have torn up furniture, dog orgies, and teenage doggy pregnancy.  I don’t want our dogs to be another statistic so we got on with it, despite my hang-ups about animal castration.

I rounded out the evening with some TV, a glass of Jameson, and peanutbutter on graham crackers.  Kind of a weird day for the Grown Man, but I’m off today.  I plan to cook, max my bench and have a fun birthday weekend for my lady.  Later!


Summer ’16. Lifting Dirty, Eating Clean #11

Lookin’ for revenge…

So much for a meeting in Denver today.  I got up this morning at 5am, got on the road, and was all set for the training.  Then 5 minutes before the session was set to start it was cancelled.  What the hell!  As I mentioned yesterday, The food at these things is horrendous with regards to eating clean and they did not disappoint.  The food groups included danish, doughnut with a hole, doughnut without a hole, and coffee.  Thank goodness there is was coffee.

I had nothing to do at work because I had planned to be in freakin’ Denver.  Once I got home I called it a day.  I took a nice two hour nap.  Sleep is so good.  Nothing makes gains better than good nutrition and sleep.

Speaking of good nutrition, I had a couple pulled pork sandwiches that I made with lean pork and whole grain buns once I got up from my nap .  I added blueberries for some fruit.  I wish I had salad stuff but I was out.

Come about 3pm I was sitting around reading and writing.  It was time for a snack.  I had a protein drink made with whole milk (and love of course).  I use whole milk because I believe it is better for men than low fat and skim milk.  Keep following and I may post why.

Around 5pm it was time for to workout.  It was a light day so I did less volume than Monday.  Here was today’s workout:

  • Press – 45×10, 75×8, 95×5, 125×3, 145x5x2
  • Sides Raises – 20×12, 25×12
  • Rear Delt TRX – 10, 10
  • Dips – 12, 12
  • Dumbbell Curl – 30x12x2

My ticeps and chest were so freakin’ sore!!! The workout served it’s purpose, though.  Today was light and I got some work in.

After my workout I had some chicken breast, pasta, and broccoli.

That was pretty much it for the day.  I got another meal before bed and some chilling to do with my women.  Then more sleep.

Goodnight, gentleman!


Lower Back Pain Nutrition

There are no two ways about it.  Lower back pain sucks.  I’ve had difficulty with lower back pain all my life.  My mother has it, my grandparents had it, and now I got it.  I don’t only  injure it lifting heavy weight either.  Once I hurt it getting off the toilet, the time before last I hurt it dunking, but recently I hurt my back deadlifting.  Luckily, I’m so used to dealing with low back injury and pain that I have recovery down to a science.  In this post I tell you how to to heal your back with lower back pain nutrition.

lower back pain nutrition

Before Lower Back Pain Nutrition…

The things I am going to tell you will only help if we get some assumptions out of the way.  If you injured your back it is likely a strain, nerve compression, a bulging disc, or degenerative disc disease.  It it is not these things.  The nutrition advice to come may not help.

Being that you are injured I assume you are taking it easy.  Please tell me you’ve stayed off your feet a day or two. For god sake, tell me you started walking, and stretching to loosen up all the tight muscles.  And for the love of god please be doing some rehab or chiropractic care.

If you are doing the same work, lifting, or activity that got you hurt in the first place these tips may not help you.

Show Me What You’re Made Of!

The back and the way it’s structures are formed give us a hint as to how we can heal that sucker and get back to work, the gym, or taking a deuce with confidence.  Basically the back is a stack of bones called vertebra.  Between each vertebra is a space where nerves come out.  When vertebrae go bone to bone they smash the nerves causing immense pain.  To prevent this, nature has put little shock absorbing discs in between vertebrae.  These discs allow us to lift, bend, and, jump pain free.

Most back pain is going to be caused by either dehydration of, injury to, or inflammation of these discs.   Healthy discs means healthy back. These discs are made of a protein called collagen.  That means discs are basically made of amino acids from protein and water.  To turn the meat we eat and water we drink into the collagen our discs are put together by enzymes.  These enzymes need vitamin C and Iron to do their work.  This disc also relies on two unique compounds called glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate to create a gel like substance to create the shock absorbing effect the discs have.

Nutrition You Need For Lower Back Pain

Protein – As mentioned earlier the discs the cushion are made of protein.  Therefore it is essential you get adequate protein in your diet.  Most nutritionists recommend getting at least 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for general wound healing.  Perhaps more.  This does not mean you need to eat low carb, but it does mean you want to get goods sources of protein like the ones mentioned here.

Iron – I mention iron next because it often goes hand in hand with high protein sources.  You can get some iron from whole grains and vegetables but the foods with the highest amount and that are best utilized by the body come from red meat.  Iron is a cofactor necessary for the building of collagen.

Vitamin C – Another nutrient that is essential in the formation of collagen is vitamin C.  What’s interesting is when you eat high vitamin C foods with foods that contain iron, the iron is absorbed better.  They are like a dynamic duo!  My favorite vitamin C foods are broccoli, mango, strawberries, kiwi, and peppers.

Hydration – Hydration is essential for healing.  The reactions necessary to make collagen, and the disc itself require water to from.  I usually tell guys to aim for 3-4 liters a day.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate – These two nutrient have are round in the vertebral discs themselves.  They cannot be found in food, but the body can make them from other nutrients.  These two nutrients can be found in supplement form.  While there is not a lot of firm consensus about glucosamine and chondroitin, there is a biological and some evidence to suggest a benefit

Lower Back Pain Nutrition Meals

The best meals for lower back pain nutrition are meals that are packed with protein, iron, and vitamin C.  Check these out!

  • Beef and broccoli stir-fry – The combination of beef and broccoli gives you all the protein, iron, and vitamin C you need for back health.
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs – This classic is a great way to get nutrients necessary for a healthy back.
  • Beef Fajitas – Peppers and onions provide the vitamin C and beef provides the protein and iron.

If you can think of any good recipes or ways to help you back post them below.  Thanks for reading.  Later!

Summer 16. Lifting Dirty, Eating Clean #10

Lookin’ for revenge…

Today started out great.  Got some reading in, rehabbed my back, and got in a good breakfast.


For today’s lunch and snack I packed a couple chicken and rice meals with some sauteed zucchini.  I set an alarm so I remember to eat because I often get so busy at work I forget to eat.   I think a lot of people do that.  We get so busy caught up in the day to day grind that we forget to take care of ourselves.  We forget to eat, drink, even breath.

I actually felt tired the first part of the day.  Had I not ate clean, and drank water I probably would have fell asleep in a meeting or doing paper work.  Seems like I get that way when I don’t hydrate and eat right.  I mentioned yesterday I fasted the first part of the day, and then I had a pretty high volume workout.  The morning was probably my body just telling me, “hey, asshole! Feed me or I quit”.

Today was not a lifting day for me.  I usually only lift 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  To stay active I walked about 30 minutes at lunch and another 30 minutes after work.  I walk more to relax and get a little blood flowing.  Walking is never a “workout” for me.  Walking is more of an opportunity to think, breath, or listen to a book.

Tonight I had to move some furniture out of my old place into my new place.  More cardio. Hahaha.   After that my girlfriend decided to buy me something from Panera Bread.  I went with a steak panini.  Nice little treat to round out my day.  Thanks, Baby Doll.

Now it’s time to get some sleep.  I have an early day tomorrow.  I have to go to Denver for an all day meeting.  That should be interesting.  Meetings always have bad food.  I’ll let you know how it goes.


Summer ’16. Lifting Dirty, Eating Clean #9

Lookin’ for revenge…

Today started a little late for me.   I didn’t have my first cup of coffee until about 8am.  I began my day by reading a book by Brian Tracy Called Balance Point.  The chapter I was on was about figuring out your values.  It made my realize how important it is to start with your values when you start a diet or fitness program.  I can’t think of one diet book that starts with evaluating who you are and whats important to you.  Values are so important for life long success in health and fitness.

After I read I did some rehab exercises for my back and core.  I feel like my back is coming along but slowly.

I did not take time to pack a lunch so I decided to fast until after my workout.  Work was very relaxed compared to last week.  I got back to doing more management tasks, rounding and talking to some patients, and some writing.

I started a new workout today.  No more squats and no more deadlifts anymore.  Here was today’s workout:

  • Bench press – 45×10, 95×8, 135×5, 185×3, 205,x5x5
  • Incline press – 135×10, 155×8, 175×6, 135xfailure
  • T-bar row – 1 plate x10, 2 plate x10, 3 plates x8, 4 plates x4
  • Skull crusher – 90×12, 100×10, 100×10
  • Curl – 70×10, 80×8, 90×6

Since I’m letting my back heal I have decided to focus on bench press 8 weeks or so.

After I got home from the gym I decided to eat instead of having a post workout shake.  Pulled pork quesadilla, sauteed zucchini, and a beer.  Protein, high GI carbs, and hydration.  Glorious.

pork quesadilla

I have some catching up to do since I did not eat all day.  I’ll probably have some chicken and a sweet potatoes, then a protein shake before bed.  Right now I feel relax and ready chill the rest of the evening.


Summer Sixteen. Lifting Dirty, Eating Clean: W9D1

Monday’s are the worst.  Am I right?  Today was a day of organized chaos, plenty of activity but no lifting, and running around like a mad man trying help staff get food to patients.

Eating Clean

marinated chicken breast

I ate a lot of good protein,  had a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, but also ate my feelings when I got home.  because I was very busy all day.

In the morning I had hard boiled eggs, mango, and blueberries.  I ate pulled pork sandwiches, salad, and a peach for lunch and snack.  The first thing I had was a bowl of ice cream when I got home.  Then some nachos and a beer.  I did manage to have some a chef’s salad for dinner from some chicken breast I marinated and grilled in the evening.  I hardly ever get a sweet tooth but I was so stressed and exhausted that I wanted something, bad.

chef's salad

Lifting Dirty

I had the best intentions of lifting but was so exhausted from delivering food to patients and dealing with this new mobile kitchen. I had nothing in the tank to complete a workout.  I now plan to go Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday this week instead of my normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  This is not the first workout I’ve missed.  I took a week off in June for a family reunion.

I did get in a lot of walking yesterday, but, sadly, no lifting.

Putting Out Fires At Work

I spent yesterday fixing IT issues, running around delivering trays, and dealing with asshole contractors for our new mobile kitchen.  It was not as physically exhausting as it was mental.  Luckily today I have the rest of my management team around to take on some of the challenge with me.

Going forward I am going to need to pace myself and find ways to make sure I get my training and manage the new stress.  After September 1st we should be back in our kitchen and this should die down a bit.  I am going to need a vacation…