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January 28, 2013

Does the Beachbody Ultimate Reset Work? Absolutely!

How the Beachbody Ultimate Reset Changed My Life!

What is the Beachbody Ultimate Reset?

First off, it’s more than a cleanse.  It’s an all-natural alternative to harsh “cleanses” and starvation diets that returns your body to optimal health-naturally.  It’s the Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  I lost 16 pounds and 3% body fat. 190lbs. to 174lbs in 3 weeks!

The Journey Leading Up to the Reset

First you need to understand, if you don’t know me…you should and may know that I’m a workout fanatic.  Back in 2007 I believe it was, I was 255lbs.  I did the program Power 90 and then P90X and got great results!  I then graduated on to Insanity and then on to Insanity the Asylum.  One program after another, pounds were just dropping off.  I had never felt betterin my life!  In 2011, when I finished Insanity the Asylum (volume 1), I had gotten down to 179lbs. and was at 11.9% body fat (according to a Bod Pod test at UNCC).  So for the next 2 years, I continued the programs and did some hybrids and felt great.  What I didn’t realize was as I got another year older and a little bit cocky with my nutrition, meaning that I thought I had it down and could eat anything I wanted and just burn it off; the weight started to creep back up.  I told myself it was muscle weight not fat, but when I did the Bod Pod again it showed 19% body fat.  From 11.9%.  Needless to say I was not happy.  Not to mention, I wasn’t seeing the lean, mean machine that you see above from  2011.  That guy was becoming a distant memory and I was slipping back into a place I didn’t want to be in at all.

So I Tried to Tackle It Again

I started really pushing hard and focusing on my workouts, even more so than I had been, trying to get back down to the 179 mark.  At this point I was at 193, give or take a pound, and felt muscular but my performance was crap.  I noticed I could not hang the way I used to, I was getting slower and something wasn’t right.  I thought I was “eating healthy”  but after about 6 months of this, I was only able to get down to 188-187.  That was it, it was like I hit a brick wall.  Nothing I did would break the plateau.

The Ultimate Reset Journey Begins

Alisha did the Reset last year and got great results (lost 10lbs.) and kept telling me how wonderful she felt.  So I finally decided to take the plunge and do it with her in January of this year, 3 weeks ago this week.  It was a game changer.  There’s no other way to put it, it opened my eyes to SO much.  It showed me how much of a habitual eater I was, how many processed carbs I consumed and surprisingly how BLOATED I was!  You don’t know, reading this right now, how bloated you are and don’t even realize it.  Because you’ve been this way for so long it’s just par for the course.  You’ve excepted life as it is.  I know I had, that’s why 98% of the people reading this (excluding the 7-11% body fat people reading this) are bloated.  Now you might say I’m wrong, you might say I eat healthy and you might say I have no idea what I’m talking about…I don’t know about that, all I know is….the pictures speak for themselves.

What I learned About Food

What the Reset taught me was that I ate more processed food than I realized and that it doesn’t take much AT ALL to make you “bloated”, overweight or hit a plateau.  I felt like I controlled my dairy intake to very minimal and what little I consumed would be fine, I was wrong.

I thought that whole grain bread and pastas were good for me, when in reality they can cause your body to take those “healthy carbs” and store them as glycogen which your body turns to fuel instead of burning the fat from where you want to lose it.

The Reset taught my body, RESET my body, to understand what to do with the food I eat…when I eat the right kinds of food, the body will naturally know what to use as fuel and what to store for energy.

You’ll learn to ENJOY your food and not scarf it down.  You’ll understand what taking your time can do for the digestion process.  You’ll also spend time in the kitchen, with your wife and talk.  Yes, talk.

It was interesting to also learn how many toxins we have in our body from not only the processed food, but from the air and water we breathe and drink.

You will sleep better than you have ever slept in your life.  I mean deep sleep.  The kind of sleep where you wake up and are ready to go and don’t need the morning cup of Joe.

Lastly, YOU’LL SAVE MONEY while on the Reset.  $50 would buy a week’s worth of groceries for the two of us for the Reset recipes.  We didn’t eat out, we didn’t buy junk, we just followed the plan and saved about $300 over the course of 3 weeks.  You basically earn the money you spend on the Reset back through your grocery bill.

In Summary

We have a website that has all the in’s and out’s of the Ultimate Reset here.  I encourage you to look it over and write down your questions, then contact us and we’ll go over any concerns or questions you may have.  What I will tell you now is this, I wish to God I had done this a year ago when Alisha did it the first time.  If I had, I may have saved myself a year of frustration and lack of understanding.  It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, as we talk about in the video below, but it was by far the BEST thing I’ve ever done to date.  It has set us up nicely for the next phase of our journey which you’ll be hearing more about in the weeks to come.  But most importantly, it’s made us better coaches to you, by debunking the myths we used to follow and educating us in a way where we’re better equipped to help you break through your struggles.


As always, reach out to us if you have any questions and until next time.  Peace out!

 

January 22, 2013

11 Foods that Make You Bloated

I didn’t even realize I was bloated, til I wasn’t!

As we’ve gone through the last two weeks of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, I was amazed at how BLOATED I was and didn’t even know it.  I knew I wasn’t as lean as I was before, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why.  I also noticed that I had hit a plateau and no matter how hard I worked out, I couldn’t break through!

Bloated From Processed Foods

I learned through the Reset exactly what processed foods were doing to me and how bad they were for my digestion.  I realized how much sodium and processed sugars were in the foods that we were eating.

The problem with processed foods is that they are made with a great deal of salt. Salt is a food preservative. Salt, and many other chemical compounds, give foods on the shelves in the supermarket such a long shelf life. Well, they apparently gave my extra padding a pretty decent shelf life as well. Which explained why I couldn’t bust through!

Now keep in mind, we DON’T EAT A LOT of processed foods, SO if I’m having issues with what little we consumed there’s no telling what the other 95% of Americans are going through… Actually there is, look around you at restaurants, monitor what people are eating. This can be a very eye-opening passage of time. You may be shocked at how little red and green you’ll see on the plates. My bet is you’ll see what I see; a lot of brown and yellow (and I don’t mean squash, that’s a good yellow).

Remember if man grows it without nature or makes it…. it’s a processed food!

This theory is pretty much the thinking of the Paleo diet which I talked about in this Paleo post I wrote recently.  I’m also seriously considering trying it out after the Reset.

Food Intolerance

Food Intolerance is something you develop over time as your digestive enzymes decrease. Hello Shakeology!  That’s one thing I can say Shakeology has done for me, keep my enzymes in check as well as cholesterol.

Keep a food journal if you’re not sure what foods cause the bloating.  For us it was like a crash course with the Reset because it just phased them cold turkey (at least the processed stuff), the meat and dairy was next.

That doesn’t mean you have to give up meat completely, just see how different types of meat affect you.  Maybe red meat is worse for you than others.  Again, I’d bet it goes back to all the crap in processed foods.

11 Common Food Types That Cause Bloating

1. PROCESSED Foods

2. Carbonated beverages, gum and candy.  You know if this is a problem. Once in a while isn’t going to kill you.

3. Artificial Sweeteners. In most cases real sugar is better for you than this crap.

4. Some veggies to monitor: Beans, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, lentils, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and collard greens, contain complex sugars and starches that are hard to break down. Eat your vegetables cooked or lightly steamed instead of raw which helps break down some of the fiber aiding digestion.

5. Fruits like bananas, apples, pears and dried raisins.

6. Wheat Products. I’ve found this to be true on the Reset as well.

7. Cereal

8. Dairy Products. This was HUGE for me! When I cut out 98% of dairy, I lost 10 LBS!

9. Frozen Dinners.

10. Sugar-Free Desserts. If they have sugar alcohol such as mannitol, maltitol or sorbitol

11. Spicy Foods. I love mexican food as much as anyone but too much is not a good thing.  Also monitor the BBQ sauce, tomato sauce and vinegar.  They all stimulate a stomach acid which can cause you irritation.

In Summary

I’m not saying you can’t cheat a little here and there.  I do.  What I’m saying is try to contain the cheat to 10-15% of your daily/weekly diet MAX.  Don’t let that 10-15% grow into 20-25%.  If it does grow you’ll notice what I did, that little sneaky fat in your belly start to grow and you won’t realize it until it’s too late.  But then again, you can always do an ULTIMATE RESET like I did.

Notice any foods that are making you feel bloated? Let us know in the comments below!

January 22, 2013

Buying Workout Shoes for P90X & Insanity

 How the Right Workout Shoes Can Change Your Workout!

workout shoes for p90x and insanityObviously, asking what’s the best workout shoe is a loaded question due to the fact that there’s so many different types of workouts.  Finding the right kind of shoe has become very specialized to the type of workout you’re doing, so each shoe has a niche and a market.

A perfect example of this: we’re about to start running which requires a completely different type of shoe than a workout shoe you would use for Beachbody workouts like P90X, Insanity or others.

Getting Ready to Run!

It was interesting, we went to Run For Your Life here in Charlotte to get fitted for running shoes and I learned a lot.  When it comes to running shoes, they need to be a little bigger than normal to allow for foot swelling.  They also have to feel like they’re virtually not there (and believe me you’ll know when you find the right pair!).

The sales lady was awesome at watching us run, charting our stride, showing us what type of step and landing we had etc.  Conclusion was that Alisha needed a lot of arch support and I didn’t.  Things I would have never known without the professional help of someone who knew what they were doing.

Reebok’s Transition 2.0

Now when it comes to our workouts (P90X, Insanity, Insanity the Asylum and more) we prefer the Reebok Transition
2.o.  We changed from the Reebok Zig shoe that we used to wear for a couple of reasons.  For one, the Zig is heavier than the Transition 2.0 as well as stiffer.  Now I will say that the Zig shoe is the FIRST shoe I’ve ever worn that didn’t require any “breaking in” (more on that in the 10 things).  I found the same to be true about the Transitions as well.  I just like the flexibility of the Transitions over the Zigs as well as the lower profile.
The Transitions held up surprisingly well when we used them for Insanity and Insanity the Asylum, especially with the lateral movements.  That was one concern I had with it being a lighter shoe, but what I found was that the way the bottom is designed it really grips like a champ!  Allowing me to move around the agility ladder and do the all the jumps required in Insanity the Asylum with no issues at all.

 

Reebok Zigs

The Zigs (which I used for a year on Insanity and Insanity the Asylum) will do just fine as well.
  They can handle the lateral jump just as good as the Transitions.  They’re just heavier.  So it really becomes a preference of what you like and the feel you want.  The good news is they’re both priced about the same.  I’ve found that Finishline stores have the largest selection of Reebok Zigs and Transitions.  I think they may be the same company (not sure, doesn’t matter) but it would explain they’re selection.

 What if you’re not me and hate Reebok?

That’s totally cool!  There’s a lot of Under Armor, Nike etc. fans out there and that’s OK!  Everyone is different.  So if you’re not a Reebok fan, then here’s some things to consider when selecting the shoe for your P90X, Insanity,Asylum or whatever workout routine you do according to Web MD.

 

10 Things to Know Before Buying Any Workout Shoes… Especially For Insanity or P90X

1. Don’t make shoes multitask. We talked about this earlier

2. Know your foot. This also gets back to what we talked about with running shoes.  Know what kind of support you need, especially if you’re feeling pain.  Sometimes this can be fixed with quality inserts.

3. Measure your foot frequently.  Contrary to myths, your foot does change as we get older.  Go by what fits, not by what you’ve worn in the past.

4. Shop toward the end of the day. Feet swell over the course of the day and your shoes should fit when your foot is at it’s largest.

5. Bring your own socks. Use the socks you’re gonna wear during your workouts or runs so you get a true feel.

6. Don’t believe in breaking in. They should feel comfortable right away.  This goes back to what we found to be true for us with the Reeboks.

7. Use the rule of thumb. You should have at least 3/8-1/2 inch space from the end of the shoe to your big toe.

8. Understand the bells and whistles. Knowing the design of the shoe and how it does what it does is important.  I used to get caught up in the look of mine and when I bought my Brooks running shoes, I had to settle for function and not flair.

9. Don’t over or underpay. Bottom line, don’t get suckered into a celebrity endorsement just so you can spend more money.

10. Know when to replace them.  With crosstrainers, you’ll have to get a feel for it or monitor the wear and performance.  With running shoes, they’ll tell you about how many miles you can put on them total (walking, running, everything).

What now?

Go and get the right kind of workout shoes and start working out!  You got this!

Feel free to reach out to us or leave us a comment below if you have further questions on workout shoes for Insanity and P90X.

 

January 16, 2013

Roasted Root Medley and Cashew & Zucchini Soup

Roasted Root Medley and the Cashew Zucchini Soup from the Beachbody Ultimate Reset are MY FAVORITE of all the recipes!  They’re so freakin’ good.

Roasted Root Medley:

¼ medium-sized yam or sweet potato, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks

½ carrot, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks

½ large beet, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks

¼ yellow onion, peeled and cut into large wedges

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt (to taste)

 

Directions for Roasted Root Medley:

Preheat the oven to 400F.  In a bowl, toss all ingredients together.  Spread on cookie sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, turning once or twice to prevent burning.  Serves 1.

 

If you double or increase this recipe, make sure that the vegetables don’t crowd each other on the cookie sheet, because this will create steam and your vegetables will not become nice and crispy.  When in doubt use 2 cookie sheets.

 

Cashew and Zucchini Soup

1 large or 2 small zucchini, cut into chunks and steamed

1/4 cup raw cashews

Himalayan Salt

Fresh Basil

Soak cashews in enough water to cover for 1 hour; drain.  Combine cashews, zucchini, salt, and basil in blender and mix until smooth, adding water as needed for desired consistency.  Pour into saucepan and reheat gently, but do not boil.  Can serve cold. Serves 1.

 

 

January 14, 2013

Stop The Mindless, Emotional & Habitual Eating Madness!

My path to self discovery and how I stopped my habitual eating.

As my wife Alisha and I go through the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, I’ve learned A LOT about myself!

One thing I learned is that I have some habitual eating habits.  Meaning that I eat out of habit and because I think I need it or want it.  The Reset has forced me to really examine that and understand what’s done to my body and why it played a large part in my plateau.

I looked back at our YouTube videos and could see how much leaner I was when we did Insanity the Asylum the first time around.  When I’d talk to my fellow Asylum guys and gals, a couple of them would ask me “what did you do different or how did you eat then?”.  The problem is, I couldn’t come up with an answer!  In my mind I was eating the same as I was back then. But I wasn’t.

The Reset has put a very large spotlight on what I now realize is habitual eating.  For some of you out there, you eat out of habit to fill a void or to cover emotions that you need to deal with.  I’m not sure if emotions had anything to do with it for me or at least I didn’t think so, when in reality I think there was something to it.  It wasn’t like any great trauma or terrible thing that was bothering me.  I realized that I had just lost focus and became complacent in my lifestyle, which is the same trap a lot of you (and me) fall into that made us overweight to begin with.  I had so much success with Asylum the first go around that I was determined to hit 7-8% body fat and it was like a powerful addiction to a goal that alluded me for what seemed like forever.  I then began to struggle with doubt in myself and wondered what I was doing wrong or think that it couldn’t happen to me… and on and on.

Same kind of crap you may be filling your head with right now thinking you can’t get back into a size 32 waist jeans or a size 4-6 dress.  Well let me tell you, you can!

 

My First Ah-ha Moment

When I was going to get my daughter off the bus stop and (being on the Reset) I went to the pantry to grap a P90X Protein Bar (not bad for you and very freakin’ good!) and was like “Whoa! What am I doing?”.  It was at that moment that I realized how much of a eating habit I had, why?  Because I grabbed one EVERYDAY on the way to the bus stop!  And at that moment, it hit me like a bat upside the head….I do this a lot!

So I started examining the journey that the Reset is sending me on and starting thinking about all the times I ate out of habit

  • When I was bored
  • On the way to the bus stop
  • When we watch movies, tv, and even going out to run errands (yet another time I’d grab a bar) because God forbid I be out for 2-3 hours and starve!

You and I both know once you leave the house… you’re screwed!  There’s no such thing as food places out in public! Please know I’m being sarcastic… Some of you may miss it.

Oh, and we ate out a lot!

We ate healthy, but ate out a lot, which I’m realizing how much that cost me in the wallet.  Keep in mind we’re healthier than 90% of the people out there, so if what little we do can have this kind of effect on me….imagine what it’s doing to you if you’re a burger and fries, all brown and yellow food, no fruits and veggies, binge eating while watching Idol, eating before you go to bed, etc. kind of person.

 

My Advice to You

As I’m doing myself – keep a food journal!  Look at your eating habits.  Think about each time you ate something and ask yourself these questions:

  • Was it because you were genuinely hungry or was it just because?
  • Are there emotions or insecurities in you that force you to fill that void?
  • Do you or have you come to the conclusion that “it is what it is” and you’ll never have a 6 pack or never look the way you want?
  • Are you the person who tells me that you’re just at that age and I have kids and life is too busy?

Here’s my favorite, are you the one who says: “my husband won’t eat healthy, he’s a meat and potato guy and I don’t see him eating healthy with me.”

If that last person was you, let me take you on a quick reality journey.  If you keep living the way you’re living now, the last 5 years will be a good forecast of what the next 5 will look like…EXCEPT….worse.  You’ll get more out of shape, as will he, you’ll have more health problems (both of you), you’ll notice your kids are putting on some extra weight too….hmmm, funny how that happens!  And I saved the best for last….your sex life will suck more than it does RIGHT NOW.  What? How dare you Todd!  Get over yourself and take a genuine look in the mirror because I’m telling you these things BECAUSE IT WAS ME WHO SAID THAT AND LIVED IT!  Just look at the picture to the right!  Except I was the husband and the one who wanted to get healthy….you get it.

Anyway, that was me…the health problems, the crap feeling, the insecurity, the lack of confidence and the crap marriage to a beautiful woman who loved me regardless but who I didn’t feel I….looked good enough for.
Am I saying that we should all be super models to have good marriages?  No, I’m saying you should do it for the reasons that count: be healthier, set a good example for your kids and be there for your grandchildren.  The better marriage and all that other stuff is a bonus that God gives you just for making yourself a priority.  If that sounds weird to you then I can’t help you because we have a very different idea of the world and that’s fine.  I want to see you be the best that you can be.  I want the switch to flip for you that was flipped in me when I realized how AWESOME life can be when you feel good and look good.  I get it, it’s not going to be easy.  That’s why we’re here.  You may hate the idea of Kale and vegetables and fruit and cutting back on the fries, I get that too.  Again, I was you.  But I evolved.  I’m now fighting my own bad habits to get back to what you see right there.  I’m close and I will achieve it again.  Because I’m being honest with myself and willing to change to be the person I want to be.

Take a serious look at your food journal and look at what your doing to yourself.  If you got in check, great!  If you don’t and need help REACH out to us today and we’ll talk and see what we can do to help.

January 14, 2013

Jawbone UP Fitness Band Review

The Jawbone UP Fitness Band Review: How a rubber wristband got me to move more, sleep better, and eat smarter.

So with all of our experience with our workouts, be it P90X, Insanity or Asylum – whatever we’re doing at the time – it’s good to know what the rest of our day looks like from a fitness perspective.  Last February, we bought a Bodybugg and it was cool!  Don’t get me wrong.  It measured your steps you took each day, you could log in your nutrition and exercise and it would sync up with the app on my iPhone.

But, here was the problem.

It was kind of bulky on your arm. You didn’t want to wear it in the shower and it just kind of gets on your nerves after a while. It’s a very cool gadget, but not quite fine tuned enough.  What happened to our Bodybugg?  It ended up buried in a drawer and about a month ago, I almost couldn’t find it.  Finally, I found it, but I could not get it to sync up because I couldn’t remember the password to the account and blah blah blah it’s now sitting back in the drawer until I can find time (yeah right) to figure it out.

So a month goes by and I’m visiting with my mom and step-dad (another gadget guy like me), and he has the Jawbone UP on his wrist.  Understand, if he has a gadget and it’s cool…. then you can bet I’ll get it and vice-versa.  He starts explaining how the jawbone UP worked, and BOOM, I was hooked.  So hooked that on the way home I swung by Best Buy and got two, one for me and one for Alisha.

If you are looking to get a fitness band, you may enjoy reading our experience and review on the Jawbone UP fitness band.

 

Here’s How The Jawbone UP Works

Apparently there was an early model that had to be recalled and the model that’s out now is rockin’ and rollin’.  Unlike the Bodybugg, the Jawbone UP only syncs with your phone (Android or iPhone).  It’s stupid simple, you open the app and plug it in to the headphone jack – and done.

Some people don’t like that it won’t translate to the computer, I say who cares.   My phone is always with me, I plug it in to the headphone jack and it tells me all I need to know.  The Bodybugg has to be charged some what frequently, the UP once every 10 days (1 hour to charge it 100%).  The UP measures your steps, your caloric burn, your mood (lol yes!), your food, your sleep and so much more!  It’s also waterproof from sweat and your shower.  You can wear it 24 hours a day and it can get drenched in water. But, I wouldn’t go swimming with it. Just in case.

 

Sleep Tracking & Alarm Features

jawbone up sleep tracking and alarmThe built-in sleep feature part really caught my attention.  You tell it when you go to bed with just a push of the button and it measures how long it took you to fall asleep, how long you were in a deep sleep, light sleep and how many times you woke up!  It’s crazy right?  I know!  You can have it time you during your workouts with a built in stop watch that you will later see the data on when you sync it as well as alarms.

What do I mean by alarms?  If you work a 9-5 job and feel like that sedentary work life is causing you weight gain, you can set the band to detect how long you stay put and vibrate to remind you to get your butt up and walk around a little bit.  That goes for you too couch potatoes!

You can also set wake up alarms and power nap alarms that will wake you in the morning and tell you when it’s time to get up from that power nap that you take during lunch at work because the kids had you up all night and you can think straight, see straight or function to save your life!  I can tell you, my wife will be using that feature, I guarantee it.

 

Meal Tracking

The food tracker is really slick (see picture below), you can enter in your food manually or scan the bar code of the food preparing and it knows the nutrition information… I know right!?!

 

The Jawbone UP can even be a group thang!  If you’re spouse or friends have one, you can share information in a community of other UP’ers (I made that up…no pun intended) and challenge each other or hold each other accountable like we do in our Facebook Fit Groups  *COUGH* That’s me saying I’d like to be your UP friend… I’m lonely and have no fellow UP’ers *COUGH* (trademark coming soon).

 

The Bottom line

It’s does what the website says it does. It gives you insight to your life and for someone like me – who wants all the help fighting off old age that he can get – it keeps me moving forward toward my fitness goals.

It’s a really cool fitness gadget, cool enough for me to write a blog about it and share with you guys, because let’s face it, we need every advantage we can get in this crazy daily schedule that you and I both live.  So if I find something that I think will make your life easier, I’m gonna share it with you.  I should hit them up for some kickbacks, but oh well, like I got time to figure that out!

Lastly for our Jawbone UP review, all the analytical people out there, that MUST know how it works, here’s the FAQ about the UP from Jawbone itself.

For questions about your fitness struggles or to work with us as your free coaches, just contact us here!

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