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Eating Right actually takes less time than you think. Tip # 6: Eat more snacks!

Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & growth for optimal performance

Eating more snacks

How good is that?!

Eating more snacks, that is. It makes us all feel good just reading that tip. Gives you some mental peace of mind, a release valve when you’re on a ‘slimming diet’ program or just contemplating the thought of going months on end saying ‘no’ to all the good food you’re used to eating.

It can be quite difficult for many to create what I refer to as your own self-imposed ‘purity bubble’ when everyone around you is consuming everything. In abundance. Yes, indeed, it can be very difficult.

Your saving grace is your imagination.

The more vivid your imagination is of the image you visualize yourself to be, the less difficult it is to maintain that purity bubble. Your desire and need for this has to be greater than your need for instant gratification from temptation in the short-term. You goal (image) could be to ….

… To look and feel better about yourself at Christmas, say.

My tip of eating more snacks will assist in your journey towards this goal. Phew, finally, a nutritional tip that agrees with the majority of us! Finally, a tip that we all want to do more of and yes, the more snacks you consume, the better.

But not too fast now … there are conditions though.

There is a definite ‘mind-muscle’ connection. Train your muscles to train & exercise your brain and help it release all those necessary life-affirming hormones to flood your body … needed nutrition for the cells and soul. Try it.

there are conditions 

This tip should take you less than 4 minutes flat!

Add that to the running total of my previous Top 5 Tips which was thirteen minutes.

Sum of estimated time taken to perform the Top 6 Tips = 17 minutes. A whopping 17 minutes (or 1020 seconds) out of your busy day with the goal of eating right.

Just to remind you that these Top Ten Tips to eating right also has another goal and that is to demonstrate to you that it should take you less than 30 minutes (1800 seconds) out of your day to eat right. And why is this important to you and worth your body, mind and spirit’s time? Because it is important to provide the best ‘mix’ of raw materials to the being, the machine, the energy-ball that is – YOU.

I am not going to go in to why snacking is important. I have elaborated on this in a previous blog “snacking. The more, the better”.

What I am going to do is give you a list of some good snacks you should carry with you every day before you leave the house for work, play or socialize. Whether you’re a vegetarian or an omnivore, we all still get most of our protein from the three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, before you get the wrong idea, by snack I don’t mean cupcakes and fries!

Nope, I refer to a well-composed small meal on the run.

Your life is a continous journey of setting, failing and succeeding in goals … until you …
kick the bucket!
Keep moving forward, I say!

The choice of what you eat is always yours 

Whilst food is analysed to shreds keep this one fact in mind for simplicity’s sake: once any form of carbohydrate is eaten (whether its fast burning or slow burning), your body converts all carbohydrates to sugar. So, from that standpoint all sources of carbs are equivalent. However, what is different from the types of snacks I will be listing below and junk choices are essential input the body needs.

Essentials such as fiber, the vitamins and minerals and some cancer-fighting phyto-chemicals found in vegetables and fruits.

At the end of the day, the choice of what you eat is always yours, but so are the level of risks attached to those choices and the consequences likely to occur to your health. Your life.

Choose wisely.

Carbohydrate (Carb) comparisons examples:

1 marshmallow = 1 medium raw carrot = 7 cups mushrooms = 420g (3 ½ cups) of broccoli = ½ cup melon = ½ orange = ¼ very small potato = 1/7 Mars Bar = 1/3 medium banana = 7 jelly beans = 14 cups fresh lettuce = 3 french fries!

Interesting calorie to volume ratios relating to just a small sample comparison, isn’t it?

The snacks below provide approximately 5g or less. If you’re hitting the weights in the gym, add a protein shake (with low carbs or no carbs) to these to ensure that you’re getting adequate levels of protein for muscle repair and growth. A serving should give you between 20g and 30g additional protein.

½ medium avocado = 1 medium carrot = 1 cup frozen spinach = 1 medium tomato = ½ cup diced eggplant = ¼ cup blueberries = ½ cup strawberries = ½ cup snap beans.

Other snack options:

Sandwich (light bread, 30g meat) P:C = 7g:7g

Apple/cheddar slices (1/4 apple/30g cheese) P:C = 7g:1g

Cottage cheese  (1/4 cup) P:C = 7g:2g

Hard-boiled egg (1 large) P:C = 6g: 0.6g

Lean meat slices (30g) P:C = 7g: 0.1g

Walnuts (30g) P:C = 4g: 5g

Macadamia (30g) P:C = 3g: 4g

An exhaustive list of ideal snacks? No. Rightly so.

Homework for you: try to become more aware of what you’re consuming. Start measuring the food you eat. We measure everything else – how much money we spend; how much time you spend at work; what size coffee you want; buying a new pair of shoes or trousers.

Measuring is part of our every-day life. We’re constantly measuring. Why not start measuring your food intake. Buy yourself a food scale and measure your foods.  Make it habit. To make it habit, repeat to remember and remember to repeat. Like a good pair of shoes, make your food ‘mix’ fit right. For you – the YOU, you want to be (in a few months perhaps).

There you have it, my 6th Tip of my series of Top Ten Tips to a better you, this summer.

If by some chance, a part of you, a part of your goal is to lose excess body fat – and for most people who suffer from insulin resistance, it is – this tip, along with the previous five and the next four will be good for you. It will offer you one of  the easiest and most effective system available (through the power of habit) for doing that quickly, safely and sustainably.

Two common questions I have heard from the many hundreds of people I have helped over the last two decades is:

  1. How quick can I lose weight and how long will it take to reach my goal?
  2. How much food can I eat each day?

Before you seek answers to this, my tip to you is try adopting my Top Ten Tips in to your daily life. Work it in to your lifestyle. The metabolic adaptations that occurs in your body as a result of falling insulin and the increased sensitivity achieved triggers off many good things.

Your improved sensitivity to insulin will in turn increase the rate at which you burn calorie (even at rest) and you will find the new you, sooner than you think.

Act.

Adapt.

…. And give you a little bit more peace of mind.

Good luck in your choices.

Until next time,

Do the Right Thing, ALWAYS.

 

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My Top Ten Tips to ‘trimming the fat’ off your meals in your day in a matter of seconds.

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Re-engineering your body to where you want to be is hard. Matter of fact it can be very difficult for some. It can be like asking an amateur golfer to play in the Pro Ranks and win! One of the reasons that it can be especially difficult for some is that there are so many conflicting information out there.

People get confused. And confusion leads to inaction at worst. You see, everyone has a little bit of information and knows a little bit of everything but very few know exactly how everything, every piece of the jig-saw puzzle is put together. In an efficient, effective and above all – safe manner.

Fat intake, for example is one variable that delays the search for a better you. Below are ten habits I carry out in my daily life that helps me maintain or lower my fat levels and which does not take much time at all to implement. Try working these jig-saw puzzle pieces in to your daily life.

Today.

1. Choose only one. When eating cheese or cheese products (say a plate of assorted cheese and biscuits), choose only one cheese variety and stick to this during your ‘snacking’. You can change the biscuit but only choose the one cheese. My favourite is Blue Cheese. So, choose well.

> Calories saved (approx.): anywhere between 400 and 1000 cal.

2. Spice things up! I use hot chillie powder or whole chillies on almost every meal I have during the day. Has a thermo-genic effect (or heats up the body which in turn forces the body to burn more energy, even at rest). People mostly add sugar to their cereals in the mornings. You may not want to burn your tongue and taste buds with chillie so try substituting cinnamon on your foods. We all need a bit of spice in our lives! My wife, Cathy loves adding cinnamon to her breakfast meals.  Your food or drink will taste just sweet but without the extra sugar calories.

> Calories saved (approx.): 15 cal per teaspoon.

3. Choose soft over hard. Choose versions of butter, cheese or cream if you use these on your breads for meals. There is less calories per serving in soft versions than the dense-packed hard ones. I like using cottage cheese or ricotta cheese on my crackers and breads. Has a better protein to fat ratio.

> Calories saved (approx.): 150 to 200 cal per 30g (serving)

4. Slice and dice. Applies if you enjoy eating sandwiches or wraps. Finely slicing and dicing cheeses can cover the same amount of space (and taste) with half the quantity (and calories). Less quantity is less fat storage on your body.

> Calories saved (approx.): 100 to 150 cal.

5. Pizza please! My wife makes pizza with our kids once a week at most. They enjoy making it. We keep it simple. A nice thin base with a touch of tomato paste and simple topping. Make your pizza for you and your family … and eat it too! Less is best when applying cheese. Also, the choice of cheese is important. Regular pizza cheese has more calories so go for feta cheese of goat cheese. Refer to tip # 1. Less topping on pizza is best. So, add one or two vegetable toppings to add volume and make you fuller sooner.

> Calories saved (approx.): 200 to 300 cal.

6. Eat cold. Try eating your cooked lean meat cold. Yep, cold. I take my meals wherever I go. I tend to eat a lot of my meals cold. I have found that eating food for its functional value and at a lower temperature makes you eat less. Try it if you’re serious about losing unwanted fat. I know, I know, food is more enjoyable when it’s hot but keep in mind that this tip is to trim off fat – also done by reducing calorie intake per serving. This is what happens when you eat food cold.

7. Eat your treats. Sometimes, it is very difficult for people to give up all the treats that they love to eat with their foods when asked to do so. I have found that a big reason for people not undergoing or not sustaining any body transformation program is the ‘thought’ or ‘idea’ of giving up things they find pleasurable for any length of time is torturous. I understand. Pleasurable things like – food, for example. I totally understand. That is why this tip is about ‘whining off’ the treats like a baby is to its mother’s milk.

> Strategy: try halving or even reducing down to a third of every portion of treat you currently taking. That includes all condiments on foods – tomato sauce, cheeses, salts, humous, jams etc.

8. Soak it up. If you’re like me and you like eating fried food – in olive oil, then do so. However, after applying oil on the pan, use a paper-towel of sort and soak and spread it around the pan. Here’s the next important thing: place the fried chicken, beef and other lean meat on to paper towel. This further soaks up the fat. Less in you. Less chance of putting on unwanted fat.

9. Freeze it. Freezing cooked meat allows separation of the excess fat. You could also cook food in advance and in bulk. Leave just enough in the refrigerator for the day and put the rest in the freezer for the following days. It will save you time and save you calories as you will have food available to eat almost immediately when you feel the need to eat.

10. Be the surgeon you know you are. Every man is a doctor  or specifically a surgeon (you see it in action around the bbq) out there. Yes, all you men out there – whip out the best knife you’ve got and perform surgery on the piece of meat(s) you have ready in front of you to cook. Slice off the fatty parts of the meat like the best surgeons in the world. Slice off fat that is hanging off the bone, clinging to the meat, parts that is obvious to the eye, normally the skin of chicken and the side portions of steaks and pork cuts. Be the best surgeon you’ve always wanted to be. Slice away, meticulously and slice away unwanted fat from entering your mouth in the first place. Remember: less in the mouth equates to less time spent exercising in the gym.

> Approx. time (depending on size of meat): 30 to 60 seconds.

There you go, my current Top Ten Tips to a less fatty YOU. I can almost guarantee that with the right attitude and desire for a better you and the consistent implementation of these tips, you will not only stop putting on unnecessary fat but also lose fat. Lose fat around the gutt (for men, maybe even aim for a ‘6-pack’ but not of the beer variety) and arms (for women) and butt (for both men and women).

Make it habit.

Obviously, there are other variables like exercise etc but try putting in action these top ten tips to trimming fat and see how you look in a month or two.

This is meant to make your life easier. So, don’t waste any more time. Set your goals and start sailing towards your destination. Now.

You are now Aware. Apply Action and most importantly Adapt yourself to a changing life-style choice.

All the best in your journey towards a better, more improved YOU as you head through the last quarter of 2015. All the best to you in your endeavour to closing the gap between how you imagine yourself to be and how you actually look in the mirror.

Focus!

Until next time,

In the heat of competition.  Pose name: Abdominal/Thighs. Place in contest: 1st.

In the heat of competition.
Pose name: Abdominal/Thighs.
Place in contest: 1st.

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Eating Right actually takes less time than you think: Tip # 4.

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Tip # 4: Take your Nuts with you, wherever you go!

Total estimated time taken out of your day = approx. 10 minutes (as detailed in my previous blogs) –

Represented by:

Time to perform Tip # 1= 5 min

Time to perform Tip # 2 = 3 min

Time to perform Tip # 3 = 2 min

So, hopefully you are trying to incorporate the first 3 tips I have shared with you in my previous blogs. Also, hopefully, you are slowly being convinced about my subject heading.

With this tip (#4), adding nuts to your day is a fantastic ‘snack’ option. Like I have mentioned in a previous blog, ‘snack’ does not need to be a euphemism for junk food. Snacking can be healthy too and should be encouraged for many good reasons.

What do you need to do?

Eat nuts but don’t go nuts on it!

All you need is a handful. Actually, we all have different size hands so I will be more specific – eat less than or equal to 30g of nuts. Some good nuts to choose from include: walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts and macadamias.

Quick snacks on the run should still ideally provide high-quality protein with a controlled amount of carbohydrate. This handful roughly provides between 4g and 7g of Protein and Carbohydrates and vary from nut to nut.

Time taken to perform this Tip # 4 in the mornings is approximately 1 minute. Yep, only 60 seconds. So, the running total for the 4 tips so far is approximately equal to 11 minutes. Eleven minutes out of your busy day!

Just to eat right.

A good snack. Berries are a wonderfully tasteful treat.

Good Fats.
My aim is to show you how my Top Ten Tips to eating right should take you less than 30 minutes of your day. Why is this eating tip worth your time and of great value to your body, you may ask?

Well, it provides ‘good fats’ to your body. Yep, not all fats are ‘bad’, but you know that. Your body needs fats to survive and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There are some vital minerals and vitamins that are fat soluble only.

For example, vitamins A, D, E and K are some such vitamins. So, these essential vitamins are only assimilated in to your body as nutrients in the presence of fat.

Even for those of you reading this blog that have started or are planning to commence your ‘get fit for summer’ training program, understand that losing fat is assisted when you provide the body with fat. Good fats, that is.

That’s correct – you need fat to burn fat!

Good fats provide many benefits such as omega – 3 fatty acids that elevates good cholesterol or High Density lipo-proteins (HDL). Why is this important? Well, this lowers your risk of heart disease as blood is more malleable, that is, blood is made thinner, hence flows better to keep you alive.

Good fats from nuts also provide joint protection. This is vital for those of you who work out in the gym with weights – like me. Having nuts in your diet allows better recuperation for inflamed joints, stiffness and swelling. You’ve got to be nuts not to include them in your diet after reading this.

It should also be noted that these good fats are found in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel and plant-based foods such as flaxseeds and soyabeans. Reach out and grab them and add these sources to your diet.

To dig deep, you have to dig deep.

Nuts come in many sizes.

The average person does not eat adequate daily amounts of these good fats, probably less than 1g per day. Carrying around two or three servings of nuts with you in your busy day does not take much time to consider and provides great value to your body, mind and vitality.

Nuts come in many sizes but are essentially small and convenient enough to eat ‘on the run’. Here’s an old Uni riddle: What do you call nuts on a wall? Yep, walnuts. So go for walnuts. There’s no excuse!

We’re on track to prove that Eating right actually takes less time than you think. So far, a grand total of 11 minutes out of your day to apply my Top Four of my Top Ten Tips to get you in Tip-Top Shape this summer.

You’re now Aware. Apply Action. Adapt accordingly.

My Triple A philosophy to self-development.

Thank you for reading.

 

Until next time,

Do you strive to better yourself in every way?
Are you a Leader?

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Eating Right actually takes less time than you think: Tip # 3.

Relaxed.

Relaxed.

Tip # 3: If its green and not a frog – eat it!

And what class of foods would fall in this group – yep, you’re not wrong: vegetables.

This includes all the green vegetables, all shades of green. Some good examples include – broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cabbage, long beans.

Obviously, the darker green it is, generally, the better for you. I should also include fruits that are in the shades of yellow to orange in this tip also.

Total estimated time so far (previous top 2 tips) = approx. 8 minutes.

Add: green vegetables (this tip) = approx. 2 minutes.

Estimated time taken out of your day = approx. 10 minutes!

Why is eating greens (or yellow or orange fruits) important to your life? What value could it possibly pass on to you?

Well, besides being natural sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients, they tend to keep you fuller – for longer. This helps you curb your appetite throughout the day and from snacking on ‘junk food’. Yellow, orange and green fruit and vegetables offers your body and mind multiple nutritional benefits.

Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & optimal performance

Lets have a look at a few of these fruits – bananas and oranges for example. Their yellowish-orange pigmentation have been shown to slow down the ageing process and also reduce risks of some types of cancers. Bananas are loaded with potassium and magnesium which reduce the risk of muscle cramping.

This is especially important for anyone who trains with weights in the gym. Potassium and magnesium assist in the muscles extending and contracting properly and are essential for maximising muscle performance.

Obviously, not all yellow-orange fruits and vegetables have the same sugar content and don’t all  have the same impact on your insulin levels. Lets keep it simple, if your body transformation goal is to lose unwanted fat  around the butt and belly then:

** stay away from high – sugar or High Glycemic Index (GI) fruits and vegetables.

Some examples include: pineapples, yams, corn and carrots.

Instead choose options which include low to moderate GI, that is foods that have more complex carbohydrates and does not ‘spike’ your sugar levels and keeps your insulin steady. Some examples include: grapefruits, mangoes, oranges, paw-paws, peaches, pumpkin, capsicum and tomatoes.

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder.
Plan the work – to work the plan.
Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby – Phil Waugh.

We need to work with our bodies, not against it.

Eating in a way that does not encourage fluctuations in sugar and insulin levels is critical to body transformation and weight management. Like I have mentioned before, the key to body transformation is hormonal management – specifically, insulin management.

Make time to eat properly

When insulin is under control, your body’s drive to store fat is minimized and under control too.

So, there you have it! Tip # 3 of my series of Top Ten Tips to being in Tip-Top Shape come summer. The awareness of these top 3 tips is one thing.

Application is the other pillar. Adaptation is yet another. The philosophy of my blog.

So, as you can see, to implement these top 3 tips, it should not take you any more than 10 minutes out of your day. Now, of course you can spare 10 minutes.

My goal is to not only inform you but also to show you how Eating Right actually takes less time than you think. Matter of fact, one of my goals is to show you how the application of my Top Ten Tips should not take more than 30 minutes or 1800 seconds out of your busy day.

Make the time to eat properly.

It might not only add years to your life, but along with consistent weight training and regular cardiovascular training, may just add more life and zest in to your years.

Its your choice. Your life, after all.

Good luck in your decision.

 

Until next time,

 

Cheers & ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Muscled Prophet … & eating well and time

Planning my meals and cooking meals in advance (in bulk( allowed me to build a Physique worthy of standing against the best in the world.
Efficiency in the preparation and timely consumption of meals is critical to achieving the physique your aim to create.

 

World Natural Bodybuilding Championships.
Side Chest pose. Managing your meals allows you to build the best physique you can. Attention to detail and time, matters. Placing: 4th.

 

 

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Drink ‘til you float.

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The title does not refer to what some of us did in our youth with beer and the various other types of alcohol. No, I am talking about: water, and consuming more of it.

As part of my effort to prove to you that eating well takes less time than you think, here is my 2nd tip in my series of blogs that will outline my Top Ten Tips.

TIP # 2: Drink a minimum of 3.0L water per day.

When you wake up, go to the toilet and relieve yourself first thing, drag yourself from the bathroom to the kitchen sink and pour 12 glasses of water (approximately 250ml per glass) in to a larger flask or water bottle. The water bottle should be able to hold 3.0L of liquid, in this case – water or H2O (for the chemistry inclined).

Approximate time needed to do this: 3 minutes or 180 seconds.

Can you take 180 seconds out of your ‘busy’ day to do this very important task? You bet you can! This is the 2nd Tip to “Tip-Top” shape and all it takes is 3 minutes.

So, back to my previous blog, when we add the 3 minutes to the time it took to do the first habitual tip (which was less than five minutes), you have an accumulated total of 8 minutes. Yep, eight minutes to invest to a more healthier – YOU.

What to do after you’ve filled the water bottle? Put it in the fridge to cool. Why? Because, you are going to take it with you to work and be ready to drink from it throughout the day until you finish it.

Why is this tip valuable to your body and worth your time investment?

Water makes up more than sixty percent of your body’s mass. It is vital to your health and vitality and without sufficient water intake, you could put your life at risk. If you didn’t know this, sometimes when your body tells you that it is hungry, a lot of times, it is actually asking you for more water. It is telling you, you are thirsty.

Why? Well, if you are not aware of this, the body does draw a lot of its water from the food you eat.

So, when you constantly sip water throughout your work day, in addition to its health benefits, you will feel fuller. And when you drink before, during and after every meal, it reduces your appetite, especially during the rest of your day.

There are many studies done on what the recommended daily amount of water an average person requires and generally, there is a consensus that a person should drink anywhere between 8 and 10 glasses (250ml) per day. Great!

The question I would like you to ask yourself is this: are you currently drinking that many? Be honest. I am certain that many (maybe you included) are not drinking anywhere near the recommended daily allowance.

If you’re staying physically active (and I am presuming most of you reading this are active), having a little bit more (12 glasses) is wiser, giving you a little buffer for the additional energy output you expand during exercising.

Most of you know that the moment you realize that you’re thirsty, it’s a little too late. The body, by that stage has already lost approximately 4-5% of its total water. Now, you should note that your energy output is heavily dictated by the amount of water or hydration level you have at any point in time. Losing just 1 percent of your body weight in water (approximately 1kg to 2kg) can decrease your overall energy output by as much as 20 to 30 percent.

Now, that is a significant reduction in potential energy output. It will affect your vitality. You will notice this lack of energy in your training sessions. You can see that dehydration puts unnecessary stress on your body, on your organs. Your body goes hunting for water in other places – within the body itself. Where do you think it will find water? Yep, you guessed it – your kidneys, your stomach, colon and also, where you least want to lose it – your hard earned muscles.

All that muscle you have been working hard in the gym for months. Years, perhaps. Being catabolised. Not good. Not what you desire. You want to work hard to build muscle and then hang on to whatever muscle you have. Muscle is precious. Preserve it as best you can from it been cannibalized by its own body.

From a health point-of-view, your organs are put under unnecessary stress than it already has and does not work at its most effective and efficient selves. Your brain requires adequate water to allow you to focus and think at its optimum. A lack of water can also relate to recurring headaches and migraines. I have seen a reduction in these ailments over the years with my clients, the frequency and intensity of such drops.

From a muscle point-of-view, muscles that don’t have sufficient water will mean that your lifts in the gym due to a reduction in your strength levels. This would mean a less than your best effort which would translate in to less potential for muscle growth. No growth means no progress. No progress ultimately leads to an empty, unhappy feeling in your gut. This remains true not only for muscle but for almost all areas in our lives – not experiencing a step-by-step progression towards whatever goal you are working towards.

No progress – you get de-motivated. Progress – you feel motivated. The latter feeling is preferable, I believe.

We are all ‘goal-seeking’ animals, so make this 2nd Tip of my Top Ten Tips to a healthier you a part of your daily life. Take action and start making this habit a part of your life. Today. In a week, see how you feel.

There is power in habit.

It takes approximately 8 minutes of your day to carry out these two habits. Give your body, your life what it needs. Simply, because you’re worth it. The compound effect of making these two tips habit is contribution to a better quality of life in your future.

You’re now Aware. Apply Action. Adapt accordingly.

 

Until next time,

 

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Eating right actually takes less time than you think. Tip #1 in my Top 8.5 Tips to Eating RIGHT.

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Save you, life

Yes, you read that correctly.

In my experience, eating right can actually save you time. Save you, life.

It is winter in this part of the world (I’m live in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia). Stop, project less than 12 weeks from now, when the next season arrives – ahhh, Spring. Picture this: people are getting out their spring/summer clothes from the cupboards and are feeling a little down because they can’t squeeze in to them like they remembered they did last year. It can be quite de-motivating for some.

Maybe , you’re in that spot of bother right now?

In this first blog of an 8.5 Reasons why Eating RIGHT should not take too much of your time.

 

My Tip # 1: Never Skip Breakfast!

In one of my earlier blogs, I state that imagination is key to the achievement of any worthwhile goal or goal you place value on . So, if achieving a more sculptured (tonned body) is what you desire you need to learn to use your imagination.

Yes, use your imagination to visualize (now) how you would like to look by summer. This is a very important step – ‘seeing’ yourself as you imagine yourself to be. Having a clear understanding of your destination (refer to earlier blog:Don’t be a rudderless ship).

The more vivid the picture of your destination is in your mind and the more it connects with your heart, the more drive and focus you will muster.

Champions practise a lot of visualisation and simulation.
To create magic, you need to fuse the worlds of sanity (where you are) with insanity (where you dream/imagine you are, before you are).
That is difficult.
That is one of the key keys.
Don’t stop. Trying. Believing.
Keep on … keeping on. You’ll get there. Everyone always does.
Especially, if you do it with your heart. and ….
with LOVE.

And, with the help of “Coach Mo” (incidentally, that little voice on your shoulder, we can call Coach “Mo”)  to start your steam train again …. Hoot … hoot … slowly towards your goal). Just like a steam-train, getting started in your body transformation goals, getting those wheels cranking  at the beginning of the journey is the difficult part.

But when you pick up [Mo]mentum (Coach Mo), you, just like that steam train can smash through whatever obstacles that lay in your path. To smithereens! Because you have Big Mo (momentum) on your side.

Here we go again.

Its easy to put off things, to procrastinate. Don’t. Don’t leave it for September, it will be too late. That’s when the majority of people start panicking and joining gyms. Start now. Find your plan (or get help from the relevant professional) and work your plan. You don’t want Spring and then Summer time and Christmas to roll around and you not feel happy about the way you look in you clothes, now, do you? Or you can just buy bigger clothes to hide it all.

Up to you.

You’re the Captain of your ship through the seas of Life.
Set you goal towards being your BEST and put a quality plan in place (includes your health & overall well-being) and set sail …
Towards your destination.

Making better use of the 86,400 seconds given to us every day

I have said this before: no matter what your exercise goals are, eating healthy (well-compositioned meals), can help you achieve them faster.

And right now, time is ticking and time is your friend as we have just started Winter and have a little under 10 weeks to Spring. But, the question you’re probably thinking is how are you supposed to spend time preparing healthier meals. You barely have enough time to hit the weights, how are you realistically supposed to find time to watch what hits your plate? Right, I hear you …. that is why I wrote this blog to convince you to help you, help yourself more effectively.

Eating right is actually easier than you think.

How so?

Well, in my more than two decades in the health and fitness industry and helping hundreds of people around the world. It is one truth I have discovered. They have learned that, too. You can save more of your life. Here’s how …

I believe that spending a few minutes a day making the right decisions about your nutrition could save you from spending twice the time in the gym or four times as much time on the treadmill or aerobics. How so, Paul, you may be asking? I don’t have the time, you may say!

We have 86,400 seconds in a day. Agreed.

I argue that it typically takes less time to prepare a healthier meal than it does to work off the extra calories you would eat if you didn’t spend time watching your diet.Makes sense? Yes, it does!

Think about it.

You have 86,400 seconds of your life everyday to live, the way you choose to. But, my question is why would you spend more of those seconds sweating and exercising (and for many enthusiasts doing group classes – smelling intense body odour in small bacteria-infested rooms).

I pity these folks and their poor, poor nostrils. If you do like it, God bless you. Applying my tips could mean you spend less time doing those classes. Smelling those arm-pits. That would be good for you and your nostrils, wouldn’t it? Also, I see so many people lining up outside cafes and stressing about what they are going to have for lunch. How about I say, we take that wastage of time and thought pattern with my tip here?

Achieving a well-balanced physique should be understood for what it is: a masterful fusion of art and science.
One should improve once’s “BODY Smart”knowledge. this takes time and deliberate practise.

 

Your daily eating habits

Ok, it isn’t always easy predicting how much time you’re going to have each day to pay attention to your nutritional habits. It isn’t easy. I realise that. Still, there is a smarter way you can make sure you’re getting the most from what ever number of seconds you can use each day.

What if I told you that there are ways to change your daily eating habits without making major sacrifices in your diet. What are you thinking now? For many people, they have tried everything, and ‘nothing works’ is a common frustration. What if I told you that these changes are very real and can be implemented in to your “all-day” eating routine. And the great thing is that you could implement these changes anytime you wanted to?

In the next series of blogs, I will be sharing with you my top 8.5 tips to successfully making changes to your daily eating habits with sustainability in mind. Changes that you can sustain forever. These Valentine Top 8.5 Tips only takes a few hundred seconds (a few minutes) to master, but I believe, when implemented, they can take months of unnecessary hard work off your schedule, provided you follow them each day.

This is the real challenge for you: Unlearning old habits that are not aligned with your new, ‘imagined self’ and learning these new habits, my Top 10 tips. Successful change is and can only be brought about through improvement in your self-regulatory behaviour . This is heavily dependent on the power of your imagination.

Changing habits – releasing bad eating habits and adopting some good ones is like facing an internal Predator. You need to ‘face the Lion’ within you.
Having a conversation with a lion.

Spring/Summer/Christmas?New Year, here you come – You, only better!

How much time do you have a day to apply these tips?

How much time can you spare? Can you spare 30 minutes in your day or 1800 seconds of your 86,400 seconds? We will do a little maths exercise and count the amount of time each of these tips will take out of your day, starting with Tip # 1 in this blog. Doing all 8.5 of my tips would take less than 30 minutes tops each day. Yet they can give you everything you need to maintain a balanced diet. That’s not much time, is it?

Can you allocate that time to YOU? Simply because your life is important and you would like to do everything you can to not only add years to your life but more importantly, add Life in to your years.

It’s going to save you spending your valuable life, your valuable seconds, thinking and exercising unnecessarily to undo what you unknowingly – did in the first place!

How good is that?!

These tips are not meant to create more stress in your life, it is meant to help make your life a bit more manageable, a little less stressful, when it comes to eating a balanced diet with sustainability in mind. It is about making the best of whatever time you have. Allow me to show you how.

My Top 8.5 Tips will cover all main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in-between. We will begin with the first meal of the day – breakfast. So, I will go through your day, from sunrise to sun-set and piece together a sustainable, efficient and effective schedule for melting off fat, building muscle and having increased daily energy towards reshaping your body, not tomorrow or next week.

Right now.

Spring/Summer/Christmas/New Year’s here you come. You – only better!

Sunrise – you rise.

Education through a perception of the truth.
Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement.
Funny thing is that the process also applies to relationships and response. In the photo, Former Australian Wallaby Captain listening intently to learn key principles of my philosophy in to being your BEST, ALL the time, not some of the time. Great student. Great Champion. Great friend.
Vv

Tip #1: DO NOT Skip Breakfast.

It should consist of a mix of the 3 basic macro-nutrients: carbohydrates (oats), protein (eggs – 3 eggs/1 yolk) and a little fat (avocado, peanut butter, almonds).

Estimated time spent: < 5 minutes.

Why not skip Breakfast, you may be thinking?

It is one of the best advice our parents and grandparents have given us when we were children. Missing this very important meal creates more hunger later on and increases your risk of ‘bingeing’ and taking in more calories than you truly need in later meals. With no food in your stomach, your body’s response is to take in whatever calories you ate the night before – and whatever you eat later on and … bingeing at lunch and like many reading this – at dinner. Just before bed.

Result? Guess what? All these ‘extras’ TURNS INTO UNWANTED BODY FAT!

Yes, around the gut ( as some call a ‘spare tyre’) for most men out there after they turn 30 and deposits around the butt and legs for the ladies. Very de-motivating indeed. Not exactly what you want, is it?

So, I insist, make this first tip if you’re skipping breakfast a part of you life. Make it your first habit to master: take 4 minutes when you wake up and eat a meal for breakfast but make sure that it combines all macro-nutrients. You will get sustainable energy all day long and lower your desire for extra calories from other food to provide energy later.

This is a very good rule of thumb you should apply for every meal during your day. Ask yourself – do I have a good mix of carbs, protein and a little fat.

Use what I’ve told all my past customers – my “eyeball method” or ‘I see with my two eyes’ method. Look at your plate, ensure the macro-nutrients take up space on the plate in this ratio:

P:C:F = 0.4:0.5: 0.10. ( where P = Protein; C = Carbohydrates; F = Fats)

Steve Reeves was a Master Poser. He imagined and built the Best Built & Aesthetically beautiful body in the world through synergistic awareness.
He understood that optimum health of body & mind required the fusion of art and science.
Become a scientific artist of YOU … of your life.

Homework: Lets keep adding the time needed to apply each tip I share in successive blogs and see if it requires you to spend less than half an hour of your day.

Let me prove to you using numbers (minutes spent) that Eating right actually takes less time than you think over the next month or so. Let you in on a secret: I love Physics and Mathematics. They were my first majors in my first University Degree almost 30 years ago now.

Let me show you how these little but significant 8.5 Tips can and will encourage an optimum environment that is a fusion of art and science, allowing for Synergy. This synergism is KEY: it is in the combining of the elements that creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

This is where you create your miracle, your magic within.

You’re now Aware. Apply Action. Adapt accordingly.

Repeat. Make it habit. Make this one change. Repeatedly, with enhanced self-regulatory behavioural change. Repeat.

Believe.

My triple A approach to the development of Self.

 

Ahoy & all the very BEST… allow me to guide you through my Top 8.5 Tips over the next few weeks.

Cheers & ahoy!

The old Captain Viking Pirate …. & Life Tips

 

Relaxed with dumbells.

SYNERGISM: The Critical Mind-set to success. Understanding that it is in the combination of key elements to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Create the BEST you firstly, through 1) Education and then 2) motivation.

 

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Body shape, diet, eating, Energy, habits, muscles, self-image, time, you

Snacks – the more, the better.

Two days before Australian Championships

Two days before Australian Championships

P1030749

Placing: 2nd in Australia.

When my children were born, I was fascinated with their eating behaviour. They ate every 2 to 3 hours without fail, around the clock. As most of you would know (especially parents), the first few years of a child’s life can cause huge sleep deprivation on parents (especially mums).

I asked the question why society teaches us that the main times for food intake should be breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why don’t we just follow what we have all gone through in our first years. It seemed like we were biologically born to consume food every 2 to 3 hours. It seems that society’s expectation is forcefully applied to us as ‘normal’ eating behaviour because that’s just how it has been for centuries. Probably helps us all become better employees when we are older – less time eating, or for breaks and more time devoted to working.

Apparently, great for productivity and the “bottom-line”.

The thing is that the body works more efficiently and effectively with energy pumped in to it regularly and this is where snacks come in.

If you’re like most people and being ‘busy’ and busier than everyone you know, then  you would probably only make time to eat three meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle gain or a combination of the two, the smarter way to get your daily energy intake is to spread them throughout the whole day. It’s the way our bodies are made to work.

We need to work with our body, not against it.

I’ve always told people that body re-engineering or transformation is mainly about hormonal management, through management of raw materials going in ( your body and your mind). Frequency of meals is a key factor to success in your body transformation.

You see, anytime you eat, blood is rushed in to your stomach for digestive aid. If you eat huge meals (as most people do three times per day), your energy and vitality levels get affected and fluctuate. Many people feel intense sleepiness in the office after a big lunch. The more food your body has to process, the more blood it steals from other areas of your body to aid in stomach digestion. The same can be said for digestive enzymes.

Losing blood from other areas of your body could affect your metabolic state and so slow down the distribution of energy within your system (hence the sleepiness feeling after a hearty lunch). This leaves you feeling less sharp and tired you struggle to focus.

Having large meals also triggers a higher insulin response which inhibits fat burning as it alerts the body to desperately store unwanted body fat. So, an answer to reducing your meal sizes is to go back to eating with more frequency just like you did when you were a baby, being luckily breastfed or bottle-fed every 2 hours. You need to eat more often and so increase your meals from 3 to 6.

How do you do this? Simple: eat more smaller, well-compositioned meals.

Try preparing or having at least three snacks ready to eat between your three main meals, spreading your calories throughout the day. On the face of it, it may sound like you will be eating more but spreading out what you eat can actually cause you to eat less. This is what I tell most if not all my clients – “I’ll show you how to eat more to change your body shape … and lose weight”. They then say, “but shouldn’t I be eating less?”

Another mis-perception propagated by the weight-loss industry.

You see eating six to eight smaller, well-compositioned meals instead of three large meals, keeps you blood sugar levels in a good range and does not encourage sudden fluctuations. For your body, this equates to a constant flow of readily available energy which reduces your tendency to eat more.

Eating smaller meals more frequently also allows you to feel fuller, longer and does not encourage you to over-eat in your main meals. More importantly, keeping your blood sugar levels in a good range, does not trigger the hormone – insulin, which when triggered forces your body in to ‘starvation’ mode that encourage fat retention and storage.

The key to body re-engineering and transformation is fundamentally hormonal management.

So, snacks are necessary but when people talk about snacks they think of ‘junk food’. It does not have to be. When possible choose snacks that are a combination of the three macro-nutrient groups: protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Some good examples of:

  • Protein sources: lean meats including chicken, beef/kangaroo, ham and fish, tofu.
  • Carbohydrate (low GI) sources include: fruits and/or vegetables like beans, broccoli, spinach, celery.
  • Fat sources: most nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts and avocado, ricotta cheese

Each snack can combine all three, for example, two pieces of chicken breast (120g) + avocado (30g) + long beans (120g). Keep nuts to 30g or less per snack intake.

So pack your snacks in lunch boxes just as you or your parents did when you were a kid and have it ready to eat at work. It will save you time (waiting in line to get a sandwich) and will help improve your overall sense of vitality throughout the day.

Adding snacks to your life should help you take one step closer to the body you want. Little habits like this, when practised deliberately – daily, over time is where the real miracle is.

A little change within has a greater change – without.

Try this one change in your day. See how you look in two months.

All the best,

 

Until next time,

 

Paul V2 (1)

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Muscle-building success: some simple laws.

B&W3349-1I have described in an earlier blog the congruence of muscle building and  life and have concluded after over two decades of gym experience, that they both have the same principles, namely –

  1.  Simplicity
  2. Continuity

Getting the body you desire and getting in to shape can be complicated but not as much as you think so. If it was so complicated, why are so many witless people in better shape than you are?

The answer is simple: every occupation has its trade secrets, those little muscle nuggets of insider information that acts as recipes to achieving a desired physique shape or result. A lot of people are in the ‘dark’ about these nuggets of inside info and so end up with nothing to show for their efforts in the gym. You can find many helpful secrets in the many resources out there today. However, unfortunately, there are also a lot of BS out there too!

I will try to share some of my more than two decades of training in the gym building and maintaining muscle and what I have observed from the many people who have gone through my various programs to success. This is not only to help you get started or keep going but to also help you not end up being like the millions of gym-goers who start and stop before giving themselves a genuine chance of success. Or for those who have tried everything to lose weight, change their body shape and have been unsuccessful. Very frustrating indeed!

Understanding the basic rules of exercise and weight-training can help you see why the basic average beginner’s workout example I detailed in my last blog can help you get the body you want. If all you can spare is 30 minutes and if you learned and applied the program I shared, you will learn that:

  • Your muscles will not struggle and hurt as much as you think
  • Your body burns fat no matter how long you exercise
  • Your exercise program does not need as many sets as you think
  • Your don’t have to think too much as the workout has been simplified

Also, you’re quite safe in the gym. The simple part is its simplicity in training. The difficult part is the consistent and persistent practice, the dedication required. This is what YOU have to do. You alone. You take full responsibility. No one can provide the dedication for you. Only you.

Try thinking of your muscles with mathematics in mind. Changing them to a look that you desire is much easier than most people would realize. Once you decide what you want your muscles and physique to look like, its really just a matter of determining the right formula to get that result. This formula includes the right combinations of numbers: repetitions, sets, tempo and the amount of weight you should use. Its like a golfer selecting a different club for a different stroke on the fairway.

For example if you’re strength-training for muscular endurance and a leaner look, doing 12 to 15 repetitions is the way to go or if you’re goal is increase in strength, then keeping your rep range under 6 is recommended. Put simply, to succeed in muscle-building, you need to:

  • Know where you are NOW, imagine where you NEED TO BE and design a program to TAKE YOU there (seek help from a mentor if you’re unsure how to)
  •  Stick to your program (ability is > 90% stickability)
  •  Always use correct exercise technique
  •  Train hard once you’re beyond the initial few months
  •  Eat every 3 hours or so (except when you’re sleeping)
  •  Eat ONLY healthy foods. Practice good macro-nutrient portion control based on your program.
  •  REST well between sets – between exercises – between workouts
  •  Go to bed early enough to allow for necessary recuperation. Adequate rest and recuperation leads to adaptation which leads to muscle success.

All this takes focus and dedication.

These are a few of my SIMPLE LAWS OF MUSCLE-BUILDING SUCCESS!

You’re now aware. Act. Adapt accordingly.

All the best!

Your friend in body re-engineering and muscle success,

 

Until next time,

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body, Body shape, body weight, diet, Fitness, habits, mind, time, you

What percentage of your weekly meals are bad for you?

Relaxed me

We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat”, haven’t we? Well, there is an element of truth there.

You cannot transform your physique from where you are to where you would like to be without getting handle over your nutrition and what you’re actually letting in your mouth. A very important aspect in the success of over 80% of my client’s have had of the years – is managing your diet better.

As we are essentially all creatures of habit, I have found when I look at client’s diets that most people spend their weeks eating the same meals over and over again. That can be good. Let me explain.

Good because if 70 percent of the meals (solids and liquids) you eat is bad or unhealthy for you then it is highly likely that your next meal would be unhealthy, too. Now what is the best way to find out your weekly bad meals ratio? Well, simply keeping a diary of all meals you consume every day. Do this for 7 days and identify all the ‘bad and unhealthy’ meals that you consume. Mark it off on paper. Assess your good/bad meals percentage. What is your daily bad meal percentage and what is your weekly percentage or ratio?

What do you do next? Well, lets keep it simple and take things one step at a time. Try getting rid of just one ‘bad’ meal  per day and replacing it with a ‘new’ healthy meal to your weekly repertoire. Stick to this one change. Try sticking to it for a few weeks and aim for a month or two and observe how this little healthy change can and will have a positive impact on your body, possibly encouraging you to boosting your ratio and percentage of healthy meals even further. One meal at a time.

This positive little step-by-little step approach, gradually becomes a part of your daily life without making you completely conscious of it. This, I think is better than spending more and more time examining  food labels for nutritional information for everything that you eat that you see a lot of people doing these days. It isn’t always the easiest thing to do and maintain. Besides, food labels can be quite confusing, even for the best of us.

Try this method if you’ve been wanting to help yourself but didn’t know where to start as it may just be as effective in keeping your eating habits under control and helping you lose fat and stay healthy, one good meal at a time. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen if you will it to.

There is power in habit. Believe in it.

Become aware. Apply action. Adapt accordingly.

 

Until next time,

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14.5 tips for growth and producing more, with care

The old Captain Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️ ⚔️Enjoying a beer 🍺 in a hot 🥵 spring day here in Sydney Australia 🇦🇺

I’m talking about growth and producing more muscle for you, here.

There is no room for compromise on the components of recuperation and getting adequate rest to building more muscle towards a more healthier, stronger, fitter you. More muscle is hopefully a more satisfied you too with regards to your body transformation goals.

Here are 14.5 tips (the list is not exhaustive) for getting adequate recuperation and rest with the goal of more muscle and to take better care of you:

Building the best physique you hope to does not rely on chance.
It comes down to many variables summed up here –
Imagination + Visualisation + Effort (hard deliberate practice) + Feel (Heart) + Talent (genetics) + Focus (never-say-die Mind-set) …
To create Balance & Symmetry in design.
It does not matter which art medium is used – building architecture, watches, cars etc ..
Beauty = Balance & Symmetry
The only difference between sculpturing your physique and the other types mentioned above is –
the human body is alive and has a mind.
Continue to work on yours.

1. Make sleep a priority.

Make quality the focus, not quantity

 

2. Eat a little extra calories unless weight loss is your goal.

 

3. Lifting moderate to heavy weights (for your level) is critical to muscle growth.

Once you’re training hard (referring to your skeletal muscle here), consume 1g of protein per pound of body-weight.

Don’t waste your time with ‘light weights’
Use a weight (depending on the muscle group) that will get you to 10 reps.
But you struggle to get to 8 reps with good form.
Everyone’s limit is different.

4. Stay away from low-fat diets. I can show you how fat can be used to burn fat.

Matter of fact, fat in your diet is essential to stripping unwanted fat off you – especially the stubborn fat a lot of people carry around their waists. Fat is vital for your overall health – mind and body. It helps maintain an anabolic metabolism.

However steer clear from unhealthy fats as best you can.

 

5. Avoid junk food. Enough said!

 

6. Don’t get too caught up on sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Why?

Because what you actually digest and allow your body to assimilate is more important than what you eat and drink.

Meals need to suit you and your physical goals. Understand YOU. Find the most appropriate solution. If you can’t do it yourself, find someone who can help. It may just reduce the risk of disappointment.

 

7. Try not to go for long periods without food/meals.

Try to avoid getting hungry (believe me, you probably will like me less if you’re around me when I am hungry. You definitely don’t want to be around me when I am both angry … and hungry … ‘Hangry’

Preparation is key – try setting aside some time in the evening for preparing your sandwiches, blender drinks etc for the next day. A little time in the kitchen the night before or on the weekend, will save you tonnes of time during the week, thinking about what you would like to eat for various meals.

Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & growth for optimal performance

8. Don’t waste your “window of opportunity”

Within a half hour of finishing your workout, have a liquid easily digested meal (high in protein) and then have a balanced solid-food meal in the next couple of hours.

I call this the ‘window of opportunity’ to infuse your muscle cells with the necessary nutrients to maximise growth and retention.

Now sit, back, rest and say … “Grow baby, grow!”

And it will.

 

9. Don’t skip breakfast!

 

10. Supplements are just that – ‘supplements’.

It is meant to supplement a nutritionally sound diet from real food.

That took me to multiple NSW Titles and 2 x World Championships, simply eating good ‘balanced meals’ of REAL FOOD. You can’t beat it. Keep it simple.

Focus on food! Full stop.

 

11. Drink adequate amounts of liquids.

Too much water is better and less risky than too little.

A good guide is drinking 1L of water per 25kg – 30kg of bodyweight.

My apprentice drinking water as I have ‘coaching conversations’ with him

12. Manage your energies.

I’ve always thought that life is about energy management, not time-management.

Do try to spend more of your precious time with people and doing activities that give you energy – real energy and do your best to limit your time doing activities or being with people who drain you of energy.

Recuperation and rest for example is an activity that enhances your energies. Love yourself more. Give yourself more of it. Don’t feel guilty.

 

13. Keep calm.

Do this by slowing the mind. Quiet the mind. Find a way.

Find your way.

Feel your emotions.
Think through and with your heart.
Listen to your íntuition

14.5 Stay healthy.

We’re all different, all unique.

Appreciate that uniqueness and ask yourself what your idea of ‘healthy’ is and how would you define it, with respect to every area in life – meal composition; amount of rest/sleep; play time; activities that you do; books that you read; visual programs that you watch etc.

Continue to ask yourself ‘what is healthy to you’ and promptly eliminate habits and behaviour that steal away from a more healthy you. Respect and love YOU first to truly respect and love all around you.

Take your health seriously if you want to optimise your ability to recuperate….

And live better …

… now and in to your future.

 

While you’re still breathing and can do something about it.

Just DO IT! ( I love this NIKE slogan …. my favourite of all time)

 

All the best!

 

Until next time,

The Old Cap’n Viking Pirate …. & essential workout Hacks/Lessons … for willing participants

Explaining the fine points of re-engineering the physique and increased self-awareness through enhanced ‘mind-muscle’ connection..

Belief in God has helped me represent Australia at two consecutive World Natural Bodybuilding Championships and achieve those dreams.
Never stop believin’.
Vv.

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