Tuesday, December 27, 2016

5 No-Fail Ideas to Kick-Start Your Fitness Goals in the New Year

Just days away, the new year is knocking at our door, which means many of us are setting resolutions and gearing up for a happy and healthy 2017. Whether it’s cleaning up your diet, increasing your deadlift weight, or just looking great at the beach, I’m sure we’re all feeling pretty pumped up and motivated to make our goals a reality.

For many of us, our health goals are likely related to fitness, which often means committing to a new or more consistent exercise schedule. If you’ve had trouble sticking to a regular routine in the past, look no further. I’ve got you covered! Read on for some of my favorite tips and insights for kick-starting your fitness goals and motivating you to stick with them all year long!



The best way to kick-start your fitness goals and keep them rolling: Never miss a Monday workout! Committing to your Monday workouts and starting off the week on the right foot is just the motivation you need to stick with your schedule for the rest of the week. Plus, a Monday workout always encourages me to make healthier choices with regard to my meals and snacks, so it’s truly a win-win!



I know you guys have heard this tip before, but it is key to fitting in your workouts, especially when life gets busy. I know for me, workouts are always the first thing to go by the wayside when things get hectic, so, each Sunday, I will literally schedule my workouts for the week onto my Google Calendar. I’ll even include Mal in my plans if they involves Quinn/daycare/coordinating our schedules (and he does the same). Some days, it might seem like I don’t have time to work out, but I’m almost always able to find a little bit of time to exercise. On days when I know it’ll be tricky to squeeze in a workout, I’ll wake up super early or plan a quickie, high-intensity one into my day. If there’s a will, there’s a way! And making a schedule for yourself makes it that much easier to stick to your plan and not miss any workouts.



Ok, ok… I totally could have put a positive spin on this piece of advice, like: “Find a workout that you love,” but I thought this was more impactful because, well, it’s the truth. I mean, I get emails all the time from readers who tell me that they don’t like running because it’s hard, boring, hurts their knees, etc. I typically tell them that running isn’t easy and you really need to love it if you want to run marathons and half marathons. Running for hours and hours might not be for you and that’s okay. Not everyone needs to be a runner. Basically, what I’m saying is stop doing the workouts that you think you should be doing and find something that you look forward to and want to do regularly.



Over the years, a number of my workout buddies have teased me because I smile when I work out. Not all the time because, hello, some workouts are really challenging (and kind of suck), but, in general, I’m thrilled that I’m able to work out. With a chronic disease that has sidelined me on more than one occasion, I’m so incredibly appreciative that I’m physically able to exercise. And anytime that I’m not super motivated to work out (sometimes it happens!), I remind myself that I GET TO exercise. Try it the next time you’re just not feeling a workout!



Get the ball rolling right now. If you’re thinking about setting some goals and resolutions in the new year, don’t wait until January 1st. Sign up for a class or secure a gym membership ASAP, especially if you want to get some of the best rates of the year. For instance, you can join Anytime Fitness for $1 right right now. You seriously can’t beat that price! And, with your new membership, you’ll get a free consultation and a 30-day fitness plan (at participating locations only). Ready to jump-start your fitness? Check to see if there’s an Anytime Fitness location near you!

Question of the Day

New year, new goals! What’s your #1 fitness goal for 2017? 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Anytime Fitness. The opinions and text are all mine. As always, thank you so much for supporting CNC!

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Christmas 2016

Episode 349 – Mike Ritter – Career Path as a Personal Trainer and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner


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This week we have guest Mike Ritter. Mike is a personal trainer and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. He provides coaching and nutrition services at Resultcult.com.

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Guest: Mike Ritter

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30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet

Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.

Buy the book


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Don’t Buy Into the New Year Detox

After spending the past month enjoying one-too-many cookies, peppermint mochas and spiked eggnogs, eliminating last year’s dietary sins seems like the perfect start. Supplements, coffee enemas, juice fasts, heat wraps and teas all promise a new, detoxified body, but do they actually work?

Detoxing is a rare medical need that’s been turned into a billion-dollar industry. Over the last decade, pills, juices, bars and shakes have been promoted as a magical formula to do everything from improving your health and digestion to getting you back into your skinny jeans.

More often than not, detox diets are nothing but liquid calories that lack the major nutrients our bodies need to function optimally. Following one of these cleanses often results in not consuming enough calories, which can leave you grumpy, hungry, and craving sugar, fat and carbs. In other words, starving yourself for a 3-day juice fast may backfire in additional weight gain once completed.

Fasting doesn’t support the body’s natural detox pathway. Our bodies are designed to clean from the inside; detoxing unwanted material daily through our liver, lungs and kidneys. Eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber will help your body’s detox pathway function optimally — more than any pill or supplement could.

If you’re motivated to start 2017 out right, follow these 5 simple tips for a healthy start to the new year.

Eat whole foods
A diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds is full of the nutrients needed to support metabolic processes. In addition to an overall balanced diet, you can include certain foods that aid and promote the body’s natural detoxification process. Artichokes, avocados, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, leafy greens, garlic, green apples, lemon and lentils should get the job done.

Stay hydrated
Fluids help flush out our system, and maintain energy and focus. Since it can be more challenging to get in enough water during the colder months, remember that all liquids count. Try hot green or herbal tea, warm lemon water, broth or broth-based soups to help reach your hydration goals.

Focus on fiber
A balanced diet containing whole, plant-based foods makes it easy to reach the 25-38 grams a day recommendation for fiber. Foods high in fiber include raspberries, blackberries, dried figs, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, chickpeas and oatmeal. If you are not used to a high-fiber diet, introduce these foods slowly and to prevent any intestinal discomfort.

Get moving
Breaking a sweat naturally eliminates impurities through the skin. Exercise stimulates our blood circulation and lymphatic system, which moves fluid through our liver and kidneys for filtration. While running, walking and biking are great aerobic activities, anything that allows you to move your body works. The key is finding a form of movement you enjoy and sticking with it.

Take a probiotic
New research is showing that bacteria found in our gut plays an important role in how our body functions in connection with overall health. Taking a daily probiotic helps ensure we have enough good bacteria to properly digest food and keep things moving.

Alex Caspero MA, RD, RYT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher. She is the founder of Delish Knowledge (delishknowledge.com), a resource for healthy, whole-food vegetarian recipes. In her private coaching practice, she helps individuals find their “Happy Weight.” 

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My Experience with Exogenous Ketones: Tale and Truth

My results, written on white paperI woke up the morning of the ceremony with butterflies in my stomach. I’d done the necessary prep. I’d abstained from carbs the past week and food the past 24 hours. I’d performed four consecutive full-body circuit workouts to deplete muscle glycogen, and undergone a liver biopsy to confirm full depletion of liver glycogen. I wasn’t taking any chances. Although I had extensive experience generating endogenous ketones and subsisting on my own body fat, exogenous ketones were another matter entirely. You don’t want to mess around with a holy sacrament without doing due diligence.

Holy sacrament? Yes.

According to ethnographic accounts from early Arctic explorers who encountered the sacred compound, the exogenous ketone was developed by traditional peoples of the wintry north. No one’s quite sure where it arose first—Siberia, Greenland, Alaska, Lapland. What they do know is that these societies revered the type 1 diabetic, a rare find in the pre-contact Arctic. Using an admittedly grisly and cruel process, these groups would starve the tribe’s diabetic to induce ketoacidosis, harvest the ketone-rich urine, and reduce it slowly to a ketone-rich tar over a wood fire. Tribe shamans would dissolve the tar in pine needle tea and distribute it to members exclusively before hunting trips, warfare, and any other activity requiring optimal physical and mental function to boost energy and improve performance. As Mark Twain famously quipped, “The strongest coffee I ever had was a Laplander’s piss.”

So when I showed up to the small building on the edge of town on a rainy evening, I was anxious. What was I in for? The solemn countenances worn by my two guides for the day—Dr. Peter Attia, wearing dark robes and swinging a thurible loaded with burning MCT oil, and Gary Taubes, face smeared with bacon grease, body adorned with wreaths of stevia leaf—impressed upon me the import of the approaching ceremony.

Detractors are scoffing already. “Sisson, you’re degrading yourself taking the shortcut to ketones with a pill. Instead, spend years sweeping the ashram, maintaining a low-carb, high-fat diet, and doing low-level aerobic activity just shy of the anaerobic threshold to boost mitochondrial fat-burning capacity and generate ketones on command. There are Sami gurus who can produce so many ketones in their saliva that a single French kiss from one will boost your IQ one standard deviation for a day. That’s true power—freedom from reliance on a ketone powder.”

Maybe so. But as I said, I’ve been there already. I’ve lived that life for more than a decade. I’ve long been convinced of the merits of a fat-based metabolism, and now I wanted to push the boundaries. To build on the existing scaffolding.

So I took the ketones, Jimmy Moore effigy made of coconut husks and pork rinds looking on.

All the universe unfolded before me. I was discovering solutions to long-standing problems—business disputes, moral quandaries, plans for the future—before consciously considering them. I’d think about a problem and discover my ketone-enhanced brain had already solved it. If I closed my eyes, I could actually hear the whirr of my mitochondria churning through all the additional ketone bodies. I flung open the temple door and practically sprinted through the hills, covering five miles at 4:15 per without breaking the anaerobic threshold and returning only to purge through both ends.

“All part of the process,” Attia said, handing me a bucket and washcloth.

Jokes aside, I have been playing with ketones. Over the past couple years, I’ve tried a lot of ketone supplements, from KetoCaNa, Pruvit, Kegenix, to a few others. I’ve even accepted and tried a one-off from a person trying to break into the market who I failed to thoroughly vet; that time, I felt like I might die. No joke.

What have I noticed?

There is usually some GI discomfort, occasionally outright distress that’s only relieved once there’s nothing left to give. So you have to plan for that.

About half the time I’ll take ketones right before Sunday Ultimate Frisbee matches. It provides a discernible extra burst of speed during the game, more overall energy (I just feel like “going” more), and less soreness the next day. I speculate that my ability to hit higher performance levels without dipping as deep into anaerobic territory is less stressful overall on my body, so I recover more quickly and with less pain.

There’s also the potential for ketones being anti-inflammatory. Sure enough, exogenous ketones seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect, suppressing expression of an inflammasome involved in various disease states. Some research shows that blocking the inflammasome by deleting the gene responsible for it protects against arthritis in rodents. If the same is true for humans using ketones, that—along with my increased intake of collagen—might explain why I’ve made a strong recovery from serious Achilles’ tendinosis.

I recently did another long fast of over two days. Prior to ketone usage, two days was really rough. I could do it, but I wasn’t happy. This time using a small dose of ketones throughout the first day really helped me through the rough patches. In fact, those rough patches never came. 48 hours was a relative breeze.

I don’t know how much these supplements would help someone on a standard higher-carb diet. It’s clearly a good performance booster on its own, but I think this stuff should be complemented by a foundation of fat and keto-adapted eating which provides a robust infrastructure set up to handle ketones. Longer-term fat-adaptation is the powerful trigger for mitochondrial biogenesis—so you have the extra mitochondria necessary to wring every last drop out of those ketones. You need to look at the long picture here.

Anyway, after the busy holiday I wanted to have a little fun and provide some real actionable information for this post. Hope you all dug it. I’m truly excited about this ketone stuff, and I’m actually feverishly working on a breakthrough new book about keto-adapted eating, living and performing that should come out around Fall 2017. Details TBA.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Have you tried ketone salts or esters? What do you think? What have you noticed?

Take care!


The post My Experience with Exogenous Ketones: Tale and Truth appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Monday In Meals + My Healthy Eating Preparations for the New Year

Good morning, friends! Happy Tuesday!

Here’s the next edition of Monday In Meals where I recap what I ate throughout the day on Monday. I also share some of the things I’m doing to get ready for the new year with regard to healthy eating. Ok, here we go!


  • Breakfast: Egg sandwich + iced coffee with coconut cream and collagen
  • Pre-workout snack: Half of a banana with peanut butter
  • Post-workout: SFH Churro protein shake + Pecan Sticky Bun iced coffee
  • Lunch: Baked ham with green beans and grainy mustard
  • Snack: Forager cashew yogurt (watery, but tasty!) with banana slices, Blissful Eats granola, maple extract, and collagen + a mug of eggnog tea
  • Dinner: Baked chicken breast with Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce, fire-roasted peppers and onions over brown rice with a glass of “sheep wine” <— one of my favs!
  • Dessert: A couple of Ferrero Rocher chocolates

My Healthy Eating Preparations for the New Year

I don’t know about you, but December was a FUN month for me, food- and drink-wise. So much, in fact, I woke up on December 26th craving nutritious food. The thought of eating junk actually kind of grossed me out. It also motivated me to get prepared for the New Year, and I found myself organizing our Tupperware cabinet at 9:15 PM at night. I even thought about cleaning our fridge at that hour, but ultimately decided it could wait until morning. Anyway, since I’m in “healthy eating mode,” I thought I’d share some of the things I’m doing to get myself ready for 2017. I organized them into three main categories, and, hopefully, you’ll get lots of great ideas to try at home!



I already mentioned this above, but I organized my Tupperware cabinet, which included getting rid of scuzzy/broken pieces and replacing them with new glass containers. FYI: I bought a magazine organizer from the Dollar Spot at Target for $1 to keep the lids organized. I also cleaned the fridge and gave our cabinets/pantry a once-over. (I don’t typically buy more than we need, but there were a few items that we’re expired/needed to go.) And, of course, a Designed to Fit Nutrition meal plan goes hand-in-hand with getting organized, but I’ll explain more below! 🙂

tupperware cabinet


Besides the usual knives, mixing bowls, measuring cups, pots, and pans, I took a few minutes to assess my kitchen and figure out what tools might help me eat healthier, especially those that would help me prep and cook food more quickly and easily. I ended up buying a “snack slicer” at Target, which is awesome for making veggie sticks for dipping, which has become one of my favorite new snacks, especially before dinner when I’m cooking dinner. Otherwise, I eat like 8,000 chips, nuts, or chocolate chips.

veggie sticks tool

Other favorite healthy eating kitchen tools:

Chef’n Twist Handheld Spiralizer: This thing is awesome for making zoodles and other veggie pastas. I love its size (it doesn’t take up half your kitchen counter like some of those other spiralizers), and it comes with three different blades (thick ribbon, small julienne, large julienne) to give you some options. Plus, look how fun it is to use! Haha!


Food scale: The first time I used a food scale was this summer when I bought it for DTFN recipes. Well, it turns out they’re pretty cool, and I actually like using it. And I was surprised to learn that I often underestimated the portion sizes of my proteins, which, of course, has been super helpful with meal planning and my overall satiety after eating. Not surprisingly, my carb and fat portions are typically overestimated, so it’s great for keeping me on track. I have this basic food scale, which works fine, but I saw that Target has some really neat ones, like this Bamboo Platform Scale and Stainless Steel Scale.

Conversion Cutting Board: I was shopping on Crate & Barrel the other day for a marble cutting board (for the blog) and stumbled upon this Conversion Cutting Board. It was so adorable and so functional, I immediately needed it in my life. No more mid-cook Googling!


Seriously. I swear, some people make healthy eating so darn complicated, and it really doesn’t need to be. And it’s even easier with a Designed to Fit Nutrition meal plan. We do everything for you, so your meals/prep/eating basically goes on auto-pilot. We tell you exactly what to eat, specific for your energy needs (i.e. lean body mass, body type, exercise routine) and lifestyle (i.e. occupation, schedule, food preferences). We even include corresponding grocery shopping lists to make your life even easier. And with our new software (we get it tomorrow!!), it’s going to be even easier for you to plan out your week!


A few of our favorite ways to simply meal planning:

Pick two breakfasts and alternate them throughout the week: This makes the morning rush so much easier for our clients. We usually give them one sweet and one savory option and, often times, they’re make-ahead breakfasts, so all they need to do is reheat them in the morning (i.e. egg bakes, overnight oats). Our clients don’t get bored with their breakfasts because the next week includes two totally different ones!

Prepare multipurpose meals: We typically give our clients a couple of recipes that they’ll use in multiple meals throughout the week, so they’re not spending hours and hours in the kitchen. For example, we’ll plan a Crock-Pot Buffalo Chicken recipe, which they’ll have on a salad with blue cheese crumbles and then roll it into a wrap for lunch later in the week. Same goes for something like Roasted Sweet Potatoes. One day, they’ll have them with scrambled eggs and then, the next day, they’ll eat them as a side with dinner. Planning meals this way makes healthy eating so much easier because you always have something prepped and ready to go.

Find meal short cuts: We love using ingredient “short cuts” in our meal plans. Anything to make prep easier and faster! For instance, we love the frozen Fire-Roasted Peppers and Onions from Trader Joe’s. We use them in omelettes and egg bakes, crock-pot recipes, on taco salads, and so much more. We’re constantly trying to brainstorm ideas for making prepping and cooking easier for our clients so that their meals come together quickly and easily, which means they’re more likely to stick to their plan and see results!

Question of the Day

What are your healthy eating goals for the new year? How are you getting ready? 

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Clean Eating Cranberry Pomegranate Sparklers Recipe

Clean Eating Cranberry Pomegranate Sparklers Recipe

The new year is a time for celebrations and new beginnings, and most people truly enjoy a good glass of wine or champagne on that evening. However, there are those who are either designated drivers,… Read more →

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