life tricks

A Personal Trainer’s 3-Day Diet Log

I live my life minimizing decision fatigue to maximize my creativity and focus. From nearly wearing the same type of outfit daily to a refined bedtime regiment, many tasks are checklists stuck on repeat….and my typical eating approach is no different each day. By request, here is my 3-day eating log to illustrate this point.

The Every Day Routine


Personal Trainer Wisdom: “What should I eat today?” may be the first question for most people on a typical Monday morning. I already begin asking that question on Sunday. By the end of that night, the Instacart order of 27 weekly items has arrived, and two pounds of dried pinto beans (sometimes black beans) have been cooked and ready to sit overnight in an Instant Pot. I call this step 1 of my meal preparation for the week. Once I wake up the next day, I begin a series of actions in the same order every morning.

6:56-7:01 am - After I crack two free-range, omega 3-rich eggs in an oil-smeared pan, I setup a plate and two pyrex dishes for the vegetables I removed from the fridge.

7:05 am - Since I need to leave by 7:40 to drop my son Preston off at daycare, I always begin eating at 7:05 (no later than 7:08) By this time, the scrambled eggs are fluffy and ready for consumption! I typically place the vegatables, beans, nuts, and seeds in the same order across the three dishes: Bed of leafy greens (spinach or dinosaur kale), 1 cup of beans (black or pinto), 2 cups of vegetables (fresh and sometimes frozen: green beans, broccoli, broccoli slaw, bell peppers, shredded carrots, asparagus, diced root vegetables, diced butternut squash, and/or shaved brussels sprouts), ¼ cup of nuts (cashews, pistachios, or almonds), and 2 tbs of seeds (chia or hemp).

7:30 – 7:35 am - By 7:35, all three meals are warmed up, my belongings are in their appropriate bags, and Preston is ready to go!

Personal Trainer Chicago food.jpg

A 3-Day Sample of my Diet


Personal Trainer Wisdom: With my underlying approach now lined out, here is a recent 3-day diet log:

Day 1


Meal 1: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 2 cups of vegetables (fresh asparagus, sundried tomatoes, shredded carrots, shaved brussels sprouts), ¼ cup of cashews, 2 eggs, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

Meal 2: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 2 cups of vegetables (broccoli slaw, bell peppers), ¼ cup of cashews, creole seasoning, 2 eggs, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

Meal 3: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 2 cups of vegetables (broccoli slaw, diced root vegetables, bell peppers), ¼ cup of cashews, coffee rub seasoning, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

With Preston: 1 refried bean taco on a corn tortilla and 5 grape tomatoes.

Meal 4: Roasted Carrots with Farro, Chickpeas & Herbed Crème Fraîche (Vegan)

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Day 2


Meal 1: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 1.5 cups of vegetables (green beans, shredded carrots, shaved brussels sprouts), ¼ cup of cashews, 1 banana, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

Meal 2: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 2 cups of vegetables (broccoli slaw, bell peppers), ¼ cup of cashews, creole seasoning, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

Meal 3: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 2 cups of vegetables (asparagus, shredded carrots, bell peppers), ¼ cup of cashews, coffee rub seasoning, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

Meal 4: Tacos: El Milagro corn tortillas, avocado, vegetarian refried beans, chopped green peppers and spinach tossed in lime juice, Frontera Jalapeno and Cilantro salsa, ground turkey (only 25% on each taco) and 2 glasses of wine.

Personal Training Diet.jpg

Day 3


Meal 1: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 2 cups of vegetables (sundried tomatoes, broccoli, diced root vegetables), ¼ cup of cashews, 2 eggs, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

Meal 2: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 2 cups of vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers), ¼ cup of cashews, creole seasoning, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

Meal 3: Bed of spinach, 1 cup of black beans, 2 cups of vegetables (broccoli slaw, diced root vegetables, bell peppers), ¼ cup of cashews, coffee rub seasoning, and 2 tbs of chia seeds.

With Preston: 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce and 1/3 avocado.

Meal 4: Instant Pot Ground Turkey Lentil Chili

What Influenced the Choices During this 3-Day Stretch


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Even though a full cart of groceries are delivered before Monday morning, I often forget to add 1 or 2 essentials or I simply don’t buy enough. In the case of this 3-day log, I ran out of several fresh vegetable options by day 3. Instead, I used frozen root vegetables, broccoli, and butternut squash as an alternative. I also failed to buy hemp seeds (chia seeds were my only option for each meal).

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
A Personal Trainer’s 3-Day Diet Log
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

1 Life Lesson I Wish I Would’ve Listened to as a Child

I try to live without regrets, but I often wonder how different my path would’ve been if I followed all of the important “life lessons” taught to me. Although I absorbed quite a bit as a child (and teenager), here is one lesson I would pay more attention to if given a round two.

Hug everyone.


Personal Trainer Wisdom: As I mention this lesson, I now fear that my neighbors will think Ill chase them down the block for a hug. Why not? Everyone deserves a hug! I’m not sure every stranger would welcome my open arms. A hug isn’t always welcomed, and I’m mindful of that. Nevertheless, I know that the root of being is interaction and hugging is an emotional manifestation of this philosophy.

Although I’ve always realized the importance of physical interaction, I’ve been guilty of isolating myself at times. Call it insecurity or a simple way of protecting myself. It minimized my intimacy with people in all types of relationships-friendships, romantic relationships, family relationships, etc. Should I blame myself? My family didn’t hug much (although the love was apparent) and I didn’t see many examples of this affection growing up (known by me as “Eastern European Love”: a stoic emotional exhibit of love but present in its own way).

Words of love are enough, right? Not sure anymore. Something is missing: Vulnerability. The alternative to hugging, lying on our backs like a dog, isn’t the socially acceptable exhibit of this intention for humans. Hugs are the next best thing. It is a statement of: “I trust you,” “I’m letting down my guard,” and “I accept you”….and who doesn’t want that love? My verbal language of love was useful but not complete for many years. My new hugs truly represent a new level of comfort with the people I love or don’t know very much, and my life is enriched as a result. I'm not a perfect hugger, and I still draw the line on hugs with complete strangers, people who don't show signs that they're interested in hugs, or hugs extending beyond a minute (and, yes, I did just say that). It's a work in progress, and I look forward to reaching new (and longer) hugging heights in the next decade!

Photo Credit: Indy 100 .com: Could hugging a person be the life lesson most of us have overlooked?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
1 Life Lesson I Wish I Would’ve Listened to as a Child
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

4 Healthy Substitutes for the Foods I Crave the Most

In a healthy diet, you most likely need to steer away from your favorite foods including pasta and ice cream. Is there a way to still indulge without feeling guilty? You bet! Here are my top four substitutes that will convince you that they’re the real thing!

You no longer have to stare at pictures of ice cream.

You no longer have to stare at pictures of ice cream.

Luna and Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Ice Cream


Ingredients: Coconut Milk (Water, Coconut, Guar Gum), Agave Syrup, Coconut Cream, Dried Coconut, Coconut Extract, Vanilla Extract.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Why I like it: It’s a non-dairy product with all of its fat coming from coconuts. While you still need to be mindful of your serving size since it has 22g of fat and 16g of sugar, it will satisfy your craving for a milk-based product (which is more inflammatory). Alternative to the alternative: Any all-fruit sorbet with no added sugar.

RedHot!

RedHot!

Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce


Ingredients: Distilled Vinegar, Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Salt, Water, Canola Oil, Paprika, Xanthan Gum, Natural Butter Type Flavor And Garlic Powder.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I love buffalo sauce but it’s typically 1 part butter, 1 part hot sauce….a no, no for an ideal diet. Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce is the best tasting alternative on the market. You can add it to anything. Be mindful of your amount. It packs 460mg of sodium per serving. That’s a big chunk of the recommended 1500 mg of sodium per day in a healthy diet. Photo Credit: Live kindly. co

Bringing pasta back to the healthy table!

Bringing pasta back to the healthy table!

Banza Elbows Made From Chickpeas


Ingredients: Chickpeas, Tapioca, Pea Protein, Xanthan Gum.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: No way around it: All pasta is highly processed and loses some of its nutritional value through the heating process. The Banza pasta noodles give you a higher dose of the valuable fiber and protein (14g) than the white AND wheat noodle options. It also contains only four ingredients and avoids toxic additives and preservatives in other boxed foods. Cooking tip: Boil the noodles until they’re al dente and then quickly rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process (otherwise they’ll soften too much).

 
Time for sausage!

Time for sausage!

Beyond Meat Beyond Sausage


Ingredients: Water, Pea Protein Isolate, Refined Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavor, Contains 2% or less of: Rice Protein, Faba Bean Protein, Potato Starch, Salt, Fruit Juice (For Color), Vegetable Juice (For Color), Apple Fiber, Methylcellulose, Citrus Extract (To Protect Quality), Calcium Alginate Casing.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: My Lithuanian and German ancestors may scoff at the idea of a sausage substitute but Beyond Meat has magically found the recipe to convince you it could be the real thing. If your focus is a diet with less inflammation and cholesterol, this may still satisfy part of your sausage craving. Disclaimer: Like the pasta recommendation, it’s still a highly processed product, and it contains 500mg of sodium and 12g of fat. Photo Credit: The Happy Pear on Twitter

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
4 Healthy Substitutes for the Foods I Crave the Most
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

A Simple 10 Phase Progression for Weight Loss

Here is a simple progression to weight loss. You can start at Phase 1 and add the next phase (each in 1-2 week increments) until you reach your goal or separately test each phase until you determine what affects your weight the most. Although I prefer a primary focus on nutrient-dense options, a caloric deficit seems to be the most desired first step for many clients. No matter how you approach this progression, try to seek a sustainable combination of efforts based on your needs (and it doesn’t need to be perfect).

Please note that I haven’t mentioned anything about fitness. Based on fourteen years of experience, I haven’t found a positive correlation between sustainable weight loss and killing yourself in the gym (unfortunately and fortunately). Many factors affect the caloric exchange between nutrition and fitness-making it very difficult to determine real numbers (e.g., the machine claims you burned 600 calories when you only burned 325 calories for reasons related to YOUR body). Although the answer to weight loss is simple, it doesn't mean it's easy. I hope this structured approach will minimize any frustration. Good luck! Be diet strong!

Phase 1: Cut your total caloric amount by 25% without changing the substance (the type of foods that you’re eating).


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Unfortunately, a caloric deficit isn’t scientifically enough to lose weight….but it can help initially if you’re overconsuming. Your body could only process so much food at once, and the rest is converted into fats, triglycerides, and more. Sidenote: You’re only creating a deficit based on your current habits. Most people tend to consume far more calories necessary (1300-1700) for a sedentary lifestyle. By cutting 25% of your current calorie load, you are simply getting closer to this mark.

Phase 2: Cut down your caloric intake until you reach a range of 1300-1700 calories per day.


Phase 3: Cut down your caloric intake until you reach a range of 1300-1700 calories without exceeding 300-500 calories per meal.


Phase 4: Eat 3-4 meals per day with 3-5 hours in between each meal.


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Timing is everything, and it usually takes 3-5 for proper digestion and absorption. You want to avoid eating more food than your body can process at a given time (you know what happens then). At the same time, you want to limit any nutritional deficiency (who knows how your body will compensate). Do you ever feel stuffed or starved? Do you typically take more or less than 3-5 hours in-between meals?

Phase 5: Eat 3-4 meals at the same time each day.


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Your body wants to be an efficient machine that operates on autopilot. Most of the time it depends on its biological clock - a blend of natural and reinforced forces. With this being said, you can train your body to efficiently release a flood of hormones to help you utilize the fuel you feed it at the same times each day. You already did this in grade school when you ate lunch at 11:37 every day and still felt the hunger pangs at the same time over your summer break. The principle also applies to your efficient recovery while you sleep each night. Your body will naturally wake you slowly over the course of 3 hours prior to your waking time. Going to bed at the same time every night will reinforce this habit and wake you without an alarm clock at the same time as well!

Phase 6: Substitute half of every meal and snack with vegetables (anything plant-based).


Phase 7: Minimize one of the big five weight gain culprits by 25%, then 50%, and finally 75% over two weeks. If weight loss begins, continue. If not, try a second item from the list until you’ve attempted them all.


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Our bodies are equipped to handle quite a bit. Like the rest of nature, the human body has boundaries, too. The following items have been scientifically proven to cause weight gain, inflammation, and more. Determine your sensitivity to each of the items and figure out what you can truly get away with.

· Grains including whole grains or all-bran products (breads, crackers, rice, cereals, etc.)
· Processed foods (products with additives and preservatives; genetically modified foods; or anything else not in its whole, natural form)
· Dairy (butter, milk, and cheese processed from animals)
· Alcohol, refined sugar, and artificial sweeteners
· Animal protein with high levels of saturated fat (red meat, pork, wild game, etc.)

Phase 8: If minimizing each of the weight gain culprits separately up to 75% hasn’t led to weight loss, it may be time to make a similar effort with 2 or 3 of your most common choices on this list.


Phase 9: Try a perfect diet with all of the phases over two weeks.


Phase 10: Discuss your efforts with your doctor and test for deficiencies, diseases, or disorders.


Photo Credit: Deco Healthy Living .com-Will the inches drop off with the use of your fork and knife?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
A Simple 10 Phase Progression for Weight Loss
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

4 Quotes That Changed the Way I Approach my Day

While reading Tim Ferriss’ book Tribe of Mentors, I often find many useful insights to integrate into my life. None have been more valuable than these four quotes.

”Live. Give. Forgive.” – Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Live, give, and forgive are three simple words that have steered me away from too much ego, anger, and pain. Extending beyond my “ego” not only has enhanced my life with thought-provoking experiences but the intent of “giving” has led to a new purpose and foundation of empathy. Although it’s always a work in progress, forgiveness is also equally important and has been an extension of this new empathy (as well as acceptance).

”One distraction I’ve learned to avoid is consuming media that’s just telling me things I already know and agree with.” – Julia Galef


Personal Trainer Wisdom: A thorough dissection of the information I often seek out from the media reveals my tendency towards pundits that support my personal perspective. How can I become more enlightened if I don’t identify my tendency to focus on the familiar and examine multiple paths of thought? With a heightened state of awareness, I know I can identify these trends before I foster my typical narrow perspective. I realize that I don’t need to agree with all positions, I should respectfully consider all factual evidence to create a fair judgement (not an unsubstantiated opinion or the typical pundit rhetoric).

”When something goes badly, I don’t automatically assume I did something wrong. Instead I ask myself, “What policy was I following that produced this bad outcome, and do I still expect that policy to give the best results overall, occasional bad outcomes notwithstanding?” If yes, then carry on!” – Julia Galef


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Life is a series of processes that often intertwine with many controlled and uncontrolled factors, as well as interesting coincidences. The results may become surprising outcomes. Despite any result, the process warrants an examination for the sake of replication or avoidance. It may help me help avoid many false positives.

”The moment I start one of these three behaviors—blaming, complaining, or gossiping – I become negative. It’s a sign of avoiding what I am responsible for: my life.” – Aniela Gregorek


Personal Trainer Wisdom: When I blame, complain, and gossip, I now realize that I’m negatively spewing rhetoric beyond the basic awareness of a challenge or problem. I may still express disgust or distaste of an identified state of being or result. Anything beyond the initial reaction, though, I require myself to change or avoid it. My blaming, complaining, and gossiping are nothing but fruitless forms of disrespectful banter contributing to a negative atmosphere (even if it’s directed at something negative itself). Instead, I try to start from a place of compassion and empathy.

Photo Credit: The Happy Pear on Twitter

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
4 Quotes That Changed the Way I Approach my Day
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.