personal trainer chicago

7 Kitchen Tools that Will Cut Your Cooking Time in Half

Do you avoid cooking because of the prep time? Avoid no more. Here is the list of kitchen tools I use to speed up the cooking process. In many cases, the total time will decrease by 50 percent. Cook away, Chef!!!!

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Instant Pot


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The Instant Pot is basically a crock pot with pressure cooker attributes. Like a Crock Pot, you can simply throw an array of ingredients into the pot and cook with little extra work. The big difference: The Instant Pot only takes a fraction of the cooking time. Your 8-hour Crock Pot simmer will turn into a 20-minute pressure-cooked phenomenon. Either method will save you time from constant stirring stoveside. You may use the Instant Pot to sautee onions and garlic prior to cooking your stew, soup, or chili as well (which also saves cleanup time-less dishes).

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PL8 Professional Mandoline (Food Slicer)


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Cutting with a knife is soooooo prehistoric! With 4 cutting options (thick slice, thin slice, julienne and waffle) and 4 adjustable thickness settings for each cutting option, you will save time perfecting your slice and adding more shape to your life!

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Apple Slicer


Personal Trainer Wisdom: You can core and section fruits in one swift motion (8 wedges all at the same time). Less mess and time. “But it only saves you 30-60 seconds, Michael,” you say. Tell that to my screaming 2-year old son, Preston….

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Collapsible Salad Spinner


Personal Trainer Wisdom: As described on Bed, Bath, & Beyond, “This salad spinner is so versatile as it expands for use as a large salad spinner and collapses in an instant for easy storage. Its high velocity pull-cord mechanism dries your fruits or veggies quickly and efficiently.” Sold! Not enough? I also use the spinner to evenly coat a dressing or citrus onto my veggies. Essentially, you’re spinning away the excess while coating each piece of nutritarian goodness. Perfection!

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Stick Mixer


Personal Trainer Wisdom: I typically avoided recipes that required pureeing because of the food processor cleanup. With the stick mixer, you can quickly and easily puree a soup in the same pot you cooked it in. It’s lightweight and a quick wash compared to the many parts of the food processor or blender.

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Kale Slicer


Personal Trainer Wisdom: This kale slicer is more of a kale destemmer than anything else. It makes pulling the leaves off the stem one easy swoop (a big convenience when using several stems in your recipe).

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OXO Vegetable Chopper


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Many of my personal training clients will avoid cooking because of the preparation (especially the chopping). Although you need to slice an apple, onion, or green pepper in thirds, this chopper will make the remainder of your chop a breeze. Simply place the thick slices under the stainless steel blades and press down. Easy to dump into your dish and easy to clean.

Photo Credit:
Photo 1: williams-sonoma .com–Life may never be the same with the Instantpot.
Photo 2: mighty ape .co.nz– PL8 Professional Mandoline (food slicer)
Photo 3: kitchenettejen .com–Apple Slicer
Photo 4: blogtemplates. Info—Collapsible Salad Spinner
Photo 5: promotion. com–Stick Mixer
Photo 6: target. Com—Kale Slicer
Photo 7: crate and barrel .com– OXO Vegetable Chopper

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
7 Kitchen Tools that Will Cut Your Cooking Time in Half
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

4 Ways to Avoid the Same Poor Posture as Michael Cohen during the House Hearing

Don't be like Mike! Whether testifying in a House hearing or presenting at a board meeting, poor posture will not only send unintended nonverbal cues but also lead to poor physical health. Putting aside, the "look" of poor posture, anything beyond the neutral spine while sitting (think of your body naturally and symmetrically stacked in the neutral position) may put you at serious, long-term risk of injury. I've included tips from my interview with Wayfair to help you reverse this effect and redefine the way you sit at work.

Wayfair: How can you tell if you have bad posture during your day to day?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most likely, you are experiencing many symptoms, including lower back, hip, and shoulder discomfort and pain, that are surefire tells of your bad posture. Considering the constant distractions, it's not a surprise that you don't recognize these symptoms or realize how you shift your weight to one hip while speaking to someone or round your back while working on the computer 8-10 hours per day. In small amounts, your body is adaptable and can function out of a neutral zone (Translation: Pick up light objects with a rounded back). When reinforced repetitively, though, you are creating an imbalanced, inefficient system that can eventually lead to rounded shoulders or a posterior hip tilt (rounded lower back).

Wayfair: What are some tips to improve posture while at your desk?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The number one key to your best physical health and perfect posture is awareness. Simple check-ins throughout the day can minimize or eliminate most chronic problems. Although the human body isn't meant to sit for extended periods of time, most industries require it. If you're going to do it, you must do it well. Essentially, you're fighting nature while maintaining a flexed position at your desk under quite a bit of sustained stress. Our bodies are meant to move in a neutral position, however, and you're most likely guilty of doing the opposite up to this point.

While it's not realistic to assume that you'll walk and type on a Stairmaster at the office, you can take several measures to maintain a neutral spine--the natural position of the spine that doesn't place unnecessary stress on your disks and maintains the natural curve of your neck and lower back. First, adjust your seat to the appropriate height to reduce a tilt in your hips or a round in your lower back. Your knees should directly extend from your hips at a 90 angle or lower. Second, maintain a neutral position while seated. Keep your ears above your shoulders, shoulders above your hips, heels under your knees, and your feet flat on the floor. Third, stand up and/or walk when you fidget or reposition your body while seated. If you begin to shift in your seat, listen to your body! It's time to move! It takes muscle activation and strength to fight gravity and maintain perfect posture. Although you may be using the right muscles, they will fatigue too! With this being said, relight the system and find a reason to walk around.

Wayfair: Are there any tools, accessories, or furniture that are best suited for having good posture throughout a workday?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Your best tool for maintaining good posture is self-awareness. No matter what system you would put in place, you may unconsciously compensate in one way or another. An adjustable, ergonomic chair that allows you the fit for your neutral spine and the adjustable height to find the appropriate level for your hips is a priority. An adjustable desk will also help you find the proper height for your computer keyboard and the placement of the screen to limit any slouching. In the case your desk doesn't offer an adjustable function, you may want to simply elevate your computer screen to eye level instead.

Wayfair: For offices with raiseable desks, how much time should someone switch between sitting and standing for the most comfortability?


Personal Trainer Wisdom: In response to the constant demand on your body (gravity counts), it's important to move or change position every 20-30 minutes. The same principle applies when utilizing a raiseable desk. As mentioned before, your muscles will fatigue while maintaining perfect posture. Not surprisingly, ambitious people have bought the raisable desks with hopes of resolving their postural issues but still end up compensating by shifting their weight while standing and placing themselves in compromising positions. When you shift, it isn't a failure! It's just a cue to reposition. Sitting, standing, or walking may be the most appropriate response.

Photo Credit:
abc 17 news .com – Don't be guilty of poor posture!

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
4 Ways to Avoid the Same Poor Posture as Michael Cohen during the House Hearing
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

Why 'Follow Your Dreams' May Be the Worst Advice You Ever Heard

"'Follow your dreams.' It's impossible to do without self-knowledge, what takes years. You discover your 'dream' (or sense of purpose) in the very act of walking the path, which is guided by equal parts choice and chance." Maria Popova's response to Tim Ferriss's question regarding the worst advice she ever heard in the book Tools of Titans.


What Are Your Dreams Really Based On


'Follow your dreams.' You've heard this advice probably as often as I did growing up. Certainly, the most common words of inspiration given to a youngster and seen in coffee table books and wall art. What does it really mean and how serious should we consider this advice? Do you know?

As a student of psychology for the last 20 years, I've learned one very important thing: Most people aren't aware of themselves (or the influences on how they think). I fell into this category for a long time, and it's taken much effort to recognize and understand the trends and patterns of me....including my dreams. I'd love to believe that my dreams were an inspirational inner voice that always had my best interest in mind and guided me with a knowledge and understanding beyond my being.

Unfortunately, and fortunately, they most likely were a result of environmental influences, interactions, emotional interpretations, and unconscious cues from my history. At times, my dreams reflected insecurities and fears that plagued my unconscious or a disorientated interpretation of the day’s events. Often, they reflected a film I watched that day or an emotion I recently experienced. While I recognized the symbolism of those dreams, I also understand how easily misleading they can be.

The Interpretation of Your Dreams


You may not be any different. Have you observed your physical, mental, and emotional self? Have you ever observed the trends and patterns of you? Have you identified the underlying influences on your behavior (i.e., fears and insecurities)? Have you ever examined the underlying influences on your dreams? If you're like most people, you will say "No." Would you follow any other prompt or cue like a dream with so many unanswered questions?

Don't forget that at times your dreams are also completely ridiculous and nonsensical. You may disregard those dreams, but it doesn't mean that you should follow your dream just because it possesses a sensible, relatable narrative that seems like the truth about your path. As Maria points out, we learn about our true selves and what's best for us by walking the path...interacting with people and the world. If you don't know what you want to do next, be curious instead of following your dreams initially. Find invigoration and direction through the collision of your being and experiences in different environments with different people and see how itself manifests later. Maybe at some point, you can consider the prompt of your dreams or your gut instinct. Be sure to truly understand yourself first, though.

You're a Leader Not a Follower


Also consider that the simple act of following infers that you are not leading. It is a serious unconscious nudge to wait for a sign to help you make lifelong personal and professional decisions without sound evidence why. Do you really want to only follow something that can be interpreted a million different ways? Let's be honest. Most of our interpretations aren't 100% accurate and often are self-serving depending on the influences (which isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to survival but should be recognized). Why not follow the mantra ‘Create the life you want’?

While I always love words of inspiration, you may want to reconsider how sound the advice might be. No path is as easy as following your dreams.

Personal Trainer Wisdom

No matter if you believe that your dreams are a result of your personal history or a spiritual push, you can’t argue with the importance of self-awareness. Whatever cue you receive, you should still examine the path you walked and the ground you stand on. Your assessment may just provide the direction you need.

Photo Credit:
Thefinancialdiet .com–Should you really follow your dreams?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Why 'Follow Your Dreams' May Be the Worst Advice You Ever Heard
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

Advice My Future (10 Years Older) Self Would Tell Me Today (And Why I Need to Listen)

What advice would your 10-year older self give you today? What do you think he or she would say about your approach to life, work, and relationships? What do you think he or she would advise you to adapt? I spent some time contemplating this scenario and know that the 49-year-old Michael would most likely encourage these 5 life-enhancing tips (and I’m sure you will relate).

Listen


The root all being is interaction. Be an active participant with your ears. Listen to your environment. Listen to the random sounds around you. Take your nose out of your phone, and genuinely listen to your wife and son (and the rest of your family and your friends and your colleagues and everyone else you interact with). Look a person in the eyes when you're engaged in a conversation. Show them your genuine interest and strengthen the bond you initially created.

Don't hold onto worry or anger for more than 5 minutes


Quit wasting away seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, and decades of life worrying about not being perfect, doing perfect, or acting perfect. Embrace your emotion and passion but bundle it into a positive adaptive package and act instead of stewing in your destructive emotion. Don't let the resentment, anger, hate, and worry prison your mind and distract you from the precious little life moments (even if those moments don't feel important). Bark if you need to. Step away to be alone (and this isn’t avoidance, by the way). Shake your fist at the sky. But DO NOT obsess, swim, or dance in this negativity for longer than 5 minutes. Indulge in this instinctual (or reinforced reaction) for a short moment and then let it go. Find the silver lining. Accumulate wisdom from your error. Accept. Adapt. Be fair to yourself. Be kind to yourself. See the world as perfectly imperfect and don't let it overwhelm you.

Trust your genuine and real you and quit second-guessing yourself


Act in line with who you are but don't second-guess yourself because of fears, insecurities, or other underlying influences. Just be. Be assertive. Be confident. Don't act like yourself, just be yourself. Trust that you unconsciously have other people in mind. Don't worry about being judged. Don't judge yourself. Be yourself (unless you're selfish, inconsiderate, unsympathetic, unemphatic, demeaning, judgmental, egotistical, or unrighteous).

Seek to understand FIRST instead of judging when in a disagreement


In a world of negativity, it's easy to judge and interpret someone or an incident through a personal lens (a filter you developed from a collision of internal perspective and your daily life). How accurate is this judgment or interpretation though? What are you overlooking? Do you truly know the full story? How do you think your emotion has affected your initial interpretation? Your initial reaction? Seek to understand first, and you will foster sympathy and empathy instead of the anger, disappointment, and frustration you most commonly feel when judging.

Find 1 positive attribute in every person you meet


Quit looking for the negative in yourself, your environment, and people….especially other people. Retrain your initial thought process when meeting someone new by finding 1 positive attribute in every person you meet. Instead of assessing, try searching for the best in them. They may not be you, someone you know, or someone you may hang out with for a lifetime, but they still deserve your respect, genuine interest, and a chance to show their best selves.

Photo Credit:
thenews.com .pk–What would your future self say to you?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
"Advice My Future (10 Years Older) Self Would Tell Me Today (And Why I Need to Listen)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

The Personal Trainer's Guide to Staying Healthy While Traveling

Many of my personal training clients fear that they will sacrifice their health and weight loss goals while traveling. Fear not! Here is my quick guide to maintaining what you worked so hard for!

Don’t touch your face without washing your hands


Whether traveling by planes, trains, or automobiles, you most likely are hanging out in well-populated public places….which increases your exposure to bacteria and viruses. While I don’t think you should hole yourself in a closet for the rest of your life, I do advocate some boundaries. The first rule of staying healthy on the road is resisting the urge to touch your face without washing your hands. You might be surprised to learn how often you touch your lips, nose, and eyes each day. Each swipe of your hand gives germs access to your system. Considering that you’re sharing doorknobs, railings, counters, and faucet handles, your hands are constantly in contact with the world. Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to touch your face until you wash your hands.

Use disinfecting wipes while flying


Have you ever witnessed airline staff members wiping down tray tables and seat belts? Me neither. On average, each plane will see at least 2 flights each day (and we don’t know what special germs were left behind for us). Most likely, you will eat and/or drink off of the tray table….which makes cross-contamination easy. Before you sit, quickly wipe the seatbelt and the top and bottom of the tray table for 20 seconds. The little things that we overlook are the ones that affect us the most.

Always carry a water bottle


Too often, a cause of our exhaustion and hunger is dehydration. With the constant access of junk food on the road, it’s easy to convince yourself that you need an indulgence as a remedy (when all you need is a simple sip). Make yourself a rule: Any time you’re tired or hungry, drink 4-8 ounces of water and reassess. You might be surprised what you’ll find.

Walk


Usually your vacations are jam-packed with tourists activities….which rarely meet your minimum requirements of healthy physical movement. While I wouldn’t expect you (or my personal training clients) to exercise several hours per day during your break from reality, replacing your cab/uber rides with walks will still help you maintain your health and possibly weight loss. Believe it or not, walkers do lose weight while eating their way through Italy. Walking is the easiest way to move on the road and a great way to immerse yourself in new neighborhoods while keeping your engine revved up. Keep your senses alive and rise beyond the seat!

Split food


Enjoy the best of a dining experience while shrinking your portions: Split with a buddy! Instead of ordering 2 separate entrees (which are probably big enough for 3), share an entrée and an appetizer. This foodie approach is an easy way to enjoy more than one taste of the local culture while avoiding a belt-busting experience.

Finding a running group in the city that you’re visiting or signup for a 5k


Running is a global phenomenon that connects many cultures. Find another way to connect with the community that you’re visiting and find a local meetup for runners. What a neat way to participate in a social workout in a new environment! Google “running groups (insert location)” or “running clubs (insert location)” and extend yourself! You can also signup for a random 5k to enhance your workout too!

Make your food count with the ChefsFeed phone app


I always say that if you’re going to do it, do it well. Since my wife Sammy is an event sales manager in the restaurant industry, you probably know that I’m referring to restaurants. Exploring new dishes is a way of life-my life-and it tends to direct my travel choices. I can give you my normal personal trainer speel on following a true vegan lifestyle to achieve optimal health (even though all of us should). Instead, I’d rather try to persuade you to change your relationship with food. Stop eating just to fill up and eat with intent instead. Use the ChefsFeed phone app to strategically celebrate the favorite dishes and restaurants chosen by local chefs. Type in your location and sift through the many recommendations from the host culinary experts. It is possible to still meet your health goals while enjoying the best of life. You just need to be mindful and selective. Thanks for this suggestion, Carol!

Photo Credit:
Wanderlove. com –Can you wander and still keep your health in mind?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
The Personal Trainer's Guide to Staying Healthy While Traveling
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.