Blog - Health & Fitness
Here is a quick recipe for low-carb protein pancakes.
- 5 egg whites
- 1 whole organic free range egg
- 15g porridge oats
- 15g coconut powder
- 10g medium dessicated coconut
- 10g cocoa powder
- 1/2 banana
- 5g TruVia (sweetener)
- 1 scoop (30g) Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey chocolate flavour
- 30g Total greek yogurt (can be replaced with coconut milk)
- 3g virgin coconut oil
- 30g Total greek yogurt (optional)
- Walden Farms sugar-free chocolate syrup
TOTAL: 60g protein, 30g carbs, 23g fat
Portion size should be individualised for best results.
Check out the video for instructions!
Cardio sometimes gets a bad rep in the fitness industry. Lots of “gurus” seem to hate on it probably because your average, uninformed gym goers seem to love it and treat it like the only way to lose weight. If you’re a smart trainee or educated fitness professional, of course you know that it’s not true.
All that aside, we know that cardiovascular exercise has lots of benefits in regards to your health, and it will also assist in fat loss. The tricky question is – how to choose the best type of cardio for yourself? Most people seem to be stuck with running as the obvious option. For many of us, including myself, it can provide great benefits. However, by no means this is the be-all and end-all. Other great options include skipping rope, sled work, stair sprints, battling ropes, kettlebell swings, dance, boxing, martial arts and sports like basketball, football etc.
Watch this video to help you figure out whether running is something you should invest your time and energy in.
No surprise that the average person gains about half a stone in December. It seems like someone is shoving food in your face at every turn: at your kids' school, at the office, and of course at family gatherings. Treats like cookies, cakes, pies, frosted things you can't identify, chocolate covered things of unknown origin, as well as the usual massive holiday meals.
There are parties and feasts right and left and we all tend to overeat. We are also faced with a lack of time, as the holiday season can be extremely busy and stressful. Sound familiar?
There are some simple and effective strategies that will not only help you "survive" the holidays, but you may even emerge in the New Year leaner and fitter than you are right now, as long as you fit in some exercise around the celebrations.
As Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail”. When on the move, I always have some food with me year round, but it becomes even more important during the holidays. Do everything in your power to know where you are going, what time you are going to be there, what time will you leave and (most importantly in this case) what food will be there. This is often easier said than done, but that is why we always must be prepared. Have a plan and even a backup plan in place. When you have a plan you are much less likely to indulge in all the sugary stuff. Help yourself with a high quality protein bar, whey protein shake or some almonds when you don’t have access to real food.
One of the biggest things I’ve done this year was getting ready for WBFF London fitness model competition. I dedicated about 3 months making some muscle gains and improving my weak points, and then 12 weeks to gradually get leaner and achieve a good contest condition.
I wanted to make sure that I showcase a new and improved version of myself. Body transformation is no rocket science once you know what you’re doing and stay consistent with it. Intelligent training programme, quality nutrition and adequate recovery – those are the basics. And then there is another aspect that can certainly give you an edge. I’m talking about supplements.
I am very lucky to be sponsored by the best-selling supplement company Optimum Nutrition. With their help I managed to achieve some great improvements in my physique. The two photos are taken less than 12 weeks apart. I could have managed it even quicker, but I chose a gradual approach in order to preserve the muscle gains that I acquired.
Here are the supplements I used in various amounts during both muscle gain and fat loss phase of my programme:
Ginger is a wonderful herb root that has been used for centuries as a food, spice and medicine. It is known to produce miracles when trying to fight off a cold, and it also promotes digestion and stimulates metabolism, which leads to increased calorie burning. With so many health benefits to it, it makes sense to start adding ginger to some of your dishes, or to start brewing a daily glass of ginger tea by simply adding boiling water to slices of ginger root. You may also want to add green tea and / or lemon to make it taste better and get more benefits from it.
Lots of research has confirmed the effects on your immunity by this all-natural remedy. This means you get sick less often, recover more quickly when you do get sick, and that even if everyone else around you is coming down with flu or cold you can stay healthy.
Provides Pain Relief
No matter what type of pain you’re suffering from, ginger can act as a natural pain reliever. Ginger can also help with delayed-onset muscle soreness, as it has been concluded in a study published in the Journal of Pain. It shows ginger acting as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory without the negative side effects of normal pain relievers. Ginger is better at treating delayed onset muscle soreness, because it doesn’t affect pain immediately after it’s consumed, but is actually more effective the next day.
Last weekend I competed at the biggest physique contest ever taken place in the UK. What a show!! WBFF certainly know how to cater for their athletes and the audience. I wish I could show off a trophy or medal, but this time luck wasn’t on my side.
My category “Fitness Model Tall” at WBFF London was stacked with some incredible physiques – there were almost 50 guys in total. I could say “the more the merrier” as the atmosphere was brilliant, and it was great catching up with lots of competitors I have met in the past. But also it meant that I was compared to many more athletes, diminishing my chances for a placing. Moreover, as the week leading up to the show was quite hectic, I may have made some mistakes in my preparation, my condition wasn’t razor sharp, and posing wasn’t rehearsed enough. There are certainly lessons to be taken from this, if I decide to compete again.
When it doesn’t unfold the way you had envisioned it, the worst thing you can do is to see it as a failure. In reality there is no failure, only feedback. While competing over the years, I may have built an unhelpful expectation to always be rewarded for my efforts. After all, in my 6 previous contests I have always placed in top 3, and last year I managed to win. The outcome of my recent endeavor must be seen in perspective, in order to maintain a resourceful state of mind and utilize the feedback I have received.
Do you know someone who talks a lot of talk, and starts new endeavors only to falter halfway through and give up? You don’t want to be that person. Quitting is not attractive. On the other hand, having the self-discipline to follow through with your goals makes us feel good about ourselves, and it amplifies our drive and determination to achieve even bigger things. However, sometimes it’s ok to be a quitter.
In this case, I’m talking about quitting smoking. Or, in fact, kicking any other unresourceful habit like having too much sugar, junk food, alcohol etc. And trust me, I’m no saint – I’ve done it all in large amounts back in my irresponsible days. Actually, I used to smoke for 7 years! Oops, I hope my mom is not reading this… But the point I’m trying to make is – you can change the way you think. You can program that inner voice to be your personal coach that relentlessly drives you towards success. You can increase self-awareness and make better decisions. Quitting can be great. As long as you don’t quit the process of quitting and go back to your old ways ;)
Primary And Secondary Gains
A good place to start is exploring the reasons behind your smoking. Sometimes it’s not about what it’s about. You may just see it as a habit, or feel like it helps you relax, or perhaps blame it on your social life. However, there may be secondary gains outside of your conscious awareness – additional benefits of smoking that drive your behavior without you realizing it. Maybe you work in a corporate environment, and most of the influential people that can affect your career regularly go out for a smoking break. Hence, you probably want to network with them, and access information that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you. There could be a multitude of secondary reasons, this is just something to consider.
Just over 7 weeks until my next show - WBFF London fitness model competition. I still refuse to get consumed by it. Does it mean that I'm not focused? Oh, I've not been focused like this for a long time. It's an absolute priority. However, it doesn't mean that everything else gets thrown out of the window. I can still get my work done, give excellent service to my clients, read / listen to books, have fun, socialise, keep my mind active and share ideas. My intention with this competition is to prove that you can achieve an amazing physique without sacrificing everything else that's important to you.
Would you really want to hear about EVERY single workout, all my early morning cardio sessions, packed Tupperware containers, stacks of supplements... I think it gets quite boring after a while. The average person with a day job and family to feed got much more important things to worry about. All I want to do is show that great things can be achieved with commitment, consistency and positive attitude towards life.
To me it's about making art and creating your legacy. You can affect many areas of your life in a positive way through undertaking a risky adventure, and I'm definitely up for the challenge. It's about the strength of character that gets built while on this journey. I wouldn't like to be consumed by an external outcome by putting pressure on myself to reach it by all means. Instead, why not focus on the person you want to become, and the virtues required to achieve this goal.
Big thanks to my sponsor Optimum Nutrition, don't know how I would do it without you guys! Here is a video blog, showing some ON Platinum PRE- powered training footage, I'm talking about things to consider when undergoing a body transformation, and also an interview with my good friend fitness model Jay Benedetti.
There was an online fitness article recently that created a bit of a stir in the social media. It’s trying to portray the concept of “clean eating” as a myth, despite it being heavily adopted in the fitness industry, and helping millions of people all over the world to start a healthier lifestyle, get in terrific shape, and look fabulous.
Apparently “there is no evidence that any food will cause more fat gain than the excess calories it provides; there is also no evidence that eating a certain food will help you lose fat; and fat loss is ultimately about calories in versus calories out.” It even goes as far as calling clean eating an eating disorder. Wow.
Crying For Attention?
Firstly, I’d like to speculate on the intention of the aforementioned article. People like to buy into ideas that make themselves feel good, e.g. having a massive piece of their favorite cake every day without any implications on health and physique.
It’s essentially what most of us would like to hear, because to change your attitude towards food, be organized, stay disciplined and only treat yourself on special occasions is much harder, and it takes willpower, which may already be depleted from work commitments and the stress of modern life.Also, pure sensationalism and going against common wisdom can help to attract attention in a saturated market.