The Bottom Line: But I’m on Holidays

You are off for a weekend with the family and sometimes the food portion of the getaway results in a “Getaway” from the plan. Worth it? You tell me through this example.


Three meals, zero snacks.  We are walking around a lot today so we can justify this.  IHOP, the host restaurant at the hotel.  We haven’t eaten there in years.  I will stay tight and have an omellete and maybe just a few pancakes.  Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant that is not in our area when we are back home.  We absolutely need to eat there.  I just won’t eat the bread or have dessert.  For dinner, what can we say, we are on vacation.  I will have a salad and a potato and keep the meat lean.

What’s the damage for the day according to the picture’s stated calories? 7000+ Calories.  This is not including the beverages or any little munchies that you don’t calculate throughout the day.

Thats enough calories for an average person for 4 DAYS.  

That’s JUST ONE DAY of holidays.

We can justify anything. Yes you are on holidays, but if you define your enjoyment by overindugence and then expect a lean healthy body, that’s just wishful thinking that will never be realized.

That’s the BOTTOM LINE!

Muscle Chef 400 Calorie Series


An awesome breakfast dish when you are in the mood for something tasty and you have a little bit of time to prepare in the morning.  The mix of flavours and textures from the different ingredients makes this breakfast burrito a hit with the family.  It has enough protein and quality fat to sustain you for the morning, and with 37g of protein, it’s gets your started on the right track to meeting your protein goals, especially when you are in training mode and need to keep those levels higher than the average person.

Ingredients:  1 8″ Wheat tortilla, 1/2 cup egg white, 1 egg, 1 large lettuce leaf, 1/4 refried beans, 2 slices turkey bacon, 4 tbsp salsa, 20g low fat cheddar cheese.

Calories: 390  Protein: 37g  Carbs: 32g  Fat:  13g

Week 7 Shape Up Challenge

Nutrients & Performance

Meet your nutritional needs.
Here's the short and skinny on what I need you to do:

1) Meet your protein needs. 0.8-1.5grams protein x lean muscle mass. If you need help with calculating this let me know.
The variance is dependent on activity levels and goals.
Need 100g of protein in a day?
Think of how you will break it down:
30-30-10-30 (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner)

2) 75 percent of your carbs should be packed with quality micronutrients.
That means you should be eating vegetables, fruits, quality carbs in their least processed forms.

3) 25 percent of your carbs are there to meet your calorie needs in a way that will satisfy any urges and/or the convenience factor. Ideally you should have 100 percent carbs of the highest quality with the most micronutrients but life isn't always that way and this 25 percent buffer most likely gives you a 200-250 calorie leeway to have that tortilla wrap or protein bar.

Nail down these 3 and you have addressed 4 key areas:

  1. Protein needs
  2. Micronutrient needs
  3. Caloric needs
  4. Psychological/emotional needs.

Muscle Chef 400 Calorie Series


Another quick breakfast option for those on the run.  I’ve never been a huge fan of cottage cheese until I had a recommendation from a fellow fitness enthusiast to try mixing the cottage cheese with a flavourful protein powder.  I chose my cookies and cream powder, mixed it with the cottage cheese, and created something I actually thoroughly enjoy.

At 370 calories, you have a bit of room to perhaps add a little bit of jam or sprinkle some almond slivers on top, or perhaps add some berries.  Toasting the English Muffin will also give you some texture.

You may even forego the English Muffin, opting for a slice of toast.  By doing so, you cut back on the calories, allowing you to have  thin spread of almond butter on top of the toast before adding your cottage cheese.

Ingredients:  3/4 Cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese, 1 English Muffin, 3/4 Scoop Protein Powder, sprinkle of cinnamon.

Calories: 370  Protein: 41g  Carbs: 38g  Fat:  6g

Week 6 Shape Up Challenge


UP YOUR NEATstand-up-desk-NEAT-burn

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for activities we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. This would include activity from the energy expended walking around, performing yard work and other household chores, taking stairs, playing with the kid or a pet and grocery shopping. Even seemingly small physical activities increase metabolic rate substantially and it is the cumulative impact of these many actions that culminate in an individual’s daily NEAT.

This may seem so trivial, yet a friend of mine keeps track of his movements through his iphone. What he noticed was that, throughout the day, through yard work, walking the dog, hanging with the kids, and taking the stairs versus the elevator at work, he logs approximately 10-15km of activity every day.

This accumulated energy expenditure has a dramatic effect on your metabolism, helping you get leaner without setting aside time to “exercise”.

Your task this week? Burn more calories by adding some productively busy chores, tasks, and leisure activities throughout the day.


The Sport of Bodybuilding: Is this the Answer?

Bodybuilding as a sport, where the athletic component is measured and factored into your score (8 lifts, accounting for all major muscle groups, with a 12 rep range), and symmetry is gauged objectively by a 3D scan? 

No crazy tanning costs or suits expenses. Membership fees are kept low. You are not at the mercy of judges nor is an artistic posing routine required?  

Typical bodybuilding contests don’t measure the work required year round. You show up to the event in a less than optimal state of true performance having obtained that “shredded” look. Then you step on a stage and get compared by who???? Are some judges truly qualified to judge the diverse classes now at contests? 

At some shows, you are just a number, waiting the entire day and night for your subjective placement at the end of the evening. 

Is this sport? 

Understand that I love bodybuilding and appreciate the art of posing and presenting your body. However the state of bodybuilding is in disarray, with bodies morphing to unsightly levels, testing even in many natural organizations thrown to the wayside, and new categories to evaluate the physique popping up left right and centre. There’s at least 8 different organizations that I can compete in and at least 4 different categories. 

Is the Super League of bodybuilding, with Dorian Yates as its President and Nike and behind it worth a look? The end of July will be a showcase of the first Super League event. Perhaps they are on to something. 

Muscle Chef 400 Calorie Series


Breakfast made fun and quick.  The ingredients are simple and this meal tastes great while giving you some healthy nutrients to keep your hunger in check throughout the morning. Something as simple as this, is a breakfast you can adopt daily as part of a two option routine on weekdays.

Ingredients:  1.25 Cup Low Fat Greek Yogurt, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 2 tbsp granola, 1/4 cup berries.

Calories: 387  Protein: 38g  Carbs: 41g  Fat:  1g