Monthly Archives for June 2012

Archives for June 2012

Which Protein is Best to Take at Night?

Muscles like these need are built by protein - but not all protein sources and supplements are created equal.

We know that protein is essential for muscle growth – and that not all types of protein are created equal. If you go to a nutrition store, you’ll see protein supplement varieties including whey concentrate, whey isolates, casein, soy, etc. Moreover, protein can be found naturally in foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts and more.

So, which type of protein is best to take at night or before bed?

Each type of protein has it’s advantages. For example, whey isolates are a good value and very quick to be absorbed by the body. For this reason, they’re a great post-workout protein source when your body needs nutrients quickly. But when considering a protein to consume before bed, you’ll want something that will be absorbed slowly throughout the night.

Casein protein is the best slow-digesting protein – and it’s the perfect protein supplement to take before bed. Since casein takes anywhere from 5 – 8 hours to fully breakdown, you’ll fuel your body and your muscles throughout the night. Casein is derived from milk, so it may not be suitable for individuals with lactose sensitivities – and it’s not vegan.

Most bodybuilders or athletes get their casein as a powdered protein from nutrition stores. But, if you prefer, casein can be found naturally in foods like milk, cheese and cottage cheese. A single cup of cottage cheese, for example, can have 30 grams of protein – and much of it is casein.

Keep in mind, you can slow the absorption of non-casein proteins by combining them with foods that are slow to digest. Foods that are rich in fat or fiber take much longer to digest. Making a peanut-butter and soy protein/soy milk shake, for example, will result in a suitable nighttime alternative for vegans or people with lactose sensitivities.

The bottom line: When it comes to nighttime protein consumption, casein is king.

How to Build Stamina for Running: 7 Tips.

Hi Davey,

Whenever I go for a run or walk, I get winded and lose my breath within 30 seconds. I don’t have asthma, I’m in good shape and I eat well. Any advice?

Thanks,
Matt

Hey Matt,

Running is one of my favorite activities – and few things are as exhilarating as the resulting endorphin release and runner’s high.

But, as avid runners know, the stamina and endurance required to power through a run isn’t something with which we’re born. Endurance must be built over the course of time – and it can be a very gradual process.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Set a goal. It’s always helpful to set some sort of goal for yourself. It helps establish accountability and it gives you a way to measure your progress. Perhaps your goal is to run 1 mile by the end of the year without stopping.
  2. Pace yourself. When running longer distances, it’s important to pace yourself. You don’t want to start your run in a full sprint. Instead, start at a moderate but sustainable pace. Otherwise, you’ll burn out too quickly.
  3. Breathe. As it turns out, breathing is extremely important. As breathing keeps your blood oxygenated, I recommend inhaling for 2 or 3 counts – and then exhaling for 2 or 3 counts. Eventually, you can establish a breathing rhythm that will help get you into “the zone.”
  4. Don’t give up. If you’re winded after 30 seconds, don’t give up altogether. Walk for a few moments, catch your breath, and then run again. Continue until you finish your mile – or whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.
  5. Gradually, run more and walk less. Over time, you’ll notice that you’re not winded as quickly. Instead of running for 30 seconds, you may be able to run for 40 seconds. And then 50 seconds. Build on these gains to increase the amount of time you spend running versus walking.
  6. Try intervals. Intervals are a great way to mix things up and make speed gains. When performing intervals, you’ll alternative between sprinting for a set amount of time and jogging for a set amount of time. When I do intervals, for example, I jog for 60 seconds and then sprint for 60 seconds – and I do this for 15 minutes. In addition to incinerating body fat, this will make the perceived exertion in your regular run seem significantly less.
  7. Rest. Of course, it’s important to give you body plenty of rest to recover. Don’t run every day, and make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.

By following these 7 tips, you’ll certainly make huge gains to your stamina over time.

Remember: It’s important to be very consistent in your training. If you take a week or two off here and there, you’ll stunt your progress. Keep with it, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the results!

Love,
Davey

Top Gym Pet Peeves!

There’s a lot that I love about the gym. But not everything. As such, I put together this video all about my top gym pet peeves.

Check it out – and, in the comments below, let me know if I missed anything.

With a little common sense and regard for the people around us, proper etiquette can make the gym a better and more enjoyable place for all of us.

Should Airlines Charge Overweight Passengers a Fuel Surcharge?

Are airlines eying overweight passengers to pad their bottom line?

The other day, I flew from San Diego to my home in Rhode Island.

With six weeks-worth of clothing, filming equipment and speedos, my suitcase was admittedly over-packed. It weighed in at 62 pounds – which exceeded United Airlines’ baggage limit by some twelve pounds. The ticketing agent informed me that, because it would take additional fuel to fly my overweight bag to Rhode Island, I was subject to a 0 baggage fee. This on top of the that I paid to check-in my bag.

Yes, I paid a 0 fee because my bag was twelve pounds overweight. Can you see where I’m going with this?

As of 2009, the average American was twenty-three pounds overweight… and counting. Two thirds of Americans are overweight and nearly a third of Americans are considered obese. And if it takes extra fuel to get my overweight bag to my destination, it must be true for overweight passengers, too.

With my overweight baggage experience in mind, I can’t help but wonder if the airlines are eying overweight passengers with the hopes of padding their bottom line. If a Boeing 747-400 can hold 524 passengers, that’s an average of six tons of extra bodyweight. A fuel surcharge would certainly help cover the costs of keeping all that fat aloft.

Perhaps, in the not-so-distant-future, we’ll have mandatory weigh-ins at the ticketing counters – and overweight passengers will have to pay extra money to get their excess bodyweight to their desired destination.

Think it sounds too outlandish? Think again. In 2009, Ireland’s Ryanair considered implementing a “fat tax” for obese passengers after a public vote on its website. The tax was later dropped because of implementation difficulties. Weighing passengers, the airline concluded, would have the adverse effect of slowing down the check-in process too severely.

Of course, I’m not trying to suggest that a fuel surcharge for overweight passengers makes sense; it would be an embarrassing, marginalizing and dehumanizing policy. But I am suggesting that the airlines are ridiculous. Period.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Unhealthy Food More Appealing When Tired.

According to a new study, unhealthy foods like pizza, candy and soda are even more appealing to our brains when we’re tired.

Conducted by Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition, the study looked at brain activity in well-rested and then sleep-deprived individuals. When shown unhealthy food options, tired participants experienced increased activity in the brain’s reward centers.

A separate study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley concluded that sleep-deprivation leads to impaired activity in an area in the frontal lobe of the brain. This is the area of the brain that helps control behavior and process complex choices. When experiencing sleep deprivation, this area didn’t respond well – thereby making it easier for tired individuals to choose unhealthy foods.

The results aren’t surprising for two reasons. First, when we’re tired, we let our guard down. We’re not as vigilant in making decisions – and it’s easier to just “go for it.” Second, there’s probably an evolutionary advantage at play. When we’re tired, unhealthy (but calorie-dense) foods like soda and candy can give you a quick burst of energy and momentarily lift fatigue. Back when we lived in caves and fought for our survival, this could have been an evolutionary advantage.

The next time you’re tired and craving something unhealthy, remember this study and know what’s really happening. Grab a handful of unsalted nuts or slice up an apple… and then call it a night. Do your body a real favor and get some rest.

Fitness at 40 for Men!

Dear Davey,

I am 43 years old. I have tried working out with a trainer, I have joined gyms, I have changed my diet, I have tried every pill potion, powder and DVD there is to buy… all with no results. My question is this: is it even possible, at my age, to get rid of the gut, and gain some lean muscle? What do you recommend for us old guys?

From,
Corey

Hey Corey

Goodness! You make 43 sound like you’ve already got one foot in the grave – and I know that’s not the case!

The short answers to your question is YES! It is definitely possible for someone in their 40s to get rid of their gut and gain lean muscle. In fact, it’s possible for someone twice your age! You can build muscle at any age – and, as we get older, building and maintaining muscle becomes increasingly important.

In other words, 43 isn’t an excuse. It’s a reason. And it can be a great motivator.

You say that you’ve tired everything, and that nothing has worked. If you follow the strength training basics – and support your training with a proper diet – your body will build muscle. Any other result is scientifically impossible. It’s just a question of combining an effective weight loss plan and strength training program with the required time, energy and effort.

Keep in mind, results take time. If you try a program for 2 weeks and don’t see results, it doesn’t mean that your body isn’t transforming. And it’s certainly not a reason to give up. You may just need a little more time. I’d encourage you to stick with a sound and effective program for 2 months or more – and then evaluate your results.

And when you do evaluate your results, do so objectively. Take various body measurements (i.e., weight, waistline, chest, biceps, etc.) and compare the numbers on day 1 to the numbers on day 60. The numbers won’t lie.

I also recommend taking a before and after picture. Because many of the changes are slow, we don’t always notice the gradual transformation while looking in the mirror each day. But when compared side-by-side, you should be able to see some fairly major differences.

Also, pay attention to the non-physical benefits you’ll receive – like increased energy, better sleep and greater endurance. These count, too!

In the comments below, I’d love for the 40+ crowd to share some of their advice and feedback for Corey. I’ll send three lucky commentators a free copy of my Ultimate Guide to Working Out!

Love,
Davey

Do Zero Calorie Sports Drinks Work?

Athletes and avid exercisers often reach for sports drinks as a way to replenish and hydrate their bodies. To tap into new markets, most of the top brands – including Powerade, Lucozade and Gatorade – have low-calorie or even no-calorie product extensions.

But do these products actually work? Are they effective? Or is it just a marketing gimmick?

The answer is yes. They do work – to some degree. But it’s also a marketing gimmick.

When we sweat, we tend to lose electrolytes. If your balance of electrolytes is off, you may experience weakness, twitching, fatigue, confusion or a handful of other hindering issues. Just like traditional sports drinks, the low or no-calorie alternatives contain the electrolytes your body needs during intense exercise. The resulting electrolyte balance can help athletes maximize their performance levels.

But if you’re looking for a low or no-calorie sports drink to boost your energy levels or restore depleted glycogen, think again. Very literally, we measure energy in calories. And by definition, a zero calorie sports drink contains zero energy. For this reason, there’s really something ridiculous about the trend towards reduced calorie sports beverages.

Moreover, our bodies need carbohydrates after exercise. If we don’t consume carbs through the food we eat or the beverages we drink, our bodies can breakdown hard-earned muscle to get the glycogen that’s needed. And low or no-calorie sports drinks, which often have little or no carbohydrates, won’t give your body the fuel it needs.

In my opinion, low or no-calorie beverages don’t deserve the label “sports drinks.” In fact, I think the marketing can be misleading for consumers. While these low or no-calorie options provide some benefits, traditional sports drinks – or even coconut water – are a much smarter choice.

Results are the Sum of Small Efforts…

Results are the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.

When it comes to creating a healthier lifestyle or building a stronger body, the little things – repeated over and over again – tend to add up.

Thirty minutes at the gym, for example, is only thirty minutes at the gym. The effect is fairly negligible. But thirty minutes at the gym 4x per week for a year means 6,240 minutes of exercise. That’s huge. The sum total of all those “small” efforts can be pretty dramatic – or even transformational.

It’s helpful to think of your future body as a mosaic mural. It takes a lot of tiles to make a mural. In and of itself, each tile is insignificant. If the mural is missing a few tiles, no one will notice; the image will still be apparent. If the mural is missing a lot of tiles, then that’s a different story.

Each tiny tile is like a single workout, game of tennis, walk in the park or any other small effort. It’s okay to miss a few – but the key is to accumulate as many of those small efforts as you can.

Small efforts, repeated over and over again, lead to big results. It’s the most fundamental law of fitness, health and wellness. So get to the gym, get moving or eat something healthy. Do it today and do it again and again – day in and day out.

Study: Naturally-Occuring Testosterone Levels Don’t Influence Muscle Growth.

Conventional wisdom holds that higher levels of naturally occurring testosterone increase a person’s ability to build muscle. For this reason, many bodybuilders and weightlifters go to great lengths to maximize testosterone levels by abstaining from alcohol, eating certain foods and – in some instances – even avoiding ejaculation. (By the way, avoiding ejaculation doesn’t lead to increased testosterone.)

We certainly know that unnaturally high levels of testosterone (i.e., those obtained through steroid abuse) do result in muscle growth. And, from other research, we also know that higher levels of testosterone have been shown to limit muscle loss due to aging.

But a two new studies by scientists at McMaster University have revealed that exercise-related testosterone and growth hormone aren’t influencing factor in building muscle after lifting weights. These findings fly in the face of long-held conventional wisdom – and speak to the complicated role that hormones play in our dynamic human bodies.

The scientists came to this conclusion through two separate studies.

In the first study, men and women performed an intense leg exercise. Despite a 45-fold difference in testosterone levels, men and women were able to make new muscle protein at the same rate.

In the second study, researchers followed 56 young men through 12 weeks of exercise. The men trained 5 times a week and experienced muscle gains of nothing up to a maximum of 12 pounds. Researchers found no relationship between muscle or strength gains and levels of testosterone or growth hormone.

According to the lead author of the two studies:

While testosterone is definitely anabolic and promotes muscle growth in men and women at high doses, such as those used during steroid abuse, our findings show that naturally occurring levels of testosterone do not influence the rate of muscle protein synthesis.

Much research is still needed – and there’s a lot that’s not understood about the complex role hormones play. But for everyday strength trainers and non-senior populations, the takeaway is that pretty clear: When putting together a workout program, maximizing testosterone or growth hormone levels need not be a priority.

And feel free to ejaculate as often as your heart desires.

Erik Rhodes Dead: A Wake Up Call for Steriod Users?

Erik Rhodes: Gone too soon.

Yesterday, news broke that gay adult film actor Erik Rhodes was found dead of an apparent heart attack. Rhodes, who openly discussed his own steroid use, was only 30 year old. My heart goes out to his family, friends and fans for the tragic of loss of a man who, by all accounts, was a very sweet guy.

As I’ve mentioned before, the relationship between gay men and steroids is a very troubled love story. How bad and how widespread is the problem? According to one study, 1 in 7 gay gym-goers admitted to steroid use – and it’s speculated that the real number is much higher.

It’s no secret that steroids are a shortcut to seemingly impossible gains in muscle mass. But the shortcut comes at a very, very high price. Steroids have a number of psychological and physiological side effects including aggression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, enlargement of the heart, hardening of the arteries, shrunken testicles, balding, prostate cancer, liver failure, acne and gynecomastia (the development of breast tissue in men).

Some of the above side effects can be a precursor to coronary heart disease and an eventual heart attack. And though many of the details surrounding Rhodes’ death and apparent heart attacked are still unknown, his steroid use may have been a contributing factor.

At the very least, Rhodes’ untimely passing can be a reminder to all of us – gay and straight – about the very real risks inherent in steroid use. Don’t let the promise of quick rewards overshadow the long-term health consequences. It’s just not worth it.

If you (or someone you know) is using steroids, please reach out for professional help, assistance and support.

Am I Not Working Out Enough?

Davey,

I’ve been eating healthy and working out for about a year and a half now and it seems like I’m either not eating enough or not working out enough.

I eat as healthy as I can: 5 times a day, veggies, complex carbs, protein, portion control, all that good stuff. I workout in school and at home a lot, lifting weights, running, and doing abs. It seems like something has went wrong and off balance and I’ve gotten a little skinnier than I intended. Changing my diet a little has only made me gain fat, and working out more has had no effect. I need help!

From,
EH

You get out of your workout what you put into your workout.

Dear EH,

There could be a few different variables at play.

Let’s start with diet. Complex carbs and veggies are important, but you didn’t mention lean meats or other protein sources. To build muscle, your body will need protein – and so it’s important to get protein naturally or with supplements. I always eat a protein shake or two a day to help meet my protein requirements.

Assuming you are eating enough of the right foods, let’s take a look at your workout.

There’s a difference between exercising a lot and exercising effectively. I’m all about making the most of short workouts. And in some instances, people who exercise too much actually cannibalize their results. Rest is a crucially important ingredient in building muscle mass. If you over-train and overwork your muscles, you won’t see results.

To avoid over-training, ensure that you’re working different muscle groups on different days. On one day, for example, you may work your legs. You might do chest on another. And back and shoulders on another, and so on. If you go to the gym anywhere from 2 or 3 to 6 times per week, this will give each muscle group a several days to repair and recover.

But the most-commonly overlooked component of an effective workout is intensity – and I suspect that this may be your issue. If you want to make additional muscle gains and further transform your body, you’ll need to push yourself to break through your current plateaus. If you do want to make significant muscle gains, going to the gym for 45 minutes and throwing around a few moderately heavy weights isn’t necessarily going to do it.

Instead, you need to make use of a strategy called progressive overload. Constantly push yourself to work heavier and heavier levels of resistance. If, over the course of a few months, you move from 4 sets of 8 reps of 150 pounds (your current limit) on the bench press to 4 sets of 8 reps of 170 pounds, there’s no question that your body will change as a result. It’s a matter of science; your muscles will grow – but they only grow when they’re required to do so.

Remember: If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. If you diet is on point, your exercise form is solid and you’re not over-training your muscles, it’s most likely a question of workout intensity. Rather than spending endless hours at the gym, it’s really about getting more bang for each workout buck.

Love,
Davey

10 Healthy Mayo Substitutes.

No shocker here: Mayonnaise is not a healthy topping for your sandwiches or salads. In fact, a single tablespoon of mayo has 57 calories, 8% of your daily value of overall fat and 4% of your daily value of saturated fat. Of course, most people use a lot more than a single tablespoon.

To cut out or reduce the amount of mayo that you use, I recommend the following healthy mayonnaise alternatives:

  1. Avocado. Mashed up, avocado prevents your sandwich from tasting too dry. You can even drizzle a little olive oil over the avocado – or, if you’d like an extra kick, opt for guacamole.
  2. Greek yogurt. In a potato salad or coleslaw, Greek yogurt is a delicious and healthy mayo substitute. Ensure that you use plain Greek yogurt instead of the flavored varieties. To liven up the yogurt, you may want to add a bit of olive oil, spices (like dill or garlic powder) and even a few tablespoons of low-fat mayo per every cup of Greek yogurt.
  3. Sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil. For a different but still mouth-watering flavor, top your sandwich with marinated sun dried tomatoes. The heart-healthy olive oil gives the tomatoes just enough moisture to prevent your sandwich from being dry.
  4. Vinaigrette dressings. Many store-bought dressings are just as bad (or even worse) than mayonnaise, so mix together a quick homemade vinaigrette using vinegar, olive oil and seasonings. It’s a great mayo alternative for sandwiches.
  5. Mustard. Mustard has been associated with a number of health benefits and only has a few calories per serving – making it a much healthier condiment than mayonnaise.
  6. Hummus. I love hummus! Whether you make your own or buy it fresh from the market, hummus is a healthy addition to your lunchtime sandwich. Because nutritional information can vary from brand to brand, read the label carefully.
  7. Pesto. Made from basil and olive oil, pesto can give your sandwich a a rich and unique flavor. Since pesto is made from olive oil, you’ll be getting the essential fats your body needs.
  8. Nayonaise. Made from soy, nayonaise is vegan alternative to mayonnaise – and it has about half the calories and fat. It can be used in chicken salads, potato salads, sandwiches, etc.
  9. Olive oil mayo. Not ready to kick mayonnaise altogether? Fear not. Find a mayonnaise made from heart-healthy olive oil and you’ll get the best of both worlds. Though still calorie-dense and rich in fats, it’s the good kind of fat that your body requires.
  10. Light aioli. Try this recipe: Combine 1 cup (8 ounces) of silken firm tofu, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 3 large minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper into a blender. Blend until smooth and use anywhere you’d use mayo.

Believe it or not, there is life after mayo! And if you have any great mayo alternatives for sandwiches or salads, let me know in the comments below!

Start a Love Affair With Food!

If you’re struggling to lose weight, the idea of starting a “love affair” with food might seem to fly in the face of logic. Loving food more, you may think, is the opposite of what you need.

But consider this: Obsessing about food isn’t loving food. Inhaling or devouring food isn’t about love. Abusing food – or trying to avoid it altogether – isn’t loving it.

If you really love food, you’d savor and enjoy it. You’d want to eat it slowly, chew each bite and consider the many ways in which your meal contributes to your overall health.

One of my favorite books is A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson. In fact, you’ll see many similarly-rooted philosophies in my Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. In Williamson’s book, she dedicates an entire chapter to loving food:

The solution to overeating is obviously not to deny yourself food altogether; the answer is not to deny yourself at all. You don’t need to forget food, run away from food, deny yourself food, or avoid food. And the last thing you need to do if you want to stop thinking about food is to tell yourself not to think about it! [The solution is putting] genuine love back into your relationship with food.

Truly infusing love into your relationship with food many implications. While mozzarella sticks, for example, may taste good, there’s nothing loving about them. And with tons of unsaturated fats, calories and grease, they certainly don’t love you back. If a food loves you, it contributes to your health. And if a food contributes to your health, it’s worth back.

Take time to love your food. Offer a prayer of thanks before eating. Make eating a meal sacred and ritualistic. Instead of eating in front of a television, create an altar for your meal at a dining room table. Honor your food and how its nutrients will nourish your body.

It’s time to start a real love affair with the food you eat.

Do People Who Exercise Make More Money?

When it comes to exercise, I’ve heard all the excuses. And a lot of them have to do with money.

Here’s a common one:

Joining a gym, hiring a trainer or buying a workout program are expensive. I don’t have that kind of money.

Or:

If I spend time at the gym, it will take time away from my job. I need to put in all the time I can to get ahead.

But a new study is calling these excuses into question. Published in the Journal of Labor Research, the study found that regular exercisers make more money than their non-exercising counterparts. And the difference isn’t small.

According to researchers, the wage increase for regular exercisers averages 6% – 10% – with frequent exercisers making even more. That translates to several hundred thousand dollars over the course of a lifetime. The study even concluded that non-exercisers often receive a pay boost when they begin exercising.

Clearly, a number of factors can be at play here. In-shape people are considered more attractive by society – and there is a well-documented link between attractiveness and increased wages. One study found that attractive people make, on average, make 3% – 4% more than less attractive people. But beyond attractiveness, exercise has a number of deeper benefits than can impact a person’s job performance. Exercise results in increased energy, focus and decreased stress. These benefits can translate to huge advantages in the workplace.

The researchers recognize that more research is needed on the subject. But what do you think? Why do exercisers make more money? And are these findings motivation enough to get you off the couch and moving?

Davey Wavey’s Famous Guacamole Recipe.

I think my purpose in life is to make guacamole.

Over the years, I’ve talked a lot about my famous guacamole recipe. Whether served on a romantic dinner for two or a big get-together, my guacamole is always a huge hit. And, believe it or not, I’ve received more than a few emails inquiring about the life-changing recipe.

So, here it is. Food Network, this is not. But I did my best to film the recipe so you can see how it’s done. In less than 10 minutes, you can be enjoying this easy, delicious and healthy treat.

Check out the video and enjoy!

How Can I Get My Boyfriend to Exercise?

Hi Davey,

My husband of 2.5 years is extremely overweight. The problem is that he’s okay with it! He literally loves his belly and I’ve been begging him to workout. He keeps on telling me he will and when we talk about it he says the only reason he wants to lose weight is because I want him to – and other than that he’s perfectly happy with the way he is. What can I do to help him? I love him the way he is but he’s unhealthy and I can’t continue watching him harm himself.

This is a great question and I’m so glad that you asked it.

Motivation isn’t a science – and we’re still learning a lot about it. But we do know this: People only change when they’re ready. And changing because someone else wants you to change doesn’t tend to last.

It’s worth having an open, honest and non-judgmental conversation with your partner. Unless he’s able to see and understand the payoff of eating better and moving more, change is unlikely. If the conversation does prove fruitful, take advantage of the momentum by putting actual specifics, goals and details into writing.

Your boyfriend may have some anxiety about working out in a gym, so help ease him into exercise with the gift of personal training sessions. The trainer will help your partner learn proper techniques, posture and exercise fundamentals. He’ll also be able to put together a weekly workout routine.

Of course, exercise can happen outside the gym, too. Make a commitment to being more active… together. Instead of going to the movies, go for a walk. Or a hike. Pick up a sport, like tennis, that you can play together. There are lots of fun and exciting ways to increase your partner’s activity level – all while spending good quality time together.

Moreover, you can cook healthier meals. Instead of eating at restaurants, try some good and healthy home cooked meals. Making lots of little changes in your diet can add up in a big way over the course of months and years.

Your desire to help improve your boyfriend’s health comes from a good place. But, I like to say that it’s a lot easier to change ourselves than it is to change others. If you’re unable to change your boyfriend, are you able to change your perspective of the situation? Are you able to accept him fully as he is? It’s an important question to ask yourself – and not something that I can answer for you.

Good luck!

Love,
Davey

Last Chance to Save on Davey Wavey’s Get Ripped Workout.

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Through the included 15-minute workout videos, e-book and bonuses, this program is already transforming people’s bodies – and I know it can transform yours, too. It’s time to say hello to a leaner, stronger you.

And if you purchase the program now, you’ll also receive The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program (a $59 value) as a free gift! Even if losing weight isn’t your primary goal, the program contains great nutrition information and advice that everyone needs to know.

(If you already have The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program and don’t need another copy, send me an email for a special 50% off discount.)

If you’re tired of long workouts that don’t yield results, give me your body for just 15 minutes – and I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. Get started today right now, or watch a free preview.

Love,
Davey Wavey

P.S. Hurry: The discount ends in just a few hours. Be sure to enter discount code “blog” during checkout to save 25%!

Best Acai Bowl Recipe.

Acia (pronounced “Ah-Sigh-EE”) berries are all the rage.

Often touted as a “superfood” by marketers, these berries (like other berries) do have high levels of antioxidants that protect cells, reduce the effects of aging and may decrease the risk of some diseases (including heart disease and cancer).

But beyond their antioxidant benefits, I enjoy acia berries because of their rich and almost chocolatey flavor. The berries have a unique but delicious taste – and, they make for a great post-workout snack.

After we exercise, our bodies need an immediate dose of protein and carbohydrates. Though most people realize the importance of post-workout protein, carbohydrate consumption is often overlooked. After a workout, carbs restore muscle glycogen. And, if the body doesn’t receive post-workout carbohydrates, it may actually breakdown muscle for this same purpose.

In fact, because the body needs carbohydrates quickly, it’s one of the few times when simple carbs are recommended over complex carbohydrates which are absorbed slowly. In other words, it’s a good time to eat foods with added sugar or honey.

That’s why, while visiting San Diego, I’ve fallen in love with a popular local snack: Acia bowls. Almost all the smoothie shops have them, and they’re a delicious way to deliver protein and simple carbs to your body when they’re needed most.

Here’s how you can make a yummy, post-workout acai bowl at home.

Ingredients:

  • Frozen acai smoothie pack (available at Whole Foods Market and many grocery stores and chains)
  • 1/2 frozen, pealed banana
  • 1 cup vanilla (or strawberry) protein powder
  • 7 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup soy milk, almond milk or apple juice
  • 1/2 fresh banana, sliced
  • 3 – 4 fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

In a blender, combine acai smoothie mix, protein powder, frozen banana, frozen strawberries and soy milk, almond milk or apple juice. Blend until smooth and add additional liquid until a thick but well-blended mixture is achieved.

Pour contents into a bowl, and top with sliced strawberries, bananas and granola. Drizzle honey over top.

It’s a simple and easy recipe, but it’s exactly what your body needs after a good workout. In the comments below, let me know if you share my love for acai!

P.S. It’s the last day to save 25% on my brand-new workout program: Davey Wavey’s Get Ripped Workout! Use discount code “blog” to save 25% today – and say hello to a leaner, stronger body tomorrow!

How to Use Visualization for Weight Loss.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Elite athletes routinely use visualization to improve their performance. But you don’t have to be an Olympic gold medalist to benefit from this proven, effective mind-power strategy. You, too, can create a confident mind-set and reach your weight loss goals more easily by practicing this powerful technique.

A recent study at McGill University reports that the best way to improve your eating habits is to not only create an action plan but to visualize yourself following through. Participants were asked to consume more fruit for one week. One group simply set the goal to eat more fruit. The other group set the same goal, wrote it down and also visualized carrying out the specific steps needed to eat more fruit. For example, they visualized themselves purchasing fruit and eating it at particular times. While both groups ate more fruit, the group that used visualization ate twice as much. This study supports the positive effects of visualization known for years by sport psychologists and peak performers.

What is Visualization?

We all visualize whether or not we’re aware of it. Anything you’ve wanted and received in your life first began with a picture in your mind. Think of other goals you’ve accomplished. You created the vision first. For example, you first held the image of seeing yourself in a particular job, or driving a certain car.

Visualization is the process of deliberately using your imagination to create a mental model in your mind. The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, so when you visualize your subconscious encodes this new picture as if it actually happened. This helps you build confidence, keeps your mind focused on your goal and pre-paves the way for you to intuitively move in the direction of what you want.

A Basic Formula

Follow these simple steps to begin using visualization to reach your weight loss goal:

  1. Sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply for several moments to relax.
  2. Now, picture yourself at your goal weight or a weight you can easily see yourself reaching.
  3. Notice the feelings and sensations associated with this image. For example, see yourself walking along a street feeling confident as you move your body with ease.
  4. After three to five minutes, gently open your eyes. Continue longer if you prefer.

It’s important to be in a quiet space with no distractions so you can calm your mind and relax your body. The more deeply relaxed you feel the greater your ability to internalize the images.

We all imagine in different ways. Some people are more visual, others more kinesthetic. If you’re unable to “see” a clear mental picture, that’s OK. Just get a sense of the experience in whatever way feels natural to you.

Connecting with your feelings as you visualize strengthens its effects. For example, feel that sense of confidence at reaching your goal weight. Commit to a daily practice, perhaps visualizing as you lie in bed in the morning or before falling asleep at night.

Uses of Visualization

Here’s the fun part. Following the basic formula above, use visualization to “mentally rehearse” your desired behaviors.  Here are some suggestions:

Create New Habits: As in the McGill study, visualize yourself eating more fruits and vegetables, or taking daily walks.

Problem Solving: See yourself confidently managing challenging situations. For example, visualize yourself focused on eating your healthy lunch and disinterested when offered sweets in the office lunch room.

Emotional Eating: Visualize yourself successfully using strategies other than food when feeling overwhelmed. For example, imagine calming yourself by breathing deeply and then writing in your journal to release your feelings.

Goal Setting: Visualize wearing smaller sized clothing, releasing the next five or ten pounds or walking one mile on the tread mill.

As you become comfortable with visualization, you’ll be able to use it to not only lose weight, but to improve all areas of your life as well.

Have you practiced visualization to lose weight? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Bananas: Better Than Sports Drinks.

A new study supports something that I’ve suspected for years: When it comes to supporting energy and endurance in exercisers, bananas are a real powerhouse.

Through a recent study, researchers at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab compared bananas to carbohydrate sports drinks. In the study, cyclists were given either a cup of sports drink or half a banana every 15 minutes during a simulated road race test that lasted 2.5 – 3 hours. Before and after the study, blood samples were taken for analysis.

According to Dr. David Nieman, the lab’s director:

We found that not only was performance the same whether bananas or sports drinks were consumed, there were several advantages to consuming bananas.

Like the sports drinks, bananas are rich in carbohydrates. These carbs are used by the body as fuel to power through a workout. But bananas are also rich in other nutrients – like potassium and vitamin B6. And beyond being easy to carry and transport, bananas are a good source of antioxidants and fiber. They’re also significantly less expensive than sports drinks.

For a lot of people (myself included), the idea of conventional drinking sports drinks – with their long list of artificial ingredients and dyes – isn’t appealing. So it’s great to know that there are natural alternatives like bananas. In fact, it’s why I eat one each morning before my workout.

P.S. Coconut water is nature’s sports drink and another great alternative.

P.P.S. Thanks for making Davey Wavey’s Get Ripped Workout my most successful product launch ever! Using 3 workout videos, an e-book and a slew of bonuses, the program helps you incinerate body fat and build lean muscle. If you don’t have a copy yet, use discount code “blog” to save 25% before June 7!