Top 10 Healthiest Beers

Consider one of these ten beers next time you crack a bottle.

healthiest beers

These top 10 healthiest beers, ranked by, may be your safest bet when it comes to preventing beer belly (besides not drinking at all). My top 3 favorites are No. 2, No. 4, and No. 7.

Number 1. Pacifico

Ranking first is the Mexican pilsner, Pacifico, with only 135 calories per bottle and 4.5% alcohol.

Number 2. Guinness

Also one of my personal favorites, Guinness is low in carbs (11 g), higher in fiber (3.5 g) and 4.2% alcohol. It’s also nitrogenated unlike most other beers making it less filling. I personally love the dark, robust flavor.

Number 3. Sierra Nevada

Coming in third, for my friends with a hoppier palate, is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with a higher alcohol percentage (5.6%) and 175 calories/bottle.

Number 4. Sam Adams Light

I don’t like light beer but the people at Sam Adams are masters of their craft. With 119 calories, 9 grams of carbs and 4% alcohol, Sam Adams makes the top 4 of the healthiest beers.

Number 5. Abita Purple Haze

I’ve personally never had Abita Purple Haze before but considering it’s brewed with fresh raspberries, only has 11 grams of carbs and is 4.5% alcohol, I could certainly imagine why it made the top 5 healthiest beers.

Number 6. Left Hand Good Juju

Made with fresh ginger this ale may help aid in digestion (of course alcohol-free ginger is a better option though). Left Hand Good Juju only has 131 calories, with 4.5 percent alcohol.

Number 7. Yuengling Lager

A personal favorite of mine, Yuengling lager only has 135 calories and 4.4% alcohol. Yuengling is a much more flavorful choice of beer than Budweiser or cheap college beers and is fairly inexpensive. I was glad to see this made the top 10 healthiest beers!

I paired Yuengling Lager with my Boneless Rib Sandwich for an incredible, health conscious BBQ dinner.

Number 8. New Belgium Sunshine Wheat

IPA-lovers rejoice, there’s another option for you. This American pale wheat ale only 145 calories/serving with 4.8 percent alcohol, and 13 grams of carbs.

Number 9. Flying Dog Snake Pale Ale

Another one for the IPA-lovers, Flying Dog Snake Pale Ale packs more alcohol (7.1% alcohol) and hops in each bottle than the others but comes at the price of 188 calories per bottle and 13 grams of carbs per bottle.

Number 10. Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA

Surprisingly, for a beer that’s 5.6% alcohol, this brew only contains about 11 grams of carbs per bottle. Definitely worth trying if you’re an IPA fan.

Pair these beers with my Top 10 Healthy BBQ Foods.

5 Caffeine Fitness Benefits

Go ahead, fill up that second cup of coffee. Turns out there are many caffeine fitness benefits!

caffeine fitness benefits
High Protein Vanilla Cinnamon Cappuccino

Caffeine is the most popular drug in the United States, especially as Americans look for new and convenient ways to boost their energy. There are several caffeine fitness benefits and lucky for us, there are many sources of caffeine:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Energy Drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Pre-Workout Mixes
  • Yerba Mate
  • Guarana Berries

Protein Packed Vanilla Cinnamon Cappuccino Recipe

While some sources are higher in caffeine than others, it doesn’t matter so much where you get your caffeine from. It’s matters more how much you’re getting (although obviously 100 mg of caffeine from coffee is easier/healthier than eating 1 lb of chocolate to get your caffeine). As far as the benefits of caffeine for fitness results go, here are 5:

1. Decreased Fatigue Time

In a study done with strength and endurance training athletes (TBA), athletes reported feeling less fatigued in between sets. Caffeine consumption did not result in greater power output however.

2. Increased Alertness

The caffeine jolt from a cup of coffee or a pre-workout will increase alertness prior to and during workouts. This is particularly helpful when strength training and being aware of weight balance, and when switching positions quickly during endurance training.

3. Increased Metabolism

Caffeine is present in most fat burning supplement complexes, but the metabolism increasing effect of caffeine is only temporary. Where caffeine really makes a difference is by stimulating an individual to get up and get moving when they might otherwise feel sluggish and want to sit. The extra movement stimulated by caffeine is more likely to help burn extra calories as opposed to just drinking more coffee to try to burn fat.

4. Increased Focus

An athlete with more focus can accomplish a lot more. Caffeine enhances motor performance and cognitive performance allowing an athlete to focus on their immediate goal with greater intensity.

5. Decreased Recovery Time

Due to the vasodilating effect of caffeine, more blood and nutrients are able to rush to sore muscles allowing them to potentially heal faster or at the very least feel better.

4 Keys to Faster Recovery

The 4 Best Ways to Heal Sore Muscles

250-350 mg of caffeine is generally where you’ll experience these caffeine fitness benefits but it also depends on your tolerance. Some people can barely handle 50 mg of caffeine and are better off using a non-stimulant, amino acid based pre-workout drink. Other people barely feel 150 mg of caffeine and can handle two scoops of a pre-workout mix with no problem. I generally have 1 cup of coffee (~100 mg of caffeine) in the morning and 150-200 mg caffeine pre-workout from either black coffee or a pre-workout mix several hours later to experience the caffeine fitness benefits. You may need more caffeine, less caffeine, or no caffeine depending on your needs.

30 Minute Upper Body Workout

Are your days jam-packed? This upper body workout is designed for when you only have 30 minutes to spare.

Upper Body workout

Don’t waste any time with this 30 minute HIIT upper body workout. Using half of your lunch break to fit in some gym time? Supersets, dropsets, and short breaks are all you need to get a super, upper body pump. Try this out:

Circuit #1
Push-Ups: 5 sets x 10 reps
Pull-Ups: 5 sets x 10 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

10 Different Ways to Do Push-Ups

Circuit #2
Dips: 4 sets x 10 reps
Straight Arm Pull Down: 4 sets x 10 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

Circuit #3
Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Row: 3 sets x 12 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

Circuit #4
Incline Cable Fly: 4 sets x 12-15 reps
Barbell Shrugs: 4 sets x 15 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

Circuit #5
Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets x 15 reps
Bent Over Fly: 3 sets x 15 reps
Rest: 30 seconds

Sometimes people avoid working out all together when they don’t think they can dedicate an hour of their time. This 30 minute upper body workout is designed with that person in mind. Don’t have 30 minutes? Try this 20 minute home workout.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Are you finally starting to notice the buzz about the Mediterranean Diet? Here’s what you should know


Mediterranean Diet

The “Mediterranean Diet” is essentially mainstream validation of new scientific information regarding the health habits of people from the Mediterranean region. In fact, I was writing up sample meal plans for clients with meals like “Mediterranean Chicken Salad” and “Gyros” fresh out of college where I learned about the benefits of popular Mediterranean food (olives, cheese, lean meat, and more). That’s my way of saying I was about the Mediterranean diet before it was cool. Here’s what you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet:

1. High Fat Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is chock-full of nuts, olive oil, fish, and other healthy, high fat foods. In America we generally view fat as “bad” because we walk around the grocery store and see things advertised as “low-fat”, “reduced fat” or “fat free” everywhere (now we’re starting to see that with Gluten). Research is beginning to show more and more that fat isn’t necessarily bad for you…more of it actually may be better for you. In moderation, fat from plant based sources like almonds and olive oil may help reduce the risk of heart disease and may even help burn fat by mobilizing the fat already stored in your adipose tissue.

mediterranean dietavocado mediterranean diet

2. Food Sources

The Mediterranean Diet is almost exclusively whole, unprocessed food sources but is particularly higher in lean meats, fresh dark green vegetables, legumes, fish, and whole grains. Some of the foods that make this list are salmon, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, chicken, asparagus, kale, spinach, beans and wine.

mediterranean diet
3. Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Research is also beginning to show (over the last 5-10 years) that unsaturated fats from plant sources is helping to lower bad cholesterol (LDL), and balance good cholesterol (HDL) in people with high blood pressure and CVD. People from Mediterranean areas suffer from heart disease significantly less than Americans and think about it…they eat lean meats, plant based fats, whole foods and we eat fried everything, fatty meats (burgers, hot dogs, wings), and processed foods. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for Americans and it’s also one of the most avoidable diseases.

4. Complete, Nutrient Dense Diet

Look closely at a Mediterranean Diet meal and compare it to an average American meal. The Mediterranean Diet meal is generally well balanced with lean meat (4-6 oz.), dark green vegetables, fresh fruit, complex carbs, wine, and olive oil or nuts. All different colors, textures, and flavors are found on that plate. With more variety and more colors comes more nutrients and health benefits.

5. Wine-centric Alcohol Consumption

Studies have shown that 2 glasses of red wine per day may help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. Out of all your alcohol options, red wine is the healthiest due to it’s high level of antioxidants. While a craft beer may be delicious, if you’re left with the choice to opt for wine, you may want to consider it.

6. Not Calorie-Based

The Mediterranean Diet is based on a 2000 calorie diet. The meals aren’t pre-packaged and assigned an amount of “points”. The foods aren’t fortified with vitamins and minerals to make them more complete. The Mediterranean Diet is based off a whole foods, fresh produce perspective that values the quality of the food being eaten over the quantity available.

The 80/20 Diet Rule

5 Superfood Snacks to Boost Energy

Take a Mediterranean Diet approach to all of your cuisines and you’ll be looking at great health and fantastic results. Bring high quality, diverse flavors and fresh ingredients to every meal you make. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for 90% of your food and then go through the aisles and treat yourself to the things you crave. Most people do it the other way around.

10 Core Exercises That Aren’t Planks or Crunches

Tired of doing planks and crunches and still not seeing results? Try these 10 Core Exercises instead.


Core Exercises

If you’re doing planks and crunches for every core workout you’re going to want to change things up to see new results. These core exercises will target every muscle of your core ensuring you get the best results.

1. Cable Rope Crunches
Clip a double handled rope to a cable machine and set the weight to as close to your bodyweight as possible. In a kneeling position, holding the rope behind your neck, bring your elbows to your knees. Repeat for 15-20 reps. Make this exercise more challenging by twisting so you’re bringing your right elbow to your left knee, then your left elbow to your right knee, alternating with every crunch.

2. Hanging Leg Raises
You can perform this exercise hanging from a pull-up bar or in a roman chair. For this example let’s say you’re doing Hanging Leg Raises from a pull-up bar. Begin by hanging with your legs straight down. In a controlled motion, keeping your legs straight, bring your legs as close to the bar as possible. Return to the hanging position. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

3. Twisting Side Planks
Hold a stability ball in between your legs and keep your legs 6-12 inches from the floor. Sit up, reach diagonally (left arm to right foot) and touch the ball. Repeat, alternating sides, for 16-20 reps.

4. Windmill Leg Raises
Beginning in the same position as our Hanging Leg Raises, lift your legs up to the bar in a circular, clockwise motion. Repeat in a counterclockwise motion. You should be making large, 360 degree circles with your legs.
This is one of the hardest mentioned core exercises. Perform this exercise as slowly as possible. I perform them here on my Instagram. Try to go even slower than that.

5. Diagonal Medicine Ball Slam
Grab a 10-15+ lb medicine ball and start by holding it straight up over your head. Simultaneously throw the ball down on either side of your body and squat slightly. As you throw, you should twist your torso slightly so your right hand is over your left foot on one slam and your left hand is over your right foot on the other slam. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

6. Lumberjacks
Set the cable machine to a relatively light weight, with the handle up high. Begin with both hands holding the handle over one shoulder. Keeping your arms straight, bring the cable across your body at a 45 degree angle so your hands are now down at your opposite hip. Repeat for 15-20 reps on each side. Hold each rep for 1-2 seconds.

7. Smith Machine Sit Ups
Begin in a smith machine Bench Press position, with your feet flat on the bench. Keep your complete straight and sit up as high as you can, lifting your shoulder blades completely off of the bench. Hold for 1 second and return to the starting position. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

8. Ab Roll
Hold the Ab Roller with both hands and kneel on the floor.Now place the ab roller on the floor in front of you so that you are on all your hands and knees (as in a kneeling push up position). This will be your starting position. Slowly roll the ab roller straight forward, stretching your body into a straight position. Bring your hips as close to the floor as possible and pause. After a pause at the stretched position, start pulling yourself back to the starting position as you breathe out. Do this movement slowly and breathe.

9. Stability Ball V-Ups
Lay on the floor with your legs straight and arms stretched out behind your head holding a stability ball. Pick your feet up a few inches from the floor. This is your starting position. Keeping your arms and legs straight, bring the Stability Ball up to your legs, hold it in between your legs, and bring your legs back down to several inches from the floor. Repeat, this time catching the stability ball in your hands. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
Of all the mentioned core exercises, this is one of my favorites for beginners/novice level gym goers.

10. Turkish Get Up
Lie on your back on the floor and press a kettlebell to the top position by extending the elbow. Bend the knee on the same side as the kettlebell. Keeping the kettlebell locked out at all times, pivot to the opposite side and use your non- working arm to assist you in driving forward to the lunge position. Using your free hand, push yourself to a seated position, then progressing to your feet. While looking up at the kettlebell, slowly stand up. Reverse the motion back to the starting position and repeat.

Use any of these 10 Core Exercises in your next workout and see how much different they feel than just doing typical 30 second planks. Do a core workout 2-3 time per week, 5 sets of 15-25 reps or 30-60 seconds.

5 Superfood Snacks to Boost Energy

Need a snack? Ditch the chips and make one of these Superfood Snacks instead.


Superfood Snacks

Chips, cakes, and ice cream offer you nothing but fat, salt and sugar, and in overabundant quantities. These Superfood Snacks offer you fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy unsaturated fats that could even help you burn fat. Try these out:

1. “PB & J” on Ezekiel Bread

Toast a slice of sesame or cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread. Then, spread 1 tbsp. of natural almond butter and 1 tbsp. of raspberry preserves on it. This super-satisfying snack is the super-version of the classic Peanut Butter & Jelly on white bread.

Healthy Snack Ideas to Crush Cravings

2. Avocado Toast

Dominating the superfood world right now is Avocado Toast of all varieties. Toast a slice of 100% whole wheat or multigrain bread, then add 1/4 of an avocado (sliced) on top. Try topping it off with tomatoes, lox, 1 sunny-side up egg, or turkey bacon. The possibilities are endless.

3. Grapefruit & Honey

Taking a break from agenda of pushing my Loaded Apples recipe, try 1/2 a grapefruit with 1 tbsp. of honey instead of regular sugar. You get the health benefits of honey and some extra sweetness added to the fat-burning, high fiber grapefruit.

4. Sweet Potatoes w/ Honey & Cinnamon

I swear this tastes like eating a Sweet Potato Pie without any guilt and a fraction of the fat. Bake 1 large sweet potato and slice it down the middle. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and a drizzle (1 tsp.) of honey. Is there anything better than Superfood Dessert?

5. Date Bars (Lara Bars)

Lara bars are an amazing snack if you’re looking for a healthy fix. Made up of only 2-3 ingredients, Lara Bars are essentially just date bars with cashews, coconut, apples, almonds, etc.

What are the best fruits for diabetics?

Unbelievable Protein Muffin Recipes!

These superfood options are a great way to boost your energy and your  metabolism when you feel yourself crashing in the middle of the day. Pair them with a cup of coffee and get ready to feel 100% again.

10 Different Ways to Do Push-Ups

Regular Push-Ups not challenging enough? Looks like you need different ways to do push-ups

Push-ups are certainly challenging for some people, but once you get good at them they become way too easy. If you can comfortably do 4-5 sets of 15 push-ups then it’s time for a change. Try these 10 Different Ways to Do Push-Ups:

1. Incline Push-up

Perform a regular push-up with your feet up on a bench, box, or any elevated surface. This places more stress on the upper chest and delts. The higher the incline, the more stress on the delts.

2. Medicine Ball Push-Up

There are a few variations of this. First, perform a standard push-up with your hands placed on medicine balls. Once that becomes easy, perform a push-up with both hands on medicine balls and both feet on medicine balls. Another option is to perform a push-up with one hand on a medicine ball and the other on the floor, stressing one pec at a time.

3. Bosu Ball Push-Up

Grab a Bosu Ball with the blue ball facing down, palms on the outside edges. Keeping your back straight and hips neutral, perform your push-ups slow and controlled. The Bosu Ball will throw your balance off placing more stress on the stabilizing muscles in your arms and chest.

4. Double Bosu Ball Push-Up

Once the Bosu Ball Push-Up becomes easy, place your feet on the center of a Bosu Ball (blue ball part facing down) and try it again. Now your lower body AND upper body will be out of balance placing more stress on your core and the stabilizing muscles in your arms and chest.

5. Spiderman Push-Up

Begin in a push-up position. As you lower your chest to your hands bring your left knee to the outside of your left elbow. Return to the starting position. Repeat this push-up by bringing your right knee to the outside of your right elbow.

6. Medicine Ball Passing Push-Up

Begin in a push-up position with one hand on a medicine ball. Complete the one-armed medicine ball push-up and once you reach the top of the movement pass the ball to your other hand. Repeat, completing push-ups and passing the ball back and forth from hand to hand in between each push-up.

7. Push-Up to Front Raise

Complete a push-up and at the top of the movement raise one arm so it is parallel with the floor and your body. Repeat and switch sides.

8. Push-Up to Side Plank

Complete a push-up and at the top of the movement turn your body perpendicular to the floor with your hand raised towards the ceiling. Repeat and switch sides.

9. Atomic Push-Ups (TRX)

Begin with your feet in the TRX and your hands in a push-up position. Complete a push-up and at the top of the movement, bring your knees in to your chest. Want to make it harder? Hold on to a Bosu-Ball while doing the push-ups.

10. Drop Set Push-Ups

You’ll need a partner for this. Begin in the push-up position and have your partner place 2-3, 25 lb or 45 lb plates on your back. Complete as many pushups as possible and have your partner remove one plate. Continue until you have no plates on your back and then continue doing push-ups at body weight until failure.

Check out my Instagram to find different ways to do push-ups and other exercises!

Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes Recipe

What’s better than breakfast for dinner? Dessert for breakfast. Try this Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes recipe.

Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes Recipecarrot cake protein pancakes recipe

Imagine being able to eat spiced carrot cake bursting with autumn flavors without any guilt. What’s more, imagine being able to eat carrot cake after your workout to BUILD MUSCLE AND BURN FAT. Now that’s possible with this Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes recipe.

1/2 cup Flapjacked Carrot Spice Pancake Mix
1/2 cup of water
2 egg whites
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lite maple syrup
1 tsp. coconut oil

1) Mix pancake mix, water, egg whites, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
2) On a coconut oiled pan, cook the pancakes on a low-medium flame until golden brown on both sides.
3) Plate and drizzle maple syrup.
4) Serve.

Nutrition Info
Protein: 30 g
Carbohydrates: 41 g
Fat: 11 g

Want to make these Carrot Cake Pancakes even more Carrot Cakey? Make a cream cheese glaze or frosting:

2 tbsp. cream cheese
2 tbsp. butter (melted)
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Want more delicious pancake inspired recipes? Check these out:

Maple Glazed High Protein Jelly Donuts Recipe

High Protein Cookies

Must-Have Fitness Products

If you’re looking to get into shape or maximize your fitness potential then you need these fitness products

Fitness Products

The fitness market is saturated with apparel, supplements, and accessories making it perfect to get amazing deals on products that, just a few years ago, were nearly double the price. Fitness products like pre-workouts, shaker bottles, apparel and wrist wraps have been exploding in volume lately so make sure you snag some while they’re cheap. To make my point, pre-workouts about 5 years ago barely ran under $25. Today, you can buy great pre-workouts for about $15-20.Look into these must-have fitness products to capitalize on your gym membership:

1. Shaker Bottle

Specialty shaker bottles like Umoro, Cyclone Cup and Mixr are exploding onto the scene with innovative new ways to make hydration more exciting. You can’t go wrong with a classic shaker bottle though. For $2-5 you can stay on top of your hydration and save a ton of money if you’re regularly purchasing beverages at work. Definitely start here.

2. Weight Lifting Belts

Depending on your routine you can get anything from a soft neoprene velcro-strap belt to a tough leather belt with a steel locking gear. Unless you’re lifting some serious weights (or planning to) I would start off with a neoprene weight lifting belt which will run you about $20.

3. Straps & Wraps

Invest $10-$20 in wrist straps for heavy, pull-motion lifting and/or wrist wraps to reinforce your wrists during push movements.

4. Supplements (Only the basics)

Don’t waste your money on supplements that you’re struggling to pronounce, look sketchy and are super expensive. Start off with the highly researched basics backed by science. Unless you’re looking to get into competitive bodybuilding you really don’t need to take pro-hormones, growth hormones or a medicine cabinet filled with supplements. Stick with a pre-workout, BCAAs, Whey protein or protein blend, and maybe fish oil or joint support supplement (if you need it).

5 Reasons You Should Supplement with BCAAs

My Top 5 Pre-Workout Supplements for Beginner-Novice Level Trainees

5. Functional Fitness Apparel

This means compression gear and other functional sportswear, not fitness fashion apparel. You could buy that too if you want but it’s not going to provide any real purpose…other than swag.

Think I left something off my list? Post about it in the comments section and I’ll add it!

Accelerate Muscle Growth with These 4 Techniques

Feel like it’s taking forever to see some serious gains? Try these 3 Techniques to Accelerate Muscle Growth!


Accelerate Muscle Growth

If you’re not including any of these training methods you’re missing out on some serious gains. Drop sets, rest-pause sets, run-the-rack sets and negative reps are major keys to muscle growth. Here’s how you can include them:

1. Drop Sets

At the end of your last set drop your weight by about 70% and complete several more reps immediately (no rest in between). You can perform a double drop-set by dropping your weight an additional 70% and completing several more reps immediately following your first drop set. This gives you the opportunity to work the muscle until failure several times instead of just stopping after your third or fourth set. Include at least 1 drop set to an exercise in every work out. Drop sets are an incredible way to accelerate hypertrophy.

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2. Rest-Pause Sets

At the end of your last set pause for 10-15 seconds and rest. Complete 4-5 more reps using the same weight. Similar to the drop set, the rest-pause set gives you the opportunity to tax the muscle to failure several times. The difference is you’re keeping the weight the same and performing less reps due to the higher weight. Rest-Pause sets are a great way to build explosive power.

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3. Negative Reps

Negative reps tax the muscle on the eccentric phase of the contraction. After you’ve completed on rep, slowly return to the starting position at a pace of about 5-10 seconds. Negative reps can make light weights feel significantly heavier. Add a few negative reps to the last few reps of every set to fully develop the muscle in both phases of the contraction.

Cardio Acceleration for Fat Loss

4. Run-the-rack Sets

Run the rack sets are probably the most exhausting of the techniques above due to the sheer amount of reps. Beginning with a light weight (lighter than you would normally use) begin your exercise at about 20 reps. Then, progressively work your way up in weight by 5-10 lbs until you can only complete about 4-6 reps. Once you hit that heavy weight, drop-set your way back down to the lightweight you started with taking only 15-20 seconds of rest in between each set. It should look something like this:

15 lbs x 20 reps
25 lbs x 15 reps
30 lbs x 12 reps
35 lbs x 10 reps
40 lbs x 8 reps
45 lbs x 6 reps
50 lbs x 5 reps
40 lbs x 8 reps
30 lbs x 12 reps
25 lbs x 15 reps
15 lbs until failure

4 Steps to Biger Arms

Try out all of these techniques to accelerate muscle growth and see which ones you like the most. I guarantee you’ll see huge changes in your physique and muscle quality by performing any of these movements.