Tag Archives: success

8 Ways to Save Hundreds on Groceries

Save hundreds of dollars on groceries by following these 8 tips

Does your checkout total surprise you every week at the grocery store? Put yourself in control of your financial and physical health by knowing what to buy, how to buy, when to buy and where to buy. Check out these 8 ways to save on groceries:

How Meal Prepping Can Save You Thousands

 

1. Shop the perimeter

90% of your grocery shopping should be done around the perimeter of the aisles with the exception being for toiletries, paper plates/towels, etc. Reason being, the perimeter is made up of whole foods like yogurt, eggs, meat, cheese, milk, fruits, bread and vegetables. This should make up 90% of your cart every time.

The 80/20 Diet Rule

2. Buy in season

Buy your favorite fruits and vegetables in their prime season. The best way to stay on top of this is to adjust your recipes to match the seasonal harvest.

3. Buy what you can in bulk

For dry foods you may even be able to do this online. If you’re going to eat oatmeal for breakfast most mornings then consider ordering it in bulk or larger than normal quantities to cut costs in the long run.

How to Meal Prep Like a Pro

4. Keep an eye out for surpluses

When I was 15 I used to work at a farmer’s market. I remember one season we had huge, overgrown cauliflower for nearly 1/2 price that grew up to 10-11 lbs. Keep an eye out for a surplus in groceries like eggs, fruits and vegetables that might cut costs down significantly, and then take advantage of those savings. These surpluses can generally save you 25-50% off or more!

5. Buy on sale

Doesn’t get much easier than this. Keep an eye out for good deals on foods you would get regularly. Every aisle generally has sales ranging from 5% to 50% off. If you’re able to buy most of your products on sale, even if it’s only 5%, those savings could add up to several hundred dollars by the end of the year.

6. Go in with a budget in mind

If you know you spend $100/week on groceries, then plan on making that your absolute maximum. Buying on sale, in season and in bulk will help keep your costs under that $100/week limit. Try to cut that number to $95/week and that $5 weekly savings will add up to $260 per year!

7. Hunt for promos/coupons

Using online promo codes or coupons is a tried and true way to save tens of dollars per week on groceries. If you save only $10/week by doing this you’ll save $520 by the end of the year!

8. Join a rewards program

Some, if not most, grocery stores offer rewards programs to incentivize shopping exclusively at their store. Stop & Shop converts shopping “points” to gas savings. I’ve had clients that have saved hundreds of dollars on gas by using rewards points to get $0.1, $.25, or $.50 off each gallon of gas.

I hope you found this helpful and you find creative ways to save money while living healthy and fit!

What Are The Best Times to Eat Junk Food?

The answer you want to hear is “all the time” but unfortunately we all know that isn’t the case. So what are the best times to eat junk food and why? There are two specific times of the day that I’ll allow…occasionally even encourage eating “junk food” and there’s a reason for it. I’m an advocate for eating clean 80% of the time  and living life the other 20% of the time. The 20% that you’re more flexible you should try to work around these times of the day:

1. First thing in the morning.

Let me make this clear, nothing feels better than eating a large, well-balanced breakfast consisting of fruit, vegetables, protein and complex carbs. There’s just not. However, first thing in the morning is one of the best times to eat things like pancakes and jelly donuts because your insulin levels are low from 6+ hours of fasting. You may experience a sugar crash but that sugar is less likely to be stored as fat for two reasons. First, because your blood sugar is low from fasting your body is more likely to use that sugar. Second, you have the whole day to burn off that jelly donut. Again, you would get the same blood sugar spiking benefits from eating fruit in the morning.

What You Should Eat 2 Hours Before Your Workout

2. Directly after your workout.

An intense workout will deplete your muscles of glycogen (blood sugar) or at least burn  a significant amount of it. Post workout pancakes, Gatorade, donuts, Swedish Fish, and other high-sugar foods make great post-workout meals because they replenish glycogen quickly. This is why it’s common to see bodybuilders posting insanely delicious post-workout meals on Instagram.

What Should You Eat Post-Workout?

People assume dietitians and nutritionists will force them to eat celery sticks and boiled chicken but here’s some insider advice: dietitians teach you how to incorporate your favorite foods into your diet, not exclude them. It comes down to quality of life, balance, variety, and moderation. Learn the 80/20 Diet Rule, practice it, and stay active. Improving your health is really that simple, we just tend to overcomplicate it.

Want more advice?
Tweet me & follow me on Instagram. Plus, you can always check out the new Advice column on my homepage menu for advice on dieting, training and supplementation.

P.S.
Check out these awesome cheat meals:
Maple Glazed Jelly Pronuts Recipe made with Kodiak Cakes Powercakes Mix
Protein Cookie Cheat Meal in 15 Seconds
The Ultimate Kodiak Cake Pancake Stacks (Recipe)
Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie (Recipe)

Try these healthy cheat meal alternative!

Kodiak Cakes

Nuts n’ More

Reverse Bad Cholesterol with These Foods

Want to reverse bad cholesterol (LDL) without taking medication?

Opt for these foods, generally containing polyunsaturated fats and derived from plant sources, next time you put a meal together to help reverse bad cholesterol (LDL) and improve good cholesterol (HDL).

1. Avocado

reverse bad cholesterol

Avocados not only give you a healthy dose of unsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and a host of vitamins and minerals, but it also adds a creamy consistency to your meals reminiscent of mayo or other saturated fats.

2. Olive Oil

reverse bad cholesterol

Before you layer your skillet with butter, reach for the olive oil. Although olive oil is still high fat, it’s high in healthy plant based fats that can actually lower your LDL cholesterol, improve your joint health, and reduce inflammation. You’ll also get the benefit of the robust flavor of olive oil to your meal as opposed to the salty, oily flavor of butter.

 

3. Almonds/ Nut Butters

reverse bad cholesterol

One of my favorite sources of healthy fats comes from almonds specifically, but other nuts and nut butters as well. If you think you’re noticing a theme here, you would be right. Almonds, a plant based source of fat, are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, packed with fiber, and even give you a big protein boost. Seriously consider replacing things like cake or chocolate with almonds or nut butters. They even come in a variety of flavors and themes!

4. Flaxseed/Chia Seed

reverse bad cholesterol

Chia Seed and Flaxseed aren’t exactly “snack” material but you can use them to boost the omega 3 content of other snacks like yogurt, smoothies, juices, nut butters, etc. All you need is 1 tbsp. to pack a pretty serious dose of healthy fats to your diet.

 

 

Check out my Instagram and Facebook page to see how I use healthy fats in my meals. These healthy fats may even help you BURN body fat!

4 Keys to Faster Recovery

The road to recovery doesn’t have to be long and painful. It can actually be an enjoyable experience while you progress towards your goals. There are 4 things you need to do in order to recover faster and more effectively after your training. Working out is going to damage the muscle tissues (in a good way) and now we need to rebuild them. These 4 keys to faster recovery are going to alleviate the soreness, reduce the amount of time you spend being sore, and also help you recover mentally. Here they are:

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1. Eat Well

Make sure you’re supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to rebuild your muscle tissues, replenish your glycogen stores, and keep your mind sharp. Trying to recover without taking in the right nutrients is like trying to rebuild a house with duct tape. You need the right supplies and the right amount of supplies.

2. Barrel Roll/ Massage/Trigger Point

It doesn’t matter so much which one you do, as long as you’re doing some sort of deep tissue massage technique. This can be painful but it’s ultimately going to save you hours or potentially days of having to walk around feeling tight and sore. If you can’t afford (or don’t want to buy) deep tissue massages you can do it yourself using a barrel roller or using trigger point techniques.  You’ll feel incredible after, you’ll have increased mobility and more fresh blood flow to the muscle.

3. Static Stretches

I don’t use static stretching as a warm up technique because it’s nowhere near as effective as dynamic stretching. But, as a recovery technique it works very well. I only spend maybe 5-10 minutes doing static stretches but I consider them to be a critical key to reducing fatigue throughout the day.

4. Sleep

This shouldn’t be taken lightly. Make sure you’re getting as much sleep as your body deems necessary per night. For some people, 6 hours is enough to feel refreshed, others might need 8-10 hours. Sleeping also reduces mental stress which can seriously stunt your progress due to the cortisol release associated with stress.

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The 3 Keys to Hitting Your Fitness Goals

Your goals, no matter how big or small, long term or short term, easily attainable or seemingly impossible, can be met with these 3 keys to success. Planning is important and I almost always emphasize that in every post, but without these 3 keys your plans will just be plans. You need to take action. You need to adopt the mindset that you’re fully in control and that only YOU can make it happen. Here they are, in their simplistic glory, the 3 Keys to Hitting Your Fitness Goals:

1. Focus

Focus on what’s most important to helping you achieve your goal. If your goal is to burn fat, then focus your energy on doing everything possible to burn more fat. If that means getting up 30 minutes earlier and doing some cardio before work, then get up and focus on your goals. So many people don’t hit their goal because they don’t focus on it. They want bigger arms but they do their arm workout last in the week with little energy. Focus.

2. Discipline

This is actually the most important in my eyes. Lack of discipline is what causes most people to fail. Want to make more money? Stop spending it on things you don’t need (and probably will only use or wear a few times). Want to get in better shape? Control your cravings and your hungry. People scapegoat bodybuilders’ success by saying “well, they take steroids of course THEY look like that”. But, bodybuilders have an incredible sense of discipline. Steroids won’t do anything with vigorous training and a structured diet. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to get great results, you just need to discipline yourself. Track what you eat, eat foods that coincide with your goals, exercise, prioritize, plan ahead, no more excuses. Stay disciplined.

3. Action

Now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and make the leap. Get into action mode. Use the focus you have to drive you forward. People may doubt you, they may not understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, they may not see the point, but it doesn’t matter because you’ve become OBSESSED with getting what you want. At first they’ll ask why you’re doing it, then they’ll ask how you did it. Most people are so afraid to fail that they never start in the first place. Don’t be passive. Take action.

bigger arms, keys to fitness goals, jacked, bodybuilding, fitness

I was inspired to write this after I watched about 10 people weigh themselves and say “this can’t be right”, then after barely probing them for an answer they said they’ve been skipping workouts and ate pizza and wings for the Superbowl. You can’t reach your goals without these 3 Keys.

Check out my Instagram page and Facebook for awesome recipes & workouts.

5 Keys to Branding Yourself for Success

U R A Brand by Catherine Kaputa is a great business book that applies to everyone, whether you’re an entrepreneur or just looking for the next step in your career. She goes over how smart people brand themselves to get an edge on their competition. An employer probably gets over 100+ applications after posting an open position on a job board. How do you stand out from the rest of those applicants…or do you try to blend in? Blending in might work at first but essentially it makes you a commodity; disposable. You need to build as much value as possible to be competitive. Check out what Catherine Kaputa recommends:

1. Think Different

Study your competition but don’t imitate them. Study what makes them successful or unsuccessful. Think about what you like about their brand and what you dislike; adopt the positive attributes and avoid adopting the negative attributes. Think about what makes you unique and different from the herd and expand on that. If you appear to be the same as all of your competition, then you’re a commodity in the market place.
2. Look for the “Sweet Spot”: Where a Good Idea and Market Needs Meet

Supply and demand is the name of the game. “If you don’t stand for something relevant to the marketplace, you have no value” -Kaputa. Look for a spot where there are few or no competitors, uncover your hidden assets and then determine where there is a need and hit it hard.

3. Choose a Strategy

You need a strategy that gives people a reason for choosing you over your competitor.  There are 10 self-brand strategies you can use to get great results.
1. Be the first
2. Be the leader
3. Take the anti-leader position (go against the grain, think Michael Moore)
4. Own an attribute
5. Use a “magic ingredient” or invent a new process
6. Be an expert
7. Be preferred
8. Set a high price tag (a risky move if you don’t have the skill or experience to justify it)
9. Use your special heritage
10. Own a cause

4. Develop Your Visual Identity

The way you look can influence the perspective of others and often leaves a lasting impact. Who would you trust more, a doctor in ripped jeans, a dirty shirt, and messy hair who smells like cigarettes or a clean cut, well groomed doctor in a lab coat? Think about using one or more of these guidelines to brand your image: clothes, a signature item, a different look that still looks the part, a signature hair style (think Donald Trump), a consistent look, a signature color theme, have a strong presence, leverage your height (think Shaq and Kevin Hart), and staying relevant.

5. Think in Terms of Emotional Engagement

“We form the strongest bonds with the brands we like, identify with, and feel emotionally connected with…”- Kaputa. Think about what the market wants or needs and build an emotional engagement between that and your brand. This reminds me of the Texting and Driving commercials. These work off of a huge emotional response when we see young adults, children, and new parents going about their lives one minute and the next minute they’re involved in a massive, life altering collision. These tear-inducing commercials build a strong emotional engagement with their audience because they relate to anybody who has a car and a phone…which is virtually everyone.

 

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Check out my Instagram and see what I’m doing differently to brand myself. If you don’t see anything, tell me what you think I should to differently!

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