Archive for the 'Evolved Living' Category

Practicing what I preach: How I stayed fit on Holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my recent blog post on staying fit while traveling or working I had to put it to good use on a holiday to the south of France in which I indulged in wine, expresso’s and the french Riviera lifestyle, whilst keeping/improving my physical shape.

Workouts

I decided the best plan of action was to do a short fasted (Check out my post on fasted workouts) workout most mornings, the views in the cote d’azur were stunning so jogging was a must but I worked in some crossfit style WOD’s to improve time efficiency and keep my muscles toned. The mornings were the best time to workout as it was still relatively cool and gave me the whole day to do as I pleased. Some examples of my workouts;

  • 10 minute run- Stopped by the sea did pushups/lifted rocks and went for a swim (10 minutes) – 10 minute run back to the hotel.
  • Warm-up run 5-10 minutes – Circuit of Pushups/ Pullups (on a tree branch)/ jumping squats – Cool down walk back to hotel (10 minutes)
  • Run 400m/15 Burpees and 15 Dips (on handrails) repeat 3 times
These were all done fasted with an expresso before hand. On days when my legs were feeling tired I would do the less running based workouts and days I indulged too much the night before I would go for more slow paced running workouts to sweat it out. They also allowed me to take in the beautiful scenery and inhale the fresh sea air, I managed to work out most mornings but on occasions I listened to my body and took a day off.
I also managed to keep active at the beach by playing volley ball, swimming and walking a lot, this definitely helped me keep burning fat and pushed my energy flux up while having fun at the beach.
Motivation
I’ll admit it some morning the last thing I wanted to do was exercise, but sometimes you just got to hit the road, trust me you will always feel better after your done. Here are some great resources for inspiration and motivation to workout:
Diet
Sticking to a good wholesome diet was not hard in the south of France, in fact if you enjoy good food its pretty simple there was abundance of fresh fruit from the region including amazing local apricots/figs and plums. The diet in France is similar to that of Italy with less of an influence on pasta and pizza.
  • Most mornings I would break my fast with provincial fruit and a small piece of local cheese with coffee. This was a perfect breakfast as it kept me light but allowed me to enjoy the local fresh food offerings.
  • Lunch would usually be a salad from the region usually a Nicoise which is full of good stuff like olives, anchovies, eggs and tuna. This would be complimented with a glass or two of wine and washed down with an expresso.
  • Dinner was when I would usually indulge as I was usually in a social environment and also wanted to enjoy what the restaurants had to offer, this included anything from excellent pizza’s some nights to superb grilled meat and roasted vegetables other nights. Other nights I would enjoy the local/fresh  baguette with a selection of cheese’s and charcuterie with wine which has various benefits or a few beers.
  • Snacks would usually be an apple or few apricots.
Dining on holiday should never be a time to deprive yourself, just make good choices enjoy what the culture has to offer and eat well.
Supplements
This was pretty simple I packed some good multi-vitamins and some magnesium citrate and took them daily. Although I didn’t take fish oil I tried to eat oily fish daily which seemed to keep me supple. I also used Vitamin C and Rhodiola Rosea for times I had been out late and drunk a few too many glasses of wine and woke up feeling tired.
Oh and some sun screen!
In a Nut Shell
Doing these simple things allowed me to keep in great shape throughout my holiday while having an awesome time socializing with friends and family, don’t forget this is the most important thing about holidays and it can easily be merged with your lifestyle without depriving yourself of what your surroundings have to offer. In fact I found my healthy habits allowed me to experience and get the most out of the local culture.

How to keep fit while Traveling/Working

How to keep fit while Traveling/Working

Fitness and Nutrition while on Holiday/Travelling harder than we come to expect, staying in shape during these times can be a test of will and dedication. I have picked up the following tips that helped me keep in shape during my busiest periods;

-Eat a light breakfast or fast if you do not exercise that morning. Usually I will get up and get going picking up a black coffee en route followed by some fresh fruit/nuts and cold water. This normally keeps me full until midday time if I haven’t exercised. Plus it keeps me mentally sharp and feeling light. If I do exercise that morning I will have a more substantial breakfast around 1 hour after the workout something along the lines of some eggs/bacon and fruit or a high fiber breakfast like yoghurt, nuts and berries.

-If I go out for a big dinner where I overeat I will normally skip breakfast and just drink water especially if I had substantial fats and red meat in the evening meal. Our bodies are very efficient at conserving proteins and therefore we are fine to cleanse in the morning. This depends of course on how you feel in the morning just listen to your hunger.

Drink Coffee this stuff is amazing it helps me keep focused whilst giving me a mood boost. Not to mention its health benefits and cleansing properties. Make it black and have it while your on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning is a great time as it will boost your metabolism and get you feeling good for the day.

Improvise with your workouts; Go for short runs with sprints and jumping squats mixed in, do pull-ups in playgrounds and do loads of pushups (Put some books in a backpack to add weight to these), Use your suitcase as a weight. Keep your workouts short and intense and play as much as you can.

Want a $10 (or less) gym? Buy a used backpack. Now do sets of 10 reps for 3 sets of pushups, pullups, lunges (up a hill), 1 legged squats and put weights/sand/water/books in the backpack. No excuse not to workout, adjust weights as needed….and if you really want some fun, hold the weighted backpack over your head while you lunge up a hill (disclaimer – my version of fun may be different from yours).

Try to explore by renting bike’s or going for Jog’s if your in a new city.

Don’t get too tied up with what you eat! often its out of control we need to socialize and that may mean eating pizza, ice cream, cake whatever. Just try to eat wholesome foods 80% of the time and eat what life throws at you for the other 20%. If you feel guilty about eating something DON’T just workout a little bit harder the next day, to burn off the extra glycogen stores you built up. I usually find after an evening of bad eating my will to eat well and exercise is far stronger.

Enjoy the Fresh Local things. I always find that when traveling the best foods are always things like the local fruits and vegetables or cheese’s so enjoy these things. They are great for you and are something you won’t be able to get again at home.

Eat when your hungry. I mean really hungry not at a small hunger pang. Stick to whole foods when possible, a great post about this is at the modern forager.

-Take a good Multi-vitamin and and Cod Liver Oil. Also keep Zinc Lozenges (Gluconate) at hand for times when your tired or starting to feel run down. These are essential supplements and are needed to bolster the immune system while traveling.

-If you have a big dinner with drinks (wine/beer) etc and over indulge go for a quick run fasted in the morning, this will help flush the toxins out of your body and burn up last nights food. This is a great time to exercise while traveling as it leaves you with the rest of the day to do what you want.

-Remember to keep your brain fit. When travelling you have less distractions and more time to read. Don’t let this oppurtunity slip, remember;

This time next year the only things that will change are the books you read and the people you meet 

Finally Enjoy the journey have fun, try new things and keep fit. At times it will seem hard to go for a workout or run but you will always feel better afterwards.

What I’ve been reading this week….

Some really good stuff on the net check it out;

5 Things your missing

Am I a Food Elitist? are you?

Q&A with Dalai Lama

Best way to cook your veggies?

Enjoy!

My Top Tips for Muscle gain without fat!

I have always struggled to gain mass and always felt that mass came with too much added fat when I ate 5 times a day. Recently though thanks to site’s like Art Devaney and the IF life I have developed simple methods for a gaining mass whilst staying lean. I am going to keep it very simple and will also stick in a sample workout.

Eat when you are hungry. I mean genuine hunger not at the slightest hunger pang, make sure you eat good whole food; Prepare a huge salad with things like avocado, olives and good oils. Have eggs and fruit for breakfast. One of the most important things I have relaised in recent months is tat muscle gain is a hormonal occurrence all you can do is trigger it by working out and feeding your body good wholesome foods.

I normally eat 3 times a day but graze on berries, nuts and vegetables throughout the day. I will make a post on a sample menu soon. The basic premise is good wholesome food, when hungry and eat well.

Optimize your Growth Hormone output. My main tips for achieving this are to go to bed slightly hungry (no food for 2-3 hours before) Also do not eat anything for 1-2 hours after GH releasing activities (Sprints, weights etc)

Supplements. This one is simple take a high quality Cod Liver Oil which gives you roughly 10,00iu of Vitamin A per day (usually 1 tbsp). Also take a good quality Zinc and Magnesium supplement (before bed). Also consider taking kelp and a B complex.

Enjoy Life. Have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, Socialize with good people and practice being zen and calm. If you are not relaxed your body will not be keen to build muscle. Also do not worry about eating bad food once in a while, treat yourself to that slice of cake once a week, or have a pizza. Just add an extra 10 minutes cardio next time you workout if you feel bad about it.

Sample workout– Thsis is a simple plan for working out for muscle gain, it is based on power law training so it is to be done in the 15-8-4 format with little/no rest.

  • 4-5 20 second sprints on a stationary bike with 1 minute slow pace in between each one.
  • Front Squats or Thrusters (Alternate)
  • Dumbbell Pullover
  • Bent Over Row
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Dips (Weighted if you can)
  • Standing Barbell bicep curls
  • Weighted Ab crunches
  • Nice walk as a cool down

Thats is each excersise 15-8-4 reps shouldnt take longer than 20-30 minutes if your working out ferosiously. Just do this 2-3 times a week. Eat food 1-2 hours later. Also try to increase the weight you are pushing with each week.

200 push-ups

Recently I have been traveling and finding it hard to get workouts in due to time constraints. What I have been doing is a tip I got from Matthew Mcconaughey who recommends doing 200 push-ups a day. I basically will do 200 pushups from when I wake up and they will normally take about 20-25 minutes grips vary as do reps per set but they finally get done. Its a great workout and leaves your whole body pretty sore the next day.

Also as I’m in New York I have been trying to get in as much walking as I can, whilst being energetic whilst opening doors and climbing stairs. This covers the ‘play’ aspect and keeps me moving.

As for nutrition, this has been slipping due to family eating situations, in spite of the cheesecake and cereal I have managed to stay pretty evolutionary with my meals, loads of salmon, chicken prawns and beef even some oysters last night!!

BTW the Matthew Mcconaughey article linked above is great, they guy has a superb insight on life, training and living.

Some good insight on setting goals

Thoughts on should you be a goal-less, Zen-like Ninja priest – Juggler

Personally I don’t buy into the whole ‘be without a goal stuff’. I find that most people without a goal drift aimlessly in an interaction. I always had a goal when I went out to pick up women. Every f*cking time. Most were small goals but there was always a goal.

I think I get what the Zen warriors on this board are saying. They don’t want a guy to become needy. What better way not to be needy then to not have a goal. Sounds good on paper. In practice I have just never got it to work.

The problem with being goal centered is that most guys are too focused on not enjoying what is happening right in front of them. They are too far ahead in their minds. They don’t really listen and they don’t really care about what they are talking about in the moment. This causes their timing to suck and for them to act stupid. Kinda like they are drunk but without the fun.

But the problem is not the goal. It is the idea that the goal is difficult or more precisely, that the goal is 100% their responsibility. It is not. Imagine yourself sitting in an inner tube on a lazy river during a hot summer day with all your buddies and a keg of beer. Your goal may be to get down the river but you just don’t have any anxiety about it. You are so confident that you will reach your goal that you don’t have to struggle. You can enjoy the moment, sing football songs or splash the natives while occasionally steering yourself away from a sandbar. You are not unattached to your goal but rather you are lightly attached.

To be successful I feel that you should have a goal but understand that the path is by definition a fun path. It is not a struggle.

Lean hunt

Recently with the nice weather I have been doing a lot of fasted AM workouts. They feel great and allow me to feel peaceful throughout the day, I try to look at them like they are lean hunts as if I am earning my food for the coming day/days. Its a nice feeling to have, makes stuff taste better and life slow down.

-4 sets of bike sprints lasting 20-30 seconds

-Leg Press

-Leg Extension

-Stiff legged DB deadlift

-DB flat bench press

-Bent over row and some pullups

-Standing shoulder press

-Seated Row (Wide Grip)

-Finished off with some ab work and bicep curls

This workout took around 40 minutes and all the exercises were done using power law principles. I think I pushed myself too far felt pretty tired after. On the way home I picked up some food and had my PW meal about 90 minutes after finishing the workout, tasted amazing;

-Raw Honey, canned pumpkin, raw egg, Natural organic Yoghurt all mixed together

-Platter of melon and pineapple

-Coffee

Lean hunts are great but don’t overdo them, if your doing High intensity training I would do about 2 a week maximum. Other mornings go for a light jog or go play around in the park (running, sprinting, jumping jacks, run backwards, burpees, grab a ball throw it and run after it, just play)