Is Your Protien Spiked


I have been really focusing on learning what I put into my body and the last article I read struck me as very interesting.

Tonight I heard about “Protein Spiking” so as usual I began my research for “protein spiking”. You’ll find many companies are involved in protein spiking class action lawsuits. I have included a list that I have found that qualifies, and I actually have in my home. Here is a protein spiking list of companies that are involved in class action lawsuits that spiked their protein powders. 

Body Fortress

ProSupps

Inner Amour

CVS

Giant Sports

Musclepharm

Designer Protein

Muscle Tech

Six Star 

Epiq

What to look for:

Look for glycine, taurine, arginine, and creatine on the label. These are the ingredients that companies use to spike protein powders like whey protein and beef protein. If you see any of these on the label DO NOT waste your hard earned money.

Nitrogen spiking, which is also known as “amino spiking” or “protein spiking,” is a technique that allows supplement companies to put in less protein than what’s listed on the label without actually getting caught. – Jim Stoppani 

Please do your research before wasting money on garbage supplements.

Our Choice, Our Motives


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Occasionally I forget that it’s not my mission in life to persuade others to think as I do, nor bash their beliefs if they are different.

Yesterday I took a simple post from a friend and made it my personal responsibility to spread the dislike for the choice of president and lump into that anyone that believes anything he says.

This is not and will not become a post about my political beliefs and my intent is not to continue the dispersal of more separation and hate. I am sorry for the name calling and harsh words that were said.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”. – Mother Teresa

I am not a saint, and far from perfect however I do try to live a life guided by moral decisions. What I did yesterday will not help unite us as one people, it will not create a loving relationship with my friends and family and it will only provide more division in an unstable time in our lives.

Changes ARE coming, and I do hope they have positive outcomes. Our success does not rest on the decision of one man as much as we think. Our success depends upon our heart and actions as individuals regardless of our political or religious beliefs.

It’s a game of cat and mouse, a battle of each and every one of us to seek peace and find love for others that believe something we may not agree with. It’s not so much a matter of who is right and who is wrong as it is advancing our lives in love and respect for our differences.

Stepping back gives you perspective, are we here to change the world or are we here to consume and destroy it or to quench the light around us? We are here to join together as the human race. No matter if walls are erected, human beings are deported or exiled. What we hold in our heart on an individual basis it what will create our future or destroy it.

“I wept because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet”. – Old Persian proverb

Think of our nation as a business, we the people are the “workers” congress and government are the “managers”. If the workers know their jobs and have honorable intentions, integrity and motivation regardless of the presence of management the work will still get accomplished. Our integrity and motives run the country or should, not the government.

We fail or succeed together, I need to repeat this in my life daily.

We Can Stand Together


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Here is my disclaimer; I have never really been interested in politics. Yes, I know it’s my responsibility as an American, it just really turns me off and I struggle to keep up with any of it. I find it hard to understand, relate to and monitor, even now I struggle to comprehend what the hell is going on half the time.

Is what I hear true, what is truth these days, how can I believe anything I hear when so many people are willing to lie to get ahead in their own motives. Who said what, who did what, was it them or was it something I saw from 10 years ago on a Saturday Night Live skit.

“Your point of view sets you up well in advance
for how you view the events as they unfold”.
– Mary Anne Radmacher

So this is not a political post, its a post about humanity, what is right and what is questionable. Even if you disagree with someones opinion its okay to stand with them as a human being.

It is acceptable to be a white male and believe that black lives matter. It is acceptable to not have voted for Trump and have a friend that did….

I have been watching my entire new feed continually flooded with Trump this, trump that, Obama this and that… As crappy as it is it’s over, let his actions as president guide his failures and successes. Do you really believe that complaining is going to change a thing? The power is and has been in the wrong hands and it’s not our hands that hold the power.

I understand everyone has a difference of opinion. Even if it is regarding the same topics there will be a slight difference when you get into the details. Why is it so hard to let others have their opinion without trying to guilt or sway what they believe. What is the ultimate truth? How do we hear truth? Its pretty much nothing more than everyone’s  opinion or interpretation of the truth.

In my opinion, Trump is not a great man, not worthy of the presidency and I will explain why.

Simply looking at his actions he is not an upstanding gentleman he lacks basic morals and I question his integrity all together. Sure he can talk wonderful words, if you like to belittle people and disrespect anything that opposes his ideas. As a human I dislike and have always thought he is a disgusting man. Hell, I didn’t like him as the father of Waldo in The little Rascals movie; I just don’t think he has much to offer.

Do I wish he fails, absolutely not. Would I like to do nothing and watch as the already questionable action in the “land of power”  continues to divide an already divided country, no I do not want to see that but what can I do? I didn’t vote for him… To be honest I’m really not sure what I can do other than voice my opinion.

I’m not asking anyone to do anything other than look at this man and ask yourself without a doubt is this really the best leader in the highest position in our country and PLEASE stop creating more division. There is enough hate in this world. I personally do not like his actions, they are disrespectful, vile, and inappropriate and as a human he is not someone I would like to be around.

I’m sure this is going to upset many of the friends I have on social media, and that is not my intent. I have seen the anger, fighting, disrespect and hate continually filling my new feed and wanted to set my beliefs in place and say I don’t want any part of it.

Love Like an Ocean


reallife

It is much easier to give a piece of your mind than a piece of your heart.

The mind recovers, it processes out the pain, and it hides what has been done. The heart is a different story, it tends to holds the scars, the heart takes what has been done and changes who you are. Each time we are scarred or wounded the heart can become hardened and less sensitive, it can become hidden to others, it can become inaccessible and incapable of giving love.

It can; it’s a decision to place the safety of our hearts in danger. its a choice to open the discomfort the heart holds from a love that has been lost, conversely love cannot grow without the heart.

To expect is to risk, and that risk is what love desires. We expect that if we love someone they will love us back, we expect that because we give willingly that it will be reciprocated back. Now I’m not taking about giving “to receive“, I’m talking about a natural flow of give and take.

How much have you given to others, not expecting to get anything in return and have not received less than what was needed from them.  Now think about how good it feels to give to someone and have them reciprocate. It feels much more fulfilling doesn’t it? You see I disagree with the statement “never give to receive” we are designed to give and receive. It’s okay to give and desire reciprocation but don’t expect it. If you continually give and never receive it becomes a kind of hell, trapped in a cycle of giving more than you receive and an unbalance in the relationship, bitterness and resentment tend to grow, separation, discontentment and the relationship is beginning to wither.

I say don’t expect to receive from anyone, however if you are continually giving and it is not reciprocated back the priority’s in that relationship may not be the same or are out of balance, reflect on the relationship. Maybe you are holding the relationship higher than it should be, maybe you are holding the relationship higher than yourself or maybe the other is holding the relationship lower than it should be.

Everything has a balancing point, understanding that is most essential. You cannot live without water, but too much water can kill you. Life works the same way.

“Love and kindness are never wasted, they always make a difference, they bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver”. – Barbara de Angelis

Do not expect the other to give, inspire them to want to give with the love you willingly share. Think of love like water, if it doesn’t flow its stagnant, if it flows in one direction its a river, desire love to be an ocean, with waves that give and take.

If You Want To Know About (IF) User Guide For Intermittent Fasting


rock

Due to the questions regarding intermittent fasting, I will refer to it as (IF). It’s just easier. I have been getting messages and questions quite often so I decided to do a little who, what, when and how to share and clear up as many of the questions as possible, and to share when questions arise.

Who: Anyone, male and female, young, and old can intermittent fast. The only time I would question it is if you are pregnant, heart issues, diabetic or hypoglycemic. I have done some research that shows with increased insulin sensitivity it can help overcome the effects of hypoglycemia. PLEASE ask your healthcare provider if you have any health related issues. Otherwise if you are an average human you qualify to begin (IF)

What: IF is simply broken down eating and fasting into two sections that equal a 24 hour time period. Some plans are beginner 14/10 all the way to some highly advanced 20/4. I recommend starting at the beginning.

What this means is that during the IF days the eating and fasting are broken up Example: 14/10 would be fasting for 14 hours and eating for 10.

When: You can start anytime, end anytime and it’s as flexible as the outcome you desire. REMEMBER… Fitness and a life style change such as IF must be two things, sustainable and desired. Understanding that this is not going to work with a poor diet and it will absolutely not work over night is crucial to the success you achieve.

How: Yup, the big one!

I will use bullet points for quick access to this section and to keep me on topic.  

  1. Set a goal, a realistic goal. What do you want, lose weight, gain muscle, gain strength or become lean. They all have a different process, know what you want.
  2. When you have chosen. Look at your current lifestyle and try to imagine what a good time to stop eating and begin eating would be. I have children so it’s not going to be helpful to cook dinner and not eat. I begin my fast at about 6-7PM and begin eating at 10-11AM the next morning. Basically skipping breakfast.
  1. When you have set a time frame. Understand the rules. Fasting means no consumption of anything with a caloric count. Black coffee, water, green tea are all ok. No sugar, creamers, milk, no coconut oil or Bulletproof coffee. There has been back and forth debate about BCAA and some pre-workouts. Zero calorie drinks are ok and I use a pre-workout sometimes, mostly black coffee in the AM. Yes it sucks to drink black coffee, how badly do want what you want?
  2. To exercise or not. I work out fasted, normal cardio, normal lifting however if I go for a PR (personal record) or on heavy lifting days I do it either right before I break my fast or in the evening after I’m eating normal.
  3. What to eat. I assume you are already trying to get your diet under control, diet is everything, you CAN NOT out train a poor diet. If you eat a moderately healthy diet, eat as normal within the window you have chosen.

Got some question

What’s a good time to start? – that is completely up to your life style

Can I eat a little? – NO, no food, no caloric intake 0 cal drinks are ok.

Do I have to do it every day? – no you don’t, it’s created to sustain so think of it as a marathon not a sprint. Set up normal days here and there. Enjoy life

Can I drink alcohol? – I do, I have moderate alcohol consumption. I had a beer last night with dinner. Just know that alcohol it is double the calories of sugar

For any other question I have missed or you may have please contact me or research for yourself.

Referances:

YouTube, Bodybuilding.com, Jim Stoppani, Elliot Hulse, Primal Edge Health, Athlean-X, Tarun Gill, Hodgetwins,

I Choose Me First, Even If You Don’t 


When your life is in turmoil or struggle it seems nearly impossible to see anything other than what’s right in front of you. It’s hard to see the blue sky through the clouds, even if you know it’s there. 
I am now at peace in most of my life and I have noticed something interesting. I have been second pick in so many people’s lives over my lifetime. I just find this interesting, why is it that I’m rarely picked first. 

Someone said something to me last week that really impacted what I have been feeling lately. They said “you weren’t my choice, but now that I know you I am not complaining“. It was a compliment honestly but it reinforced the deep feeling of being second best. 

Just to clarify, this post has nothing to do with my relationship with Jennifer. I felt I needed to say that so I don’t get hit with tons of messages.

Actually, it’s quite the opposite, through our relationship I have respect, trust and space that allows me to find areas in my life that I have needed to dig into deeper. In the past I was far too busy with the storms in my life to take time to dig down past the surface of my life. 

So back to my topic, what is it that makes me second choice so often? 

I have been truly digging to see what it could be that makes people think “ehh, maybe” rather than “he’s qualified” or to even be desired.

We all have blind spots and I think this is one of mine. 

I’m so curious as to what traits are seen or unseen that creates hesitation when it comes to picking me out in a lineup. 

I can remember standing next to many other kids in school, towering over them and still not getting chosen for a team in basketball. I watched as the schoolyard pick went back ans forth until it came down to a couple of us. I was clearly a foot taller than most, yet still not chosen.

Was it lack of confidence, was it my insecurities that I have a tendency to wear on my sleeve?

What was it they saw that made them overlook my height advantage in a game that height is desired? 

This has always been the story in my life, and I’m learning that no matter what, I chose me first and that’s what truly matters.

What is This (IF) Thing…


what-is

Due to the questions on Social Media I felt it was only appropriate to also share in Real Life under my (War on Sugar) topic.

The basics idea behind intermittent fasting (IF)

Society (food industry mostly it’s a money maker you know) has us believing a few things that are not exactly helping weight loss and the maintenance of our weight. It seems money is more important than our health these days.

Here are a few things we believe to be true

3 square meals a day, breakfast is the most important, why not try many little meals a day (5-8), snacking here and there to stay away from “starvation mode” and literally 100s of other ideas that may not be working. I’m not saying this is going to fix anything, however for me its working.

We this never lets our body fully digest and process the food before shoving more food in creating a high blood glycogen level and using our food as fuel.

Our body is not designed to use food “glycogen” as fuel. It’s designed to run off of fat and LOVES to use fat as fuel actually. When you eat it fuels your body, the unused “food” then gets stored as fuel for later usually as more fat, and so on and so on this fat (visceral fat) can be called the “spill over affect” and that’s why we are fat! We eat too much food all day and are not able to utilize it properly so it gets stored.

Think about this, back in the day before we had 24/7 food availability and became grazer eaters, eating anytime we wanted we hunted and gathered food. There was no obesity and many other weight related issues.

Basically here’s the idea.

It’s called an eating window and fasting window and there are many ways and times you can choose, it’s really whatever you want. Some of the plans are 16/8, 18/6, 20/4 or any other time that fits into a 24 hour window. It’s really up to you and is 100% flexible.

Here is what I do!

I stop eating at 7PM every night (sometimes 5 or 6 depending on how hungry I am) and I don’t eat until 11AM or (16ish hours from time I stopped eating) this is my fasting window. I eat normal from 11am – 7PM but I do eat fairly healthy, YES, heck yes I love food.

hangry

 

I do drink alcohol from time to time, I also eat fast food sometimes, and I’m still human! To be  honest I’m really not hungry most of the time now that my body has adjusted.

No special diet, but the difference is my body has a time of rest from food and that lets my body recover and reset its food digestion process, after 6-8 hours of fasting my body (and yours) switches over to burn stored fat as its fuel source.

This lets my body almost reach a Ketogenic (running off fat not stored food) and it starts to burn my fat not use my food as fuel.

I started about 2 weeks ago, skipping here and there also went on vacation and, well let’s say I indulged in living and I am losing weight at a good rate.

I began at 197 lbs. (89 kg) at the beginning of the year and I’m 190 lbs. (86 kg) today and I am beginning to see visible abs. I do lift, I do fasted cardio and my strength and muscle gains are not affected. My body is responding to this VERY well.

I really believe this is a miracle lifestyle and there is no limit to the length of time someone can (IF), I know people that have done it for years.

There are some rules…

During your fast, no food, no creamers in coffee or tea (black coffee or tea), zero calorie drinks are ok, NO SUGAR!!! Water, lots of water, no “Bulletproof” coffee, WATER is the best! There are some controversy on BCAA (branch chain amino acids) so I try to stay away from them but I do take my zero calorie Pre-Workout.

I know this is long.. I’m a little excited about this! I have been struggling for YEARS, diet after diet nothing worked, well this is working and is SO easy!

Please YouTube Intermittent Fasting (IF) and watch videos, contact me or read about it. don’t take my word for it, do your own research. I’m no expert, I only know how well its working for me.

Don’t Let The Past Stop Your Future


real-life

As you know I recently returned from beautiful Puerto Rico and to continue with my post from earlier, on a more personal and less fitness perspective.

When I was growing up I lived with my mother mainly, here in Michigan but at young age began to travel to Florida to visit my dad. I remember vividly everything about the neighborhood, the canal in the back yard, and the gas station at the corner and the palm trees along the side of the house that the lizards and frogs hid in.

This was one of the best times in my life; the relationship I had with my dad was beginning to grow and I remember going to work with him often, meeting some interesting people. I loved it!

As I grew older I came back to Michigan and the relationship with my dad began to wither, kind of like everything here as winter approaches. Year after year passed and the willingness to work on much of a relationship was becoming less and less a priority. This continued and close to a decade passed, we didn’t have much of a father son relationship only saying hello here and there occasionally stopping over for birthdays or holidays.

The moment I stepped off the jet in Puerto Rico the memories began to come back of times in Florida with my dad and this was just the beginning of the story.

Day one, the smells, the warm breeze of salt water and noise of the waves crashing into the beach, all I could remember was the time with my dad. I was back in my happy place, tomorrow I get to meet Jens dad, wow..

Story after story of this man I didn’t know, the vision in my mind began to create the perception of this man being some kind of super hero, kind of like the dad I remembered in Florida that I lost.

Nervously we arrive and it happens, sitting in the living room 4 feet from this man, he begins to ask questions. He is a few days away from turning 100 years old he tells me how happy he was to meet me and tells me something any father of daughters would sob at the thought of. “You take care of my daughter, and my heart is always with you”.

Who is this man?

How has selfishness not taken over in his life like it has with people a fraction of his age? Asking question after question as well as he could considering Spanish was the language he was comfortable speaking. He wanted to know me, he was curious about this man with his daughter. As we continued in our conversation I began to see more and more of my dad, the dad I used to have before we allowed life to take over. My emotions were bouncing back and forth between sadness and longing to see a father to anger for the years we missed out on and that we let destroy our relationship.

I was a mess inside; the mixture of excitement for the trip combined with desire to call my dad was a very ambivalent feeling. The great company during the trip made this one of the best trips I have taken. There was no shortage of laughing and relaxation.

The day I returned to Michigan, I grabbed my phone and called my dad, only to be rushed off the phone because he was busy.

It broke my heart.

I needed him to know how I felt; I wanted him to know I missed the dad I had in Florida. So I started a letter and like most writers, I type, and type, and delete and type… only to hold the backspace button and delete it over and over trying to get the emotion out on a page.

I never called him back, I never finished the letter, and I did what I knew. I cried to Jen and held it in waiting for it to pass. A couple days went by as the pain began to sink back where it belonged. Yesterday as I ate lunch with Jen I got a phone call, it was my dad, he can wait, and not being rude to my lunch date I sent it to voicemail. I did listen to the message and what I heard hit me with years of emotion “thinking of you bud, I love you and want to chat about your trip

Hearing that was almost word for word what I wanted to hear and we are setting up scheduled time to meet up and catch up. I’m 36 years old and feel like I’m meeting the dad I have wanted for half of my life.

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness”. – Marianne Williamson

A Helping Hand


reallife

Well, welcome back to Real Life and back from an amazing trip to Puerto Rico celebrating a birthday and wedding. What an amazing and emotional time.

During my vacation I did not count calories, watch what I ate or continue with my (IF) at all. I did consume quite a large amount of alcohol compared to my normal weekly consumption. The day I left I weighed in at 193.8 lbs (87 kg) and after all the lovely food, alcohol and not paying attention at all to what I put in my body I returned weighing in at 195.3 lbs (88 kg) that’s an increase of 1.5 lbs in 5 days, that is proof of  the great time I had.

I began my (IF) the day after I returned (Jan 9th) and am weighing in at 191.6 (86 kg) in just 3 days, not changing much at all in my diet and moderate cardio (fasted).

My fitness journey has reached a point that it fits and complements the lifestyle I want, very easy…

“If you are healthy, support those who are sick.
If you have a job, support those who have lost theirs.
If you are strong, support those who are feeble of body or mind.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie”.

I want to inspire and help my circle; I’m not about being better than anyone or pressure anyone into doing anything other than living a healthy lifestyle. My goal is to live as long as I can and have the opportunity to enjoy my girls and one day grandchildren as long as possible. After years of trying this and that I found the secret weapon that is working for me.

Its about time to live a happy life, and see every day as blessing to have the opportunity to wake up. For so long I dreaded everything, looking forward to the weekend only to sit around and dread the upcoming Monday. I did not have much in my life to look forward to so to speak. I felt bad about myself, feeling like a failure and incapable of even controlling my own life and fitness.

Eventually, Everything Connects 


To start my day, got up after not sleeping much, my mind has been consumed with tomorrow. In less than 24 hours I will be on a flight to Puerto Rico with Jen, her sister and her sisters husband to meet pretty much an entire family I have only known through Facebook. I’m very excited and still nervous. 

What do I bring? Have I forgotten anyrhjng? Did I set everything for the girls up? Did I communicate well enough about everything to their mother? Will I like them? Eeek, will they like me? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them?  That’s going to be a long vacation hiding in the bathroom if not.. Yeah I worry 

So I spent a little extra time at the gym and started to write, only to accidentally delete it, so pissed..

Oh well, I continue on and say to myself “must not have not meant to write that” and finished my walk. 

Came home and finished packing and had the urge to write before our trip. 

This morning didn’t begin as planned, it did start to set the tone for the day off bad, and it doesn’t have to stay that way. 

Why do we get caught in these ruts? We know they don’t always feel good yet we hold onto them like we need them. I have “more in the past” let something so simple destroy most of a day; why? 

Is it how we feed energy off one another? 

Maybe it’s so people will show us pity. Is it a pattern, a default mindset? Possibly even an addiction.. 

I think it has to do with how we are all connected. I am connected to everyone I know, and them to everyone they know. The circles overlap and are intertwined with one another.

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. 

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. – Bruce Lee

Think of it like a wave, sometimes a wave can be smooth and calming, sometimes it’s a storm wave and destructive. There are also rocks and obstacles that part the waves path. We are no different; we all flow together. 

The stones in life are death, divorce and separations to name a few. Things that change our path, experiences that part the wave of life.

Sometimes we come back together after hitting our rocks, and sometimes the wave never meets again but will always remain as part of our original flow. 

We are all connected somehow, no matter how far you look, how deep you try to prove otherwise. I’m moving away from the turbulence of storm waves and into much calmer waters and it’s never felt so refreshing. 

Rocks in life will always happen, that is inevitable. It’s a choice how we flow around them, who we chose to join back up with and continue to flow. 

Chose wisely, we only flow for a short time until we reach our beach and are absorbed back into the earth. 

So today’s choice is to continue flowing calmly and peacefully, until my rocks come or I reach my beach.