What is it the motivates you?

We all have internal and external factors that motivate us. Our external factors usually involve material wants. More money, a bigger house, a new car, etc. While all these things are fine to use as motivation, remember that they are material and that they will fade over time. I want to talk about your internal drive. These are the things that cannot be taken from you. They are your hopes, dreams, and desires. When looking to utilize either type of motivator, think about what is more important. Is it more important to have something that you will just want to trade in in a couple of years or something that cannot be bought and sold?images

Why does this even matter in the first place? It matters because we are all destined for our own greatness. No one was placed on this earth to just exist. We are amazing beings with greatness in every single one of us. Now not all of us will be billionaires, but that is okay. You may not even want that much money. Not all of us will be business owners. Some of us enjoy just having a job. These, however, should not limit your own personal desires to do great things in your life. Therefore, you must find your internal drive.

Your internal drive, or fire some call it, will propel you to this personal greatness. The first thing you must do is find it. What exactly is it that keeps you going? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? For every single person, it is different. The only thing that matters is that you find it. When you feel like you can’t keep going or that you are too tired to do anything else, you can harness this extra energy and continue to push forward. Finding my fire has helped me to set my goals higher than I ever dreamed possible. It has motivated me to begin the process of starting my own business. I’m going back to school. I read more, and all of this after I work a 10-hour shift. I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying this to demonstrate that once you find that fire, your body and mind can do amazing things.

Take the next few days and think about what you want out of life. After you have set a couple of goals, start thinking about why these are your goals. Once you have those two questions answered find that fire and fuel it. Use it to drive you to greatness and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.

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A Case for Cod

Cod is native to both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. It is part of the Gadidae family along with pollock, haddock, hake and whiting. When it comes to fish Cod is hands down one of my favorites. It is light and flaky and has a very limited “fishy flavor”. As with all fish, there is the fear that we will consume too much mercury in the process. However, there are several agencies that are working hard to ensure that you are educated on the safety of fish choices. Here are the links to them to educate yourselves.

http://www.seafoodwatch.org/

http://www.fishwatch.gov/

Now that that’s out of the way let’s look at the benefits. Cod is an excellent source of Vitamin B12, Iodine, Selenium, Phosphorus, and Protein. Additionally, Cod has several other health benefits. In a large number of studies, fish, such as Cod, have been shown to assist in regulating blood sugar. In one study involving individuals who were already diagnosed with coronary heart disease, lean fish, like Cod, have been shown to improve cardiovascular risk factors when consuming approximately 4 servings per week. Another benefit, that most people look for, is the weight loss benefits of Cod. The consumption of Cod, because of its high protein content, can curb your appetite and leave you feeling full.

There are still a few things that you should look for when you go to make your Cod purchase. If you are lucky enough, I’m unfortunately not, to have a fish monger, then you should get to know them. This will be someone that you can trust when wanting the best quality fish. This will also allow you to purchase the fish that are on display and not prepackaged. When looking at it the fillets should glisten white and have no browning or gaping. You can also smell it and it should smell more like seawater than fish. This is a very perishable product and should be used within the first two days of purchase or vacuum sealed and frozen. If you freeze it be sure to refrigerator thaw it. Don’t leave it on the counter all day to thaw.

So, how are we going to cook it? Cod cooks relatively quick, about 7 min per inch of thickness and should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish will become opaque and will flake away with a fork. I usually bake or broil mine and I will include a recipe later in the article. Grilling is near impossible because it is very delicate and will burn easily.

I made this recipe this weekend and I thought that it came out really good. This recipe is courtesy of http://www.morrisonhealth.com/

 

Broiled Cod Fish

submitted by Dr. Morrison

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 x 6 oz. Alaskan cod fillets
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • juice from 1/4 lemon
    • sea salt and black pepper

SERVINGS: 4

PREPARATION

Set oven on broil and allow to heat for 5 minutes. With a fork or spoon, mix extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place fillets onto ungreased cookie sheet, brush or spoon sauce on fillets, and place in oven.
Broil 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove once light golden color is achieved. Sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with brown rice or steamed vegetables.

Broiled Cod Recipedrm_recipe_broiledcodfish

If you aren’t consuming fish on a regular basis, I would strongly recommend that you begin to add it to your diet. The health benefits are amazing. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Adam Delgado Fitness email newsletter by clicking the sign-up button at the top of the page. You can also follow me on Instagram and join my Facebook group by clicking here. Good luck and keep making 2017 your best year yet.

-Adam

Meal Prep, Meal Prep, Meal Prep

img_1490I’ve written previously about meal prepping, but as I read it I realized it was more on meal planning than actual meal prepping. When I say meal prepping, I am talking about the food that we are planning on consuming that day or the next. This is such an important aspect of our fitness journey that it cannot be overlooked. If you don’t prep your meals the night before, you are allowing yourself a chance to fail. I say this because it almost allows too much flexibility when we get hungry. If you go to work and didn’t prep a meal you are prone to go to the vending machine, or if your office has a snack bar, or you end up going to a fast food restaurant instead.

To prevent this, you need to prep what you plan to eat the night before. This gives you time to weigh out your food, a very important process, and get it in the containers that you will carry it around with you. I also suggest that you download an app to track your macros. I use the myplate app from Livestrong.com. Here is the link to see it Link to Website. While you are weighing out your food you can enter it into the app and eliminate the guess work associated with macros. This makes it easier to adjust and make sure you are setting yourself up for success the next day. There are a lot of different ways to go about meal prepping
and the internet is loaded with information on it.

Here is a great article on meal prepping and keeping a food journal. THE IMPORTANCE OF A MEAL PLAN AND KEEPING A FOOD JOURNAL

If you have any questions about meal prep or fitness in general, feel free to send me an email. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and join our Facebook group (AdamDelgadoFitness) for even more fitness and nutrition info.

Let’s Talk About Cheating

On your diet that is. Often the hardest part of our diets are the fact that we feel so restricted. There are so many wonderful foods out there, and that just makes it that much harder. With that being said, is it okay to cheat on your diet, or will it derail all your hard work. Well, when it comes to diet there is a lot of science that is involved so let’s get down to it.

When you diet it inevitably will affect your natural hormone levels will be affected. Have you ever noticed that when you diet or have a calorie deficit for an extended period you steam to stop losing weight? I know that I have, and this is why. The main cause is a hormone called Leptin. Leptin is a master hormone that is produced in our fat cells and regulated our Thyroid. Before we go any further, what is the Thyroid? The Thyroid is a gland in our neck that secretes T3 & T4 to assist with our metabolism. For more info on the Thyroid Click this link. 

Okay, so back to Leptin. As I mentioned earlier, Leptin is produced in our fat cells. Since it produced in these cells it will be higher in people with higher levels of body fat. This is why when you are overweight, weight tends to come off at a rapid pace when you first start dieting and exercising. However, when you stay in a calorie your body will eventually stop burning fat. Leptin is also referred to as the anti-starvation hormone for this reason. Our bodies have adapted over the ages to keep us alive. When there are times of famine our Leptin slows down the production of our T3 and T4 to keep fat on our bodies to survive.

Now that we know why we are having a hard time getting those pounds off after the first few months of dieting, how do we counteract it? Have a cheat day. Eat pizza or go get a burger and fries. You can even have some ice cream. The trick is to keep your calories down during the week. I would also suggest keeping your carb intake down while trying to lose weight. Your body will be primed to burn extra fat after the cheat meal. When you have the extra carbs from a cheat meal, for one it is a mental relief from the dieting. More importantly, it will kick your Leptin in to gear which will cause your Thyroid to start producing T3 & T4 at a repaid rate, and will in turn burn more fat prepping your body to start dieting again the next day and keep the fat burning process going.

Remember, have fun while you are on this journey. Don’t overthink it. Just work hard, eat right and cheat once a week. If you have any questions feel free to email me. Also you can follow me on Instagram, join my Facebook group and sign up for my fitness emails. The emails are a new things that I just started and they include recipes, fitness advice and more to assist you on your journey.keep working hard and make 2017 your best year yet!!

-Adam

The Importance of Omega-3s

Whathumbnail_img_1438t exactly is an Omega-3? Why do we need them? How do I make sure that I am taking enough?

These are some of the basic questions that I get when I recommend Omega-3s to anyone. Let’s start with the basics. What is an Omega-3? Omega-3s are what is known as a fatty acid and are part of the polyunsaturated fat group. Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) is primarily found in plant-based foods. Flaxseed, Walnuts and Brussels Sprouts are excellent sources of ALA. Next is Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), this along with its counterpart Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) are found primarily in fatty fish. Sardines, Salmon, Shrimp, Cod and Tuna are all good sources of EPA and DHA.

So, why do we need them? While each one individually provides its own benefit, combined they are the foundation for living a healthy life. Most of the ALA that you consume is stored in your cells as energy. However, it serves a much greater purpose as it is the building block for EPA and DHA. In a way, ALA is not important as EPA and DHA, and in another, it is the most important. Your body relies on

Let’s talk about your body’s internal functions when it comes to Omega-3s. Your body relies on prostaglandins, or messaging molecules, to ensure proper function of our inflammatory system. Why is this important, well, prostaglandins are made from EPA, and foods that are rich in EPA have been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory effects. While EPA deals with our inflammatory systems, DHA deals with our nervous system, particularly it helps our brain function. According to the book, The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan (2nd Edition), “DHA actually accounts for 9-12% of our brains total weight.” A healthy level of Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, can help with stiffness and joint pain associated with Rheumatoid arthritis. They have also been shown to help with lowering depression, baby development, ADHD, Alzheimer’s and dementia, and have been shown in some studies, when paired with a diet and exercise,  to drop body fat by 25%. WebMD has so good information on how Omega-3s help and what they have been used to assist in. Click this link to go to their website.

So how do you ensure that you are consuming enough Omega-3s a day? Well, I’m glad that you asked. There are two options. Option 1 is consuming 8 oz. of wild caught salmon a day or 6.4 oz. of sardines a day, or eat 16 pouches of Starkist Albacore Tuna a day. Easy enough right? You know, I love fish, but even I am not willing to eat this much a day. Not to mention that there is no way that I could afford to eat 8 oz. of wild caught salmon a day. So, what is option number two you ask? Take a high-quality Fish Oil. Simple, convenient and doesn’t taste like fish. The consensus is that you should be getting at least 2.4 grams (g) per day of Omega-3s. When you purchase a fish oil makes sure that it contains at least that much in Omega-3s, but also that it has at least 400-500 milligrams (mg) each of EPA and DHA. For your ALA, make sure that you are eating your vegetable and enjoy a handful of walnuts.

When it comes to my Omega-3 supplement, I take 1st Phorm Full-Mega. In each 2 soft gel serving, I get 2400mg(2.4g) of total Omega-3s. I get 720mg of EPA and 480mg of DHA. Click here to get your own bottle of Full-Mega. You will not find a better fish oil/Omega-3 supplement on the market.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to answer them. Also, be sure to join our mailing list by clicking the sign up for newsletter button. The emails contain fitness and supplement information as well as healthy recipes and workout tips. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook as well for even more content. Keep killing it and make 2017 your best year yet.

When are kids old enough to start working out?

I’ve often wondered this question. When is it okay to introduce younger children to resistance training and proper nutrition. I think that the second part of this is the easiest to answer and you should be teaching your children about nutrition as soon as possible. Children are sponges and mimic our behaviors, the good and the bad.

I keep it simple with my children. The facts are that you cannot completely deprive children of the foods that they enjoy. An example of this is I still buy cereal for my daughters, and I let them choose the flavor. I can’t expect them to eat egg white with kale and mushrooms like I do. Where I don’t flex is on dinner. I expect my girls to eat what my wife and I eat. Whether it is steak and sweet potatoes or chicken and rice, they eat what we eat. I do try to ensure that they have something sweet if they want dessert. However, when I say sweet I am talking fruit. If you don’t want to keep fresh fruit on hand, I don’t, then you can buy frozen fruit and make them after dinner smoothies. Another trick is to avoid buying chips and other processed snacks. Try to keep healthy options available for them, P3 packs are a favorite of my oldest daughter and my youngest likes having pieces of lunch meat. If you limit their options to healthy foods it will only help them in the long run.

Now for the hard part, when do we let them start resistance training. Remember, this is all opinion based and you should do your own research to develop your own educated opinion. Also, there are several personal trainers available that specialize in child fitness training. Just make sure you ask what the trainer’s certifications are and then verify them on the internet. Okay, with that out of the way where do we start? My oldest daughter will be 12 next month and I started letting her go to the gym last year. When I started training her, the main focus was teaching her proper form. You don’t want to have them lifting heavy and hurting themselves, especially at a young age. An injury now could affect them for the rest of their lives. Light weight and proper form are critical to their success as a lifter and yours as their coach. In my opinion, they can do all the lifts that you do, but as mentioned before, LIGHT WEIGHT AND PROPER FORM.

But what about the younger ones? My seven-year-old wants more than anything to lift weights. Mom and Dad do it, and she wants to as well. I feel that she is still too young to engage in weight training. The girl is very active and is constantly on the go so her cardio is great. I did, however, design a few workouts for her to do at home. She, up until she broke her arm on a trampoline, was working on her push-ups and is very proud of the fact that she does them better than the boys in her grade. Sit-ups are another exercise that younger children can do to get started. I also let her use resistance bands for things like curls, squats and other forms of presses. I also spot her when she wants to do chin ups. Another form of resistance you can use is canned goods. Pretty much everyone has 12 oz. cans of something in their pantry and you can let your younger children use them for shoulder presses, curls, and bench presses.

Just remember to do your research. This is should be fun for both of you. If you have any questions be sure to ask your child’s doctor to make sure your child is okay to exercise. The habits you teach today, your children will carry with them for life. Start them off on the right foot and they will thank you later for it.

Keep up the hard work! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and join my Facebook group for more content. Also, be sure to sign up for my email list. I send out fitness and nutrition information, recipes, supplement information and general advice on it. You can join by clicking the sign up now button on the side-bar.

-Adam

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Wake Up Early

Crazy man, insane, psycho. These are all names that I have been called based on the hours that I keep. On a typical day I am out of bed no later than 3:30 am. While most “normal” people think this is just plain crazy, there is a method to madness and I’m here to explain it. By getting up this early I am effectively adding more hours too my day, which most people complain they don’t have. So,let’s take a look at my typical day.

3:30 am – alarm goes off and I get up. I throw on my gym clothes. Brush my teeth and take my pre-workout.

4:00 am – I get to the gym and at most there are three other people there. This allows me to move through my workout without having to wait for equipment or benches.

5:30 am – Get home and take my post workout. I start the coffee. Shave and shower and get my uniform on.

6:00 am – Make my breakfast, pack my lunch, have some coffee and watch a show on Netflix.

6:30 am – Off to work

7:00 am – 3:30 pm – Work

4:00 pm – Get home and get on the laptop to work on my own goals

5:30 pm – Eat dinner

6:00 pm – Prep lunch for tomorrow and clean up

7:00 pm – Back on the laptop to do more work. Check Facebook and Instagram. Maybe write a blog post and watch some TV or just hang out.

8:00 pm – Put the kids to bed and back on the laptop

8:30 – 9:00 pm – Off to bed

So that is a typical 17 hour day for me. Seems easy right? This didn’t happen overnight for me and took a lot of work to get to this point. Some people that I have talked to say that they can’t go to sleep that early. The main complaint that they have is that they just can’t fall asleep. While some people do suffer from insomnia, that is not the case for most. We are usually laying there staring at the ceiling thinking about what we did during the day or what we have to do tomorrow or what we are doing with our lives. One way to combat this is to let it all go while you are relaxing at the end of the day. Go over what you need to do or what you did during the day. If that doesn’t work for you then get a journal and write your thoughts or plans in it. Just get them out of your brain. Some other tips include not turning on the TV in your room and try to keep it cold. It is scientifically proven that we sleep better when we are cool.

This is the main jumping off point. Another way to insure that you succeed at this is to ignore the snooze button. When your alarm goes off get up. Those extra few minutes are not helping you at all. Sit up and put your feet on the floor. Once you are up you’re not going to go back to sleep. I know this seems like a lot, but it really is worth it. You will get more accomplished during the day and you will be ready for a restful night at the end of it. It does get easier too if you have a good diet and are exercising. These two things alone will help you sleep better.

Alright, it’s 8:48 pm right now and 3:30 am comes early 😉 I’m no sleep expert, but if you need help or advice with nutrition or fitness shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to help where I can. Do something different and keep making 2017 your best year yet. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and join Facebook group Adam Delgado Fitness.

– Adam