occasions

Crossfit: A Guest Piece by Daniel Arfin

So I wanted to change it up a little bit this time.  My good friend, a guy I’ve known my whole life, fellow NY Mets fan, and partner in crime from back in the day Mr. Daniel Arfin joins us this week in giving us an insight to his workout regime.  I am lucky enough to talk to my friend regularly, and I’m always hearing about his Crossfit endeavors.  Crossfit is a program developed to offer a full-body workout that combines elements of cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and more to prepare the body for the unexpected.  From their website:  “CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.” Arfin is so enthusiastic about it and I’m always amazed hearing about what he did next; which is basically on a daily basis.  He truly is a beast.  Crossfit routines really fascinate me and I have so much respect for this man.  That is why I thought it would be a good idea for you to hear about it from him.  A guy who completed Shaun T’s Insanity program with what seemed like ease, here is someone with credibility in my book.  This is what Arfin had to say:

I’ve been in love with Crossfit for almost 10 months.  For the large part of those 10 months I’ve been in the box 5 or 6 times a week.  I’ve found it to be right up my alley in achieving balanced fitness.  It addresses all areas to make you into a complete athlete.  Many people, including myself for a long time struggle with getting themselves to the gym consistently because they get bored of doing the same thing.  Crossfit hooked me so fast because there is always so much variety.  So it isn’t just challenging, it’s interesting.  It almost feels like you’ve never tried it before every day because there’s so many different things to do.  There are often several points of technique for whatever movement you’re doing.  Whether it’s for strength and you’re doing Olympic weightlifting movements, or if you’re just simply jumping on top of a box.  Everything looks easy watching someone who is experienced perform it, but it’s very easy to have one misstep and not do the movement correctly.  Especially with the Olympic weightlifts, it is imperative you do the movement right to keep moving up in weight, and to not get injured.  But there’s no prerequisite to joining in.  You can always scale the movements so that it’s tailored to what you can do.  If there’s a certain type of movement you’re not quite comfortable doing, you can do something else in its place.  An example of that would be if you do not want to do handstand push-ups against the wall, you could take a 45lb. plate and press it above your head instead.  Or if you can’t do strict pull-ups, you can use a band to assist you.  This way you’re still getting the benefit of the workout because you’re not really changing the movement, you’re only adjusting the workout to what you can do so you will always benefit from it.  It is for this reason that anyone can benefit from doing Crossfit so above all else that is why I recommend it.

Children: Set Them Up for Life

 

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(lol – This kid in the picture above is hilarious because that was exactly me when I was unhappy about something as a kid – verbatim)

You know, when people ask me how I lost the weight, I usually just say I got motivated and went ahead with it.  I go on to credit my trainer and that is usually that.  Between us, I’m not really sure where the motivation actually came from.  I have been on the bigger side since childhood and that is actually where it all starts.  We all go through rough phases or tough times and it’s important to never forget about those times in order to avoid repeating history.  That is why I tapped into my childhood.  I get lots of emails from people with links to tons of great health related websites.  I read them all.  This one in particular really caught my attention because of the way the site is laid out in the most eloquent and ideal way, webspace speaking.  It was also a topic that I have been interested in for a while now so it immediately grabbed my attention.  The site is healthkids.org.  While I can’t possibly cover everything their site has to offer, one part particularly hit home.  The section where they broke down all the different kinds of childhood weight problems and eating disorders.  Again, that hits home.

We already know and it’s common sense that children should be fed the best possible diet and live the healthiest / happiest lives possible.  Nutrition is important for everyone but it is even more important for children because it is directly linked to their growth, development, and moods.  It truly sets them up for the rest of their lives. Calcium intake for instance is very important.  This will promote optimal bone density which helps you grow big and strong making it less likely to be weak in the bones later in life.  “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is not just a catchy quote but it is the gosh darn truth.  For you adults, that is something I say to you was crucial in my weight loss journey.  Eating a good breakfast (protein protein protein) sets up your metabolism for the day making it less likely to binge eat at any given point, especially lunch.  Not to mention, studies show that kids who eat breakfast also perform better in school.  Children who eat a low cholesterol diet will find that their chance of having a heart attack later in life is greatly diminished.  There are endless things to read about on their site so I urge you to go check them out.

In the end, the information out there is endless and some of it makes perfect sense while some doesn’t.  Then sometimes we find there is just too much information to take in.  Feel free to take in what you feel is most important and put the less important stuff on hold.  I’m not a parent yet and rightfully so.  Before I could even begin to think about having a child and being able to care for one, I had to get “me” in order first.  I now possess a lot more knowledge than I did one year ago and I’m constantly evolving.  You guys are my inspiration to keep learning so I can pay it all forward in every way I possibly can.  If I can help just one person, this is all worth it.   To end it here, i’ll say that if you can instill good discipline into your kids diet at a young age they may just carry that on forever.  As long as they aren’t as stubborn as me…

For the Love of Oats: Part II

 

Oats….Welcome back to PART TWO, the final chapter in this two part saga called For the Love of Oats.  To recap Part 1, we spoke about the endless health benefits that oats have and how there is basically nothing they can’t do.  Oats are everywhere.  A lot of us eat them in everyday foods and we already have them incorporated into our snacks too.  However nothing compares to eating them in their pure and basic state.  The best way to buy them is fresh from a health store.  Fairway and Whole Foods actually have an entire section dedicated to different kinds of oats.  That is how important they are.  I hope after this series, you learned a little more about them.  We also discussed incorporating them into our diet.  One great and tasty way is the overnight oats.  If you want to go back and read part 1, click here.  Let’s talk about another way to get them into your diet.

Because of my newfound education in oats, I finally caved and had to buy the Nutribullet, (as teased in the end of part 1).  If you don’t own one, I’m sure you’ve used one at a friend’s house.  They are fantastic.  I got this specifically to up my oats intake.  I can now include them in homemade smoothies along with various fruits, veggies, protein powder, and other powders for nutritional super food boosts.  The great thing about the Nutribullet is that it extracts all the benefits from all the things you put in there in such a way unlike any other blender on the market.  As opposed to most juicers, these do not discard the pulp and skin.  Did you know most of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables come from the skin and pulp?  It has its own technology which lead them to #1.  I hope I turned you guys on to something new if you are not a Nutribullet user already.  As a person who owns many appliances such as slow cookers, coffee makers, another kind of juicer, and more, I can’t stress enough how easy this thing is to clean.  Let me know what you all think when you try it yourself!  I want to see pictures of delicious smoothies you guys make as well as some pics of your overnight oats too!!

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In the end, practically speaking, one of the best parts about the Nutribullet is how easy it is to use and clean and its on the go convenience.  That is very important.  You don’t need to be a bartender or attend mixology courses.  You simply just toss in your items of choice and just blend it.  Simple as that.  The super boost powders that I’ve mentioned in both posts derive from Ancient Civilizations who literally relied on energy to survive.  Without energy, the men could not have gone out for days at a time to hunt, kill, and carry those large animals for food.  Their lives literally depended on having energy.  Besides energy, they also have endless heart and other health benefits to boot.  A scoop of these powders into a smoothie, overnight oats, or any foods you eat increases the nutritional value tenfold.  Chia & Hemp Seeds, Goji Berries, Maca Powder and all the other goodies can be found in most health food stores or Amazon.  I hope this has been as much of an education for you as it was for me in creating this two part series.  There is so much to say about this stuff that I could even go on to a Part 3 if I really wanted to.  However I think I got all the crucial information across at this point.  Thank you all for reading, stay tuned and enjoy your oats!

Don’t forget, let’s see those pics!! If you enjoyed this series, please share it with friends and loved ones.

 

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For the Love of Oats: A Two-Part Series

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Happy Monday everybody. I hope you all had a productive yet relaxing holiday week and hope everybody enjoyed celebrating what ever it is you may celebrate. Always great to be with family and in the end, that is what it’s all about. Speaking of being with family, when we get together we have a tendancy to talk and talk and talk and we go off on tangents. This time one thing lead to another and long story short, my newest thing is now oats. I have created here a two-part series of posts talking about oats, recipes to make them, their nutritional value and more. Part two will come later in the week.

The health game is always evolving and for me that makes it a journey. You never know what I am going to read about or hear about next. That is why when I happen to come across something new and I think it may work for me, I will give it a try. Then if it turns out to be good, I post it here for you all to read about. Lately I’ve been really into the plant known as oats and I can’t stop reading about it. Their recipes are so easy to make and their nutritional profile is endless! First of all they are incredibly heart healthy. They do so much for both males and females in regards to treating and preventing different diseases related TO the heart such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, different kinds of cancers and more. Oats have also been known to regulate joint pain whether you are recovering from the gym or you have general joint pains.  It is also high in fiber so it will surely make you “go” regularly. It seems there is nothing they can’t do. They truly are a super food. Not only is it a great option for weight loss, it will help buff you up and give you that nice and toned look we so desire. There are so many interesting and delicious ways to incorporate oats into your diet; it’s easy!

Anybody ever hear of “Overnight Oats?” If you haven’t it’s simple and is a real treat. Take a Mason jar or any airtight container and put about a half to a full cup of rolled organic oats inside. Then mix that with equal parts milk. This milk can be Almond, Soy, Cow, or anything you chose. After that, you may want to throw some plain Greek Yogurt in there. The yogurt will increase the protein content and act as a thickening agent. In addition to the yogurt, I like to then add in a heaping scoop of protein powder. Follow that up by adding strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, or anything that your heart desires. You can really free it up in this recipe and make it however you like. At the end, feel free to add a little organic Stevia for sweetness if you like it to be on the sweeter side. Seal the jar tight; shake it up nice and with good effort so all the ingredients mix together. Place it in your fridge overnight and in the morning you have a wonderful thick and creamy treat that took you less than 5 minutes to prepare and is PACKED with nutritional value. As you may be grabbing it to go from your fridge, you can also prepare some fixings like crushed nuts to sprinkle on top or stir in. Putting them on after the refrigeration process will ensure that it won’t get soggy. In addition to all of that, just to pack it even tighter with nutrients,  i’ll throw a scoop of Chia or Hemp Seeds in there right before I put it in the fridge.  Those are called “boosts.”  Any juice bar is usually stocked with various boosts for your drink, just ask what they have at the moment.  In addition to these boosts, I also bought other ones such as a container of wheat grass powder, a bag of Cacao Powder, Maca Powder, Goji Berries, and Camu Camu Powder. Let me know what you all think when you try making overnight oats for yourself! I’m truly curious what you all come up with because i’m always looking for new recipes/ideas to change it up.  I hope to receive some tasty pictures to post!!

….Part 2 about my new toy (the Nutri-bullet) and more on oats to come later in the week…..

Also, a little youtube clip of me trying overnight oats for the first time.  Experimenting with videos now for the site.

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Happy Holidays

Hope everybody had a great couple of Passover Seders followed by more holiday time this weekend. This is a sight from our dinner madness and happy spring weather (finally) to all !  I love this time of year.

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Fad Diets Don’t Work!!

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As a follow up to the last post, I want to talk more about success.  Success is a very subjective word because it means completely different things to different people. Sometimes we think it can simply happen overnight or within a specific time frame.  More often than not it does not work like that. While overnight success may occur for a miniscule few, it is certainly not the norm. The majority of time we have to work hard to achieve our goals. As they say, nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort. In this day and age, so many of us are all about immediate gratification.  I am guilty of this as well.  I learned my lesson the hard way in certain situations.  Nothing comes easy and as WWE star John Cena would say, “Never Give Up.” While John Cena may not be my favorite wrestler, his simple motto and everything he is about in that regard truly resonates with me.

I’ll restate it again because I passionately agree. Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.  The key is sticking with it and not giving up even when the chips seem down.  This couldn’t be truer as it relates to my life and weight loss combined.  Through the years, we all come face to face with many different diet fads and new “miracles” that people will preach about. I know speaking for myself I have gone through tons such as Atkins, South Beach, Shakeology, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and many others. I even tried these pills called “Alli” which did nothing but make my stomach upset which in turn always made me upset. These diets are horrible because they tell you to cut out important things such as carbs, calories, etc.  Once you wean off the diet and get back into regular life, more times than not our bodies are confused, cravings increase, and we put the weight right back on.  I have also tried the simple approach of watching my portion control.  As a natural big guy, I would say that this method worked the least for me. I was simply never mentally engaged in any of the diets tried. Not engaged to the point where you need to be and since I firmly believe this is a mind game, my chances of success was zero. Looking back, knowing what I know now, these diets may work in the short term but it is not the way to carry out your everyday life going forward.  I wouldn’t recommend ANY of these diets to anybody.  Not even weight watchers. I truly believe living a healthy lifestyle is the greatest attempt to control your weight and all other aspects relating to your health.  Every diet that I failed with made me believe more and more that being overweight was just something people as well as myself needed to accept.  I always knew though, even if it was subconscious, one day I will somehow make a grand transformation and shock the world. I didn’t know how, when, whom it would be with or anything like that.  I sort of just knew.  Just remember; failing is the key to success.  Every failure is part of the journey.  You can’t be where you are without making mistakes.  Mistakes allow you to make corrections because they expose your flaws. This is great news because once we know our flaws, we can attack them head on.

I would like to abruptly end this post here by thanking all of my supporters and followers to date.  It is literally because of you that in only two months of being fully up and running, we have over 100 happy followers and are constantly growing by the day.  We are ahead of our trajectory.  Your feedback, comments, personal critiques and more have been invaluable to us. We would also like to invite you to submit any topics that you want me to cover in any facet of the website. Please continue to enjoy everything the site has to offer including the ever changing One Sweet World tab.  We look forward to digging deep and giving you our unique perspective on various topics.  This is only the beginning.  Thank you again.

Episode #4 – Emotional Eating, tips, more

Today I go solo to discuss emotional eating and how it relates to both my own weight loss journey and yours.  I also recap some things from the post earlier in the week.  Enjoy.

Emotional Eating: Make Your Own Momentum

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Emotional eating can happen for a variety of reasons.  Maybe you are celebrating a great accomplishment or coping with a sad occasion.  Perhaps you are dealing with a bad day at work or having the best day ever.  The problem is this.  If you are off to a hot start in your attempt to lose weight or you’re right in the middle of your journey, different meals during these emotional times can either be your worst enemy, or a real treat to reward all of your successes. While it may be ok to treat yourself (if you must), developing a strategy on how to attack this cheat meal will benefit you greatly into the next few days that follow. This is crucial because this is the time when we are most vulnerable. Sticking to your original game plan will be proof to yourself that you can do this for the long haul.  It will show discipline and provide encouragement that you are serious about losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.  A game plan may include something simple like eating slower to savor your food, cutting down portion size, cutting the dessert course out of the meal, or simply picking and choosing to cut out sauces and dressings.  You may decide to use one or all of those tactics. Each strategy will differ because each person has their own tendencies. All of these necessary moves you make will give you so much confidence going forward. Since I truly believe weight loss is a mental game, every single positive thing you do is a building block and will serve as enormous momentum factors.  Of course, momentum is everything.

From a personal aspect, when it comes to eating healthy, discipline is something I have not been able to commit to for a sustained period of time all my life. However in this go around, as time rolled on in my weight loss journey, every single minor act of discipline that I followed through on was monumental for me.  Finally, I started doing little things more and more such as not eating after 7PM (except water) and eating a protein meal in the morning.  It’s small victories like that which made a significant difference in weight loss results.  It also gave me the confidence to tackle more aspects of weight loss, and the ball just kept on rolling from there.  In the past after one cheat meal, all the momentum I had would be completely shattered.  The reason why is because had zero strategy going in.  It always bleed into the next meal and days that followed.  Again, it may not be shocking news but most diets go wrong not because of the cheat meal in itself, but because of the next few days since we are most vulnerable at this point. This is why I stress that if you develop a simple strategy going into a given meal, your cheating will begin and end right there.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on social media. New podcast episode is coming later this week. Thank you for your support!