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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.

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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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The Anti Diet Program

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Forget about these diets you see on TV.  Atkins, South Beach Diet, Nutri-System, Shakeology, and more are all out there to get you hooked on to their vicious cycle.  These diet plans may work in the short term.  You may find yourself losing weight in regards to shocking your body. However they have a quick expiration date.  By quick I mean quick.  These foods are processed and loaded with sodium, sugar, and chemicals which if you didn’t know are flat out bad for you. The worst thing about them is they do not set you up for your after-diet life.  AKA the rest of your life.  I can attest to this because I have tried them all.

The best thing you can do to be healthier is simply start eating healthy. Don’t think of a start and end date but rather think of it as your way of life.  Go to your grocery store.  Buy fresh produce and groceries.  Learn your town and try to figure out a local place to buy organic fruits and veggies.  This will save a couple bucks in your pocket and you will feel fantastic about it.  A lot of these “diet” foods are loaded with sodium and sugars. They say they are low in calories, which makes people think is ok. Calories are the least of it.  The sodium and sugar is what will hurt you more!

Fat content scares people off but the truth is fats are good for us.  Outside of trans and saturated fats, we should be trying to get more fats in us particularly from fish.  This would be polyunsaturated fat.  Which reminds me.  I definitely need to start eating more salmon again.  Salmon is by far the best fish you can eat.  I ate a lot of fish at the beginning of my journey but haven’t in a long time.  Glad I’m writing this actually haha.  Monounsaturated fats are also beneficial. These come from different kinds of oils, nuts, and avocados.

I can’t express how much I dislike these diet plans mentioned above.  Seriously they are wack.  The best thing you can do is either listen to people you trust who will support your healthy eating or talk to good ole me.  I have good advice to give and can surely help anybody reach their goals. It amazes me how these companies can get away with this stuff!!

Strawberries for the week

Yeah it takes a little effort to cut them up but look at me now I have strawberries for the week. Pre and post workout, throw some in cereal or just have around the apartment, preparing food ahead of time is huge. Not to mention the health benefits strawberries provide but that is for another post. Future you will thank current you.

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