Wednesday, July 29, 2009

3 Amazing Vegan Recipes for Weight Loss

I watched a video from Craig Ballantyne the other day. In it, he said that he's gotten more hate e-mail since he started following a vegetarian lifestyle than anything else he's ever done, written about, etc.

Why do people feel the need (or the right) to go out of their way to be hateful to others just because they disagree with them? I absolutely don't get it.

Anyway, even though there are vegetarian and even vegan bodybuilders and fitness competitors, many people are still skeptical that men and women can eat AMAZING food on a a veggie meal plan and lose weight.

To prove it, Craig and Kardena Pauza supplied 3 awesome recipes from their Easy Veggie Meal Plans.

Let me know what you think of them!

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1) Strawberry-Mango Smoothie - 385 calories

1 cup strawberries stemmed
1/2 mango peeled
3/4 cup/6 oz Almond milk or Raw almond yogurt
4 Brazilian Nuts (Raw & Soaked)
2 tsp agave or brown rice syrup or Really Raw Honey, or 2-3 Dates
1 medium sized Cucumber
1 tsp NutriBiotic Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Powder
Add ½ Cup Water and blend together
Optional: Dash Stevia, water, ice to taste only

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender. Add several cubes of ice if desired and blend until smooth. Continue adding ice until desired consistency is reached. Pour into glass and garnish with mint leaf as option.

2) Breakfast Quinoa - Calories 369, Carbs 46g, Protein 15g, Fat 13g

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or fresh made almond milk
1 Tbsp raisins
1 med fresh peach
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Stevia or agave nectar to sweeten

Rinse Quinoa and combine with almond milk and water. Bring to a slow simmer, then cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients and place in food processor or blender and puree slightly. Ready to eat.

3) Portobello Mushroom Burger - 365 Calories (Craig Ballantyne's Favorite Veggie Recipe!)

1 Portobello mushroom cap
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
dash teaspoon dried basil
dash teaspoon dried oregano
dash tablespoon minced garlic
1 oz (2 tbsp) sharp cheese or vegan cheese
1 tablespoons bottled teriyaki sauce
1 slices of Ezekiel bread
1 cup of tomato (slices)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Place the mushroom caps, smooth side up, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the mushrooms. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning twice.

Preheat grill for medium-high heat.

Brush grate with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender. Brush with marinade frequently. Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

And remember, if you don't want to, you don't have to go straight vegetarian, you can just cut back on the amount of meat you regularly eat. In this day of "agri-business", "factory farming", "E.coli outbreaks", and "industrial agriculture pollution", there's a lot to be said about building a better body without meat.

Just adding a few of Kardena's recipes will help you transform your body within any healthy nutrition plan.

Click here for all of the meal plans and recipes at HALF-OFF:

Easy Veggie Meal Plans

P.S. - The half-price sale ends Thursday at midnight...

...and the Fast Action Bonuses will be removed.

There is a 100% No Questions Asked 60 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Easy Veggie Meal Plans for 60 days. Craig and Kardena guarantee that you'll lose fat, feel better, boost your energy and increase your confidence or they'll refund 100% of you money... and, let you keep all of the free bonuses.

Check it out here => Easy Veggie Meal Plans

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's Bootcamp?

I get that question all the time and I usually explain that No Pink Dumbbells Bootcamp is basically small group personal training. It's open to women and men and involves bodyweight exercises along with some dumbbell and kettlebell work. It is a challenging workout but each camper works at their own level; the only person you are competing against is yourself.

That's the description but bootcamp is more than that.

Last night, I explained the evening's workout to the campers. Each training session is unique but this workout was very different from what we usually do. It would be much shorter than usual but very tough. I think most anyone would have considered it demanding.

I expected part of the challenge to be mental and I was right. Upon hearing me go through the exercises and number of reps to be completed, the eyes of one of the campers looked like saucers- and they stayed that way. I think she half expected me to say I was joking. When I didn't, I'm pretty sure she was thinking that she wasn't going to able to make it through or, at best, it would take her forever to finish.

Just then, Vicki, another camper said, "We can do this!" She went on to remind the others that they normally do about so many reps in a certain amount of time and then they have to repeat the exercise so many times. She said something like, "We just need to get through the whole thing once and then we're done." Then she repeated, "We can do this!"

You could see the mental shift.

The workout was tough but it would have been so much tougher if anyone had spent the entire time internally telling themselves that they couldn't do it.

Vicki finished her 500 reps first and after a short rest went over to the final camper who was still working and completed her workout with her. (For the record, it wasn't Saucer Eyes, which should lead to another post about what people are capable of compared to what they think they are capable of.)

That's bootcamp.

The encouragement, support and little pushes that these people give to one another makes a huge difference. It's a different atmosphere than the gym. Being among a group of people who are really challenging themselves makes you want to work harder and improve, which brings faster results.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Are You Your Own Worst Fat Loss Enemy?

I am a huge believer in your mind being very closely connected to your body. I believe our bodies listen to everything we say. Every thought, every word, everything- and after planting them in our subconscious, our bodies take each of these as a command for what it needs to do. We have about 50,000 thoughts a day. If the majority of these are negative, your body and life will reflect that. If you keep saying- I am fat when you are trying to lose weight, you will not succeed. If you say out loud that you have a big fat ass…guess what…your body thinks it is a command. You must start to visualize where you want to go, what you want to look like and how you want to feel and focus on that.

~Rachel Cosgrove

Amen, Rachel!

I've talked and written about the subject of self-talk lots of times. Most women would rarely speak to their friends and family, or allow others to speak to their loved ones, the way they speak to themselves.

You cannot achieve your goals, whether they be physical, financial, educational, etc. if you are constantly programming yourself for failure.

Do yourself a favor and check out the rest of Rachel's must-read article here ==> My Big Fat Ass

Friday, July 24, 2009

Circuit Workout

I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted. Sorry. Bootcamp and new training programs for members have been keeping me busy and yesterday, my internet service was down. Anyway, here's a circuit workout for you to try out. Let me know what you think.

Depending upon how much time you have, you can make this a standard length workout or really shorten it up if you're tight on time.

15 reps of each exercise (15 per side on Rows, Hip Extension & Cross Body Mountain Climbers) with no rest between exercises.

* K.B. or D.B. Swings
* One Arm K.B. or D.B. Row
* Lying Single Leg Hip Extension
* Pushups
* Lying D.B. Pullover (Knees bent, feet flat on floor. Hold D.B. at ends to allow more range of motion.)
* Cross Body Mountain Climbers

Rest 30-60 seconds and repeat up to 6 times.

Use good form and challenge yourself. Unless you're really deconditioned, using a 5 pound dumbbell on the above exercises is not going to do much.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Collected Fitness Wisdom #9

When exercise BURNS YOUR MUSCLES that’s a good pain- this means you are pushing past your comfort zone to inspire change, working with intensity to torch calories and build muscle, and burning sugar so your body can burn fat for hours and hours after your workout.

When exercise HURTS YOUR JOINTS that’s a bad pain- it means you are quickly wearing down the structural integrity of your joints and will soon be unable to do anything without pain or stiffness. This is most often caused by a combination of using too heavy of loads, poor exercise form and technique, strength imbalances, and lack of mobility and/or flexibility- seek professional help!

~B.J. Gaddour

People want to go on weight loss diets to get back in shape. I can understand that but if you are in the habit of skipping meals or using vending machines for lunch, you don’t need a diet! You need the basics of healthy eating.

~Ray Burton

Too many people blatantly lie to themselves (and others!) about where they stand on the road to their goals. They say, "I am doing everything I can to… lose weight / alter body composition / lower cholesterol / be healthier." Yet, upon closer inspection, these same people are only doing what’s convenient for them. They’re doing the bare minimum without making any sacrifices or without making themselves a bit uncomfortable.

Really – if you are not getting measurable, visible results from your actions, then you’re not doing the right "stuff". This doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or that you don’t have the ability to succeed. It just means that you need to make some changes. And it means that you need to stop holding onto denial and first admit that you are gonna have to make some changes.

~Kim Ball

Even an average uncomplicated program you are consistent with is far more effective than any high–tech, super–advanced program you fail to be consistent with.

~Will Brink

The maxim, "no pain no gain" gets knocked all the time as if it were bad advice. The fact of life is that you don’t grow unless you are constantly stepping outside the comfort zone, and outside the comfort zone is discomfort and pain.

~Tom Venuto


Friday, July 17, 2009

Last Chance For Free 7-Day Veggie Meal Plans

I received two e-mails from readers concerned that there was some "catch" to this offer. I imagine that there are more who are interested in the meal plans but didn't let me know they're apprehensive. Here is a version of the responses I sent out:

To get the free meal plans, the only thing you give them is your first name and e-mail address- they have no way of charging you for anything unless you order something from them later and give them your info. You will get an e-mail asking to confirm that it was you who signed up (they're following the Can Spam Act) but once you do, you just download the free report and one or both of the meal plans (they have a male and female version with different calorie amounts).

They ask for your name and e-mail address, same as anybody else who gives something away online. They're basically trading a freebie for access to you. Their hope is that people will like the free meal plans so much that they'll end up buying the entire veggie nutrition program when they release it. In fact, I just found out that anyone who downloads the free meal plans gets added to the VIP List and will get access to an extra 25% off the full Easy Veggie Meal Plans when it's released on Monday, July 27th.

Kardena and Craig will not give your e-mail address to anyone else but they want to be able to contact you in the future about products, sales, etc. I have multiple e-mail accounts and I use certain ones just for things like this so that my primary addresses don't get cluttered. There are plenty of free e-mail accounts available if you're concerned about getting spammed.

I trust Craig Ballantyne implicitly; I purchased his Turbulence Training program a few years ago, I'm a member of his private forum and I've met him in person. No way he'll rip anyone off. They will send e-mails about their products and about sales, etc. but you can always unsubscribe.

If you are interested in vegetarian meal plans for fat loss, don't wait. The free meal plans will only be available until tonight (Friday, July 17th) at midnight.

And remember to download Kardena Pauza's powerful free report, "The Top 10 Foods You Must NOT Eat on a Vegetarian Diet."

You can find everything here ==> Easy Veggie Meal Plans.

If you give it a try, I would really like to know what you think of the recipes, how the meal plans work for you, how you feel while using them, etc.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We Did It!

For those of you who haven't made it to the gym this week, I want to let you know that we surpassed our goal! We raised $1304 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, beating last year's total of $1289. Thanks to everyone who helped make that possible.

Body & Soul members and friends should be really proud of that figure. In speaking to folks at St. Jude they are always impressed by how much Body & Soul, a smaller gym, raises.

I think there's a good chance that, overall, donations to St. Jude are down this year so I'm extremely happy that we were able to send them a few dollars more than last year.

St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Free Vegetarian Meal Plans

I know there's a lot of interest in the vegetarian lifestyle. I also know that it can be a challenge to know what you should eat if you want to drop fat without eating meat.

If you've ever thought about transforming your body by following a vegetarian meal plan, you're in luck!

Craig Ballantyne of was constantly getting e-mails from people with questions about losing weight using a vegetarian diet. He decided to team up with Vegetarian Nutrition Expert Kardena Pauza and she put together some EASY and SIMPLE to follow veggie meal plans to help you out. And they're FREE. You can get them here ==> Easy Veggie Meal Plans.

Following Kardena’s Fat Burning Vegetarian Meal Plans is a natural, earth-friendly, and healthier way of eating that will help you lose fat fast. You won't feel hungry and the meals will even help you control your sugar cravings.

Craig, himself, has recently been going vegetarian and he feels great. He and Kardena are offering the meal plans as a gift to you because they want to share the Vegetarian Lifestyle with everyone who is struggling with nutrition and who wants more energy.

Go here and grab these meal plans at no cost to you ==> Easy Veggie Meal Plans

Kardena shows you how easy, simple, and convenient it is to live the Vegetarian Lifestyle. The guesswork is gone. You'll have the best vegetarian diet coach in the world, Kardena Pauza, telling you EXACTLY what to eat!

Craig guarantees you'll have more energy and you'll even start dramatically transforming your body in just 7 days. If you've ever considered trying the Vegetarian Lifestyle, go here now and grab those meal plans today ==> Easy Veggie Meal Plans

Don't wait. These Vegetarian Meal Plans will only be available until Friday, July 17th at midnight.

You can also get Kardena Pauza's powerful and controversial report...
"The Top 10 Foods You Must NOT Eat on a Vegetarian Diet"

You can find everything here ==> Easy Veggie Meal Plans.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Losing Fat is Like Draining a Swimming Pool...Why Spot Reduction Just Doesn't Hold Water

It's inevitable if you're a fitness professional.

When you take questions after a presentation...
When people find out you own a gym...
When you respond to online forum posts...
When people come in for a tour or inquire about personal training...

The first thing some people do in all of the above scenarios is to grab a part of their body and ask, "How do I get rid of this?"

Even though the smartest and most successful fitness coaches will tell you that spot reduction is not possible, magazine articles and late night infomercials convince people otherwise.

Here is one of the best analogies / explanations for why thousands of abdominal crunches or side leg raises will not remove fat from those areas, courtesy of Nick Nilsson.

Losing Fat is Like Draining a Swimming Pool...Why Spot Reduction Just Doesn't Hold Water
By Nick Nilsson

Want to lose stomach fat? Have a problem area you want to tighten up?

The bad news is simply training that area to death won't accomplish it! Learn why spot reduction doesn't work and what you CAN actually do about those problem areas.

"How can I lose my gut?"

"How do I stop my arms from flapping in the wind?"

"How can I get rid of this stomach fat?"

"How do I lose just the fat on my thighs?"

These are questions I hear regularly...the bottom-line question being asked is "how can I lose fat from one specific area?"

And I'm sorry to say, the quick answer is...

"You can't."

But don't panic! Just because you can't spot-reduce from one specific area doesn't mean you'll never lose that fat! It just means you have to look at things a bit differently when it comes to fat loss.

THAT is where the pool I mentioned comes in.

I would love to give credit to the person who I burgled this analogy from (if you're reading this, let me know!) but think of your bodyfat stores as a pool...

When you fill up a pool (i.e. bodyfat stores), the deep end fills up first, right? Of course! It's the deep end.

Well, the same thing happens in your body. Think of your stomach as the deep end. When you start putting on fat, your deep end starts filling up first.

So you're happily swimming along until one day you realize your swimming pool is too full and it's time to drain some water from the pool (i.e. lose some fat).

To spot reduce and lose that fat from the "deep end," you'd have to drain the deep end first. Not gonna happen. If you can think of a way to drain just the deep end of a pool, I'd like to know it!

This is what happens with fat loss. The stuff you put on LAST is the stuff that comes off FIRST. And generally speaking, the stuff you put on FIRST (i.e. problem areas like the gut and thighs) is the stuff that comes off LAST (because it's the deep end of the pool).

So what's the strategy?

You're going to have to drain more of the pool to get that deep end down.

In fat-loss terms this means you're going to have to lose fat from all over your body before the stuff you REALLY want to get rid of comes off.

I know...that's probably the LAST thing you wanted to hear but it's the unvarnished truth.

I'm afraid doing ten thousand crunches every morning won't get you the ripped six-pack you're looking for. And doing ten thousand leg-lifts (no matter how much you feel the burn) won't pull that fat from your thighs. It'll tighten up the muscles underneath that fat, but you won't really SEE much of a difference.

When the body switches on fat burning, it does so on a systemic basis. Going to back to the pool analogy, this would be like having multiple drains all draining water from the pool. The water level goes down evenly when you drain a pool, no matter how many drains you've got or where the drains are draining from.

So when you lose fat, even if you're exercising the heck out of your abs by doing ten thousand crunches, you could be pulling fat from your legs for fuel.

The REAL secret about spot reduction is that you can't pick your spots.

Your body picks the spots for you. Reducing ALL your spots is the only way to spot reduce.

So now that I've crushed your dreams about losing fat from just your stomach or thighs, I want to tell you that overall fat loss is not as hard as you might think!

Even small changes in your training and eating can really make a big difference in draining your fat pool. You don't have to go on a crash diet or train 3 hours a day to get results.

Eating better and training as little as 30 minutes, 3 times a week can get you moving in the right direction.

If you're interested in more information on how to lose fat, have a look at these articles:

1. How To Lose Fat NOW - A Basic Fat-Loss Program That You Can Put To Work Today! ==> Lose Fat Now

2. BASIC Nutrition - A Quick, Common-Sense Guide To What You Should Be Eating to Stay Healthy and Get Results Right Now ==> Basic Nutrition

And if you want to REALLY kick-start your fat loss be sure to check out my book Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss


Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 17 years. Nick is the author of a number of fitness eBooks including "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of" all available at BetterU. He can be contacted at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tell Me Again Why You Can't Lose Weight

If a 650 pound man can lose over 400 pounds without surgery, pills, crazy diets or gimmicks, you can too.

Read the story here ==> From Obese To Personal Trainer

David Smith's story, "The 650-pound Virgin", premieres Sunday, July 12th, at 10 p.m. on TLC.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Don't Try This At Home.

Should I include this is the next new program I design? :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Collected Fitness Wisdom #8

If you are training to get fitter, lose some body fat or get stronger then you have no business doing tricep kickbacks and concentration curls. If you want a quick experiment in increasing metabolism, try the following. Do a clean and press for 3 sets of 15 reps with a minute rest between sets. Next do 3 sets of 15 reps with your favourite isolation exercise. Which one really got your body going?

~James Kerrison

To reach high levels of physical and personal success you must approach your training, and your entire life, as an endeavor in constant growth. The ultimate truth is, you are either moving forward or moving backward; growing or dying. There’s no such thing as comfortably maintaining.

To grow, you must step above past achievements; beyond your perceived boundaries and limits. That means stepping out of the known, into the unknown; out of the familiar and into the unfamiliar; out of the comfortable into the uncomfortable. You must get out of your comfort zone.

~Tom Venuto

The majority of women are not suffering from the big muscles they think they are. A lot of women never get lean enough to see the other side of things. This is because your body fat levels are too high to show any definition. Mix that with a lifting program you just end up looking fatter, but firmer. I should note that some like this look. Remember nothing is "wrong" here.

~Leigh Peele (discussing body perception and "bulking up")

I think a fundamental cause of human failure is the inability to overcome fear and push through the pain of challenge.

~Doug Jackson

Fundamentally, food is fuel. The only other reasons we eat is for socializing and for emotional reasons. This probably ruffles feathers, but I am basically saying that all eating is emotional, especially overeating and unhealthy eating.

~Canada K


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Halfway There

2009 is now officially half over.

Are you where you want to be? Did you make New Year's resolution in January? If so, are you halfway to your goals?

Have you taken control of your health and fitness?

If not, it's not too late. There's still plenty of time to get stronger / lose weight / improve your health - whatever you want.

If you live in Lancaster and want the guidance of a fitness coach along with the support and camaraderie of a group, you're in luck. No Pink Dumbbells indoor bootcamp starts this Monday, July 6th at Body & Soul Fitness.

If you're serious about getting the body you want, bootcamp is for you. The training sessions will be challenging but will be adapted (as needed) for the fitness level of each participant. However, if you don’t like to sweat, work hard, or breathe heavily, then No Pink Dumbbells is definitely not for you. If you’re looking for a magic pill or gadget that will give you a lean, toned body with no effort, please don’t enroll.

If you are ready to work hard, have fun, and get fit call me today at (717) 509-7777.

Training takes place Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 PM at Body & Soul.

If you are interested in daytime bootcamp, let me know.

You CAN lose weight and get fit without doing hours of boring treadmill or elliptical workouts. Try my fat blasting boot camp workouts for 2 weeks; if it’s not for you, I’ll refund your money. What have you got to lose besides excess inches?

Don’t miss this opportunity. Whether you take action now or not, in 4 weeks you will be one month older. Will you be a few pounds heavier or 5-10 pounds lighter and closer to your ultimate goal? The choice is yours; call me today at (717) 509-7777 to register or for more information.

Body & Soul Fitness Studio
618 Columbia Avenue
Lancaster, PA

Plenty of free parking.

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Done For You Meal Plans

If I had a nickel for every member or personal training client that told me they "eat right" or "know what to eat", I'd have a whole lot of nickels. These are the same people who continue to eat the same way and then wonder why they're not losing weight even though they're exercising.

You can't out-train a bad diet. I've said it over and over and I'll keep saying it.

Although I think some of those people were just being dishonest, I also believe that many people really are clueless about proper nutrition. They're misinformed about what constitutes healthy food and, thanks to restaurants, often have distorted ideas of portion sizes.

If you struggle with what to eat, proper portions, etc. you should check out Empowered Nutrition. Empowered Nutrition is a program containing 12 week of "done for you" meal plans. It also comes with multiple bonuses, weekly grocery lists, a food substitution guide, a fat loss tracker workbook, and over 1200 meals designed and timed for you.

If you're ready to dump the fat and learn how to make good nutrition a lifestyle, now is the time. The guys at Empowered Nutrition are offering a half price sale but it ends tonight at 12:00 midnight PST.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What Should I Eat?

For the most part, I'm not a fan of strict diets- obsessing over every meal, never eating a cookie, counting every calorie, etc. It's too time consuming and overwhelming for most people. I don't think it's a good strategy because very few people will maintain that type of eating long term so they'll end up regaining any weight they lost (and probably more).

One of the reasons I like Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat is because it's flexible. You fast 1-2 days a week and then simply eat responsibly the rest of the time.

I do realize though that there are many people who really want some concrete guidance on what constitutes good nutrition. And, with all the deceptive marketing coming from the food industry, it's no wonder.

Some of you want a specific step-by-step guide of what you should eat right now to lose weight and be healthier. You want to eliminate the guesswork. You want to learn exactly what comprises a healthy meal so that you can make good nutrition part of your lifestyle.

If any of that sounds like you, check out Empowered Nutrition, a nutrition program containing 12 week of "done for you" meal plans. Empowered Nutrition also comes with multiple bonuses, weekly grocery lists, a food substitution guide, a fat loss tracker workbook, and over 1200 meals designed and timed for you.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, check out Empowered Nutrition now. They're running a half price sale but it ends Friday, July 3rd at 12:00 midnight PST.