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Sunday
Nov092014

What Am I Doing?

As always, in one form or another, at both the gym I work at and the CrossFit facility I workout in (CrossFit Green Bay), people are always asking me what I eat, what supplements I use, what's in my shakes, etc. Here's a snapshot of this week:

Some of my breakfasts, when I'm headed to the gym early, are Best Bars Ever. Yup, a protein bar. Oh, plus lots of good strong Peet's coffee! Read what i think about these bars if you have questions, or do some research. They are wonderful tasting, a treat to eat, and as healthy as a protein bar has ever been.

My meal shakes haven't changed appreciably. I continue to rely on these shakes inbetween "regular" meals, breakfasts and busy times at the gym. 

I'm a died-in-the-wool Progenex consumer; have been for years. I use virtually every Progenex product. More Muscle is the backbone of my shakes. Recovery and Build (until Build, for years I used and loved Vitargo), constitute my immediate post-workout shakes. Their Omega+ is part of my day (as is other brand's fish oil). I wear and workout in their clothing (the Wisconsin winter finds me living in a Progenex hoodie). Cocoon is an important part of my night-time ritual. 

But other companies have great products too. I'm a longtime Gaspari Nutrition customer (we'll see what happens to their line, if anything, since their recent bankruptcy and sale), NOW vitamins and minerals always have a place in my home, different companies produce BCAA powders I use, and the Species Nutrition line has been comfortable around here for years. 

Find companies' products you trust and enjoy; don't be afraid to experiment. I'm always checking out new things. You should too!

@Progenex, @RealSpecies, @TeamGaspari, @RichGaspari, @NowFoods, @Vitargo, @Official_Metrx, @MusclePharm

 

Sunday
Nov092014

I'm Tired

Last night I realized I'd worked-out seven consecutive days, six of them at CrossFit Green Bay. No wonder I'm rundown and sore. All in all, I feel great, but this morning my elbows hurt, my right calf and hamstring are wildly tight (from all the heavy DB snatches yesterday, performed only with my left arm and shoulder), and I needed a half hour nap this afternoon just to continue through the day.

My right shoulder rehab continues to go well. It's clear to me my decision to forgoe rotator cuff surgery, and having my bicep tendon cut and re-attached, was the proper path. Of course I'll never kip or snatch again, but who cares?

So, three meals in so far, and zero carbs. Frankly, I'm saving my carbs for the day for tonight when I'm going to assault a bag of Tostido's Lime Chips during the Packers / Bears game! Bacon and eggs for breakfast, shake next (coconut flakes, almonds, coconut milk, protein powder, flaxseed), then an early dinner of a big thick pork chop. Tonight I'll accompany the lime chips with a protein shake, or some eggs (and some red wine!).

Got lots of cooking done today; sweet potato fries, mashed red potatos, a huge pan of mixed vegetables stir-fried, cauliflower rice, some grass-fed hamburger patties, meal shakes (spinach, coconut flakes, coconut milk, almonds, protein powder, strawberries, flax seed, carrots). I'm in good shape for the opening of the week. Tomorrow morning I'll dumb a bunch of vegetables into a pan with coconut oil, then hit with eight eggs for two scramble meals. I'll also make a big salmon/spinach salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Now for some football!

Sunday
Nov092014

New Go Bananas! is limited flavor Recovery from Progenex

Go Bananas! is the latest limited-edition flavor from Progenex (remember Chocolate Peanut Butter last summer? I still have a few bags, by the way). This is a delicious (I'm working my way through a bag this week) chocolate banana combo. My taste buds are happy with it, as they are all Progenex flavors (well, actually, I'm not in love with their French Vanilla, but many others sure are). 

I don't know how long this flavor will be available. Progenex prices their limited-editions higher, so this retails for $65. I'm not tickled with that policy, but they didn't ask me. I've Go Bananas! in stock, so order freely and I'll get it to you promptly at CrossFit Green Bay.

Progenex Recovery mixed with Build is essential post-workout. Your body needs and craves those simple carbs for repair and muscle-building. And they need them pronto! Build's nice sweet potatoe flavor is great mixed with Go Bananas! I'm enjoying it.

@Progenex, #GoBananas, #Progenex, #Build

 

 

Sunday
Oct262014

Progenex Expanding Their Line

Progenex has a couple of new additions, both of which I'm excited about. 

Build is their new carbohydrate powder. It's touted as an intra-workout, pre-workout and post-workout supplement. I'll be using it primarily in my immediately-after-sweating shake. I've been using 70 grams of Vitargo and two scoops of Recovery for the last three years. This is the shake consumed in the gym, while still sweating. Beginning tomorrow I'll be adding Progenex Build to my Recovery shake.

Go to the Progenex site for nutritional details on Build. It looks great to me. I've not tasted it, didn't receive a pre-release bag like I did Cookies & Cream More Muscle (what's up with that, Rob?), but I'm confident Build will rock my taste buds. Bring on the sweet potato powder!

Go Bananas is the new Recovery flavor, releasing in the next week. Who hasn't added bananas to their blender-full of powders and fruit and other magical supplements? Now Progenex is making life easier for your banana-crazed taste buds, making it a new flavor in the Recovery line.

If you have any questions about the Progenex line, or want to get your hands on any of their products, get in touch with me. I have it all, in stock, always!

@Progenex, #progenex, #GoBananas, #Recovery

Wednesday
Oct082014

Best Bar Ever (yes, it truly is!)

I fell in love with the Best Bar Ever last summer, discovering them in Vendor Village at the CrossFit Games in July. Several companies had bar products with free samples. All were good, some (Rx Bar) were old friends. Mammoth Bar was impressive and new to me. But I was constantly drawn to the Best Bar Ever booth, as was my wife Anne and several other CrossFit friends.

Keep in mind, I’ve been consuming “protein bars” since they were invented. Joe Weider produced his Tigers Milk bars in the 1960s and ‘70s; they were dry, to say the least, if not downright chalky. My couple of dozen Arnold Classic and Olympia experiences have exposed me to virtually every protein bar produced since then. I’ve sampled ‘em, gorged on them, gotten sick from too many. It’s safe to say hundreds and hundreds of protein bars have found their way into my gut in my lifetime. Not sure I’m proud of this, but it’s reality.

More history: protein bars used to be chock full of corn syrup, sugars, all kinds of emulsifiers and smoothing agents. Decades ago I was ignorant about the danger of sugar, to some extent, and somehow bought the marketing that these “protein bars” were special, different and healthy. I even thought they were going to assist me in building muscle. Damn, I was stupid. 

My lowest relationship with bars was during my years as a competitive road and mountain-bike racing athlete. All of us were stupid; we thought we were going to exercise away the weird ingredients, and assumed the massive loads of sugar and carbohydrates were needed during the endless hours of daily cardio involved in cycling. Health wasn’t much of a consideration, but honestly, I somehow thought I was still ahead of the curve. How ignorant I was. Clearly I was unaware of the hidden ingredients common in bars then (and often still today): sugar alcohols, starches and other weird, non-food additives.

OK, rant over. I’ve consumed thousands of bars, regret most of them, and years ago came to realize they were doing nothing to help me build muscle, and certainly were not advancing my health and fitness. I was fooled. 

The past few years have seen some decently healthy, tasty, protein-enhanced “bar” products come to the market. Some of the old-school manufacturers have dropped the syrups and cut way down on sugar content. More companies are including whey protein rather than inferior low quality varieties of protein (you’d be surprised what can be called protein under FDA guidelines).

The Best Bar Ever stands with the premier protein bar products on the marketplace today, in my opinion. I believe their contents statements; the carbohydrate and sugar levels seem realistic. They’re using whey protein; what more can be asked for in a protein bar! 

Ingredients in the bar are listed as Protein Powder Blend (whey protein isolate, micellar casein), natural and artificial flavor, sunflower oil powder (high-linoleic sunflower oil and tapioca maltodextrin), potassium chloride, cellulose gum, soy lecithin, sucralose, almonds, cashews, water, dried cranberries (cranberry, sugar, sunflower oil), dried cherries (cherry, sugar, sunflower oil), oatmeal, pistachios, walnuts, molasses, honey, brazil nuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, salt.

Each bar contains 17 grams of fat; 2.5 saturated, 0g trans fat, 110 mg sodium, total carbs of 22 grams (fiber 3g, sugars 11g) and 15 grams protein. This adds up to 300 calories, half of which are from fat.

The Best Bar Ever tastes superior to any protein bar I’ve put into my mouth. Ever! There is no weird artificial after-taste, at least to my taste buds. The three boxes I’ve gone through have all tasted fresh and wonderful. An aspect of living with these bars is refrigeration; I keep them in the freezer. My friends at Custom Fit Meals recommend this, or at least the fridge. Tip: remove a bar from the freezer, let sit at room temperature for perhaps only five minutes. Pour a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Consume. Heaven.

As Games athlete Tina Schmidt says of her experience with the Best Bar Ever: “I really enjoy them and would buy them by the box. Probably the best clean food bar that I have tried.”

Note her use of the word “clean”. I know Tina, and she and her family eat as healthily as anyone I know. If Tom and Tina Schmidt are this in love with the Best Bar Ever, I’m impressed. My wife Anne enjoys these bars more than any of the endless samples she’s been exposed to over the years; she’s a tough audience but would like to see a couple boxes in our freezer at all times.

Which brings up another good point; the Best Bar Ever needs to be refrigerated or frozen upon delivery. They’re so devoid of preservatives they don’t hold up at room temperature. Wow, what a concept!

The folks at Custom Fit Meals, producers of this fine bar, consider this a real food. So do I. Their use of nuts, molasses, honey, whey protein, dried fruits and oats combines real food with real food. What a concept. 

I’ll be subscribing and receiving regular monthly shipments of a box or two of Best Bar Ever. There’s no better endorsement, in my mind, than Anne and I spending real money to have these delivered to our home.

www.customfitmeals, www.bestbarever @customfitmeals, @bestbarever, #bestbarever, #customfitmeals