Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bales Power Training Seasons Greeting

Stay FOCUSED and enjoy the Holiday Season !!!

Bales Power Training

Image : flickriver.com

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chest Supported Incline Row

The chest supported incline row is a different twist on the row. This exercise really works the upper back. By laying on your chest on an incline bench., you isolate your back as it takes the momentum of your legs out of the move. Also, using the incline will recruit more muscle involvement with the traps and rhomboids.

You can use dumbbells or barbell. I prefer barbell on this move. Grab a barbell loaded with plates (or pair of dumbbells) and lie chest-down on an incline bench. Let your arms hang straight down and then row up to your chest. Pause at the chest and squeeze your shoulder blades. Lower the weight and that is one rep.

Stay tuned………..

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shoulder Exercise - Steering Wheel

A great finishing move for shoulders is the “steering wheel”. Besides your primary muscles of the shoulder are used there is also secondary muscles in use such as biceps, triceps, chest, and CORE. This exercise is also great for your rotator cuff.

It is as simple as it sounds. Pick up a weight plate. Pick a weight you can hold with arms extended in front of you. Place your hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock position. The plate should be raised at chest high where your arms are straight out in front of you. Now simply turn the plate from right to left slowly and controlled. You will feel the “burn” in your shoulders and your abs. Do as many reps as you can without losing form.

Stay tuned………………….

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Eating - Plan Your Cheats

Holiday season is among us again. No matter how dedicated we are and no matter what are our best intentions, we all stray off the path.

Plan your “cheats." Do not waste your “cheat” meal on some average dips and chips or other junk food. Plan your cheats for truly fulfilling meals. If you allow yourself to eat the foods you love in a controlled manner, you will be more satisfied and can adhere to “clean eating” the majority of the time. The secret is to plan the specific event or meal you will "cheat"and set a limit on quantity, then enjoy life but do not over-indulge.

Stay tuned……………

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mark Twain - Quote

"If everybody was satisfied with himself there would be no heroes." - Mark Twain

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Back Hybrid Move - Inverted Rows

One of my favorite finishing back moves is the inverted row using your own bodyweight. It is a hybrid between pull-ups (chin-ups) and row. So you get the best of both !!

In a power rack, place the barbell slightly above arms’ distance from the floor. Lie on the floor underneath the bar and grasp it. Keep body in a straight line and heels on the floor, arms extended. Contract your back muscles and bend your arms to pull yourself up to the bar. Touch your chest to the bar. Then lower yourself back down and that is a rep.

There are many variations you can use: underhand grip, wide grip, narrow grip. You can also elevate your feet on a bench or seat to make more challenging.

STAY TUNED………………….

Thursday, November 14, 2013

30 Squat Challenge - Russia

I often do bodyweight squats to relieve some work frustrations. Just stand up and do some, especially if you are traveling and you need to work out some energy in the hotel room. This is a great exercise. Go DEEP.

Related to this, I found this interesting article…….. In support of the upcoming Olympics, in Russia you can do 30 squats in exchange for a free subway ride. What a great promotion and a super way to motivate people to exercise.


Stay tuned…….

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shoulder Dislocations – Exercise

Although this exercise sounds painful, it is not the same as the injury.  The shoulder dislocation exercise is great to improve your shoulder flexibility (and posture).

I stumbled across this exercise when I decided I wanted to start doing some overhead squats. Overhead squats had never been part of my routine. But the world of crossfit has made me think about trying these. Right off I noticed my inflexibility. Being a powerlifter and focusing on HEAVY compound moves, I do have boulder shoulders. However, I also let my stretching and flexibility slip. I did not realize how much until I started doing shoulder dislocations, touted as one of best exercises to improve flexibility in the shoulders. I now try to do it 3-4 times a week.

This exercise will be challenging initially, but you will see improvement if you perform it 3-4 times a week. It is a very simple move. Grab something light and wide such as a broomstick or mop.

Start with a wide grip, raise with straight arms and over your head then lower then behind your back until you hit your butt and then come back. If you have to bend your elbows, then you are too narrow and need to widen your grip. Your goal over time should be to bring your grip in narrower and narrower as your flexibility improves.

Stay tuned………….

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pizza Crust - HEALTHY / NUTTY / Fabulous

This is a fabulous crust that is incredibly healthy !! Low glycemic, flourless, and tasty……. Since I was introduced to it, I made it two days in a row. Very nutty and tasty.

• 1/2 packet yeast
• Tablespoon of Stevia sweetener
• ¾ cup of water (warmed to 100-110 degrees)
• 1 1/4 cups old fashion oatmeal ground up in grinder to make a flour consistency
• Dash of sea salt

1. Dissolve yeast and Stevia in 3/4 cup warm water and let sit for about 8 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, combine oat flour and salt.
3. Pour yeast mixture over flour and mix well.
4. Stir / mix with fork for about 2 minutes.
5. Spread onto lightly greased pan . Use water to smooth crust onto pan.
6. Bake at 500 for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Then add your healthy toppings. Bake for a few minutes until toppings are melted into the crust.


Stay tuned...........

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cheese – Is NOT Off Limits

Cheese is not the enemy of a healthy life. Yes, many cheeses can be high in saturated fat and sodium. But, it also is full of protein and calcium. As with any food, the key is choosing the right variety and portion control.

The most important criteria of cheese is that it be REAL cheese: Natural with no artificial colors and flavorings are added. Processed cheese is unhealthy and full of additives. Some processed cheeses have everything BUT milk in it. This also occurs in the majority of all low fat/no fat cheeses (they are processed and not “real."

So now that you are on the track for the REAL cheese, next is to select cheeses that are higher in protein. Real cheese has very little to no carbs. Here are great cheeses high in protein and lower in fat: Parmasean, Cottage Cheese, Goat Cheese (my favorite), Gruyere, Swiss, Mozeralla, Cheddar, Provolone, and Gouda to name a few. The worse in terms of fat more than protein: Blue Cheese, Camembert, Brie, Limburger, and Mexican Queso

I incorporate real cheese into my diet at least every other day of the week. Remember it is about choices and quantity, and it is not the enemy.

Stay tuned………..

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Protein ALWAYS with Carbs

One of our main objectives in staying “healthy” and physically fit is to manage our blood sugar and insulin throughout the day. This affects our energy levels, disease control, metabolism, our hunger cravings, strength, and our mind/emotions.

Carbohydrates are obviously the main contributor to blood sugar and thus insulin. Not only what you eat in form of carbs but what you eat with your carbohydrates matters. Protein and believe it or not, fat, will slow the absorption of sugar (glucose). This will greatly help to prevent insulin spikes and also drops (insulin roller coaster).

Here is pretty simple tip that we can all do to be healthier: Consume less processed, more “real” food, so that your body works harder to digest it. Stick to non-sugar, complex carbohydrates (with lots of fiber) and consume with protein. Eat smaller, more frequent meals to prevent spikes and drops. The more stable and better your blood sugar is, the healthier you are in many respects.

Protein with complex carbs !!!

Stay tuned………….

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thomas Jefferson - Quote

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Weight Machines - Beware of Injury

When you walk into most gyms, you will see many various machines. Machines are great for beginners. Especially until you get a proper form. Weight machines can provide faster workouts, there is no need for a “spot” and they are generally easy to use.

HOWEVER, beware that they can cause injury. The body movement patterns (path / direction) are fixed and locked in place. Consider the Smith Machine. This can be, depending on certain movements, the worst, most dangerous machine in the gym. Let us take squats as an example. When you perform squats on a Smith Machine, it forces you to take a path of motion that is not natural for you. Moreover, this can cause injury. By performing squats with free weights, you take your body's natural range of motion (keeping proper form). This decreases your chance of injury. Machines simply do not take your body height, weight, and shape into account.

Machines can also give you a false sense of your abilities/strength. Weights on a machine versus lifting something in real life are completely different. For example, when you pick up a heavy box, you do not rest the non-working parts of your body against a machine and only work certain muscle. To be functional in picking up that heavy box, you have to use more muscles (especially to stabilize). In addition, 100 pounds on a chest press machine is nowhere near comparable to 100 pounds on a barbell bench press.

Free weights emulate and carry over to real life and real situations.

Machines have their place. Do not get me wrong. Just be knowledgeable when and how you use them. For example, when I travel I have a few gyms I visit. When there, I use machines I do not have access to normally. BUT I never use machines for the “compound moves." I use machines for extra work to triceps, calves, rear delts, etc.

Stay tuned……………

Friday, September 27, 2013

Micheal Kirby- Quote

"Failure will not overcome me so long as my will to succeed is stronger" - Micheal S. Kirby

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Slash Fat / Build Muscle - FARMER’S WALK (revisited)

II have covered Farmer’s Walk before…………. But seriously folks, it will slash fat and build muscle.

The farmer's walk is an incredible exercise that is not used often enough. It is so SIMPLE that I believe people overlook it in favor of some newfangled exercise fad.

The farmer’s walk builds muscle, reduces body fat, increases strength and has very little risk of injury.

The farmer's walk is the simplest exercise you can do. Simply pick up some heavy weights and walk. Your entire body is utilized. Your arms, back, shoulders, traps, legs and YES your CORE. Imagine getting a great core workout without doing crunches. :)

Reminder that every movement starts with posture. Do not drop your head forward or use a rounded shoulder posture. This causes too much stress on your neck. Instead, work on positioning/posture and maintain a straight back (spine) and head looking forward but not extended.

You can mix the emphasis on distance (a challenging load you can walk with for two minutes) or weight. Distance means lighter weights. This will have a similar cardio effect to sprints. Distance (lighter and longer) will accelerate fat loss. Weight - is heavy and brief (up to 30 seconds). This will build more strength. The heavier weights will translate over to improving your other lifts.

Do both distance and weight often in your workout and see the SUCCESS. Yes, it is simple but brutally effective. !!!

Stay tuned.................

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Perfect Lifting Program - No Such Thing

Everyone wants the magic pill, the perfect program….. . Well, it does not exist. Despite all the “experts” publications, the fact is nobody has it figured out.

There are no absolutes in “training science." There is tooo many variables: one’s aerobic base, anaerobic base, training history, hormones, mental and emotional state, and vital signs.

You have to find a program that works for you. One that meets your goals, your strengths, and your weaknesses. There are vast amounts of publications, wisdom based on experience, and opinions from bloggers, trainers, and competitive athletes. Nevertheless, you have to take responsibility to determine if your lifting program is effective and working for YOU. There is no such thing as a perfect lifting program. Stop looking for the magic answers and start learning and adapting to meet your ultimate fitness goals.

Stay tuned……………

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Physique Mistake - Over Isolating

FOLKS - COMPOUND MOVES !!!! A few times a year, I will receive emails from people wanting advice about training and weight loss or development of specific muscle groups. In reality, they do not want to hear it, they want some miracle answer.

Focusing too much on isolation limits developing the body and fitness level you are striving for. Muscle building (remember KEY to metabolism) requires heavy compound movements (see many earlier blog postings on my site). The heavier compound exercises have a greater impact on natural physique-building hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone (GH). Ladies – I am not talking about bulking up. We ladies also need these same hormones.

Isolation moves has its place AFTER compound moves, mainly to work on any weakness areas and imbalances. But these should NOT be the heart of your lifting session.

Reminder - Compound exercises: Presses, squats, deadlifts, rows, dips and pull-ups.

Stay tuned…………….

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shoulder Press - Challenging Variation

If you have been reading my blog, you know overhead press (shoulder press) is one of the 7 staples in our compound moves. Here is a variation of it that I tried for the first time yesterday. It will absolutely will shock your shoulders and core.

This variation is not easy. You will be sitting on the floor for this press. Sit in a squat rack. Do not start with the barbell on the floor. Set the pins in the squat rack a couple of inches below shoulder level and place your barbell there. Your legs are together and straight (no bend in the knees). No slouching. Sit up straight with no back support. Sit on your hamstrings and not your butt to make sure your lower back stays tight and upright. Grab the barbell and perform the movement like the standards overhead press.

This is no way of cheating and you have no assistance. You may be humbled as I was on the amount of weight you can lift in a strict form press. Go light until you get the feel for it. Very challenging.

Stay tuned…………….

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pull Ups – End Every Session

Pull-ups/chins ups are a superior upper body exercise. It taxes your forearms, biceps, lats and upper back better than any other upper body exercise. Your upper back muscles are difficult to overstrain. Since it is mainly a body weight exercise, you can include this move more frequency.

A couple of points to consider: You can switch hand positions to take stress off the elbows. Try underhand, overhand and neutral grips. I recommend doing them at the end of your workout at least 3 or 4 days a week, regardless of what you trained that day. Do as many continuous pull-ups you can, take a break and do more until you reach at least 30 reps. It does not matter how many sets it takes to achieve those reps, just do them. They are an incredible muscle builder and promote stretching all at the same time.

Stay tuned………..

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

SUCCESSFUL Tip : Envision Your Workout

Visualization creates positive thinking. I have been doing visualization in lifting for quite some time. It is the act of picturing what you are going to do and then making it happen (a rehearsal so to speak). It will strengthen your mind and create a very strong mind and body connection.

My visualization process includes both dreams at night (I have been told I actually sleep with movements of deadlifting with my arms, body movements) as well as right before a lift. For example, as I line myself up to the barbell for a deadlift, I close my eyes and breathe and envision the lift I am about to perform.

Sports science, professional athletes and stress the importance of visualization in performance. Envision your lift in every detail. Then go DO IT.

Stay tuned………….

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Overweight Does NOT Always Mean “Unhealthy”

Doctors, news media, blogs and many so-called “experts” are saying “If you’re overweight, you’re unhealthy.”

This is not necessarily true. As we know (see previous post), body mass index is not an accurate measurement of health. A muscular individual will score higher on BMI because it doesn’t consider the muscle to fat ratio. It seems that the standard medical answer is you are too heavy/overweight and that is the root of all your health issues. Not true in every case. If you are overweight but aerobically fit you are indeed much “healthier” than a skinny couch potato. Consider that there are so many recently published reports that show “fit” vs. “un-fit” is more of an indicator to disease and mortality than “fat” vs. “thin.”

The most important thing you can do to get healthy is to workout. Get in regular physical exercise along with a balanced diet. Focus on a fitness level and not the number on a scale.

Stay tuned…………..

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Negatives (Reps that is)

Negative reps – what are they?? These are slow, downward reps that concentrate on negative portion of the rep. During a negative phase of the movement (the downward phase such as lowering the bar in bench-press or lowering into a deep squat), the muscle lengthens while it contracts.

Negatives are great for building muscle and busting through plateaus because you can purposely damage more muscle fibers during negatives than you can during the positive phase. As we have discussed before in previous blog posts, the more you stimulate muscle fibers, the more you grow.

Negatives are best performed with barbell movements. You can work with so much more weight and you are more stable than with say, dumbbells. To perform these moves properly, you will need a training partner (spotter). They need to be in position to have full control of the bar. You will be able to do the negative portion of the move but you may not be able to do full positive and may need the assistance on the upward movement. This is not failure, it's the intent of the set.

Negatives should be performed only after you've completed your full rep sets. Also, only perform 2-3 negatives. When I perform negatives, I load up more than I can do on full reps. I go slowly on the descent with heavy weights. Then your partner will assist on the upward movement.

Stay tuned……………

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Do Something Impossible

I read this article and wanted to share……


Stay tuned…………..

Friday, July 26, 2013

Deadlifts - Easy Way to Change Weights on Barbell

If you are like me, you do not have a deadlift bar jack (the fancy deadlift barbell device) to change the weights.     But you are pulling and dealing with some heavy plates.    An easy solution is to use a plate to prop up the bar.   Simply roll or pick up one side of the barbell and place on a smaller plate so it sits in the hole.  This raises it just enough to slide more plates on (or off).  When done do the other side of the barbell.   I also use a wood block and set the barbell on it one side at a time.     Quick, easy and no need for expensive bar jack.  

Stay tuned………………. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

MUSIC - Push Through Exercise

Music helps push you through workouts. You stand in a squat rack or walk up to a deadlift bar. You look at the barbell and all kinds of thoughts run through your head. You start psyching yourself out. One of the best ways to effectively change your state of mind and improve your performance is to gear up with music. Upbeat music stimulates heart rate and respiration. This translates to helping with endurance and success.

Turn up the volume, get into the zone and LIFT !!!

Stay tuned……….

Friday, July 12, 2013

Spartan 300 Workout

The movie, 300, gained much attention beyond the just film story because of the ripped bodies of the actors. Their workout became very popular and is called the Spartan 300 workout. The actors got themselves ripped and sculpted by doing these grueling workouts. They performed 50 reps each of six different exercises with no break between sets, for a total of 300 reps. They constantly used variety in their exercise movements.

Sample workouts:

Pullups - 25 reps

• Barbell Deadlift with 135 lbs. - 50 reps

• Pushups - 50 reps

• 24-inch Box Jumps - 50 reps

• Floor Wipers - 50 reps

• Single-Arm Clean-and-Press with 36 lbs Kettlebell - 50 reps

Pullups - 25 reps



Pullups - 25 reps

• Dumbbell Deadlift - 50 reps

• Pushups - 50 reps

• Body-Weight Squat Jumps - 50 reps

• V-Ups - 50 reps

• Dumbbell Push Press - 50 reps

Pullups - 25 reps


Beginner Sample:

• Body-Weight Rows - 15 reps

• Body-Weight Squats - 25 reps

• Pushups - 15 reps

• Jumping Jacks - 50 reps

• Mountain Climbers - 20 reps

• Close-Grip Pushups - 10 reps

• Body-Weight Rows - 15 reps



Give it a try once every few weeks for keeping your body guessing, challenged and changing!

Stay tuned…………..



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Quote

"The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Quote

"The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what happens." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Importance of Training your TRAPS

Training of the neck and trapezius is often ignored by many lifters.   Having a strong neck is necessary to prevent injuries and imbalances.  These muscles are key to good posture.   They are a stabilizing muscle group that pull the upper spine and shoulders into alignment.

Image per Wikipedia

The top exercises for trap training include:   Shrugs of all variations (barbell, dumbbell, smith machine);   Upright rows of all variations (barbell, dumbbell, cable);   Face Pulls.

The best time to train your traps is when you are working on back or shoulder muscles.  

Stay tuned……………..

Friday, June 28, 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Quote

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Self-Disciplined People Are Happier (and Not as Deprived as You Think)

A great article that hits home for me personally........

Self-Disciplined People Are Happier (and Not as Deprived as You Think)
By Maia Szalavitz     June 24, 20130


Stay tuned.......

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wayne Gretzky - Quote

"Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy." - Wayne Gretzky

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Back Exercises - Variations

As I have written in previous post, our back is KEY to sooo much of our lifting and daily life.  Back muscles are best built from heavy deadlifts, chin-ups, and rows.  Everyone can stall out quickly without the right challenging variations.  Below are 2 back exercises that will add variety to your back routine and bust you out of any stalls.

Supported Meadows Rows -  Put a barbell in a corner secured from moving (lifting rack or corner of a room), and perpendicular to a bench and row.  Grip is pronated vs. the dumbbell row of neutral grip.  Start with one arm, leave the bar right where it is and just turn around on the same side of the bench and do the other arm.  I always use straps and go heavy.  If you do not use straps you will be limited to your grip. 

Wide Grip Inverted Rows - Inverted rows are excellent way to really concentrate on the back.  Add an additional challenge by performing them with hands set wider than normal and your elbows flared out instead of tucking them in (like you would do on normal inverted rows).   

Stay tuned...............

Friday, June 14, 2013

Serena Williams - Quote

"Everyone's dream can come true if you just stick to it and work hard." - Serena Williams

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Diet Mistake - Smoothies

Many people pick smoothies to cool off and refresh in the summer.    Sounds healthy – right?    Places add in fresh fruit, yogurt and protein powder.   All sounds healthy and “diet friendly”.     NOT EXACTLY -----    It is full of fruit and fruit juices that are loaded with sugar.       I am not suggesting you ban them.  Smoothies can be “healthy” if you make them yourself and use less sugar-based juices and replace the sugar with sugar substitutes if it needs extra sweetening.  Just be extra cautious with the ingredients you are putting in your smoothie and conscious of the sugar and calories involved.  

Stay tuned…………..  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

EAT After a Workout !!

A big mistake that many people make is not eating after a workout. They worry that they will “eat back” what they just burned off.   

That is just FALSE.    

Working out puts stress on the body and you need to have the right nutrients to heal and repair.    The breaking down and healing and repair are the keys to muscle growth and fat loss.  It is NOT just the training.  But more importantly it is the mending process/rebuilding process that builds muscle and boosts your metabolism.   Otherwise stated, it makes you more toned!!   Having said that, do not think a hard workout is a free pass to pig out.    See my previous posts on “Muscle Growth After Gym” and  “Pre and Post - Workout Nutrition”

Stay tuned……….

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own - Quote

It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great." - Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Straight Leg Sit Up

I was challenged recently on how many of these straight leg sit-ups I could do.   Trust me, done properly, these will have your abs screaming.  

As the name suggest, your legs are going to be straight for the sit up.    Back sure your back is flat to the ground.   Then sit up keeping your legs straight on the ground.   Your arms are across your body or at your sides as long as you do not use them to assist.    There is no momentum, just pure abs pulling power.   

Try a few and see how awesome they work your full abs.

Stay tuned…………….

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Andy Roddick - Quote

"At one point in your life you either have the thing you want or the reasons why you don't" - Andy Roddick

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dumbbell Pullovers - Chest and Back Move

Dumbbell pullovers are a great supplemental exercise for both the back and chest.     I have not performed these in quite some time.    Then last week, I added it to the end of my back workout.  WOW – did I feel it and in a good way.    Great upper body move to finish off your day. 

To perform the pullovers, lie on a flat bench, hold the inside part of a dumbbell with both hands in a diamond shape on the top part (plate) of the dumbbell.    You can keep your elbows slightly bent or straight armed.   "Slightly bent" puts more emphasis on the chest muscles.   "Straight-armed" puts more emphasis on the back muscles.    Lower dumbbell over and beyond head, stretch back before your arms reach parallel and power the dumbbell back up using your chest and back.   You will feel this move in the chest, back and even your abs.   

Add the move in every so often to challenge your muscles.  

Stay tuned………

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chicken Cutlets with Tarragon-Mushroom Sauce

A great twist on chicken dish.


2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/2 onion, halved
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 -2 cups (based on your preference) quartered mushrooms
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 tablespoon water
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon


1.       Place first 4 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced.   Remove solids with a slotted spoon; discard.

2.       Cut chicken breast halves in half horizontally.   Sprinkle with sea salt.   Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in flour. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter to pan; swirl until butter melts.  Add 4 cutlets to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon butter, and 4 cutlets.

3.       Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onions; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add stock mixture; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into stock mixture; cook 1 minute or until sauce thickens. Stir in dash of sea salt and the tarragon. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Adapted from Cooking Light April 2013

Stay tuned………

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Food Practices Banned in Europe But Just Fine Here

A friend of mine sent this to me.   All I can say is  WOW ……….     Please read.


Stay tuned………….

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cal Ripken, Jr. - Quote

"Stubbornness usually is considered a negative; but I think that trait has been a positive for me." - Cal Ripken, Jr.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Strength When Leaning Out

A quandary I often face:  Losing strength as you lean out.    I always want the best of all worlds.   Don’t we all?  

When you are dieting down, it is a fact that you will lose strength.    It varies but an average is for every 10 lbs.  you lose in bodyweight, you will lose  about 5% in total strength.     This is specifically true if you do hardcore dieting.   You will indeed lose energy and endurance. 

However, if you just cut back a little (slower and not as drastic) and  stop doing cardio more than 2-3 days a week,  there shouldn’t be near the loss in strength.   You will get lean but it will take more time.

Bottom line:  Pick your goals, but for overall fitness that last a lifetime, lean out slowly and keep up your strength. 

Stay tuned……………

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Quote

"The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent." - - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MISTAKE/Popular Bad Advice – Looking Up

Many trainers, fitness magazines and other usually reliable sources recommend “looking up” when performing lifting moves.  Most people interpret this as tilting their head upward.   MISTAKE.    This is not the natural arch in your spine.  Lifting, especially big moves, means hundreds of pounds of weight across your back.  Thus, it puts a huge amount of pressure on the disks.  You need to keep your head neutrally aligned. 

When executing the big heavy moves such as barbell rows, squats, deadlifts and bench, your eyes and head should be forward.  For bent-over rows, since your body is bent-over about 45 degrees, your head should remain neutral, which also means it is 45 degrees to the floor.  For squats and deadlifts, forward means straight ahead, not down or up -- straight spine and natural arch.  

Safety and form are always first.   If you concentrate on those items, you will be able to lift more pounds.  

Stay tuned………………… 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Raspberry-Chipotle Chicken Breasts

My lunch today……….. VERY yummy. !!!

4 tablespoons sugar free raspberry jam 
1 fresh squeezed lime (for the juice)
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves  
Dash of sea salt

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring with a whisk until smooth.  Cook over medium heat 4 minutes or until slightly syrupy.
2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.  Sprinkle chicken with sea salt.  Grill chicken until done.
3.  Spoon raspberry mixture over chicken and serve.  

Adapted from Cooking Light – May 2013

Stay tuned………

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts." -    - Dan Gable

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lifting Heavy Can Regulate Blood Sugar

This is a very interesting article that I wanted to share.  Blood sugar is key for all of us (not just diabetics). 

Weightlifting Can Help Diabetics

Stay tuned………….