How To Survive Summer BBQs

Summer is all about pools, ice cream, skimpy clothes and…BBQ!! There’s nothing better than walking through a neighborhood and smelling the sweet aroma of grilled meat in the air. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel extremely patriotic!

The only downer is when you get invited to a BBQ party after weeks of working on your summer beach body. Instead of being thrilled, you begin to panic. Do you know what to do when faced with eating someone else’s barbecue?

You don’t want to be rude to your hosts but at the same time you don’t want to destroy all your progress. The typical BBQ party gang will be there in full force:

  • BBQ ribs
  • Burgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Potato salad
  • Baked beans
  • Corn on the cob
  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Cookies
  • Popsicles

With such a list of foods, who cares about the last couple of workouts!

You EARNED the chance to let loose! You desire to Release The Beast on that BBQ party’s delicious foods!

Slow down amigo!

There’s no need to go to that extreme. You can still achieve your body goals and have a good time as well at the BBQ. Let me show you the way.

Here’s MicVinny’s guide on surviving summer barbecues:

Reduce Calories Before The BBQ

Most likely the BBQ will be during the late afternoon/evening hours. That means you will be having a late lunch or early dinner. Given that you don’t know the exact calorie count of what’s at the bar-b-que, leave some extra room for those excess calories by eating less for breakfast.

I personally perform intermittent fasting on a daily basis. It’s the art of fasting for 14-20 everyday before eating your first meal. Some folks jokingly call it “Skipping Breakfast”.

Intermittent fasting allows me to eat bigger sized meals 2-3 times a day instead of a bunch of smaller ones. By reducing (or skipping) breakfast, it will allow you to eat more calories while at the BBQ.

Eat Green Veggies

The first food you should stack onto your disposable plate is vegetables. Seek green vegetables first. If there is no green vegetable, reach for any other vegetable that is not drenched in oil or butter.

You can never eat too many green healthy vegetables. If all you see is salad, go for it. Just make sure it’s more vegetable than cheese, dressing or other. We want to get our vitamins in, and veggies are how we do it!

Note:  Corn should be treated like a starch source on this day (as well it should be on other days if you’re not already doing so).

Eat That Grilled Protein

There’s nothing quite like the smell of grilled meat fresh off the fire. Just the thought of it makes me want to jump around and yell like captain caveman!

Speaking of cavemen, this is a day in which I would go with my Paleo practitioners and try to emphasize eating some meat!

The best tasting barbecue foods are composed of fatty cuts of meats. If all you see is ribs, steaks chops, brisket, burgers, dark meat chicken, wings; then embrace this as a high protein, higher fat meal.

If you see grilled chicken breast, white fish, or turkey then you can possibly make this BBQ into a high protein, high carb meal. Either way it won’t be perfect.

If it’s a higher fat day that just means all your other carb sources will need to go down for this day. If you’re eating leaner meats, that means you can empathize carbs as your energy source and avoid adding fats to your meals.

Oh yeah, please make sure you eat meat that looks like it’s from a real animal. You should try not to eat processed meats like hot dogs, sausages and brats. Those foods are mostly fat with barely any protein value so those are not your top dog choices for this day.

Heck, even a dachshund “hot dog” has more protein in their tiny bodies…but let’s not get any crazy ideas while at our friend’s house ok?

dachshund in hot dog costume
Where’s Sparky mommy?

Go Easy on That BBQ Sauce

Hopefully the grillmaster is skilled in their craft and knows how to season their protein properly. Well-seasoned protein sources equates to you needing less barbecue sauce. The majority of barbecue sauces on the market contain lots of high fructose corn syrup.

You should not need more than one tablespoon of barbecue sauce. Try to eat pieces with as little as possible so you can control the sauce.

Go Easy On Other Condiments As Well

Your lowest calorie choices are mustard, salsa, hot sauce, & vinegar. When faced with other condiment choices, try to eat less than a tablespoon.

The problem is that you don’t know what’s in most of those condiments. Too many contain lots of sugars & additives. We don’t need all that garbage in our system!

Avoid Processed Carbs

Due to the high fat content of your grilled main dish, there’s no need to go crazy with your carbs. If there’s baked potatoes, plain white or brown rice available, go for it.

The processed carbohydrates we see at barbecues are just wasted calories that add no nutritional value. We’ve been brainwashed to think that we have to have these cheap goodies with our main meals at BBQs.

You don’t need them!

Whether it’s a pastry, cracker, chips or bread, they’re not worth the cheap temporary thrill they will give you. You’ll be happy the moment they touch your taste buds, but in the land of sorrow and regret by the time you swallow.

Jubilee-cake

Avoid Sugary Drinks

The weather is hot so you should be getting some fluids in your body. Drink water and not sugary drinks. You already will be getting sugar from the BBQ sauce. Embrace water and unsweetened tea.

If you are just a sugar monster, then bring your own sugar free liquid drink mix to the party. Add to your cup as many times as you please during the BBQ. Just make sure that once the party is over, you write down that you’re still a recovering sugar addict and today was a win!

Eat Fruit for dessert

If you still crave sugar, reach for some fresh fruit! Feel free to devour watermelon, peaches, pineapple or whatever fresh fruit is served. Fruit is always a better option then engulfing half a pie.

Fruit is nature’s candy right?

Socialize

Trying to be Mr. and Mrs. Perfect can be stressful and time consuming. If you’re stressing about every detail on this list then you’re missing the grand picture. You should be living your life to it’s fullest.

If all you do is dwell on the foods you can’t eat, you’re going to make life miserable for yourself. The food selection process becomes much easier if you arrive at the BBQ with the mindset that you will talk with your friends and family. You’re just changing your eating not your entire social status.

Laugh and have fun!

What you eat is only a minor part of this human experience!

 


How do you handle summer BBQs? Leave a comment below.

Why Do You Eat What You Eat? Part II

In Part I, I explored the topic of why do you eat what you eat. I would like to continue this topic in today’s Part II.

Let’s take a moment and think about nature in general. I think we all can agree that humans are mammals. If not, go back to school and revisit a science book.

It’s been scientific proven that humans are a part of nature. We may have more intelligence than other species according to scientific research but what about when it comes towards what we eat?

Compare humans to our mammal brothers and sisters. Those creatures keep their day-to-day lives simple. They don’t stress about:

1) Providing a decent amount of income for their families.
2) Paying the mortgage.
3) Putting together that PowerPoint presentation for the big meeting tomorrow
4) Buying a new mattress

Other mammals are just trying to survive one day at a time. They understand all they have to do is eat, sleep and avoid predators.

To be such an advanced specious we overlook the basics. If a cow grows up to be healthy just by eating the same grass every day, why can’t we do the same with our healthy foods?

By having such a sophisticated palette, we tend to get bored easily. As a kid, how often did you actually like those vegetables on your plate? You most likely gravitated towards candies, desserts and other colorful boxes. If you embraced those colorful boxes growing up, you most likely stayed in your comfort zone by continuing to eat from those boxes for decades.

Ronald’s Hamburger Trap

Happy Meal
Who didn’t eat McDonald’s Happy Meals as a child? Getting a “free” toy made you want that meal even more. It had nothing to do with the hamburger and fries. It was all about the special bag or box it came in along with the toy.

At that young age, you associated fun playful things with McDonalds. That led to your first fast food relationship. Over the years you developed a taste for what they were providing and kept it up.

You could not fandom a hamburger without those golden fries. You probably never got great at actually ordering the actually individual food items. It’s no coincidence that fast food joint menus have combinations by the numbers.

Why?

Because you’ve been groomed to follow that procedure without even putting much thought into it. Fast food joints are just making it easier to keep you doing what you’ve always been trained to do.

Desserts

As a child did you always have dessert after every dinner? Was dessert a rare treat? In my household I looked at it as that special something I got if I ate whatever was on my plate.

If I knew I could get dessert by eating spaghetti, you better well believe that 10 years down the road, I probably grew a liking for spaghetti and desserts. The reason I really like spaghetti is simply the reward factor of getting dessert.

Take a moment and think about that.

How often do you have special desserts? Do you always serve the same desserts during the holidays? There’s a reason why you only think of that food as seasonal.

Eating At School

chocolate milk
The first memory I always have of 1st grade is snack time. During snack time, we would be allowed to have some type of treat with milk. To participate you had to pay about a quarter. It was during snack time that I had my first school chocolate milk. From the young age of 6 until sixteen, I was a chocolate milk fiend.

There was never a school lunch in which I did not drink chocolate milk with it. Eventually as I got in my later teenage years, I realized how sweet it was and just got plain milk. But for a good 10 year run, I was all about the cocoa powdered infused milk!

It’s amazing at how many unnecessary calories I ingested by one simple snack choice as a youngster. Do you have a food from your school days that have carried over to you into adulthood?

Living Environment

Our food choices come from our living environment as a whole. There’s a difference in perspective if you live in the middle of a metropolis vs. out in the deep country. In the city, you are limited to what is easy to get into your apartment. If you were raised in this type of environment, mega grocery stores are not something you encounter on a daily basis. You most likely are use to the small grocery stores with limited supplies. With the limited options come limited choices in what food choices you selected.

If there are convenient cheap fast food restaurants on every corner, you’re going to eat differently than the person out in the countryside with fresh vegetables in their backyard.

South Carolina peaches in a tree

Those who grow up in farms way out in the country are going to be use to seeing open green land. The green landscape has a calming affect, and they see food in its natural habitat. They understand that apples have to be physically picked from a tree. They’ve seen potatoes scooped from the soil and washed off. They’ve seen fresh eggs plucked from chickens. They will have a closer relationship to their food sources.

For those who only experience food sources in grocery stores, there’s going to be a HUGE disconnect in what you eat. It’s easier to not put a face on that animal if all you see is packaged foods with cute names like “bacon”, “nuggets”,“hamburger” or “milk”.

Food is food to those who are disconnected. It’s just a simple process. If it’s just a process to you, doesn’t that explain why you eat what you currently do doesn’t it? There’s no real relationship. You just heat and serve before popping it into your mouth.

You Have A Decision To Make

A little boy choosing between a cupcake and apple...looks like the cupcake is the winner.

Each day you make choices on what you eat. You naturally will do what’s easy which is what you’ve always done. If grounded with unhealthy disciplines to begin with (Part I), you’re going to keep that up. As the days turn into weeks which turn into months which turns into years…that’s what you see when you look at your dinner plate tonight.

That dinner is just one of thousands that have led to the way you currently look in the mirror. Those food decisions did not just happen overnight. It’s been developing for a long period of time.

If it took you this long to develop your current eating habits, do you really think you’re going to instantly get better with some type of “30 Day or less Fat loss” diet?

Stop falling for the traps!

The real change happens when you understand what got you were you are now. If you are trying to improve your eating habits, understanding these basics is a good place to start building your new eating habits.

Get started today! Check out Release The Beast if you need help in making your decisions!

Why Do You Eat What You Eat? Part I

In today’s fast paced society it’s rare to take time to think about how you got to be were you are today. When wanting to lose a ton of weight we automatically search for 6-12 week workout programs. Those programs go hand to hand with a super fast diet plan.

We all know that healthy eating is the best thing to do to stay in shape. The truth is 80-85% of a successful healthy lifestyle comes from the foods you eat.  Sadly, we still don’t understand one simple concept. No matter what a diet plan tells you what you should be eating, YOU will be the one ultimately deciding what goes into your mouth.

Have you ever really thought about why you even eat the foods you eat?

If your desire is to be ripped and thin, what does your waist currently tell you?

Does it look like a waist of a person who has consistently made the right decisions day after day?

Your waist reflects years of food decisions. Each inch tells the story of what foods you settled on during your past meals. Unless you had a gun pointed at your head, you decided to eat those foods.

Whether it was due to being tired or lack of time to find something nutritious…. in the end it was still YOUR choice to put those foods into your mouth.

Let’s get to the exact reason why you eat the foods you eat. Let this be an awakening moment for those that struggle with diet plans.

Baby

Baby bottle with milk

When you were a baby, you had very little control over what you could eat. You had no idea how the world worked and was dependent on your parents to provide the proper nutrition you needed to grow up healthy and strong. Those first weeks of your life started a trend that left an imprint into your eating habits for the rest of your life.

As infants, our first healthy choice of food is breast milk. Every mammal on this planet starts off by feeding on breast milk. It’s natural and nutritious.

Parents First Influence

That first food that parents choose after the breast milk phase starts the development of what you will be eating for years. Most mammals naturally make good food selections because their food source is naturally occurring (due to them being in…. nature). Humans eat based on convenience.

When stressed out and sleep deprived, a parent will feed their child whatever baby food product they can easily find. Organic or not, it’s fast and convenient. Unfortunately most of the items contain lots of sugar. That’s when babies start to get their first taste of sweetness. Those innocent mashed bananas, sweet peas and carrots give babies their first sugar rush!

Gerber Baby food on a shelf

Not Great But Cheap

As you grow up, your parents have more tough decisions to make. Those decisions lead to good or bad habits being passed down to you. Some households are unable to cook nutritious meals and depend on fast food joints to get by. Others can only afford generic food brands at cheaper rates. The cheaper the food, the poorer quality of nutrients it will contain. Left with little options, lots of families gravitate towards those foods.

Cakes, cookies and other sugary sweets are easy ways to make kids instantly happy. We don’t physically see the affect of those goodies until years down the road.  Since we can’t see it immediately with our own eyes, we avoid it because we think it’s ok.

It’s just one snack.

That one snack turns into thousands of snacks by the time kids become teenagers.

From Generation to Generation

Mom and dads are only repeating the same habits that was passed down to them by their parents. Being a new parent is scary and adventurous. It’s up to their parents to help lead their ways.

If grandparents have healthy habits, those habits would be passed down to their kids, which hopefully could get passed down to the grandkids. As generations move on, it get’s harder and harder to imitate past healthy lifestyles.

Modern conveniences make it much easier to avoid cooking healthy home cook meals. Ten minute or less meals have become the normal because it’s faster.

I remember eating weekly hamburger helper meals. Not because my mom didn’t love us but because it was convenient and tasted good. That food became a staple of my childhood.

cheeseburger macaroni hamburger helper

Do You Cook

If you’re a person that loves to cook, how did you get that trait?

Was it from watching a relative cook?

Was it from watching a TV show.

Statistics show that those who cook for themselves are more likely to live healthy lives when compared to those who don’t cook. If you’re cooking for yourself you’re obviously eating what you cook.

Have you ever really thought about how those recipes came into play?

Why do you bake cakes?

Or fry chicken?

Why do you have to have turkey on Thanksgiving?

Why do you eat the foods you eat?

Before you take that first bite of dinner tonight, take a step back and let this article sink in. Check back in few days as I continue with Part 2!

4 Simple Ways To Stop Vacation Weight Gain

“Two more days and counting!”

Bob glances at the calendar and sees a big red circle pinpointing his family’s first vacation of the year. The timing could not be more perfect! Bob has been working non-stop for five straight months.

He needs this vacation!

Bob fantasizes about the looks he’s going to be getting once he’s at the beach. Bob knows he’s been working out hard at the gym. His waistline is at a ten year low! He knows he looks good and wants to show it off at the beach!

Once home, Bob opens his packed suitcase to double check what he packed.

Shorts. Check
Swimming Trunks. Check
Dressy clothes for a fancy night out on the town. Check
Sandals. Check
Digital Camera. Check……

Bob give’s everything he’s packed a nice long looker.

“I think I have a everything. This is going to be great!”

Vacation Time

Driving a car in national lampoon's vacation

 

Bob arrives to the airport, and uses the rollover cart to make carrying his luggage easier.

“No need to waste some energy right.”

After purchasing his ticket, there’s a flight of stairs and an escalator. Bob takes the escalator and stands still while the escalator moves him vertically about twenty feet.

Bob finds his gate and sits down. He has an hour and half to board and wants to be prepared.

Seeing a candy bar sale, Bob get’s up from his seat and walks to the airport’s convenience store.

“I haven’t a Snicker’s in months! Five for $3! That’s a steal!”

Once on the plane, the flight attendant asks Bob which beverage he would like. Bob chooses Coke as he chews on his second candy bar.

“This is going to be a great vacation!”

Arrival

Lampoon's family photo from old cast and new 2015 cast

 

Two hours later Bob and his family arrive at their hotel alongside the beach. They take the elevator up to the third floor and burst open the door. The room is all what Bob thought it would be and more!

While settling in, Bob here’s a grumble in his tummy. It’s grub time! With his family jumping for joy, Bob decides to keep it simple and goes to the fast food joint next door. It’s fast, cheap and the kids will love it with no problem.

Bob orders the #3…and a small vanilla shake. Bob is on a vacation after all!

As Bob slowly walks back to his room, Bob notices the hotel’s gym and swimming pool.

“Oh, I didn’t know they had such a nice gym. I probably should have brought my gym shorts. If I have time, I’ll get in a few sessions.”

Bob’s week long vacation goes by in a blur. Bob was able to let go and just have fun. He never second guessed what he was doing and just lived in the moment. Bob had a blast eating out and letting the stress melt away from his mind.

Like all great vacations, they have to end at some point. Bob eventually made it home late Sunday night. As Monday arrived, Bob dreaded having to get back to work.

As Bob got out of bed, he decided to go weight himself on the scale. The number that came back at him was not what he expected!

“What! I gained 15 pounds! Impossible! Oh man!”

Classic Story

Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vacation
Bob’s scenario happens time and time again when people travel. People that are in decent shape start traveling and then make awful decisions.

Let’s see what Bob could have done better to avoid those 15 post vacation pounds.

Take The Stairs

Bob is a pretty fit guy. His luggage was light enough where he could have walked up the stairs and got a nice workout in.

Carrying a heavy load while going up some steps is a good impromptu workout.

Even going up the escalator he did not have to just stop. He could have walked. That walking habit could have carried over to the hotel. His hotel was on the third floor, which is a nice consistent form of getting extra cardio in.

Be Aware Of Cheap Sugary Treats

Bob caved in and decided to go for a rare cheap treat. He bought himself candy bars because they were on sale and he was on vacation.

What Bob didn’t realize was the candy bars were the start of his bad eating domino affect. Eating that rare treat made it easier for him to have that rare soda on the plane. That sugar in his system made it easier for his brain to desire the fast food at the hotel.

Those three simple choices became the catalyst for the rest of his eating on that entire trip. All of it could have been avoided if Bob would have just had a good nutritious healthy snack at the airport instead of something cheap.

Walk More

John Candy as a cop on National lampoon's vacation

With so much free time at the airport, Bob could have gotten a simple walk in while waiting. It seems minor, but that would have been a simple therapeutic exercise that would have reminded him of his true habits of staying in shape.

Walking is often overlooked. You don’t have to be on a treadmill to do this exercise. The more you walk, the better you will look over time.

Bring Workout Clothes

Bob completely forgot his workout clothes. By not having his clothes he was not truly planning on working out while on vacation. Sure he had some shorts and a shirt but in his mind, those aren’t workout clothes.

By not having his gear, he told himself that he wasn’t going to make it to the gym. The gym became secondary and an afterthought.

The Solution For Vacation Weight Gain

This was a vacation for Bob and his family so he had every right to enjoy himself. The problem was that he worked so hard to get in shape before the trip. If he was to only change a few things, he could have had a blast on the vacation and came home a much happier person.

Chevy Chase Hitting Wally's World moose

Now that Bob’s gained some weight he most likely will feel defeated and take longer to get back into shape.

Don’t let that be YOU!!!

Whether it’s for a personal vacation or a business trip, learn how to stay in shape on the road. MicVinny’s Travel Workout Master Course is coming on June 28th!.

Sign up for the Pre-Launch list and get an exclusive discount the day the workout course is released!

Sign up here

Why The World Needs My New Travel Workout Course

With summer approaching more people will be taking some sort of travel in the next couple of months. Whether that’s personal family vacations or job related business trips. One way or another, you’re going to be away from home.

For the person who’s been working out nonstop developing that perfect lean summer body, taking a trip can be earth shattering! You’ve been hitting the gym every day and have gotten accustomed to using the equipment that’s in your gym. What will happen to your progress?

What are you going to do without access to barbells, classes and fancy cardio machines?

Some individuals may have just have just started their new fitness plan. Their confidence was slowly building. They had just completed their first successful week when all of a sudden a two day business trip shakes their reality.

“Should I even continue to get in shape? I’m just gong to lose it while on the trip!”

I use to have that same mentality. I would get frustrated when my 6 month Super Squat Strength Training Plan got interrupted. I automatically would accept defeat and assume that I would never be able to make the progress the fitness magazines was promising.

Do you feel the same way when you travel?

The Traveler’s 11 Step Cycle

As the weather has been warming up, I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Why do we have this All or None mentality?

There has to be a better way to approach working out on the road. It doesn’t have to be the following same ole 11 step cycle each time:

  1. Working out and feeling good while at home
  2. Go on the road
  3. Eat bad
  4. Barely workout
  5. Gain weight
  6. Come home
  7. Become depressed
  8. Eat crappy foods before deciding to change back to healthy
  9. Take weeks and/or months to workout again
  10. Finally start exercising and eating healthy again
  11. Repeat

I don’t know about you but I no longer want to accept that tired destructive routine!

That’s why I decided to do something about it.

An Unexpected Journey

MARTIN FREEMAN as Bilbo Baggins in New Line Cinema’s and MGM's fantasy adventure “THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
I had this idea for a travel workout plan for over a year. I just didn’t really know if I was worthy enough to do it. A year ago, I had just left my job as an international business developer. I sacrificed a lot of money to go and discover what I truly wanted in life.

Some people thought I was stupid. Other’s courageous. I just knew I had to try something different, no matter how scary it was.

After a failed business attempt, I decided to just write a book. That book was just an accumulation of habits I learned and developed to help overcome my mental aspects of getting into shape. That book was called Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical and Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside!

Instantly it became an Amazon #1 Best-Seller, which was a huge confidence booster!

That solidified that I was worthy of being an online fitness coach. That book helps develop the proper mindset but it did not provide any type of nutrition or actual workout plan. I decided that I would come up with my own routines by personal training others.

During the winter of 2016, I started personally training several individuals online. Some clients have had stellar results while others are still struggling with demons.

Training has been a great learning experience. It helped me realize that I should put together my own unique workout video course.

I’m not looking to be the next Shaun T or Tony Horton. I do not want to develop an Insanity or P90X type workout video course. I want a program that people will actually complete.

Insanity vs. P90X with Shaun T and Tony Horton pictures
Shaun T and Tony Horton

Why My Fitness Course Will Be Awesome

When traveling from the road, I wish I had a video that told me how to utilize my hotel room. All I would find is articles every now and then from people who don’t really get it.

They didn’t understand what it’s like to LIVE the LIFESTYLE!

They didn’t understand why it was so hard to stay motivated.

They didn’t understand how people with families, debt, and stress struggled to find the time while away on trips.

They didn’t understand the peer pressures of eating like your co-workers or family.

But I DO!

I know how to survive on the road. I understand what your mind must do to start accepting the reality of the road.

I understand just how crappy hotel gyms can be.

I know how to get you to IMPROVE not HARM your body during your next trip.

Your Next Travel Workout Plan

poolside at shangri la Kuala Lumpur

 

On June 8th, I started working on the MicVinny Travel Workout Master Course.

This video course is designed to address all the pains associated with working out on the road.

Not only will I be giving you advice, but I will also provide a year’s worth of workout routines that can be performed ANYWHERE!

To challenge myself, I have given myself a deadline to launch this course on Tuesday, June 28th. That’s about two weeks away from today!

That doesn’t give me a lot of time. There will probably be mistakes in the early versions of the course.

Because I know the course will not be perfect from Day One, I decided to do something extra. Those who sign up on the Pre-Sale list will get a special reduced price of the Travel Workout Master Course on June 28th.

I’m talking up to 80% OFF whatever will be the final price of the course.

It’s my way of saying,

“Thanks for trusting and supporting me while I continue to upgrade the course over the next months.”

I have a lot of work ahead of me so I guess I should stop typing now.

Look out for updates on the progress of MicVinny’s Travel Workout Master Course on this blog and inside the MicVinny Fan Club newsletters in the upcoming weeks.

If you (or someone you know) want to sign up for the Presale list, Click Here or go to http://services.micvinny.com/travelworkoutinfo