A Personal Trainer’s Daily Meals (AKA “A day in the life”)

One of my most favorite questions from family, friends and clients is:

What do you eat, exactly? Can you break it down for me?

I usually tell people that I eat relatively the same thing every day, with minor adjustments. I save space for my cheat meal on the weekend but I find that a consistent diet of the same foods keeps me on track. It also reduces my chances of eating things that are bad for me. Besides, if you hate to cook, like I do, you can make large portions of some of these things and have them ready to simply warm up and eat!

In this post I will give you a typical day’s worth of meals and show you that to be fit, you don’t need a lot of time and money.

Breakfast: Egg white omelette, turkey bacon and instant oats

  • 1 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 chopped asparagus spears
  • 1 chopped mushroom
  • ¼ cup chopped peppers
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 slice organic turkey bacon
  • ½ to 1 cup of plain instant oats

Pour egg whites and whole egg into a bowl. Stir. Chop asparagus, mushroom and peppers. Pour egg whites and egg into skillet. Put asparagus, mushroom, peppers and shredded cheese in egg whites. Fold into omelette. Serve with turkey bacon and oats.

Snack: Greek yogurt, chopped fruit and almonds

  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds
  • ¼ cup fruit of your choice (I prefer bananas)

Simply pour 1 cup of Greek Yogurt into a bowl, mix with almonds and fruit. Then eat. Or, eat yogurt in container mixed with almonds and fruit separately.

Lunch/Pre-workout meal: Chicken breast, broccoli & brown rice

  • 1 Chicken breast
  • ½ cup broccoli
  • ½ to 1 cup brown rice

I like to cook several chicken breasts at once. This way, I’ll have them available for several days. I also prefer frozen vegetables and rice so I can microwave the entire meal at once.

Post-Workout Meal: Protein shake

  • 1 packet Shakeology
  • ½ to 1 cup of whole milk    or
  • 2 scoops of Protein Powder of your choice
  • Fruit of your choice
  • ½ to 1 cup milk

Currently I am using Shakeology as my post-workout shake

http://myshakeology.com/ReggieGooden

I find that it has all of the natural ingredients that I need to quickly flood my body with nutrients after a workout. I use milk and add one scoop of BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) because my weightlifting workouts can be intense. The average person won’t need to do that. Just make sure you get a fair amount of protein and carbohydrates in your system immediately after exercise.

Dinner: Ground turkey, sweet potato, mixed veggies

  • 6 oz. ground turkey
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Mixed vegetables

As with the chicken breasts, I will also cook an entire package of ground turkey so that I will have multiple servings already prepared. Once cooked, poke holes in the sweet potato and microwave it. Also microwave frozen mixed vegetables.

Bedtime Snack: Chopped almonds and dark chocolate

  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 1 square dark chocolate

Technically this is not a meal but a bedtime snack. Since I live with a “choco-holic”, our house is usually never without the stuff. If you are also a “choco-holic “, then rejoice! Dark chocolate actually has many benefits when eaten in small quantities. It has antioxidants, can regulate blood sugar, lower blood pressure and is pretty rich in minerals. I’ll eat one square with a hand full of chopped almonds just so I can “slow” my metabolism slightly through the night.  If you don’t like chocolate (or fear having it around), then try a small portion (1/4 to ½ cup) of organic trail mix.

This is a typical day’s worth of food for me. It’s gotten me great results and I know that it can do the same for you! I am offering custom meal plans and training programs available for the rate of 2 personal training sessions. Contact me for details!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Reduce your back and joint pain simply by stretching!

Question: Can stretching help with my back and joint pain?

Answer: Absolutely! Regular stretching can reduce back and joint pain by 30% or more.

Did you feel any aches, pains or stiffness when you got out of bed this morning? How about when you’ve been sitting in one position too long? This most likely happens because your muscles and surrounding tissue have become tight, rigid and stagnant. This tightness can cause throbbing, aching and pain.

Stretching at least once per day (preferably in the morning) reduces pain by increasing blood flow throughout your body. It also makes you more flexible and limber, which creates more looseness in your muscles and joints. Health studies show that even the lingering pain from certain injuries and degenerative conditions (i.e. arthritis, scoliosis, injuries do to accidents and exercise) can be reduced by 25-30% or more by incorporating a daily stretching routine into your life.

Sample Stretch Routine

This is a sample 5 to 10 minute stretch routine that will help you loosen the major areas of your body. You should do this routine when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night.

  1. Back Stretch (AKA “Cat Stretch”): Get down on your hands and knees in a solid base. With your hands shoulder width apart and knees hip width apart, round your back toward the ceiling. Imagine that there is a string attached to your mid back pulling you upward. Hold the position for 15 seconds. Then, drop your stomach down and arch your back. Imagine that same string pulling your stomach toward the ground. Hold the position for 15 seconds. Finally, return to a rest position. Do this 3 times.
  2. Full Body Stretch: Stand tall, with your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. Place your hands over your head and reach upward as if you were trying to touch the ceiling. Do this for 15 seconds. Next, maintaining the natural curve in your lower back, bend forward at your hips and reach for your toes. Make sure to bend slowly and try to keep your knees as straight as possible. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Hold for 15 seconds and then return to the starting position. Do this entire cycle 3 times.
  3. Quad Stretch: Stand tall, with your feet about shoulder width apart. Reach back and grab your left foot with your left hand. Slowly pull your left leg back as if you were trying to touch your foot to your buttocks. Pull until you feel a good stretch (if it becomes uncomfortable, stop!) and hold for 15 seconds. Then return your left leg to its original position. Hold on to a chair or wall for balance if necessary. Do this 2 times and Repeat on opposite side.
  4. Cross-Body Stretch (AKA Shoulder Stretch): Stand tall, with your feet shoulder width apart. Reach your left arm across your body, bringing it as close to your chest as possible. Next, lock your right arm underneath your left at the elbow (Your arms will look like a “cross” in this position). Gently hold and slightly increase pressure for 15 seconds. Then return your arm to the side. Do this 2 times and repeat on opposite side.
  5. Neck Stretch: Stand tall and keep your shoulders relaxed. Move your head downward toward the right (as if you were touching your ear to your shoulder). Hold for 15 seconds. Next, slowly “roll” your head down and forward (as if to touch your chin to your chest). Hold for 15 seconds. Next, slowly “roll” your head toward the left (just like you did toward the left) and hold for 15 seconds. Finally, slowly “roll” your head back (as if you were touching the back of your head to your upper back). Hold for 15 seconds. Then return to your starting position.

Things to remember while stretching:

  • Stretching should be, AT MOST, mildly uncomfortable. Not painful! If you experience any pain then stop immediately.
  • Move your body into each position gently and slowly.
  • When stretching, hold each position without rocking or “bouncing”. Jerky movements may lead to muscle and connective tissue damage.
  • If you are engaging in any workout routine, be sure to stretch before and after sessions to keep your body loose, help with muscle soreness and to prevent injury.

The above routine should give you noticeable results in the amount of flexibility and the reduction of back and joint pain. However, if you suffer from chronic or severe conditions, make sure you visit your doctor and alternative health providers (chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists) along with doing your daily stretches!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

The “Cross-Body” Stretch (AKA Shoulder Stretch)

Burn more fat than you ever have in your life. In only 15 minutes!

Question: Are you burning as much fat as possible during your cardiovascular exercise?

Answer: If you are not doing interval training, then the answer is NO!

What is interval training? It’s a phenomenal technique for ramping up your metabolism so that your body will torch fat at a remarkable rate.  When done properly, it can be completed in only 15-20 minutes and you can choose ANY type of exercise that you want.

Known within the fitness industry as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), this technique was popularized after a health study done in Japan in 1996. The study proved that athletes who trained with a mix of moderate pace and high pace during cardiovascular exercise were able to increase their capacity to burn fat. In addition to burning more fat, people who train in this way put their metabolism in a heightened state for hours after exercise. Yes, your body will continue to burn fat a higher rate even when you’ve stopped exercising! HIIT also increases your body’s ability to build muscle and will create a state that will help suppress your appetite.

Question: What is an example of a HIIT session?

Answer: An example of a HIIT session is as follows:

  • Begin with a brief warm-up of 2-5 minutes, doing the cardiovascular exercise of your choice. You can choice jogging, treadmill, elliptical machine, rowing, etc.
  • After you’ve gotten warm, “sprint” (go as hard as you can) for 30 seconds.
  • Then return to a moderate pace for 1 minute.
  • Afterward, “sprint” again for 30 seconds.

Try doing at least 2 HIIT sessions per week. Start off with 3 intervals per session and gradually increase each week until you can do 10 intervals. Once you’re reached 10 intervals, reduce your rest time to 30 seconds while keeping your “sprinting” intervals at 30 seconds.

I will personally guarantee that if you adopt this method into your cardiovascular training, EAT PROPERLY and drink plenty of water then you will see that fat disappear in no time! Give it a try and remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

“Welcome to the gym, Son…”

So you’re the “new guy” in the gym. You wanna get ripped but you really have no idea of how to do it. Maybe you’ve asked a few of the bigger guys what they did to “get swole” and they give you the typical answer: “I just lift heavy and eat everything not bolted down, bro!”. Or you went online and found an insanely hard program written by a bodybuilding champ. You try it and wind up feeling like a wimp for not finishing it.

Well, there’s hope! I’m going to set you up with a simple program that will take you through your first 6 weeks in the gym.

If you’re serious about building some muscle and ready to prepare yourself for serious growth then this is for you:

This program is designed to work all of your muscle groups and start you on the path to more complex routines. It is spread out over 3 different training sessions, ideally with at least 1 day rest between sessions.

 Day 1

Chest / Triceps:

  • Bench Press – 4 sets (warm-up set with bar, 12, 10, 8 reps). Increase weight each set
  • Incline Dumbbell Presses – 3 sets (8-10 reps). Same weight
  • Dumbbell Flys – 4 sets (8-10 reps). Same weight
  • Cable Triceps Push-down – 4 sets (12, 10, 8, 6 reps) Increase weight each set
  • Bent Over Triceps Kickback – 3 sets (10-12 reps). Use light weight and go slow
  • Triceps Dips1 set until your muscles fail!

                                                                 Day 2

Back / Biceps:

  • Pull-ups – 2 sets (5-10 reps)
  • Lat Pull-down – 4 sets (12,10,8,6) Increase weight each set
  • Bent over dumbbell rows – 4 sets (10,10,8,6) Increase weight each set
  • Seated EZ Bar Curls or Seated Curl Machine – 4 sets (warm-up set with bar, 12,10,8 reps). Increase weight each set
  • Seated Concentration Curls – 3 sets (8-10 reps). Light weight
  • Alternating Hammer Curls – 3 sets (8-10 reps each). Same weight

                                                                Day 3

Legs:

  • Barbell or “Smith” Machine Squat – 4 sets (warm-up set with bar, 12,10,10). Increase weight each set
  • Leg Extension – 3 sets (10 reps each). Increase weight each set
  • Lunges – 3 sets (10 reps each). Light weight
  • Standing Toe Raises – 5 sets (20 reps each). Same weight
  • Seated Toe Raises – 4 sets (10-12 reps). Same weight

Follow this program for six weeks and you’ll begin seeing weird bulges (muscles) where skin and bones used to be. Remember to squeeze on each rep.

Don’t cheat yourself!

Work hard each session and feed those muscles immediately after you lift. Now, no more talking. Go get to work and remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

“Get fit in the gym. Lose weight in the kitchen.”

This wise quote by an anonymous source is probably the most important key to your health and fitness goals! Many people have been mislead into thinking that doing hours and hours of exhausting exercises is the way to lose weight. It is true the you will have to move your body in order to get it toned and into shape. But even more important than the battle in the gym, is the war in the kitchen. I often like to tell my clients that your diet is 85% of your “battle of the bulge”. Since knowing is half the battle, I’m going to give you some basic information so that you will be well armed on your quest.  First, you should have a basic understanding of the three main components that your body needs to function properly: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats.

  • Protein is what your body needs to build muscle. It usually is “anything that had parents”. From best (leanest) to worst (fattest), the main sources of protein are:Fish, Poultry (including eggs), Beef, Pork and Dairy. Great examples of protein are: baked chicken breast, egg whites, baked fish, turkey, lean ground beef, nuts, greek yogurt, etc.
  • Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for your body. They give you energy, keep you “regular” and includes whole grains, fiber and sugar. Great sources of carbohydrates are: brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, vegetables and fruit. Not-so-good sources are anything that has lots of sugar. In fact, and I cannot stress this enough, SUGAR IS YOUR ENEMY. Sugar is processed by your body and is often converted into fat. You would be surprised at just how much of it we all consume everyday. A little bit of sugar is fine but it is really important to minimize the amount of sugar we take in. This will be illustrated in the homework assignment that I will ask you to do at the end of this article.
  • The last component is Fat. Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad. Unsaturated (good) fats can be found in cold water fish like salmon, trout, tuna, cod, halibut, mussels, oysters, plant based cooking oils like vegetable oil and most nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, etc. As you can see, sometimes, especially with fish you are consuming good fats in the protein sources you eat.

How much of each component we all require depends on weight, current level of fitness and level of activity. A general rule of thumb for the average person however is the principal of “1-2-3″. In each meal (generally speaking) you should have 1 part of your calories from “good” fat, 2 parts from protein and 3 parts from “good” carbohydrates. The easiest way to measure this is by “eyeballing” what you put on your plate.

Now that you know WHAT to eat, stay tuned for the next post which explains WHEN to eat. The timing of meals is just as important as the type of meals we eat. I will also be giving you a “Homework” assignment. So get ready!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

“Now you know…And knowing is half the battle!”

Hats off to you if you know where this quote comes from. It’s true. Knowledge is power. Which is why this very first fitness post will be about knowing how to properly weigh yourself and take your body measurements. This information will be vital in your quest to become more fit. Now, I know that this can be a humbling experience in the beginning but as you progress you will come to love your numbers and even brag about them to family and friends. The whole measurement process will only take about 10-15 minutes and you should do it every 6 weeks. Weighing yourself can be done as often as you like but, as I’ll next explain, you should keep “official” weigh-ins to once per week.

Question: When is the best time to weigh yourself?

Answer: The best time to weigh yourself is right after you wake up. You aren’t carrying excess weight from food or liquid.

Your body weight fluctuates greatly during the day and during the week. The best time to assess your weight is after you wake up. Your body is essentially empty of most food and consumable liquid when you wake up. This is the most accurate time to weigh yourself. You should also make it a point to record your weight each week on the same day, ideally after you wake up. You’ll then have a great gauge of your weekly progress. Whether you’re trying to lose fat or gain lean muscle, you should aim for no more than a 2 lb. change per week. Any more than that and you’re risking a host of issues like dehydration, fatigue, muscle loss (if you’re losing weight) or excess fat gain (if you’re “bulking up”).

Question: Which areas of my body should I measure and how often should I keep track of them?

Answer: Generally speaking, there are 7 main areas that are important to track:

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Waist
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Calves
  • Arms

It is important to track these changes every six weeks so that you can get a good idea of how you’re progressing.

You may need some help the first time you measure but after a few attempts you should be able to do it by yourself. There are great clips on YouTube about how to do this, so I’ll skip the detailed instructions. However, a few tips to remember are:

  1. Get yourself a good soft plastic or nylon tape measure and a journal to record your entries in.
  2. Measure yourself on the same day of the week, every 6 weeks. Try to do it under the same conditions: i.e. before a meal or after you wake up.
  3. Always measure each area 3 times. This ensures accuracy.
  4. Make sure you are relaxed when you measure yourself. Do not tense and contract your muscles.
  5. There are many thoughts on where exactly the waist is. I am from the school that measures it above the belly button but below the rib cage. At the narrowest part of the abdomen. The point is to pick a place and make sure that you measure the same area each time. Also, never measure yourself immediately after a meal (unless you want to be depressed for the rest of the day.)
  6. Have fun! Use these measurements as only one gauge of your progress. The important thing is that you learn something about yourself so that you can see what’s working and what’s not.

Well, there you have it. Two great ways to keep track of your progress. Remember to reward yourself for your success and continue to set new goals. In the next post, I will be sharing with you the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING you’ll ever need on your journey to being more fit and healthy.Image

Remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Welcome!

Welcome to Dragon Gate Fitness! My name is Reggie Gooden and I am a certified fitness trainer, licensed acupuncturist and lifelong martial artist. My fitness company strives to bring you tons of great content devoted to fitness and wellness. We will be sharing information and media about exercise, nutrition, and alternative techniques that you can do to live a healthier life. This site is designed for every age and fitness level, from the average person just beginning on their fitness journey to the advanced athlete looking for additional tools to help them succeed. Have a look around, take what is useful to you and be sure to interact with us via Facebook, Twitter or email!

Our motto is simple:

Dream Fit. Live Fit.