We Are Going to Make Dinner Great Again

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Ah finally, you’re commuting back after a long day of work and you just can’t wait to kick those work pants off and be home.

But wait, you don’t know what you’re having for dinner! Queue the mad rush to figure out what you have in the pantry and what you can make in the least amount of time possible.

Quick and healthy don’t always coincide with each other. It’s typically one or the other. And to quote Shakespeare, “Therein lies the rub.”

So what do we do about this?

Cut out those preservative-rich ready-meals, get rid of the carb-loaded pasta dishes, and move over fatty fried take out. There’s a new meal in town.

Here is a wonderful (and easy) stir fry recipe that will satisfy your craving for salty soy sauce, but in a way that won’t pack on the pounds.

Simple and Healthy Chicken Stir-Fry

Ingredients
Sauce
Water
Soy Sauce
Red Wine (we recommend Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 tbspn white flour

Stir Fry
4 Whole peeled carrots
3 Broccoli crowns
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
½ lbs chicken breast
Salt
Pepper

‘Noodles’
1 bundle of bok choy
soy sauce

Instructions
Prep your chicken breast and clean it. Slice into thin strips and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Chop up your broccoli, carrots, onions, and garlic gloves. Heat 2 tbsp’s of olive oil in a large skillet and put in the carrots. Cook the carrots on high for 5 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and spices of your choice.  Turn the heat up high and stir occasionally for 5-10minutes. Add your sliced chicken. Cook until slightly brown.

Combine ¼ cup of water, ¼ cup of red wine, and 3 tbsp’s of soy sauce. Pour into skillet and reduce on medium heat. You may add more soy sauce or less depending on preference. Add 2 tbsp’s of flour as a thickening agent. Cook until everything has married and alcohol has reduced.

Take your bok choy and slice it thin and long (to create bok choy ‘noodles’). Place these in a boiling pot with a ½ cup of water and splash of soy sauce. Bring to a boil until bok choy is tender but not soggy. Drain and place on a dish. Spoon stir fry mixture over the bok choy. Enjoy!

The best part about this is that the bigger skillet, the more you can make and save for later. Kill 3 dinners with one stove!

 

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub


Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


GET 30 DAYS OF FITNESS FOR $30

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.

6 Fundamental Human Movements

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When I first started working out in high school, I had a dog-eared copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Bodybuilding for Men” that had been passed down through the years from one “in the know” senior to the next.

Like most people, I followed the instructions to the letter, splitting up my exercise by body part: chest one day, then legs, then arms, etc.

Bragging rights belonged to whoever had the biggest bench press, and everyone spent endless hours working the “show muscles” — biceps, chest, and abs — while mostly neglecting the “go muscles” — legs & back.

Continue reading

Biggest Food Myth: I Never Have Time for Breakfast

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It’s time you had a good breakfast. And trust me, you do have the time.

We all know how brutal the 9-5 work life can be. Especially when you have an ugly commute to wake up to. Or if you have kids to send off to school.

No matter your situation, it can be tough enough getting up and out without having to worry about what to eat for breakfast.

All clichés aside, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body just fasted all night, this meal determines your body’s energy source for the first half of the day.

Remember from our ‘Abs Are Made In the Kitchen‘ post, you are actually what you eat. So, what you choose to eat will determine the quality of your energy, overall mood, mental strength, and how you feel physically.

It’s important to start the day healthy, with protein-packed foods that will digest slowly to steadily release energy throughout the day, well beyond  the typical caffeine rush from your morning cup of coffee.

Here is a perfect and healthy meal prep recipe for healthy on-the-goers. Packed with protein, healthy energy, and amazing flavor, these guys are great to grab when you’re late and make for an easy delicious breakfast. For those who like things spicy, we have a couple of options for you. Enjoy!

PEPPERS AND PROTEIN EGG CUPS

Ingredients 

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Olive Oil
  • 8 eggs
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Onion
  • Jalapeno pepper (if you like spicy)
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Salt

Instructions
Preheat your oven to 350o . Slice up your onion and your green and red peppers. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and sauté the veggies with salt and pepper. Don’t cook them ALL the way through, they still have to go in the oven. Grab a muffin pan and spray the tins with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop your veggie mix in even amounts into each of the empty tins. Set aside.

Crack and whisk your eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste. Pour your egg mixture over the peppers in each of the muffin tins. Make sure there is an even amount in each one. Dice your jalapeno pepper and sprinkle some into each tin. Place the muffin pan, with all your ingredients into the preheated oven for 20min or until eggs are nice and fluffy.

You can keep these guys refrigerated for up to 4 days. Grab one, heat it up, throw some hot sauce on that thing (if you’re me), and eat on the go.

Make sure to wait at least an hour afterwards before hitting the gym!

Stay Koko Fit!

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub, LLC

Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


GET 30 DAYS OF FITNESS FOR $30

One Size Does NOT Fit All

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For most people, your chronological age can be an indicator of many things. Your eyesight, your experience level, whether you can drink a beer or not, or if you qualify for a 401k.

But, did you know that your chronological age is not the only category of aging your body can be subjected to?

In fact, a 15 year old can have the same physiological age as a 55 year old. And two 25 year olds can have entirely different developmental ages (their level of cognitive and emotional maturity).

Recognizing the different types of aging is important for understanding your skill level.Koko, for example, takes into account your previous strength aptitude (training age), how old you are (chronological age), and even cognitive skills (developmental age) when developing your specific workout programs. By pinpointing where you stand on these spectrums, we can help you figure out how to start your fitness journey the proper way.

Picture this:

There are two clients, both 50 year old males. They’re both 30 pounds overweight and want to burn some fat because they’re heading somewhere warm with their families over April vacation. On paper they both look the same and want the same thing, but their activities of daily living are very different.

One has an office job where he sits at a desk. The other works in construction and is tackling physically exerting projects each day.

The issue is, we can’t solve their problem the same exact way because they’re two completely different training ages, or, the number of years a person has spent in training or various sports.

Let me explain…

The guy that works in the office is in a state of rest for the majority of his day. He is not contracting and extending the majority of his muscles, he is forgetting to stand up throughout the work day, and his body is in a sitting and hunched position for extended periods of time.

He is equally as de-conditioned as he is dysfunctional.

Guy number 2 is constantly in an active state. He works a job where he is always on his feet, is constantly alert for hazards, and his day involves lots of physical activity like heavy lifting, hammering nails, and climbing ladders.

He is well conditioned and used to physical exertion. However, he may be somewhat dysfunctional (in terms of form, mobility and stability).

So, what’s my point?

Well, while Guy #1 and Guy #2 are of the same age, weight, and share equal goals, theydiffer greatly in their strength, body fat content, range of motion, endurance, and much more. That means their training and physiological ages are different. Each need to start at different weight levels, different motions, and different types of exercises. It is most likely their daily routines will be no where near similar!

Workout programs are NOT one-size-fits-all. Just because that spin class works for your friend, doesn’t mean it will have the same effects on you. Box gyms try to solve this discrepancy with group training.Group classes and training can be energizing and motivating way to stay engaged in fitness. But what is missing is the individualized attention.

What most people find so appealing about these options is the community aspect — the feeling that you are in it together. Unfortunately, since we all have different body types, needs and training ages, a group style “one size fits all” approach can be less effective for people who need a more personalized solution for their issues or goals….”

People flock to group classes because they are affordable and they’re not ‘going it alone.’ But, you are going it alone. The trainer isn’t stopping to teach you, as long as the majority of the group keeps up, they’re doing their job. Why pay for the class at all if you’re not going to do what your specific body type needs to do?

The fitness industry has a tendency to focus only on your ‘show muscles’. This is because the client (you) will see visible results in a short period of time and therefore will believe the class is working. That way, you’ll buy more group classes to work muscles you don’t actually need to work. Show muscles look nice, but they do nothing to make you live longer or move better.

The bottom line is – everybody has a different training age and body type. Therefore, everybody needs their own personalized workout plan to truly feel better every day and look better! What works for one, doesn’t always work for another. It’s all about personalization, and following the plan that is best for you.

The best way to find this plan, is to find a coach or a gym that works one to one and focuses on what you need.

Stay Koko Fit

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub, LLC

Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


GET 30 DAYS OF FITNESS FOR $30

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer

Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.

Want to avoid gaining weight this holiday? Start now. Nov 25, 2015

The upcoming holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year, can be a time to fall into “relax mode” with exercise and diet. Don’t let the excuse of busy schedules,  party hopping, errands or travel be the culprit that gets you off track (and overweight) this year. To avoid weight gain this holiday season,  establish  your pre-holiday routine now by watching your caloric intake and incorporating more movement into each day.

Research shows that, on average, we consume an extra 619 calories a day during the holiday season, which figures out to be about a five-pound weight gain. The average person has the potential to consume over 4500 calories coupled with 200 grams of fat (that equates to 1800 calories from fat) over the course of a typical Thanksgiving day alone!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better a month later when Americans eat, on average, more than 7,000 calories on Christmas Day, according to research by Associated British Foods. That’s more than three times the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily caloric intake.

If you feel like you are veering off course a bit,  eating too much and not moving enough, try the following tips  to get you back on track:

  • Increase the volume or intensity of your daily workout (both strength and cardio). Not currently exercising? Start!
  • Wear a pedometer and increase your daily steps over the course of the next 30 days. Add an additional 500-1000 steps to your weekly step count.
  • Watch those extra empty calories from soda, juices, alcohol and sugary flavored coffees.  The average person consumes close to an additional 450 calories a day through drinking soda, alcohol and other high-calorie beverages.
  • Avoid alcohol, if possible, and be sure to have a glass of water in between cocktails when you do imbibe. At a party, opt for sparkling seltzer with fruit or a touch of fruit juice to feel festive.
  • Avoid any late-night eating.
  • Start each morning off with 16 ounces of water (add some lemon).
  • Try daily meditation (10-minutes/day with the Headspace app) to remain calm and intent on your goals.

During this holiday season, think of exercise as a way to prevent weight gain. We call this the “Holiday Hold ‘em” – working to maintain your current lean muscle levels and body weight by increasing your activity so that you can enjoy a little holiday indulgence.

If you are looking to lose weight, the key is to increase your activity level above and beyond what you’re currently doing. In addition, be more mindful of your caloric intake, especially later in the day.

So, if you get off on the wrong foot with your Thanksgiving eating this Thursday, have no fear. There is always the next day to get back on track and re-focus, and we are here to help you do just that.

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub


Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


GET 30 DAYS OF FITNESS FOR $30

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.