Tag Archives: Diet

How To Gain Mass By Eating Right On Pennies (Part II)

Read Part I Here



In Part I, we covered some of the early stages of getting on the right track to gain mass. Starting small and working towards a bigger goal is always ideal so long as you continue to make progress. After going from skipping most meals to starting to eat breakfast I shifted my focus towards lunch.

Now again, historically, I wasn’t a lunch eater. Really my biggest hang up with lunch was two-fold. Having the time to eat it, and then not letting lunch put me into a food coma by the early afternoon. I wanted to really avoid grains and greasy foods as much as possible since these tended to put me in that food coma.

I started by making my lunches consist of either a small $3 steak or frozen fish. I always went with one or the other and used it as a way to gain some variety in my meals. I also consistently switched up the type of fish I was eating just to keep things from being too boring. In all honesty, the lack of complexity in the meals really did make things easier.

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In addition to the main protein I added in some brown rice and cottage cheese. Getting enough fiber in any diet can be extremely difficult so the brown rice was a good supplement for that. The cottage cheese was just an additional boost of protein but ultimately I ended up swapping it out for a can of beans to avoid the dairy intake. Here is my rice of choice:

Minute Instant Brown Rice, 14 oz

Now that I had breakfast and lunch covered I started to iterate over my meal plan. As the weeks went on I adjusted and added in things or took things out. Once I was consistently hitting my breakfast goal I started adding in eggs. Eggs are very cheap and a great source of protein. The only problem was… I learned I had an egg allergy.

This forced me to substitute out the eggs but I didn’t want to lose the protein gain that I was getting from them so I opted to go with some slightly more expensive protein waffles and I smothered them in peanut butter. The ‘Kashi GO’ brand of waffle is pretty good for the price. The real winner here though is peanut butter. Any brand of peanut butter will do and the cheaper the better. I typically just go with a knock off store brand.

Amazon Brand – Happy Belly Creamy Peanut Butter, 16 Ounce

Lunch was the next target to iterate on. Dairy has always been a love-hate relationship type of thing for me and the cottage cheese was starting to get more expensive than I preferred. Again, protein was the name of the game so I wanted to swap it out with something that would keep the protein count high.

Canned beans for the win! You can grab a can of beans at any local grocery store and depending on what brand, they can easily fall under $1. There’s also an enormous amount of options when it comes to beans so you’ll get some extra variety there too. Bush’s tends to be a good one to go with.

Bush’s Best black beans Frijoles Negros – 15 Ounce (12)

At this point I felt like my meals were pretty set, as far as breakfast and lunch. I still ate whatever the rest of the family ate for dinner and because I was slowly building into this meal plan a bit each week I was able to keep it going steadily forward increasing my protein and calorie intake without spending a lot of cash.

I had two more spots that I wanted to add into my meal plan though to really help me top off my protein intake and also get some more variety into my diet like fruits and vegetables. For my morning snack I went with a 12-Grain bread made by Lewis. I couldn’t find this one on Amazon but these types of specialty breads tend to be cheaper than regular bread. You’ll also benefit from the extra fiber of a whole grain bread. PS… smother that bad boy in peanut butter too!

For my afternoon snack I focused on getting my veggie and fruit intake. A protein smoothie is ideal here. You can really get creative when it comes to your smoothies so I would go with whatever you think will work and do some experimentation.

I typically go with some sort of a milk or almond milk along with a Greek yogurt or frozen yogurt. I use store brands for all of these. I’ll then add in frozen spinach or kale and frozen strawberries or pineapple, which ever is cheaper at the store that week, along with a banana. Add in a scoop of peanut butter and some protein powder and you’re set.

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This has been my diet for the last 3 months and I expect it to continue to be for a while. Meal planning always failed me in the past and trying to do all that work to create these outlandish meals for the week never worked out. Keeping things as simple as possible and as cheap as possible has been what really worked!

And if you’re thinking it sound boring to eat the same meals day-after-day it really hasn’t been. Instead of trying to figure out what I’m going to eat and then misstepping and eating something that really didn’t give me any energy was a bigger problem than getting bored.

It’s so much easier to just know what you’re going to have and have it, so you can get back to your day. Besides, I still have dinner to throw in some variety and because I ate pretty healthy all day, I don’t feel as guilty to go ham on some tacos at night.

If you’ve found some cheap and healthy alternatives in your diet let me know! I’m always looking for ways to add something new in or swap something out that might be better!


3 Tricks to Stick Your Workout


One of the most challenging things with getting our workouts in is sticking with them day-after-day. It’s always so easy when we’ve had a good night’s rest, things went well at work, we’re in a good mood and hitting the gym seems like a piece of cake.

But then it hits us… that day where things aren’t working out. Maybe we overslept or we’re feeling sore. Maybe work was shit or we’re just having a bad day in general and then when we think about the gym we stop ourselves and say, “I deserve a break from this day” and we skip.

It’s so easy to skip. It’s so easy to convince ourselves that we need a break from our struggles and that we should skip the gym. What we typically fail to realize is that there are some simple tricks to getting around these roadblocks and they are so easy you just can’t say no to them!

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Trick #1

When you’re having that bad day. You know that day where you know you are going to skip the gym… well instead of telling yourself you’re going to skip, tell yourself you’re going to have a modified day.

When you have a modified day, do as little as you want to, to still get some level of physical exercise. Just do one pushup or one crunch. Do a single squat or a single jumping jack. Just do one and call it a modified day.

What’s more important isn’t that we go to the gym every day. What’s actually important is that we start building a streak. A number of consecutive days where we are getting physical exercise. Instead of taking a zero, take a modified day and do one exercise.

Trick #2

A lot of times when we fail to go to the gym we make it hard to start back up again because we realize the enormous amount of work and effort that needs to go into it. We see this huge mountain and we know there’s just no way we can climb it.

photo cred: Jeremy Bishop

Instead of trying to climb that mountain, use a graduated scale. That means, when you do fall off from your workout, start over from the beginning. Don’t try to climb the mountain in one big step.

Instead, try to do one pushup. Then on the next day, do two, then three, then four… if you fall off and miss a day, then pick back up again at one, then two, then three, then four… then five (one more than your last streak).

I make it so easy to build up with Little Victories each day, that’s it’s almost impossible to fail.

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Trick #3

My last tip is one I see so many people trip themselves up on. They have one little thing go wrong in their life, and it ruins the entire rest of the day. They have one bad morning, one bad moment, and it sticks with them the entire day and ruins any chance of getting to the gym.

Any hurdles you have in your way to getting in shape you need to create alternatives for. For example, some people like to run, except when it rains. When it rains, they take a day off. One day off turns into two, and pretty soon they’ve missed a week.

Don’t let one little imperfection ruin your streak.

Find alternatives.

If you can’t make it to the gym, come up with an at home routine to do. If you can’t run because it’s raining, come up with an indoor routine. If you can’t go to the gym because of a pandemic, come up with routine you can do 6 feet from everyone else. Whatever it is, don’t strive for everything to be perfect. Find alternatives and modify when things aren’t ideal.


If you take these three tips and you use them every day, I promise you, you will stick to your workouts. You will have bad days and that’s exactly what these tips are for. It’s okay to have a bad day. Bad days should already be a part of your game plan because they are going to happen. The trick is knowing how to handle those bad days and not letting them ruin your streak.

Happy Lifting!

The Workout That Works

Day 1: How to make Working Out, Workout

“Service to others,

is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”

 — Muhammad Ali

There is soooooo much information out there on exercising, fitness, and health. And it’s so much of the same, over-and-over…

There are literally thousands of workout programs, some you see on tv and in ads, some you see on Instagram or YouTube. There’s people selling new equipment, new programs, bikes, weights, bands… it just goes on and on and on…

And how many of those new programs or new pieces of equipment have stuck with you day in and day out? How many of them have you started and you’re still doing to this day? How many of them were life changing?

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If you answered none, that’s okay. None were life changing for me either. I’ve tried the programs, I’ve tried the equipment, I’ve done the things… and while I still had success when doing them, eventually… I stopped doing all of them.

But what if you could do something different? What if instead of being sold a new program or being sold a new piece of equipment… what if instead… someone actually shared some advice on how to make ANY work out program stick? What if I told you that you could pick any work out, from any source, and make it stick? You know, actually reach your fitness goal?

That’s what I’m offering. A new way to look at fitness, diet, and exercise. There’s nothing to buy, I won’t try to sell you a video or $300 dollar machine. I won’t tell you to do 500 pushups or to try and run a marathon. I won’t ask you to spend 4 hours a day at the gym to get the results you want.

What I’m offering is information that will help you take any workout program and make it work. Any system, any style, any type of training… and make it work. Not for a day, not for a week, but for good.

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And you can do it with any life style. I know because I’m doing it working full-time, with 3 kids and a dog, while writing this blog, and still getting to the gym.

So if you’re interested in finally making a change. If you’re tired of promising yourself that January 1st is ‘going to be a new you‘ and you don’t want to relive another 2020 then come check out my first piece of advice:

Day 1: How to make Working Out, Workout

Sticking It To Your Diet

We hear the word diet and we think, “Great… now I’ve got to eat tasteless, expensive crap…

That’s because a lot of times when we’re getting diet recommendations from people they’re pushing one of two things.

One, they tell you that you have to eat kale and chick peas or that you have to be low carb… you have to do paleo or you have to do Mediterranean…

OR two, the things they are pushing for you to eat in your diet are expensive AF. “Sign up to get meals delivered to your door for only $130 dollars a week.” Which can be just fine if you’re single and living alone… but if you’ve ever lived with a teenager… if you have more than 1 person in your household… this just isn’t even close to being possible.

photo cred: Thought Catalog

The other thing I find incredibly difficult with sticking to any diet is the amount of time it takes to prepare the meals. They say, “just spend your entire Sunday meal prepping and dirtying every dish in your house so you can save 20 minutes Monday thru Friday.”

I just haven’t found this to be something that I could stick to every Sunday. If I had a family event or if I needed to do yard work or a school project with my kids, I couldn’t find the time to do the meal prep. Which meant my whole week of dieting was shot.

Now not all of this is terrible advice, there’s a little bit of truth in all of it but the problem that all of these programs and systems miss is that they expect you to completely change your life in one day. They expect you to just go out, drop $150 bucks on foods you’ve never had before, blow away a Sunday afternoon preparing it and cleaning up, and then for you to change your weekly habit everyday of the week. That transition is not realistic at all.

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So what can we actually do to make this change in our lives? How can we go from candy bars, chips, sodas, and fast food to vegetables, fruits, water, and healthy eating? Easy – Little Victories.

You see most of these diet programs exist to help you lose weight second and make money first. They are there to make money. They want you to subscribe to a program, buy a book, buy their food… give them money… and then if you are very strict, bam you’ll lose the weight (and have a lighter wallet).

When I realized how often these plans were not working for me I decided to take a completely different approach. Instead of trying to be a brand new person, with a brand new diet. I decided to start small. I picked one meal out of the day and focused on just that piece.

I typically didn’t eat breakfast. I’d skip the meal, wait until lunch time, eat something greasy or quick and then I’d hit 2 PM and I would be in snooze town… every day like clock work. I’d have dinner that night and then binge eat junk food until I passed out. I did this every day… for years…

But I started to make little changes. I started with the idea of where I wanted to ultimately go in my diet but I only tried to actually do the breakfast part. I knew I wanted to eat healthier in other parts of the day but I knew breakfast was the first chance I actually had to make a change.

At first, my body was like… “ugh… tf is this….” I could only eat like a bite of oatmeal or toast. That was literally all I could stomach in the mornings. But I just kept trying to eat a little more each day. I kept trying to get my daily Little Victory.

photo cred: Glenn Carstens-Peters

Pretty soon, after about 2 or 3 weeks. I was eating the whole bowl of oatmeal every day. A couple more weeks after that I was ready to up the challenge. So I added a morning snack. Just a piece of toast. Nothing fancy.

It started just like breakfast did too. At first I could only eat a couple of bites. After a while though, it was just a part of my diet.

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And that’s really the key. Making these little changes and focusing on them 110% instead of trying to wake up and be a brand new person. Instead of spending all of this time and money trying to do something I’d never been able to accomplish before I just started with a very small part of it. It started with tiny little baby steps and it was so much easier to get myself to Be a Closer on eating oatmeal than it was to try and close out on some life-altering diet.

If you’re wanting to make changes in your lifestyle and diet but you’re still struggling, reach out to me! I’m not writing all of this so I can come back here and read it for myself. I’m doing it to help others learn what I’ve learned. Reach out to me, contact me, and let’s figure out a way!

Rockets Need Rocket Fuel

It’s really that simple. Rockets don’t go no where without rocket fuel.

If you put some cheap little corner gas station fuel into a rocket, that rocket ain’t reaching the moon…

This is exactly how your body and mind work. If you want to perform, compete, and accomplish at a higher level, you HAVE to put in top notch fuel. It’s really that simple.

Four weeks ago I was maybe eating breakfast… usually powering through my mornings on coffee alone. I maybe had lunch if I had some time for it and if I did it was just whatever. I usually just skipped out on lunch tbh, because I would hit that 2 PM downer and feel like I needed a nap if I did eat.

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Dinner time would come around and I would eat with the family and then binge on junk food until I passed out. Cookies, chips, candy, a frozen pizza, maybe some pizza rolls…

And I’d kill that time with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, or Steam….

Then I’d sit around and try to figure out why I couldn’t get up early in the mornings. Why I never felt motivated to workout consistently. Why I never felt like I had any energy to do anything productive. Why I couldn’t accomplish anything I wanted to.

photo cred: Zhang Kenny

Fast-forward…

  • I eat 3 eggs, a bowl of oatmeal, have a coffee, and take vitamins in the morning.
  • Then I get in a 16oz glass of water and creatine with my workout.
  • I follow that up with a protein shake and a 12 grain slice of toast loaded with peanut butter.
  • Lunch is a steak or some type of fish with brown rice and cottage cheese.
  • I have an afternoon snack of a banana and mixed nuts
  • Then I do whatever the family does for dinner

Now don’t think I’ve reached some perfect diet of eating nasty brown rice and blah, blah, blah… that’s not it. I still have candy (Swedish Fish are the shit) and we eat out for dinner plenty (Sam’s Too chicken alfredo pizza…) but I am way more fueled than I ever was before.

And to get from there to here wasn’t as hard as it looks. It was actually quite simple because it was all about committing to small changes. Little Victories and changes in my diet, one week at a time got me from there to here.

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My first week I decided that if I wanted to get in better shape. If I wanted to accomplish more, then I was going to HAVE To eat 3 eggs every morning. I committed to it like there was no other option. I didn’t say that I should do it or that it would be a good idea. No. I flat out said to myself, “Look you lazy piece of shit… get your lazy ass together and go make 3 fucking eggs! It’s really not that hard so stop bitching about it and just do it. You HAVE TO DO IT.”

And I did it… I just didn’t give myself any other option. And I got that Little Victory. So the next day I did it again. And I got that Little Victory. And I just did it again and again and again. Then the next week came and I said, “Okay, if I want to start building more muscle, I’ve got to get more protein in my diet.” So I added in peanut butter toast at mid-morning. I took the same approach with the eggs. I gave myself no other option, I HAD To get it done.

But what about second breakfast? - hobbits second breakfast | Meme Generator
photo cred: The Internet

And this whole process was self-empowering. The more I ate better, the more energy I had, the more I could get done, and the more I could push farther on my diet, my exercise, my work, my relationships, my family. It’s the god damn circle of life!

So… if you want to get more out of your day, your year, your life. Put top-notch fuel into your rocket. Fuel up, charge up, and give yourself the best advantage you can over everyone else. Don’t try to be perfect, don’t try to do it all together at once, but buckle down and get shit done.

Start today, right now, tell yourself you HAVE TO eat a salad for lunch today. Fucking do it! It’s a salad, it’s not that hard! Do it and get your first victory. Then go do it again tomorrow. Understand that you HAVE To do this if you want to do more and it all starts with Little Victories and telling yourself that you HAVE TO DO IT.