Protein Ice Lollies

Protein Ice Lollies

Protein Ice Lollies are an idea I came up with during a recent heat wave.  Such an easy and simple idea!

I figured instead of using sugar-free squash to make ice lollies, like I normally would, why not just use whey protein!

The video below shows how it’s done, but I don’t really know if a video was even necessary for this!

I figured instead of using sugar-free squash to make ice lollies, like I normally would, why not just use whey protein!
What a great way to have your whey protein on a hot day, rather than just a usual protein shake!  You can get creative and blend extra ingredients to your protein ice lollies too.  Like maybe blend in a tablespoon of your favourite sugar-free nut butter.  You could also blend in berries or a banana.  I made these protein ice lollies with water and whey, but you could use milk or even Greek yogurt or quark if you wanted to.

Just note that when blended, the mixture will be frothy.  This means that when the froth dies down, the actual amount of mixture remaining will be less than first thought.  I made the mistake of not waiting for the froth to die down before pouring the mixture into the ice lolly mould.  This is why the finished ice lollies were a little smaller than they should have been!

The nutritional value for the mixture is as follows, so just divide this by the number of lollies made with the one scoop:

protein ice lollies

 

Just so you know, the whey protein powder I used is this one:

My Old Bodybuilding Diet – How I Used To Eat!

My Bodybuilding Diet – How I used to eat

It’s funny.  You often hear people say the phrase “if only I knew then what I know now”.  And it is so true!  Especially when looking at my bodybuilding diet, or should I say my old bodybuilding diet from about 8 years ago!

bodybuilding diet

I came across a copy of one of the old diet plans I was following back when I was bodybuilding.  The bodybuilding diet looks almost like it was copied straight out of one of the bodybuilding magazines I used to read.  And that’s because it probably was – with maybe a few alterations!

I came across a copy of one of the old diet plans I was following back when I was bodybuilding. The bodybuilding diet looks almost like it was copied straight out of one of the…

Just for fun, I thought I’d share this old bodybuilding diet plan of mine with you here.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when this is from, but if I was to guess, I would say it is from maybe 2010.  It is clearly from the bodybuilding “offseason”, when I was in a “mass gaining” rather than a “dieting” phase.  Let’s just say that I certainly wasn’t doing Intermittent Fasting at this time!  No way could I consistently everyday pack all of those calories down to grow if I were doing IF.  I would have severe GI distress if I did!

 

Offseason Mass Gain Bodybuilding Diet:

1. Pre Workout (as soon as waking): 25g Whey Protein + 1 x tsp Creatine + 1 x Banana

+ 1 x serving N.O-Xplode

*Workout*

2. Post Workout (immediately after): 40g Whey Protein + 1 x tsp Creatine + 1 x Banana

+ 1 x serving NO Animal M-Stak

 

3. Breakfast (about 1 hour later): 10 x Egg Whites and Porridge (150g Oats)

4. Lunch: 2 x Tins Tuna and Vegetables (1 x Frozen Mixed Veg Packet)

5. Afternoon Meal: 10 x Egg Whites and Porridge (150g Oats)

6. Dinner: 2 x Tins Tuna and Vegetables (1 x Frozen Mixed Veg Packet)

7. Bed Time Snack: 300g Tub Low Fat Cottage Cheese + 25g Casein Protein Shake

8. Middle of Night Snack (I had it ready-made by my bed!): 25g Whey Protein Shake

 

Bodybuilding Diet Nutrient Break Down

Here is the macronutrient and calorie break down of the bodybuilding diet.

2,950 calories: 358g of protein.  293g of carbohydrates.  38g of fat.

So the bodybuilding diet doesn’t actually have as many calories as you might think at first glance.  I think that is because the dietary fat content is so low.  The protein content certainly isn’t low though!

 

Analysis

Let me make a few comments on this bodybuilding diet, now that I am a littler more educated and experienced than I used to be back then.  And yes, just about all of these comments below are tongue-in-cheek!

  • N.O-Xplode – who else remembers this haha?!  I think every gym-goer at the time was taking it.  I can confidently say that this was most probably a waste of money!

  • Notice the protein shake and “fast acting carbs” immediately before and immediately after training.  Gotta get those nutrients in during that “anabolic window”, right?  How else could I possibly grow if I didn’t immediately slam down a shake after training without a moment’s delay?!  Haha

 

  • Animal M-Stak – oh man! Yes, most probably another waste of money.  Their marketing was really good though.  I felt very hardcore taking it!

 

  • 10 egg whites at a time?  Wow, not surprisingly I remember the gas I used to get afterwards!

  • So much tuna!  My cooking skills at this time were almost non-existent!  I would much rather have eaten chicken over tuna, but I was incapable of cooking it for myself!  Also, I thought tuna from the tin was the cheaper option!

 

  • Vegetables – at least I was eating them. That’s good, right?  Even if they came ready prepared frozen in little microwavable bags, at least I was eating my veggies still!

 

  • No carbs after 6pm.  Because any carbs eaten after 6pm immediately turn into body fat by the magical carb fairies….

 

  • Middle of the night shake?  Oh boy!  At least it was just a shake…I heard stories of guys getting up in the night to eat full meals!

 

The Good Parts

  • I make fun of the “anabolic window”, but I must compliment myself on at least having nutrients in my system before / during training.  It is my opinion when it comes to muscle growth and fueling hard training, that you are better off NOT training fasted.  So while I don’t think it is necessary at all to slam down a shake immediately before and after training, for fear of your workout being a “waste of potential gains” otherwise.  I do think it is good to have eaten / had a shake at some point before, so that you have nutrients in your system.

 

  • The “no carbs on an evening time” is another myth I make fun of, but I must add that there is logic to this nutrient timing approach.  I was having my carbs predominantly before training, and then continued to have more carbs for the next few hours after training.  Logically this is when my body needed them most for energy and recovery.  Also, a “carb-timing approach” can help many people not go overboard with the number of carbs eaten each day.  Carbs are very easy to overeat, which can then lead to body fat gain due to taking in too many calories.  So placing self-imposed rules like “carb back loading” or “carb front loading” can help people control their calorie intake rather than just having an unstructured food frenzy free for all!

 

  • My bed time snack, of cottage cheese and casein is actually a good idea!  Casein, which cottage cheese also has a high content of, is a slow digesting protein.  This means that having it before bed “drip feeds” your body with a supply of protein over a stretch of hours while you sleep.  And remember, your body repairs and grows most while you sleep, so having a protein supple during sleep is ideal.

 

  • The bodybuilding diet refreshingly includes fruit and vegetables, which so many people (including bodybuilders) sadly neglect.  This is despite all of the known benefits they have!

 

  • Notice that there is no junk food in this bodybuilding diet!  I was very professional in my approach to nutrition, so processed foods, or foods high in sugar, just didn’t have a place.  I’m not saying that I never had a “cheat meal” every so often, but this was rare.  I just didn’t feel the need!

 

If I Were To Do It Again

  • I’d comment on the number of meals I was eating, but to be honest, for that amount of food eaten every day, I think splitting my food intake like this was probably the best option.  It was too much food to be eaten per serving if I was to try eating your classic three-square meals a day.

 

  • If I were to do this again now, I imagine most of my calorie intake would come in the form of liquid meals – i.e. whey protein shakes, smoothies, etc.  No way would I want to eat that volume of solid food again, nor would I have the time to sit and eat every few hours either!

 

  • Where are the fats?  There is definitely loads of protein, which is good for recovery.  There are ample carbs (with no added sugar) to fuel hard training and to provide the energy needed to repair, recover, and grow.  But where are the dietary fats?!  Oh let me guess, it’s because fats make you fat, right?!  Fats are essential for maintaining the vitamin absorption and for energy, not to mention hormone production!  These are very important for a bodybuilder!

bodybuilding diet

Conclusion

This bodybuilding diet worked for me.  I can criticise it now all I want, but the bottom line is that it gave me results.  It helped me work my weight up to 88kg at about 13% – 14% body fat.

 

It is often the case with many people’s diets, that you can criticise away, but cannot deny the fact that they are still delivering results.  They may be far from perfect, they may not be optimal or most efficient, but if they are delivering results you could argue “why fix what isn’t broken?”  Of course, you could then argue that if a person was seeing good results with a less than optimal diet, imagine what phenomenal results they could have had if they did follow an optimal diet?

Lazy Person’s Low-Calorie High Protein Meal – Super Quick!

Lazy Person’s Low-Calorie High Protein Meal – Super Quick!

OK guys, just a quick video here, less than 1 minute long!  I’m going to show you a super easy lazy way to make a quick low calorie high protein meal.

I’m making an egg white omelette with vegetables.

In the video, I cook them separately, but feel free to mix the vegetables in with the omelette itself.  Though I didn’t simply for the sake of laziness lol.


NOTE: I’ve got nothing against egg yolk, it’s just that this video is for the super lazy that don’t want to mess around with cracking eggs and trying not to get any shell in the pan!  A carton of egg whites is just so much quicker to use!  These are the egg whites I use:

Also, skipping the yolks here brings the calorie content right down.  Here is the egg white calorie content (I used about half a carton, which is approximately 250g of egg whites:low calorie high protein meal

 

I use a low calorie cooking spray to cook the egg, which again brings the calories down. The cooking spray I used is extra virgin olive oil spray, but you could use coconut oil spray or pretty much any other spray.  The cooking spray I used is this one:

Vegetables

As for the “mushroom mix” bag, these things are great!  You can get a variety of different ready chopped and mixed vegetables, and they are

just so convenient.  I just pop them in the microwave because its easy and convenient, and means I can leave them to cook while I go and do something else.

Try and add vegetables to all of your meals to help “fill you up” for satiety.  Not to mention that this provides a good fiber content to your diet, plus adding “micro-nutrients” too.  Fiber is important to help “clear the plumbing system” lol, and this is very helpful when combined with a high protein and perhaps a lower carb diet.  The vegetables in these convenient packets are usually mostly “cruciferous”, meaning they have negligent calorie contents.  Any calories in the vegetables will generally be “burnt” during digestion!

If you are interested, the calorie content of the mushroom mix I used is this:

 

low calorie high protein meal

OK guys, just a quick video here, less than 1 minute long! I'm going to show you a super easy lazy way to make a quick low calorie high protein meal.…

A Six Pack’s not good enough! I want an EIGHT PACK!

Six Pack Abs?

OK, let me start by reminding you that EVERYONE has “Six Pack Abs”!  It is simply that not everyone can see theirs, as their six packs are covered by a layer of body fat.  But something you may be wondering is how is it that some people seem to have more than six pack abs?  Some actually have an eight pack?  And why is that some people only seem to have a four pack?

OK, let me start by reminding you that EVERYONE has “Six Pack Abs”! It is simply that not everyone can see theirs, as their six packs are covered by a layer of body fat.
Four Pack Abs?

Firstly, to address the question of why some people only have a four pack.  The answer often is because those people are still carrying too much body fat.  Usually they will have a gathering of bodyfat around the lower abdomen region, so that the lower two packs are “hidden”.  However, if it were the case that someone was exceedingly lean but still only had a four pack, then it may that this is just being the genetic shape of their abdominal muscles.

Six Pack Abs

As I have already established, the “six pack” consists of the abdominal muscles and everyone has these.  However, not everyone’s abdominal muscles look or are shaped the same.  Some people genetically will only have four packs, most notably Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Others genetically will in fact have eight packs.  This is simply the genetic shape and make up of their abdominal muscles.  Others may in fact have uneven abs, and appear to have an odd number of abs like five or seven.

Why some people only have four pack abs? The answer often is because those people are still carrying too much body fat. Usually they will have a gathering of bodyfat around the lower…

 

Flat Abs?

Some people may be in the situation where their body fat is low, but they still do not appear to have prominent abdominal muscles.  This may be due to their abs being underdeveloped, although this is VERY rare.  The remedy for underdeveloped abs would in fact be something I rarely EVER recommend to anyone, which is to actually do more sit ups and abs training!  However, if someone was still unfortunate enough to not have visible ab muscles despite having low body fat, then it may simply be that they are unlucky to have genetically “flat” abdominal muscles.  In which case there isn’t much you can do about that.  A notable example of this would be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  He will never have prominent six pack abs due to his genetic makeup.  But that doesn’t stop him from having a fantastic physique!  (*Note: apparently The Rock sustained a wrestling injury in which he tore his abdominals, which certainly wouldn’t help!)

 

Lose That Body Fat!

SIx Pack Abs

The bottom line is that we cannot go changing the genetic shape of our muscles.  Whether it is wishing we had more “peaked” rather than flat biceps.  Or wanting more “square” rather than “round” shaped pecs.  Or wishing our lats started from the waist making them look like bat wings rather than starting from just under the armpits (making them look smaller).  The abs are no exception.  You cannot change their shape.  But you can certainly make do with what your parents gave you to create the best physique possible!  So train those abs hard (along with every other body part) to make sure they are developed, but more importantly be sure to lose that body fat!  Through your training and nutrition plan reveal those awesome abs……and who really cares what genetic shape your abs are…….an impressive physique is an impressive physique at the end of the day!

 

“Bro do you even lift?” Is weight training necessary?

“Hey bro, do you even lift?”  Is weight training necessary?

weight training

For those who aren’t quite fully entwined in gym culture, let me explain the joke (note: for those who are already gym rats, you can skip this paragraph).  By “lift”, we mean “lift weights”.  After all, there’s no better way to insult a guy who obviously hits the weights (to build muscle), than by pretending that his lack of gym “gains” suggests that you didn’t even know he trained.  Funnily enough this phrase has become a compliment used sarcastically between gym-goers, for one gym junkie will jokingly ask the other if they “even lift”, indicating that the recipient of the comment is in fact looking “muscular”.

So now that you have an explanation of the “bro do you even lift?” phrase, let me continue with the point of this blog post.

 

I don’t lift (weights).  Not right now anyway, and I haven’t done so for quite a long time.  I am flattered that I receive the “do you even lift?” comment fairly often.  But I always receive a confused expression when I reply “no, actually I don’t”, and it’s true.  For well over a year now I have not extensively weight trained, unless you class a few shoulder and postural rehab exercises every now and then, or that one week after Christmas when I performed some compound lifts for the week and then stopped.

 

I used to lift weights.  People who know me will verify that I weight trained for years to supplement my ice hockey training back when I used to play.  After I stopped ice hockey I went on to focus solely on weight training, as I then spent the next few years competing as a bodybuilder.

 

Why did I stop weight training?  I don’t know.  Boredom I think.  After doing it for so long, I just started venturing out and trying different activities and sports and stuff.  As it happened, I really enjoy martial arts training.  Does this mean that I’m done weight training forever?  I don’t think so.  I’m sure I’ll return to it at some point.  But for now, it personally just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

 

I mentioned that I like martial arts, but if I’ve stopped weight training, what am I doing instead that is allowing my body to look the way it does?

Steroids.  Just kidding.  No, I have never taken any performance enhancing drugs, not even in bodybuilding where I competed in the “natural” drug tested federations.  But to answer the question seriously, it is my opinion that I have maintained a lot of muscle by:

  1. Eating a high protein diet.
  2. Probably being lucky to have decent genetics.
  3. Training boxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as much as possible

And lastly

4. I am NOT actually that “big”, it’s an illusion! I just look fairly muscular because I keep my body fat low so that my abs are always prominent.  In reality, I weigh a lot less than I ever did as a bodybuilder.

weight training

Do an exercise or activity you enjoy to help you lose fat and keep it off. If you enjoy it, you will stick to it, and exercise won’t be such a chore.
Conclusion

So what is the point of this blog post?  I don’t know.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, that you can have a good physique without necessarily weight training.  In fact, let me list the key points I’m trying to emphasise here:

  1. Do an exercise / activity you enjoy to help you lose fat and keep it off. If you enjoy it, you will stick to it, and exercise won’t be such a chore.
  2. Weight training can be a very useful tool, but it is not necessarily essential.
  3. Eat enough protein to help build muscle and to retain the muscle you’ve got.
  4. By having low body fat, you give the illusion that you are more muscular than you are! Less body fat means more definition, so it often will make you look “bigger” even when you are in fact “smaller”.
  5. Following on from point 4, you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose that body fat, so make sure you are burning more calories across the week than the calories you are eating and drinking.
  6. Genetics play a big part. I believe my genetics are alright, but I still wish I had mutant genetics for outrageous muscle and low bodyfat, though I don’t.  99.9% of us don’t.  We just have to work with the hand we are dealt, which might mean we have to work a little bit harder than that lucky 00.1% of the population!  It also means we might never look like the guys and girls you see in fitness magazines and websites (who are probably on steroids anyway).  But that’s OK, we will just set ourselves more realistic targets.

 

My closing comments – find an exercise / activity that you actually like doing, keep a heathy balanced diet with enough protein, and set yourself realistic goals.

Dan’s Dynamic Warm Up

Dynamic Warm Up
Dynamic Warm Up

This is the full dynamic warm up / mobility warm up I like to do before each training session.

Don’t feel like you have to do ALL of the mobility exercises I demonstrate here – for a lot of people it will be like a workout in itself!  So I’d say just to pick the ones that are most relevant to your stiff / problem areas.

The video is on fast forward just so it doesn’t take too much of your time to see all that I do!

Even on rest days, I like to do this routine too, normally first thing on a morning time.  I feel it helps my muscles recover and leaves me feeling good and ready to start the day.

I don’t always have time to complete all of these movements.  It depends how much time I have.  Some days I will shorten it and skip certain movements.

I first based my dynamic warm up on Joe DeFranco’s Agile 8 routine – check him out! https://www.defrancostraining.com/

My warm up routine can be quite full-on and might be too taxing for some people. You obviously don’t want to tire yourself out for your actual warm up, so you might want to build up to the volume of warm up work that I do!

Remember, it always good to keep flexible and mobile when it comes to keeping fit.  Too many of us neglect flexibility and mobility, because lets fact it, it’s boring!  Also, it can be time consuming.  This is why it might be an idea to do some mobility work away from your workout time.  Maybe do some first thing on a morning .  Or perhaps stretch on an evening time while watching TV.  Just don’t neglect it!  Find a way to fit mobility work into your schedule, and you will find your recovery rate is better, plus you will stay injury-free for longer!

It is no secret that many injuries occur as a result of muscular imbalances, or due to tightness in certain areas.  Start addressing your weaknesses now, before they become more problematic!

FYI, here is the resistance mini band I use for my  shoulder warm up:

This is the full dynamic warm up / mobility warm up I like to do before each training session. The video is on fast forward just so it doesn't take too much of your time to see all that I…

The SECRET that will put the Health & Fitness Industry out of business!

Let me tell you a little secret that could potentially put the whole health and fitness industry out of business, not to mention the weight loss industry overall!  This is the real secret to losing weight.  The real way to drop body fat.  Are you ready……..

 

Move more and eat less.

There it is.  There you go.  Use this knowledge wisely.

Weight loss

But in all seriousness, while we know that trying to lose weight isn’t always so straight forward, the main principle really is VERY straight forward.  Attempting to create a calorie deficit is the underlying objective of every weight loss program.  First of all, by “calorie deficit”, we mean burning more calories than you are taking in.  And how do you do this?  To burn calories, you move more.  To reduce the calories taken in, you eat less.  It’s all about calories in vs calories out.  Simple?

 

Actually no, not quite, it really ISN’T so simple.  If it was, everyone would be walking around shredded!

 

Let me explain…

For while WHAT we are trying to do is simple in theory, the real trick lies in HOW you do this.  You need some form of exercise and eating structure that will fit in with your lifestyle and is sustainable.  This structure will vary depending on YOU.  Some prefer to eat little and often, multiple times a day.  Others might prefer eating a few large meals in a small time frame (Intermittent Fasting).  Some like breakfast, some don’t.  Some like eating dinner late, some don’t.

 

In addition there is then of course the question of the actual food you eat – protein, carbs, fats, and then confusing extracurricular things like gluten, dairy, going vegan, etc etc etc!  The easy answer to this is to eat what you like, as long as you:

  1. Stick within your calculated calorie allowance for the day (based on your activity levels, so to remain in a calorie deficit).
  2. Get enough protein for the day.
  3. Opt for MOSTLY healthy nutritious foods.

 

“Enough” protein generally means at least 1g per lb of lean body weight.  The amount of daily carbs and fats you have doesn’t really matter too much, as long as the total calories consumed are within your daily calorie allowance!  You probably don’t really need me to tell you what foods are considered healthy and what foods aren’t (though if you are unsure, don’t worry, I will be talking about this more in further blog posts!).  If you have enough calories remaining in your daily calorie “bank”, then yes you can have that SLICE of cake – but no, you can’t eat the WHOLE freaking thing!

 

You get the idea.

Fitbit and Fitness Trackers – worth it, or waste of money?

Fitbit and fitness trackers are “in”.  They are currently “the thing”.  Everyone is wearing them.  So the purpose of this post is to look into whether just like Pokemon cards, Pogs, Tamagotchis, and yoyos, are Fitbits just a passing fad?  Or perhaps like the iPhone, are they actually a legitimately revolutionary device here to stay?

 

It took a while, before I eventually jumped on the bandwagon and got myself a Fitbit.  I have owned mine for about a month now, so I feel I have given it enough time to now give an honest review.

 

Model

I bought a Fitness Charge 2.  (This it it here https://amzn.to/2Nirn5v )
*Affiliate Link

I bought it in black (not in all the fruity available colours because I’m a man and I’m not 12 years old!).  The Charge 2 seems to be about mid-range in regards to other Fitbit models offered.

 

Price

I paid about £100.  There were “no name brand” fitness trackers for sale for a lot less, but to be honest I was skeptical of buying an unknown brand, so I went with Fitbit.  I hope the higher price means higher quality.

 

Features

The main reason I got this particular Fitbit model is because it monitors sleep.  I have suffered from insomnia for years, so I thought the sleep monitoring feature could possibly offer some insights that I may have previously missed.

This Fitbit also has the standard features of monitoring heart rate, tracking steps and distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and hourly activity.  It also recognises when you exercise, and it syncs with the GPS on your phone.  You download the Fitbit app onto your phone, and then you have your “Fitbit dashboard” that allows you to track your progress.  Through the dashboard there are other cool features like being able to track weight and food and calories, all to help ensure you reach your fitness goals.

You can also set alarms and reminders, which is pretty cool.  For example, if you’ve been stationary for an hour, the Fitbit vibrates on your wrist to give you a reminder to go get some steps in.  This is perfect for those sat at a computer most of the day.

 

 

So is it worth it?

So my verdict is….I like it!  Honestly, I do!  I have heard some people criticise that the Fitbit isn’t totally accurate in its tracking.  And yes, I’d agree that it probably isn’t – for example you can “cheat it” and get extra steps by shaking your arm around.  Plus I’m wary of how true the readings for estimated calories burned are.  But I believe that overall the Fitbit is accurate ENOUGH to serve a useful purpose.  Furthermore I thought the heart rate and sleep monitoring features WERE in fact surprisingly accurate.

 

 

Why it is useful

Let me give you a scenario.  You have a holiday coming up very soon, so you have been exercising very hard regularly and you have cut your calories lower than you would normally.  But you have stopped losing weight and don’t know why.  This is where you can check your Fitbit stats.

Your stats tell you that:

Yes, you have been exercising regularly

Heart rate during exercise is high, so you have been training hard

Morning time resting heart rate has increased, which indicates that you are beginning to overtrain, but this is expected due to the stress on your body, plus your holiday is very close you will be able to take a break from training then

Food intake shows you have been sticking to your diet

Your time and quality of sleep have decreased a bit, but nothing too concerning

BUT…

Your numbers of steps taken each day has decreased dramatically!  Bingo!  There’s the problem!  When we drastically cut calories, we feel tired and lazy, so often without realising it, we reduce our activity levels in order to conserve energy.  So what has happened here, is that to counteract the drop in calories consumed, the person is inadvertently now burning less calories too, therefore cancelling out any potential calorie deficit and hindering fat loss.

THIS is why Fitbits are useful! When we are tracking and measuring all of these different variables (although not 100% accurate, but still accurate ENOUGH), we are in a position to play…

 

THIS is why Fitbits are useful!  When we are tracking and measuring all of these different variables (although not 100% accurate, but still accurate ENOUGH), we are in a position to play detective when we are not seeing the results we want, which is a very helpful position to be in!

 

Fitness Charge 2https://amzn.to/2Nirn5v
*Affiliate Link