Category Archives: Be Active

Spaghetti Squash Lo Mein

Low carb twist on Lo Mein!

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Peas and carrot blend (frozen steam pack)
  • Mushrooms
  • Green onions
  • 4 scrambled eggs
  • Grilled chicken
  • Soy sauce
  • Ginger

Preparation

  • Step 1 – Cut squash in half, and either cover with saran wrap and microwave for 5-6 minutes, or cut in half, brush with olive oil, and place in oven on 375.
  • Step 2 – Meanwhile, cook steamed veggies,saute mushrooms, scramble eggs and grill chicken with garlic, soy and ginger.
  • Step 3 – Combine all ingredients and serve!

How I Conquered My Back Pain From Sitting At My Desk

If you sit at a desk for your job, and in I.T. you do, chances are you either suffer from lower back pain OR you are heading down the road of developing lower back pain.  Factors that contribute to this include putting pressure on your tailbone for extended periods of time, weaking back and core muscles, improper desk ergonomics, poor posture.  I suffered from lower back pain from nearly my entire professional career in I.T.

Sitting Too Long

Naturally your back as an S curve shape to it.  When you are standing, your back naturally goes back to this naturally S curve.  As you sit, pressure from your chair on your tailbone puts unnatural pressure on this S curve.  Over time the unnatural pressure can put stress on your discs, exacerbate any past injuries and can begin to herniate your disc.

Poor Posture

You know you slouch at your desk.  We sink low in our chairs, slide our butts forward and curve our backs.  Sometimes this even provided relief for me with my back.  But the other affect is this puts additional stress on the lower back muscles and it weakens your abdominal muscles, which help serve to protect your lower back

Poor Ergonomics

Some people have their monitors too low and have their chairs set at improper heights.  Instead have your monitor(s) situated so they are directly in front on you.  They should be at eye level so you don’t have to look down or up to see them. Your chair should be adjusted so that your feet are on the floor and your knees are bent at a perfect 90 degree angle.

Strengthen Your Core

The first part to conquering your lower back issues is to strengthen your core.  Find an exercise routine that works both your abdominal muscles and your lower back.  Strong core muscles help keep your discs nice and tight in the place they below.  I’ve found that both Focus T25 and Insanity Max 30 are both great programs for Strengthening your core.

Stand Up!

Our bodies were not designed to sit all day.  At minimum, I recommend you stand up for at least 5 minutes every hour to get off your butts and stretch out your back.  This helped me, but it wasn’t the cure.  The final change I made that totally took away my back pain was the Varidesk.  If you don’t know what the Varidesk is, it is a platform that you place on top of your desk.  You put your monitor(s) and keyboard on the platform and it transforms your desk into a standing desk.  The unit is sturdy and strong.  The desk easily transforms from sitting to standing in less than 5 seconds.  I now stand for at least 3/4 of my day, and sit for around 1/4 of the day.  This allows my back to return to that natural S curve position.  Zero back pain since getting this desk.  I highly recommend you get this for your workspace if you have the ability!

Morning Workout Routine To Start An Awesome Day

I Don’t Have Time To Workout

I’ve heard it 100 times.  I’ve said it 100 times.  “I don’t have time to workout” or “I’m too busy”.  It took me a very long time to overcome this line of thinking.  First, I had to have the trigger that pushed me over the edge to get started.  For me, my pants were too tight and I didn’t want to buy new pants.  We had a bathroom scale and when I used it I found that I was the heaviest I had ever been.  Then I knew it was time to make a change.

Morning Workout, Really?

Heidi wanted to work out in the morning, before the kids got out of bed.  I didn’t want to, but I gave it a shot.  We woke up at 6:00 and popped in our T25 workout.  It sucked! I hated it! I had no energy.  I couldn’t do the workout.  I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything.

After work works, doesn’t it?

I found that doing my workout after work worked for me.  I had more energy, I could finish my workout, and I felt like I was making progress.  I was losing weight, gaining muscle definition and overall felt great.

So, What’s The Problem Then?

My family was suffering.  T25 was 25 minutes, P90X3 and Insanity Max 30 are 30 minutes.  When you add in the time it takes to load up the workout and then cooldown, I might have 45 to 60 minutes spent in my workout.  I wouldn’t get started until 5:30 – 6:00, which takes me to 7:00 pm.  My kids’ bedtime is 8:00, which means I only had half the time I needed with them.  Also, I couldn’t get much else done at home either.  Time to rethink this!

Back to Morning Workouts

Along the way, I discovered something that helps solve my issue with morning workouts.  Preworkout Supplements. I experimented with a few and found some that woke me up enough in the mornings to get a good solid workout in.  Once I incorporated, I was able to develop a solid repeatable routine that allows me to get my workout in, and not allow my family to suffer.  Here it is:

5:00 AM – Wake up, put on workout clothes make my way downstairs

5:15 AM – Mix up Energize, turn on skillet on the stove (it’s electric), drink energize, do a load of dishes or laundry

5:30 AM – IT’S GO TIME!  Workout!

6:10 AM – Mix up Recover, make kids breakfast, get kids dressed, get them started eating.  (This might occur before I do the workout IF I’m running behind. Kids need to be up by 6:15!!)

6:30 AM – Get Shower, dressed for work make breakfast, mix up Shakeology

7:00 – 7:15 – Out the door

My Pre-Workout Supplement Review

I’m a big believer in pre workout supplements!  When I started my workout program in 2014, I found that I would run out of gas at about the 12 minute mark, and then I felt as though I would struggle to finish from that point on.  Also, to meet my busy schedule I found that timing wise, getting my workout in in the morning was the best time to workout, but my energy level just wasn’t there.

That’s when I began experimenting with pre-workout supplements.  Honestly, I didn’t now what I was doing or what to try. I was sort of lost.

Pre Workout Explosion

I knew that post workout nutrition was absolutely necessary, and soPreworkoutExplosion one day I was picking up a tub of Whey Protein from Meijer when I spotted that beauty up above Pre Workout Explosion from Six Star Pro Nutrition.  One of the ingredients is Beta Alanine.

PreworkoutWow, was I not expecting my face to start tingling 10 minutes after drinking it.  I should have done more research into what exactly I was consuming, but unfortunately I didn’t.  Recently I have done more research into the ingredients in the and learned a lot more about Beta Alanine.  In short, it’s growing in popularity as it’s a natural non-essential amino-acid that is not found to have any long lasting negative affects.

Performance: Once I started taking this, I noticed that I could add almost 5 whole minutes to my Insanity workouts without slowing down.  That took me to the 17 minute mark.

Taste: The taste isn’t bad.  It’s  fruit punch flavoring that is strong at first, but after a few days the taste wasn’t overwhelming to me any longer.

Cons: The supplement didn’t mix very well.  There was always sediment in the bottom of the glass which required a refill of water to consume.  And by then, the flavoring had been washed away, leaving me with a gritty bitter leftover to consume.

Body Fortress NOS

Since I was having issues with the consistency and price of Explosion, I spotted and decided to try the Body Fortress Super NOS.  To be honest, with this one the effects of Beta Alanine, were much less, the taste was horrible, and I found myself avoiding taking it at all costs.  I still have the bottle at home and really I’m just saving it for emergencies.

Beachbody E & E

E & E was developed before the mainstream use of beta alanine.  Its main ingredients are naturally occurring sources of caffeine.  With E & E, I saw more of a slow rise and fall of energy.  The taste was OK, but nothing to get excited over.  I also found myself having the same problems with mixing E & E as I did workout Explosion.  There was always sediment in the bottom that just wouldn’t mix.  Since I didn’t get the instance punch like I did with workout explosion, and since I had to order E & E, I fell back to workout explosion.

Beachbody Performance Energize

Beachbody just recently released their performance line, and as partEnergize of that, we have a new preworkout supplement called Energize.  Since I wasn’t totally happy with my current supplement, I decided to give this one a try.  Wow, this one knocks it out of the ballpark.  It hit all the points I expected from a preworkout supplement.

Taste: The lemon flavor isn’t too strong or overwhelming.  It actually reminds me a lot of a lemon flavored sports drink.  The consistency is very powdery.  It mixes very well and there is no sediment at the bottom of the glass.

Time: I can begin feeling the effects of the beta alanine within 10 minutes of consuming.  In the words of Carl Daikeler, “It’s go time”.

Performance: I feel the effects and the boost throughout my entire 30 minute workout.  I’m able to go longer and bust through that 17 minute plateau.

After Effects: I always workout in the morning.  I continue to feel a boost of energy that stays with me for the rest of the morning.  I don’t feel any negative after effects, and don’t have any trouble getting to sleep at night.

* Caveat:  As you can see in the featured image, I also added another product to my routine.  As part of the performance line, I also added the Hydrate formula to taking during the workout.  Part of the source of fatigue during workouts is that your muscles start to dehydrate from sweat.  The Hydrate formula helps fight that by enhancing your body’s ability to recover that water you’re losing in sweat.  Watch for a review on Hydrate soon!

How do you get ENERGIZE? Click Here!