Friday, 29 October 2010

My NEW Healthy Chocolate Dessert Recipe

High Protein, Low Sugar, and Full of Chocolately Goodness!
by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of best-seller:  The Truth About Six Pack Abs

I'm a nut about chocolate, but I ALWAYS find ways to make healthy versions of chocolate recipes that are low in sugar, higher in fiber, and higher in protein... so you can still enjoy chocolate, but stay lean at the same time!

My chocolate recipes give you ways to actually NOURISH your body with high nutrient density instead of fattening your body with typical chocolate treats.

In fact, I've become well-known for some of my uniquely healthy chocolate recipes, including my famous healthy chocolate fudge recipe, and my more recent, healthy chocolate pudding recipe.

This new recipe of mine I don't really know what to call, but I guess you could say that it's similar to pudding also, but also similar to a chocolate cheesecake taste!   But instead of typical puddings and cheesecakes loaded with sugar and calories, this recipe is high in protein, has a decent dose of fiber, antioxidants, loads of vitamins, minerals, and more...

PLUS this recipe is lower in carbs and sugar than pretty much any other chocolate desserts out there!

Geary's High-Protein, Low-Sugar Healthy Chocolate Dessert
The quantities here will make about 4-6 servings, so adjust appropriately if you don't want leftovers. To make this healthy chocolate dessert, first mix together in a bowl:
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt (choose either the 2% or the full fat -- remember, don't be afraid of fats, as they help balance hormones and provide satiety which lowers appetite overall... Greek yogurt is MUCH higher in protein than normal style yogurt, and also tastes creamier!)
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese (I passed on the fat-free and chose the part skim... I also was able to find ricotta from grass-fed cows at Whole Foods)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein -- I like to use this grass-fed raw whey protein, and sometimes I mix and match with chocolate hemp protein or this amazing new protein I found recently, Boku Super-Protein (this protein is from sprouted brown rice and has an incredible amount of naturally-occurring calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp raw cocao nibs -- these pieces of 100% pure cocao add tremendous nutrition to the recipe and also a great crunchy chocolate taste (nibs are harder to find than cocoa powder, but can be found at most health food stores or specialty food stores)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers
  • 2 Tbsp each of chia seeds and hemp seeds (optional, but adds TONS of nutrition and a nice nutty taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a couple packets of natural stevia to sweeten
After mixing all of these ingredients thoroughly in a bowl, top off your individual servings with any kind of berries (raspberries and/or strawberries go excellent with this recipe!)

You now have a great much healthier alternative to chocolate desserts... one that is high in protein, fiber, and tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants... but is also incredibly delicious!

Feel free to share this healthy recipe with your friends and family -- they will LOVE it! Share it on Facebook, Twitter, on your blogs or forums, or email this page link to your friends and family.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Weird 1999 Study: The fat-burning "Sniff Trick"

I just saw this cool article from my colleague Jeff Anderson this morning, and I had to share it with you...

It outlines an eye-opening (and weird) study that took place in 1999 that shows how certain smells can actually INCREASE your fat loss... very interesting stuff!

Read below...


The Fat-Burning "Sniff Trick"
by Jeff Anderson

Do you realize that if you were blindfolded and plugged your nose that you couldn't tell if you were eating an apple or an onion?

It's true!  You can even test it yourself!

You see, our olfactory sense (brainiac translation = "our sense of smell") is directly tied in with our brain's perception of what we eat, and as recent research has concluded... MUCH we eat!

Here's why it's important and how it can help YOU shave off inches over the next month and even ultimately reach your fatburning goal:

Scientific breakthrough "tricks" your body
 for faster fatburning...

A 1999 project conducted two randomized, double-blind studies consisting of over 3,000 subjects who had at least 10 lbs to lose.

In addition, 3/4 of the subjects also were psychologically affected by their weight, claiming:

 *  Impaired sex life
 *  Bad feelings about overeating
 *  Lack of energy, and
 *  Poor self-image

Each test subject was directed to NOT make any changes to their nutrition or exercise program except for one thing:

One test group was directed to sniff a specific aroma prior to eating their meals and whenever they felt hungry.

Specifically, here's what they smelled:

    Month 1 & 4: Peppermint
    Month 2 & 5: Banana
    Month 3 & 6: Green Apple

The other group (the "control" group) was given a placebo inhalent that simply smelled like detergent.

At the end of the study, the subjects who were given the "smelly" inhalents reported:

 *  50% decrease in food cravings
 *  Decreased appetite
 *  No nagging hunger pains
 *  Much less "snacking"

And get this...

 *  497% more weight that they lost!

    (19.15 lbs average vs. only 3.85 lbs)

Here's why it works...

One of the factors that tells your brain that you're "full" is your sense of smell as you bring food up to your mouth to eat.

Literally, after your brain senses it's "smelled enough", it tells your body you're full and it's time to stop eating.

By smelling the three aromas, you're able to "trick" the body into eating less and therefore consuming less calories (and you know what THAT means, right?)

Now, here's what you need to do...

1. Find yourself 3 different essential oils (even candles will work if you can find them) that match the 3 used in the study:

 *  Peppermint
 *  Banana
 *  Green Apple

    (I found $2 "tester" vials online for these 3 scents.)

2. Use each scent for one month and then switch.

(I don't know why this is important but it's how they conducted the study so I'm sure there's a reason.  Why fix what isn't broke? ;-)

3. Keep the scent handy throughout the day and sniff it in the following instances:

 *  5 minutes prior to your "main" meals
 *  5 minutes prior to any planned snacks
 *  Any time you feel feel hungry

4. To "sniff properly" (I know...sounds strange, right?), plug up one nostril and sniff the scent 3 times through the other and then switch.

Do this 3 times for each side (total of 18 sniffs) at the designated times.

Enjoy your new found fat loss results, appetite control, and less cravings!
Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder -

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Can you drink alcohol and still stay lean?

7 Tips to Still Enjoy Your Nights Out Drinking and Stay Lean at the Same Time?

This topic seems to be a common struggle I hear from a lot of people... They want to get lean, but they don't want to give up drinking alcohol.

Now, I'm not talking about alcoholic type of drinking (THAT is obviously a problem)... we're just talking moderate social drinking here.

First, although some people may willingly choose to give up alcohol entirely, I still think most of us can drink in moderation, and still stay perfectly healthy and lean.  But there are a few tricks that can help you to not pack on the pounds... and I'll mention those in a little bit.

As for myself, it comes down to choosing what I'm going to be strict about to maintain my fitness lifestyle and what I'm not going to be strict about.

For example, I'm pretty strict about never eating anything deep fried or made with trans fats, never eating white bread, and never drinking sodas or sweetened soft drinks of any kind... but I'll admit that one thing I've chosen to not be strict about is drinking alcohol.  What... a fitness pro admits that he drinks and is not a fitness "robot" 24/7... No way!

Well yes, it's true... I'm in my 30's now and I certainly don't drink as frequently as I did back in my crazy college days (man those college days were fun!), but I'll certainly enjoy some cold ones when hanging out with friends, going to a bbq or dinner party, or during a night out at the bars and nightclubs.

It's all about balance in your life, and not every aspect has to be "perfect" in order for you to still get the body and health that you want. You'll drive yourself crazy if you're trying to be perfect.

Of course, if you have no problem abstaining from alcohol and willingly make that decision, then that will certainly be the best thing for your health and your body.

However, for the rest of us, that actually do like to partake in some social drinking, here are a few tips that have helped me to stay single-digit bodyfat lean, while still drinking alcohol occasionally.

TIP 1. Obviously alcohol gives you extra empty calories on the days that you choose to drink. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein, and 9 calories per gram for fats.
However unlike ingesting carbs, protein, or healthy fats from a healthy food source, drinking alcohol gives you LOTS of calories with very little micronutrients.

On nights that I know are going to involve some drinking, it helps to make sure that dinner is based only around protein and vegetables. You're going to take in a lot of empty calories with the alcohol, so eating a good portion of appetite-satisfying protein along with nutrient-rich vegetables can help to control your appetite and give your body the nutrients it needs.

Plus, most importantly, there's just no room for loads of carbohydrate-rich foods if you're also going to be consuming alcohol. Carbs + alcohol is a perfect recipe for growing a beer belly!  Try to keep that evening meal a fairly low-carb meal to save yourself from extra empty calories.

TIP 2. If you want to save your body from adding layers of ugly fat, by all means stay away from syrupy, fruity drinks that are loaded with sugar... this is a double whammy for your gut as you're not only getting all of the empty alcohol calories, but also loads of empty sugar calories. Big fruity drinks such as a big margarita, or other tropical fruity drinks can sometimes have as much as 500-600 calories per serving and 70-100 grams of sugar!

And I don't think this even needs to be mentioned, but if you care about your body, any drink that uses soda pop as the mixer is going to be loaded with sugar (usually high fructose corn syrup) and calories.

Instead, your best bet is to stick with a clear alcohol mixed with club soda (NOT tonic) and a squeeze of lime or lemon (hey, at least you get a little vitamin C and antioxidants with the squeeze of lemon and lime!).

Vodka with club soda and extra lemon and/or lime squeeze is my drink of choice at the bars and nightclubs.
Stay away from tonic water mixers! Some people don't realize this, but tonic water is loaded with almost as much sugar as regular soda pop... on the other hand, club soda has no calories at all. It's clearly the lowest calorie way to drink.

TIP 3. If you're going to drink beer, you're better off choosing just 1 or 2 dark beers rather than 5 or 6 light beers.  Sure, dark beers have more calories than light beers, but dark beers also have more B vitamins and antioxidants than light beers, so you actually get more nutrition from the dark beer.  As long as you keep it to just 1 or 2 dark beers, you may still stay within 150-400 calories.

Generally, it also takes a little longer to drink a good dark beer compared to a watery light beer too.

TIP 4.  Try to get in a high intensity full body workout before your night out of drinking. If you do this, at least you've revved up your metabolism and have your body processing calories a little faster.

Also, trying to get in some sort of exercise the morning after your night out can also help to get your body back to a good state of health. This may not be your best workouts in terms of energy, but it can help to just get your body moving and break a sweat, and get back to a good homeostasis.

TIP 5. Avoid the late-night munchies after a night of drinking! This is where most people do the biggest damage to their waistlines.

Instead, make sure to have some lean protein and vegetables quickly available at home (perhaps some pre-cooked chicken breasts, grass-fed steaks, or even tuna fish and some veggie sticks) so that you can satisfy your late night post-party appetite with lean protein instead of carbohydrates.  Veggies and protein is the key here.

The worst thing for your body is loading up on pizza, ice cream, and other carb-rich junk after a night out of drinking.

TIP 6. If you drink multiple drinks socially, try to keep drinking alcohol to only 1-2 days/week maximum if you want to stay lean. On the other hand, if you never drink more than 1-2 drinks per day, I think having 1-2 drinks daily with a meal can still be part of a healthy lifestyle. As long as those calories are accounted for and you still stay within your daily caloric maintenance.

TIP 7. Wine is one of the healthier drink choices... if you must have a drink, you might as well choose wine so you at least get a good dose of antioxidants as well. Red wine is known for it's antioxidant content, however even white wines contain some antioxidants as well... white wines just aren't quite as high in antioxidants as red wines.

And finally, like I mentioned before, drinking alcohol just adds one more thing to your list that you have to work against in getting the body you want.

Abstaining may always be the best choice, BUT we also need to be realistic and know that social drinking is not something that most people are willing to give up entirely.

For that reason, this list of tips to help manage social drinking in a healthier way can really help you to stay leaner and healthier and still balance a little bit of social drinking into your life.

by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
author - The Truth About 6-Pack Abs

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A type of yogurt with 3X the protein

I just found an AWESOME yogurt recently (that is the creamiest yogurt I've found to date...absolutely delicious!), and it is the highest protein yogurt I've ever seen.

I always read labels at the grocery store and I've never even seen any yogurt come close to this in protein content. In fact, this yogurt that I found had 3X the normal protein content in comparable serving sizes of other brands and types.

This high protein creamy yogurt I found at the grocery store is called Fage greek yogurt... Fage is the brand of greek yogurts I found that had the highest protein content of them all that I compared.

There was 3 versions of this Fage greek yogurt - skim, 2%, and full-fat.

I ended up choosing the 2% version, which goes slightly against what I always preach about just choosing the full-fat versions of everything... but the 2% had the best ratios of protein and fat, without having too much milkfat.

If I remember correctly...

The skim version was about 20 gms of protein and 0 gms of fat
The 2% version was about 19 gms of protein and 4 gms of fat
The whole version was about 13 gms of protein and 15 gms of fat

The skim version wouldn't have a great taste because of the lack of fat, and the whole version was pretty calorie dense, and I found that the 2% version had the best ratio of protein with still enough fat for a great creamy taste.

Mix this greek yogurt with some sliced strawberries or raspberries and some almonds or pecans (and maybe a sprinkle of hempseeds or chia seeds), a little stevia, and a little vanilla extract, and you have one delicious mid-day healthy meal, or high protein dessert to have at night!

Mmm, mmm good!

I know not everybody is going to have access to this specific brand that I found, but search the greek yogurt section at your market and see which types you find that have the highest protein and the best taste.