Recipe of the Week: Smoked Salmon Omelet

Have you tried salmon for breakfast before, particularly smoked salmon?  Don’t know it, ’til you try it!  And we made it easier for you to try by combining it with some eggs and cream cheese.  This recipe is healthy, tastes great, and is ready in just a few minutes—what more could you ask for in a breakfast?  To make this scrumptious omelet a complete meal, serve it up with whole-grain toast like Ezekiel brand or Udi’s and a cup of fresh fruit.

Yield: 2 Servings

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup nonfat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 oz smoked salmon
  • Garlic salt and pepper to taste
  1. Whisk together the egg whites, cream cheese, garlic salt and pepper. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Gently push the egg whites toward the center as they cook.
  2. When the eggs are almost set, place the salmon on top. Cover the pan and cook for 30 additional seconds. Remove the lid and fold omelet in half. Cut in half and serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals 124 calories, 1.8g fat, 2.5g carbohydrate, and 22.65g protein

Peanut Butter is Not a Protein and Other Tough Love Tips

Peanut butter is not a protein.  I probably could have just left this blog post with just that, but if you know me, you know that I like to start and explain the “why” behind everything I say and do.  So if you believe peanut butter is a protein it’s because you’ve been tricked by the clever marketing agencies out there that know you know that protein is becoming more important in our diet.

So let’s just slap a label on our peanut butter stating is has 7g of protein per serving and all of a sudden we have a new contender when it comes to choosing proteins!

Let me also explain that I absolutely love peanut butter, particularly Jif Natural (like in the picture above).  It can be Creamy or Crunchy – it doesn’t matter – as I tend to go through phases of which one I prefer to put in my mouth hole.

I do, indeed, heart peanut butter.

Peanuts are a type of fat.  In fact, they are a polyunsaturated just like fish oils, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, flax, and other foods.  Peanuts carry along some nutrients, not as many as other types of nuts, but enough.  One of those nutrients happens to be protein.  Again, a peanut is a fat, which is a macronutrient just like protein is a macronutrient.

Peanuts are a healthy fat that contains protein just like lean ground beef is a healthy protein that contains fat (I bet you don’t see labels on packages of ground beef stating “6g of fat per serving” like the labels on peanut butter display their protein per serving, right?).

If you believe peanut butter is a protein, you’ve been “gooped”.  You’ve been gooped just like the marketing gurus wanted you to be gooped because now you believe that peanut butter is a source of protein and qualifies as primary source of protein in your diet.  By the way, gooped means you’ve been had/tricked/hooked/taken advantage of.

There’s no question that peanut butter contains protein and you can benefit from the amount of protein in peanut butter.  However, it is not a primary source of peanut butter as there are actually foods out there like eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese that are primary sources of protein.

I’ve said it a lot recently: I truly believe the smartest people in the word are working for the wrong team and I feel like those people are the marketers and organizations engineering all of the campaigns to drive us towards foods that aren’t healthy for us.

There are multiple movies/documentaries about this topic, movies like “Fed Up” go over this topic along with several others regarding how our society is struggling with nutrition and how it’s being manipulated by different sources (you’ll have to watch the rest of the film to know what I’m referring to, which I HIGHLY recommend you do – it’s on Netflix too).

Regardless how I feel about our situation, my mission is to help educate and inspire you to better your life by helping you eat better along your path to moving better, feeling better, and looking better.  I’ve got a few other tough love tips I’ll share with you that will help with this.  These tips are game-changers when implemented into your food planning and food shopping routines.

Tough Love Tip 1:

Peanut butter is a fat, not a protein.  I know, I know, “you said that already.”  I’m just making sure this sticks.  You should be including other foods that are actually considered proteins to account for your protein intake (see the list from earlier).  These foods have way more protein and help with your protein intake way more than peanut butter or peanuts will.

One big nutrition habit we share with our members who are focused on weight loss is to have protein in every meal.  Peanut butter can be easily confused as a protein because of marketing, but as you now know it’s not a major source.

Tough Love Tip 2:

If a product has to tell you it’s healthy, it’s most likely not healthy for you.

There’s not a single food out there that good for you that has to tell you how good it is for you.  You know vegetables are good for you.  You know fruits are good for you.  You know nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews are good for you (those nuts carry more nutrients than peanuts do as well).  You know that eating lean meats is good for you.  You don’t need a label for that!  So why…why, why, WHY do you fall for labels like this:

The label is telling you pop-tarts has 7 Vitamins and Minerals…

(Yes, I know pop-tarts taste good and remind me of my childhood too, but did you know there’s 72 g of sugar in a package of pop-tarts (2 pastries)?  That’s as much and more than some sodas!)

Tough love tip 2 is my most important tip I’ll share with you today.

Tough Love Tip 3:

Choose “wild” over “farm-raised” and “free range” over “cage-free”.  You want your food to be as natural as possible.  Wild and free range foods are more natural than being raised on a farm or cage-free.  Gluten-free doesn’t mean healthy or that it will help you in your weight loss either; although eliminating gluten from your diet isn’t a bad idea to help you stay focused on fruits and veggies.

A product being gluten-free just means it doesn’t contain gluten.  Gluten is found in wheat and other grains.  Taking gluten of your diet can help reduce calories and find others sources of energy which will most likely be something that is a whole food.  Avoiding gluten all together could have other benefits.  Obviously if you have Celiac Disease (CD) you need to avoid gluten.  This isn’t my realm of expertise, nor am I legally able to tell you what to eat or not eat, so to see if you have CD or a gluten intolerance, reach out to your medical doctor.

Tough Love Tip 4:

Just because something is “natural” or “organic” doesn’t mean it’s healthy either.  It could mean it’s health-ier, but not necessarily healthy.  It could also mean it’s not healthier too!  That’s because of the FDA vague definition of what “natural” really means.   These foods could also be super high in sugar and full of loads of calories that you may be tricked to thinking are good for you all because of the label.

If you take another peak at the peanut butter picture from the beginning of the article you’ll notice I choose Jif “Natural”.  The only thing natural about the peanut butter is the ingredients and they can now use the word “natural” because they replaced any corn syrup with pure cane sugar or molasses.  Pure cane sugar is a natural form of sugar, whereas molasses is a bi-product of sugarcane, which can be considered “natural”.  (Did you know sugar has over 250 names for it, molasses is one of them.)  That means the only reason my Jif peanut butter is considered natural is because they don’t use corn syrup or any artificial/processed sweeteners and sugars..

The best form of peanut butter is to get freshly pressed peanut butter like some local co-ops might have in your area.  Better yet, choose almond butter for more nutrients!  There are even cashew butters and other nut butters available to us now.  You know it’s good when it has to be refrigerated after opening and contains no added sugar, just pressed nuts (ha!).

Other food can still be considered “organic” and not be healthy for you.  Foods labels or using the world “organic” on the label could still be filled with unwanted calories, boat-loads of sugar, and other ingredients that you assume will help with your health and fitness efforts, particularly weight loss.

Do you see how you’ve been “gooped”?

If you’re looking for foods that are natural and organic, revisit Tip 2 and focus on those as much as possible and purchase organic foods of those sources.  It should be noted, that not even all fruits and veggies labeled as organic means that they’re any better than non-organic grown produce.  A lot of our organic produce has even been shown to contain pesticides and other residue.   To save time on this post, just check out the Dirty Dozen.  The Dirty Dozen could be  a post on its own.  Again to save time and to avoid going down that road during this post, I’m going to wrap up this post with this:

Check to see where your produce came from.  Some stores will tell you what farm raised the produce.  Better yet: buy them straight from the farmer!!  You can also look for the non-GMO label when possible to help verify your decision on quality foods.  Again, look at the ingredients label.  If there’s more than 5 ingredients it is most likely processed.

In conclusion, I do not mean to write this to bash your current means of food prepping and shopping.  I am using it as an educational tool for you to develop more knowledge and make better decisions from this point forward.  Remember, health and fitness is a world of gray, not black and white (all or none).  You’ve come this far and now it’s time to continue the journey.  Use these tough love tips to help grow and get 1% better each and every day!

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Veggies

Eating plenty of vegetables will help you cleanse, provide you with important vitamins and nutrients, keep you full, and balance your blood pH levels. Here’s an awesome recipe for roasted broccoli and cauliflower that is quick to make and tastes great. Serve this with a piece of lean meat for a well-balanced, fitness approved meal.  You can also add other veggies to this, like brussel sprouts!

Makes: 4 Servings

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 bunch cauliflower
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice from 1 lemon
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. Wash the broccoli and cauliflower heads and then pat dry. It’s important to dry thoroughly so that it will roast properly. Cut into small florets.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the florets, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic cloves. Toss until well combined and then spread over the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven once the florets are tender with crispy bottoms.
  5. Drizzle the lemon juice over the cooked florets and serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis: 160 calories, 4g fat, 98mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 4g protein

What’s Important About the Number “2” and Why Doesn’t Failure Exist Anymore?

As you can tell from the title of this post, the number “2” is of utmost importance.  It not only symbolizes the topic of this post and the mindset of a person, but also the reps missed for the DVRT Fit Test as part of the DVRT Level 1 Certification course I attended this past weekend in Green Bay.  It was a full Sunday as I got up at 4 am and arrived back home just after 10 pm and full of new knowledge to help fulfill my mission to inspire and educate others on how to better their lives by helping them move better, feel better, and look better.

Before I talk about how the number 2 can change the way you think, I have to give a quick shout-out to the DVRT Family which includes the other members of the course and the DVRT Master trainers that helped instruct the course, which included DVRT creator, Josh Henkin.  By the way, DVRT stands for Dynamic Variable Resistance Training and it’s changing the way we do fitness and get results because it’s a system that helps the body move better in life and sport rather than another program that makes you better only in the gym.  It was the best certification/workshop I’ve ever attended.

Now back to the number 2 and why number 2 is so important to this post.  I touched on it earlier, but part of the DVRT Level 1 Certification is a DVRT Fit Challenge which includes 5 minutes of a USB Clean and Press at a certain weight and reps all based on your body weight.

Per my body weight, I had to perform 50 reps of the Ultimate Sandbag (USB) Clean and Press in 5 minutes with a 60 lb USB.  I had 48 reps with 50 in sight as time hit 4:54, but I had no gas left in the tank and I missed the clean to the rack position on the last 2 reps.  I was toast.

Burnt toast, actually.

To see what this phenomenal exercise is all about, just check out this video:

But I was happy for 2 reasons (see, there’s that number 2 again).  I was happy because I was unable to train for the Clean and Press Challenge the previous 4 weeks due to some significant imbalances in my right shoulder/shoulder blade area (thoracic spine) as well as some gnarly ulnar nerve irritation due to my movement imbalance, but I still performed at an admirable level.  Secondly, it made me appreciate where I am at a fitness level as I haven’t competed for any type of test/challenge/assessment in quite some time.

But here’s the real kicker: I don’t consider my not passing the Challenge a failure.

This is where the bulk of my thought process for this post was created because a lot of people would look at that as a failure.  Sure, I’m upset- I missed the Challenge by 2 reps!!  However, rather than looking at it as a failure, I am looking at it as a learning opportunity (as ALL “failures” should be considered, by the way).

I learned that I need to get stronger.  I learned that I need to get better technique (I nicked up my shins and knuckles quite a bit).  I learned that I am in good enough shape to step into a prestigious Challenge such as the DVRT Clean and Press Challenge and still come out smiling (and nearly passing).  I am humbled with my overall fitness level, yet I know there’s still work to be done!

My goal is to re-test within the next week and get 50 in 5 minutes.  Another goal is to hit 65 in a 5 minute span over the next 6 weeks of training through the DVRT system.  Then I plan on doing the 80 lbs bag for 40 reps in 5 minutes.

In fact, I am so determined on accomplishing the first of these 3 goals that as soon as I was done with my Challenge I grabbed the very same USB I had used and brought it over to my station and trained with that USB the rest of the afternoon…I then purchased that same USB and brought that sucker back to Unity Fitness so I can re-test with it as well!

See! ————————————->

There’s moments in our lives where we feel deflated, even defeated.  A lot of times it’s when we feel like we’ve “failed.”  I put failed in quotation marks because I don’t look at anything as a failure anymore.  And when I say “anything” I honestly mean ANY-THING!

I had this mindset shift a couple years ago when I was investing my time into a bunch of professional development books, seminars, and podcasts as I was developing Unity Fitness.  Failure is nothing more than a learning opportunity for me now.  Life has been much, much better this way and I have become much more successful as a person and business owner.  Not only am I accomplishing more, I’m also experimenting more and learning more (if you’re paying attention, this means I’m “failing” more).

I fail every day and I’m proud of it!

Most people don’t take the next step because they’re afraid of failure, so they’d rather not do anything at all, which happens to leave them in the exact same position they are in in the first place.  You can see how you can get nowhere really fast.  The feeling of fear is internally created, of course, as it is fueled off of possible humiliation, embarrassment, and shame.  Essentially this makes you your own worst enemy.

I didn’t always used to think like this.  I used to be afraid of trying anything new or doing too much of something due to being afraid of failure.  It wasn’t until I started learning about how regular of an occurrence failure is in everyday life that I started to accepted failure as a normal outcome.  I had to learn something from my journey though, that was absolutely certain.

So here’s how I want to help:

I ask you to take these two actions the next time you don’t do something because you’re afraid to fail: 1) Challenge yourself to do it anyway.  By not doing it you are simply accepting complacency upon yourself.  You are settling.  In order to change whatever it is that you want changed you’ll need to take that scary step forward.  You’ll figure it out as you go.  You always do!

Let’s say you do this and you end up “failing.”  I then challenge you to 2) Learn from the process aka your journey.  What can you learn from the moment in time to help make you better?  There’s always something!

Use this challenge to help you start learning more and doing more.  You can apply this challenge to anything you want; it doesn’t have to be involved with your health and fitness.  The best part is that you can take action on this almost immediately, so application is seamless.  Let me know how it goes!

Yours in health and fitness,


Recipe of the Week: Honey Grilled Chicken

We’ve all heard that abs are strengthened in the gym, but made in the kitchen.  Our recipe of the week this week tackles both sides of that coin head on.  It gives you plenty of protein to build lean muscle plus keep you full to help burn off some fat.  Pair it with some veggies and add in some brown rice or quinoa if it’s after a workout and you’ve got yourself a phenomenal meal!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

  • 4 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 Tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1. Pre-heat your grill. If using coals, heat until the coals turn gray and there are no longer strong flames, 35-45 minutes.
  2. Combine honey, mustard, lemon peel, soy sauce and garlic. Mix well. Reserve a few tablespoons of the sauce. Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 40 minutes.
  3. Cook the chicken 5 to 6 minutes per side. Brush with the reserved sauce, and continue cooking for an additional 3 to 4 minutes per side, until chicken registers 170 degrees F on a meat thermometer.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 183 calories, 2g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, and 28g protein.  **Add veggies for fiber and nutrients**