Beach Photo Shoot

Four years ago, before I started working out and paying attention to my physical health and fitness, the idea of getting in front of a camera with my shirt off would have been embarrassing.

Funny what a little muscle-infused confidence can do for you.

These latest shots are from a session in Newport Beach that I did with the incredible Kevin Weinstein. As you can see, the lighting was incredible that day and made for some pretty great shots, which I’ll use to update my site with new imagery.

But here’s the thing: I don’t do these photo shoots to show off. I do them for me – to track my progress and to do something that makes me feel good about the hard work I’ve put in to transforming my body. If they inspire others to start working out and living a healthier lifestyle, all the better!

Here are some of my favorites from the shoot.

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My sugar detox diet plan

I’m just a few days into my 30-day sugar detox, and I’ve had several people ask me about my diet plan.

Some of the questions have been from people interested in doing the detox as well, but their inquiries have been laced with a “fear” that for 30 days, meals will be nothing but bland chicken breasts, brown rice and broccoli.

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Bison-stuff peppers. Watch out, they’re spicy!

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste and flavor. It does mean you have to pay attention to every ingredient you’re adding to your meals. It’ll force you to eat more natural and bioavailable (see: stuff your body can actually absorb and use) foods and not prepackaged, man-made junk.

 

From a high level, here’s how I’ve outlined my daily meal breakdown:

  • Pre-workout snack – 1/2 Banana, BCAAs, Creatine, Preworkout
  • Post-workout – Protein shake with peanut powder
  • Meal 1 – Organic plain oatmeal with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • Meal 2 – Scrambled eggs – 3 whole eggs and 3 egg whites
  • Meal 3 (Lunch) – Protein, carb, 2 vegetable (Usually leftover from previous night’s dinner)
  • Snack – Cheese stick with almonds
  • Meal 5 (Dinner) – Protein, carb, 2 vegetable
  • Snack – Plain rice cake with almond butter spread

As you can see, my snacks and meals, outside of my lunch and dinner, are fairly set, but I change up my main meals. So how do input this into motion? What are the actual meals I’m eating?

Here are the actual dinners for the first five days of my 30-day sugar detox. I don’t meal prep, so here’s my simple hint: Make enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day.

  • Monday – Spicy Kung Pao chicken over brown rice
    • <5 grams sugar from highly bioavailable foods | 0 added sugar
  • Tuesday – Grilled pork chops with rosemary-garlic potatoes and sautéed green beans
    • <4 grams sugar from highly bioavailable foods | 0 added sugar
  • Wednesday – Bison-stuffed poblano peppers
    • <5 grams sugar from highly bioavailable foods | 0 added sugar
  • Thursday – Baked chicken with tomatillo-verde salsa with mixed sautéed vegetables
    • <4 grams sugar from highly bioavailable foods | 0 added sugar
  • Friday – Ground turkey tacos with black beans
    • <5 grams sugar from highly bioavailable foods | 0 added sugar

The key to not suffering through a month of the same-old-same-old when it comes to your food is to get in the kitchen and make real meals with real ingredients. Recipes are nothing but step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a meal. Don’t overcomplicated things.

Enjoy!

A quick update about how my sugar detox is going: On the second day of my sugar detox, I had crazy headaches that I can only assume were because of the sugar withdrawal. But the headaches passed, thanks in part to a little help from Ibuprofen, but then the cravings kicked in.

I have never wanted a cookie or a candy bar so badly. This has been tough, but so far, no slip-ups or backslides.

It’s only Day 4 and it feels like it’s been weeks since I tasted sugar. The games my mind has played are frustrating. I love peanut butter, but the kind I have in my house right now has added sugar in it, so I can’t have it. But my mind told me last night that “the sugar in peanut butter isn’t as bad as the sugar in a candy bar, so a little scoop won’t hurt, right?!” It was very hard to suppress this rationale.

Getting through this is definitely going to take more mental strength than anything physical.

But so far, so good.

I’m an addict

I’m an addict.

This was the realization I came to this past weekend when I found myself eating a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies in less than 15 minutes.

I am addicted to sugar.

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Photo cred: Life Bridge Health

For all of the ways I try to eat healthy and clean, I admit that when it comes to sugary treats – candy, cookies, cakes, pies – I usually cannot restrain myself.

So I’m doing something about it.

Today, Monday, May 9, 2016, I am committing to a 30-day sugar detox. Over the next month, I am going to do all I can to remove sugar from my diet. I know I can’t completely remove it, but I am aiming for less than 8 grams of sugar per day.

Just as a reference, the American Heart Association recommends 150 calories or less of sugar per day for men – roughly 20 grams. Most of us are consuming more than 45 grams of sugar per day, much of this being added sugars.

Sugar contributes to a scary amount of our health issues, and I intend to do what I can to combat this in my own diet.

I’ll be tracking my progress here on my blog. It’s Day 1 of this journey, and I’m already fighting cravings. But I know I’ll come out of this healthier and feeling better.

Join me! Comment below if you’re going to commit to no sugar for the next 30 days!