Friday, February 22, 2013

Klean Athlete protein...its not just good, its good for you

As an endurance athlete we are always taught about "carb loading" but more often than not we don’t have an appreciation for and/or don’t eat enough protein to build muscle in order to power us through training and racing. After getting schooled by a dietician friend of mine that I was WAY under what I should be taking in daily for protein I made it a priority to get more protein in my diet. Turns out, that’s easier said than done. While I’ve been trying to increase my protein intake I realized I’m just not one of those people that can eat big meals…so I've been looking for a protein supplement that could give me the protein I need, that was easy to take and didn't mean ingesting a boatload of calories. Well luckily enough I got this little gift package on my front doorstep thanks to Klean Athlete and it was JUST what I was looking for.

While I try to be good about diversifying my meals and trying to get in all the vitamins I need…I realize that cereal with milk as my “go to meal” ain’t cutting it. I’m sorely lacking in needed vitamins: Omega 3′s, folic acid, certain B vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium and the like so I was stoked to receive Klean Athlete’s multivitamin too. As silly as it sounds, the multi doesn’t taste bad. Yes, I know it’s only in your mouth for a second while you swallow but those of you that have had to deal with that the god–awful taste of “vitamin” in your mouth (or from your stomach after you burp later) that never seems to go away know what I mean. An added bonus is that multivitamin isn’t HORSE PILL sized and is easy to take.

Now…onto the protein powder! I was also given the Klean Isolate whey protein powder. I use protein powder every day. Now you might think protein powders are protein powders..but you’d be wrong. First off, no off putting smell or taste. It has a mild maltose or vanilla smell (it is whey protein after all) and it mixes well with darn near everything. I’ve added it to everything ranging from shakes/smoothies up to white sauce for pasta…to almond milk for my daily cereal fix! Unlike other protein powders, Klean Athlete’s have no yeast, wheat, gluten or artificial coloring/flavoring/sweeteners. So you get a great source of protein, giving you 20 grams of it per serving, at only 85 calories.

Another reason to get on the Klean Athlete bandwagon and use their products? Well, “Klean Athlete™ is tested and certified by the NSF Certified for Sport® program, which was created to meet the growing demands of athletes, coaches and healthcare professionals to certify that sports supplements are safe and free from banned substances.” Now most folks might not think that’s a big deal but I DO! Being a member of U.S.A Triathlon, Cycling, Track and Field and other sports bodies means that I can be tested at any race or after any podium win. The only reason for amateurs don’t get tested often now is because the governing bodies don’t have the staff or funds…as of yet. But there have been plenty of instances that when they do make it out to test their athletes, people fail either because of PEDs or supplement ingredients that are “on the list”. I’d rather have the peace of mind to know what I was talking was good to go in the first pace rather than have to scan the NSF list to see what’s banned or not.

Bottomline? I not only like...but trust Klean Athlete’s products…and that means EVERYTHING to me! Get over the Klean Athlete website ASAP and get some for yourself!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Healthy eating just got a whole lot easier...

You've seen me write and expound upon the fact that one of the biggest challenges I face is eating properly or enough in order to fuel what some consider my hectic training and racing schedules. I am notorious for living off sandwiches and cereal because its an easy to prepare/easy to consume sort off meal that I don't have to slow down for or "prepare". Now if I have that issue and I'm working to make my food as healthy as possible its not hard to see why most Americans with their busy schedules want to eat "on the move" as well ...and reach for quick foods...most of which are high fat and contain empty calories.

Here's where a company like "Diet-to-Go" ( and their “diet meal delivery” service comes in.
Each meal comes sealed and ready to eat either after opening or after a few minutes in the microwave. The first meal I dug into was breakfast on the first day that consisted of "Egg and Broccoli pie" (think quiche) and apple juice. I microwaved it and within a few minutes I was sitting down to a hot, fresh, perfectly seasoned breakfast (it is the most important meal of the day after all) meal that completely satisfied me and even more...filled me up. Too often when I try to make something quickly for myself I start getting hungry not long after I eat. Not the case at all with ANY of the Diet-to-Go meals I had. I was impressed by the variety of meals that I was sent including: Michigan Turkey salad (I don't know what they do in Michigan but they make a damn fine salad!), whole grain french toast with mango cranberry syrup, turkey swiss sandwich with tomato relish, whole grain pancakes with turkey sausage, curried shrimp with basmati rice and minted peas (a favorite of mine), Tuscan boats with wheat salad, chicken brunswick stew, and blackened turkey loin with carrot chipotle puree asparagus risotto and Italian vegetable blend. Ya, this ain't no "Lean Cuisine" folks! This is LEGIT delicious food that's nutritious.

I found my entire menu of meals to be outstanding in quality, convenience and most importantly taste. Yes I know we eat with our eyes but I'm a guy. The fact that I can put a delicious meal in the microwave and be eating it in its microwavable container is like nirvana. You can see in the image above that the meals look awesome in the microwave container or "plated"...but taste the same when eaten. No muss, no fuss! 

Now while you might not have heard about Diet-to-Go before, there are a few things you should know:

- It’s the most inexpensive fresh "diet meal delivery" service on the market. 

- There are zero cancellation fees, NO gimmick pricing and even more important NO commitments or contracts. 

- They were recently rated #1 diet delivery company by Epicurious

- And…MOST importantly…100% satisfaction guaranteed
So if you're looking for convenient, delicious meals that are healthy and made for people on the go...this is a no brainer, you HAVE to try out Diet to Go! 

And...and...and...if you head over to their website and enter coupon code "fitfluential" get 20% off any meal plan!

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own. However, my taste buds and full belly really appreciated my work. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

The response has been overwhelming!

I put this photo up a couple weeks ago because of a discussion I was having where I was told "what do you know about being fat?! You're this fit, training-monster triathlete!" response, "you have NO idea what you're talking about...let me show you this picture".

Then the conversation changes in tone and I get "oh my were FAT!". Yes, yes I was. Most people either know me as the skinny kid in high school and college or the fit guy you see today but very few know the "fat guy" you see in the picture. That wasn't by accident my friends. That picture of me on the left, taken at my heaviest - 245lbs with a 40 inch waste (yes, FORTY inch waist), is the only one I know of. That time was spent "hiding" from family, friends, life...I was hiding from almost everything but food. I refused to "see" myself. It wasn't until I saw that picture, and realized I was going to need to go up a size in jeans, that the shocking realization sat in that I was a mess.

 What's funny is the even people I work with everyday don't even remember that I was that big now. The change you see in that picture did not come quickly nor without hard work. I went out at bought a weight set for my home because I was ashamed to be "that guy" in the gym... lifting small weight and being out of breath with every effort. There were lots of hours spent on a bike trainer in the dark, watching the Tour de France on DVD, literally sweating my ass of. I spent many months on the bike because my ankles, knees and back (all broken and/or repaired through time) couldn't handle the shock of running at that weight. I started walking, then jogging, then running...then running fast :) It was a slow progression that I had to focus on. Then there was my relationship with food. It was an unhealthy one that I had to train myself to get over. That has been just as much of a struggle as getting and keeping the weight off. 

I will be honest, whenever I see myself in the mirror or pictures I still identify with the guy on the left. My friend Donna calls it FFG (former fat guy) syndrome and the world has piped in that I suffer from BDD (body dysmorphic disorder). I train and race very hard (sometimes too much so) because fear ever turning back into "that guy". It is not easy and whatever I do, rest days I take or food I eat always comes with that nagging voice in the back of my head..."will this make you fat". But...I'll be the first one to say that the only way to conquer your demons is from within and I've worked hard to come to grips with the athletic guy I've become.

What amazes me is the response I've gotten from friends (some I haven't heard from in years), coworkers and strangers alike in response to that picture. From people telling me they've followed my transformation over the years, to those that share their own stories and ask for any tips/guidance/advice I can provide to a number of people who've told me that my story is inspirational and knowing the work I went through to get where I am today is just what they needed to hear to get back in the gym. I don't know about being inspirational but I have always said that if I can drag my broken, fat ass off the couch and train that same ass off to be a competitive age-grouper, multi-sport athlete...ANYONE can! I owe a huge thanks to Chris at Polar USA. He and that company's products have been instrumental in my "transformation"!

By no means am I done! I have 2 Half Ironman events I'll be racing this year and I hope to accomplish a lifelong goal of competing in an Ironman event (hopefully at Kona...fingers crossed). Then maybe I can have that piece of chocolate cake. Sweat on my friends...sweat on!