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Monday, December 24, 2012

Lokanta Mediterranean Pleasanton - Healthiest New Restaurant

Check out my latest downtown Pleasanton restaurant selections on the Pleasanton Patch.

Lokanta Mediterranean Bar and Grill - Lokate the Right Choices

Download my free Pleasanton Restaurant Fat Loss Guide here...featuring over 20 downtown restaurants.



Watch my interview with Lokanta owner Dogan Ozdogan below


Look for more of my Christmas Cutdown workouts later today...and an inspiring story of change that will move you to transform your body in 2013!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Cutdown Workout Program - Days 6-10

Here are days 6-10 of the Christmas Cutdown workout Program....

Each only 5 minutes in length...do them and lose some fat today...

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cutdown Fat Loss Workouts - Days 3-5

Here are days 3, 4 and 5 of the Christmas Cutdown 5 minute workouts...hey I've been swamped with things to do so haven't been able to post...even if you do all 3 still only takes 15 minutes total!

Quick focused and effective...

Day 3



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cardio Not Good for Fat Loss or Health - You Really Should Back Off

This didn't come from hours of cardio!
As you're likely aware of, the popular notion amongst most people is that they need to do more cardio if they want to lose fat, be healthy and live longer.  Well, the reality is, exactly the opposite is true!

If you want to lose fat and be toned you need to heavily reduce your long slow cardio exercise and instead do short intense bursts along with weight training (making sure you use heavy enough weights).  If you are using a weight that you can do endless repetitions with, you are wasting your time.   

Doing 20 plus reps with a light weight DOES NOT MAKE YOU TONE UP.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

10 Day Christmas Cutdown - Lose Fat Fast

Here is the workout I did this morning...takes less than 10 minutes...do this one as a finisher after the first day of my Christmas Cutdown workout...see below

Push-Ups 20 sec on 30 sec rest 4 Rounds
Squat Jumps 20 sec on 30 sec rest 4 Rounds

You have to go as fast as you can (safely obviously)...this is the key...if you pace yourself the effect isn't the same.
 

Just do squats if jumping is to hard on your knees, you can do the push-ups on your knees if you need to...I did after several sets

Better than an hour of boring treadmill or elliptical.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rising Loafer Cafe - Are You Rising Above the Temptations?


Rising Loafer Cafe and Bakery Pleasanton – If you've read my other reviews you'll know right away...as I hinted at in the post title...there are many temptations lurking within.  However, if you are selective, you can eat very healthy at the Rising Loafer Cafe.  This restaurant is known for their breakfast and you'll find plenty of people here on the weekends...particularly with the Pleasanton farmer's market just a half a block away!


Before you head out to the Rising Loafer in Pleasanton check out my choices below from their menu. 


Breakfast

Omelettes – ask them to hold the bread
  • Tri-Valley’s Favorite
  • G.G.’s Club
  • Create Your Own

French Toast & Whole Grain Pancakes – none of the above is the choice here…plenty of bread, sugar and carbs you don’t need if you’re trying to lose fat.  If you’re on a cheat day and you really want it…go for the combo as you get some protein with all the carbs…interesting to note the low fat option is not one you should choose because it has even more sugar with skim milk, oj and fake eggs (aka egg beaters)
Real eggs are good for you and lower cholesterol…read more

For Our Little Loafers – these portion sizes are probably just right for adults…too bad you have to be 12 and under to buy them
  • Dillon’s Scramble – perfect…protein with some carbs that aren’t processed
  • Chiquitos Special – same deal here…protein with healthier carbs (obviously colorful veggies would be better…but how many kids will eat these)

Loafer Specialties – hold the bread… sourdough has less gluten (yes it has salt but salt doesn’t cause high bp)
  •  Loafers Scramble
  • Any Way You Like It
  •  Joe’s Special

Light & Healthy (Sweet & Not Healthy) – interestingly, once again both of these should be avoided as they are almost all carbs with little or no protein

Sides – some nice options
  • Eggs
  • Breakfast Meats – grilled chicken apple sausage is the best choice
  • Avocado

Lunch

Traditional Sandwiches – sandwiches are not the best for fat loss but sourdough is the best choice and then eat only half of the bread…no chips or potato salad -avoid mayo as it is full of bad processed fats
  • Turkey and Swiss – just no mayo
  • Roast Beef – again no mayo
  • Turkey Avocado – can’t be said enough…no mayo

Specialty Sandwiches – choose fruit salad (assuming it’s just fruit and no dressing) and eat half the bread
HOLD the MAYO PLEASE!
  •  Roast Turkey Havarti
  • Turkey Club
  •  Grilled Albacore Tuna Steak

Grilled Sandwiches And Burgers – request the fresh fruit salad and either ask for sourdough, eat half the bread or request no bread (sounds weird I know, but you have to do what you have to do)
·          
  • Grilled Chicken & Veggie Melt
  • Patty Melt
The other chicken options without the mayo would be alright as well

For Our Little Loafers – they don’t need the chips or “beverage” which we know will be soda or juice (just get water)…again many of these are better than the adult options
  • Turkey or Ham Roll-Ups
  • Kids Burger

Garden Fresh Salads – ask that they not bring the basket of rolls and of course request the dressing on the side (don’t get ranch, blue cheese or thousand)
  • Grilled Chicken Garden Salad
  • Cobb Salad
  • Napa Valley Spinach

Combinations – since all but one contain soup (remember no liquid calories and you never know what’s in soup) the choice is easy
  • Half Sandwich and Salad – and look to the sandwich recommendations for the best option

Beverages – this is easy to navigate if you follow the rule of not drinking calories
  • Teas and Fountain Drinks – go with one of the Variety of Hot Teas…maybe Ginger, Echinacea or Green Tea
  •  Juices and Water – Sparkling or Mineral Water and if you’re on a cheat day the Fresh Squeezed OJ could work (it has less sugar, but it’s still sugar)
  • Specialty Coffees and Espresso Drinks – house coffee and espresso shot…the rest are a no…extra calories and sugar.

Naturally, the Desserts are off limits!

Check out their website http://www.risingloaferpleasanton.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Taco Bell Pleasanton Healthy Eating - Are You Crazy?

Forced into a last minute run to the drive thru because you're starving and have no time?

Well, there are healthier options...take a look at my recent run for the border at the Pleasanton Taco Bell!

The response from the attendant when I ask about healthy options is priceless...lol


If you missed my previous episodes...Jack in the Box, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken you can watch them as well...I know they're a bit longer but still worth a look.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Tomo Sushi Pleasanton - Healthy Sushi Anyone?

Tomo Sushi Bar & Grill Pleasanton – The first dive into one of the many sushi restaurants downtown Pleasanton....they're open Tues through Sunday for dinner and lunch Friday and Saturday.  And like most Asian restaurants...they have a HUGE menu...however, it's not really that complicated.  Once you realize it's basically different combinations of the same ingredients....you spot the key red flag words and think vegetable, protein (fish), starchy carbs (rice)....the choices that are best for fat loss stand out.  Yes, I have eaten at Tomo and it's great!


Before you head out to the Tomo Sushi in Pleasanton check out my choices below from their menu. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Handles Gastropub Pleasanton - Got a handle on it?

Handles Gastropub Pleasanton -  There have been a number of restaurants that have come and gone from the Pleasanton Hotel...Handles seems seems to be one that may stick around.  Given the name, you wouldn't expect to see too many healthy options, however at Handles you do have healthy options.

Here's what their website says...

We strive to source as much of our all natural meats, fish and produce locally. We also believe in craftsmanship, which is why we make nearly everything in house (smoked meats, sauces and dressings, even our ketchup is house made).

Healthy Options Abound

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Haps Pleasanton - What's Healthy?

Hap's Original Pleasanton – they are dinner only with a pretty much a la carte menu...focusing on seafood, steaks and chops...the interesting thing is how they highlight the fact that the beef is corn fed....even though grass fed is actually the best tasting and healthiest beef...since cows don't naturally eat corn.

Needless to say I'm not recommending any of the beef...good thing they have some seafood, lamb and great salads.

As usual you have to watch and avoid or minimize sauces if you're trying to lose weight.

Before you head out to the Haps Original in Pleasanton check out my choices below from their menu. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nonni's Bistro Pleasanton - Know What to Eat?

Nonni's Bistro Pleasanton – brunch on the weekends and a pretty straightforward, simple menu make it easy to choose...They serve high quality free range and natural meats including Niman Ranch Beef,Mary's Chicken along with free range Australian lamb.  Like most restaurants you have to watch some sauces but since this one isn't pasta heavy you have more options.  Their lunch and dinner menus are pretty much the same (see below) and offer a variety of selections even if you're going out to eat while trying to lose fat in Pleasanton.

Before you head out to Nonni's in Pleasanton check out my choices below from their menu. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Strizzis Pleasanton - Eat for Fat Loss?

Strizzis Pleasanton – they are a seafood and pasta place open for lunch and dinner...seems as if this is a theme with many restaurants in Pleasanton...you can actually eat healthy here if you are careful with your selections.

The recommendations below are my own, based on my experience and knowledge of fat loss...the strategy is simple...protein (meats, eggs, cheese) along with vegetables...this works for most people because the reason they are fat is because they eat too much pasta, bread, and potatoes...not because they  eat too much fat...the fats they eat are typically the wrong kinds of fat which according to mainstream media are healthy (vegetable oil, low fat blah blah).  Don't follow these mainstream guidelines unless you want to look old, feel moody and be unhealthy.

Before you head out to the Strizzis in Pleasanton check out my choices below in the various categories on their menu. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Butter or Margarine on Your Toast?

You think butter is bad for your health, right?


Ben ate butter.

Well I hate to break it to you, actually I'm happy to, butter is great for your health and after you get through reading this post you may be shocked by the fact that you and many others have been sold a bill of goods by the government along with the food and medical establishment.

This is not my opinion, rather it's a fact, one you likely have never heard.

Why is that?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dinner at Barones?

Barone's Pleasanton – open daily at 4pm and for dinner and is definitely the hot spot for Pleasanton socialites with their Thursday night live entertainment during the summer and fall months

It states on their menu that "No trans-fats are used in the preparation of our food."  Great because you should never eat trans-fats!

Before you head out for your Thursday night dinner and live entertainment at Barone's in downtown Pleasanton check out my choices from their menu. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

What Can the Giants and A's Teach You About Fat Loss?

Alright, if you live in Pleasanton or anywhere in the Bay Area, regardless of where your loyalties lie you have to admit that both the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants have done some amazing things this postseason.  The A's coming back from 2 down in the bottom of the 9th in game 4 of their ALDS series against the Tigers (who will be very tough in the World Series) to force a game 5.  And, in my opinion, even more impressively the Giants come back from being down 2-0 and winning 3 straight on the road to win their first series against the Cincinnati Reds (never been done before).  Sorry A's fans but the Giants get the nod for the better postseason comeback.

But Giants fans have to admit, when you look at the entire season, the A's take the cake (if the Giants win the whole thing then there will be legitimate arguments on both sides).  I mean seriously, who goes from 13 out just before the All-Star break and wins the division with a payroll less than A-Rod and Jeter?  Only the A's...with a bunch of no name guys who most people have never heard of....I mean I kind of follow baseball (I hear you baseball junkies saying...no you don't) and Coco Crisp is the only guy on the A's that rings a bell right away without having to think too hard about it.
Who are these guys?

So what the hell does any of this have to do with losing fat?

A whole helluva lot!

Sports in general has many parallels with accomplishing fitness goals...and particularly losing fat which is the primary goal of pretty much 95% of the population.

With that said lets look at what the Giants and A's can teach you about how to look and feel great by permanently getting rid of your excess fat.

1.  Support - Both the Giants and A's have tremendous positive support from their fans and even more importantly from each other.  The same goes for losing fat and getting fit....you, your attitudes and behaviors are a product of those closest to you.  You copy the people closest to you, so guess what...if you are around people who are fat, don't eat right and live a correspondingly unhealthy lifestyle then your chances of being healthy are not good.  I've seen it numerous times...if there is no healthy support the results are minimal and usually don't last.  This is not to say that you should completely cut off everyone, but rather add people to your life who are going to be supportive, great examples that will inspire you.  In turn, you will have less time available to be around these negative influences.  Believe it or not the people who have a negative influence on you will realize they no longer are affecting you and will probably not say as much and you may even see them decide they want to change themselves.

Get Some of This for Yourself

Take home point....YOU MUST HAVE POSITIVE, HEALTHY, SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE AROUND YOU IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL LOSING FAT.

2.  Mindset - It's easy to be positive and upbeat when things are going well, everyone is this way.  However, the true test of attitude is when you are under duress and things aren't going your way.  As the A's and Giants have demonstrated they always believe they can win regardless of how difficult the situation may be.  Now this doesn't mean they deny reality and pretend like everything is perfect, but what it does mean is they don't worry about the past except to acknowledge what happened and then commit to correct the mistakes.

The same thing goes for losing fat, you have to believe you can do it, and then see yourself doing it in your mind before it can happen.  Then when things don't go perfectly you won't be completely derailed.  You'll acknowledge what happened and then take action to correct yourself and get back on track.  I hear so many people who want to lose weight be self-critical, and at the first sign of a setback give up and go totally off track.  Everyone makes mistakes, it's how you respond that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.  If you don't believe you can do something and are unable to picture yourself doing it in your mind you won't be able to do it.  You have to get your head straight before you will be able to get the long term results you want.  It won't happen overnight of course but each day you have to take positive steps no matter how small.

Are you this focused?

Take home point...YOU MUST BE ABLE TO MENTALLY SEE YOURSELF LOSING FAT BEFORE YOU CAN TAKE THE ACTIONS NECESSARY TO ACTUALLY DO IT.

3.  Behaviors - Both the A's and Giants have the support of teammates and fans, the belief in their ability to succeed in winning games despite the difficulties they encounter and finally they have mastered the behaviors required to be successful.  While support and proper mindset are critical, without learning and executing the skills necessary to be solid baseball players there would be no success.  The things that appear easy to the average fan, like catching a fly ball in the outfield, are in fact extremely difficult.  If you don't think these things are difficult go out and try catching fly balls some day and then you'll realize why they are professionals.

With losing fat and getting fit there are certain habits and behaviors you have to develop in order to be successful.  You have to learn how to eat a certain way, exercise appropriately, manage stress and more.  There are a number of things you have to learn and then actually do in order to lose fat and keep it off.  And like baseball you have to practice them in order to get good at them and do them consistently without having to think about them.  Developing these habits takes time and you will make mistakes as everyone does, you just have to acknowledge, correct and do a better job next time.

Proper Celebration Technique
Take home point...LOSING FAT, LIKE WINNING BASEBALL GAMES, REQUIRES YOU TO LEARN CERTAIN SKILLS AND DEVELOP BEHAVIORS THAT WILL LEAD TO THE RESULTS YOU WANT.

One thing I hear all the time is, I have a healthy diet and I work out but I still can't lose weight.  The fact is, if you have a healthy diet you will not be overweight.  You can give me the genetic excuse, but the fact is it doesn't fly.

We are all experts at getting ourselves to believe whatever we want to believe.  The only way to defeat this is to be objective by tracking and measuring the things you want to change.  It may not be convenient but it's the only way to get real awareness...and if you aren't willing to do this then your desire to lose weight isn't as high a priority as you may believe.  I think most of the time the reason people don't want to track things is because it will force them to be honest with themselves and others.  We've all done it so you know deep down when you're fooling yourself on things.

Even the fans keep track!
Hey, in baseball they track everything, they pay attention to the details.  They aren't just out there randomly standing in certain spots or throwing pitches wherever they feel like it.  You need to treat your fat loss the same way.  Write down everything you eat, the times, how much, how you felt etc.  Record your workouts, when you did them, what you did, how you felt, the details.  Then when things aren't working you can make adjustments appropriately, not just randomly.

You may hear people say oh success is just luck, and while that may play a role, for the most part it's anything but that.  Success, whether it's in baseball or fat loss or anything else comes from executing a plan that has merit...this becomes even more critical the more challenging the task is.  If things aren't working, you adjust the plan.  Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

Giant's Win baby!


GO GIANTS!  Yes, I'm a Giants more than an A's fan...but I do support both...and I can do this because I'm not originally from the bay area.

Here's your Monday 5 minute home fat loss workout...do it now...don't wait....you need no equipment!




Saturday, October 20, 2012

Orange Juice or a Coke Anyone?


Many people in this country have orange or some other kind of juice every day for breakfast, perhaps you are one of them? 

I'm sure she drinks juice daily.

In all fairness the assumption is since it comes from oranges it must be healthy, right?

A Full Big Glass...For a Full Big...

Well, things aren’t always as obvious as they may seem.  To show this I decided to do a little quick research on orange juice and here is what I found.

The first type of oj that came to mind was Tropicana Pure Premium, must be because of the advertising (since I haven't had this oj in years).  

Do they have to spend huge dollars on advertising the best products?  When's the last time you've seen a commercial for a Rolls Royce?

A google search brought me to the Tropicana website where it mentions that TPP is the most popular brand of orange juice.  Not sure how they arrived at that conclusion, but we’ll go with it because it really doesn’t matter for what we’re looking at.  

What's on or what's in the carton?

Anyway, I found the label for TPP orange juice, (see the photo below) and a few things stood out.  The first being it says 100% juice, which evidently means nothing else was added.  But much more importantly than that was the amount of sugar in a serving, which by the way is 8oz…but for comparison sake I'm using 12 oz since that's how many ounces there are in a can of Coke.  With TPP OJ there are 33 grams of sugar per 12 oz serving and 165 calories….at roughly 4 calories per gram for carbohydrate that means that roughly 80% of the calories are from sugar (not good, especially if you want to lose weight).  



Not only that, but something else that you see on the label is “pasteurized”.  This basically means we cook the hell out of the juice to kill everything alivie in it so we can bottle, ship and store it on a shelf in the store for you to buy and then you can keep it at home for awhile and not have it go bad.  Ok, great, so you in theory won’t get sick from bacteria since we killed all of it…however, what they don’t tell you is the heat doesn’t distinguish between good and bad so what happens is everything gets killed or degraded in the process.  In other words, all of the healthy things like vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other phytonutrieints get destroyed when the heating occurs.  So this means any vitamins or other nutrients in the juice are artificial ones they add afterwards…and guess what, your body doesn’t like fake nutrition.

Sounds very pure and natural


But the bigger shock should be that if you drink 1 12 oz glass of juice every day for a year you will have consumed the caloric equivalent of about 17 lbs of mostly sugar, fructose to be exact, which is a whole other story…but suffice to say that the quantity that most people consume nowadays is doing a lot to hold you back from your fat loss goals.

Sugar helps you build this

And guess how much exercise you would need to do every day just to cancel out all of those sugar calories…try 40 minutes of 4mph walking, that’s not a stroll in any regard.  Remember, you have to do that every single day you drink that seemingly innocent glass of “healthy orange juice” or more accurately “sugar”.

And just for comparison sake…a coke only has 6 g more of sugar per 12 oz!  Not that coke is an alternative , because it’s certainly not for many reasons…can we say chemicals, phony colors, hfc and much more.

12 oz can only 1 partial cube ahead of a 12 oz OJ

The point is…OJ is little or no better than soda….it’s sugar…empty calories with fake vitamins and nothing that’s alive.  If you really want an orange….eat a dang orange...hey shove a straw in an orange like the TPP package shows…has about half the sugar…actually has fiber and natural vitamins and nutrients that you can’t get from the juice that’s been in the bottle for a long time!

glass is only 8oz add 3 more cubes to compare to Coke above


Still drinking OJ….your fat will say thank you…it’s existence depends on it.
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