Protein Smoothie Me!

Updated April 18, 2018

For my birthday in April, my great friend bought me a Nutribullet blender.  Out with the old one and in with the new one!  This bad boy can blend!!!  I have not used the old one since!  I like to blend everything now and I have made smoothies since college! I think before people knew what smoothies were LOL!!!  I usually blend one for breakfast and maybe in the afternoon for a snack.  There are SO many concoctions you can create.  The Nutribullet come with tons of recipes, and you can add protein if you want to them.  I have made a few of them and they are very good.

I usually blend one for breakfast.  On occasion, I have one in the afternoon.  I do not use milk anymore in the ones that I blend.  I use almond milk or coconut water.  Tastier in my opinion.  I use a banana, strawberries, frozen blueberries, coconut flakes, kale and frozen spinach.  Frozen fruit or veggies is the secret so I don’t have to add ice. I will sometimes add frozen broccoli, and frozen cauliflower to replace the kale or frozen spinach.  Yes, sounds crazy, but YUMMO!!!!  I might even add almonds or walnuts if I feel like it. PLUS, I may get REALLY CRAZY and add a piece of 90% cocoa bar!!!! DOUBLE YUMMO!!!  Currently I make…

Cup almond milk

1/2C coconut water


4-6 strawberries

optional: 1/2C frozen blueberries

1/2C frozen spinach

optional: 2 or 3 leaves kale

protein powder (Sun Warrior)

Optional: Coconut flakes, Hemp seeds, Maca powder, Cocoa, blend of chia seeds/flax


Thanks ALL. Until next time!!!

Kevin #ImALLin


Who’s That Lady….

OMG!  I have SOOOO many inquiries about this topic.  SOOO many people asking me this one question, SOO many people getting the WRONG information (my opinion), and SO many people following this mis-information.  ANSWER: WOMEN, YOU NEED TO WORKOUT/LIFT WITH WEIGHTS, and possibly HEAVY WEIGHTS TO LOSE WEIGHT…

“But I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder.” OR “I don’t want to be so thick.”  Most of the time ladies, “thick” means you just have to lose the layer of “ice” over the muscle, AND you will never look like a bodybuilder because you do not have the testosterone levels for that to happen.  Very small explanation, but to the point, and that all is for another blog post.

Most of my clients have been “told” to do cardio for weight loss.  I don’t disagree with that instruction.  Will cardio help you with weight loss?  If that is your goal, yes it will.  Will cardio help you burn calories?  Yes, it will.   Will cardio have some of the same benefits as strength training? Yes, it will.  But is cardio the best thing by itself? NO NO NO, and NO!!!

A cardio component has its place in every strength-training program.  Both cardio and strength training will have benefits that overlap one another.   Will you lower your blood pressure, reduce your blood cholesterol, lower the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of diabetes from one, the other, or both?  The answer is YES, YES, YES, YES… What also helps is a very good nutrition plan as well. (For another blog post J)

For me, a combo of both is the best!  I do not run.  I played soccer since I was 5 years old and I think I have done enough running in my day.  I lift weights, use kettlebell swings, Battling Ropes, jumping jacks, and jump rope to name a few for “cardio” in my training program.

Want a rise in your metabolism?  Yes please!  The goal is to get your heart rate up and NOT by a steady-state jog or boring minutes on a cardio machine, but by short bursts of work, i.e. Tabata, HIIT, sprint intervals, metabolic sets, super sets, etc.  I want your body to get the “after-burn” or EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).  When you’re done with your workout, your body begins returning to its normal resting metabolic rate.  A rise in your metabolism will burn fat to recover since you’ve exhausted stored carbs during your workout.  Understand that it takes a lot of energy and a lot of calories for your resting metabolism to return to “normal.”  Meaning?  Drum roll please… MORE FAT BURNED!!!  And the best thing about “after-burn” or EPOC is that your body will stay in fat-burning mode for up to 48 hours.  Who doesn’t want that???!!!  Next time you go to your gym, look at the body “styles” or “types” in the weight area compared to the cardio area.  Tell me if there is a difference?

I see it like this… people want to lose weight, feel great, have some energy, etc.  Whatever their goal, that is THEIR goal.  Build and work toward that goal, then set a new one, and so on.  If it is to lose weight, one to two pounds a week is realistic.  Three to five pounds are great!  YOU will get frustrated, and pissed, and cry, and complain, and want to throw your scale.  I say throw your scale in the garbage!!!!  It takes time and your body WILL respond.  NEVER STOP going for your goal!!!

Example Result:  Strength training with Tabata => burn calories => build lean muscle => increase metabolism => EPOC => burn more fat => weight lose = HAPPY PEEPS!!!

Until next time #ImALLin


Some short history of how I moved North…

I started working out at a gym near where I grew up, way back when…  Coming home for the summers from college, I started training with a guy (John) on the mornings I went.  One day he asked me what I wanted to do when I “grew up”?  I said I would like to do something in the fitness industry.  NOW… I went to Loyola to study business, HATED IT!!  Changed to psychology, UM NO!!  So, I decided on communication.  Think it was easy, THINK AGAIN!!  A few summers went by and I didn’t see (John) working out at Powerhouse anymore… Saddened, but I still went 🙂  I graduated Loyola University with a communication degree.  A year of subbing at my high school and coaching soccer, I decided to go back to school to get my education degree.  On to a community college and then on to Elmhurst College.  Fast forward… Right before I was to start my student teaching, my work out friend comes back into my life.  He found me, and asks if I would like to be a part of opening up a gym in Northern Illinois.  I decide to follow my dream, and go North.  I knew education would always be there, the gym opportunity would not.  Fast forward again… Three years later, I went back into teaching, but I would NEVER forget the experience from the gym, the people I met, and the lessens I learned.  3 VERY BIG LESSONS!!!  

1.  Separate business from pleasure… Need I say more??

2.  Keep your eye on the prize… 4 people started with myself and (John).  For whatever reason, the other 2 left.  When we opened the gym, it was just (John) and I left from the original 4, and a cast of great employees he allowed me to hire.  Believe me, I wanted to leave just like 2 of the original did… But, I new things were to get better in the near future.  Stay true to yourself and be loyal to the people that believe in you. Have thick skin, because NOT everyone will like you.  Did (John) and I always see eye to eye, NOPE, but we hung in TOGETHER and made it TOGETHER to see the doors open.  Success happens in numbers and surround yourself with a great core of people.  Get rid of the rest.

3.  Be legit and on the up and up with your business practices.  I can recall spending my money to go to gyms either with green bills or my parents would sign me up for the full amount with their credit card.  Then the gym would end up closing their doors and I was out my money without a refund.  Yes, that still happens, but now it has been alleviated with people using the credit card option for payment.  Although, there are still flaws and problems with that.

Bring me to Friday, May 3, 2013…  Sorry to those that have read this previously.  But, I added more….

Late on Wednesday evening, I found out from an FB friend that Cardinal Fitness RLB closed their doors. They had a great run and a TON of fantastic members, managers, and employees. It makes me sad to hear because Lyn Buddy Brown Junior became my friend, but was also instrumental in allowing me to perfect my craft as a personal trainer. It was back when I managed a different gym, and I was working out at Cardinal that Lyn told me I should get certified as a trainer.  He said he would have a spot for me when I was finished.  I got certified and the rest is history.

Did Lyn and I always see eye to eye on things? Hell no!! Did we have our ups and downs, Hell yes!!! But what family and friends ALWAYS agree??? NONE!!! We kept our nose to the grindstone and we did what we had to do. I want to THANK Lyn for that opportunity and the others from Cardinal that helped me along the way.

That being said… The other gym in the area, (has the same name as a city in California and ends with “ness”) I will always break bad on regardless if I am business owner in the same industry. I experienced their shady business practices when I was a member there and also when they recruited me to work for them.  Example:  I followed their procedures to cancel my membership: sending a printout cancellation form to corporate.  I would get deducted another month per their rules, and I would be done.  I can live by that, and it was fair. I followed that, but they continued to deduct my credit card.  I had to redo the whole process and they thought they could deduct more and get away with it.  Needless to say, I would have none of it.  LESSON:  Follow up, check your bank statements, and OH yeah people, emails/text messages are NOT ways to cancel a membership…

Maybe things have changed at the “ness” gym but I doubt it.  They probably continue to have their customer appreciation nights with DJ’s, and pizza parties, or dirty locker rooms, and a bacteria infested pool. Great way to promote healthy lifestyles!!!  BUT, to sit right outside the door of Cardinal Fitness or any other gym to sell your memberships is a disgrace, and tasteless. NOW, if this was pre-arranged with Lyn, I can see your actions. I doubt it was because their would have been information left on the door, or other notification. You are like vultures hovering over its dead prey. Let the dust settle… These actions are what give the fitness industry a bad name in some respects. “Poaching” members is NOT good business.  I have heard other trainers boast about how they train at other gyms in order to bring those members to their fitness studios.  Not my practice!  I ran into a few members of Cardinal when I went to see if Lyn was around at all.  The ladies were very upset, which I can understand.  I explained to them Lyn gave me my start, but I felt funny telling them from their questioning, I currently own a fitness facility. I told them to check their bank statements to see if they were deducted for their monthly dues from Cardinal. I answered some of their questions they had for me and I told them to shop around for a new place to train before they contacted me.  Would I like them to train with me or at my place, OF COURSE.  BUT, I want it to be a good fit for them and me.  If they contact me and say they feel more comfortable elsewhere, then good luck to them and I will help them how I can.  I know I can’t serve everyone, nor will everyone like me, but I want to serve my current people, my target market, and make then as happy as I can.  

MORAL:  BE AWARE PEEPS… Think what you want, because you all have free will… BUT I ask that you educate yourself.  This gym is just selling people memberships and making their quota and NOT SELLING RESULTS. They want to sell you a membership in hopes that you come for 90 days and then NEVER again regardless of what they say.  YES, I want to make money as well, but I want to engage people and help them reach their goals. The “ness” gym will sell you, shake your hand, pat you on the back, tell you to contact them for assistance, and send you on your way to fend for yourself. I have seen it first hand because I was a member there.  I am truly disgusted and will NEVER stoop to that level. I pride myself on serving people and helping them reach their goals. I don’t and NEVER will be in competition with them, nor do I want to be. People will decide where they want to find fitness. I hope they come to realize they are being “taken” because, again:  “ness”gym banks on people paying and NOT coming. That’s how they roll people!!!  

All the talk about grains…

A few years ago, I tried to eat the paleo diet.  “Tried” being the key word….  I went to a seminar and learned some very good information.  Although, I did not do my research to find more helpful things as I normally would.  I started and did not do very well.  I was NOT prepared at all.  I did not have a clue what to eat, the portion size, what to shop for, or to even look for.  I was always hungry, felt light headed, and didn’t feel “right”.  Withdrawal from the grains in the carbs, possibly?

In retrospect, I used to eat oatmeal, rice (brown and white), potatoes, some bread, and pasta (regular and whole wheat).  I went back to eating all that after I had a difficult time trying to eat paleo.  Over time, I did my research and decided to give paleo eating another try.  Again, I went cold turkey.  My body did not react as bad as it once did.  I decided on creating a menu for most of the things I was going to eat.  I tried some new veggies, cooked with ghee and coconut oil, ate nuts and seeds, and started eating beef again.  I was ALWAYS afraid to add more fat, and eat more beef because of what I was told by the powers that be.  GO LOW FAT or FAT FREE and eat more whole grains.  Its so much healthier for you!  They are healthy for you!  WOW! What a difference I have seen and felt eliminating grains!

Now, do I expect people to stop eating grains all together… NOPE!  Cold turkey…AHHHH, NOPE!  Go ahead, eat grains, pasta, oatmeal, etc.  BUT, do it IN MODERATION if you must.  NOW… Do I expect people to change some things they are eating… YOU BET I DO!  Anything with paleo, I seemed to read.  It is great that there is more research out there, books being recognized, and websites to view.  One book I used to help me was Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.  Tons of GREAT information and I used both of these from her book as references quite often:

Every since I have eliminated grains, February to April, I have gone from 180# 17% BF to 175# 15# BF.  YES, I lost weight.  I feel so much better.  I trained hard, but I still indulged.  YES, I just wrote that… I indulged!!  I hear about so many diets, or ways to diet/eat, it makes me sick.  One I have heard of recently is Biblically inspired.  I chuckled when I heard that.  How that can be is new to me?  I graduated from Loyola University of Chicago.  I had priests, and nuns as my professors.  Not on of them ever mentioned diet or eating habits related to the Bible.  Add something that is as important to some people as religion or the Bible, and you have a money maker!  Doing some research to write this, I found:  Might open up a can of worms, and create a buzz, but oh well… So be it…

Will I continue not eating grains, YES…  Will I ever eat them again, YES, IN MODERATION.  And, I will drink alcohol, have a dessert, eat more fat, eat more calories on certain days compared to others, have a piece of chocolate, etc, etc, etc… YES, OF COURSE I WILL.  I am human!!  I will eat all IN MODERATION…

Until next time…

EMOTIONAL: Eaters or Non-Eaters

I posed a question on Facebook… “Are most of you emotional eaters or emotional non eaters??”  Lots of different responses came my way.  The answers were GREAT!!! But, I will say it was split. AND, the it seemed most of the women were emotional eaters, and men were non-eaters.  Am I on to something here??? I am not certain, but it was interesting…

LOTS of things happen when people are stressed.  Two hormones are released: adrenaline and cortisol.  Adrenaline will increase your breath and one feels that “jolt” of strength and energy.  Cortisol will have some of the same effects as adrenaline because they are released at the same time.  Although, long periods of cortisol secretion can have many negative side effects.  One being increased abdominal fat.

      I was going through a stressful period in my life. I am sure many people can relate.  I stopped eating, working out, a good nights sleep was non-existent, and I didn’t really want to be around people.  I could feel my body was changing.  The littlest things, became BIG things. 

There is something called the “fight or flight response”.  

Definition: Changes your body goes through in response to stress. These changes may include an increase in heart rate, a narrowing of vision, muscle tension, sweating, and more sensitive hearing. These changes are adaptive as they are preparing you for immediate action — to flee, freeze, or fight. 

By , Guide

I went through all three of those phases.  The “flee” part came last, where I didn’t really want to be around people.  The “freeze” part would rear its ugly head when I stopped doing things that made me happy.  I stayed home and wanted to sleep all the time, which I did.  The “fight” response appeared when I would get aggravated at things so trivial.

Check these sites for more reading and examples:

Everyone has had their challenges, their ups and downs, and things that conjure up past memories.  It took me a while to get back to “ME”.  I took small steps, changed my thinking, got back to exercise, practiced yoga, and also changed my eating habits.

Good vs. Bad Fats

I will admit. I was on the bandwagon for the no/low fat when I first started on my weight training journey in the early 90’s.  I did that because thats what was written in books and magazines.  Thats what I heard on television and from doctors.  Did it work for me, in retrospect, I would say “nope”. I weighed a “puffy” 190lbs, yes, I said 190lbs when I graduated college in 1996.  I felt bloated, had no definition, and didn’t always feel the best.  That summer I did some more research.  I rearranged what I ate and added more fat to my eating.  I lost weight, gained some muscle, and felt great!  I am going to talk about Good Fats and Bad Fats, kinda like the good vs. evil, which to eat and which not to eat.

Recently, from February to April I drastically changed what I ate.  One of the things I did was add more fat.  No, I’m serious, not kidding.  I really did add more fat by using oils, nuts and seeds.  Now I don’t want to get all scientific, so I will leave that to the scientists.  Let’s keep it simple and agree on two fats: SATURATED and UNSATURATED.  Cool???  In my opinion, these links help make things simpler for me:   and

I was very skeptical and afraid to use more fat.  I started with using ghee, and coconut oil for cooking.  Things tasted SO much better to me!  More flavorful!  I then added avocado’s, avocado oil, nuts, seeds, nut and seed butters, whole eggs, whole fat dairy, and red meat to my eating menu.

I revealed recently I weighed 180lbs to 182lbs, with body fat around 17% when I started in February.  Recently, when I weighed myself again, I was at  176lbs and 15% BF.  I realized those are just numbers, but I have gotten stronger, feel better, and see my abs more (without sit ups or crunches I would like to add).  So to say fat makes you fat, draw your own conclusions… I would really beg to differ on that one.

Overcome the CHALLENGE… #ImALLin

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