jueves, 23 de febrero de 2017

Why it is Important to Love

About love and what it really means. I just want to say I will be getting married pretty soon and I am extremely excited.

My exuberance is out of control!

I want to workout with more intensity and go to work with more determination. Being in a relationship, a good and constructive relationship has made realize the power of love.

When we love we put our hearts into what we do. Having someone next to your side after a long day is a great feeling. There is nothing difficult than having a rough day and walking to an empty apartment. Where your stories are just yourself watching Netflix.

Being with your significant other teaches you about yourself and if that is not happening then you are not with the right person. Every time I am with my Fiancee, I learn so much about myself and she learns about herself too.

I have grown stronger emotionally and mentally since I met her, it has been truly a blessing.
Just like that, I look back at my training and how it has helped me evolve. Not only I have obtained the physique I desired, but I also became a lot wiser. I learned that you need love the things that challenge you, if there is no challenge then there is no growth.

I am not telling you to go out there and getting a girlfriend or boyfriend but look for those people that challenge you. Look for those people that inspire love, people that inspires you to become a better version of yourself.

Love, love those things that you fear, do those things that people have always told you to never do and even if you fail its gonna be a great feeling.
So love with all your heart and pour your heart into whatever you do. Pour your heart into loving others, the things you do, and most importantly yourself.
Stay Real!

If you liked this post please share it on your favorite social media! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and you can always check my other posts.

lunes, 20 de febrero de 2017

Starting the Journey

When people get into exercise,  they seek sometimes unreachable goals. This doesn't mean that you should not strive for a 400 lb squat or a six pack. Depending where you are at with your training, getting to those goals takes time and a lot discipline. I like to call training and fitness as a journey. This is not because I am trying to be metaphorical about this, but because in a way it is.

My fitness journey started three years ago. I just had got back from a hangover and I truly felt like crap. Although I was an athlete in college, I did not feel like an athlete. I couldn't run more than 3 miles or do more than 10 push-ups. I wanted to look lean, strong and have more stamina. Just like any guy out there, I wanted to have a good looking body. I was hesitant to start, because in the past I got those episodes of "I will get a six pack this year!" but then the results were futile.

This time, it was a bit different, I changed my approach. I started to focus on the small things I could not. I realized that push-ups were hard for me, so that is where I started.  I would go out and do 100 reps everyday and that was my workout for two weeks. Then I started to add different types of push-ups and air squats. Three months later, I going to the college gym to lift weights for the first time. I was no longer focused on looking good, but more doing the things I couldn't.

My body was changing without me obsessing over it. My goals were different every month. One month I would go and focus on getting better on my squats or learn how to do pull-ups. Nine months after starting to train I noticed that finally my six pack was coming out. The best part was is that I did not focus on it and when I got there I just wanted to train more. That is the pitfall on some people's training. They set this goal and once they reach it they stop trying.

Once you reach that target, chose another one and get there as well. Never stop improving!

This is why I tell people that are starting their journey to focus on the short term goals. So if you are out there planning to start your fitness journey or are already a couple years of training I recommend to focus on those short term goals. This way, the goals will seem more reachable and next thing you know you will be doing things you never thought yourself to be capable of.

Stay Real!

sábado, 11 de febrero de 2017

This Weekend's Meal Prep: White Wine Chicken

Meal Prep can get boring after a while.

Eating chicken with broccoli and brown rice can get boring after.

Some people may not even like chicken and can only eat it when it is well seasoned.

White wine, particularly, goes well with poultry. I recommend to get cooking white wine which is normally found in the same aisle you find vinegar. If you prefer real drinking wine, you are welcome to do so, any kind of white wine will do just fine.

To this very simple marinade will have some herbs that provide nutritional value. These are parsley, basil, oregano, and thyme. Also, it will have some garlic powder and salt to bring out the zest!

This meal prep will also feature some white rice cooked with peppers, leeks, and green onions. Yes, some fitness freaks will that white rice is bad for you. The truth is that white rice is easier to digest and absorb. If you like brown rice or quinoa you are welcome to change this part of the meal prep.

For our vegetables, we will use some steamed broccoli and sauteed cabbage.

So, lets start with the ingredients!

This recipe is to make enough food for 4 meals.

The Chicken:

  • 16 oz of chicken breast and thighs
  • 1/4 cup of white wine 
  • 3 tablespoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of dry or fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon of dry or fresh thyme 
Place the chicken breast and thighs. Make sure they are deboned and skinless. Trim off any excess fat and tissue and cut into small square pieces. 

Then, place the chicken in a bowl and rinse it with hot water, Then add all the condiments. Make sure that all the pieces get coated. After that, just let the chicken marinade in the fridge for an at least an hour. You can also let it marinade overnight. 

Once the chicken is marinaded, start the stove and spray some coconut oil on a pan. Once the temperature is good, place the chicken on the pan and cover it up. After 5 minutes put the heat to medium and uncover. 

Cook until brown and the chicken is easy to break apart.

The Rice

  • 2 cups of white rice 
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1 small sweet red pepper or bell pepper
  • Salt to taste

Simply, place 2 cups of white in an empty pot. Then throw in 4 cups of water. Then chop up the green onions, leek, and red sweet pepper. Add salt to taste

Place on hot stove and let it get hot! 

Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and cover. Stir occasionally. Once the rice looks fluffy it is good to go.

The Vegetables

  • 1 pound of green or red cabbage
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small sweet red pepper or red bell pepper
  • 2 pounds of broccoli

Get half a green cabbage and cut it into thin pieces. If you have a mandolin cutter, that would be best. Then cut up a small onion and a small red sweet pepper. 

Place olive oil in a hot pan. Then throw the onions and peppers and let them cook for a few minutes. 

Once the aromas from the onion and pepper come out, it is time to sautee the cabbage. 

This should take about 5 minutes, we do not want to overcook our cabbage and lose the nutritional value. 

Finally, to steam to the broccoli. Cut up two heads of broccoli into small pieces and steam for 5-7 minutes. You can steam the broccoli in a steamer or simply put a colander on top of a pot with boiling water. 

So there you have it!

One serving of this meal prep should yield the following macronutrients

Protein 35 g
Carbs 22 g
Fat 8 g

Calories 300

This is a simple and filling meal so I hope you enjoy it! 

viernes, 10 de febrero de 2017

Why Food will Unite us All

Food is delicious, no matter what kind you eat. I am not just a health nut, but a serious foodie.

Barriga llena, corazon contento or Full belly, happy heart as my Uncle would say. Food is not only the foundation of a healthy lifestyle but also a cornerstone of our social life.

Holidays like Christmas or Chinese New Year's often involve food. Birthdays parties, which are a celebration of life, involve foods. Weddings, those involve food as well. Even when you go out on dates, you more than likely going to eat (just make sure you don't something that will leave you with bad breath).

Food is a great way to celebrate special moments and create stronger bonds with family, friends, and significant others. Just like that, food can unite us all.

Think of all the foods out there, all over the world. I had the fortune to grow up in a city with people from all over the world. I grew up in Venezuela to an Italian family, so eating was like going to church, it was a religious ritual. Eating arepas and pasta was just an everyday thing. Fish was also in the menu on the daily, and I am talking about fresh fish. Then on the weekends, we would out and eat. The gamut of restaurants was just amazing, there were Syrian, Chinese, Galician, American and Mediterranean you name it.

It was crazy, how one would make friends by just talking about food.

That made me think, that food is probably to the best way to unite people with different world views. It allows us to taste their experiences, their life, and the way they survive. At the same time, we have to opportunity to try a new food that you may enjoy.

So go out there and explore new cuisines and give it your healthy twist. Let's eat and workout to make the world a better place!

Stay away from fear mongers and stay real!

Real Rico

domingo, 5 de febrero de 2017

Is Going Vegan the Answer to All Your Problems?

Is not unusual to see more vegan blogs and vegan Youtubers. I think that is awesome, although I am not a vegan myself.

Vegans deserve respect, I tried going vegan once and I just could not handle it. 

One thing I do not like is those vegans that rant about non-vegans. They just believe that non-vegans are savages that are more than likely die a painful death. 

Those type of people are just toxic people, these type of people give vegans a bad name. They are material for mockery from other bloggers. 

I am a big spokesperson for a healthier lifestyle and although I am not vegan I consider some of the benefits. Vegan or plant-based diets can be as simple as brown rice with lentils. These type of diets are also high on fibers and antioxidants. Vegan dishes can be practical and somewhat cheap.

Now, "Vegan Police" will throw all kinds of stats at your face on why their diet is the best. While some research shows that people who go on a vegan diet experience significant changes, this is normally due to the change in lifestyle.

When a person eat junk food every day and all of the sudden switches that to vegetables, legumes, and rice that person will see significant changes on their health. If a person that carries a bad lifestyle and switches to one for brown rice and chicken breast will also notice significant changes. So it does not really matter what diet you chose, what matters is that you make a positive change.

It is not about the diet you do, is all about how you start and your determination.

A diet should not be a diet, it should be considered a lifestyle. If you are gonna eat clean you might as well start to train and meditate. Off course you don't have to do it all at once. Find with what you feel comfortable with and work from there.

Real Rico Checking In

Stay Real

sábado, 4 de febrero de 2017

The Office and the Workout

I started my first job as an internal auditor back in August. It has been an interesting experience so far.

I have learned a lot of things that people may find probably sleep-inducing, but I enjoy it so that is all that matters.

So I want to talk about a few things learned about having a job and still maintain a consistent training routine.

Stretch that piriformis!

At first, sitting over eight hours a day in front of a computer took a serious toll on me. I, my hips would get super tight. One month into my job and squatting became torture rather than leisure. By that point, I even contemplated not training anymore!

I took a deep breath and realized that I needed more stretching. I had tight muscles which needed a nice stretch. I now periodically get up and touch my toes and do the chair piriformis stretch (Look it up yourself lazy sloth) throughout my work ours.

Meditate and clear your mind. 

Having a job, especially when it is your first job, is not an easy task. You are stuffed with responsibilities and you realize that college did not really prepare you for anything. During work, I felt pressured to do the best and with pressure comes stress.
Stress is not only harmful to your health, but it makes everything so much more miserable. I realized that I needed a solution.
I thought of ways to make my day less stressful and be calmer. I started to meditate, mostly before bed and during my breaks. This not only allowed to focus more, it helped me feel better around other people.
Nobody, I truly mean nobody,  wants to be around a person that irradiates angst. People will sense it and walk away from you. So do yourself a favor and meditate.

Workout the right amount.

My first two months of work I maintained two workouts a day, one in the mornings and one in the afternoon. I would get up in the morning, really early, somewhere around 5 am. I would do some Capoeira Movements and bodyweight metabolic conditioning. Then after work, I would hit the gym and normally do compound movements like deadlifts and squats (OH YEAH!)

As the days went by keeping such an intense workout plan became a titanic task. On Mondays, I would have a lot of energy, but by Wednesdays, I was falling asleep on my desk (that was embarrassing). Even my level of focus was gradually fading.

I realized that having a full time and training to the point of exhaustion was taking a toll on me. So I decided to read in the mornings and workout in the afternoons.

Reading in the mornings has allowed me to learn new concepts which have helped me at work. This keeps my mind sharp throughout the day.

Working out in the afternoon helps me stay motivated throughout work. My workouts became more bodyweight centric since I believe that those exercises give me the best results and least amount of central nervous fatigue (I had to throw a fancy word).

So overall, having a job is both blessing and curse. You spend your day sitting down, you need to meet people's expectations, and need to manage energy differently. It is difficult, but guess what, you are not alone. It takes some time to get used to changes in life and it is crucial to be creative and self-driven to stay in line with our personal goals.

Keep working hard and never give up!

Real Rico checking in once again

domingo, 31 de julio de 2016

You Need A Gym Membership

You need a gym membership!

People tell me that whenever I tell them the world is my gym.

When I tell people they usually roll their eyes and tend to change the subject and that is fine. The reality is that you do not really need a gym membership to get in shape.

Even the fitness guru Elliott Hulse says it is not necessary.

If you are living on a budget and have time constraints making the world your gym is your best option. Use chairs, walls, ledges, and even your bed to have a nice workout. Some natural movement and calisthenics workouts only require the floor! If you cannot find a space in the floor then you are in trouble.

To give a good example, Nelson Mandela would train in 6 foot by 6 foot cell every morning. Now just let that one sink in.

I am about to start a new job that is more demanding, so I probably will not have time to have long weightlifting sessions. So for me it is crucial to find places to workout. Go out enjoy nice weather and learn yoga, martial arts, or just do a mixture of body weight movements.

This will save you time, money, and it will leave you sore.

Stay Real.