Super Lean Chilli Con Carne
150g Extra Lean Beef Mince 5% fat/ Turkey breast Mince
100g Kidney beans/ black beans
1 can chopped tomatoes/ 1 carton of tomato Passata
5 Medium mushrooms
1 red pepper diced
½ Medium red onion finely diced
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of Paprika
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon of chilli powder
a pinch of Himalayan sea salt
a pinch of ground pepper
2 teaspoons of olive oil/ coconut oil
100g tenderstem broccoli
Start by finely dicing the onion then In a saucepan add the olive oil or coconut oil and put on a medium heat. Chuck in the red onion until the onions soften. Whilst the onions are softening slice the mushroom and the red pepper. Peel the garlic clove and finely slice or use a garlic press.
Add the 150g of extra lean beef mince or turkey breast mince to the saucepan and cook for around 5 minutes until it turns brown for the beef or white for the turkey.
Now add in the pressed garlic, paprika, chilli powder and cayenne pepper and give it a stir. Next drain off the beans in a sieve over the since and run the tap over them, add them to the pan with the sliced mushrooms and the diced red pepper and cook for a few minutes then add the chopped tomatoes or tomato passata. Finally add the Himalayan sea salt and ground pepper, turn the heat down low and let it simmer for around 10 minutes and let all the flavours soak into the meat.
Whilst the chili is simmering steam your broccoli in a steamer, it should only need around 5 minutes.
Serve it up all on a plate and there you have it! A super healthy and tasty chilli con carne.
Book Recommendation #1 – Fat Planet: The Obesity Trap and How We Can Escape it
Hi Guys, this is my first book recommendation with many more to come to help you all understand more about your body and how you can improve it.
I stumbled across this book and started to read it and it just ticked all the boxes, normally all these “Diet books” have something wrong with them or something that i don’t agree with, but this one is on my wave length.
“Eat less, Move more” must be one of the most misleading pieces of dieting advice ever offered. Not only does it minimise the difficulties of losing weight, it ignores the reality of the way our food is mass produced, advertised and marketed.
Multinational food companies promote hyper-rewarding foods that are both energy-rich and nutritionally poor – think Oreos! Packed with sugar, salt and fat, they do us little or no good whilst tasting absolutely delicious and being almost impossible to resist. Why does unhealthy food have to taste so great?
With so much information out there on diets and what you should or should not be eating it gets a little confusing and we end up being mis sold a load of food that is meant to be “healthy” which in the end isn’t as its packed full of sugar to make it taste good.
This book goes into how we as humans have been eating the wrong foods and why so many of us have ended up with weight and health issues.
Ive been telling my clients for years that they need to eat real food not produced food, lots of nutrient dense food that the body can utilise for many different functions – trouble is these foods do not give the body that instant feeling of reward or quick burst of energy you receive from energy dense foods.
Energy dense foods cause the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine dubbed the “gas pedal of pleasure” together with other brain pleasers such as endogenous opiates, beta-endorphins and endocannabinoids. These hormones underpins the intensely pleasurable feelings that are produced by consuming combinations of sugar,fat and salt. As we seek to repeat the rewards through further consumption, the brain sets out to restore balance (maintain homeostasis) by depleting dopamine receptors. This means that in order to get the same food “fix” we have to eat more and more of these energy dense foods. After a while this creates a tolerance – a word that is usually applied to the diminished sense of delight or momentary escape people get from drugs and alcohol. The fact that the term is now being used in connection with food demonstrates the biological liability imposed by our present obesogenic food environment.
Once someone has learned to prefer high-energy-dense foods – which typically occurs in early life – hypothalamic and reward signalling become sluggish when faced with healthier nutrient dense foods which are not so immediately rewarding. As a result these tend to be avoided – most people would rather eat an ice cream than a piece of broccoli!
Obesity is not the result of eating too much and moving too little, as those involved in producing, advertising and selling food would have us believe. The obesity pandemic results from a series of endocrine, metabolic, neurocognitive and physiological adaptations, fostered by abundance.
If we don’t change we will be eating ourselves into our graves!
5 weight loss diet tips
1) EAT SLOWLY.
Check in with hunger, sit down, relax and take your time.
15-20mins for a meal is about right.
Make sure to stop eating when you’re 80% full.
2) EAT PROTEIN DENSE FOOD IN EVERY MEAL.
For women make sure you eat at least 1 palm sized portion of protein dense food. For Men make sure you eat 2 palm sized portions of protein per meal.
3) EAT YOUR VEGGIES.
Make sure you eat a large potion of veggies. They can be prepared any way you like.
One serving is about a fist sized portion and you should try get a few portions per meal.
4) ONLY EVER EAT CARBS AFTER A WORKOUT.
If you have fat to lose but haven’t worked out, then stay away from the pasta, bread, rice and other starchy carbs. Opt for a double portion of veggies instead. If you have just worked out, a mixture of carb sources is fine just stick to the natural unrefined stuff.
5) EAT YOUR FATS.
Every day you need some fats from various foods, prioritizing whole food sources like eggs, meats, fish, olives, nuts and seeds.
Spread these throughout the day.
Alex Di Pasquale – Fitness & Nutrition Coach
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for fitness & nutrition plans.
Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AdpFitness
2015 Get fit survival kit
So its a New Year which means lots of us will be setting new years resolutions
Many of us will be setting our selves fitness goals to achieve after over indulging over the christmas period.
This blog post is here to help you know what things you will need to survive the 2015 get fit new years resolution.
Did you know 92% of people fail in their New Years Resolutions and 38% of all resolutions are weight loss? hopefully with my help this will not be you.
Ok so here are my recommendations of some of the things you will need to succeed this years fitness goal
#1 A quality whey protein shake to help you get your right amount of protein in your diet
PhD Diet Whey is a fantastic protein shake that includes CLA and flaxseeds to help aid in fat loss, this protein shake has been a favourite amongst my clients and I as it tastes delicious even mixed with water. Its thick consistency will also help you feel full, perfect for when you need a protein snack or post workout
Scitec 100% Whey protein professional is also another great protein shake and is my personal favourite as its purely 100% whey which is absorbed by your muscles after a workout quicker it also contains lots of extra added important amino acids. This shake is of a thinner consistency and also has some great flavours check them out!
#2 A protein shaker to mix you protein shake in
SmartShake Shaker is the best shaker I have come across, the reason I like it so much is that it has 2 screw on compartments to put your supplements and protein shake in, perfect to take to the gym to have a post workout shake. They also come in really cool neon colours!
#3 Wireless Headphones
Don’t you just hate it when you walk into a gym all ready to have a killer workout and then the gym is playing slow R&B!
Not exactly motivating is it.
Well the way that I keep my self motivated for my whole workout is to have my wireless headphones with me so that I can play my kick ass gym playlist to get me to push myself further and beyond.
The best wireless headphones I’ve come across are these:
These bad boys are incredible not only are they wireless so that you don’t have to mess about with tucking the wires into your top or having your phone in your pocket whilst your doing you workout but they are lightweight and wrap around your ears so your headphones won’t be flying off your head no matter how intense your workout!
Of course I haven’t even mentioned the most important thing about these beauties…
The sound quality oh my oh my are these gooooood! If your workouts not raising your heart rate enough then the bass coming from these magical little things will!
#4 Shorts for men, gym legins for women
Right now this is quite important you need to be wearing the right stuff in the gym if your serious about working out.
Men you’ll need a good pair of shorts, theres nothing worse than wearing tracksuit bottoms in the gym and then getting really hot because of it.
let your skin breath!
Under armour always produce good quality gym gear
Ok ladies now you will need a good pair of quality gym leggings, normal high street leggings just won’t cut it.
Most of them are see through and that will be embarrassing for you trust me I’ve seen it happen.
Gym leggings are also lightweight and keep your cool.
#5 Stay hydrated with a decent sports water bottle
This leakproof gym water bottle comes in very handy.
I always hate not having water in the gym to sip on and then having to go to the communal water fountain that probably hasn’t been cleaned in a while.
So I take a decent water bottle with me.
NIKE GYM WATER BOTTLE is a great water bottle to have in your gym bag
So there you have it guys the 5 must have products to keep you going through your fitness quest!
Obviously you’ll also need a plan of action so get in touch at
for a price plan on a nutrition plan and a workout program
Or to enquire about 1-2-1 personal training
Don’t be the 92% that fail to stick to their new years resolution!
If theres anything else you guys would like to know about health and fitness please do not hesitate to email me.
Thanks for reading
What makes a top personal trainer?
What makes a top Personal Trainer?
Now lots of people search the web for the next personal trainer who is actually going to help them get results and feel great about themselves but what actually makes a top personal trainer and why should you hire them as your coach?
There are a few qualities you should look for when finding the perfect trainer for you, here are just a few:
- First of all check to see if there qualified (lots of people can call them selves a personal trainer but have they actually got the qualifications that make it safe for them to train clients?)
- Do they have clients who love them and only ever say good things about them?
- Are they in good shape or have been in good shape or have evidence of getting other people in shape? (if you look round lots of big box gyms you will see that there are lots of trainers who actually need a personal trainer to get them into shape)
- They should have a good knowledge on nutrition and/or have some kind of certificate in nutritional coaching ( to lose weight/fat, gain muscle or improve health you must have a good diet, you cannot out train a bad diet and your PT should be able to point you in the right direction with it)
- A good personal trainer must inspire you! (If your personal trainer or your potential PT doesn’t inspire you or motivate you then your not going to get results)
- Do they have before and after pictures they can sure you?
Now there are lots of other things that make a top personal trainer but here are just a few for you to consider.
Here is one of my clients Debra who has had absolutely fantastic results due to my training and nutrition plans. As you can see on the left is her before picture with her skirt fitting very snug, and on the right well on the right is a picture that shows that she has absolutely smashed her goals! The skirt she is holding is the one she had on in the before picture, you can see she has lost over 6 inches on her waist!
If your looking for Personal training and like what you see on my website, then why not send me an email on email@example.com and I will send you a form to apply for a complimentary consultation (in person for 1-2-1 clients in Welwyn Garden City & Hertfordshire or on the phone for online clients)
The time to change is now, lets do this!
Over and out
Alex Di Pasquale
Overhead squats for everyone
Performing an overhead squat isn’t easy to do and not everyone is capable of doing them straight away as you need to have a balance of strength and also flexibility to be able to execute it with excellence.
Why is an overhead squat beneficial to someone who is looking to get in shape?Well not only is this exercise a great way to build functional strength it also assesses bilateral symmetrical mobility and stability of the hips,shoulders,knees and ankles as well as extension of the thoracic spine.
The overhead squat looks at what areas of your body needs work, you may have flexibility issues in the latissimus dorsi or in the pectorals which means that your arms will go forwards when performing this exercise your shoulders might also not have the mobility to get into that overhead position.
with a few stretching and strengthening exercises the overhead squat can be possible for everyone and what you’ll experience after doing them is:
Increased gluteal strength
Increased shoulder mobility and strength
Greater flexibility in hamstrings, piriformis and latissimus dorsi
Increased erector spinae (lower back) strength
So whilst this movement not look appealing to people who are not athletes or looking to be able to perform an olympic lift it certainly can benefit the everyday person with being able to move better and improve posture!
if you’d like more information on this exercise or would like a complimentary demonstration please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
lets all learn to eat, move and live better
Lying Leg Raises
Possibly one of the best exercises for the lower abs that I do in my ab workouts, these beauties will really get those abdominals burning. Lying leg raises will help develop the lower abdominal muscles if done correctly. Here I will explain how to do them in the most effective way so that you’re not just wasting your time in the gym swinging your legs up and down.
Here’s how to perform lying leg raises the right way
Begin by laying flat on you back with your legs out straight and arms by your sides you may want to tuck your hands just under your glutes (bum) this will give you more control but will make the exercise slightly easier than if they were directly by your sides. Control is key so go with whichever way you can control it the most and feel the lower abs working.
Keeping your legs straight raise them up slowly until you create a 90degree Angle with you legs and torso, breathing out as you do so and fully exhaling at the top whilst consciously contracting your Abs (its all about the squeeze.) once you’ve got to the top start lowering your legs down slowly whilst breathing out, your feet should not touch the floor and should be raised back up when your about 2-6 inches away from the ground (the lower you go the harder and better it is.) Now repeat for the desired rep range.
You may feel that your back arches when doing this exercise. This isn’t something you should worry about too much as it will also help strengthen your lower back but if it is really uncomfortable try not going as low when controlling the legs down and focus more on the contraction at the top until your lower back strengthens up.
Now Its important to keep it slow so that the muscle is under tension for longer, it is not a race to see how quickly you can do the desired rep range. Its all about building muscle and that happens when its under tension for the most amount of time so don’t rush it and take it slow! You don’t want to look like a walrus flapping its tail about now do you?
Try this exercise by doing 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions and have 30-60 seconds rest between sets.
Always push your self yourself if the rep range and amount of sets your using isn’t challenging you enough then change things up. Add more reps into your sets, increase the amount of sets or decrease your rest times all these are good variables to make it more challenging.
Try doing this:
3 x 10 with 60 seconds rest
3 x 15 with 45 seconds rest
4 x 15 with 30 seconds rest
And so on….
Go give it a try you will not regret adding this exercise into your workout.
Remember to record your sets, reps and rest time so that you can track your progress.
Enjoy this exercise and let me know what you think or if you have any questions contact me either by email email@example.com or on twitter @AlexDi_Pasquale
Time to get those Abs working, enjoy
Alex Di Pasquale
DHEA: The fountain of youth
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is one of the critical hormones that scientists are calling the “fountain of youth”. This hormone is made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands and is a precursor to 18 steroid hormones including oestrogen and testosterone. Healthy DHEA production is critical for lean muscle development, fat burning, bone growth, skin health and immunity.
DHEA is a naturally produced pro-hormone and is the most abundant basic building block for hormones in the human body.
From birth men and women alike gradually produce more DHEA until about age 25.After that we produce 2% less per year. By age 35 we make about 20% less than we did at 25, and by age 50 we are making half as much. By 70 most people make minimal amounts of DHEA.
High stress and poor sleeping habits also cause increased cortisol levels. When these issues become chronic they cause a phenomenon called ‘pregnenolone steal’. Pregnenolone is a by-product of cholesterol metabolism that is necessary to produce both cortisol and DHEA. High stress causes this process to shift towards cortisol production. This shift ‘steals’ the necessary pregnenolone from DHEA production pathway to produce more cortisol. This process depletes DHEA levels. This is known as the pregnenolone steal.
When cortisol levels are managed by reducing stress the raw materials from which our bodies manufacture our DHEA are freed up to manufacture this essential fat busting hormone. So one of the ways to increase DHEA and improve body composition is to manage stress.
High sugar and carbohydrate consumption increases blood sugar and insulin levels this decreases the production of DHEA in the adrenals. Blood sugar imbalances also create critical vitamin and mineral imbalances that stress the adrenals and reduce DHEA production. Alcohol and caffeine consumption also decrease DHEA levels.
Instead of rushing out and looking for a DHEA boosting supplement take a look at your lifestyle factors that deplete DHEA levels and address them first. The most important factors include reducing/eliminating adrenal stressors such as stress, leaky gut syndrome, parasites and other infectious agents, chronic inflammation, physical stress, nutrient deficiencies, poor sleep and blood sugar imbalances.
The quickest way to reduce cortisol production and elevate the production of DHEA, the leading anabolic youth hormone is to eliminate or reduce caffeine from your diet.
200 mg of caffeine (one 12oz mug of coffee) has been shown to increase blood cortisol levels by up to 30% in one hour! Cortisol can remain elevated for up to 18 hours in the blood. This is the easiest step to decrease your catabolic metabolism and increase your anabolic metabolism. If you absolutely have to have coffee in your life then I suggest doing some sort of exercise after as this will help reduce the subsequent increase in stress hormones.
An anti-inflammatory diet is a critical part to de-stressing the body and boosting DHEA levels. This diet should be very low in sugar and very rich in phytonutrients (chemical compounds found mostly in coloured fruits and vegetables) and trace minerals from fresh, raw or lightly steamed vegetables. Powerful anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, ginger, rosemary, thyme, oregano and cinnamon should be generously consumed on a regular basis so start adding these herbs to your food. I also suggest taking a decent multivitamin rich in phytonutrients and trace minerals
Healthy fat consumption is an essential part of creating cholesterol, which is needed to produce DHEA. Healthy fat sources include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds and purified omega-3 fish oil supplements.
Healthy protein sources boost DHEA production these sources are; wild caught fish, grass-fed red meat, free-range chicken, turkey and organic eggs.
Other lifestyle factors that are critical for healthy DHEA levels include regular sun exposure and/or supplementation to maintain vitamin D levels between 70-100 ng/ml. I suggest taking a vitamin D3 supplement.
Meditation is often used as an antidote to stress and has been found to increase DHEA levels. In fact in a meditation study, a group of 45 year old men who regularly meditated were found to have 23% more DHEA than a group who didn’t meditate. In women, the meditators had 47% more DHEA. So get meditating people!
Ok so here is a recap on how to get optimal DHEA levels to lose body fat and stay youthful
• Reduce stress, this can be done by meditating
• Reduce/eliminate sugar consumption
• Reduce carbohydrate consumption
• Reduce/eliminate alcohol and caffeine
• Take a multivitamin supplement
• Have a diet rich in phytonutrients and trace minerals
• Include anti-inflammatory herbs in your diet
• Healthy fat consumption
• Supplement omega 3 fish oils
• Healthy protein consumption
• Get regular sun exposure and supplement vitamin D3
• Get at least 7-9 hours sleep each night
A year of blood, sweat & tears
Every year is the same we get to January and we say right this year I’m going to get in shape I’m going to clean up my diet I’m going to train really hard and I’m going to get that body that I really want. I have told my self that year, after year, after year and although I have been training for about 10 years to get that perfect physique this year has been the year where I feel I have finally achieved a body to be proud of.
After a break up with a girlfriend that I had been with for 5-6 years I decided to change my career from being a paint sprayer/damage checker for BMW to become a Personal trainer. The factory life wasn’t for me and after a break up it just got worse and found myself getting depressed and also losing the thing I loved the most TRAINING! Now they say two things can happen after a break up you either get depressed and hit the bottle or you strive to do better and to succeed and change your life. So I enrolled in my PT course my passion has always been fitness and achieving a great physique so I thought why not do it as a job and help others to get that body they want too. So that was the start for me in my fitness career. That was how I wanted my life to change. Truth is after I had completed and passed my PT course I then got back together with my ex girlfriend I thought things would be different as I was doing a job I enjoyed but after a year of being together again we broke up again we grew apart and wanted different things and so that pain started all over again and I found myself lost and nearly giving up as a personal trainer too. So again I decided to make a change and to achieve something that I really wanted! I wanted to build up my business I wanted high end clients and I wanted to get my body in great shape and to step on stage and compete as a fitness model.
So in January 2013 I got started on creating that package that I would bring to the stage. I got myself a prep coach to help me with my diet plans and workouts. Now you may ask why I did this as I am a personal trainer and I should know what to eat and how to train and yes I do but money is a great motivator and if I pay for something then Im going to make sure I do it. I hired him for his experience, he had competed as a bodybuilder and a muscle model and knows how to get people in stage ready condition and for me its all part of my education and I have learnt a lot form him that I now can pass on to my clients. So that was it I first payed for a 6 week diet plan to see how my body would look after a strict diet and see how much lean muscle I could put on, after that I then decided lets get ready for a competition. After speaking to my prep coach we decided I needed 8 weeks to put on as much muscle mass as I could before entering a 3 month cutting phase. So for 8 weeks I was eating a copious amount of good nutritious food whilst training heavy in the gym. My strength went through the roof and I was the strongest I’d ever been. Whilst in my ‘bulking phase’ I still stayed pretty lean as you can see from my river shoot which was at the end of that phase and I was weighing in at 83KG. After that I started my 3 months cutting phase the calories slowly came down and my training program changed. I was training a lot more 6 or 7 times a week and it was also a lot higher volume and focusing on getting as lean as possible for stage whilst keeping my muscle mass. The whole 5 months was hard but I had so much drive and focus to hit that stage in the best condition I have ever been in. That is what motivated me every time I stepped in the gym! That is what would get me out of bed early on a Saturday and a Sunday. I would always visualise how I wanted to look on stage and that would push me to get through my workouts and push my body to the limit.
So after 5 months of preparation this weekend just gone (November 24th 2013) I did it I got my self on that stage and showed off all the hard work that I had been putting in the gym and in the kitchen and it was worth it! it felt great, infact it felt amazing!
I met some really nice people along the way and I have some great memories.
So what am I trying to say from this post? I guess its about finding motivation, what motivates you and what will make you finally want to achieve that great body that your after. For me my motivation came from a number of things the initial motivation came from pain, I was suffering with depression from a break up and a job that I wasn’t happy with and I was also depressed about my parents break up. That made me want to do better for myself, to create a better life, to be the best that I can be!
Now I wish to inspire others and show them that they can achieve whatever they want too even if they have had hard times or are going through them. To inspire them not to give up and to keep striving for success and a better way of living.
For me this is just the start and I am no way near my end goal in what I want to achieve in life but it is a milestone and its something I can cross off the list but I will be competing again as I loved the buzz and the preparation for it.
The slideshow I have posted is of how my body has changed throughout the year the first pic was taken on the 1st of January 2013 and the last picture is me on stage at Miami Pro Universe on the 24th of November.
Thanks for reading and for any info on training and nutrition or help with motivation please email me.
Why did Pop eye eat Spinach???
There is now research that actually backs up the fictional story of pop eye getting stronger and growing muscle after eating his spinach. Studies suggest that a human would have to consume over 1 kilo of spinach to have a steroid like effect without the side effects of anabolic steroids. This has come about after a team at Rutgers University led by Ilya Raskin found that spinach contains steroid-like compounds that boost the growth of muscle cells.Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the team explain how they extracted chemicals called phytoecdysteroids from the plant and then treated muscle cells in the dish and even live rats with them. The muscle cells speeded up their growth by about 20%, and the rats became stronger, again I will state for a human to get the same result you would have to consume a kilo of the green stuff.
Spinach has a vast amount of other reasons why you should include it in your diet. Spinach is a very nutrient-dense food. It’s low in calories yet very high in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach is loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substances. The various nutrients offer much in the way of disease protection.
Another of the benefits of spinach is that its an outstanding source of vitamins C and A which are antioxidants that help reduce free radical amounts in the body. Its a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps to lower high blood pressure and to reduce stress. The anti-inflammatory properties of the nutrients found in spinach can help with conditions that are identified as inflammatory, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, and asthma.
Studies also show that eating leafy greens such as spinach may slow the age-related decline in brain function. So it’s also keeping our brains functioning better!
With all these benefits it would be a shame to leave this leafy green ‘superfood’ out of your diet, I would suggest eating at least 100g of spinach on most days.