Category Archives: Nutrition

Random Thoughts

It amazes me how much trouble people go through just to avoid the trouble of eating right to get to a goal they really want to achieve. Absolutely boggles my mind. I’ve seen someone with all the proper tools for eating right to achieve a goal of fat loss, which they know and admit made them feel better, spin their wheels and wrack their brains to find a way to accomplish what the proper tools accomplished…without having to do all the work. The whole while getting increasingly frustrated by lack of progress, feeling like shit, low energy and a multitude of other issues that would all be eliminated again if they just followed the proper tools that had previously worked for them. Mind. Boggling.

Guess what?! You are creating a roadblock to your own success by increasing anxiety and mental stress. You think you don’t have time to organize yourself for your meals. You work hard on your training and you waste those efforts by not taking the time to cook, organize and eat properly. If you would just accept the fact that effort is needed for progress to occur, you could just get on with it and proceed to progressing…but, for whatever reason, you just think that it’s soooo much work it’s impossible. Well I call bullshit. One, because you’ve done it before and made it work. And two, everyone has the same 24 hrs in a day and lots of other people with kids, with a full time job, school, with dogs to walk, with husbands to pick up after, and they can do it. And three, you have to eat anyway, and you have to cook. So that’s time spent already, you just need to take a few extra MINUTES to prepare a full meal, instead of unconsciously eating whatever. MINUTES. It’s totally do-able.

I guarantee you that when you consider the added anxiety and the mental stress you’re putting yourself through in order to avoid the 20 minutes a day it takes to plan out your meals that you are not saving anything by not doing it. Not only that….but you’re adding such stress to your life for no reason. That stress is only adding to the lack of progress and feeling like shit….double whammy. Stress kills. And you’re unnecessarily creating it by purposely avoiding what you know works! FFS, just suck it up and do what you have to do!

If you’re reading this…and think I’m talking to you…..I probably am.

Homemade Protein Bars

This recipe for homemade protein bars makes 8 servings.


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup protein powder
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (NO SUGAR ADDED–fat drained)*
  • 1 cup skim milk powder


  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and add enough water to make a stiff dough — you will have to get your hands dirty to mix it up; it’s sticky.
  • Spray an 8×8 inch cake pan with Pam and press in dough evenly.
  • Refrigerate a few hours to harden, then cut into 8 – 12 bars, depending on requirements.
  • Wrap bars in plastic wrap and store in fridge.

You can adjust to your portion needs by cutting into larger or smaller bars. I cut mine into 8 bars and that works out to approx:

  • 28.5g protein
  • 22.5g carbs
  • 6g fat
  • 245 calories

Find more recipes at Homemade Protein Bar Recipes

Original Thread

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Cups, sugar free, high protein (picture below)

  • 3tbsp melted virgin coconut oil
  • 3tbsp soft natural peanut butter
  • Chocolate Protein Powder, I used BioX

Mix oil and PB and add a scoop of PP. Stir and gradually add more PP until it’s kinda gooey. Pour into small cups and freeze.

For entire recipe: 837Cal, 67F, 13C, 48P – Per serving will depend on PP you use and how many servings you cut it into. This is sugar free & and healthier alternative to junk food but it’s still high calorie remember.

Peanut Butter Coconut Cups

Cottage Cheese Salad Dressing


  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Dash pepper
  • 1/2 c. cottage cheese
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 4 tsp. Splenda or Stevia (I’m not sure if this is really necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

In a small bowl, combine yogurt, cheese, parsley, vinegar, mustard, sugar substitute, garlic, salt and pepper, mixing well. Refrigerate, covered until ready to use. This is delicious on crisp salad greens.

Shift Work and Fitness: How do you make it work?

I’ve worked shift for the last 10 years. On an ambulance in a busy urban center, with long hours: 2 – 10 hour days, 2 – 14 hour nights, with 4 days off. My first day off has been ruined because I need to sleep. How have I maintained myself? Let me tell you, it’s been a struggle. Not impossible, just takes some work around to keep my goals intact. The decision to become a shift worker is more than just a career, it’s a life style. Can you live with it?

You need to weigh the pros and cons — you get 4 days off, there is time to do business during the week, you don’t have to take time off for appointments, you can make it to the gym during slow periods and not have to wait for equipment. If you have kids, you get a lot of time with them on your days off. On the other hand, you’ll miss their bath time and bedtime stories. You’ll miss waking them up and having breakfast with them as you’ll already be gone to work. There’s no doubt about it — shift work can be difficult. The demands of juggling alternate work hours and staying connected to family and friends can have a big impact on your health — both mentally and physically. But you can still get enough sleep, eat the right foods, be physically active and maintain social ties — even when you work the graveyard shift.

Sleeping. Changing your normal rhythm of waking and sleeping as a result of switching shifts requires a period of adjustment. Insomnia, mental and physical fatigue, indigestion, and an overall feeling of ill health are common when your body’s internal clock is disrupted. If your job requires you to constantly change shifts, your body will have more difficulty adjusting and readjusting as you get older. Here are some strategies to help you sleep well:

  • Develop a bedtime practice. Read a book, catch up on your favorite show or take a warm bath before going to bed. Allow yourself to unwind from your shift. That’s nice advice, I generally have a small breakfast and fall into bed. I hate getting woken up by a grumbling stomach!
  • Keep your sleeping environment…sleep ready. Sleep in a dark room. Use black out curtains/blinds or wear a sleep mask. Wear earplugs or run a fan to block out daytime noises and make sleep easier. Maintain your sleep schedule. If at all possible, keep a consistent sleep schedule. Stick to the same sleep hours every day — even on your days off.
  • Change the work schedule. A more normal sleep pattern results when your shift sequence is day-evening-night rather than day-night-evening. Take naps. I’m a huge fan of naps, if you can, try and grab one before your evening shift to help you feel refreshed and more alert at work. Rouse yourself well before your shift starts, though, in case you feel groggy when you first wake up.
  • Sleeping pills. If you experience severe insomnia, ask your doctor about a short-acting sleeping pill. (I’m not a fan of this one but sometimes you need to do what you need to do to survive).

Nutrition. You may find it difficult to make healthy food choices because what’s most readily available in the middle? For those who are not prepared, vending machines and 24-hour fast-food restaurants are a huge temptation. Unhealthy eating isn’t necessarily a given, though. Here are some tips to keep you on your game:

  • Brown bag it. I know it can be tough to always pack your lunch, but you cannot control what you put in your body if you are eating McDonalds at 2 am. Bringing food from home will make you less tempted to raid the vending machines. Pack a healthy lunch that fits with your meal plan. At Strength Powered Fitness you can also get nutrition plans to help you maintain or lose weight, regardless of your schedule. Eat smaller portions.
  • Aim for smaller portions, such as a couple of quick, healthy snacks, during your shift rather than eating a big meal. Shift work can interfere with your body’s regular digestive routine. Especially eating at night, you might need a small snack to get you through the 3-5 am lag but don’t eat a big meal with lots of calories.
  • Avoid late-night caffeine. Have caffeinated drinks before your shift or early during your shift. Avoid too much caffeine or caffeine late in your shift — it can make it hard for you to fall asleep after you get home.

Fitness. Shift work doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Scheduling regular exercise is important — it may help improve your sleep, your energy level and your mood. It’s totally possible and you can fit it into your day — or night. Here are some tips to get the job done:

  • Work out before work. Physical activity can make you more alert on your job. It also keeps your heart in tip-top shape. Even in between my nights I try to fit in a quick home boot camp workout, after I wake up of course!
  • Work out on your days off. Stick to your workout schedule and keep your goals intact! There is no reason on your days off not to fit in your longer workouts. Strength Powered Fitness has many different classes to get you moving! Find a buddy.
  • Find a friend and exercise together. Meet some people in your area that you can work out with. It’ll make exercising more fun and will also help keep you motivated.

Social Life. Shift work makes it tough to maintain a social life because you are working when most people are socializing. Here are some tips to help you maintain your relationships:

  • Phone home. Take the time to call home and talk with your kids and spouse, whoever is important to you, whether it’s just before bedtime or just after the sun rises.
  • Keep in touch. Let your family and friends know your work schedule. Make time for get-togethers on your days off. Its easy start missing out on social events when you are working and your friends aren’t. You have to make an effort to go out and socialize with people other than who you work with.
  • Get creative. A breakfast date is a nice end-of-the-day treat for you (if you can keep your eyes open) and a nice start-of-the-day treat for someone else. Get together on your long change between days and nights and have some fun. The ability to adjust to shift work is different for every person.
  • You may be happy working alternate hours or you may find it extremely frustrating. It takes some work to keep your fitness at the level of your choosing, keep it up, maintain a schedule and your dedication will pay off.