Archive for the ‘Zach’ Category


12 Jan

With the over saturation of the media and information these days, it can be very difficult to decide for yourself what to believe is true, especially when it comes to your health and the foods you put in your body. It’s not unheard of to hear that one food is bad for you and causes some fatal disease, only to be told to eat it in abundance six months later.. We live in a very mixed-up, muddled up, shook up world, and sometimes you learn what you thought you knew wasn’t correct at all.

Here’s a link to the complete list of Health & Diet Myths, while I touch up thoughts on a few.

1.) It’s best to eat three meals – Actually, it’s best to spread out your meals into 6 smaller ones throughout the day to keep your energy levels consistent, but they suggest 3 regular meals and 2-3 “strategic snacks.” Personally, this has been one of my biggest issues, in that, sometimes I miss lunch, or don’t dinner until 9, 10 pm. While trying to juggle a job, school and a personal life, sometimes the last thing on my mind is how big my meal is, but how soon until it’s devoured into my stomach. Eating smaller portions regularly is one of my biggest goals of the year, and one I have already begun to work on.

2.) Skipping meals can help you lose weight – As I stated above, I have a very inconsistent eating schedule, and it hasn’t been apparent until the past year or so that I realized the importance in eating breakfast every single morning. It’s very easy to skip lunch and think it’s OK to pick up those extra calories come dinner time, when in reality, you’re just making it harder on your body and your metabolism.

3.) You need 38g. of fiber/day – Um, ok..? According to this article, 38g. is near impossible, and I’ll take their word for it. In fact, to eat a completely balanced diet day-in & day-out seems like the ultimate challenge for a human, so I’ll take the advice of “eating sensibly” and “avoiding processed foods” as enough to take care of my digestive system.

What a good, healthy diet truly comes down to is being sensible. Sure, you can eat that overloaded Mexican burrito gooping in cheese and steak, but you know you’re going to pay for that down the road, in some fashion. To be more healthy requires more self-discipline and self-awareness as to what you put in your body, not counting every stinking calorie or worrying if you got enough Vitamin D for the day. Stay smart and start paying attention more, and soon enough, your body will thank you.

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Posted in Helpful Tips, Zach



29 Dec

With another “New” year approaching, we reach the time of resolutions and goals to improve upon your life of old, into the new. January typically elicits a boom in gym memberships and people exercising, as weight loss remains one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions. The only problem is people don’t typically keep up with it, and it becomes a constant cycle of falling off the horse throughout the year, only to try and hop back on come January. David Zinczenko from Eat This, Not That recently wrote an article on “5 Secrets to Making Resolutions Stick“, and offered up 5 easy fails, and how to correct them. Below, I’ve offered up a summary.

1.) Long-Term Goals – 9% of people who set a 5-week long goal end up working out in the long run, so try setting a goal for yourself to go to the gym through the beginning of February to build up a consistent routine.

2.) Aiming For Perfection – You’re more likely to create a domino effect by skipping one workout into the future, so try and get any sort of workout in, so that you may boost your confidence and feel confident that you made some effort to work-out.

3.) Setting Goals Small – It’s okay to set your weight loss goals as high as you want, but be sure and be realistic about your timeframe goals with whatever you choose, as it’s only realistic to lose about 1 – 2 lbs/week.

4.) Focusing On Hypotheticals – It’s easy to think that “you’ll get around to it” or “I’m not too overweight” but looking at the glass being half full isn’t always the best decision for yourself. Sometimes you need to more honest with yourself than you may prefer, in order to see the error of your ways and better help yourself in the long run.

5.) Lack Of Support – One of the easiest solution to stick to whatever your goals may be is to surround yourself with like-minded people. Find a buddy to go to the gym with and you’ll immediately find a new connection with someone who’s going through exactly what you are.

Hopefully these tips stick with you when you think about what you would like to change about yourself and accomplish into 2011. Remember, most importantly, to stay true to yourself with whatever you’re seeking to improve.


Posted in Helpful Tips, Zach



15 Dec

In lieu of Christmas approaching and a strong desire to stay healthy, I have found and provided a delicious homemade Egg Nog recipe to keep your tastebuds satisfied, and one that won’t leave you feeling guilty and lookin’ to hit the gym.


6 beaten egg yolks (free range is best)

2 1/4 cups whole milk (raw, if available)

1/3 cup unrefined sugar, like Rapadura or Sucanat (I bet Coconut/Palm sugar would also work, though I haven’t tried it)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup whipping cream (avoid ultra-pasteurized)

2 Tbsp unrefined sugar, or 1 Tbsp honey, or a few drops or maybe 1/2 packet of Stevia (just enough to add a touch of sweetness)

Ground nutmeg

(Note: You may want to begin the recipe the day before you want the egg nog- it’s an easy recipe, but does need time to chill properly)

1) In a medium pot, mix the egg yolks, milk and the 1/3 cup sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just coats a metal spoon (see photo). Remove from heat. Place pot in a sink or bowl of ice water and stir for 2 minutes to cool mixture off a little. Stir in vanilla. Cover and chill for 4-24 hours.

2) When you’re ready to serve:

Beat the whipping cream and 2 Tbsp of sugar (or sugar alternative) until soft peaks form.

3) Transfer the chilled egg/milk/sugar mixture to a punch bowl. Fold in the whipped cream. Serve immediately. Sprinkle each serving with nutmeg. If you find it a little too thick or too sweet, simply stir in a bit of milk to thin it out.

Special Thanks to Stephanie Langford from for this delectable recipe!

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Posted in Fun with Food, Zach



08 Dec

In a time when more and more natural milk alternatives are springing up in grocery stores and milk consumption is down nearly 50’s from 60 years ago, this couldn’t be a better time to rediscover your love for milk! There has been much controversy as of late regarding the (lack of) health benefits in milk; such as a link between high dairy consumption and prostate cancer in males, and an increase in Crohn’s disease. Throw in worries over hormones and pasteurization, and you’re bound to cause anyone with food fears or OCD to steer clear of milk.

The good news is we have new research to trump these old wives tales of milk and to actually encourage an increase in milk, and whole milk, at that! I encourage everyone to take a look at this article, and ponder your daily milk intake and question if that is sufficient enough for you. It’s even been proven that chocolate milk is one of the best sources for muscle recovery.

You can even listen to one of my favorite bands, Neutral Milk Hotel, while enjoying a frothy, fresh glass of 2% (cow’s) milk!

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Posted in Helpful Tips, Shameless Plugs, Tunes, Zach


7 Ways To Keep Those Holiday Pounds DOWN

01 Dec

I found this handy-dandy little article to help myself, and everyone else who is looking to keep weight gain to a minimum, if at all, this holiday season. November was a disastrous month, in terms of exercise and eating for me. With a birthday and Thanksgiving in the past week, I’ve consumed more than my fair share of sweets and booze. Surprisingly, when I stepped on the scale last night, the damage was minimal, as I only gained 2 lbs in the entire month. Knowing exactly what I have put in my body, I was quite proud at this. But today is December 1st, and time for a new start, and to get back on the fitness horse. By keeping these 7 tips in mind for the next month, I believe everyone can enjoy the holidays, the food it brings, and not bust out the gut because of it.

1.) Bring a dish – If you’re not sure there will be anything healthy to a party you’re going, take the initiative and bring something wholesome and delicious for all.

2.) Treat yourself to the rarities – Don’t bother eating goodies that you can have any other time, save room in your stomach for those elusive foods and desserts that only appear in this time of year.

3.) Load up on veggies – Try and eat as many vegetables as you can first, so that you can get your healthy food fix first, and then move on to the real treats.

4.) Start your day right.. – ..with some light-exercise, before you spend all day wondering through crowded malls and stores.

5.) Eliminate everyday vices to compensate for the extras – In other words, skip out on some of your regular indulgences or extra items on foods, to compensate for the extra holiday calories.

6.) Nuts – Mixed nuts make for a  healthier appetizer at holiday parties than desserts or high-fattening dips. Eat them slowly though, and don’t over indulge.

7.) Calendar – Finally, one of the most effective ways to stay strong in this holiday season is to stay organized with a calendar so that you may plan on all trips, visits, miles ran, etc. There’s so much you can do with a calendar to help yourself stay focused, and it’s completely your decision on what you choose to monitor.

I hope these tips help and encourage everyone to stay fit and enjoy themselves this holiday season, and may we all have no regrets for not having that extra piece of pie because of it =)

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Posted in Helpful Tips, Zach


Essential Workout Tunes

17 Nov

There isn’t another album that I could recommend more than this one to get you through your workouts for the rest of the year and onto to 2011. Freshly released for free download on Monday, Girl Talk’s A.D.D., pop mash-ups give his albums complete accessibility to anyone to who happens to like music. Enjoy!

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Posted in Shameless Plugs, Tunes, Zach



10 Nov

Lately, I’ve been on a Sushi kick. No real reason why.. it just looked really good at the grocery store one day. Obsession commences. I can still remember the first time I tried it a few years ago, and was terrified and disgusted at the idea of eating raw fish. Such a wonderful surprise it was to find out that this was not the case.

I found this nifty article from the Health Guidance discussing the benefits of sushi for a contributing to a healthy diet. I encourage everyone to get a little more sushi in their diets, but don’t overdo it.. or else mercury poisoning could come your way.

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Posted in Fun with Food, Zach


Laugh It Off

20 Oct

They say in life that the little things become what’s most important. A friendly smile from a stranger, catching every green light or getting lunch at work ;-). These minor little instances can really affect your mood and outlook on the day. Just recently, I found this article on “12 Little Instant Health Boosts

I was pretty surprised by how many of the health boosts I actually already do , but some seemed a little too absurd for me (doctor on speed dial & manually changing the tv channels). Luckily, I love (red) wine, milk for breakfast and grilled fish so I can stave off high cholesterol and dementia! My mom always made me pen thank you notes when I was younger, much to my constant bickering, but through age, I’ve come to really have fun with thank-you notes and make them thoughtful and humorous for the intended recipients.

The one thing the good people at Prevention and myself can fully agree on is the importance of laughing every day. They speak about the importance of dilating blood vessels, but the positive energy that can come from laughing can make a bigger impact on someone’s day than you may believe. Sure, a movie (Jackass 3D comes highly recommended) or TV show (any recent South Park) can take care of these things when available, but making a friend or stranger laugh becomes more genuine and evokes a better response. So next time you see someone who’s looking pretty down, get them to chuckle a bit and you may find it improves their day in ways you cannot even see.


Hey Hey, What Can I Do?

29 Sep

Earlier tonight, you would have spotted me in the local gym running my little heart out to the Stones throwing in some air drums to the beat. While this may appear to be a semi-humorous moment to those that see some twentysomething rocking out a little too hard on a treadmill, what you also may have seen was not so funny. Tonight, I had a constant nagging in my back muscles while running. In the past month, I’ve had most every muscle, joint and bodily appendage evoke some sort of pain, but I have yet to endure any back pain while running, especially something that would cause me to take it really easy and walk more than I would have liked to. Back problems have been a constant problem for me for the past ten years, and as naive as I can be, I always tended to blame my back problems on an injury I suffered playing baseball ten years ago. How wrong I was (maybe not, but most likely). When I started to really drop weight off in the first half of 2009, I noticed my back to start feeling much better and less strained, and started to pay attention that the way my entire body felt, really mattered with what shape it was in.

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“We are always running for the thrill of it, thrill of it”

22 Sep

So about two weeks ago, I decided to make a very important lifestyle change, given the goals I have (get in kick-ass shape), the boredom and developing pain in my knees from elliptical machines (my Grandma has had both knees replaced, and I foresee the same for my mom and her brother..this scares me..), and a desire to challenge myself in a way I’ve never been challenged.. so I started running. To back this up, I hated running. Used to loathe it. I didn’t understand the appeal, and the only running I’ve done in the past 5 years is from the cops at parties (in my underage days..cheers to 22), and to catch a train going to/from Chicago (always’s a constant thing in my life).

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