The Nutrishop CDA Summer Transformation Challenge Winner: Jeff Walther!

unnamed (1)The men’s winner of our Summer Transformation Challenge is Jeff Walther! Jeff lost 25.8 pounds of fat, added 12.6 pounds of muscle and saw his body fat drop by 8.2 percent, for a total of 45 points!

Jeff, 41, is with the Coeur d’Alene PD and came to us looking for a way to get into something competitive again. Jeff was a Brazilian Jujitsu competitor in years past, but over the course of five years, four knee surgeries derailed his involvement and prematurely retired him from the sport.

“I couldn’t compete, because my knee was never right,” Jeff said. “I finally got the surgery to fix the cartilage, but I didn’t realize how much I had lost over that time. I just wanted to compete and feel good about myself again.”

Once Jeff signed up with us for the challenge, he got the support and push he needed to do that. Toby helped him design a meal plan, with proper exercise and supplements, so that every time Jeff reached a plateau, he was prepared to break through it. Jeff’s staple supplements were Pro7, BCAAs and Thermovex.

“The support has been awesome. I didn’t realize the science behind the nutrition part of things before this,” Jeff said. “Having been in athletics before, every time I worked out, I was always missing that piece. Toby helped me dial it in and it made a huge difference.”

Toby also helped Jeff put together an exercise program that Jeff uses at work – part of his team-building process with the police department is a team workout, and involving his team with his exercise doubled his motivation. The atmosphere became one of team-inspired discipline, which was hugely beneficial for Jeff – “guys working together won’t let you get away with anything,” he said. “They’ll keep you honest. They’ll say, ‘The rest of us are doing heavier weight, so what are you doing?'”

Jeff also learned to value body composition over simply weight, and that change manifested itself in the mirror. As a grappler, Jeff was always focused on the scale because making weight is such a critical element. Once he made that mental adjustment, he found that his results were happening – and quickly.

“I’m getting older, and sometimes at 41, it’s tough to get back into motion,” he said. “It really surprised me when I learned I won.”

Jeff said what helped him was the feeling of support and outreach he got from Nutrishop, especially considering the long layoff from weight lifting he went through. The ability to have a close connection with nutrition experts was a highlight of his experience.

“I hadn’t lifted weights in a long time, and when I first came in, and I totally see how going into a supplement shop – especially when you don’t really know anything – can be intimidating,” he said. “But they’re super easy to get along with. There’s no judgment passed, and they don’t expect you to be a bodybuilder. You realize that fitness is for everyday people – it’s for everyone.”

Way to go, Jeff!

The Nutrishop CDA Summer Transformation Challenge Winner: Veronica Post!

unnamedOur women’s winner for the Summer Transformation Challenge is Veronica Post! Veronica lost 26 pounds of fat, gained 10.1 pounds of muscle and cut her body fat percentage down bv 11.8% for a total of 47 points!

Veronica dominated our challenge – one common struggle we hear frequently is that middle-aged women have more trouble losing weight than men do, but she even beat out the men for fat loss. At 55, Veronica says she’s as confident and happy as she’s been in a long time.

“I feel better than I have in I don’t know how long – maybe 15 years,” she said. “I feel like I did when I was 40. I can breathe better, I have way more energy, I have more self-confidence and self-esteem and I just feel better about myself.”

Veronica admits she didn’t know what she was getting into when she started our challenge – she simply saw a motivation to get her body back to how she felt it should be. But as she continued to eat right and exercise, she saw an opportunity for more.

“I really didn’t understand what I was doing until I saw it on paper, in the numbers. I thought it would take me forever, at 55, and that just wasn’t the case,” she said. “I tell everybody I can that they can do it if I can, because I’ve always felt like I would love to be an inspiration to kids and even people my own age.”

Veronica is a middle school employee, so she’s already involved with helping shape the lives of others. She decided to further that cause by setting a great example. Throughout the whole process, she never stepped foot into a gym – she did all her workouts with kettlebells, free weights and weight balls in the school’s band room before she started work, then rode her bike afterward. She also put a 3-pound hula hoop to work several times a week for 40 minutes.

“Not everybody can really afford a gym membership, or they get intimidated when they see these big bodybuilders and everything,” she said. “But that didn’t stop me and it shouldn’t stop anyone else. You don’t have to get muscled or lose fat by going to the gym. You can do it outside.”

Veronica said she’s struggled her whole life with her weight – while she’s always been athletic, her body image has been an issue for her. With her hard work, Nutrishop’s guidance and some motivation from within – “I couldn’t have done this without Jesus,” she said – all that is behind her now.

“I can’t express enough how good I feel. And it makes me feel even better to think that I might be motivating someone else to do the same thing.”

Congrats Veronica, and keep up the great work!

Our Summer Transformation Challenge Winners and Top-10 Runners Up!

We are pleased to announce that Jeff Walther and Veronica Post have won our Summer Transformation Challenge!

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We are thrilled to share their great results with you, so stay tuned – we’ll update you this weekend on their amazing stories. We also want to share our runners up – a lot of people challenged themselves to achieve success, and they did it! We’re proud of all of you.

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Follow Jon on His Fat-Loss Journey

Jon Evans, 30

A recent picture of Jon, now down to 220 pounds.

A recent picture of Jon, now down to 220 pounds.

Note from Nutrishop: Jonathan Evans has gone through an amazing weight loss journey, with a little help from us and a lot of motivation and discipline. We were so interested by his success that we decided to keep following up with him as he continues his transformation. This is the first of a series of blogs by Jon, who is continuing to check in with the Nutrishop CDA store and use Nutrishop products to aid his journey.

2015 in Review
Well, 2015 was pretty good. I got the itch to lose some weight and did way better than I could’ve ever imagined. I’ve met some amazing people who shared many kind words to help push me along the way. My goal was that in 2016, I will hit the teens in body fat percentage.6ed0cce9-8d7d-4b15-9374-d9e0f0a7e5f7
It hasn’t started out quite like I would have liked – I came home to a broken water filter and 5 feet of water in my basement, which was super awesome, but Toby heard about the bad luck and threw in a little something special my last trip into Nutrishop. With all this crud happening I’ve been stressed out to no end – diet has kind of taken a back seat and lifting is not as often or as hard since I have so many other things on my plate. It’s early enough in the year that this little hiccup won’t hurt too much with my ultimate goal.
12400800_10205243909928661_1194661395641853444_nI had a good friend ask if I wanted to do a challenge group with the insanity max 30 dvd and I didn’t hesitate. I thought this will be the piece of the puzzle that will get me closer to the BMI I am after. I will get my BMI checked the day I start the challenge and I also get to lift with Josh from Nutrishop that same day, so as you can imagine I’ll want to find a corner and cry myself to sleep! Even with all the bad crap going on I’m keeping positive that I will hit the goal and go past expectations like I did last year. Usually when I go to Nutrishop I will get myself something and maybe a thing or two for another guy, I FINALLY got the wife her first jug of protein, the feeling I got is like watching your child take its first steps! Here’s to a 2016 to remember. Good luck to all whose New Year’s resolution is to better themselves, one day at a time.

It started with just wanting to better myself. I was SICK AND TIRED of being fat, so I wanted to lose about 30 pounds. It never crossed my mind that I would be down this much weight AND have so many family, friends and people I’ve never even met or talked to before say how inspiring or motivational I’ve been throughout my journey or how I’ve given them that little extra kick to try and better themselves. It’s truly amazing the kind words I’ve heard from everyone on how good I look because, like I’ve said before, I see myself every day in the mirror and don’t see the insane change that has happened to my body.

There are days where I’m like, “Damn, you lookin’ good!” –  but also days where I’m like, “What am I even doing? Nothing has changed.” In the last few months I have gone from a size 38 waist down to a size 34! I don’t even think I was that small in middle school. It feels good when you grab a size 36 and they’re too big. I am still doing the Lean Gains Plan, and boy is it working. Still getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. to do my workouts and following the same diet plan; the only change was my mindset, knowing I am so close to my main goal that I pushed harder in the gym, adding on more weight, increasing the resistance on the elliptical and just going all out.

It worked: I hit the mark. It has been seven years in the making and it was not easy. The last 3 pounds were the hardest to lose. But I did it. Now I won’t weigh myself every morning but maybe every weekend. It’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders knowing I lost 100 pounds – 100 pounds is a ridiculous amount of weight to come off my body. I am going to keep pushing to get down to my lowest weight in high school, which was 209 my sophomore year in wrestling. My other new goal is to be in the teens with my body fat percentage. I was at 20 percent the last time I checked, so I’m pretty close.

I again am truly thankful for everyone that has reached out and asked how I did it or asked if I could help them somehow, and to all who have posted on my Facebook with the kind words and putting a smile on this former fat kid’s face. When asked, I tell myself that apparently I must be doing something right if I’m being asked to help, and I’m more than happy to help any way I can. Huge shoutout to NUTRISHOP for making this all possible. Without these guys I’m still struggling on what to do and how. They’ve made it pretty damn easy to follow the diet plan and supplements to achieve my goal and more, so thank you. And lastly, I know a lot of people that are losing weight and just flat-out kicking butt, just a special shout out to you guys – you keep me motivated so keep at it. I keep saying it’s the year of fitness. No more New Year’s resolutions that last 3 months – it’s a lifetime change.

HOLIDAY UPDATE

a09bc4b5-c123-4423-a148-b8ac9a4aeea5I have gotten a few guys, one that is ALMOST as big of a NUTRISHOP fanatic as I am, and another guy who we are trying to convert, over to lifting with me in the morning, which has been awesome. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and we all push each other to go one more rep or put on more weight. It’s a good feeling since we all want that same ultimate goal to be stronger and look and feel damn good.

My current stack in the morning has changed a couple times just because I’m trying to give my adrenal glands a rest from the caffeine. So my current stack is first thing in the morning is 6 N’JECT, which is at about 5:15 a.m. 15 minutes before my workout I do a scoop of NO XP3 with scoop of VASOCOR and scoop of BCAA. Also 3 N’FUZE, 2 Restart and 3 joint pills and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. While working out I mix in 4 scoops of BCAAs in a gallon jug of water and drink throughout the day. I was previously taking a half scoop of THERMOVEX with my pre workout but will only take the half scoop in the afternoon mixed with a scoop of BCAAs. I got on the Restart to help calm down my adrenal gland so I’m not tired all day and have noticed a difference on how I feel after the third day of being on the pills.

My workout routine has been just whatever I feel like doing that day, usually a day of chest and back, day of shoulders bi’s and tri’s, legs and abs and a cardio day, then the last day will be an all out circuit type training where I just do two to three rounds of all the machines, or substitute in some free weights. Diet is the same, except for Thanksgiving – I splurged that day with one side of the family and splurged again for the wife’s side of the family. I was pretty worried that I was gonna gain a bunch of fat but I took the BMI test Thursday the 2nd and I am lower than I’ve ever been. I set a goal of being at about 11% body fat which is going to be rough, but so has been losing 100 lbs. I’ve hit 213 a couple times but I am staying consistent around 215 which is fine – also if I can hit 11% body fat and be 220 I’d be just fine with that. I’ve had lots of words of encouragement, lots of questions on what others should be doing and I love it. I’ve said it a million times but I am always open to questions about what to eat or what supplements should be taken.

Yes I am still a beginner in the supplement and diet field but I have seen results that some people dream of and if it worked for me it should work for others too. Thanks to everyone for the compliments, Josh and Toby at NUTRISHOP for helping me every step of the way, and of course my wife who has put up with my supplement and shaker cup addiction.

POST-100-LB. LOSS UPDATE

I’m still holding below 215 and have just started to wing it at the gym- meaning if I feel like squats I’ll do legs and so on. I still have people come up and ask if I’ve lost weight, and just like the first time someone noticed, I get that feeling that everything I went through to get to this point was worth it. I have a buddy that I turned into a Nutrishop fanatic like myself and he keeps my butt on track. He keeps me updated on how much weight he’s lost and we just keep each other going harder in the gym.

I’ve also been recently asked by a good friend from high school if I could help him lose weight too – I am more excited to help him reach his goals than I was at working towards mine. I couldn’t turn it down; this whole journey has motivated or inspired more people than I could’ve ever imagined so to be asked to help someone on the same path is great – I’m all in. I got him started on the Thermovex stack. It’s nothing crazy but something to get him started. I will keep everyone updated on the journey and more updates on the diet. The last time I got the BMI checked I had lost 3 lbs of fat and gained a pound of muscle. I can totally live with that.

unnamedN’JECT UPDATE

I recently purchased the new supplement N’JECT for muscle pump and vascularity. I am a believer – I broke out the ol’ P90X DVDs and did biceps and triceps workouts, and thought my arms were going to explode – the pump lasted for quite awhile. It says to take 4, but talking with Josh he says if you’re bigger (like I am), then take 6.

I took 4 on leg day since Josh said don’t go too crazy with this stuff on leg day, since my legs would hurt all day long. I also ran out of my Joint Therapeutics and have been out for a couple of days and can already tell. My elbows are starting to hurt more often since I have arthritis really bad in my right elbow – it’s so popular it’s hard to keep it on the shelf. Good luck to all this week as I will see how my lower carb diet does!

MOTIVATION UPDATE

Today I had an older lady, who is very nice and very quiet, while I was taking her payment, say, “Jon, can I say something?”

So instantly I was skeptical and was wondering what in the world was gonna come out of her mouth, but still I said of course. She said, “Jon, you’ve lost weight! You look fantastic.”

I probably had the biggest smile on my face  and told her that I have lost weight – a lot of weight.

It’s the little things, like a stranger saying something so nice, to let you know that the early morning gym sessions, the diet, the money on supplements, are all working. I look at myself in the mirror every morning and I can tell I’ve lost weight. But for others who don’t see you on a regular basis, it’s shocking to see the results. I have lots of people shoot me a message on Facebook saying they need motivation cause they’ve lost that drive or they tell me that they love reading about my blogs, which I was surprised cause I wasn’t sure anyone was reading them, or tell me about their own weight loss journey.

unnamedI love hearing about others’ success just as much as I love my own success. I have changed my diet plan up a bit. I’m not eating as many carbs for each meal and I have a 2-hour window Saturday evening to go crazy and eat whatever. Since I am eating lower carbs, by Saturday my body will be starving for carbs and will be eaten up. I am trying to constantly keep my body thermogenic. I had my body fat percentage checked last Friday and I was at 22%. When I went in 6 days later I was talking with Josh about the new diet and he had me check it again and I was already down to 20.9%. The Lean Gains Plan is doing better than I expected. I have gotten a couple of new supplements for the collection. I have a powdered multi vitamin which is called Nature’s Fuel, which is better absorbed than a pill form. I am trying out the new N’Ject, which helps with vascularity and gives you massive pumps, and I am also taking carnitine tartrate which helps with fat loss and keeps your muscles from going catabolic. All the other supplements are still being used as always!

LEAN GAINS PLAN

On day 4 of the Lean Gains workout routine and it’s a killer. I’ve already noticed change with strength and the HIIT is working great. I’ve been asked by a couple of people what supplements I’m on just for weight loss. Thermovex daytime and night – one of the guys that I got started on it says he has so much more energy and the night time works great. My wife is also getting the itch to work out – she says, “I can’t be having my husband looking good and me looking like a hot mess!”

It’s addicting working out and feeling good. This has been the longest stretch I have consistently worked out – both the Lean Gains and the Hard Gainer’s routines are awesome and when you get done with the day’s routine you know it’s working!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW WORKOUT PLAN

The new workout routine for the next 6 weeks will be the Hard Gainer Trainer from the NUTRISHOP website, but since I only have Monday through Friday to lift since I work Saturday and there are no gyms open early enough for me to lift, I will not take the rest day in between. As much as I look forward to the new challenge I know the first week will suck – new lifts I haven’t done since high school, so new muscle groups will be tested. The outcome will be a better, stronger me, and leaner also. I will be taking the same supplements and doing the same diet, but I am experimenting with my protein powder by making protein pancakes and things like that. It gets boring eating the same thing over and over so a little change is good. I am hoping to get the body fat tested on my next day off so I can compare it after the 6 weeks are up. It’s going to be hard yet exciting and I’m ready to take it head on.

MOTIVATION

A lot of people ask me how I started, or what drove me to start. Well, I started this weight loss journey because I was tired of being tired, no energy, sick all the time – I was just done feeling like that. When you don’t feel great you’re not great to be around, in a bad mood not wanting to do anything, and to me that isn’t fair to my wife and daughters. I wanted better for them and for myself.

The very first thing I did was take note of what I was eating. I counted calories for the most part. I just got an app on my phone scanned it and it kept a journal of what I ate and how many calories I should be eating to reach a certain weight. I did this and went from the 315 I was at down to 290. Nothing big but it was improvement. I followed that and then started to work out at home with some home workout DVDs, but only did this for over a month and just lost the drive and wasn’t seeing results fast enough. I wanted to achieve too many things instead of focusing on one goal and sticking with it.

After about 2 or so years I finally said I’m done – I need to change and focus on one goal, LOSE WEIGHT! I buckled down and kept my kids in the back of my mind, saying, “This is for them.” I watched my food intake much closer than before and then came NUTRISHOP and spoke with Josh and that is truly in my mind where the real transformation began. I got on the supplements I have been asking for from the “other guys” and started working out and completely stopped drinking soda and drank more water. The rest is in the pictures.

The best place to start is diet, because you can make time to eat healthier. You don’t need to go to the gym. I started with the diet well before I went to the gym. Next is make goals – small ones. I set my first goal too high and when I didn’t achieve it I stressed out, which is not helpful when losing weight. Small obtainable goals and deadlines is a good start. When that is figured out then hit the gym. My goals from the first day I stepped into NUTRISHOP was lose weight and get bigger. I have been trying so hard to lose the 100 pounds that I stress out, but I tell myself, “Dude, you’ve lost 95 pounds with hard work and a clean mind.” That keeps me pushing harder to do better in the gym that I did the day before. Small victories in the short term end up with awesome results in the end. Keep pushing and don’t settle.

DIET UPDATE

Diet for the week consists of breakfast, lunch and dinner like usual, but between those three are small meals or my protein shakes and an apple or something small. I don’t want my body getting too hungry and then have whatever I do eat ending up getting stored as fat. I keep it very simple because I am so busy I want to be able to make my meals fast yet still taste good.

Each meal I want to consist of 35 grams of protein and 35 grams of carbs with no more than 8 to 10 grams of fat. Breakfast consists of 1 cup of egg white seasoned with salt and pepper and 2 cups of hash browns seasoned with salt and pepper. I eat that right after my workout and usually have it with a protein shake. My small meals are usually a protein shake and an apple or a Quest bar, nothing fancy, but I have started eating Greek yogurt to try and satisfy my sweet tooth. My lunch is usually a salad with 5 oz of chicken with light dressing or the 5 ozs of chicken with a cup of jasmine rice and an apple or veggies.

I buy the microwaveable jasmine rice so I can heat it up at work and just mix it with my chicken and since my chicken is already seasoned it’s ready to eat. Dinner is usually whatever the wife cooks, usually tri-tip steak or chicken. She knows that I am on my diet so she tries to cook so the whole family can eat together. My biggest problem is I have a sweet tooth, especially coming into fall with pumpkin pies or pumpkin doughnuts – it’s hard to resist! Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of those doughnuts! But to keep my sanity I will stray away from the diet, not all the time but maybe once or twice a month. Which is why I am trying the flavored Greek yogurt so I won’t have such a craving. Honestly, getting up early in the morning is easy compared to the diet. The gym just takes a toll physically but the diet is physical and mental. If you don’t eat enough your body doesn’t get what it needs; but eat too much and your time at the gym has been wasted. It’s tough!

UPDATE: OCT. 7, 2015

Jon Evans before/after unnamedThis week I am pushing for the 100 pounds down mark. The wife says I need to not worry about what the scale says and listen to how my body feels. She’s probably right – I may never hit the mark, not for lack of trying but because of my workout routine. I am still losing fat but also packing on muscle. I’ve had to go shopping because my clothes no longer fit me.

I used to wear XXL and am now down to just a large in some clothes. I feel better, with more energy throughout the day, so something is working. My workout routine for this week is the NUTRISHOP HARD GAINER Trainer and this will be my last week because I no longer feel sore the next day. Not because I didn’t lift hard – trust me, since I first started this routine I have added 10 to 30 lbs on each workout – but because my body is getting used to it so it’s time to change it up. My plan is to get my body fat percentage checked and see where I stand. I will TRY not to look so closely at the scale but rather focus on losing more body fat and staying more consistent on the diet. If I hit the 100-pound mark I will let everyone know. With time comes results but it’s been the longest and hardest few pounds to lose. I’m definitely not giving up but pushing harder and it will come, eventually.

MEAL PREP

Meal prep is something I just started doing more routinely. Before I would just eat granola bars throughout the day because I had no time to eat anything else. I am now making my breakfast the night before, which is usually a cup to 2 cups of hash browns, which I eat after my workout with my protein shake – instead of eating two big meals, which was usually breakfast and dinner. I wasn’t giving my body what it wanted…. FOOD.

My meals usually consist of 30 or more grams of protein and 35 grams of carbs and I try to have no more than 8 grams of fat for each meal. I still eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, but not like I used to. I was eating a big enough breakfast to try and hold me over til lunch, which was 6 or more hours away and same with lunch and dinner. Now I eat my breakfast like earlier described, but 3 hours later I have a protein shake with an apple and then three hours after that I have lunch and so forth. I actually eat more now than I used to but it’s a lot more portion control and smarter choices. My workout routine is the NUTRISHOP Hard Gainer routine, which I will be doing for almost 8 weeks, then I will change it up. I want to keep the body guessing so I don’t hit any plateaus.

I am suppose to only be lifting Monday through Thursday but I want to hit the 100 lbs lost mark so bad that I am running for just 30 minutes on Fridays, just for the extra push. When I first came to NUTRISHOP my only source of motivation was “lose weight, look better and have the energy to play with my kids,” but after the first blog I didn’t think in a million years that my weight loss journey that I would help motivate so many other people. Friends from high school to people I have never met. All the kind words, the encouragement to keep going and to learn that I help others is enough motivation to not give up and keep pushing on. I look at it as a new challenge, because now I’m not only doing it for me and my family, but now I am doing it for others – to show them it can be done, that it’s not easy by any means but it’s worth the effort. I have had a couple people ask for advice and I am more than happy to share what has worked and what hasn’t worked for me. It’s hard to do it alone and I will help anyone that is looking to better themselves. I am truly grateful to NUTRISHOP and Toby for the opportunity to share my story and my steps towards a better me, and to Josh for pushing me to be better and leading me towards greatness.

Without these guys I am just a regular guy, but now I am a regular guy with a story and the chance to help others.

SUPPLEMENTS

unnamedI am up at 5 every morning I work out. First thing I do is mix half a scoop of THERMOVEX, a full scoop of VASOCOR, and a full scoop of BCAA. That is all the pre-workout powders. While I drink that, I take JOINT THERAPEUTICS, 1-XD and N’FUZE.

Now for my intra-workout, I take a half scoop of the XR-3 and another scoop of BCAA. Post-workout I take a heaping scoop of the FORZA PRO protein powder mixed with water if I have to work that day, or I mix it with some almond milk. Since I work out early in the morning I drink my protein powder with my breakfast that I make the night before.

JOINT THERAPEUTICS is great for me, since I have arthritis in both my elbows. I would always lift hard for a couple months and my right elbow would keep me from lifting. Since being on this supplement, I have not had any problems with my elbows and I no longer wear my elbow sleeves – I swear by this stuff.

The BCAA keeps my muscles from cramping up and being sore, on top of keeping me anabolic during my workouts. The 1-XD helps me with all the estrogen I have in my house since I am overrun by it – my wife and 3 daughters! Seriously though, it helps my body produce more testosterone and burn fat. The N’FUZE is a creatine which helps with muscle pump and blood flow. VASOCOR promotes blood flow and helps with muscle endurance, and I can go harder for longer workous. THERMOVEX really curbs my cravings and gives me energy throughout the day. I used to drink energy drinks all the time, but I have not had one for a while because I don’t need it.  I do take another half scoop of the THERMOVEX with the full scoop of BCAA around lunch time.

Probably my favorite of them all is the THERMOVEX PM. I take a scoop around bedtime and it has me sawing logs in no time – it’s also a great weight-loss powder. When I have a day I don’t work out, I just cut out the VASOCOR but take the others like it’s a workout day. I am still VERY new to the supplement world which is why I rely on what Josh from NUTRISHOP to help!

INTRODUCTION:

I remember back close to 7 years ago weighing myself at 240 and saying I’ll never let myself get over 250.

I weighed myself again a month later and I was 250.

Again I told myself I would never get over 260. A month or two later weighed 260.

I topped off at 315 five years ago. My breaking point was trying to tie my work boots and having to take a breather from tying half my boot. I had no energy to play with my 2-year-old daughter, was always in a bad mood, and I just flat out wasn’t happy. I finally had enough.

I started counting calories and got down to about 280 and was stuck there forever. I finally was driving by Nutrishop and wanted to see what they had to offer. I had always gotten my supplements from GNC but was never happy, since I was given the same thing but no results. I spoke with Josh and he pretty much got this ball rolling with his expertise on the results I was looking for and the supplements I needed to see results.

Since the end of December, I weighed 280. With help from Josh I am now down to 218. Almost 100 lbs, all while my wife was pregnant with our third girl. I set little goals of 10 to 15 pounds and kept smashing them quickly. My whole thought process was that I wanted to get down to 220 by the time the fair rolled around, because I was going to eat like you should at the fair! I set goals four times and got down to 220 before fair time. Nine months – I lost 60lbs. Without the help from the guys at Nutrishop, I wouldn’t even be close to what I am today. My pre-workout is right where it needs to be, my meal planning is great, at times. But overall I’m happy. I can now see people and not be ashamed of how big I am. Friends and family see me and tell me how good I look, or good friends tell me if I lose any more weight I will become a twig. It’s words like that that keep a guy pushing harder and harder every time in the gym. Even though I may not see results I know they’re there by the compliments.

 

Jon at 315, before he began his fitness journey.

Jon at 315, before he began his fitness journey.

Delicious Protein Smoothie Options You Can Make, Right Now

2-e1412692955298We love shakes and smoothies. They are the ultimate fast option for healthy, nutritious meals when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare food or you have a craving for sweets but still want to stick within the boundaries of a healthy diet.

To that end, we started looking around the shop at all the different flavors of protein that we carry, and thought of just how many amazing shakes and smoothies we could make with these flavors — and then we wondered, what about our customers? This week, we want to highlight a shake or two a day to show you just how versatile protein powder can be for making delicious smoothies that will help you build muscle and burn fat.

Got your own great recipe? Share it in the comments, or on our Facebook page! We will update this blog throughout the week, so stay tuned!

1. Peanut Butter Cup

One of the best combinations in human history is chocolate and peanut butter, and that is evident in this amazingly simple smoothie. With 1 C fat-free milk, 2 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter, 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder (like PRO7 or HYDROPRO), 2 tbsps flaxmeal and 1/2 C plain low-fat yogurt, it tastes so good that it’s hard to believe that there’s enough protein, fiber and calcium in this shake to make it a powerful breakfast or even dessert option.

IMG_20150207_155621~22. Banana Berry Blend

If a fruity flavor is more your style, there’s lots of options here as well. Vanilla protein powder works great, as does the banana flavor we carry — two scoops of either goes great with 1 C fat-free milk, some frozen blueberries, a small, ripe banana and 1 Tbsp. of chia seeds — be sure to let the whole shake settle for a couple minutes, to let the seeds set up and soften. The natural sugars in this shake make it a perfect choice post-workout.

3. Mudslide

Our great cookies and cream flavor works perfectly for this one — use two scoops and mix it in with 1 C of cold, fat-free milk, 1/2 a packet of sugar-free chocolate pudding and, optionally, a Tbsp. of smooth, all-natural peanut butter. For some added flavor, fiber and vitamins, toss in a small handful of frozen raspberries!

4. Pumpkin Power

One tbsp. of pumpkin puree, 1 scoop of caramel pretzel flavor protein, 1/2 C cashew or almond milk and pumpkin pie spice extends everyone’s favorite seasonal flavor throughout the year — and adds a ton of protein, fiber and vitamins to the equation.

5. Caramel Mocha

Perfect for those early-morning starts where you don’t have time for coffee and breakfast — combine the two in a great shake instead. With instant coffee granules, Caramel Pretzel PRO7 and 1/2 C of milk (you can use almond or cashew milk, too), this one has an ice cream feel to it without any of the guilt. (Shoutout to Nutrishop CDA fan Christina Thompson for Nos. 4 and 5!)

6. The PBJ

For those interested in throwing on muscle NOW, add precious calories, fats, protein and slow-digesting carbs with this treat. Peanut butter flavor protein, a scoop or two of real, natural peanut butter, 1/2 frozen strawberries, a small handful of instant oats and 1 C of 1 or 2-pct milk. Like being a kid again and opening up your bag lunch, except that you’re going to get huge and there’s no Capri Sun.

How to Stay On Track With Your Diet and Training

workout-motivation

It can be the hardest thing about fitness: You’ve got your diet plan, you’ve got your training plan, you’ve got your supplements … and you just can’t get motivated to get that first foot out the door.

This is not uncommon for even intermediate-level athletes. Let’s face it, it is simply easier to not do something than to follow through. That’s why we wanted to started this blog — to keep a running list of tips throughout the week to help you stay focused and reach your goals.

Consistency is key in doing this, so finding excuses and reasons not to hit the gym or talking yourself into an extra cheat meal here or there will absolutely hinder your progress. To that end, let us suggest a few ways you can stay disciplined and motivated, so your goals become reality.

  •  Talk it out. One of the most powerful forms of motivation, we’ve found, is finding a community that you can relate to, that will share your goals and push you to accomplish yours. Sometimes, just putting them out in the open gives you something to strive for — after all, when it’s just you that you have to be accountable to, you know whether or not you’ll be able to handle your own judgment. We’d recommend finding a friend, a mentor, even a trainer if necessary, and sharing your thoughts and motivations so you can have a record of why you started this whole process in the first place. Then, if you find yourself tempted to stray off course, you’ll have a “fitness network,” so to speak, that you can be sure isn’t skipping their workouts. It makes it much tougher to skip yours.
  • Write it down. Simple enough, and so few people do it. Keep a journal! Track your weight, your body fat percentage, your strength … track everything. Your own results can absolutely be a source of motivation. When you see that you’re getting stronger, it’s unlikely that you’ll reach a point where you think, “Well, that was OK, but I’m done now.” Success will breed confidence and, and having a visual record of it will keep the momentum going.
  • Be mindful. Always, always remember the “why” behind fitness. Whether it’s to get your blood pressure to a safer level, to lose your belly, to impress your spouse or feel better throughout the work day, keep your eye on the prize. Sure, a donut is appealing, but it can’t compete with the 6-pack you set out to build.
  • Don’t rationalize anything. You need to be stubborn when it comes time to getting your workouts in. “I can push it til tomorrow,” or “I ate clean today so missing this one won’t be the end of the world,” are examples of rationalizing to make yourself feel better about what you’re really ultimately doing — failing in your goal to be consistent. Write down your workout days, and make sure you get them in before your head hits the pillow at night.
  • Keep your goals the same. Two weeks into your mission to cut body fat and get a 6-pack, you can’t decide that you want to bulk instead and expect to see the same kind of results you would if you’d remained consistent to your plan. Most people do this as a way to get around clean eating. This is how once-a-week cheat meals turn into cheat days, or why somebody would stop packing healthy lunches knowing they can get something fast and easy on the go. Remember from the tip mentioned above: Write it down, and when you do, follow it to the letter.
  • Think of the future. There is a phrase a gym chain uses for its motto that we really like: “Nobody ever says, ‘I wish I hadn’t worked out today.” Think of this when you are on the fence about getting your workout in! Try to think of how you felt the last time you skipped the gym — it probably didn’t leave you overflowing with pride, right? That won’t change. It never feels good to display a lack of accountability, even to yourself. Instead, imagine how good you’ll feel when the workout is done and you have the knowledge that you set a goal for that day and accomplished it.
  • Set smaller goals first. Know that the end goal will happen, but it is way more motivating to continue when you accomplish each small goal as it comes. – (from Nutrishop CDA Facebook fan Bret Spencer – thanks Bret!)

Why Late-Night Eating Isn’t Actually So Bad

The idea that “when you eat” matters just as much as quality and quantity of it is a popular one.

Lots of research has proven that the 2-to-3-hour period after a workout, for example, is ideal for protein and carbohydrate consumption, as the body can most effectively metabolize food during this anabolic state — some studies suggest this period can last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours, depending on the workout and the individual’s metabolism.

So, if eating around a workout is so beneficial because your body is instantly using the calories you’re giving it, then eating before bed must be an automatic no-no, right? Well, no. Still, this concept has become quite the rage, in fact, over the last few years; it’s not uncommon to see even educated bodybuilder and athlete types avoiding calories altogether in the hours before going to sleep.

This is a mistake.

Yes, the type of calories that are usually consumed at this time are low-quality calories. This is dessert time, when a person is most likely to be on the couch, mindlessly destroying chips or cookies. Let’s say you do this the second you wake up instead. Would you really consider this “better?” Of course not. So chalking up weight gain because of nighttime eating in this case would not be telling the whole story. The quality and quantity of the food being eaten is what matters. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is not known for being the bastion of health knowledge we once thought it was, but we would side with it on its support of a “calorie-in, calorie-out” concept of eating to fight obesity.

Not everybody can sleep on a full stomach — loss of sleep or restlessness while digesting would be an example of bad evidence against nighttime eating. But the calorie consumption itself isn’t the culprit.  Sleep deprivation and the rise in cortisol levels that comes with it can affect body fat negatively. Ideally, you wouldn’t eat a large, energy-packed meal right before bed (so a stack of pancakes is out). But a small serving of cottage cheese or a protein shake? It’s highly unlikely these would contribute to body fat gain overnight.

Additionally, the concept of periodic eating every few hours seems to be ignored when considering nighttime eating. While eating these frequent small meals will not directly assist in weight loss, it does help prevent the gigantic binge meal most of us have at dinner after not having eaten in 6-8 hours. Consistent, frequent eating of small snacks regulates blood sugar and controls hunger. A real-life example of how not to do this would be swearing off all food after 8 p.m.; your best-case scenario (if you’re getting adequate sleep, eating your last bite at 8 p.m. and waking up with a forkful of food in your mouth) would be nine to 10 consecutive hours of fasting. Not exactly keeping in stride with the plan there, is it?

It can be intriguing to follow in-vogue nutrition concepts as the health and food industries continue to evolve, and research will continue to suggest new methods for people to try in the effort to control their physiques and health. But in this case, the relation to eating before bed and weight gain has mostly shown to be anecdotal, and more of an indictment against the amount and type of food being eaten than the time at which it is consumed.