Stories about Life

Getting started with my protein shake diet

So as you know I am trying to get fit for summer. And if you know me you also know that this is no easy task :P Finding the right exercise routine is vitally important for your health and I am really trying to find one that works for me. Right now I prefer to go to the gym since I am still not sure about this whole yoga thing. However, you know that it is equally important that you implement good nutrition in conjunction with an effective exercise routine in order to see real results. That means less junk food and a healthier diet. Well, for the next few month at least! A good friend told me that the most effective way to lose fat and build lean muscle is to drink protein shakes and there is a lot you can read about online like this article on Men’s Health about this topic. The problem with protein shakes is that when you purchase shakes that are made ready to drink, you end up spending a lot of money on something that probably really doesn’t taste very good at all or have you found shakes that are delicious? I haven’t! So I have started to make my own  protein shakes at home and spend far less money. They will undoubtedly taste better too and this is really all I care about. I know myself – if it doesn’t taste good I will go back to eating burgers in no time!

You can make a delicious homemade banana and strawberry protein shake with minimum ingredients. It only takes a few minutes to do it, which is an added benefit. Simply place one banana and a cup of strawberries in a blender (I have the Blendtec Total Blender in case you are interested). Add two scoops of vanilla whey protein and about 4 ounces of water. Depending on how thick you want the shake, you can add more or less water. Then add some ice and blend the mixture until it is the consistency that you desire. You have your own homemade protein shake and less than five minutes.

Another favorite homemade protein shake recipe is an almond chocolate recipe. After all, who doesn’t like chocolate? This recipe requires only a couple of ingredients. Use a couple of scoops of chocolate protein powder and mix it with almond milk. Of course, you can add ice in order to make it even more delicious. It is economical and you can have your shake made in no time.

Still another of my favorites is the hemp protein shake. This one is a little bit different because it utilizes hemp protein instead of whey protein. It gives it a green appearance, but if you can get past that it is really quite delicious. It is also packed with protein and fiber so it is a good choice when you want a healthy shake. Place a banana and some fresh spinach in a blender with almond milk and a little bit of flax seed. Mix all of that up and add ice to get the shake to the proper consistency. Pour it into a glass and put a little cinnamon on top, and you have something that is completely different from the protein shakes that you are probably used to.

Many of these shakes, such as the almond chocolate shake, have tons of electrolytes. Protein shakes also help you recover faster from your workout and they help you build muscle faster. It is a great way to slim down and get the lean muscle that you are looking for. In addition, the shakes often have anti-inflammatory properties and they boost your immune system, creating a healthier body. It allows you to get the nutrition that you need in a very short period of time without a lot of hassle. That is why protein shakes that you can make at home are ideal after you have finished an intense workout. And you can also use your blender for smoothies and healthy soups which adds to your healthy diet. Well, at least that is what I keep telling myself :)) For now it works really well. I don’t crave junk food too much which is a bit of a surprise for me to be honest. I have never been a healthy eater but I guess having a clear goal in mind helps to push through those cravings. Let’s see how it turns out, shall we. I will keep you updated. Oh and please leave some shake recipes in the comments. Some diversity would be nice!

Why guys should (or shouldn’t) do yoga?

There is always a lot of speculation about if guys should take part in a yoga class with ten to fifteen women by their side. Personally, those couple words about having a ton of women in the room, is good enough motivation for me. First of all, it is important to know that yoga isn’t something easy and can also be considered a very good activity to stay healthy. I personally, always want to live a healthy lifestyle, both now and far into my future. Yoga is definitely one of those things that can help everyone take a better step into a healthy lifestyle. Whether you integrate it in with another sport, or just have a couple sessions of yoga per week, you will notice a difference.

There are so many stereotypes of why dudes don’t attend yoga. The funny thing is that yoga originally began about 5000 years ago in India and was meant to be practiced by men. Too many men complain nowadays that yoga is just a feminine gathering, where a bunch of girls stretch their bodies out and practice their deep breathing exercises. What they don’t understand is that this is actually a “true” workout and is very important in connecting the body and mind together. It may not seem like it is very tough with all the poses and breathing exercises the instructors get you doing, but yoga actually helps you build power. It is the plank positions and all the other stretching and core exercise that adds up. Studies have said that yoga can improve the overall strength and flexibility of the individual, but also reduces certain things such as blood pressure. It is actually also able to relieve depression, insomnia, and anxiety. Yoga can also be a great compliment to sports. Whether you are a soccer, basketball, football player, etc., stretching is always one of the most important things to help you warm up and most of all, reduce the chance of injury.

One of the great things about yoga is that it is able to give you a repeated challenge that you have to overcome, which ultimately produces a better form of yourself. Through its awkward and difficult poses, yoga is able to educate people on how to find amenity and contentment even during the toughest situations. One of the most looked-up to and famous male athletes, Lebron James of the Miami Heat, integrates yoga into his daily routine. Incorporating such an exercise is what keeps these athletes like him fit and on the field. The idea of having strong stability through core work is a key for any athlete. Ray Lewis, a former linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, also included yoga into his regular routine in order to balance out his general lifestyle and way of living.

There are no negatives whatsoever about yoga. Well, maybe one. Because not too many guys are at the studio there with you. Whether you are single and trying to find a girl, or are just there to impress your girlfriend or wife, yoga will be able to assist you. I have realized that I am not as anxious now that I am taking part in a yoga class a few times a week. They focus on using your breath as a center, which then allows you to clear your mind and get rid of all those little worries that have been bothering you. For most guys, the positions will certainly be tough at the beginning, but all it takes is a little practice. One thing I have noticed is that it has toned my body even more and who wouldn’t want that!. So the point that I am trying to get across is simple, guys should do yoga. There really isn’t any excuse on why a guy shouldn’t take part in a yoga class as it only benefits your life.

Are we seeing the end of the beard trend?

If you happen to be one of the men sporting a beard today, you may be wondering whether the time has come to shave it off. While my girlfriend keeps telling me that my beard (more like a scruff really) makes me look sexy I keep seeing to many guys with beards lately. So I ask myself if this trend has reached its tipping point since every hipster seems to grow a beard lately. Hell there are people TRANSPLANTING beards?! I mean…come on!

Nobody really knows who started the trend to wear a beard, but one thing is for certain, when individuals who face the cameras regularly, like Jim Carney decides to let their beard grow, people tend to sit up and take notice. The bold images that were probably not intended to be a trend are usually picked up by other media giants and before you know it, others will follow their lead. As a society, should we be starting a trend based on something that a newspaper tells us? That may not be our intention, but it can work out that way sometimes.

The fact that men are doing something with their facial hair must be interesting to someone, because studies are being carried out, and they indicate that there has been an increase in men wearing beards by almost 10%. That study took place during a 2-year period, which ended in 2012. What does that say for the future of men wearing facial hair and is it something that the bearded ones should use as a source of concern? The best way to answer that question would be to determine whether you wear your beard because of a trend that someone claims existed.

One reason for a source of encouragement for men to continue wearing their beard is the fact that the hair on their face is supposed to turn them into sexy creatures, a statement that needs to be individually evaluated by the women involved ( I will just follow my girlfriends lead here…). If men continue to feel better about themselves when they have the scruff, the odds are good that it will continue to trend, regardless of how cool some reporter claims that it is. Clearly, the choice not to shave is an individual one.

Based on some reports, the beard thing could very well have reached the point of no return, in other words, has it reached its peak? Are we suggesting that we will begin to see some die-hard actors shaving off their status symbol, or will it simply mean that they will continue to drive the trend for keeping facial hair upwards because they want to?

Well, anyway. I for one will keep my beard for a while I guess. I like myself better with it and I was never one to follow trends so even if the beard trend is over (and I am not saying it is)…I don’t care. I just make sure that i keep my beard neatly trimmed with my beard trimmer and that’s it. Oh and while we are at it, what’s in your opinion the best beard conditioner out there? I have some in mind but I could use some recommendations!

Everyone is getting married!!

Everyone is getting married!!

Ok I honestly don’t know what’s going on but somehow everyone seems to be getting married. After buying my suit I put it to good use by attending another wedding. This time it was my girlfriend’s friend who got married. The wedding was beautiful really…and believe me…I am not the romantic type! But it had a Star Wars theme…how awesome is that?! And hey, at least I had an opportunity to test my new camera, ha! I recently invested in an Olympus OMD E-M5 and I just LOVE this little camera! And look at this awesome Star Wars cake!!

Star Wars Cake

Buying a suit – what a pain!

So I have been trying to find a suit for the upcoming wedding and…gosh what a pain! I am pretty tall with long arms and it is somehow impossible to find a suit that fits. As usual I did my research before I went shopping and I wanted to share it with you. Good luck folks…if you, like me, don’t like shopping this can be a painful process!

So….If you need a suit for a special occasion such as a wedding or other ceremonial event, an important job interview, or simply to update your current wardrobe, you may be a bit lost (I surely was) when it comes to figuring out exactly which suit you should buy. When buying a suit there are always a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you step out looking your best.

Before you grab the first thing off the rack, decide which type of suit you want and what style will work for your needs. If you need to create a more modern silhouette, you should choose a suit that has thin lapels. If you don’t know what a thin lapel looks like, picture Neal Caffrey from the television show White Collar. If you want a suit with a classic, old-school look, you should choose one with a wide lapel, like those worn by the characters on the show The Sopranos. Depending on which lapel you choose, you should make sure that the tie you wear with it matches the width of the lapel to create the correct balance.

The most important part of buying a suit besides style is knowing your measurements. It would be great if you could simply pull a suit off the rack and find that it fits you perfectly, but that won’t always be the case. Some people aren’t blessed with measurements that fit into perfect suit sizes, so they have to try to find separates that match. Before you give up, you should visit a tailor. If you find a suit that you love that doesn’t fit just right, you can take it in and have the tailor alter it for you.

After you try your suit on, check the drape, fit, and overall look. The jacket should fit well across your shoulders without any bulges, and hang evenly when buttoned. Any patterns, like pinstripes, should transition throughout the suit without any gaps or deviations. You should also try to find a suit that has lining in the jacket. The lining helps the jacket fall well across the shoulders and from the top to the bottom of the jacket. It will also catch excess perspiration, which helps to extend the time between dry cleanings, although, an unlined jacket will keep you cooler in hot weather. Either way, you’ll look great as long as it fits well.

Proud to be the Best Man at my friends wedding

Hey folks, how is it going? I have been insanely busy over the last few days but here is something I want to share with you since it’s something I have never done before but I am extremely proud of. Recently, I was asked to the best man in my best friend’s wedding. I was more than happy to say yes and knew that I soon had to start building my list of responsibilities for the day. To help other best-men-to-be out, I have done some research and put together this guide of duties and tasks that are to be performed. Let’s hope everything works out as planned :)

Plan The Bachelor Party

When guys are asked to be members of the bridal party, their minds often first travel to the bachelor party. After all, this is a night of fun and shenanigans that the crew is sure to remember for the rest of their days. As a best men, it’s your job to make sure everyone has fun, but you also need to run through the plans with the groom. Find out where he wants to go, what activities he wants on the agenda and who he wants included on the guest list.

Prepare for Day-of Attire

Saying “yes” to a wedding party means that you need to respect the bride and groom’s wishes. Chances are, both of them are going to have a say in what you’ll be wearing for the day. Traditionally, the best men wears a tuxedo, so you’ll likely be expected to rent one. If you already own a tuxedo, be prepared for the couple to want you to wear a different one that matches with the rest of the guys in the bridal party.

Ceremony Responsibilities

No matter how big the wedding reception is or how many guests are there, the ceremony is the most important part of the day, and you need to really focus on your responsibilities here. Depending upon the customs and traditions of the couple, you may need to sign a marriage certificate or a ketubah. Also, the best man often holds the wedding rings. The ring bearer will likely carry fake rings attached to a pillow, and you’ll be responsible for handing the real ones to the couple when the time comes for them to say their vows.

Make a Speech

If you’ve never been to a wedding before, then you might not know about the big speech. At most wedding receptions, the best man will say a few words shortly after the cocktail hour has ended. This speech should be respectful of the couple. You know them well, so you will know what works. Infusing humor with charming memories of the couple often serves as the best type of speech. Don’t go on and on forever though; guests want to get to the partying.

Distribute Tips and Payments

During the ceremony and reception, a number of different people have to be tipped and paid. To prevent the groom from running around and doing all of this during his own wedding, you should take the reigns on this one. Before the wedding day, review the list of people who need to receive payments. The groom can put the money into envelopes so that you know who is to receive what.

So I hope this helps all of you who have the honor to be the best man on their friends wedding. To be honest, I have never thought about weddings but I want to do this right.

First post – Wooot!

Alright! Here we go! This is actually my second blog. I have to admit that I have been pretty lazy when it comes to writing for my first blog so let’s learn from our mistakes and make this one better than the last, shall we? :) I will be a bit busy over the next 2 weeks (a friend of mine is getting married and another friend is moving to my neighborhood and I have to help. So for now I just want to say hi to all of you who are reading this. There is more to come! See you soon :)


PS: Here is my favorite song right now. To set the mood and all… :)