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Body Transformation: Kerri Banished Self Doubt These 10 Companies Control The World 5 Healthy Summer Snack Recipes Healthy Recipes: 5 Muscle-Building Protein Goodies Ask The Fitness Jewell: How Can I Eat Healthy At A BBQ? AMP: Marc Megna 12 Surprising Fat-Burning Foods The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner 3 Fats That Can Help You Lose Weight BodySpace Member Of The Month: Nikki Walter, A Year Of Leading By Example
 

Body Transformation: Kerri Banished Self Doubt

Vital StatsName: Kerri BakerEmail: kerribfit@gmail.comWhy I decided to transformIn another lifetime, I was severely overweight. At my largest I weighed in at around 230 pounds, I just accepted my situation at face value thinking it was in my genetics to be overweight and unhappy. I was a fat kid and continued to be chubby into my young adulthood. I stopped caring in my 20s and the scale crept up over the 200s.After seeing a photo of myself on a hike with a friend a few years ago, I broke down in tears and decided it was time to take control of my life. I broke down on the floor of my closet, crying out of control over a summer of poor food choices and my 'fat pants' not fitting.Right then and there, I declared to myself that I would start living like a fit person. I had to scrape myself up and start believing I was fit and healthy before my reflection in the mirror actually confirmed it. My journey had to begin in my head.Staying positive has resulted in sustainable, long term weight loss. It breaks my heart that there are few pictures of me when I was overweight because I hid from cameras.Before After AGE 27 / HEIGHT 5'9" / BODY FAT 32%AGE 37 / HEIGHT 5'9" / BODY FAT 15%Post To FitboardHow I accomplished my goalsOver the last 10 years, I tried every fad diet. I cut carbs. I tried weight loss shakes. I took diet pills. I tried every shortcut known to man and I learned one very important lesson: there are no shortcuts. I was tired of losing ten pounds and gaining back twenty. I was tired of starving myself for a month, then binge eating for two. I felt like every time I started to see results I would sabotage myself with my self-talk that I 'never stick to anything.' For me, the moment I finally found success occurred when I identified why I wanted to change and started believing in myself.No amount of food or wine will ever be worth looking in a mirror and wanting to cry, lying on the floor of a closet in tears when your stretchy fat pants don't fit, or avoiding looking at your reflection in a car window because you know it will ruin your day. When I realized I didn't want to feel that way anymore, my results came and I changed from the inside out.Nothing unveils your true friends more than weight loss. My best friend several years ago told me she was sad for me because I was becoming less social when I stopped going to happy hours several nights a week with her. I don't know where she is now. It's sad, yes, but today all of the people in my life lift me up and celebrate with me, not try to belittle me for following a dream.My Weightloss Story About three years ago, I still had about 40 pounds to lose, so I posted on Facebook, "I'm going to compete in a bikini competition!" because the goal was so wild at the time it scared me. Four months later, I competed in my first show and won! I continued competing over the course of 3 years meeting lifelong friends and making connections with amazing women who inspire me. I qualified nationally last year, but have slowed down on the competition scene to focus on balance.I resigned from my software sales job last year and became a full-time personal trainer, so now I wake up every day with passion in my heart and true excitement for sharing wellness with others. I know what it's like to feel hopeless with weight loss.My goal today is to help other women find their strength and learn how to approach weight loss from the inside out.Apply Here To Be A TransformationOf The Week! Bodybuilding.com honors people across all transformation categories for their hard work and dedication. Learn how our featured transformers overcame obstacles and hit their goals!Supplements that helped me through the journey B Complex BCAAs Multivitamin Omega-3 Magnesium I currently practice intermittent fasting so my workouts are fasted. I typically wait at least 2 hours post-workout to eat. I supplement with BCAAs all day. Glucosomine Vitamin C Collagen Diet plan that guided my transformationI ate every 2-3 hours the first few years of my journey, but found I prefer practicing intermittent fasting and have eaten in a 6-hour food window every day for the last year very successfully. I drink at least a gallon of water per day. I found eating every 2-3 hours to cause me to be irritable, hungry all the time, never experienced true satiety, and more of an inclination to binge eat at scheduled cheat meals. I don't have any of those side effects with my IF window.I currently eat 4 meals between 4pm-10pm every day. I have successfully competed this way by cycling out carbs with three lower carbohydrate days cycled with a reefed day. I enjoyed my prep because I didn't struggle with the usual starvation and food issues many competitors struggle with. Chicken Breast 7 oz (in crock pot) Brown Rice 1 cup Spinach 2 cups Avocado 1/2 Salsa 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt 1 tbsp Sweet Potato Fries, Baked 6 oz Turkey Burgers 2 Asparagus Spears 10 Walden farms BBQ Sauce for dipping Burger Salad Lean Bison, BBQ 6 oz Spinach 2 cups Tomatoes, Onion, and Avocado Chopped Almonds Grated Cheddar Cheese Mustard As dressing Giant protein pancake Egg Whites Cinnamon Protein Powder Blueberries Cooked in Almond Butter or Coconut Oil Topped with either Walden Farms Maple Syrup Optional Training regimen that kept me on trackI always train full-body. I use a push, pull, and squat cycle. Triset Standing Military Press10 sets of 10 reps Bent Over Barbell Row10 sets of 10 reps One Leg Barbell Squat10 sets of 10 reps Note: Rest 1 minute between each set, then 30 seconds for the last 5 sets. Jogging-TreadmillWarm-up: 5 minutesSprint intervals: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10 minutes Triset Standing Military Press10 sets of 10 reps Bent Over Barbell Row10 sets of 10 reps One Leg Barbell Squat10 sets of 10 reps Note: Rest 1 minute between each set, then 30 seconds for the last 5 sets. Jogging-TreadmillWarm-up: 5 minutesSprint intervals: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10 minutes My day 6 is always a Saturday, and I have a strategic cheat meal on Saturday nights. It makes staying on track all week easy for me. I'll plan my intense plyo circuit for about 2-3 hours before the cheat meal.As a side note, my cheat meal is portion controlled and basically a carb reefed, not an excuse to binge eat or drink.What aspect challenged me the most"Beating my last 'best' and celebrating how far I've come is what keeps me going and positive."My mindset. When I first started losing weight, I spent a lot of time trying to re-program my thoughts. When something went wrong in my life or I was stressed out, I would let it be an excuse for my negative thoughts to creep back in and get off-track.Over the last few years, I've learned that life is going to happen, and the best thing we can do for ourselves when we're stressed is take care of ourselves first.I also struggled in the beginning of my competition experience with comparing myself with others, which is easy to do in the world of social media we live in, but I've learned to enjoy every competition as a chance to compete with one girl—me.Beating my last 'best' and celebrating how far I've come is what keeps me going and positive.My future fitness plansMy dream is to open a small fitness studio, where people of all fitness levels can come together and enjoy the process. I'd also love to publish a clean recipe book.Having been overweight for my entire life, one thing I've gotten really good at is inventing clean alternatives for food like pizza and ice cream. When you can include such alternatives in your diet year-round and stay lean, it becomes a sustainable lifestyle, not a diet.Suggestions for aspiring transformers Compare you to yourself. This is your journey, not someone else's. Take photos, even when you are embarrassed. My big regret is hiding from cameras because I hated how I looked. When you have a day you feel stalled, going back and looking at where you started will help keep you on-track. If you feel like you start and stop fad diets all the time without success, get a reality check on yourself. Why do you want to change? What aren't you happy about? How does it feel to be unhappy? What will happen if you don't change? Having a head-on conversation with yourself about those things will really help you stay on-track and finish. When you think about quitting, you can go back and revisit those reasons and feelings. How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goalsI originally started my journey when I was very overweight. I remember reading about Jamie Eason in a magazine and thinking, "Wow, she is so lucky!" Over time I realized she isn't lucky—she works hard and chooses to live a certain lifestyle. The "side effect" of this lifestyle is looking amazing and feeling good.Following Jamie Eason led me to Bodybuilding.com, where I used the app and learned every workout move under the sun. I also stalked transformation stories, started learning about and ordering supplements that helped with my transformation, and connected with other fitness buffs through BodySpace.Kerri's Top Gym TracksMuseEminemWill.i.amGarth BrooksPhoto Credit: Benjamin GayRecommended For YouBody Transformation: Karin Caldwell Makes Things Happen No Matter What Karin didn't let anything get in the way of her commitment to training and her diet, even if she had to eat cold chicken and fish in the car.Body Transformation: Paula Knaley Is In The Shape Of Her Life! When the going got tough, Paula turned to her new healthy lifestyle for strength, and it paid off!Body Transformation: From Punk Rocker To Fit Body Rocker Becca is a total rock star around her family and friends, as her transformation has inspired them and left them all in awe.About The AuthorFemale Transformation Of The WeekHave you made a dramatic change either by gaining muscle or by losing all the weight you have been hoping for?View All Articles By This Author

These 10 Companies Control The World’s Food

These 10 Companies Control The World’s Food

From 24/7 Wall St.: The agriculture and food production industry employed more than one billion people as of last year, or a third of the global workforce. While the industry is substantial, a relatively small number of companies wield an enormous amount of influence.In its 2013 report, “Behind the Brands,” Oxfam International focused on 10 of the world’s biggest and most influential food and beverage companies. These corporations are so powerful that their policies can have a major impact on the diets and working conditions of people worldwide, as well as on the environment. Based on the report, these are the 10 companies that control the world’s food.Click here to see the companies that control the world’s food.In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Chris Jochnick, director of the private sector department at Oxfam America, discussed the impact that these 10 companies have on the world. “If you look at the massive global food system, it’s hard to get your head around. Just a handful of companies can dictate food choices, supplier terms and consumer variety,” Jochnick said.These 10 companies are among the largest in the world by a number of measures. All of them had revenues in the tens of billions of dollars in 2013. Five of these companies had at least $50 billion in assets, while four had more than $6 billion in profits last year. Additionally, these 10 companies directly employed more than 1.5 million people combined — and contracted with far more.Nestle is the largest of these 10 companies. Converted into dollars, Nestle had more than $100 billion in sales and more than $11 billion in profits in 2013. The Switzerland food giant alone employed roughly 333,000 people.Many of these companies and their brands are extremely well known. One reason is that they often spend huge sums on advertising. Nine of these 10 companies were among the 100 largest media spenders in the world in 2012. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), the world’s sixth largest advertiser, spent more than $3 billion in 2012 on advertising. Unilever’s media expenditure, at $7.4 billion, was the second-highest worldwide.With such scale, many of these companies’ policies — including advertising, food ingredients, environmental impact, and labor practices — have an significant impact on millions of lives. Often, these companies have been reluctant to address issues related to their environmental impact and the quality of life of workers in their supply chain. According to Jochnick, many of these companies are “unaware of the social and environmental impact that they are creating or facilitating.”However, not all the companies are reluctant to address these problems. None of the 10 companies was better-rated by Oxfam than Nestle, which was closely followed by Unilever. Still, even these companies had problems, according to Oxfam’s 2013 report. In 2011, Nestle discovered cases of children working in its cocoa supply chain, as well as instances of forced labor. A supplier of palm oil for Unilever was accused of illegal deforestation and forcible land grabs.A strong public profile, as well as consumer awareness, may lead these companies to address issues of concern. “A company that is good and trusted ought to be a company that is aware of, and taking steps to avoid, serious human rights or social or environmental problems that it is part of,” Jochnick said.Some companies have taken steps towards becoming better corporate citizens. General Mills and Kellogg, which have been among the 10 companies Oxfam studied, have implemented new policies to address important issues such as climate change. Both companies recently committed to disclosing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years.Based on Oxfam International’s 2013 report, “Behind the Brands: Food justice and the ‘Big 10’ food and beverage companies,” 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 companies that control the world’s food. We also added information on each company’s revenue, net profit, total assets, and employee count from their most recent annual report. Data were translated from foreign currencies based on the exchange rate on the final date of each company’s reporting period. Information on companies’ brands come from corporate websites and Oxfam. Data on 2012 advertising expenditures are from Advertising Age’s report, “Global Marketers 2013,” and are estimates. Estimates for Mars Incorporated, which is privately held, are from Forbes’ report “America’s Largest Private Companies 2013.”These are the companies that control the world’s food, according to 24/7 Wall St.: > Revenue: $21.1 billion > Advertising spending: N/A > Profits: $837 million > Employees: 112,652 Associated British Foods is a U.K. food manufacturer that has built out a global presence largely through acquisitions. Associated British Foods operates sugar factories, sells food ingredients to wholesale and industry customers, and manufactures consumer products such as Mazola corn oil and Twinings tea. According to Oxfam, the company received low marks for its practices in water use, having failed to conduct impact assessments, while also failing to adopt strong practices in managing its water supply chain. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $46.9 billion > Advertising spending: $3.0 billion > Profits: $8.6 billion > Employees: 130,600 Coca-Cola is among the most valuable brands in the world. In total, Coca-Cola and its bottlers sold sold 28.2 billion cases worth of drinks, of which 47% were “trademark Coca-Cola.” In total, sales for The Coca-Cola Company were nearly $47 billion in its latest fiscal year. Overall, The Coca-Cola Company scores well for a number of practices, including addressing inequality for women working in production and supporting female empowerment for workers in its supply chain. The company is also well-rated for its land-management practices. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $29.3 billion > Advertising spending: $1.2 billion > Profits: $2.0 billion > Employees: 104,642 France’s Groupe Danone has a truly global presence. Its largest market, by sales, is Russia, followed by France, the U.S., China, and Indonesia. According to the company, Danone is the world’s largest seller of fresh dairy products, which accounted for 11.8 billion euros in revenue, or over half of the company’s total sales in 2013. Danone is also among the world’s largest sellers of early life nutrition products and bottled waters. Danone received high scores for its policies in a number of major issues, including transparency and managing water resources. However, the company also received low scores in other policies, including its handling of land and farming issues. Danone received the lowest score of any company from Oxfam for its policies regarding women’s issues in agricultural production. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $17.9 billion > Advertising spending: $1.1 billion > Profits: $1.8 billion > Employees: 43,000 General Mills owns a number of America’s best-known brands, including Betty Crocker, Green Giant, and Pillsbury. No company received a lower rating from Oxfam for its overall approach to major policy issues. General Mills had the lowest scores in awareness and policies regarding climate change. Recently, however, General Mills announced new initiatives designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain. As part of the announcement, General Mills also pledged to implement specific emissions targets, to review supplier practices, and to name its largest suppliers of palm oil and sugar in order to improve transparency. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $14.8 billion > Advertising spending: $1.1 billion > Profits: $1.8 billion > Employees: 30,277 Among the top food companies, Kellogg is the smallest by revenue. Still, as of 2013, the company had nearly $15 billion in sales, a similar amount in total assets, and more than 30,000 employees. Kellogg also owns a large number of very well-known brands, including Kellogg’s cereal, Keebler, and Pringles, which it acquired in 2012 for $2.7 billion. According to Kellogg, it is the world’s leading cereal company and the second-largest maker of cookies. In all, Kellogg makes 1,600 different foods, which it sells in more than 180 different countries. Kellogg received a lower overall rating from Oxfam for its practices than all but two of the other 10 companies. However, in a recent release, Oxfam praised Kellogg for its pledge to cut greenhouse emissions in its supply chain. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $33.0 billion > Advertising spending: $2.2 billion > Profits: N/A > Employees: 60,000 Mars is the the only one of the world’s 10 largest food companies that is privately owned. Mars owns several well-known chocolate brands, such as M&Ms, Milky Way, Snickers and Twix. Mars also owns a range of food brands such as Uncle Ben’s rice, as well as chewing gum and candy-maker Wrigley. Among the big 10 global food companies, Mars received the lowest policy ratings for water and land issues. In both cases, Oxfam penalized the company for its lack of knowledge of its environmental impact, as well as for its supplier policies. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $35.3 billion > Advertising spending: $1.9 billion > Profits: $3.9 billion > Employees: 107,000 In 2012, Kraft Foods split into two separate companies, Kraft Foods Group and Mondelez. While Kraft Foods Group took North American grocery brands, Mondelez took its snacks and candies brands, which include Cadbury, Nabisco, Oreo, and Trident, among many others. The company had over $35 billion in revenue and more than $72 billion in assets as of last year. It also employed 100,000 workers worldwide. According to Oxfam, Mondelez received low marks for its transparency, as well as for its handling of issues related to climate change and workers. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $103.5 billion > Advertising spending: $3.0 billion > Profits: $11.2 billion > Employees: 333,000 By many measures, Nestle is the largest of the 10 food companies, with more than 92 billion Swiss francs in revenue last year — net profit and total asset figures that dwarf other food companies — and roughly 333,000 employees. Nestle is also the top-rated company by Oxfam for its approach to major policy issues. It received the highest scores for addressing transparency, water use, and climate change of any major food company. In its 2013 report, Oxfam highlighted Nestle’s efforts in addressing labor abuses the company discovered in its cocoa supply chain in the Ivory Coast. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $66.4 billion > Advertising spending: $2.5 billion > Profits: $6.7 billion > Employees: 274,000 In addition to owning famous soda brands such as Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Gatorade, PepsiCo also controls food brands such as Tostitos, Doritos, and Quaker. PepsiCo also employed nearly a quarter of a million people worldwide at the end of 2013. Pepsi was among the world’s biggest advertisers. Advertising Age estimates that PepsiCo’s worldwide media spending totalled $2.5 billion in 2012. According to three groups that measure brand value — Interbrand, BrandZ, and CoreBrand — Pepsi is one of the world’s most valuable brands in any industry. While PepsiCo received a lower score on policy issues than three other companies reviewed by Oxfam, it has developed a reputation for company responsibility in at least one area. CEO Indra Nooyi has pushed for healthier products in her time at the helm of the company. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. > Revenue: $68.5 billion > Advertising spending: $7.4 billion > Profits: $6.7 billion > Employees: 174,381 Unilever products are hardly limited to food and drinks. The U.K.- and Netherlands-based group also makes personal care and home care products. Still, its foods and refreshments businesses accounted for almost 23 billion euros of the company’s nearly 50 billion euros in revenue last year. Brands owned by Unilever include Lipton tea, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, to name only a few. Unilever generally scores fairly well for its efforts in addressing policy issues. Oxfam rated it above all other companies for its worker and farming policies. Only Nestle received a higher overall rating for its handling of the issues highlighted by Oxfam. Read more at 24/7 Wall St. Advertisement Current Slide

5 Healthy Summer Snack Recipes

Summertime is all about getting together with your friends, soaking up some sun, and devouring delicious food. However barbecues, parties, and picnics don't always have a healthy spread for those of us keeping an eye on our macros.Don't get me wrong: I have a serious weakness for steak and potato salad, but sometimes it's nice to add a little healthy variation to traditional summer snacks. My favorite way to is to pair fresh fruits and vegetables with protein ... and add a skewer!These five recipes are quick and easy because my adventures and social life are a high priority. That's what summer is all about, after all. Most of them only have about four ingredients and take about five minutes to prepare. But trust me, they look and taste like restaurant-quality appetizers!So the next time you're headed to a party, bring some of these simple, fresh skewers and snacks to share. Better yet, feel free to be selfish and hide them all in your fridge! 1 Caprese Salad This Italian specialty is probably one of the most delicious combinations of flavors ever created. Layer fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil, and you have a beautiful dish that is impossible not to like!2 vine tomatoes 8 ounces fresh mozzarella Fresh basil leaves Optional Walden Farms balsamic vinegar Sea salt and olive oil Cut the mozzarella and tomatoes in quarter-inch slices. Layer them on a plate with the basil leaves. Optional: Drizzle balsamic vinegar or try a little sea salt and olive oil combination. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe makes 8Amount per servingCalories 74Total Fat5gTotal Carbs1gProtein5gCaprese Salad PDF (26.5 KB) 2 Red Pear and Prosciutto Skewers Putting together sweet pears with salty prosciutto is a seriously tasty treat. The combination of textures just makes it even better. Bring this dish to a get-together and I bet you won't even get to eat one.2 red pears Package of prosciutto Walden Farms balsamic vinegar 4 skewers Chop the pears into triangular wedges. Roll slices of prosciutto and then cut into halves. Alternate pears and prosciutto on the skewers. Plate and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe Makes 4Amount per servingCalories 118Total Fat6gTotal Carbs12gProtein8gRed Pear and Prosciutto Skewers PDF (26.4 KB) 3 Turkey Avocado Skewers If you're watching your carb intake, these skewers are a great choice. The healthy fats from the avocado and the lean protein from the turkey are a perfect way to meet your nutritional goals without any extra or empty calories.2 ripe avocados Organic roasted turkey breast, sliced Raspberry vinaigrette 8 skewers Peel and chop avocados into triangular wedges. Roll turkey slices and cut into halves. Alternate avocado and turkey pieces on the skewers. Plate and drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe makes 8Amount per servingCalories 104Total Fat7gTotal Carbs4gProtein6gTurkey Avocado Skewers PDF (26.5 KB) 4 Cucumber Crab Wraps The tuna and crackers snack is good, sure, but sometimes you need to add a little "fancy" to your nutrition. Instead of crackers, use fresh cucumber, and eat crab instead of tuna. It's a wonderfully refreshing low-cal play on an old favorite.3 oz crab meat 2 tbsp fat-free mayo 1 cucumber 1/2 scallion 2 tsp dill pickle relish Peel cucumber and cut lengthwise into thin strips. Combine mayo, relish, and scallions in a bowl and stir. Place mayo mixture and crab pieces on a strip of cucumber, roll the cucumber, and fasten with a toothpick. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe makes 6Amount per servingCalories 22Total Fat1gTotal Carbs3gProtein1gCucumber Crab Wraps PDF (26.5 KB) 5 Teriyaki Tangelo Chicken Skewers These excellent skewers are made with an Asian twist. The tangelos and teriyaki go perfectly with protein-packed chicken. It's a yummy, healthy, fun dish that's secretly easy but looks gourmet.2 tangelos Organic oven-roasted chicken breast, sliced 2 tbsp fat-free teriyaki sauce 8 skewers Peel and divide tangelos into triangular wedges. Roll the chicken slices and then cut into halves. Alternate tangelos and chicken slices on the skewers. Plate and drizzle with teriyaki sauce. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe makes 8Amount per servingCalories 45Total Fat1gTotal Carbs4gProtein5gTeriyaki Tangelo Chicken Skewers PDF (26.6 KB)Recommended For You5 Healthy Protein-Packed Spring Salad Recipes If you can't handle another Tupperware lunch of chicken and rice, then we can help you out. Here are three delicious recipes that will support your summer shred goals!Your $75 Healthy Grocery List And Recipe Guide! Not sure you can feed your gains on a limited budget? Learn how to stick to your diet without breaking the bank. Recipes and grocery list included!Vegan-Friendly Protein Dinner Recipe If you're vegetarian or vegan, meeting protein needs can be tough. This protein-packed tofu recipe provides the protein your muscles need and the taste your palate deserves!About The AuthorMeghan KahnleMeghan Kahnle is a Bodybuilding.com Web Designer who loves traveling, staying fit, teaching, and of course, cooking! Let's Tango!View All Articles By This Author

Healthy Recipes: 5 Muscle-Building Protein Goodies

Pssst, here's a pro tip: That tub of protein powder is actually a lot more than just an ingredient you simply dump into a smoothie or shaker bottle. With a little creativity and know-how, you can magically turn otherwise boring or "bad" foods into lip-smacking, health-promoting sensations that will forever change the way you use protein powders.Whether you're just waking up for your morning meal, pining for a quick snack, or hankering for a smart alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner, these recipes will get both your taste buds and muscles excited for more! 1 Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Protein Bars If you love the combination of chocolate and banana, you'll go absolutely bananas for these bars. Created by Jaime Baird, Online Editor-in-Chief of FitnessRx for Women and IFBB Bikini pro, these bars combine the perfect amount of protein and carbs to serve as a post-workout treat. Even if you aren't coming out of a workout, you can still nosh on them anytime during the day. They're perfect for keeping around in the fridge or freezer.3 scoops Milk Chocolate Gaspari Nutrition MyoFusion Advanced 1/2 cup brown rice flower 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 ripe banana 1/2 cup water 2/3 cup egg whites 1 scoop Vanilla Gaspari Nutrition Isofusion 4 tbsp peanut butter powder (such as PB2) 1/4 cup egg whites Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the chocolate MyoFusion, brown rice flour, and baking powder in a bowl. In a blender, combine the ripe banana, water, and 2/3 cup egg whites. Stir in the dry ingredients until well-mixed. Spray a glass baking pan with non-stick spray and pour batter into the dish. In another bowl, combine the vanilla IsoFusion with peanut butter powder and 1/4 cup egg whites. Pour this mixture onto the chocolate batter in straight lines. Run a knife across the batter to create the swirled appearance. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick in the center section of the bars and it comes out clean. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe yields 6 barsAmount per servingCalories 191Total Fat2gTotal Carbs22gProtein20gChocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Protein Bars PDF (27.4 KB) 2 Low-Carb MyoFusion Pancakes One downside of a low-carb diet is not being able to savor fluffy pancakes, but fret not: these amazing low-carb cakes are here to rescue you! Born from the mind of Ms. Bikini Olympia Ashley Kaltwasser, these protein pancakes will meet your nutrition needs while punching your pancake-loving taste buds.This high-protein pancake uses coconut flour, which has a low net carb content due to its high fiber content. Delicious and satisfying, these pancakes will keep you satisfied for hours.If you want to bump up the fat content or add that extra magical touch, melt a tablespoon or two of natural peanut butter in the microwave and pour over the cakes before serving.1 scoop Cinnamon Roll Gaspari Nutrition MyoFusion Probiotic Series 1 cup egg whites 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 cup coconut flour 2 tbsp water Combine all ingredients together in a shaker cup. Spoon out about 2 tbsp of batter at a time onto a pre-heated non-stick skillet. As batter starts to bubble, flip the pancake and allow to cook for another 30-60 seconds on the other side until done. If you don't use all the batter, store the remainder in the fridge. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe yields 1 servingAmount per servingCalories 394Total Fat5gTotal Carbs29gProtein57gLow-Carb MyoFusion Pancakes PDF (26.5 KB) 3 Protein Powered PB Muffins Muffins make for a great on-the-go snack, but they're generally so calorie- and sugar-laden that their dietary pitfalls far outweigh their convenience. Thankfully, these muffins not only pack a substantial dose of protein but also sneak in some kale to provide a huge boost of vitamins and minerals to each muffin."You can even make them low- or higher-carb depending on your diet," says Collin Wasiak, who created this delicious treat, "so they're versatile enough to follow you through your entire year of training."1-1/2 scoops Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Gaspari Nutrition MyoFusion Elite 1-1/2 tbsp Chobani Greek Yogurt 1-1/2 tbsp natural peanut butter Sprinkling of cinnamon 1 cup kale 1-2 tbsp old-fashioned oats (optional) Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees. Blend all the ingredients together and place into a muffin tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe yields 4 servingAmount per servingCalories 121Total Fat6gTotal Carbs7gProtein12gProtein Powered PB Muffins PDF (26.4 KB) 4 Creamy Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream An icy-cold treat such as this creamy peanut butter banana ice cream is the perfect panacea to sizzling summer days without going off-plan. Filled with lean protein, healthy fat, and some fiber, it'll satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you lean and giving you a brain freeze. You can also remove the peanut butter (gasp!) if you prefer a lighter option while dieting.1 scoop Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Gaspari Nutrition MyoFusion Elite 1 frozen banana 1 tbsp natural peanut butter 1/2 cup almond milk 1/2 tsp xanthan gum 1-2 ice cubes Place all the ingredients in the blender and pulse blend until desired consistency is reached. Drink immediately. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe yields 2 servingAmount per servingCalories 228Total Fat8gTotal Carbs19gProtein22gCreamy Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream PDF (26.2 KB) 5 The Ultimate Muscle-Building Pancake Created by legend Rich Gaspari, this ultimate pancake serves up the perfect muscle- building mix to take in immediately after your workout. It's certainly a refreshing and portable alternative to your typical post-workout protein shake.This post-workout cake is rich in quality protein, high in complex carbohydrates, and contains minimal added fats.If using it at any other point during the day, simply smear with some natural almond butter or peanut butter to fold in those healthy fats.6 egg whites 1/2 cup quick oats 1 scoop Gaspari Nutrition MyoFusion Elite (any flavor) 2 tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup Combine the egg whites, quick oats, and protein powder. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and coat with a non-stick spray. Pour 1/4 cup of the pancake batter into the pan and let cook until bubbles begin to appear. Pour more cakes. Flip and cook on the other sides until firm. Serve with the syrup or your choice of topping, depending on your macronutrient needs. For extra protein, add some additional protein powder for dusting! Nutrition FactsServing Size: Recipe yields 2 servingAmount per servingCalories 292Total Fat5gTotal Carbs30gProtein33gThe Ultimate Muscle-Building Pancake PDF (26.6 KB)Recommended For YouWhy You Need Whey Did you ever see a study that seemed to contradict common sense when it comes to the basics of exercise and supplementation? You're not the only one. Here's how to break down the flaws in anti-supp research and take away lessons you can really use!Optimize Your Gut Health With Prebiotics Like Inulin! Probiotics are a popular supplement for gut health, but prebiotics can be just as beneficial. Get everything you need to know about how the prebiotic inulin can help your good gut bacteria!Citrulline Malate: The Fatigue Fighter! No modern pre-workout or pump-boosting supplement is complete without citrulline. Here's why this amino acid is earning its way to the ergogenic hall of fame!About The AuthorShannon ClarkI’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.View All Articles By This Author

Ask The Fitness Jewell: How Can I Eat Healthy At A BBQ?

Vital StatsName: Jen JewellOccupation: Personal Trainer, Cellucor Athlete, fitness model and fitness writer QSummer barbecue invites are tempting, but I'm afraid the foods will wreak havoc on my fitness goals. How do I hit up the grill but keep my options healthy? Even though the summer days might be waning a bit faster than anyone would like, barbecue events continue on! For people who attend unprepared, the picnic tables can be glutted with nutritional landmines: succulent baby back ribs with too much barbecue sauce, greasy burgers, mystery-meat hot dogs, an uneven ratio of chips to salsa—never enough salsa—and copious amounts of booze.What's a person with fitness goals to do?Fortunately, after reading this, you will be more than prepared to eat at any summer event without having to compromise your fitness objectives. The key is to plan ahead and bring something you know will be "safe" to eat so you can avoid some of the most common diet pitfalls.From preparing your own healthy side dishes to saying no to the fruit cocktail, you can dance around these six pitfalls while still having fun and rockin' your abs.Pitfall 1 Solution Chips have long been a barbecue staple, but like the Pringles commercial says, "Once you pop, the fun don't stop." Chips typically throw portion control out the window, especially as you hungrily wait for the main course.This mindless consumption of fat and vegetable oils from the chips simply does not cooperate with anyone's health and fitness goals.I say skip the chips entirely. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but your fail-safe measure would be to bring your own big bowl of fruit salad or a fresh veggie platter to enjoy. Crunchy carrots and celery can provide a crispity-crunch similar to the chips—without wrecking your waistline. Don't be afraid to go heavy on tomato salsa, as well.If chips are absolutely something you want, there are now healthier baked and popped variants available in stores.Pitfall 2 Solution One dip, two dips, and three dips later—the calories and fat sure add up quickly, even with veggies! Store-bought dips are usually the worst offenders because of long ingredient lists and obscene amounts of fat.Steer clear, and if you must indulge, stick to the tomato-based salsa or moderate servings of guacamole. If you've been put on dip duty, easily sneak in extra protein by whipping up a packet of powdered dressing with low-fat plain Greek yogurt.And there you have it—delicious, healthy dip!Pitfall 3 Solution Beer, margaritas, and summery cocktails all have their place on barbecue menus and aren't likely to disappear anytime soon. Watching your alcohol and calorie intake—while not being a complete buzzkill—is a delicate process. Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy your adult beverages and not drink a quarter of a day's worth of calories in one glass.First, cutting out mixers such as juice, sugary soda, or anything with "creme" in the name will drastically cut calories per drink. Instead of fruit juice or premade cocktail mixes, use club soda and squeeze in lemon or lime with your alcohol of choice.If you love your brews, stick to light beers; the greater the alcohol content, the greater the number of calories. Love wine? Wine definitely has its healthy perks, but the quantity can add up quickly. Stick with red wine and try to avoid the sweeter varieties.Remember to be mindful of how much you drink, and raise a glass to living the fit life!Pitfall 4 Solution Leave the greasy beef patties and overly salty hot dogs on the table; their protein-to-fat ratio is typically abysmal.Instead, bring your own lean protein source like chicken, lean steak, or salmon, which all taste spectacular when grilled on the 'cue.If it's a burger you're after, then leaner ground beef, buffalo patties, or turkey patties will work.If your only option is what the host has in hand, eat the patty without the bun, using lettuce and veggies to dress your burger.Pitfall 5 Solution The last backyard soiree I went to actually had more desserts than it did regular food: cookies, cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and pies—you name it! Had I known ahead of time that the dessert spread would rival Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, I would have been more prepared.Choose a simple protein treat recipe that's both delicious and satisfying for your sweet tooth, sans sugar crash and extra calories. Try whipping up a batch of protein brownies or maybe even this protein berry cheesecake. There are so many choices that the main problem now is deciding on one!Of course, if you don't have the time to prepare dessert ahead of time and you want to nibble on some sugary goodness, I recommend choosing one dessert and sticking to that one. You tend to run into trouble when you want to "sample" a little bit of everything.Pitfall 6 Solution Forgo the traditional macaroni salad, and opt for an actual salad—you know, one with real vegetables that aren't drenched in fat. Your salad doesn't have to look like rabbit food.Stack your plate full of as many veggies you can get your hands on! The greater the variety of crunch, texture, and color to the salad, the better. Your salad will be more filling and satisfying than just, well, lettuce.If you live for a side serving of potatoes, mash up some sweet potatoes and top them with cinnamon! Or even cut them length-wise and bake them to make some awesome baked sweet potato fries for folks to enjoy with their fare.Balance, BBQ-HopperIn the end, it's all about balance. You don't have to bring everything to a barbecue, but remember that you probably shouldn't indulge in the chips, alcohol, dips, greasy protein, and decadent desserts all at once!Play a little give or take and tell yourself that if you opt in for chips, you'll have to cut down on alcohol. If you want dessert, skip the chips and alcohol. And so on.With so many healthy alternatives to traditional barbecue foods out there, there's no reason you should think twice about accepting an invite. Taking these simple steps and preparing ahead of time will make it far easier to stay on track with your fitness goals.Recommended For YouAsk The Fitness Jewell: How Do I Stop Beating Myself Up Over Food? An indulgent meal here and there shouldn't throw you off the fitness wagon. Overcome an all-or-nothing mentality with The Fitness Jewell.Ask The Fitness Jewell: What Are Some Booty-Building Squat Alternatives? Although squats are great for constructing a better butt, they're sometimes hard on an injured or stiff lower back. When that happens, call on these excellent glute-building alternatives!Be An Alpha Girl: 5 Tips To Better Workouts And More Self Confidence The rank of alpha is reserved for the boldest, baddest girl in the gym. If you want to be that girl, apply these 5 tips to your workout regimen today.About The AuthorJen JewellInternationally published fitness model, fitness writer, and certified personal trainer Jen Jewell has maintained a passion for staying active...View All Articles By This Author

AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer, Nutrition And Supplements

Main | Training | Nutrition & Supplements | Phase 1 | Phase 2 | Phase 3 | Phase 4 | Get StartedThe purpose of the AMP program is to bridge the gap between aesthetics and performance. To be the best in either category, you have to train specifically for that goal, but I firmly believe there's a sweet spot where you can walk in both worlds. You can have great performance and great aesthetics at the same time. How you eat is the most important part of bridging that gap.When I was playing football, I was big, I was strong, I was fast, but I was a big block of mass. I performed well, but I didn't really look how I wanted to look. Now, I think many athletes have turned the corner. They perform extremely well, and want to have nice shoulders and ripped abs as well.Many of the improvements in athletes' aesthetics have come from a greater knowledge of nutrition and supplementation. I believe that you can fuel your body for performance and enhance your aesthetics.AMP Watch The Video - 08:55Knowing what food to eat, when to eat it, and how to prepare it are the keys to improving your aesthetics and performance. More important, though, is having discipline. Eating properly is a challenge; even I struggle sometimes. But if you're not paying attention to the effects food can have on your body, you're going to have all sorts of problems. Be consistently mindful.Nutrition is essential to enhancing your performance. What you eat can improve your immune system, keep your bones and ligaments strong, and provide proper fuel for training and recovery. If you're not properly fueled, you'll be tired. When you're dragging, you're much more susceptible to injury.In regard to aesthetics, you're not going to look good unless you eat the right food at the right times. Your body composition requires constant attention to how many grams of protein, carbs, and fats you eat at each meal.AMP Nutrition PhilosophyWith this program, you'll receive a sample meal plan and food list. Your meal plan won't change much week to week, but with each new phase, you'll implement a new healthy habit. Watch each phase's corresponding video so you know exactly which habit you'll be adopting in each phase.Every day, you'll eat three meals and two snacks. When I say snack, I don't mean a candy bar or a bag of chips. Think of your snacks as smaller meals.Macronutrient RatioYour meals and snacks should come from the following sources and fall near these amounts:Men40 percent of calories from carbs 40 percent of calories from protein 20 percent of calories from fat Women50 percent of calories from protein 30 percent of calories from carbs 20 percent of calories from fat AMP Meal PlanThe AMP meal plan is very simple. On days that you ask a little more from your body, you're going to give it a little more fuel. So, on your lifting and cardio days, you'll take in more calories than you will on your rest days. You'll notice that, as you go through the program and your body starts to respond, you'll have to start paying more attention to your nutrition.Lift Day NutritionOn resistance days, you'll eat more carbs so your body is fueled to go big. You'll take in starchy carbs throughout the day. Refer to the foods list below to fill in this template.Fruit Lean Protein Lean Protein Vegetable Lean Protein Vegetable BCAAs: 5 grams BCAAs: 5 grams Protein: 20 grams Carbohydrate: 60 grams (dextrose, Gatorade) OR 1 serving mass gainer Starch/whole grain Lean protein Vegetable Cardio Day NutritionOn cardio days, eat some simple sugars after your workout. That will help fuel and replenish your glycogen levels for the next day.Fruit Lean protein Lean protein Vegetable Lean protein Vegetable BCAAs: 5 grams Protein: 20 grams Carbohydrate: 30 grams (dextrose, Gatorade) Starch/whole grain Lean protein Vegetable Rest Meal PlanOn off days, we'll take a break from supplementation and starchy carbs. On rest days, get your carbohydrates only from vegetables, and be sure to eat plenty of protein for recovery and growth.Lean protein Vegetable Lean protein Vegetable Lean protein Vegetable Legume Lean protein Vegetable Lean protein Vegetable Food ListThis meal plan is basic and really easy to change. If there's something you don't like, you don't have to eat it. I don't want anybody force-feeding themselves on this program. You can mix and match any of the foods on the list.The quality of your food and how you prepare it is essential to your success in this program. Do the best you can to prepare your meals at home so you know exactly what you get. AMP Food List Protein Carbs Fat EggsLean beefBisonChickenTurkeyFish  QuinoaBuckwheatBarleySweet potatoesBrown riceKaleCabbage BroccoliBell peppersAsparagusCelerySpinachMixed greensOranges GrapefruitStrawberriesBlueberriesRaspberriesBlackberries   Coconut oilAvocadoOlive oilChia seedPeanut butterFlax seedRaw nuts AMP SupplementationWhole foods are absolutely essential to your performance and your physique. Supplements, however, can give you the extra edge so you're better fueled during your workouts and can recover from them more quickly and efficiently.AMP SupplementsWe're going to utilize just four supplements in this program: Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), a multivitamin, protein powder, and carbs like dextrose from a dedicated supplement or blend, such as a mass gainer.You'll supplement with BCAAs because they aid muscle building and help you recover between workouts.Protein powder is important because sometimes it's difficult to get enough with just whole foods. Getting ample protein will also help you stay anabolic throughout the day.A carbohydrate supplement like dextrose or even a mass gainer is great to take post-workout to replenish your glycogen levels and provide some carbohydrates to facilitate muscle building.Taking a multivitamin is a great addition to your supplement protocol because it ensures that your body is getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal health.MuscleTech View ProductWhey protein is a fast-absorbing milk protein that can help aid strength gains and muscle growth. Taking this supplement before and after you train may help fuel your muscles through workouts and allow them to recover more efficiently. If you're busy during the day, a whey protein shake can even serve as an easy meal replacement.MuscleTech Platinum 100% Whey delivers 24 grams of protein and 5.5 grams of BCAAs. With only four grams of total carbohydrates, it's a great match for the AMP program because we want the protein content without the extra calories from carbs and fat.MuscleTech View ProductBranched chain amino acids are three of the nine essential amino acids that your body needs to get from food. They are L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine. These amino acids are critical to your muscle growth because they are metabolized in the muscles instead of the liver. A BCAA supplement is an important part of your supplement stack because it can help preserve your lean mass and prevent catabolism.For the AMP trainer, we'll use BCAA Caps before and during our workouts. The product will deliver the perfect ratio of L-leucine to L-isoleucine, to L-valine: 8:1:1. You'll get a huge hit of L-leucine to ensure your muscles are primed for muscle building.* Platinum BCAA 8:1:1 caps provide 1,000 grams of pure BCAAs so you can build clean muscle.*MuscleTech View ProductSome people are naturally lean and find it hard to put on muscle without a lot of extra calories. For many people, eating 4,000 or more calories in whole food is a terrifying idea. A weight gainer is essentially a protein powder that has been packed with extra carbohydrates and fat to facilitate muscle growth so you don't have to spend all day eating.Even if you aren't a hardgainer, MASS-TECH is a great choice for a post-workout meal because it includes a great ratio of carbs, fat, and protein for recovery and growth. Because this product has a lot of calories, make sure you adjust the serving size to match your goals.MuscleTech View ProductEverybody can use a multivitamin. It's a great supplement that can support any health and fitness goal.* If you're short on any vitamin or mineral, you may have a more difficult time making gains.* Intense training requires a lot of healthy fuel, so adding a multivitamin can ensure your body is getting everything it needs to perform.*MuscleTech Platinum Multivitamin offers 20 vitamins and minerals as well as 865mgs of amino support. It also includes an herbal matrix that may help increase your body's ability to burn excess fat.** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.About The AuthorMuscleTechTons of people are using them everyday with great results.View All Articles By This Author

12 Surprising Fat-Burning Foods

Choosing fat-fighting foods usually means a trip down the produce aisle in your local supermarket, but there are plenty of good alternatives that can help keep your calorie count down.While veggies are always a good place to start, we've added some surprise choices from other sections of the grocery store that can help you whittle your middle. 1 Mussels These bivalve mollusks are loaded with lean protein. Steam them in water with a little white wine—the alcohol will cook off—for a fast meal. Another upside to mussels is that they take some time to eat, forcing you to eat slower.This gives your internal satiety sensors time to register the food you're eating, so you end up eating less. 2 Almonds Despite initially being banned from fat-loss diets because of their high fat content, almonds offer the satiating trio of fiber, protein and dietary fat. Research has also shown that almonds have 20 percent fewer calories than was initially thought. 3 Pumpkin Thought mainly thought of as a seasonal dessert indulgence, pumpkin is packed with fiber, which slows digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. Canned pumpkin—which contains no added sugar—is available year-round and can be used to make low-carb pancakes, a protein-packed pumpkin pie, or tossed in a smoothie with some whey, walnuts and cinnamon. 4 Beets This earthy-tasting nutritional powerhouse is loaded with compounds called nitrates. Nitrates help increase vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels) and boost your performance in the gym. The harder you work in the gym, the more calories you'll burn, and the leaner you'll get.Boil beets and eat them sliced on a burger Australian-style. You can also dice beets and toss them with feta cheese as a great side to your favorite protein. 5 Avocados Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats. In a study published in "Diabetes Care," these fats were shown to reduce deep abdominal fat when used to replace dietary saturated fat. Avocados are also a good source of fiber.You don't need to be fancy with your avocados: Slice one in half, sprinkle on a little salt, eat with a spoon, and enjoy the yummy goodness knowing your body approves as much as your taste buds do. 6 Cheese Sticks Arnold once said that milk was for babies but men drink beer. You may think the same is true for cheese sticks, but they're not a childish snack. They're portable, proportioned and contain significant protein. Pair them with a small piece of fruit for a great fat-loss snack on the go. 7 Kefir This fermented hybrid of milk and yogurt delivers the powerful combination of protein and probiotics. It's 99 percent lactose-free because the beneficial bacteria in kefir pre-digests the lactose for you, making it a good alternative to milk for the lactose-intolerant. 8 Sardines The average American consumes more protein from bread than fish! This may have something to do with the perceived difficulty associated with cooking fish. Sardines require no cooking; you just eat them out of the tin. They also have an extended shelf-life and are very portable.A Spanish study found that eating oily fish like sardines three times per week while dieting led to improvements in leptin, a hormone released from fat cells that regulates appetite and body fat levels. 9 Grapefruit Grapefruit diet scams and the fear of fructose making you fat may have turned you off from grapefruit as a fat-burning food, but it's time to take a second look. A study conducted at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found that eating half a grapefruit with meals accelerated fat loss. Make sure to eat the white parts of the grapefruit as well, as this pith contains high amounts of soluble fiber. 10 Prunes Time to raid your grandmother's pantry! Prunes were once thought to be useful only for curing constipation, but they have health benefits and can aid you in your pursuit of a lean body. Prunes contain soluble fiber, which helps with blood sugar control and satiety. They're also loaded with anthocyanins—powerful antioxidants most commonly found in pomegranates and blueberries.While anthocyanins can be poorly absorbed by your digestive tract, that isn't necessarily bad news, as unabsorbed anthocyanins are used to fuel the healthy bacteria in your gut. Curating the best bacteria in your gut is key for developing and maintaining a lean physique. 11 Cold Cooked Potatoes Cooking and then cooling potatoes before you eat them—potato salad, anyone?— leads to the retrograde formation of resistant starch. Resistant starch can help improve insulin sensitivity and enhance satiety, two important factors in optimizing fat loss. 12 Canola Oil Canola oil is one-third polyunsaturated fats, a mixture of both omega-3 and omega-6. A 2014 study conducted at Uppsala University in Sweden found that opting for polyunsaturated fats over saturated fats when overeating—say, during a bulking phase—led to less fat gain and more muscle gain over seven weeks.SourcesNovatny, J. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2012. Lovejoy, J. Diabetes Care, August 2002. Parra, D. Appetite, November 2008. Fujioka, K. Journal of Medicinal Food, 2006. Recommended For YouWhy You Need Whey Did you ever see a study that seemed to contradict common sense when it comes to the basics of exercise and supplementation? You're not the only one. Here's how to break down the flaws in anti-supp research and take away lessons you can really use!Optimize Your Gut Health With Prebiotics Like Inulin! Probiotics are a popular supplement for gut health, but prebiotics can be just as beneficial. Get everything you need to know about how the prebiotic inulin can help your good gut bacteria!Citrulline Malate: The Fatigue Fighter! No modern pre-workout or pump-boosting supplement is complete without citrulline. Here's why this amino acid is earning its way to the ergogenic hall of fame!About The AuthorMike Roussell, Ph.D.Author, speaker, and nutritional consultant Mike Roussell, PhD is known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical habits...View All Articles By This Author

The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide To Fitness Day 15

Back | Main | NextSo you've heard the arguments about higher-protein diets improving body composition and training results. Now you've decided to get more protein in your diet. That's a great start! But how do you do it?The most obvious answer: Bring on the shakes! Great first step, however, as anybody who's ever sniffed their shaker cup after it was forgotten in the car for a couple of days (or weeks) knows, shakes come with some risks and limitations. That's where other portable protein options can be helpful. Luckily, there are many of them!Kathleen gives the lowdown in today's video.Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Watch The Video - 03:18Day 15 challengeLearn more about protein bars. Make a homemade protein bar recipe that you can enjoy over the week to come. Go Pro!View ProductAre you ready to expand your protein horizons? OK, let's dig in. Aside from powders, one option is ready-to-drink protein shakes, or RTDs. Their advantages are clear: convenience. You just crack it, drink it, and toss it.The potential downside is that some varieties are like mini-milkshakes due to their sugar and caloric content. In a pinch, though, these can be a lifesaver, particularly if you're somebody who likes to know exactly how much protein you take in at a time.View ProductOption two, as Kathleen said, is protein bars. Grocery stores and convenience stores are packed with them, and they all claim to be healthy. So are they? In many cases, not really. Even more than RTDs, bars require you to pay close attention to ingredients, because numerous varieties are just glorified candy bars. This is why people who are in the know often buy their whey powder in bulk and then make their own delicious bars!In its 15-year history, Bodybuilding.com has published innumerable recipes for homemade protein bars, pastries, and guilt-free desserts. Some of the most coveted come from Jaime Eason's LifeFit trainer, whose followers swear by her pumpkin protein bars and cinnamon swirl protein bread.One of our most popular recent recipes—well, a bunch of them, actually—come via Anna Sward. Her toasted coconut and vanilla whey protein bars never fail to earn rave reviews.Kathleen's own protein recipe bar is definitely worth your consideration, too. Here it is!Soft & Delicious Protein Bars1 cup of almond flour or any kind of flour 2 scoops of vanilla protein or any flavor 1/2 tsp of baking soda 1/2 tsp of salt 4 tbsp of cocoa 2/3 cups of egg whites 8 oz unsweetened apple sauce 4 oz water 1/4 cup of sugar any kind Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl first. Mix in the wet ingredients. Grease a 7x 11" pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Nutrition FactsServing Size: Makes 21 servingsAmount per batchCalories 1,289Total Fat62.4gTotal Carbs253.2gProtein93.5gSoft & Delicious Protein Bars PDF (69 KB)Back | Main | NextAbout The AuthorContributing WriterCheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

3 Fats That Can Help You Lose Weight

Once deemed the ultimate health pariah, dietary fat has mercifully experienced a renaissance. Research continues to show that, without it, you have a fat chance (pun intended) of reaching optimal health. And for the physique-minded, there are some fats that appear to improve fitness and help obliterate that doughy stuff covering up your six-pack. These three groups of fats, which can be obtained in the grocery store and the supplement counter, are not to be taken lightly. 1 EPA and DHA Ever since the original studies conducted on Greenland's Inuit population showed that members of the ethnic group have historically healthy hearts despite a general dearth of fruits and vegetables in their diets, research has piled up demonstrating that the omega-3 fatty acids naturally present in fish oil—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—have a wide range of health benefits.*These include supporting heart, joint, brain, immune, and eye health. It's thought that their superpowers largely stem from the ability to support a healthy inflammation response in the body.*But these "phat" fats help gym rats in other ways, too. Studies conducted at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis) suggest that EPA and DHA have anabolic properties in that they encourage muscle protein synthesis.* Further, a 2014 study in the "Journal of Sports Science & Medicine" discovered that lifters who supplemented with these omega-3s experienced less muscle soreness in response to training.Studies suggest that EPA and DHA have anabolic properties in that they encourage muscle protein synthesis.Research also suggests that EPA and DHA can improve blood flow to muscles during exercise, which could bring about improvements in performance.* Through their role in supporting a healthy inflammation response and fending off insulin resistance, as well as altering the metabolism, higher levels of EPA and DHA have been linked to less body fat accumulation, thereby helping to improve your buff-to-blubber ratio.Eat UpBesides the whale blubber enjoyed by the Inuit, fish species with the most EPA and DHA include herring, rainbow trout, Arctic char, sablefish, anchovies, salmon, mackerel, and sardines. You can also find some of these fatty acids in grass-fed meats, organic milk, omega-3 enhanced eggs, and certain fortified foods.Some plant foods such as walnuts, flax, hemp, canola oil, and chia contain omega-3 fat in the form of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which can be converted by the body to EPA and DHA, but science shows that this conversion is fairly low.These foods can provide an added omega-3 boost and deliver many other body-friendly nutrients, but fish remains the most potent source of EPA and DHA.Supplement SavvyFew people eat enough fatty fish, making a fish oil supplement a good insurance policy for many fitness enthusiasts. When comparing supplements, don't just look at the total fish oil content. Whether you choose a pill or liquid, find a product that contains at least 500 mg combined EPA and DHA on the nutrition facts panel. Taken once daily, this will give you the optimal amount of omega-3s. If you don't like the fishy taste, opt for those with natural flavors like lemon or orange.9MuscletechPlatinum 100% Fish OilView Product10RSP NutritionFish OilView Product8.9OptimumFish OilView Product* Ratings as of article's date of publicationFortunately, contamination isn't a concern. Consumerlab.com, which conducts independent supplement testing, didn't find significant amounts of mercury or other contaminants in a wide range of omega-3 supplements they put to the test. 2 Conjugated Linoleic Acid Accumulating evidence suggests that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an omega-6 fatty acid, is proving to be an important ally in the battle of the bulge. Case in point: In a recent Spanish study, volunteers who consumed milk that was enhanced with 3 grams of CLA daily for six months experienced a greater drop in body fat mass and waist circumference than those who drank milk that was enriched with 3 grams of olive oil.*CLA appears to take part in a multi-pronged attack on flab by reducing synthesis of fat cells, altering genes involved in fat accumulation and supporting insulin sensitivity.* CLA can also increase the rate at which you burn fat during exercise, which can have beneficial impacts on body composition and raise muscular endurance during workouts.Accumulating evidence suggests that CLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, is proving to be an important ally in the battle of the bulge.A recent investigation in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" found that supplementing with CLA may also boost your testosterone. The investigators reported that subjects who took 6 grams of CLA daily had higher levels of testosterone in response to resistance training than when they took a placebo. Since testosterone is a major anabolic hormone, this outcome suggests that CLA can help rev up muscular growth.*What's more, a 2014 study by the white coats at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln found that six weeks of CLA supplementation, when paired with regular exercise, was more effective at supporting healthy blood triglyceride levels than when exercise was paired with a placebo. This is not the only study to show that CLA can help you maintain heart health by improving blood fat numbers and supporting a healthy inflammation response in the body.*Eat UpThe primary dietary sources of CLA are meat and dairy. Sadly, a major consequence of the industrialization of our food and the push toward lower-fat animal-based foods is that the amount of CLA found in milk and steak has diminished greatly in recent decades. You can fight back by splurging on pasture-raised dairy and meats.Researchers at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom determined that milk from cows raised using organic methods that included pasture feeding had 60 percent more CLA than milk from conventionally reared cattle, which includes stuffing them with plenty of grain. Dairy sourced from sheep and goats—especially if the animals grazed on grass—has also been shown to deliver healthy amounts of CLA.Supplement SavvyBecause of its scarcity in the modern food chain, supplementing with CLA is the best way to help give your physique a glance-worthy appearance. Try taking 1-3 grams of CLA twice daily with meals.8.8MusclePharmCLA CoreView Product9.7NutrexLipo-6 CLAView Product9MuscletechPlatinum Pure CLAView Product* Ratings as of article's date of publicationKeep in mind that it'll likely take a few weeks before you witness any benefits. Among the types of CLA looked at in research, the cis-9, trans-11, cis-12, and trans-10 forms are the most intensively studied. 3 Medium-Chain Triglycerides Who thought you could eat fat to burn fat? It may sound paradoxical, but some evidence suggests that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) can enhance the body's fat-burning potential and lead to improvements in body composition (ratio of fat to lean body mass).Here's an example: An "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" study that administered 4-5 teaspoons of medium-chain oil or olive oil daily to subjects for four months determined that those consuming MCTs lost more bodyweight and fat mass than those who consumed standard olive oil.MCTs can enhance the body's fat-burning potential and lead to improvements in body composition.The unusual chemical structure of MCTs allows them to be absorbed from the digestive tract intact where they're used for energy production in the liver, meaning it's less likely they'll be stored as body fat compared to other dietary fats.MCTs appear to offer a two-pronged approach to fat loss: They're minimally stored as adipose—body fat—and they contribute to elevated fat-burning metabolism. Research also indicates they may support insulin sensitivity, which can help keep the flab monster at bay.*Eat UpButter, coconut oil, and red palm oil are going to be your primary dietary sources for MCTs. Both coconut oil and red palm oil can be used for cooking in place of other oils, such as for sauteing meats and baking.Supplement SavvyAs a dietary supplement, take 1-2 tablespoons purified liquid MCT oil 2-3 times daily. It's easy to blend MCT oil into protein shakes and even salad dressings.8.4CytoSportMuscle MilkView ProductN/ATwinLabMCT FuelView Product9.2BSNSyntha-6View Product* Ratings as of article's date of publicationIt's vital to remember, however, that no amount of MCT is going to make up for a lousy diet and turn a donkey into a racehorse. If you don't eat clean overall, the chances of shedding the fat—supplementation or not—are poor.Sourceshttp://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/93/2/402.short http://www.jssm.org/research.php?id=jssm-13-151.xml http://www.resmedjournal.com/article/S0954-6111(10)00298-2/fulltext http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2012/06000/Effect_of_Conjugated_Linoleic_Acid_on_Testosterone.29.aspx http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jsfa.3504/abstract http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/3/621.abstract?sid=626a6f2d-e8a6-432c-baee-425db3e43fe0 Recommended For YouEverything You Need To Know About Greens Supplements Greens supplements are hot on the market, but misinformation can make the difference between them supplementing your health and bringing gains to a halt.Why You Need Whey Did you ever see a study that seemed to contradict common sense when it comes to the basics of exercise and supplementation? You're not the only one.Optimize Your Gut Health With Prebiotics Like Inulin! Probiotics are a popular supplement for gut health, but prebiotics can be just as beneficial. Get everything you need to know about how the prebiotic inulin can help your good gut bacteria!About The AuthorMatthew Kadey, MS, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc., is a registered dietitian based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He works full-time as a freelance nutrition writer...View All Articles By This Author

BodySpace Member Of The Month: Nikki Walter, A Year Of Leading By Example

Vital StatsName: Nikki WalterAge: 34Weight: 113Height: 5-foot-3Education: B.S. in fitness management, certified Les Mills Body Pump instructorCheerleading and track events helped carry Nikki Walter through high school and college, but as her interest in sports waned, she found a new career in fitness. She started competing in the NPC, signed up for the 2014 BodySpace Spokesmodel Search and took fourth place!Nikki lifts out of her local YMCA and trains with fellow Team Bodybuilding.com member Brandan Fokken. Marathons and cheerleading are big parts of her past, but her future is in competitive fitness.After college, Nikki settled into a job with the Chamber of Commerce, which helped her create a national network of contacts. She seemingly had everything in place. Then, in 2011, her husband was diagnosed with leukemia and died shortly after, at age 35. The loss left Walter with a lot of questions, and she found that fitness and healthy living were a major part of the answer.She left the Chamber of Commerce and began working in sales to spend more time with her daughter, Addison. She competed in a bikini contest to check a mark on her bucket list. She embraced hard training and nutrition as a lifestyle, making a profound impact in her community and on BodySpace. She and Addison now stage clean eating parties where they teach friends and their children about food prep and healthy nutrition.When the Walters visit those kitchens, they teach others how to eat more wisely, and how to use BodySpace to continue improving. They spread the word. Q How did you first find out about Bodybuilding.com and BodySpace? I'm coached by Brandan Fokken, a Team Bodybuilding.com athlete, and Brandan encouraged me to try out for the spokesmodel competition."The people on BodySpace are really supportive of your goals and understand the ups and downs of a fit lifestyle—and that it's a lifestyle."Before that, I was ordering products off the site. I kind of already knew about it, but because of the path I was taking toward competing, I leaned on the site a little bit more.I wasn't sure about BodySpace at first. Being in the public eye, I was a little hesitant because of privacy. I was in government and local leadership, so it was an issue. I had to overcome a lot of issues before I decided to utilize it to get inspired and to inspire others.The people on BodySpace are really supportive of your goals and understand the ups and downs of a fit lifestyle—and that it's a lifestyle. I like the support and enthusiasm people have on BodySpace.As I started to post more and share my story and have more confidence in what I was doing in posting online, I started to get responses from a variety of people. I try to keep in touch with them.People with leukemia, like my husband had, would reach out and say "I've been a competitor and I'm sick now." I'll reach out and write to them to see how they're feeling. One of them just wrote back to me to say that he's competing in six months because he's now cancer-free. That is really cool.I was always a very independent person. When I was married I did a lot of different things, but I also now have this niche of single parents reaching out to me. It's a whole other aspect of my inspiration. They inspire me so much by how they handle it. It's been so rewarding, being able to help these people, to interview them, and to hear about their experiences. For me, it's all about inspiring others and helping make it happen for them.How much does setting a good fitness example for your daughter drive you?I know cancer is part of my daughter's genetics, and I wanted to pursue clean eating for her health. I want to be a mom who made a difference for my daughter, but also showed her that she can help others just by doing the things you do in your everyday life."I want to be a mom who made a difference for my daughter, but also showed her that she can help others just by doing the things you do in your everyday life."When I talk to parents, I encourage them to do as much as they can with their families and do what's right for them. I'm all she has! For my mindset to be healthy, I want to make sure I'm as fit and healthy as I can be for her. Addison gets excited about it and says, "Mom, we're making a difference!" I compete and get involved, and it's so time-consuming because of my time on social media, training, and because I have a family. But as parents, you have to find that balance.I involve her in things she wants to be involved in. If we're working on a clean eating program for a video, I'll ask her what she thinks kids will like, or how we can make it better. I'm not a very good cook, so I'll ask her what we can do to make it better. By engaging and involving her, I think it's helped. If I hadn't done that, I feel like she may have resented it a little bit and felt like it was taking time away from her.I encourage parents to involve their kids. Addison takes my progress pictures. We discuss where I go on trips. I want her to have a role in what I am doing.Can you tell us what a clean eating party is?Basically, we host a personal training party, but for food. My daughter does a component of the parties; she works with kids and I work with the adults. I use local resources around the state, but also reference Bodybuilding.com.We set up BodySpace accounts and give the host a basket of Bodybuilding.com products. I take them through clean eating websites and state resources they can use locally.The parties are an opportunity to engage groups of people in a social setting, in the comfort of their homes, and teach them how to prepare a clean diet.Food prep is a big component, so we can help combat the ease of fast food and help them have good things on hand for families. It's tough, especially with kids in the house.A lot of the people in my area do a lot of fad diets, a lot of shake diets, and once they get off it, they're not sure what to do. They don't know how to cook or how much.We teach people portion control and we share ideas with them.Do you actually eat at the parties?Of course! I email the host to get a menu, and then we share recipes, shop for what we need, invite a few friends, and we have a food prep party. We only do parties of five now, because it gets really hectic.We did a launch at the YMCA and 40 people showed up! I can't do that, but I decided to make a side business out of it to help people understand, and encourage people do to it with their friends. We now accept bookings in South Dakota and are trying to branch out into Minnesota and North Dakota.If you're playing cards, stamping, or getting together once a week with your girlfriends, it's an opportunity for the people you hang out with to learn and share. It's such a social thing.Addie goes through her little creative snack options for kids, teaching kids how to measure their snacks. If there's Goldfish, she shows them how they can have a cup or just half a cup. She has her own little drawer of measuring cups. We teach parents how to monitor their kids.How has receiving guidance from your coach helped you as a competitor?What helped the most for me was the diet. One of the reasons I got into bodybuilding was because of the genetics of my daughter and learning what was in food, but also realizing that how you fuel your body makes an impact on your performance and how you can grow.Everybody wants it, but they need somewhere to start. Hiring a coach was great for me. I've always been active and able to do my own workouts, but I think it's also great to have a coach to seek questions and advice, because they really know what judges are looking for when you compete.Do you have plans to work full-time as a fitness personality?Nikki's Contest History2013 Upper Midwest, Fargo, ND1st- Class B Bikini 1st- Bikini Overall Winner 1st- Masters 30 1st- Masters Overall 30+ 2013 Gopher State Classic, Eden Prairie, MN1st- Class C Bikini 2nd- Bikini Overall 2014 BodyBuilding.com BodySpace Spokesmodel Competition4th place Absolutely! It's my dream. I've followed Jamie Eason for a very long time and I always knew I wanted to be in the industry.My background is in health and wellness. At one point in my life, years ago, I was offered a great fitness opportunity, but I passed on it because I was getting married and moving back to South Dakota. That was hard for me, because there weren't those opportunities here.That's when I got involved in the Chamber of Commerce, and that was great. It helped me network throughout the country with a lot of people. But when I quit the chamber, people were disappointed that I was going into a career in sales, because they know I like to help people. I didn't know where competing was going to lead me, but I knew it was going to take me somewhere.The common perception of women wearing a swimsuit isn't accurate. There's more to it. It's about discipline. I knew by competing that I needed to commit to do it. I was scared as a single parent going into such a drastic change, but I had a gut feeling that it was time for me to go through it. And I'm glad I did, because it led me to Bodybuilding.com.Do you have any advice for up-and-coming people with fitness aspirations?Be yourself. We get wrapped up in following other people and what they're doing, but the way to stand out is to be you. Follow your gut feelings. There is so much out there, and if you're open to finding what's right for you, then it is OK to say no to opportunities until you find the right one that fits for you.Take those risks. Even if it means a drastic change, it's possible. You'll never know unless you try. Never live with regret. Everything I've seen, like watching my 35-year-old husband just… go, really opened my eyes to a different side of life. If there's something you always wanted to do, do it. Live with no regrets.Nutritional Regimen Grits or Gluten-free Oats 1/3 cup Egg Whites 5 Berries 1/2 cup Turkey Bacon 2 pieces Lean Protein 4 oz Greens 1 cup Apple 1 medium Lean Protein 4 oz Greens 1/2 cup Corn Tortillas 2 Salsa 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt 1/4 cup Wild or Brown Rice 1/2 cup Whey Protein 1 scoop Rice Cakes 2 Peanut Butter 1 tbsp Chicken or Steak 5 oz Greens 1 cup Wild Rice 1/2 cup Peanut Butter 1 tbsp Egg Whites 5 Peanut Butter 1 tbsp Training PlanI do my treadmill workouts at 5:30 a.m. in my home gym. If I can complete a workout with free weights or plyometrics, then I do this at home. I squeeze in my Cybex Arc and weight workouts over my lunch or in the evening.I work out at our YMCA, so my daughter has a place to be if I need to be at the gym in the evening. On days that I teach muscle classes, I try to incorporate some of my free weight training, but it usually requires me to have a third workout to assure I get my training covered.Training Regimen Elliptical Trainer30 min Bodyweight Walking Lunge4 sets of 40 reps per leg Freehand Jump Squat4 sets of 15 reps Superset Kettlebell Squats4 sets of 15 reps Dumbbell Bench Press4 sets of 15 reps Wide Stance Barbell Squat4 sets of 30 reps Kettlebell Swings4 sets of 30 reps Tabata Intervals On Treadmill: Repeat for 3 minutes Jogging-TreadmillSprint 20 sec, Walk 10 sec Snatch Deadlift4 sets of 20 reps Lying Leg Curls4 sets of 30 reps Butt Blaster4 sets of 30 each leg Cardio30 min Leg Press4 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10 reps Ball Wall Squat4 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10 reps Leg Extensions3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Wide Stance Barbell Squat3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Standing Leg Curl4 sets of 15, 12, 10, 15 reps Seated Leg Curl4 sets of 15, 12, 10, 15 reps Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine4 sets of 15 reps Seated Calf Raise3 sets of 12 reps Thigh Abductor3 sets of 15 reps Thigh Adductor3 sets of 15 reps Elliptical Trainer30 min Side Lateral Raise4 sets of 12 reps Standing Military Press4 sets of 15 reps Wide-grip Military Press4 sets of 10 reps Front Dumbbell Raise4 sets of 15 reps Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise4 sets of 15 reps Straight-Arm Pulldown4 sets of 15 reps Pullups4 sets of 10 reps Seated Cable Rows (Wide-grip)4 sets of 15 reps Lying T-Bar Row4 sets of 10 reps Cardio30 min Superset Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown3 sets of 12 reps Seated Cable Rows (Close-grip)3 sets of 10 reps Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)3 sets of 15 reps Superset Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown3 sets of 10 reps One Arm Lat Pulldown3 sets of 15 reps Good Morning3 sets of 15 reps Superset Underhand Cable Pulldowns (Close-grip)3 sets of 12 reps Superman3 sets of 15 reps Pull Through3 sets of 15 reps Incline Dumbbell Curl3 sets of 15 reps Preacher Curl3 sets of 12 reps Superset Seated Dumbbell Curl3 sets of 10 reps Barbell Curl3 sets of 8 reps Bicycling, Stationary45-60 min Alternative Option:Stepmill Circuit: Perform 4 rounds Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown20 reps Seated Leg Curl20 reps Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment20 reps Bench Dips15 reps Clean and Jerk12 reps Pushups into Dumbbell Row12 reps Hanging Leg Raise (w/ Twist)20 reps Decline Reverse Crunch20 reps Elliptical Trainer30 min Dumbbell Shoulder Press2 sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8 reps Arnold Dumbbell Press2 sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8 reps Side Lateral Raise4 sets of 15 reps Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise4 sets of 10 reps Smith Machine Incline Bench Press2 sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8 reps Supplementation PlanDuring prep I watch carbs and calories in my shakes. I also try to cycle off BCAA powders one week before competing.Supplementation Regimen Women's Multivitamin B Complex CoQ10 Glutamine Calcium with Vitamin D Cellucor C4 Extreme Or NLA For Her Uplift MuscleTech Platinum 100% Whey Or Labrada Lean Body For Her Or NLA for Her - Her Whey Or Cellucor Cor-Performance Whey Scivation Xtend Or NLA for Her - Her Aminos Recommended For YouBODYSPACE MEMBER OF THE MONTH: JORDAN METCALFE BodySpace gave Jordan a safe haven to study, share, and progress among like-minded people. He's made the most of it!BODYSPACE MEMBER OF THE MONTH: ALLISON MOY

Staples Investigates ‘Potential Issue’ Involving Credit Card Data

Staples Investigates ‘Potential Issue’ Involving Credit Card Data

21 October 2014

Staples, the nation’s largest office supply retailer, said Monday it is investigating a "potential issue" involving credit card data at its stores.Staples spokesman Mark Cautela said in an email that the retailer has contacted law enforcement to help with its investigation."We take the protection of customer information very seriously and are working to resolve the situation," Cautela said in an email. “If Staples discovers an issue, it is important to note that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity on their credit cards that is reported on a timely basis."Cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs reported Monday night that banks have identified a pattern of fraudulent debit card and credit card transactions at a "small number" of Staples stores across the Northeast, including seven locations in Pennsylvania and at least three locations in New York City.If confirmed, a credit card breach at Staples would mark the latest in a string of cyberattacks against major retailers -- including Target, Neiman Marcus and Home Depot -- over the past year. The breaches compromised 96 million debit cards and credit cards at Target and Home Depot alone, and have prompted retailers to take measures to improve security, such as introducing new technology that protects payment information through encryption.For the most part, the repercussions for shoppers have been minor, as banks have issued new cards to those affected and reimbursed them for fraudulent charges. But at least some consumers say they have grown wary of shopping at stores that have been attacked.Nearly half of people -- 45 percent -- who responded to a recent survey by CreditCards.com said they would “definitely not" or "probably not” shop this holiday season at retailers that have acknowledged breaches of customer credit card data.

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‘Blow-Away’ Mac Sales Defy Shrinking PC Market

‘Blow-Away’ Mac Sales Defy Shrinking PC Market

20 October 2014

It's the return of the Mac.Apple sold a record 5.52 million Macs in the three-month period that ended in September, up 21 percent from the same period last year, the company said Monday."It was just an absolutely blow-away quarter. Our best ever," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said on a call with investors. "It's just absolutely stunning."News of strong Mac sales comes as PC sales have declined in recent years, as people have opted for smartphones and tablets instead of desktops and laptops. According to IDC, the technology research firm, the worldwide PC market was down 1.7 percent last quarter from the same period the year before."Being up 21 percent in a market that's shrinking -- it just doesn't get better than that," Cook said during the call.IDC reported earlier this month that Apple had a 6.3 percent share of the worldwide PC market last quarter, placing it fifth among manufacturers, after Lenovo, HP, Dell and Acer. Cook said Apple had its highest quarterly share of the PC market since 1995.Cook attributed the surge to back to school shopping, and called out college students specifically."I think if you went out to college campuses about now, you would see a lot of new new Mac notebooks there," Cook said.Sales may also be up thanks to the runaway success of the iPhone, which may be attracting new customers to Apple's ecosystem.Apple sold a record 39.27 million iPhones in the quarter, up 16 percent from the same period last year.iPad sales continued to slip, down 13 percent from last year. Less-expensive Android tablets, and the fact that people don't upgrade tablets as frequently as they upgrade their phones, have eaten into sales.Some people may even be opting for Macs instead of iPads."I'm sure that some people looked at a Mac and an iPad and decided on a Mac," Cook said on the call.Apple shares rose 1.42 percent in after hours trading.

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HuffPost Live’s ‘Spoiler Alert’ Talks ‘Homeland,’ ‘The Good Wife’ And More Of Sunday’s Best TV

HuffPost Live’s ‘Spoiler Alert’ Talks ‘Homeland,’ ‘The Good Wife’ And More Of Sunday’s Best TV

20 October 2014

Catch up on what worked and what made us change the channel during the weekend's must-see TV shows in Monday's edition of HuffPost Live's "Spoiler Alert." This week, host Ricky Camilleri chats with New York Television Festival founder Terence Gray about what's on tap at this year's event, plus our panel of television fanatics breaks down the latest episodes of "Homeland," "The Good Wife," "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Affair."Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

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4 Bodyweight Sticking Points Solved!

20 October 2014

Vital StatsName: Al Kavadlo, CSCSOccupation: Trainer, author, PCC instructorWebsite: www.alkavadlo.comAdvanced calisthenics training is renowned for simultaneously developing total-body strength and coordination. High levels of fortitude and dexterity are required for feats like L-sits and muscle-ups—brute force simply isn't enough! To progress in the bodyweight training arena, multiple parts of the body are required to function in harmony.Beginners often underestimate these moves due to the way advanced practitioners seem to perform them effortlessly, but they must be approached with respect and humility.Tired of banging your head against the wall when it comes to mastering L-sits, muscle-ups, or pistols? Wondering when all those push-ups will blossom into the chest development of your dreams?You're in the right place. Get ready to make a bodyweight breakthrough!STICKING POINT 1When I try to hold an L-sit, I get brutal muscle cramps in my quadriceps. I can't tell if the problem is lack of strength or lack of flexibility. What you're experiencing is very common for people who are new to the L-sit. You're on the right track, thinking that strength and flexibility are both potential culprits here. In fact, it's most likely a combination of the two.In order to perform a proper L-sit, you need to have adequate range of motion in your hamstrings, as well as ample strength in your quads and hip flexors. The tighter the muscles of your posterior chain become, the harder the muscles in front have to work in order to counterbalance them.For now, I recommend that you regress to a bent-knee variation, and simultaneously focus on improving the range of motion in your hamstrings and lower back by practicing seated toe-touches.Once you can hold a bent-knee L-sit for a full minute and comfortably perform a seated toe-touch, the full L-sit should be within your grasp.L-Sit TutorialSTICKING POINT 2Muscle-ups on rings feel way harder than on a bar—or vice versa.Regardless of the apparatus, the most challenging part of a muscle-up is the transition from the pulling phase into the pushing phase. When you perform a muscle-up on a bar, this transition can be especially difficult, because you have to move your body around the bar.When you do a muscle-up on rings, you can move your torso in between the rings, which most people find easier.Slow Non False Grip Muscle-upWhile the rings are less difficult to get around during the transition phase, however, they are inherently unstable and therefore provide a unique challenge during both the pulling and pushing phases. I've known athletes who learned the muscle-up on rings first, and then struggled to learn the move on the bar, despite proficiency on the rings.Conversely, I've known other athletes who learned the move on the bar first, and then struggled to achieve it on rings despite being able to do many reps on the bar.So you see, it's not a clear-cut case of one being harder than the other. Either way, it's an advanced move that will take some trial and error to achieve.Ultimately, I recommend getting comfortable with both if you want to keep your bodyweight skill set well-rounded.Gymnastic Ring Fun!STICKING POINT 3I do lots of push-ups from all different angles and hand positions, but my chest isn't developing as much as I'd like.Push-ups are my number one exercise for the chest, but if you aren't doing dips, I highly recommend adding them into your routine. Dips work your chest from a different angle than push-ups.There are lots of dip variations to challenge anyone from the modest beginner to the most advanced athlete.It's also important to remember that individual genetics play a major factor in the shape of your muscles. Your chest may tend to develop better in certain places than others, regardless of how you train.Just as we all have differently shaped noses, eyes, and ears, we all have differently shaped pecs.It's important to learn to love your body for what it is, instead of harping on perceived imperfections.Progressive Calisthenics Tutorial Your chest might not ever look exactly like mine—and it shouldn't! Keep training hard, and you'll become a stronger version of you.Focus on your training, and in time the aesthetics will fall into place.STICKING POINT 4I've been doing single-leg bench squats and other pistol-squat regressions, but I'm hesitant to "upgrade" to unsupported squats because people say they're bad for your knees.The first thing I have to say is that if you've been doing pistol variations for a while, you already have firsthand experience to draw from. If you're knees aren't hurting, then there's your answer. Don't let someone else's opinion override your own experience.Having said that, I can say from my own experience that practicing pistols has kept my knees strong and supple. I've been doing pistols as part of my routine for over a decade, but I didn't try them until I'd already been working my legs for years.Even then, I still needed to practice regressed versions of the move before I was ready for a full pistol. Any exercise is potentially dangerous if it is done with poor form or by a person who isn't ready for it, and the pistol is no exception. The move must be built up to gradually, and treated with the respect it deserves.Pistol Squat ProgressionAs always, your training is what you make of it. If you're in a rush to get to advanced moves before you're ready, you may wind up hurting yourself. However, if you approach your training with reverence, you can progress gradually and enjoy the journey for a lifetime.For more information, check out my book, Pushing the Limits!Recommended For YouHow To Perform A Full Squat And Reap The Benefits Looking for a mobility goal that will have immediate carryover to your workouts and your life? Start with a full, resting bodyweight squat. The benefits are incredible!7 Ways To Maximize Your Strength And Speed Calisthenic training doesn't end with push-ups, pull-ups, and pistols. Advanced practitioners pack the Internet with showy moves that boggle the mind and set the bar ever higher. Here are 5 visual feats you should consider putting in your sights!STRETCHING FOR STRENGTH Reports of stretching's demise have been greatly exaggerated. In this excerpt from Al Kavadlo's new book, the bodyweight training chief helps you build an effective, personalized practice!About The AuthorAl Kavadlo, CSCSAl Kavadlo, CSCS is one of the world's leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.View All Articles By This Author

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Exxon’s First Prick of Conscience?

Exxon’s First Prick of Conscience?

20 October 2014

The fossil-fuel divestment movement has been on a roll lately to the tune of $50 billion, but one of its biggest successes happened last month: The world's most profitable oil company squirmed. Exxon Mobil's vice president of public and government affairs published a critique of divestment that concluded by saying that destroying our planet's climate by recklessly extracting and burning fossil fuel reserves is necessary to relieve global poverty.This sudden concern is interesting from a company that holds the record for the highest corporate profits ever posted in the U.S. and whose CEO made more than $100,000 a day in 2012 (including Sundays). Exxon Mobil hasn't earned those kinds of profits by worrying overmuch about the poor of the world. As the Sierra Student Coalition's Anastasia Schemkes put it: "This is the oil industry saying 'please don't be mean to me' after bullying vulnerable communities around the globe for decades."The real message of Exxon Mobil's blog post was unintentional. The fossil fuel divestment movement, which started on college campuses but has since spread to foundation boardrooms and beyond, is achieving its principal goal, which is to raise awareness of how morally indefensible the actions of companies like Exxon Mobil really are. I'm not just talking about its core business of extracting as much oil as it can, wherever it can, while it can. This is a company that pretends to care about climate disruption (with lots of talk about "mitigation," which is code for "do whatever it takes to keep burning fossil fuels"), while simultaneously funding the climate-denial industry and lavishing its largesse on obstructionist legislators.How can we begin to get companies like this to change? It's tough to beat such a Goliath through financial pressure alone. Even the most wildly successful divestment campaign is unlikely to dent this mega-corporation's profits in the near term. But let's not forget that even the hugest corporation is made up of real people. And real people start to get uncomfortable when it's clear that not only is what they are doing terribly wrong -- but that other people are taking note.That's when they start to get defensive -- and we can see that divestment really is making a difference.

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Climate Change This Week: Driving Fast n’ FREE on Solar, Record Rising Seas, and More!

20 October 2014

The EV Revolution Is Here!Takeaways:If we covered the 800 million US parking spaces with solar panels,the output would be three times the US transportation energy requirements.We're wasting sunlight.- notes Desmond Wheatley, CEO of Envision SolarBuild a network of solar powered charging stations,Where cars can get recharged for free.- is a goal of Elon Musk, Wunderkind CEO of Tesla.A Nissan Leaf Ad: Electric cars can already go 257 miles on a charge, accelerate faster than regular cars, and cruise at 80 mph or more.SOLAR KEEPS ZOOMINGSolarCity Will Finance US Home SolarTo Make Rooftop Systems More Affordable reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress. Financing installations will overcome the hurdle of ownership costs. Its CEO predicts that such lease-like loans could be half of their new business by the end of 2015.OO Florida: Thousands of Clean Energy Jobs at Risk - if state caves to pressure to gut energy efficiency goals.OO Mexico: 250 MW of Distributed Solar Power to Be DevelopedOO Australia Commissions 'Oceania's Largest' Solar FarmOO Keystone XL's TransCanada Buys 3 Solar Plants from Canadian Solar; now all they have to do is transfer their product line completely to clean renewable projects, and clean up their tar sands mess... come on, TC (aka Tarry Calamity), you can do it!Check it out here, right now!GOOD CLEAN NEWSRaw Materials Are No Bar To Renewable Energy Future reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast. Shifting world electricity production to renewable sources would reduce air pollution and require a manageable quantity, says a new peer-reviewed life-cycle assessment.Such a transition would save $1.8 trillion over the next two decades, says a study by the Climate Policy Initiative, which also found that governments and taxpayers will bear the greatest financial risk if fossil fuel reserves are stranded underground.This research follows a pair of studies by the International Energy Agency foreseeing that solar power--in a combination of photovoltaic and solar thermalplants--could supply more than a quarter of the world's electricity by 2050.OO Efficiency Gains Over The Last Decade Saved More EnergyThan China or US Consumed In 2011 - and that's for just the advanced countries...OO Besides Cleaner Energy, Renewables Are Much Greener to Build says a new study.WikipediaAmericans' Cars Are More Fuel-Efficient Than Ever reports Katie Valentine at Climate Progress. Plus, electric vehicle sales are up in the U.S., and the percentage of Americans who drive to work is down. The EPA announced a new gas mileage record for US cars and trucks: 24.1 mpg! Although gains are slowing as more people own SUVs and trucks.OO The Inventors Of A 'Revolutionary' Climate SolutionJust Won A Nobel PrizeOO CA's Drought Cuts Hydropower By HalfBut Wind, Solar Help Fill the GapOO Northern Chile Has Top Renewables MarketWHAT WORKSSpeaking Out:Peterforsyth at Wikimedia CommonsOO Hundreds Of Hunting And Fishing GroupsSpeak Out For Action On Climate ChangeOO Greenpeace Sinks Lego's Deal With Shell Oil Over Arctic Drilling - which included having toddlers get their plastic cars "filled" at Shell Gas stations... makes your heart curdle, just thinking about it...OO Glasgow Becomes First University In Europe To Divest From Fossil FuelsOO Nobel Laureates Call For A Revolutionary ShiftIn How Humans Use ResourcesOO Australian Anglicans Join Divestment MovementOO Orange Country, CA: Growing Numbers Call for End to Fracking in GOP AreaGood Ideas:International Lawsuits Could Punish Carbon EmittersEven If Governments Don't reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress. Improving climate science and the workings of international litigation could make courtrooms the next climate change battlefield, according to a new report.OO We Can Meet 2C Climate Target,But Success Depends On Immediate Action say energy experts.OO Americans Can Save More Money By Not Burning It on fossil fuels, says a new study, through energy efficiency and accelerating a switch to clean energy - or pay far more later from ever worsening climate catastrophes.New Insights:OO Sea Level Rise Over Past Century Unmatched In 6,000 Years says study.OO NOAA: Record Antarctic Sea Ice Growth Linked To Its Staggering Loss Of Land Ice as the freshwater flow from melting glaciers lowers the freezing temperature in the surrounding sea.YOU CAN ACTBe A Climate Voter November 4 - the most important things you can do right now to promote climate action are register, vote, volunteer, and speak up publicly as a climate voter.Please let candidates and the news media know that you are looking for candidates who will support climate action.Speaking up makes a big difference. As one elected state senator notes,"it is always reassuring to me as an elected official when my constituents tell me they support my work to promote climate action and sustainability, and it encourages me to do more.." Iowa State Senator, Rob Hogg.Volunteer at a "climate voter" effort: the League of Conservation Voters, NextGen Climate, Climate Hawks Vote, and Vote-Climate.Great March for Climate Action - a cross-country march from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, to support climate action - is now in Pennsylvania and scheduled to arrive in Washington, DC, on Saturday, November 1. You can join at any point for however long -- go here for details.EPA Carbon Pollution Rules - Please Comment: Many groups are collecting signatures and comments in support of these rules; you can send comments directly to the EPA here.Join the Citizens Climate Lobby.Pledge to VOTE here, thenMAKE A PLAN TO VOTE so that the daily demands of life doesn't sidetrack you. Here's a checklist to help:* What time of day are you planning to vote on Tuesday, November 4th?* How are you planning to get to the polls?* Are you planning to bring the kids with you? Yes / NoThinking through your plan to vote now makes it more likely that you'll vote on Election Day.Need info on where you should vote? Go here.WHAT DOESN'T WORKFossil Fuel Follies:Your dollars, going up in smoke, bringing you pollution and climate change.Peter EssickOO Bank of England Governor: Most Fossil Fuel Reserves Can't Be Burned - so coal, gas and oil assets are at risk of economic collapse.OO Biomass Energy: Another Type of Climate Change DenialUS Methane 'Hot Spot' Is Huge, But It's NothingCompared To Our Other Methane Sources reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress. A new study highlights the discovery of the spot, created from natural gas projects, but much more US methane, a short term but very potent greenhouse gas, is emitted yearly from U.S. agriculture, land use, forestry, landfills, and energy production in general.OO Methane Emissions Soar In Drilling BoomOO Growing Fracking Dilemma:How To Dispose Of Radioactive Oil And Gas Waste?Tar Sands Mining: The fossil fuel industry doesn't want you to think that this is dirty.Howl Arts Collective at FlickrOO Intense Industry Pressure Causes European UnionTo Stop Calling Tar Sands DirtyOO US Oil Trains Now Delay Transport ofVital Consumer and Industrial GoodsClueless Leadership:Even elephants can't survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen HarteOO Three GOP State Legislators Want To KillMichigan's Popular Clean Energy LawOO Fossil Fueled 'Scientist' Congressman: There's No Manmade Climate Change - says this professional medical GOP doctor, supported by the fossil fuel industry. Remind me to consult a climate scientist the next time I feel sick... which is right about now...OO Senate GOP Candidate: Yeah, We Cause Climate Change - So What?WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKSToday, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Oct 20, 2014How unusual has the weather been? No one event is "caused" by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought.Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures - not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.OO 'The Other CO2 Problem':How Acidic Oceans Will Cost Our Economy Billions - and $1 Trillion annually worldwide, a U.N. report predicts, if carbon pollution is not curbed**OO September Was Warmest on Record, NASA Data ShowsOO California Could Be Facing A Mega-Drought - think 30 to 100 years or more; 'our current ground water withdrawal levels are so dangerous that "We are essentially borrowing on tomorrow's future. We'll pay that price over time," says the director of the CA Department of Water Resources.OO Not Just California: Droughts Extend Across Americas - a dry spell has killed cattle and wiped out crops in Central America; parts of Colombia are rioting over scarce water, and southern Brazil is facing its worst dry spell in 50 years.Via Climate CentralOO Cyclones Under Climate Change to Cost World $10 TRILLION by 2090 - if the prediction of fewer but stronger cyclones hold under worsening climate change. Most climate change predictions tend to underestimate emerging problems, though....Extreme rainfall that caused flooding in England is just one of many extreme weather events that scientists could be exploring as a possible tie to climate change for the upcoming supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.OO 2014 Extreme Weather: Looking for Climate TiesWild wx at wildwx.comSea Level Rise Making Floods Routine for US Coastal Cities reports John Upton at Climate Central. East coast city tidal floods could triple by 2030 for some, says a new report, and increase 10 times by 2045.OO Picture This: Monster Typhoon and Miami's King TidesWikipediaOO Price of Coffee Beans Soar To 2½-Year High nearly doubling this year, with thin rainfall clipping output from the world's biggest coffee grower and fueling worries about how already-weakened trees will fare next season.OO Zimbabwe: Climate Change Hits Banana FarmersKEEPING CARBON STORED: FORESTS UPDATEForests: the cheapest way to store carbonJulia Roberts is Mother Nature; see other hard hitting voices of nature here.OO Next Big Idea In Forest Conservation? Empower Youth LeadersForest Fragmentation's Carbon Bomb: 700+ Million Tonnes C02 Annually reports Jeremy Hance at Mongabay. When forests are slashed into fragments, winds dry out the edges leading to dying trees and rising temperatures. Biodiversity often drops, while local extinctions rise and big animals vanish - and carbon emissions rise.OO Brazil: Needs New Incentives for Ranchers to Keep Cutting Deforestation says new study.OO Alaska: Summer Heat, Invasive Insects Cutting Down Birch TreesOO Borneo: Indonesia To Set Up Palm Oil Monitoring In Bid To Cut Deforestation 80%There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I've compiled, "Climate Change News Resources," , at Wordpress.com here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this daisy I photographed in the African wilderness recently. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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The Value of Energy to Our Warfighters

The Value of Energy to Our Warfighters

20 October 2014

Amid Blue Angels airshows and Navy Seals leaping from helicopters last week at San Francisco's annual Fleet Week, the biggest news may be the commissioning of the Navy's newest ship, the USS America. An amphibious assault ship, the USS America will carry a Marine expeditionary unit into battle with V-22 Ospreys supported by F-35B Lighting Aircraft and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. But what propels the ship is as remarkable as the devastation it can unleash: The USS America is the Navy's second ship to be propelled with a hybrid electric drive, saving significant quantities of fuel and money for a resource-strained military.Saving fuel may sound pedestrian, but energy is a critical enabler for all military operations. As Rear Admiral Kevin Slates, the head of Navy's Energy and Environmental Readiness Division, explained to me "ships like USS America gain impressive combat capability through electric auxiliary propulsion systems." In other words, imagine a ship like the America off the coast of a warzone, launching strikes against militants or docked in a disaster-stricken port to provide urgent disaster relief. A ship with more efficient engines can stay in operation longer before having to head back to the open seas to refuel. Using less fuel enhances the America's operational flexibility and endurance.The USS America is the latest evidence that our military sees the connection between energy and effectiveness. For decades, weapons systems and platforms were developed without serious consideration of their energy costs. As Colonel James Caley, the director of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office, put it, "The weapons systems we now use have more armor, more communications capabilities and more computing capabilities and it's all at a price of more energy." That price was extremely high as our military learned hard lessons in Iraq and Afghanistan.Talk to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and you'll hear the stories of their time deployed. Many were pulled from their primary mission -- in some cases as often as daily -- to defend large convoys of trucks bringing them the fuel they used to power their vehicles, communications equipment and generators. Those convoys were huge tactical vulnerabilities on the battlefield, plagued by insurgent IED attacks and ambushes. Driving a fuel truck in Iraq or Afghanistan was probably the most dangerous job in the military given that the routes were predictable and the targets were slow-moving. The numbers are staggering: From 2003-2007 alone, more than 3,000 casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan occurred on fuel resupply missions.The military has turned to renewable energy to help reduce the risks of fuel supply missions and to lighten the burden on our troops in other ways, too. Tactical solar panels have replaced inefficient diesel generators, and solar panels on vests and packs are used to recharge equipment in the field. This shift has also increased the range, endurance and agility of our soldiers and Marines. Troops charging their radios and GPS systems from the solar panels on their chests can stay out longer, and if that reduces the 14 pounds of batteries the average troop carries on a three-day patrol, they can move faster.The nexus of energy and effectiveness extends far beyond forward operating bases or our troops on the ground. That's why the Navy is reducing the energy demands of its ships by investing in advanced hull coatings, stern flaps and LED lighting. And they aren't alone -- the Air Force is working to develop advanced engine technology to increase fuel efficiency.These are critically important investments. We have seen already how a heavy, energy-intensive force will be vulnerable to IEDs and ambushes, but we must prepare for a wide range of adversaries, from vicious insurgencies to near-peer competitors, all of which recognize the strategic value of targeting our military's logistics chain.As the Department of Defense details in its just-released Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, changes to the environment will affect the missions our military is called on to perform and further disrupt access to the fuel streams those missions require. These consequences are already clear, given that our military is increasingly called upon for humanitarian assistance and disaster response, as more frequent and severe extreme weather events hit vulnerable populations.Our military can reduce the risk from all these threats by using energy smarter. The investments our military is making in energy security and efficiency are important first steps, but the nascent energy revolution in Pentagon faces its share of political detractors inside the beltway. Fundamental change in the way we power our military will require institutionalizing and incorporating the value of energy at every level of planning, acquisition, training and execution.

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Ashoka Mukpo, NBC News Freelancer, Doing ‘Quite Well’ And Could Be Released Very Soon

20 October 2014

Oct 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. freelance cameraman diagnosed with Ebola while working with NBC News in Liberia is doing "quite well" and may soon be able to leave a Nebraska Medical Center biocontainment unit where he is being treated, a doctor at the hospital said on Monday.Doctors are hopeful that Ashoka Mukpo, 33, who has been treated at the Omaha hospital for two weeks, "will be getting out of our unit in the coming days," Dr. Mark Rupp told a news conference."It is going to take him a little bit of time to bounce back, but he's doing quite well," Rupp said, adding that the hospital was awaiting test results to confirm that he has completely cleared the virus. (Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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The Art of Urban Conversation

20 October 2014

"Don't talk to strangers!" is one of the cardinal rules of urban life. In cities we live on top of each other and move in a complex dance of connection and disconnection - sometimes because of fear, sometimes because we don't know what to say to someone who seems very different, and sometimes because staying in our own bubbles affords all of us a bit of privacy.But what if there's also a cost to living in our own bubble? What if this disconnection also sows the seeds for violence and prejudice in our cities and communities? If you don't know the people around you, is it easier to misunderstand, hurt and be hurt, fight and fear one another?Some urban innovators like Detroit-dweller Shel Kimen are using social experiments in art, design and the unexpected to get us to break one of the rules of urban life and connect and talk to others. Disconnection between "New Detroiters" and "Old Detroiters" is on the rise as Detroit's recent renaissance attracts new people and new investment. Many residents, new and old, feel excluded from revitalization efforts and are interested in culture issues but don't know how to engage.Shel's Collision Works projects respond to this disconnect, and the first installation was a crowdfunded shipping container popup community storytelling space called First Container. So far they've facilitated over 150 hours of open-minded, empathy building conversations.Shel shared three main lessons after phase one of the project:1. Even a reasonably simple environment like a shipping container can be designed and act as an ice breaker to bring people together. Different kinds of distance separating people (class, race, etc) are all suspended for a moment in First Container. Shel says that "it helps when you are being unsettled a little from the normal routine by absurdity, surprise -- it all adds up to give people an excuse to be open."2. First Container draws people in off the streets by featuring authors, artists and community leaders hanging out together in the space that feels like a popup living room. The homey design inspires people to share their experiences as old Detroiters, newer Detroiters and visitors.3. First Container is also about the democratization of design and space. Shel notes, "People from all walks of life respond to cool design. I got more support from lower income visitors because the space was neat and different. That flies in the face of conventional design theory, but these days a lot of people are watching home renovation TV shows and getting inspired to design something new in their homes and communities."First Container is no longer open at Eastern Market -- like all good popups it has come to an end, but only for now. The Collision Works programs live on and the conversations will continue in new spaces. Shel's long-term vision is to place storytelling containers throughout Detroit and to build a 46-room boutique hotel with a mentoring program and collaborative community space.Why would this matter for Detroit? As urban sociologist Richard Sennet notes, "Gathering together strangers enables certain kinds of activities which cannot happen, or do not happen as well, in the private realm. In public, people can access unfamiliar knowledge, expanding the horizons of their information. In public, people can discuss and debate with people who may not share the same assumptions or the same interests. Democratic government depends on such exchanges between strangers." First Container is not just an experiment in storytelling for the sake of storytelling. It is an experiment in designing a more democratic society, demonstrating the possibility of using uncommon spaces to create uncommon connections.Here's to building a better Detroit, one conversation at a time.

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This Is What Potato Heaven Looks Like

19 August 2014

Without question, the potato wins the prize for being the most versatile vegetable. Not only does it have an impressive arsenal of recipes hidden beneath its dirty exterior -- mashed potatoes, French fries, baked potatoes -- but every dish is one that people actually want to eat. Because while you could probably cook broccoli a number of ways, fried florets will never compete with tater tots. Ever.The potato is the embodiment of comfort food, which is just on more reason to honor this humble spud. We've put together a collection of recipes to help you do just that in 35 different (and delicious) ways. From hasselbacks to gratins to salads to latkes, welcome to potato heaven. 1Irish Tater Nachos Half Baked Harvest Get the Irish Tater Nachos recipe from Half Baked Harvest 2Fingerling Potato Salad With Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Vinaigrette The Clever Carrot Get the Fingerling Potato Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Vinaigrette recipe from The Clever Carrot 3Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Foodie Crush Get the Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes recipe from Foodie Crush 4Red Potato, Sausage And Rosemary Fontina Pizza Foodie Crush Get the Red Potato, Sausage and Rosemary Fontina Pizza recipe from Foodie Crush 5Loaded Baked Tater Tot Dip Averie Cooks Get the Loaded Baked Tater Tot Dip recipe from Averie Cooks 6Chipotle Cheddar Potato Latkes Half Baked Harvest Get the Chipotle Cheddar Potato Latkes recipe from Half Baked Harvest 7Lemony Roasted Potato Salad Bev Cooks Get the Lemony Roasted Potato Salad recipe from Bev Cooks 8Tijuana Street Fries Half Baked Harvest Get the Tijuana Street Fries recipe from Half Baked Harvest 9Sautéed Potatoes And Leeks With Bacon Bev Cooks Get the Sautéed Potatoes and Leeks with Bacon and Parmesan recipe from Bev Cooks 10Steak Fajita Stuffed Baked Potatoes With Avocado Chipotle Crema Half Baked Harvest Get the Steak Fajita Stuffed Baked Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Crema recipe from Half Baked Harvest 11Loaded Mashed Potato Balls Bev Cooks Get the Loaded Mashed Potato Balls recipe from Bev Cooks 12Creamy Potato Soup With Bacon And Basil Bev Cooks Get the Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon and Basil recipe from Bev Cooks 13Totchos The Little Kitchen Get the Totchos recipe from The Little Kitchen 14Ranch Potato Salad Completely Delicious Get the Ranch Potato Salad recipe from Completely Delicious 15Green Mashed Potatoes Simply Recipes Get the Green Mashed Potatoes recipe from Simply Recipes 16Loaded Hasselback Potatoes Half Baked Harvest Get the Loaded Hasselback Potatoes recipe from Half Baked Harvest 17Norwegian Potato Crepes Adventures in Cooking Get the Norwegian Potato Crepes recipe from Adventures in Cooking 18Loaded Baked Potato Salad Foodie Crush Get the Loaded Baked Potato Salad recipe from Foodie Crush 19Warm Asian Potato Salad With Sesame & Fresh Chile Dressing Steamy Kitchen Get the Warm Asian Potato Salad with Sesame & Fresh Chile Dressing recipe from Steamy Kitchen 20Shepherd's Pie thirschfeld/Food52 Get the Pork Confit Shepherd's Pie recipe from Food52 21Roasted Potato Salad How Sweet It Is Get the Roasted Potato Salad recipe from How Sweet It Is 22Potato, Pancetta And Cheddar Baked Eggs Claire Sutton/Things We Make Get the Potato, Pancetta and Cheddar Baked Eggs recipe from Things We Make 23Provencal Potato Salad Simply Recipes Get the Provencal Potato Salad recipe from Simply Recipes 24Bay Roasted Baby Hasselbacks Warm & Snug & Fat Get the Bay Roasted Baby Hasselbacks recipe from Warm & Snug & Fat 25Baked Chili Cheese Fries With Bacon And Ranch Baked Bree Get the Baked Chili Cheese Fries with Bacon and Ranch recipe from Baked Bree 26Colcannon Cakes Simply Recipes Get the Colcannon Cakes recipefrom Simply Recipes 27Buttermilk Bacon Blue Smashed Potatoes Gimme Some Oven Get the Buttermilk Bacon Blue Smashed Potatoes recipe from Gimme Some Oven 28Mashed Potatoes With Scallions And Lemon Zest Ezra Pound Cake Get the Mashed Potatoes with Scallions and Lemon Zest recipe from Ezra Pound Cake 29Lebanese Spiced French Fries Heather Christo Get the Lebanese Spiced French Fries recipe from Heather Christo 30Smashed New Potatoes With Garlic and Chives Simply Recipes Get the Smashed New Potatoes With Garlic And Chives recipe from Simply Recipes 31Slow Cooker Baked Potato Casserole Bev Cooks Get the Slow Cooker Baked Potato Casserole recipe from Bev Cooks 32Brussels Sprout Potato Gratin Cafe Johnsonia Get the Brussels Sprout Potato Gratin recipe from Cafe Johnsonia 33Tatertot Hotdish The House of Brinson Get the Tatertot Hotdish recipe from The House of Brinson 34Spanish Tortilla James Ransom/Food52 Get the Spanish Tortilla recipe from Amanda Hesser via Food52 35Wonder Fries James Ransom/Food52 Get the Wonder Fries recipe from vvvanessa via Food52 Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

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