Stay Clean and Travel Lean


Adapting a healthy lifestyle and sticking to it can be tricky when a traveling event pops up. Whether it’s a vacation, family reunion or business trip, it doesn’t take much to get thrown off track. The comfort of having a selection of clean foods within reach disappears for the most part while on the road. It can be frustrating and also tempting to go off track, even for a few days. For some, those few days can turn into weeks and even months. Fortunately, getting derailed off of your clean eating schedule can be avoided. With proper planning, temptation and frustration will take the back seat to your healthy travels. Here is a list of fail proof planning that will help you stay clean during any type of traveling. I’m adding some tips on how to not miss a workout on the road as well!

Use a cooler/lunch bag– Invest in a bag/cooler that will hold all of your food, drinks and supplements. Make sure it is insulated and has ice packs that stay cool for 8 hour or longer. This will keep any lean meat protein such as tuna, chicken and eggs from going bad. Also, having your food all in one place is less stressful then having to go and search for it. This will help you stay on track and keep your energy levels high as well as keeping you eating on your normal schedule. If you are unable to keep protein cold, opt for vacuumed tuna in pouch and smoked lean proteins instead.

Food Prep– Plan all your meals before traveling by labeling the bags or containers you will use with “Meal 1, Meal 2” and so on…  Prepare clean foods that can be stored in plastic baggies so you always have a clean meal/snack available whether you have your lunch bag or not.  Foods that don’t have to be reheated are best. Example of these foods is nuts, veggies, protein powder and fruit. These foods can go in your purse, gym bag or brief case.

Call the Hotel– If you are staying at a hotel, call and ask for a room with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. This way you can store the food you packed in the fridge with no fear of it going bad, and you can also cook foods in the microwave like oats or sweet potato.

Local Food– when staying at a location for more than a day or two,  research local farmers markets and health food stores where you can have the availability to eat clean.

Online Menus– If a work meeting calls for going out to eat and it isn’t your time to indulge, look online at the restaurants “nutritional menu” and choose beforehand what you will get. You will be surprised how many salads and so called “healthy” foods are loaded with calories.

Gym Clothes– Pack your workout gear and use your body weight to work out if there isn’t a gym at the hotel or nearby. Moves like, pushups, sit ups, planks, crunches, plyometric squats, walking lunges and more can be done right in your hotel room. You can also call the hotel and ask if they have any rooms that host treadmills. Depending on the hotel, there are fit rooms that have treadmills, bands, small free weights and a health food bar.

With a few small changes and prep work, all of your travels will be successful and on track. Preparation is key.

Fail to prepare or prepare to fail.

***Best clean foods to pack while traveling***

Vacuumed packed tuna pouches

Smoked lean protein like chicken

Nuts & Seeds

Veggies & Fruits


Protein powder

Rice Cakes with butters like almond or coconut

Protein Shakes for Progress


I’d like to compare the importance of protein, to breathing air but, that may seem a little extreme. Although not far off, our bodies  need protein to live, grow and perform. If you have any fitness goal in mind, protein consumption is vital in order for them to be reached. Much of the fabric of our body is constructed from protein molecules such as muscle, cartilage, ligaments, skin and hair. Needless to say, whether your goal is to build muscle, lose weight or maintain health, you need adequate amounts of lean protein. Most of us know that within 30 minutes post workout we need to down some protein but, do we understand why it’s so crucial? Let’s take a look at how exactly protein shake consumption benefits our results in health and fitness.

Repair, Recover and GROW!

During workouts, especially weightlifting, we tear the fibers of our muscle tissue. The most important and productive way to begin the recovery process is by consuming a protein shake within 30 min post workout. This 30 minute post workout time frame is also known as “the window of opportunity” where your muscles are in dire need on nutrients. This is where the protein shakes become even more important. At this time your muscles are lacking and looking for the proper nutrients to replace that it just lost. This is the perfect time to feed your muscles what protein is made of, BCAA’s or amino acids. Protein is loaded with aminos as they are what’s called “The building blocks of protein.” Amino acids repair not only muscle tissue, but bones and body cells as well. Once you have consumed your protein shake, your body will be able to repair itself, protect against muscle loss and promote protein synthesis. Now, if your body does not have the proper nutrients it needs to repair its muscle fibers, instead of getting stronger you will become weaker. That is how important protein is to every fitness lifestyle. Especially if your goal is to grow, it is imperative to have a protein shake after a workout.

Eating whole food is needed to build a better body, but without the fast acting protein that goes straight to your muscle cells post workout, your results will suffer. Don’t waste your time in the gym by not knowing what type of protein to drink and when to consume it. Build a stronger, bigger and leaner you by protecting your muscles with protein.


1- When choosing a protein shake, make sure it contains some carbs. Protein and carbs are the perfect combo because the carbs act like a broom and sweep the protein into the muscle cells.

2- Avoid fat sources post work out because it will cause the protein to digest slower and may affect recovery nutrients negatively.

Fat Loss:

Supplementing protein shakes as a snack, as well as a post workout recovery meal is a great way to burn fat. (Considering you are on regular workout routine.) Protein shakes can sometimes come with the bodybuilder stereotype, but it’s also used for weight management. The reason that is factual is because protein preserves and protects lean muscle tissue. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, and more calories will be expanded. It takes more energy (calories) for our bodies to hold muscle tissue vs. fat. Eating clean foods in combination with working out and the right protein powder will produce healthy fat loss results. Getting on a cardio machine and consuming nothing after is not the way to lose weight, as some may think. If you do not consume protein after a workout, your body will take from its own muscle tissue; you will lose strength and slow your metabolism.

Another way in which protein shakes benefit fat loss is due to the BCAA’s we just discussed. New studies show that these amino acids actually encourage fat loss in stubborn areas. Again, that’s if you are working out and eating right. RTD’s (Ready to Drink) beverages are such a good weight loss aide as they are lower in calories and provide vital nutrients for your body.

If you want results in your physique, fuel your body with the proper nutrients at the proper time. The better you fuel and protect your muscles, the better results you will get!

Her Name is Sydney and….She lives in Sydney

Ok, you’re so going to bust my chops for this, but I met a girl……online. Yep, not ashamed to admit it! Her name is Sydney. Want to guess where she lives? How about Sydney, Australia! What are the odds on that?

We have a lot of the same interests: body building, eating healthy, Chuck Norris movies (which really made me fall for her!), but that being said, long distance relationships really stink. She asked me to fly “down under” to see her. She said I could stay for a month, which is cool, but I told her I wasn’t sure if I could bring a month’s worth of Primal Whey, 2:1 Protein Bars and Cytosport Fast Twitch Workout on the plane as they may think it’s something dangerous. I told her, it’s a different world today and they would probably confiscate it.

Yeah, believe it or not, I told her I just wasn’t going to go, I couldn’t be without my supplements for that long and I wasn’t going to rely on just Vegimite and Foster’s beer, you know. She was pretty sad, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was too, but in life you have to make decisions, right?

So get this, she called me like at 3:00 in the morning yesterday, God knows what time that is in Keith Urbanland, but she was all giddy. She said the day I told her I couldn’t come see her she placed a huge order for my supplements from Building Brawn. They now offer International Shipping! She said they arrived and now there was no reason for me not to come.

I’m packing right now to go to Sydney to see Sydney…..I think I just might ask her to marry me, I mean, she definitely has her priorities in order, right? How long do I have to be there before I take on that accent?


Thirty Years…3 Decades…ANIMAL PAK!

Thirty years.  Three decades.  That seems like a long time, and I guess it is, but for those of you who are old enough to remember 1983, it really wasn’t all that long ago.  Survival of the fittest rationally proves that some things created back then just don’t exist anymore.

On March 25th of that year, Motown celebrated a 25th Anniversary special, televised worldwide, which introduced Michael Jackson’s moon walk.  Sadly, Michael has walked his moon.  Or take a world famous comedian, who was so on top of the world in 1983. This guy helped save Saturday Night Live, which so close to being canceled it wasn’t even….funny (sorry, pun intended).  He was making movies, recording albums, and selling out arenas.  Everybody knew his name.  But where is Joe Piscopo now?

On the other hand, however, there are plenty of good, even great things that originated in 1983.  Like what, you ask?  Well, how about the invention of the Chicken McNugget, which hopefully no one reading this blog incorporates into their weight lifting nutrition plan.  Or what about the release of Microsoft Word?  Motorola even introduced the first mobile phone, which resembled a bookshelf speaker more than that sexy smart phone you may be reading this article on!  Heck, even the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their first album in 1983, and last I checked they are more relevant than ever!

But perhaps the most important invention that came into being in 1983, and is still going strong today, is Universal Nutrition’s Animal Pak, the most convenient all in one package of vitamins and minerals available.   Taken daily, this multi pack of greatness consists of everything a bodybuilder needs to ensure his, or her, body is well nurtured.

And the price seriously is tough to beat.  Just head over to Building Brawn’s homepage and check it out.  There’s even 44 servings in one container, that’s way more than a month’s worth!  If you’re anything like me, you like to buy your nutrients in monthly increments.  I’ve yet to run out of this valuable product as they always give you more than the standard 30 day supply sold by competitors.

I’m convinced that Universal Nutrition will still be selling Animal Pak thirty years from now.  Why wouldn’t they?  It’s truly a bodybuilder’s best friend, ask anyone who’s using it!  Now if there was only a way to convince McDonald’s to stop doing unnatural things with chicken parts…..

Get an EXTRA 10% OFF our already low price on Universal Nutrition’s Animal Paks now through April 5th, 2013!

Click here>>>

Shop Smart


Do you ever notice when you get home from the grocery store, you have extra food items that are unhealthy you didn’t set out to buy? Well, we’ve all heard the saying “never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach” but

what most don’t know is what aisles to avoid and how to shop smart. When trying to stick to clean eating, most mistakes are made in the grocery store. I’m sure we are all guilty of rushing to the grocery store on an empty

stomach and buying things we shouldn’t eat due to hunger pangs. We also end up making this mistake because we are unprepared and are unaware of what aisle we need to be in and what aisles to completely avoid.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your grocery shopping, kitchen cabinets and body, clean. Make a list and stick to it- Always make sure you make a list of what groceries you need.

Having that list will help keep you on track. If you write your food list before shopping you are pre planning and more apt to choose healthier options. Not only does this help you stick to your

clean eating, it saves time and money.

Stick to the outside aisles of the store- All of the fresh produce like veggies and fruits along with clean foods such as nuts, seeds, almond milks and lean proteins are always located

on the outside aisle of the grocery store. Most of the food in the middle of the store is processed, packaged and has assed sugar and chemicals. Stay clear!

Drink a protein shake before you shop- If you don’t have time, drink a protein shake and/or practice food prep. Healthy snacks like homemade protein bars, (made with your favorite

protein powder), homemade trail mix, chopped veggies and fruits are all great ideas. Make sure you at least have something packed with you when you shop. The most convenient snack I’d

have to say is a protein shake. It’s quick and easy to make and holds benefits like curbing your appetite while preserving lean muscle. This is perfect for protection in going overboard in the

grocery store. Keeping your body fueled with protein sources will help keep your mind focused on the food your body needs.

Keep in mind that your nutrition is roughly 80 percent of the changes in your physique when trying to get fit. Being prepared for grocery shopping and only hosting clean foods in your

home is a huge asset to reaching fitness goals. A little preparation goes a long way!



Building your optimum body takes hard work, tons of effort, dedication, the proper mind set and, like pretty much everything else in our society………….money.

Sad but true, the proper supplements are far from free, but if you do your homework, infused with a little bit of savvy, you can find the best price on the right products you need. We’ve been in your position before, with more than enough work ethic, heart and determination to create an awesome physique, but when it comes to purchasing additional products to help in the journey, there are limits to what’s affordable.

We’ve partnered with NRG-X Labs, truly a top notch leader in sports supplements, to offer some serious discounts on some of their most popular products. For a limited time, receive an extra 10% off our already low prices on the following NRG-X products:

*Tren 13- Ethyl: The ultimate compound for lean & dry rock hard gains without added estrogen conversion.

*19 Nor Deca Maxx: Gives you the backbone of real testosterone boosting that’s proven in the lab and in the gym!

*Maxx Test: Built specifically to NATURALLY raise test levels and libido and control cortisol and estrogen levels.

*Sublime Whey: KEY for building strong muscles in the gym and is a must for proper recovery after your workouts.

We’re convinced that once you implement these great products into your workout, you will be pleased with the results. Add to that you will have more green left in your wallet than you normally would if you continued to spend your supplement budget elsewhere. Now you can take that extra little bit of scratch and buy some new gear, you know your current stuff is a little dated!


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Yeah, But What’s Really In It?


Wow, right? I mean, check out that physique, it’s like she was sculpted from a slab of granite, but in a really good way. This is the type of body all fitness fanatics strive for. Want to know what Amy uses to assist with her workout? Come on, I’ll let you in on a little secret…..she’s a big fan of Amino Energy by Optimal Nutrition. When utilized properly, this is a great supplement taken before and after workouts to give her body the nutrients needed for maximum results.

What’s in it? Well….lot’s of things we have a hard time pronouncing, but settle back and we’ll break it down for you, starting with the Amino component. Please note: Don’t get thrown by the term “Micronized”. This is a term used for the process of reducing a solid material’s particles into an easy form to ingest.

*Micronized Taurine: This, my friends, is an amino acid essential for cardiovascular function, as well as doing wonders for the development of skeletal muscle, the retina and the central nervous system.

*Micronized L-Glutamine: Put in the simplest terms, this amino acid assists in synthesizing protein as well as being proven to help speed up muscle repair, which is hugely beneficial after a workout.

*Micronized L-Arginine: Like it’s friend L-Glutamine, this nifty amino reduces healing time of injuries and quickens the repair of damaged tissues.

*Micronized L-Leucine: Helps to regulate cell growth and actually acts as a flavor enhancer, so Amino Energy actually tastes pretty darn good!

*CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine: This acts as a buffer, delaying the onset of muscle fatigue and failure.

Next, let’s move on to what puts the “energy” into Amino Energy.

*Caffeine from Green Tea: Everyone knows caffeine gives you a pick me up, but did you know that caffeine from green tea has been shown to induce thermogenesis and stimulate fat oxidation, boosting the metabolic rate 4%

without increasing the heart rate?

*Green Tea Extract: More specifically, Camellia Sinensis, considered to have many positive health benefits due to tea’s high levels of antioxidants.

You knew it was coming……The Disclaimer!

Please don’t think that just mixing your choice one of Amino Energy’s several flavors with water and chugging it down at the right time of the day is going to

produce these results: (another picture of Amy.) This is just one minor piece of the puzzle. The hard work and dedication at the gym plays a much larger role.

But if you want to reap all the benefits of your workout, and possibly achieve a body similar to Amy’s, incorporating Amino Energy into your regime is a great way to start.


amino-energy-storeHEY YOU! Click on the picture above to directly to the AMINO Energy Page on

Would Arnold Have Won Mr. Olympia If Primal Whey Was Available In 1969?

Would Arnold Have Won Mr. Olympia If Primal Whey Was Available In 1969?

Don’t let the title above confuse you. We’re not referring to the “What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”
Arnold, we’re talking about the Arnold here. (And if the other Arnold came to your mind first, you
really need to check out the rest of this site!)

As any true Schwarzeneger fan can tell you, Ah-nold attempted to upset Sergio Olivia for the coveted
Mr. Olympia title way back in 1969. Sad to say, but he failed. Not to be deterred, he promised he
“would be back” (sorry, couldn’t help myself), and he was the following year. He became the youngest
Mr. Olympia at the tender age of 23 in 1970 and retained the title all the way up through and including
the 1975 competition. Quick math shows this was six times in a row he was crowned Mr. Olympia.

In the history of the competition, only two others have more consecutive wins, both Americans: Lee
Haney & Ronnie Coleman, both with eight.

Keep in mind, supplements have come a long way since 1969. I daydream, a lot, about what the
results would have been if Primal Whey was available to Arnold back in the day. With new flavors
like Chocolate Courage, Vicious Vanilla and Brutal Banana, you have to believe that Schwarzeneger
would have been living on this stuff! I mean, it’s almost like these flavors have taken on his cinematic
personality. Doesn’t Rocky Road Rampage just sound like one of his movies from the ’80’s?

I know he’s a former Governor, and I know he’s not at the right age to compete right now, but we can
still hope he makes more action movies. Come on, tell the truth, if Primal Whey flavors really were
Schwarzeneger titles, what would you rather see, Republican Ripple or Chocolate Mint Massacre?
Man….close your eyes….you can almost see the poster…..


Our Primal Whey Flavors include:  (HINT) Click on the flavors to go directly to our website!

Chocolate Courage ~ Savage Strawberry ~ Vicious Vanilla ~ Brutal Banana ~ Chocolate Chip Crunch ~ Cookies & Cream Craze ~ Cake Batter Blast ~ Cinnamon Beast Bun ~ Intense Ice Cream Sandwich ~ Rocky Road Rampage ~ Chocolate Peanut Butter Bite ~ Vanilla Caramel Craving ~ Chocolate Mint Massacre

The Importance of Post-Workout Nutrients

SJ Nieusma – Personal Trainer – Nutritionist – Published Author –

When it comes to working out, the most important meal you eat is the one you have after you exercise. What you eat after your workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process, which basically begins as soon as your workout ends. The post workout meal ensures your body has all of the supplies it needs in order to recover, adapt and improve the way you want it to. You see, for about an hour after your workout there’s a window when your muscles are starving for the proper nutrients. This is called the window of opportunity. Studies suggest your post meal should be consumed within 30 min after a workout since your blood flow is increased and your muscle cells are more sensitive to insulin. To get optimum results I would consume recovery foods within this the time frame of 30 minutes.

Benefits of Post workout meal benefits

  • Prevents muscle breakdown
  • Faster recovery
  • Better performance
  • Glycogen replenishment
  • Faster metabolism
  • Increases protein synthesis

What your body needs

The first thing your body needs post workout is a nice fresh supply of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are used by your body for making muscles, hormones, neurotransmitters, bones and more. When you exercise it depletes critical amino acids such as glutamine, valine, isoleucine and leucine, and the way you replenish your body’s supply is with protein. Another recovery food your body needs are carbohydrates. Exercise draws upon your body’s stores of glycogen, leaving them depleted. The extra insulin that the carbohydrates provide actually help your body to more efficiently utilize the amino acids from the protein, in turn you rebuild and repair your muscles more quickly. This is another reason why consuming a simple sugar such as fruit, honey or juice is great to have post workout. The insulin actually helps sweep the protein into your muscle instead of storing it as fat. The combination of protein and carbs make a perfect post workout meal. In order for them to work efficiently in your body, they have to work together.

Post workout meal Ideas

  • Whey protein shakes with fruit such as a banana
  • Whey protein shakes that contain carbs in it such as  MetRx Meal Replacement Extreme Chocolate
  • Lean proteins combined with faster digesting carbs such as, fish, chicken eggs with a potato and veggies
  • Homemade protein muffins containing protein and carbs and simple sugars
  • Omelet with oats and honey

Every meal that you consume is very important if you want to build muscle, burn fat and increase your performance. Each meal should be planned and thought out, making sure you will have what you need for  pre and post workout meals. Prep your food beforehand to make sure it will available when you need it most.

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MetRx Meal Replacement 18/2.54 oz Extreme Chocolate

MetRx Meal Replacement 18/2.54 oz Extreme Chocolate

More Articles, Recipes, and Fitness Tips With SJ

More Articles, Recipes, and Fitness Tips With SJ

Blueberry Avocado Salsa Recipe

Susan C. Maloney, PhD, FNP-BC
GF Athlete
IFPA Pro Lightweight Bodybuilder

Hello Fellow GF Readers,

I’m sure you’re not alone if you’ve ever been standing in the aisles of your favorite grocery store reading the food labels and find yourself confused or just not sure how to interpret what it means, what certain ingredients are, and for those of us with Gluten allergies, just how safe a particular food really is for us. The FDA still is not yet mandated to label foods as gluten-free, possible exposure, made in a company that also produces wheat/gluten, etc. Presently, companies that offer allergen information of their products are doing so of their own responsibility (and I sure appreciate those companies)! I seek out those food labels to help me know the safety of a product…and here’s a little reminder for you as well.

I recently went looking for a store bought salsa for an upcoming party I was throwing. I found what looked like a clean product….green chilies, tomatillos, garlic, and a few other ingredients that looked pretty safe. Then I read that this product was also made in a facility that has shared products and may have exposure to: wheat, soy, dairy, peanuts and other tree nuts.

So, how to decide what you can tolerate and what’s safe for you? It basically comes down to your level of sensitivity and your comfort level. I personally won’t buy a product unless it specifically states Gluten-free and has no possible shared contamination issues.

So…given that I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, I came home and did my own research in my own cook books and here’s what I have to shareJ.

Blueberry Avocado Salsa: Super high in antioxidants, good fats, and made from home in my GF kitchen is perfectly safe! Adapted from Great Gluten-Free/Vegan Eats by Allyson Kramer


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp lime juice + extra for drizzling onto avocados
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Course black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalepeno pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into small chunks


Pulse all ingredients (except for avocado) a few times in a food processor. Then, cut up your avocado and drizzle with lime juice. Stir in chopped avocado with the rest of your salsa ingredients. Add a touch more salt if desired. I also like a shake of Penzey’s garlic/salt blend for a little extra flavor. Serve immediately over any of your favorites…burger, GF wrap, or with GF organic corn chips! Enjoy!

Caveman Foods Caveman Nuts Bar

Caveman Foods Caveman Nuts Bar

Metabolic Nutrition Protizyme 2 lb Chocolate Cake

Metabolic Nutrition Protizyme 2 lb Chocolate Cake

Indian Chicken Recipe (Gluten Free)

Indian Chicken Recipe (Gluten Free)


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