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4
Jan

Fast Breakfast Ideas

For those of you who always seem to be on the run in the morning heres a fast and easy breakfast you can make in just 6-minutes, one that will super charge you with tons of good nutrition & energy to help jump start your day.

First and in a small pan pre-heat with a medium flame adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to the bottom of the pan. Coconut oil is the most natural of all oils on the market today and does not break down with temperature like most man made oils. Crack open 1 or 2 eggs, add a dash of salt & pepper and cover pan.  You can also boil your eggs in a pot of water if you prefer boiled eggs. Make sure to drop the eggs in with a large spoon so not to break the eggs.

While waiting for the eggs to cook for 3-minutes, lightly toast a healthy piece of whole grain bread. You can add Kerrigold grass fed butter (no fake butter or margarine’s) and/or cut open half an avocado mashing the avocado to spread on top of your toast.

Last, you can simply remove the eggs from the pan with a spatula placing them onto your toast or crack and peel if boiled, mashing the egg in a small bowl then spreading onto your bread. Drizzle a little olive oil or avocado oil on top and bam, a beautiful nutritious breakfast loaded with awesome clean calories.

Start your day on the right foot, your body will thank you for it as will your waistline!

 

7
Dec

5 Tips for Staying Healthy on Vacation

Taking a holiday vacation shouldn’t mean taking time off from your healthy lifestyle. Don’t throw away months of hard work for one gluttonous getaway. You can stay on track while away and still have fun. Here are my five tips on staying healthy while on vacation:

Schedule Your Workouts: Even if you overindulge a little while away, you can keep things in check by making sure you exercise on a daily basis. Set aside 30 – 60 minutes minutes each day for some form of exercise or physical activity. Book your appointment at your hotel to rent a bike, take a long walk with your significant other along the beach, book an appointment for a yoga class with the concierges at a nearby gym or swim laps at the hotel pool same time each day. You can even check out the website www.trail.com to find local hiking or jogging paths, maybe even rent a tour guide for an extended amount of time. When you think about it the options are endless.

Don’t Over Indulge at Every Meal: I think many of us have already learned the pit falls of vacation, having returned 5lbs heavier from a previous trip. I would never want you to deprive yourself, so I advise you go light when indulging on your favorite splurge foods this trip around. Keep things light throughout the day and as normal to your daily routine as possible, this way you can have a bite or two of your favorite cake after dinner, but not the whole slice. Another trick is eat often and every 3-4 hours but eat light using the 70/30 rule: make salads and fruit 30% of your meals and lean protein (chicken, meat, fish, eggs) 70% of your meals. Keep the calories light by reducing carb calories like breads, pasta and soda’s during the day, this will allow you to have some dessert at night.

Research: Vacation means constant dining out and ordering food day and night. Just like you plan which activities you want to do while away, spend the time researching restaurants online beforehand. Look at their menus, appetizers, and salads so you can choose the restaurants which offer plenty of  healthy food choices. Also, utilize your mini-fridge in a healthy way by stocking up with a case of water, plain yogurts and berries. Pick up celery and carrot sticks if possible at a local store, even hard boiled eggs if possible to curb hunger when it strikes.

Don’t drink up your calories: If drinking alcohol, drink it straight up, neat or on the rocks. Ordering a margarita or fruity drink poolside for example contains a whopping 700 calories, which means you just drank your lunch in calories.  No lunch for you 🙁  If deciding on a beer, have a bottle of water after each beer or try drinking the beer on ice! Why? Water re-hydrates the body negating that tired feeling as well as the chances of a regretful hangover.  Water also helps fill you up, curbing liquid calories throughout the day. Yes your away on vacation looking to unwind which I totally get. I just want you to make the healthier choice when it comes to alcohol too. Instead of the sugar loaded fruity cocktails, choose a lower-calorie drink like light beer on ice, flavored vodka with club soda, red wine, white wine spritzer or tequila on the rocks with lime. Trust me it will make a huge difference in the way you feel and look when returning home. You might even enjoy the trip more.

Get Active with Your Tribe: Vacation is a perfect time to get active with not only the people you are traveling with but maybe even some people you meet while away. Try something new and try getting out of your comfort zone with others. Yes I still want you to get that 30-60 minute workout, but you can still find a fun, physical activity the rest of the family or friends can join in too. Bring a frisbee and/or sponge football to toss around the beach, go kayaking or snorkeling or put together a beach workout and go for a swim there after.  Get everyone involved, most of all, have a great trip!

Coach Ray 🙂

7
Jul

Hunger Games & Food Strategies

Hunger Games & Food Strategies

Trying to eat better? Struggling with food addiction, making better food choices and hunger games? Heres a different solution: Know your eating style!

Below are six (6) different eating styles which also explains eating behaviors and motivations. Why is it crucial to identify your eating style? Because knowing your eating style may just open the door to understanding your behavior while also winning the battle of the bulge. To find your style and new strategy, read on.

  1. Style: Energy Eater – Because you’re always working out, you think you can eat all the time but inaccurately calculate the quantity of food (fuel) you need to recover and motor through the day. Daily caloric consumption and caloric threshold are very important, and although the additional meals/snacks are likely healthy, daily calories consumed vs calories burned is part of the equation to staying mean & lean. Remember protein bars and power bars may be convenient, but be sure to check sugar grams as it all adds up! As does the extra gnashing here and there. Strategy: Make sure you are making an effort to eat more protein. Protein keeps you satiated and will hinder your overconsumption of Carbohydrates. Yes carbs are very important especially for muscle recovery post workout and the busier part of your day, but they are also very quickly digested in comparison to protein, which can lead to hunger games throughout the day if not consuming enough protein. Glycogen is restored within the liver and muscles post-workout via complex carbs, but remember over consumption of carbs throughout the day will also lead to fat storage. Try journaling your food each day to get a clear picture of just how much food you are eating. You”ll see the where & when you are making mistakes which can help with the what you should start cutting down on at certain points of the day. Hint: night time is not a great time to over indulge on heavy carbs. Protein and a little fiber is best!
  2. Style: Sensual Eater – You say ooh and ahh while relishing every bite of something decadent, sweet and exotic – even if it means putting on the pounds. Mostly consisting of deserts and foods that are loaded with simple sugars for taste, sensual eaters might blurt out, “this is better than sex” while eating these tasty morsels. Yet over time end up hating themselves for it. Strategy: Stick to the “two small forks rule”, of decadence which will allow you to try something while keeping things under control. Also, if you have enough room for “two small forks full” after dinner or lunch, it may be possible you are not consuming a healthy balance of calories during each meal meaning good protein, carbs and fats. There is a big difference between good and bad proteins, carbs & fats and your knowledge of them can also help curb your wanting desserts. #choices
  3. Style: Habitual Eater – You can enjoy and woof down a bag of junk food at any moment, only to realize what you have done when your hand hits the bottom of the bag. You may also justify it with, “just this once” because you had a bad/hard day or, closed on a business deal. Problem is you wake the next day feeling like the blob! Habitual eaters munch on chips, dips, bread sticks & pretzels while watching TV after work, might pour that extra glass of wine late at night or, may find themselves in the refrigerator late at night. Strategy:  Journaling what you eat start to finish each day allows you to see your “habits” in black & white. Seeing it with your own eyes will help you better understand bad habits and where it is  you are going wrong. This will allow you to cut back on unnecessary calories at certain points of the day. All in all acquiring better habits can help make a brand new start!
  4. Style: Emotional Eater – Be it a promotion or tragedy, you eat to satisfy your emotions rather than taking on natural hunger cues. This is serious because you may lack the ability to distinguish between food as fuel AND food as a coping mechanism. Strategy: Make a non-food list of creative ways to elevate your mood such as enjoying a spa treatment, going to the golf range, scheduling a massage, take a walk a long the water front or even watch funny videos on youtube. Turning to food is a temporary fix, and identifying your way of coping with say your job, boss, spouse, bills and friendships with food must be put in check.
  5. Style: External Eater – Typically you fall victim to food that is in front of you. Like bagels at the office, candy in the glass jar on top of an office desk, finger sandwiches at a meeting, hotdogs & chips at a BBQ or the finger food served at a cocktail party. You see it and think you need to eat it! Strategy: Stop & think, “do I really want to eat this” and shake off the, “I see it and therefor need to feed”. Best strategy, always be best prepared to deal with any and all situations before actually walking in to them. Feeding before attending an event, office lunch meetings, dinner party and function will not only allow you to have control, it will assist in your saying no to temptation and peer pressure while keeping you on track. Going to an event on an empty stomach is always a No-No, so take charge of what you put in your mouth before hand.
  6. Style: Critical Eater – You have vast knowledge about health and nutrition but an all or nothing way of going about things. Also known as “yo-yo eating”,  you are all in for five days and all off the next two. You might consume all real foods during days 1-5, only to find yourself woofing down boxes of snacks and processed foods the next two days while subsisting on juices to counteract it. Critical eaters tend to like a challenge, sometimes purposely sabotaging themselves from time to time because they need a challenge. Strategy:  The simplest of them all, “Ease up on food rules and try being more realistic 7-days a week”. The whole day doesn’t have to go down the drain just because you made one bad choice. Refrain from continuing and think less about how self-destructive you feel after a bad meal and more on how your next meal choice will be a good one.  The 80/20 rule is still way better than 20/80.

If you enjoyed this article please be sure to pass along and share with friends.

 

Ray Dente

Fitness Coach/NYC

1
Jul

I lost 24 pounds of fat off my 5 foot 2 inch frame

I lost 24 pounds of fat off my 5 foot 2 inch frame

Ray’s meal plan and personalized training REALLY works!! I have to admit, I was skeptical that anything was going to work for me. I just turned 45 in February and was beginning to resign myself to the fact that my slowly growing middle area was never going to go away and that growing older and hormonal changes had taken over control of my body.

Upon meeting Ray, I shared with him that my main goals were to strengthen my core and have my clothes fit well. I was sick of waking up to a closet full of clothing that just didn’t fit right. It was becoming a hassle to get dressed in the morning.

Ray took the time to learn about me and he designed a personalized meal plan that now, after 16 weeks, will be how I eat for life. His meal plan is NOT a diet. I went from eating barely two meals a day trying to manage my caloric intake with no success at all, to eating five well-balanced meals each day. I never would have believed that eating five meals a day would help me lose the weight, but it absolutely did. I can honestly say that I was never hungry. It’s a ton of food!

I signed up for 12 weeks of personalized training two times a week and within the first few weeks, my body began to change and my previous self, began to emerge. I slowly started shedding the extra body fat and the workout slowly shaped and tightened every area of my body. My clothes became looser and each week I was stronger and stronger. At the age of 45, for the first time ever, I was finally able to do a full-fledged push-up without using my knees! Now, after 12 weeks, I do 50+ pushups during one session. In fact, during one of my last sessions, I did 100 pushups in the first 30 minutes. Wow!!

Over the 12 week period, I lost 24 pounds of fat off my 5 foot 2 inch frame. My final body measurements resulted in 1 ¼ inches off my neck, ¾ of an inch off my arms, 2 full inches off my legs, 3 ¼ inches off my chest, 4 ½ inches off my hips and the most exciting of all, 8 ¼ inches off of my waist!!! That totals 20 inches lost overall!!! I never would have believed it was possible.

There were health benefits too! I went for my yearly wellness visit at the end of my sessions and my blood work revealed a 30 point drop in my overall cholesterol, my triglycerides dropped by 50% and my blood glucose levels were at the very bottom of the normal range. Although my glucose was never high, it was slowly creeping up as I was getting older. Eating healthy made me healthier inside and out!

My husband even joined in the fun and ate the same last meal of the day with me each evening. Just by eating fresh greens and a protein each night, he also lost 21 pounds of fat! We were both beach body ready for our annual anniversary vacation! And, we both enjoy eating much healthier. We never feel deprived. A night or two when my husband ate a meal like we used to eat at dinner, he only ended up feeling sick and overfull. It confirmed for us that the only thing we were missing out on were stomach aches and that very uncomfortable full feeling when you eat way too much. If you listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs.

What I learned from Ray, will now be a way of life for me. I recently went on vacation and was able to still eat healthy and enjoy myself. I lost 1 pound while on vacation. When does that every happen??

Ray provides the total package: the personalized meal plan, the personal training and plays the role of a personal coach who helps you with getting your food right, making sure your form is correct during your workouts and pushes you farther than you thought you could ever go. It’s both physical and emotional support and he will give you any amount of either that you need. For me, I needed the physical push to push me hard in my personal training sessions and not as much of the emotional support. This journey confirmed for me how mentally strong and fiercely independent I am. Now my physical strength matches my mental strength!

Ray tailors everything to each of his client’s needs. He genuinely wants to help everyone be the best that they can be! If you put the work in and dedicate yourself, you will be successful on this program. I am living proof!

 

Before Pic: Mid-March 2016

 

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After Pic: 12 weeks later – June 2016

 

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9
Jun

Are You in Summer Shape yet?

First of all, how many of us are ever in summer shape before summer even starts?

The answer: Not many! We are all so busy running around, working, taking care of children and covering responsibilities that we never truly realize just how fast summer creeps up on us every year. We always seem to find ourselves behind the eight ball, stressing about the way we look while playing catch up during the best time of year.  But that’s not a bad thing in fact, I think it’s rather normal to become more active again during the warmer more enjoyable months of the year. So stop stressing!

Even for many of my hard-core fitness friends, “summer shape” never seems attainable although they’ve been training all winter long for it. Why? Like most they to are very critical of their body and so in the end, “summer shape” becomes that unicorn for pretty much everyone.

Although “summer shape” can be defined as feeling confident and comfortable enough to throw on a bathing suit while spending time with family, friends or your significant other, its can and should also be one of those enjoyable aspirations to work towards and we have three great months of the year to do it in.

So if behind the eight ball, what can we do to catch up, feel better about ourselves, get into summer shape?

Pretty simple, “get active & get outdoors”. Spend some time walking or working out in the sun. NYC has some great parks along both water fronts and you can even find turf on some piers to run & train on. You can also get on a bike and map out an easy or challenging route with a friend, maybe plan to stop at a healthy eatery along the way or challenge yourself by hitting the bridges. There is a bike tour here in NYC http://www.exploretheapple.com that is both challenging and fun. Taking long walks in Central Park can also be both challenging & fun because there are many hills you can hike up and down on, away from the hardtop of the city. As much as I enjoy training indoors, there is something about training in the fresh air that is both stimulating and invigorating.

Other benefits of getting active?

For starters, you become more conscious of what you eat, and if you can match what you eat with the way you exercise, I promise change in body composition will happen fast. It’s that combination of good eating and exercise that stimulates metabolism most naturally, providing fat loss without having to juice, cleanse or starve yourself which is a very unhealthy way to go. Added activity will also help you sleep better at night, reduce stress, improve the way you feel about yourself, and reduce stress eating.  During the summer months, start eating more protein (fish, chicken, eggs and lean meats) while reducing heavy carbs like bread, pasta, potatoes and grains. Veggies and fruits low on the glycemic index chart are the way to go, all of which can be added to make healthy salads.

 

It’s never too late to get started, or get into “summer shape”

 

Ray

 

13
Apr

Want to Live Better & Longer? Do Strength Training

Living Better & Longer!

Physical activity promotes general health, and for many of us “exercise” means walking to work, jogging, walking on a treadmill or doing other cardio activities that get the engine pumping. But more often than not, the value of  strength training exercises are sorely overlooked by the majority of our population.

Just a few facts:

The average 30-year old adult will lose roughly 25% of their muscle strength by the age of 70 and roughly half or 50% by age 90. Without strength training, we simply become weaker and less functional over time. Just lifting ourselves up and down off of a toilet seat can become an issue, which is the number one reason adults end up living in an assisted living center. They’re legs aren’t strong enough to sit down and stand back up!

So what can we do to live longer and better?

  1. Start up a simple body weight strength training routine where you incorporate some push-ups (knee push-ups for the ladies), body weight squats and maybe a core plank. This way you are working upper and lower body as well as core and cardio. This can be done both at home or at a gym.
  2. Join a strength training circuit class at your gym or within a private fitness studio. Now more than ever small studios are popping up all over that offer functional strength training classes for both men and women. What’s awesome about these classes is that you find yourself working both your core and total body within the workout, as well as your cardio engine.
  3. Join a running class that requires you to sprint for short distances while then adding light dumbbells into the workout to make it a total body sculpting routine. Sprinting requires more upper and lower body strength to propel the body forward. When compared to jogging, its night and day. Just look at the body of a sprinter vs jogger or the Cheetah vs Elephant.
  4. Get a personal trainer and start a legitimate strength training routine. Strength training will provide you with improved shape, improved confidence, improved health and improved ability to complete simple functional movements on a day-to-day. Like picking your children up, shoveling snow, climbing stairs, carrying the groceries into your house, getting up and down out of your chair, of the floor.

Visualize yourself now and then visualize yourself 20 years from now. Yes its time to invest into your future, to Live Better & Longer!

If you enjoyed this article please pass along to a friend, family member or colleague.

 

Evolution not revolution!

 

Ray