BUILDING MUSCLE – What’s The Truth?

Wow. Where to begin with this post? For starters, I have been in the fitness industry for roughly 6 years now – and MAN have I seen a lot of myths, fads, trends, etc over the years. The one thing that has seemingly remained consistent, however, has been the lack of knowledge around gaining muscle. I feel like I hear these things literally every day:

“I want to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time”

“I’m trying to replace my fat with muscle”

“I want to gain muscle but I don’t want to gain weight”

“I just want to be TONED but not muscular”

And those are just a few. So I’ve been contemplating for a while on how to approach this topic without making it extremely boring – for one – while still helping people LEARN in a fun, lighthearted way. Because honestly, I understand that this entire topic is frustrating. You don’t know who to trust, you don’t know what’s true, and it can be extremely overwhelming with all the information out there on the interwebs. Lol.

Anyway, if you have 30 minutes to watch this video..I really think some people out there will benefit from it tremendously. I can’t tell you how many people have come to me after trying fad diets that had them on less than 1200 calories per day, confused as to why they’re not gaining muscle.

I cover everything from my personal journey of building muscle (FIVE YEARS, PEOPLE!), some misleading/fake information on social media, 10 common muscle-building myths, and then ended the video with a Q&A from my Instagram post. And yes, of course, I got asked if I have taken testosterone lol. It never ends!

baby boy! (1)

Click HERE to watch the video!

I really hope you guys enjoy this video. If you could subscribe to my channel, it would mean so much to me!

xo,

 

BREAKFAST PIZZA!

One of my all time favorite things that I no longer eat due to stomach sensitivities is regular, good old fashioned pizza. However – my favorite food “genre” if you will, is BREAKFAST. I could literally eat breakfast for all three meals and be satisfied. Anyone else?

This is why I’ve created a super macro-friendly, customizable breakfast pizza courtesy of Trader Joes “lavash bread” (because honestly, I have yet to find a suitable replacement) and it is SO. FREAKIN. GOOD. You have to try this on a slow Sunday morning: it’s one of my absolute favorite recipes.

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Directions:


  • In a square pan, spray lightly with coconut oil spray (or any type of spray) and lay your lavash bread down. Place the pan on the stove top over low/medium-low heat.
  • I prefer to use salsa as a “sauce” for the pizza, but you can use whatever you’d like!
  • Add spinach or veggies of your choice. I sometimes like to add cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, and then cover with a lid to let the spinach wilt.
  • I also heat up some Applegate Natural’s chicken sausages and add two of those to the pizza as well.
  • In a separate pan, start cooking some eggs or egg whites. Either works, but just scramble them to the point of right before they are cooked. You don’t want them to be too dry!
  • Add those to the top of your pizza and then top with your choice of shredded cheese. I personally love the Trader Joe’s almond cheese, and it melts just like real cheese!
  • Take the entire pan and put it in the oven on “broil” for a few minutes (everyone’s oven will be different) and watch the edges. Once they get a little crisp on them, it’s good to go!
  • I like to top mine with some avocado slices and italian seasonings. Sometimes I’ll even add hot sauce if I’m feeling spicy 😛

Macros: 37g Protein, 47g Carbs, 14g Fat 

Happy Sunday!
xoxo,
Manders

Did you know Austin and I “met” through an almost unread DM?!

..well, kinda. Lol. What’s even crazier is we actually have a mutual friend in St. Louis – Bonnie. Honestly if it weren’t for Bonnie, I may have never opened Austin’s message. And the best part? He was responding to an internet troll calling me a man. In fact, I remember it like it was yesterday. He told me that I needed to “get down to my birth weight” 😂😂😂😂 wut. Honestly I avoid my unread DMS like the plague (especially from guys, no offense my dudes) and I had JUST gotten out of a very unhealthy relationship so I was like, “oh hell no” 😂😂 but here we are almost a year later! I picked up my life and moved across the country for this dork, and now we’re doing podcasts and stuff. Click the link below to get a little glimpse of our relationship – past, present, and future. And for the love of God, stop asking us if we’re going to have kids! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

 

 

Why I don’t drink.

I’ve been doing this whole awkward, “omg why don’t you drink” explanation for years. I can remember being in high school when it was “cool” to go to parties and drink, but I always just offered to be anyone’s DD instead. I didn’t even go to my own prom because I spent the night driving drunk teenagers around. Except back then, I truly don’t recall getting as much pushback from NOT drinking as I do now at 25. It’s a weird thing, isn’t it? I’ve always wondered why my decision not to consume alcohol affected other people so much. It was almost like I OFFENDED them if I didn’t want to partake. As you can imagine, from 21-24 I was avoiding social drinking settings like the plague (still do) but it wasn’t until I went to therapy that I started to uncover why it still makes me so anxious and uncomfortable years later. It had just been one of those things that I “accepted” because I’d always done it. I had become the non-drinker. And even more so once I started having stomach problems, it gave me an easy out to reply to people when they started pressuring me at bars and such. Some people were worse than others, but they always wanted to know WHY. And truth is, I didnt even really know why that fear was there until recently. But it was still an excuse to tell someone who was incredibly persistent. I’ve even gone so far as to LIE about being pregnant because some guy on an airplane one time would not stop attempting to force me to drink.. fucked up right? Anyway. My relationship with my father was never good to begin with, however, when violence would occur in our household it was almost ALWAYS following drinking. I saw him become someone different. It made me wonder as a child, “why does drinking alcohol do this to my dad?” And so it birthed a negative association. My first boyfriend who drank alcohol around me became almost a different person. Not necessarily “bad” just different. And it scared me. Who was the real person? Was it intoxicated? Was the statement, “the truth comes out when you drink” true? I began to hear the phrase in highschool, “I didnt mean it I was drunk” or “I dont know what happened I was drunk” you WHAT? You lost consciousness and don’t know what happened? You cheated because you drank too much? Yup. That was my first boyfriend ever. Not that I’m trying to put blame on him, for god sakes we were only 16, but let me tell you something, you don’t forget that. My first serious relationship, I noticed similarities. Who he was when he was drinking was not who he was when he was sober. In this scenario, he wasn’t abusive or a cheater. In fact; he seemed to love me MORE when he was drunk which to be quite honest, I think fucked my mentality up even more. What was true? What changes when you drink? Again, terrifying to me. 

Now, I’m not sitting here saying that every single person changes when they drink..I’m just explaining my reasoning for not drinking and why it makes me uncomfortable. No matter what way I look at it- if you’re “having a few drinks with the guys” or literally out getting shitfaced, I can’t shake the images of my drunk father on the floor of the garage screaming at my mom. I cant shake the amount of times I’ve heard “I was drunk, I’m sorry” and the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that I get as people around me start to become intoxicated. I will never be okay in social drinking situations. I cant act “normal” because inside, my anxiety is screaming. The more someone drinks, the worse it gets and has even brought me to tears in some situations. I’m afraid. Plain and simple. I’m afraid of who someone will become. I’m afraid of my past. I’m afraid of what could be said, or what could be done. And sometimes I dont even know what exactly I’m afraid of, which is the worst part. So please. The next time you think about asking someone “why!!!???” when they say they don’t drink, please reconsider. When someone says they are “sober” no one replies with “well why were you addicted to drinking or drugs?” We just don’t do that. We respect their decision. And I wish that could be said for the people who just simply choose not to drink as well. 

The Key To MOIST Meatballs? A PANADE.

My friend Josh is a fantastic chef, and recently I asked him how I could get turkey meatballs to be not so dang dry! EVERY time I make turkey meatballs, I regret it because they NEVER come out resembling my moms old school Italian meatballs. Well, I suppose using regular pork and beef would help with that LOL but we’re talking TURKEY MEATBALLS HERE. You want a lean, moist, high protein dinner? I got you.

WHAT IS A PANADE?! That was my response when he told me that panade was the secret.
panade.
milk and bread paste.

Yup! you heard that right. So here’s what I used:

  • 2 ounces of bread (I used sourdough)
  • 120 fluid ounces of almond milk (this might vary depending upon your type of bread)

Cut the bread up into small pieces, place in a bowl, and pour the milk over it. Let it soak for about 20 minutes (or until it becomes a paste). The other ingredients:

  • 1lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1oz (28g) parmesan-Reggiano

Combine everything by hand in a large bowl, then slowly add the panade to the mixture until well mixed. It’s okay if it’s a little wet! Just make sure that you can roll it into balls. I rolled mine into about 2 inch balls and then arranged on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, making sure the tops are browned. This is what they looked like when they came out of the oven:

Nice and browned! Yum.

While those were baking, I cooked some Banza rotini pasta on the stovetop, and grabbed some leftover broccoli that I had in the fridge from meal prep Monday. I tossed in some charred cherry tomatoes, a bit of sauce (Dave’s Gourmet butternut squash is my favorite), added the meatballs, and then tossed with some parmesan cheese.

All the meatballs in totality weighed 607g. So a 150 serving (which was 4 meatballs) was:
31g protein, 7g carbs, and 4.5g fat.

AND they were NOT DRY! SUCCESS!