Subscribe to alexcurtisfitness.com; Website change.

Hey everyone!

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If you’re currently following me I just want to let you know that I’m migrating my followers over to my new website, alexcurtisfitness.com. This means you won’t my posts via email anymore unless you subscribe to that site. I’ll still show up in your newsfeed but if you want weekly recipes, fitness advice, and product offers just go to alexcurtisfitness.com and a subscription notice should pop up. Just enter your email and you’re all set.

So, what’s new with this site?

A lot. The page got a total make over and there’s a lot to look forward to within the next several months including:

1) A much bigger recipe selection list: Mexican Cuisine, Breakfasts, Healthy Snacks, Kodiak Cakes Recipes, Smoothies, Green Tea Smoothies and more!

2) E-commerce: I can’t reveal what’s happening yet but you’ll be able to purchase products directly from my page.

3) Easier navigation.

4) Relevant Ads: There will only be a few ads per page and they’ll be totally relevant to you and not invasive.

Subscribers will get special deals and discounts on products when the e-commerce is officially up and running so definitely consider it, especially if you love bangin’ health food.

Loaded Apples Recipe

Salty, crunchy, sweet and healthy. Transform an apple from a boring, mid-morning snack into a gourmet, any-time meal with this Loaded Apples recipe. It only takes a few minutes to go from the average snack to bodybuilding cuisine. Here’s how you make these Loaded Apples:

Ingredients
1 medium gala apple
1 tbsp. almond butter
1/4 cup high protein granola
1 tsp. honey
A pinch of freshly ground sea salt

Instructions
1) Slice a medium gala apple.
2) Spread 1 tbsp. of almond butter over the flesh of the slices.
3) Sprinkle 1/4 cup of high protein granola evenly on top of the almond butter topping.
4) Drizzle 1 tsp. of honey over the apples.
5) Sprinkle a pinch of freshly ground sea salt over the apples.

Nutrition
Protein: 11 g
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Fat: 9 g

Make it a meal
Mix 1 scoop of whey protein with 8 oz. of ice cold water and drink on the side to make your total protein intake 35 g!

Get more recipes on my Instagram!

Top 5 Testosterone Boosting Foods for Men & Women

Whether you’re just starting a bodybuilding routine or just looking to put on a few pounds of lean muscle mass, you want to make sure you’re supplying your body with the right resources so it can thrive. Boost your testosterone levels naturally and pack on some serious muscle with these 5 testosterone boosting foods:

Top 5 Testosterone Boosting Foods

1) Meat

Animal meat is a high quality source of protein and saturated fats which both support healthy testosterone levels in both men and women. Opt for lean meats like chicken breast, lean steak cuts, and turkey breast.

2) Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride and saturated fat that supports testosterone production in the body but is also low in cholesterol making it a fantastic substitute for butter.

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3) Eggs

Eggs are one of my favorite ingredients to cook with because they’re a high quality source of lean protein, saturated fat, vitamin b12, and fat soluble vitamins. I typically mix one whole egg with a few egg whites and cook them with mixed vegetables, low fat cheese, and complex carbs like potatoes or have a complex carb on the side like oatmeal.

4) Spinach

Spinach is a great source of magnesium which supports healthy testosterone levels. An easy way to get spinach in your diet is to add it to smoothies, omelets, sandwiches, and or juice it.

5 Diet Hacks to Increase Vegetable Intake

5) Shellfish

While I’m not a big shellfish eater, these little guys add testosterone boosting protein, flavor, and variety to your meal plan. I mostly use shrimp but you can also try oysters, mussels and lobster.

Try this Cajun Shrimp Quesadilla

Low testosterone levels could mean:
+ Low sex drive
+ Increase risk of obesity
+ Increased risk of reduced muscle mass in the body.

A lot of my recipes include meat, coconut oil, eggs, spinach and occasionally shrimp (shellfish) making them great for putting on lean mass, increasing testosterone and burning fat naturally.

5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Sodium Intake

Reducing your sodium intake is an easy, painless way to lower your blood pressure. Despite what you may think, it isn’t all about taking things OUT of your diet. I’m a bigger fan of adding things INTO your diet. Here are a few things you can do to lower your sodium intake without having to eat bland, uninspired meals:

1) Replace processed food with home cooked meals.

Processed food is loaded…seriously loaded with sodium. That’s partially how processed food stays fresh for weeks on end. Take a good, hard look at your daily diet and see what foods you can replace with natural food and home-cooked meals. If you usually eat two microwaveable meals (lean cuisine, weight watchers, etc.) cut back to one and replace the other with a fresh, home-cooked meal. Once you get used to that change, replace the other daily processed meal with a fresh meal that you can make at home. This will take hundreds of milligrams of sodium out of your diet without cutting back on the actual amount of food you get to eat.

2) Use a variety of herbs & spices.

We usually load our meals up with salt because it brings out the flavors of our meals. You can enhance the flavor of your meals without loading up on salt by accessing a larger arsenal of spices. Instead sprinkling salt all over your dish, try seasoning with oregano, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, or whatever goes best with your dish and then just a light sprinkle of salt to make it all come alive.

3) Replace butter with olive oil or coconut oil.

If you’re used to spreading butter on your bread, rice, and pasta or if you saute most of your meals in butter, try replacing that butter with olive oil or coconut oil. Olive oil and coconut oil are lower and sodium and they’re also two healthier fat alternatives that may even help you burn fat, lower your LDL cholesterol and lower your blood pressure.

4) Use hot sauce or hot spices.

Hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and chili peppers have helped me cut a lot of sodium from my diet. My clients have said that this has worked wonders for them also. The extra heat keeps any meal from tasting bland.

5) Make your own sports drinks and soft drinks.

Sports drinks are usually relatively high in sodium to help replenish electrolytes during and after your workout. Making your own sports drinks can help you seriously cut down on sugar and sodium. How? Fill a large shaker bottle with ice, 4 oz. coconut water, 4 oz. of 100% juice, and the rest with water. Shake and enjoy a sweet, hydrating beverage loaded with potassium and vitamins.

I personally use Goya or ZICO coconut water:

To make your own soft drink, try a flavored Polar seltzer in a tall glass filled with ice. Pour a few ounces of juice and fresh lemon or lime wedge to make a sweet, fizzy soft drink with less than 1/2 the calories of a traditional soft drink.

Chili Bacon Bison Burger with Garlic Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Bacon makes everything better. Chili makes everything better. I was the catalyst that made them join forces for this Bison burger recipe. Imagine a juicy bison burger topped with melted cheddar cheese, smoky bacon and a big spoonful of spicy chili in between a buttery garlic toasted challah bread bun. Not sold? What if I pile a bunch of crispy parmesan, garlic and herb sweet potato fries next to it? Where are the greens, you ask? I added a cherry, almond spinach salad to the plate for a pop of color and flavor.

chili bacon bison burger garlic parmesan sweet potato fries white wineChili Ingredients
1 lb of ground turkey
1 cup of black beans
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder

 

Sweet Potato Fries Ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. italian herbs (parsley, oregano, basil)
* Makes 3-4 servings

Cherry Almond Spinach Salad Ingredients
4 cups of raw baby spinach
1/4 cup split roasted almonds
1/4 cup of dried cherries
1 tbsp. bleu cheese crumbles
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
*Makes 2 servings

Instructions
1) Add 4-6 oz bison burger patty to a grill on a high flame.
2) Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side for medium rare.
3) Add 2 tbsp. of shredded cheddar cheese atop the burger.
4) Spread butter, herbs and garlic on a challah bread bun and toast on the grill until golden brown (30-60 seconds)
5) Plate the toasted bun.
6) Place the bison burger on the toasted bun and top with bacon & 2 tbsp. of chili.
7) Pile your sweet potato fries next to the burger.
8) Add your cherry almond spinach salad to the plate.
9) Serve.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more recipes, great workouts and giveaways!

4 Steps to Bigger Arms

Scan the weight floor of your local gym quickly and you’ll probably notice a teenager doing dumbbell curls completely wrong almost immediately. I always offer my help to people when I see them doing an exercise wrong, or not utilizing an exercise to its full effectiveness. Now I’m going to provide you with the knowledge to do the same. Here are the Steps to Bigger Arms:

1. Variety

You need a variety of exercises in order to promote muscle growth. Doing the same exercises every week will not only make your routine stagnant, but your body will adapt quickly and there will be no need to grow anymore. Doing little things like switching alternating dumbbell curls with barbell curls could be enough to spark some new growth. Change up your routine every few weeks.

What is Unilateral Training and Why Should You Do It?

2. Angles

Changing the angles of the exercise you’re doing places stress on different parts of the muscle which can help you target small muscle groups. This isn’t just about changing your grip from wide, medium or close. Next time you do preacher curls turn your chest out so your shoulder is in line with your elbow and your elbow is in line with your wrist. Apply this kind of thinking to other exercises also!

3. Volume

Lots and lots of volume has always worked well for me. 5 sets of Rope Pull downs for 15+ reps/set has worked better for me in the past than 3 sets of 12. There are some exercises that I may only do 3 sets of 20 reps and others that I’ll do 5 sets of 10 reps. Experiment with it and see how it works for you. After a few weeks go heavier and do 4 sets of 8 reps for an exercise for example.

The 6 Fitness Fundamentals for Success

4. Isolation

Keep that elbow still. No swinging your arms because that will recruit other muscles to assist with the lift. Isolate your biceps or triceps, and focus on really hitting just that muscle. Once you’ve got that down, focus on each individual head of the biceps or triceps. Now you want to hit just the long head or the short head of the biceps, or the long head, medial head, or lateral head of the triceps. This kind of isolation thinking will lead to more proportional, defined and impressive arms.

Click here for the 3 Keys to Hitting Your Fitness Goals

For the record, I learned a lot about growing bigger arms by watching Mike Rashid and CT Fletcher’s YouTube videos. I’ve come up with my own exercises that work great for me now but every now and then I still go back to what I learned from watching them. I definitely recommend check them out.

Make sure you follow me on Instagram for more workouts, advice and easy to make high protein recipes!

How to Keep Yourself from Binge Eating

Binge eating is a hot topic right now but it’s been a problem for many people for a long time as it wasn’t considered a legitimate condition until recently. We have an emotional response to the food we eat. A delicious meal can make our day while a gross meal can ruin it. Sometimes a piece of chocolate (or whatever your fix is) is all it takes to make sitting in bumper to bumper traffic less frustrating. Everyone binge eats from time to time, but if you feel like you may need help here are my tips to keep yourself from binge eating:

1) Set a post-meal goal.

As ridiculous as this may sound, try setting a post-meal goal. For me a post-meal goal may be to drink 24 oz. in between meals. If I haven’t finished my 24 oz. of water then I don’t get to move on to my next meal. This is an easy way to hold yourself accountable. Try making your goal physical by using a fitness tracker. Set a goal like “I won’t eat again until I’ve walked 500, 1000, or 1500 steps”.

6 Easy Ways to Improve Hydration

2) Eat a mint after your meal.

Pop a mint after your meal to signal to yourself that you’re done eating. At first this may not be effective but over time you’ll create a pattern. The mint is a signal to your brain that you’re done eating for at least 2-3 hours. A 10 calorie mint can save you from downing another 500 calories in snacks.

3) Don’t keep snacks that you can’t resist at home.

This is the way most people hold themselves accountable. Keep binge-worthy snacks out of your kitchen so you’re not tempted, it always starts with “just one”. Following a meal plan helps you not just save money but also teaches you when to eat, how much to eat, and what to eat. If it’s not on the plan, don’t grab it. Of course there’s leniency with this rule (going back to the emotional release of food) but the point is chips, ice cream, popcorn, and pizza don’t coincide with your goals.

Are Protein Baked Goods the Future of Snacking?

4) Find an activity that keeps your hands and your brain occupied.

Watching a movie may keep your brain occupied but it’s not enough to physically force you to stop eating. Find an activity that occupies your hands also. Think reading a book, playing an instrument, playing a sport, drawing, writing, exercising or learning a new skill.

20 Minute Full Body Home Workout

5) Brush your teeth if you can’t stop eating.

Similar to point #2 in that it signals to your brain that the meal is finished. In addition to point #2, most food tastes awful after you brush your teeth (think anything citrus, sour, and salty) which may kill your appetite enough to stop your binge eating right in its tracks. Don’t brush more than twice every day as you’ll run the risk of over brushing and wearing down your enamel. Consider this as a last resort to cutting yourself off.
Basic Meal Plan Rules.

Find out how many calories you need every day, divide that number into 4-5 meals, eat every 2-3 hours and stop after each meal is done. Put yourself in control and remember your goal with every meal. All you need is willpower. Once you start seeing results it will be much easier to stay on track.

As always, follow me on Instagram for awesome recipes, daily motivation and great workouts!