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Saturday, July 14, 2012

2012 Summer Update

By: Alex Liska
Hello everyone! :) I hope you are all having a fantastic, fun-filled, relaxing summer!!! :) I haven't been around for a while, i was working 9-5pm, living life and exploring different lifestyles; And they all led me back to fitness and nutrition! This is my passion and i am soooo happy to be back in training and eating clean! I had some time to explore some amazing at home workout options and very easy clean eating solutions while i was "resting" :) Every week, however i have been kicking it up a notch and the results are really starting to show just 1.5months into my nutrition phases! In terms of nutrition, i'm currently doing some carb cycling, low fat phases and intermittent fasting, all according to my activity levels and demands of my lifestyle. This is working wonders for both me and my clients. I have learned so much about nutrition in the past 6years and i feel blessed to have the opportunity to share this knowledge with my transformation team and also implement these amazing programs with my own training. I do plan on doing another show this year, I was debating whether to do "fitness model/bikini" category or "figure" and i really think my niche is in the figure category lol. I do NOT want to lose any muscle mass, i enjoy heavy lifting WAY too much :) In the meantime my focus is on enjoying workouts, clean eating and devoting lots of time to my clients but I'm hoping to do a show in September!  
I also have some exciting news!!! My other blog http://NaturallyAnabolic.blogspot.com will be taken over by another trainer who will be posting some really interesting articles that go hand in hand with everything on this site and everything i am hoping to accomplish interms of helping folks adapt to a healthier lifestyle:)
Thanks for stopping by my site and I will be posting recipes/meal ideas soon so stay tuned ;)


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tasty Turkey Drumsticks with Mushrooms & Onions

Ingredients:
-2 Turkey Drumsticks (I remove the skin unless its organic)
-1 large or 2 medium chopped onion(s)
-2 cups chopped/sliced mushrooms
-3cloves minced garlic
-2 tsp butter
-Olive oil (to drizzle on top before placing in the oven)
-2 tbsp dry red wine/cooking wine
-1/4tsp each: paprika, blk pepper
-1 tsp oregano
-1/2-1tsp sea salt

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a preheated frying pan, add butter and fry the "seasoned" (paprika/blk pepper/oregano) turkey drumsticks on med-high heat until lightly brown. This may take 5-7minutes. Add in the chopped onions, mushrooms to the frying pan around the turkey drumsticks. Drizzle red wine/cooking and olive oil on top. Sprinkle with Seasalt (at least 1/2 tsp). Bake for 30-35min. Remove the frying pan and mix the mushroom/onions mix with a spoon and turn over the drumsticks. Top with the minced garlic. Place the frying pan back in the oven in a broil setting for 7-10minutes !! Let it sit for 5-10minutes and then serve and enjoy :))))

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Magnesium Stearate: BEWARE and CHECK YOUR LABELS!!!

By: Alex Liska

What is Magnesium Stearate??? If you look on the back of most multi-vitamin tablet products or other common pills/supplements you will see the ingredient "Magnesium Stearate" listed. Sometimes products contain a higher percentage of this per capsule, sometimes less. Magnesium stearate is used commonly throughout the pharmaceutical/supplement industry as a lubricant. It is formed by combining 'stearic acid' , 'calcium stearate' and by HYDROGENATING cottonseed/palm oil. If you recall in recent literature/news/articles/magazine columns, 'hydrogenated oil' means TRANS FATS. Therefore, whether in a low or high dose, Magnesium Stearate is a binding/granulating agent but also a trans fat.

In many clinical studies, Magnesium Stearate has also been shown to inhibit the absorption of pill/capsule contents by up to 80% !!! What happens to the stearic acid & calcium stearate, the actual capsule/pill? According to studies any ionic compound such as this one will damage your kidneys in high enough doses, main reason being that it may not be dissolved fast enough to clear your system.
I have been reading and researching 'magnesium stearate' for years now and have also used MANY products that list it as an ingredient (I will also add that most products with this ingredient are a LOT cheaper/more cost effective and easier to find) and i have noticed that i get some pretty gruesome headaches upon taking these products. When i first started taking them however, i did not really notice any difference. Apparently it is quite common for folks that are sensitive to pills/tablets/capsules/medications to experience severe headaches/migraines from having taken products with 'magnesium stearate' in them.

For me, the big RED FLAG comes from knowing that this binding agent is in fact a TRANS FAT!!
More companies are becoming aware of consumers knowledge of Magnesium Stearate and its health implications, so they are all publishing interesting sounding articles about where their magnesium stearate is derived from, or how their capsules/pills/tablets contain a much lesser amount.

At the end of the day, you must ask yourself this: "Is it worth taking the risk using a product with Magnesium Stearate listed as an ingredient?
-Not knowing HOW MUCH of it is actually in the product?
-Not knowing HOW MUCH of the actual contents of the capsule/pill/tablet you are actually absorbing?
-Not knowing HOW MUCH of what your body cannot absorb will be leaving behind toxins/residue/by-products in your liver?
And finally, how comfortable are you with consuming a product that has even a SMALL AMOUNT OF TRANS FATS in it????"
The purpose of this article is simply to raise awareness on this filler/binding agent/granulating agent/mysterious ingredient (or not so mysterious since it's always listed) so that all my fitness/health-conscious readers can either do more research on this topic or simply AVOID taking products with Magnesium Stearate in them.

Personally, I would much rather follow a sound nutritious diet, rich in minerals and whole foods (ingredients that i can actually SEE and FEEL good after i consume them), than gamble with my health and try to make up for lost minerals/vitamins and expose myself to Magnesium Stearate!!!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and i hope this info was helpful to some of you:)

xo,








Alex L. :)


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Leg Workout: Circuits and Supersets Plus CORE

By: Alex Liska
Hey Guys! Hope you had a great weekend!! :)
I outdid myself on Friday interms of my "last cheat day" before my next show... When i say cheat day i mean i didn't waste a minute of the day 'not eating' LOL... eat., sleep, eat, sleep, then i trained and DESTROYED chest & back! Even did some cardio (not sure what the point was, i think i just felt like being drenched in sweat)... I DEFINITELY consumed well over 10thousand calories... This excessive binge was mainly due to the fact that I ate VERY low calories all week (mainly just greens and protein) and trained like a savage beast! I knew i would be having my last big cheat day and i wanted to make sure i was totally starved and craving everything i saw ... Anyhow, NO MORE OF THAT!!! Eating is fun, but not when you're not retardedly vascular and shredded and able to brag about your food consumption ... I'm back to following an amazing clean-eating plan; one that incorporates ALL macro-nutrients, timed at the right intervals of the day, and that keeps my blood sugar levels steady and wards off cravings! I feel energized and ready to take on 2012 and step on stage harder and more shredded and vascular than ever before :D Even if that's not the criteria the judges are looking for in figure, i STILL wanna be OVERLY ripped, hard, jacked and covered in thick greenish blueish veins :))) I posted 2 off-season pics in this article and i will be posting a lot more as my transformation takes place.
Enough babbling, here is my Leg Workout from Today (i punished myself with HEAVY weights and circuits for having eaten myself into a food coma pretty much on Friday LOL):

LEG WORKOUT:
30-60sec rest between circuits/sets & as heavy as possible!!!
Circuit
1warmup set+circuit(4sets20reps each) - I only rested enough to sort of catch my breath between circuits for these exercises, so about 15-30seconds max:
-Front Squats
-Leg Extensions
Leg Press(diff. Stances)
Superset
4sets20reps:
-Lying LegCurl
-Stiff-legged Deadlifts(Diff. Stances),
Circuit
3sets 15-20reps:
-Single-legged Glute Press on Smith machine(laying down on a mat pushing against the bar w/ my heel - Slow tempo& Squeezing tight)
-Standing leg-curls
-Step-ups on to bench,
-Hanging knee raises(20+reps)
-Lying leg raises (20+reps)
-Crunches w/ feet up holding light bar (20+reps)

So, that was my leg-workout for today!! Lots of work, but i F#CKED up on Friday so this was my punishment :):):) Tomorrow i probably won't be able to walk... YAY!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Helpful Tips to Fight Cravings !!!

By: Alex Liska
Hello everyone!!!
I hope you're all having a great start to 2012 :) I took a small break the month of December from extreme dieting and training, but I'm SOOOOOO happy to be back now !!! I learned something which is that i'd much rather travel and NOT take time off from dieting and training, than stay in the city and eat junk, train less and "try to be more normal" LOL ... Anyhow, on my time off i had lots of time to play around with new recipes and methods to make dieting or should i say "eating clean" more pleasant! Here are a few tips to help fight cravings:
First and foremost, find out what it is that you crave most... is it salt? sugar? fats? Then try to find a healthy alternative for your craving... for example: if you crave salt, try baking a tray of kale chips or broccoli/cauliflower or any other green veggie sprinkled with SEA SALT and a drizzle of olive oil. Salt cravings usually indicate that you may be mineral deficient or your thyroid may be in need of a boost, coming from a healthy source of sodium, such as SEA SALT! Sprinkling this salt on potassium-rich green veggies allows for a nutrient dense, electrolyte-rich crispy snack that will satisfy your cravings.
If you're craving sugar, this may be a sign that your blood sugar levels are not as steady as they should be... this may be caused by skipping meals, not enough or TOO MUCH exercise, too much caffeine, or simply having been on a low carb diet for too long. Focus on eating 5-7 smaller balanced meals a day that include enough green veggies, healthy dietary fats (browse the archives of this blog for examples of these), natural protein sources, and fibrous complex carbs(try to consume these earlier on in the day or around times where you're more active (ex. pre and post workout). Also, having half to one glass of DRY red wine with dinner and eating 1/2-1 ruby red grapefruit after your meal will help keep your blood glucose levels more balanced. If you're in need of guilt free sweet treats also don't forget to browse the archives on this blog for some simple, amazing sugar-free recipes that will definitely satisfy those cravings :)
If you find yourself craving fats such as peanut butter, RICH chocolate, fatty red meat, this may indicate that your body is deficient in dietary fats/omega fatty acids! Start by consuming at least 1000mg of omega 3 daily and take a look at your overall diet to see if there is enough fat in it! Sometimes when we follow certain diet templates they are either too low in fats or too low in carbs (both of which are energy sources that our body needs at the right times of day). Your hormones reset themselves at night so instead of having a last meal of the day that is high in carbs/sugar, consider a higher fat alternative, perhaps a small serving of red meat/salmon or lean meat w/ 1-2 tsp all natural peanut butter or coconut oil!!!
In between meals, as a snack i really enjoy having kale chips, raw broccoli dipped in mustard and balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing, or any other green veggies with a pinch of sea salt on them. Herbal teas also really help me feel more satisfied especially mid-morning, mid-afternoon or before bed :)


I really hope this post helps you guys and feel free to contact me: alex@alexliska.com if you have any questions regarding nutrition/workouts and if you may be interested in personalized meal plans/training programs.

xo,







Alex L.:)