Summer is almost here, which means it’s time to get in shape. Cue Chicago health and fitness expert and personal trainer Joey Thurman, whose new tome, 365 Health and Fitness Hacks That Could Save Your Life, offers a complete DIY guide of nutrition and workout tricks.
We sifted through all 365 hacks and expanded on five to help you get back in gear.
Instead of traditional white rice or even brown rice (which is high in calories), shred cauliflower and add your favorite herbs and spices for a kick (above). Swap out refined bleached flour (which spikes blood sugar) and opt for coconut flour (low-carb, fiber-rich and gluten-free) or walnut or almond meal for a low-carb option.
Kiwi skin — as well as the skin of fruits like oranges, apples, mangoes and even watermelons — is rich in fiber and nutrients, so leave it on. Other foods you can eat with the peel on include potatoes (for extra iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin B-6 and C), cucumbers (for vitamin K) and eggplant (for the antioxidant nasunin).
Try this quick workout for a firmer behind: Stand with your feet turned out and shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your butt; at the same time, squeeze your abs and tighten your fists as hard as you can (squeezing all of these simultaneously will create a better muscular contraction). Hold the squeeze for 30 seconds, remembering to breathe.
Pick out green veggies rich in chlorophyll — think spinach and parsley, which cleanses your blood supply — and jelly-like plant foods like chia, aloe and seaweed. Add cilantro, which helps remove toxins from your nerve tissue.
There are countless fitness and health apps and devices on the market, but Thurman’s favorite is Fitbit Surge (starting at $249.95; Fitbit.com/surge), a superwatch that chronicles your every move. “I find it intriguing watching my heart rate, even while lifting weights, and logging it,” he says. “When the week is done, I can see my [progress on things like] my calorie burn, sleep patterns and weekly activity goals.” Keep an eye out for Thurman’s new app, Pillar — launching March 28 — which creates a buddy system for workouts. You pick what you want to do for your exercise — running, lifting weights, playing tennis — and it finds someone nearby who wants to join. “Gone will be the excuse of ‘I don’t have anyone to workout with,’ ” he says. There’s also the option (for a small fee) to be paired with an advanced expert.
5:40 a.m. I wake up and grab my pre-made elixir shot (Hack #73: Mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, juice of one lemon, one teaspoon cinnamon, water and a dash of cayenne) and toss it down — it’ll perk you right up in the morning. I take a serving of L-Carnitine, a non-essential amino acid that helps fat be utilized as energy; L-Carnosine, which supports healthy aging and cellular rejuvenation; and a teaspoon of B-12 for energy.
6-10 a.m. I train four to five clients in a row at HiFi Personal Fitness (820 N. Orleans). During the last client of the morning, I’ll drink black coffee (Hack #198: coffee before a workout!) with some amino acids and glutamine (Hack #216) for energy.
10:15 a.m. My workouts consist of: three sets of 10 to 15 squats and leg presses; four sets of six to 12 deadlift reps; four sets of eight to 15 calf presses; four sets of six to 12 dumbbell bench presses; four sets of six to 12 pull ups; four sets of 15 to 25 crunches; four sets of 6 to 12 dumbbell shrugs; four sets of six to 12 side lateral raises; four sets of 20 to 30-second side planks; four sets of six to 12 lying triceps extensions and four sets of 6 to 12 hammer curls.
11 a.m. I’ll walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes or use a foam roller to stretch.
Noon If I lifted weights, I’ll refuel my body with clean healthy carbs — gluten-free oatmeal with sliced banana, pumpkin seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut, unsweetened cashew milk and chocolate protein power.
2-3 p.m. My lunch is a salad with greens, nuts, avocado, flax, chia, balsamic, egg (yes, the entire egg) and chicken or turkey breast.
4 p.m. I go back to the gym to train more clients.
7 p.m. I head home and my wife, Maria, has an amazing Greek-inspired dinner ready. Generally, it’s lean meat with seasoning or fish with asparagus or a green smoothie.
8 p.m. I’ll have a snack like powdered peanut butter with protein powder and nuts mixed in. Powdered peanut butter is amazing and has a fraction of the calories of regular peanut butter (Hack #90).
10:30 p.m. I’ll kiss my wife goodnight and set my Fitbit watch to sleep mode to measure how soundly I slept.
Try this protein-packed shake after a workout to build muscle tissue and increase your metabolic rate.
Cinnamon banana oat protein shake
• 8 ounces milk
• 1 medium banana
• ½ cup raw oats
• 1 serving whey protein
• cinnamon to flavor
Mix all ingredients in a blender and enjoy. Pro tip: Substitute water for milk for fewer calories.