…GORUCK: HCLS Veteran’s Day Event…


What is GORUCK?

To me… GORUCK is a family.  It is the reason I keep pushing to be better and stronger.  I do this not just for me but also for my team.  When you show up to an event your new family is your team.  Each person will get to a point where they will want to quit.  Their mind will realize that they could be comfortable at home, dry, sleeping, and not enduring the grueling miles of exercises that you are enduring while doing a GORUCK event.

I have been apart of the GORUCK family since late 2013.  I signed up not knowing what to expect.  The only thing that I was told was that I needed a backpack/rucksack that weighted at least 25lbs without water in it. So I trained with a backpack I found on ebay and bricks I had borrowed from a friend.

Two years later I have done countless events, traveled to dozens of cities, created a new family that I lean on for encouragement and support.

I was somewhat worried about this event because lets face it.  I HATE WATER and I HATE COLD! I knew that there would be two elements that I would have to face while in San Francisco.  To what extent I was unsure, but I wanted to mentally get prepared for the worse and I am glad that I did that.  I train hard….365 days a year…5-6 days a week.  People always ask me what I am training for, and I would honestly have to say I am training for life. There are so many different events that I would like to do.  So instead of focuses on just one event I focus on getting stronger and faster.  I focus on building myself up so I can tackle and obstacles that I encounter.  I want to be able to carry more weight for a longer period of time.  I want to be able to do PT without questioning if I had trained well enough for the workout I am pushing through.  I want to be a strong contributor to the team in a physical and mental way. The best way for me to do that is to be on my “A” game and to be prepared for whatever is thrown at me.


Smile when faced with being uncomfortable and uncertain as to what is to come. Something that I thought when I saw this picture that was taken.  The cold surf crashing against our bodies as we endure PT as the sun is just coming up. To my left and right I have my team mates, in front of me I have the world.  I have spent a lot of time “getting comfortable being uncomfortable” and in this moment it showed.

Finishing this event meant so much to me and I had an amazing team and amazing cadre that lead the event. GORUCK is my addiction and I could not find a better way to spend my weekends. 60+ miles, 40+ hours, and countless memories make a HCLS.  If you are looking for a good challenge I suggest a GORUCK event.  It will test both your physical and mental strength.  And, you will walk away a wiser, stronger, and more humble person.

One of my favorite quotes:

“Never above, never below you, always beside you” … Something I tell myself before my events start.  Team first, my needs are always 2nd. 


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…Infinite Life Fitness Recipe: Chobani Greek Yogurt Turkey Wraps & Chocolate Pudding…



Greek yogurt:

The product that you can find sandwiched between “regular” yogurt, , sour cream, and cottage cheese  that you can find stocked at your local grocery store.  Greek yogurt tends to be thicker and creamier (some companies have come out with the whipped and lighter versions of Greek yogurt).  There are 100’s of flavors and combinations of Greek yogurt for you to choose from.  Why is Greek yogurt becoming such a popular health food?

It can help with your digestive system:  Greek yogurt contains probiotics which is a healthy form of bacteria that can help to regulate your digestive tract. Consuming Greek yogurt gives your body an extra amount of good bacteria so that it can aid in food digestion and food waste regulation.

It contains nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and a good dose of protein! The additional protein helps to encourage cell growth, and assist with helping to build/repair the muscles and tissues that you may use and abuse when you workout.

It is a food that contains a small amount of lactose so it is a friendly food for those that may be lactose intolerant.

Greek yogurt is a food that would be a great addition to your diet.

Today I created two foods (that you can enjoy TOGETHER) that pack a lot of protein, that are very filling, and they are extremely delicious!

I also wanted to create something that can utilize food you may already have in your fridge.  As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching we all know that there is usually left over turkey and cranberry sauce.  I created this finger licking meal/appetizer option for you to enjoy:

Turkey Cranberry Wraps


  • 1 large Tortilla (whole wheat is preferred but you can use other variations)
  • Lettuce (about a handful…enough to create a base layer on the tortilla)
  • 2-3 oz of Turkey (you can also use chicken or another lean meat)
  • 2 tbsp Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (fat-free)
  • Optional: Nuts, cheese, sliced veggies, ect.


  • Lay out tortilla on cutting board or plate
  • In a bowl mix together Greek yogurt, cranberry sauce (and any other optional things you would like to add such as chopped nuts, who dried cranberries, etc.)
  • On the tortilla make a small base layer of the Greek yogurt mixture (I made a layer that was about 3 inches in width and it extended the full length of the tortilla)
  • Once the Greek yogurt layer is added and smooth, place a layer of lettuce on top of the Greek yogurt.  You can also add sliced veggie or any other additional items you would like
  • Carefully fold the top and bottom OVER the food that you placed in the middle of the tortilla and roll it
  • You can serve it as one big wrap or cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Watch the following video to get some idea of what I did…


Chocolate Pudding


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (fat-free)
  • 1 tbsp. coco (I used dark chocolate coco but you can use another version)
  • 1-2 tbsp. Walden’s Farm Syrup (Add syrup to create the level of sweetness you would like! For this mixture I used 1 tbsp.  You can also use honey, regular syrup, stevia, or something else.  Add sparingly as you mix the ingredients together so you do not over sweeten the product)
  • 2 tbsp. chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chocolate chips but you can use another version)
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • Optional: nuts, dried/fresh fruit


  • Combine all of the above ingredients into a bowl and mix
  • Add other garnishments BUT BE CAREFUL as to what you add! The more things you add you can quickly make this healthy dessert option not as healthy.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!


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…Weight Bench Buyer’s Guide…

Weight Bench Buyer’s Guide



Lifting weight is serious business. Whenever you’re pushing heavy iron overhead,  you risk injuring yourself. That makes it absolutely vital that the training equipment that you use is able to do the job properly. In a commercial gym setting, you can feel pretty confident that the gear is going to handle anything you can throw at it. When it comes to working out at home, however, it’s a whole different story. There’s a whole lot of home exercise equipment out there that can only be described as cheap and nasty. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to that most basic home gym requirement – the weight bench. Yet, getting the proper bench for the job you demand of it will allow you to train more effectively while giving you the peace of mind that you are performing on a safe, sturdy base as you throw around the heavy iron. Aside from this article, James, from Garage Gym Builder, has a great resource for finding the best weight bench for your home gym. There are tons of different brands, models, and specifications that can be quite confusing if you don’t know exactly what to look for. Check out their guide before you buy.

Weight Bench Basics


When it comes to home weight benches, there are three options:

(1)  Bench Station – this is a bench that has two uprights to support a bench press bar.

(2)  Utility Benches – these benches adjust for a flat, incline or decline surface.

(3)  Standard Flat Bench – this does not adjust to give a variety of bench angles; it is simply a flat bench.

Bench stations are often very cumbersome and bulky. Many of them also include such extra options as leg extensions, shoulder presses and leg curls. In this article we will exclude bench stations.

What To Look For

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Weight Rating

Regardless of the type of bench that you’re after, the first and prime consideration must be what is the weight rating. Benches are rated in accord with the maximum load that are can handle. It’s important to know that maximum load also takes into account your body weight. So, if you weigh 200 pounds and you can bench press your body weight, then you need a bench that can handle a maximum weight of at least 400 pounds. When you consider that the whole point of training is to get stronger, you really need something that is about 100 pounds heavier than that.

The less expense utility benches don’t rate very highly. This is primarily a result of their high number of moving parts. The more moving parts a bench has, the more stress points there are. This then limits the maximum weight that the bench can support. A higher bench rating can only be achieved through quality construction, including strong welds and minimum moving parts.

Bench Height

Bench height is another crucial factor when buying a bench. If a bench is too high, you are going to struggle to get your feet on the floor, limiting your ability to push through the floor as you bench. This will also prevent you from achieving a proper lower back arch.

If a bench is too low to the ground, however, you will not be able to position yourself in the best position to use maximum force when doing overhead pressing work.

Pad Firmness

The firmness of the bench pad is important to getting the bench that will do the business for you. Use the following rule of thumb to see if the bench you’re considering is sold; if you can press your thumb into the middle of the pad and touch the wooden base of the bench, the pad is too soft.

Bench Width

The width of your weight bench is another factor that can affect your exercise performance. A bench that is too wide may restrict the movement of the lats, preventing the exerciser from fully extending the resistance as the elbows travel below the line of the body. This will limit the weight you can lift as well as the range of motion you can achieve. The correct width of a bench should allow your lats to extend over the side of the bench.

Should You Buy a Utility Bench?

A Utility bench will give you the freedom to adjust the bench angle. This will allow you to do a full range of incline, decline and flat bench work. That would appear to make the utility bench a rather obvious preferential choice. There are, however, pros and cons to getting a utility bench over a standard flat bench . . .


o   The bench allows you to adjust to fully upright for shoulder pressing work

o   You are able to adjust the bench to a range of incline and decline angles to work the chest from different angles

o   Many benches feature a leg support to hold you firmly in place when doing decline work. Often this attachment will double as a leg extension / leg curl unit.



o   Utility benches cost quite a lot more than standard flat benches

o   Utility benches are generally not as sturdy as flat benches due to the number of moving parts

o   Utility benches are often higher off the ground than flat benches to allow for the mechanism under the bench

Clearly, there is a price to pay for the luxury of being able to adjust your bench angle. For those with a flat bench, however, angled work can be achieved simply by placing the bench end on a raised platform.

Bench Movements


Regardless of the type of bench you select, you will have a versatile piece of equipment that will allow you to perform a large range of exercises. Your bench will allow you to do the following exercises for the various parts of your body . . .


Ø Flat, incline or decline barbell bench press (ideal inclines angle to target the pectorals is 25-30 degrees).

Ø Flat, incline or decline dumbbell bench press

Ø Flat, incline or decline flyes

Ø Pullover


Ø Seated Barbell Military Press

Ø Seated Dumbbell Press

Ø Seated Lateral Raises

Ø Prone Reverse Flyes


Ø Incline Dumbbell Rows

Ø Decline Dumbbell Rows

Ø One Arm Row


Ø Lying Triceps Extension

Ø Overhead Triceps Extension

Ø Triceps Kickbacks

Ø Close Grip Bench Press

Ø Seated Dumbbell Curl

Ø Seated Concentration Curl

Ø Wrist Curl

Lower Body

Ø Bulgarian Split Squat

Ø Decline Leg Curl

Ø Seated Calf Raise

There you have it, an awesome resource for buying your first weight bench. you enjoyed this article, and want more of this type of content head over to GarageGymBuilder.com where they have a huge database of product buying guides and workout resources.


…Traveling: Airport Healthy Food Options…


Traveling is something that a lot of people do regularly.  Car rides, truck stops, air port TSA check points, running through airports to catch your flight, getting a seat on the plane that is just not very comfortable… there are a lot of things that people have to worry about when trying to get the desired destination.

As I have traveled quite a bit over the past few years, I have found that there are some things that I have adopted to make things a little easier for me.  A few of these things are:

  • Getting a compact water bottle to travel with (get to the airport with your empty water bottle.  Once you get past TSA go to the water fountain and fill it up! It will save you the $5-$10 that you would have to spend on a water bottle at a kiosk or airport convenience store
  • Get a bag that is durable AND will fit under the seat in front of you/in the over head bin. (This is by far one of the most important! Some airports are relaxed on the size of your bag and other stick to the rules 100%.  The worst time to figure this out is when the airport is busy, you stood in the TSA line for almost an hour only to find out that you have to go back to the check in counter to check your bag that is slightly over stuffed and too big “by the regulation standards” to be taken on the plane).
  • Have plan updates texted to your cellular device (you can also have them emailed.  Phone calls are great! But if you are in the middle of trying to call a cab, hotel, family members and the airline is calling it is hard to switch the line get that call.)

You can also check out my other blog post by CLICKING HERE that goes into more details (and money saving tips) on some other traveling tips I have discovered.

I do not know about you, but I do enjoy getting to find some healthy food options when I am traveling.  I have seen over the past few years a HUGE shift in the variety of healthy food establishments that are available in different airports.  This is actually the reason I am creating this post.  To help showcase the different options that I have been able to find throughout different airports.


DFW (Dallas/Ft. Worth)



Terminals: A, B, C, D, E (You can use a shuttle system within the airport to travel between terminals)

Most (if not all) airports have a kiosk or air port convenience store that will offer things such as beef jerky, nuts, protein bars/refrigerated shakes, dried fruit, trail mix, etc.  These things are all great to grab and go as you are trying to curb your appetite until you reach your final destination.  BUT these are also things you can purchase BEFORE you get to the airport and carry with you in your bag.  This will not only save you time (not having to stand in line to pay for the item), it will also save you money!

Healthy food options: Terminal A

  • Qdoba : The holy grail of making your own salad.  You can make your salad unhealthy REALLY quickly if you pile on a lot of the wrong toppings.  You can go HERE to Qdoba’s calorie calculator.  This can help you to know what the nutritional information will be of the meal you would like to put together.  Qdoba offers a variety of things (healthy and unhealthy) so you can for sure find something to please you and your traveling companions taste buds.

Healthy food options: Terminal B

  • Freshens: Is the mecca of fresh food options when it comes to airport food options.  You can CLICK HERE   to see the nutritional value of the food that is offered at the fresh food studios that can be found in this airport.  Make sure to pay attention to what you are ordering! As with any place, adding more things to your entree can quickly add calories, carbs, fats, and many other things to make the dish not as healthy.  Be sure to limit the addition of those types of extras to keep your meal healthy and nutritious.

Healthy food options: Terminal C

  • Grove Natural Snacks: This snack bar has a ton of nuts, protein trail mix, and many other healthy snack options you can grab.  (You can also find a Grove located at gate A, C, D, & E.)

Healthy food options: Terminal D

  • 360 Gourmet Burrito: This can be compared closely to Qdoba (or other taco/burrito bars).  Make your own burrito (or salad) with all of the things that you like.  Best options would be grilled chicken, veggies, and salsa.  Limit things such as sour cream and guacamole.


There are also places such as Red Mango, Smoothie King, and Jamba Juice located at DFW.  These places are all great options, but like with the other food choices you will want to pay attention to what you are ordering.  Some options will pack too much sugar or other macro nutrients which will quickly make the an unhealthy option.




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…Happy {Healthy} Halloween Treats!…


Halloween is quickly approaching! And so is the rush to try to find treats to have at your Halloween gathering or to hand out to those little trick-or-treaters that know on your door.

I have made it know that for those that come to my door they will get a healthy snack option in their Halloween gift bag!

Here are a few great treats that you can try to create this Halloween!

The things I created:

  • Ghost Bananas
  • Little cuties pumpkins


  • Fruit Salsa (with home made tortilla chips)
  • Witches fingers


All of these options are non expensive, easy to make, and something that can be made with the help of the kids or anyone else! This could be a great activity for everyone to partake in before Halloween.

Please be sure to practice safe procedures this Halloween! Also, do not forget to keep the chocolate up and away from pets that may be allergic to it!


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…Is acupuncture a realistic alternative to physiotherapy?…

Is acupuncture a realistic alternative to physiotherapy?


If you’re experiencing chronic pain that just doesn’t seem to want to go away chances are you want to try and find a way to make it subside. Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that has been shown to help in many cases of pain, especially in the lower back and joints such as the knees. Many physiotherapists actually study for acupuncture qualifications so they can provide the treatment in addition to other methods of physiotherapy.

Acupuncture has not only been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, but also to stimulate the growth of muscle. This is why using acupuncture for muscle rehab is a popular choice for some patients and professionals. We’re going to take a look at what acupuncture actually is and why more and more physiotherapists are harnessing its attributes in their treatments.

What is acupuncture?

laura merie Acupuncture treatment

laura merie Acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture originated as Chinese medicine, and it’s been in use for over three thousand years. You may have heard the word Qi used. This is an energy force that runs through the body in channels known as meridians. This Qi lies at the heart of what acupuncture is all about. The belief is that blockages in the Qi lead to sickness and pain. Acupuncture removes the blockages and allows the Qi to flow again.

That’s the traditional belief in the power of acupuncture. Modern day scientists have found that there also appears to be some scientific basis to the power of acupuncture. It seems that manipulating body tissues where there is pain radiating from muscles can help to ease discomfort. It’s not completely clear why this is the case.

What happens during acupuncture treatments?

You may know a little about how acupuncture works. We’ll explain a little more. Several very fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at various points along the channels or meridians. The practitioner then manipulates the needles. This often results in the experiencing of a dull ache for the patient. It’s this part of the process that is believed to restore the flow of Qi. Where in the body treatment is carried out depends on what the problem is and where it is located.

Acupuncture or physiotherapy?


The title of this article asks whether acupuncture is an alternative to physiotherapy. The truth is that although acupuncture is still regarded as an alternative medicine it has become more mainstream. Many physiotherapists receive training in acupuncture. Rather than being an alternative to physiotherapy, acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other physiotherapy techniques. Much the same as with many types of medical treatment, different patients benefits from physiotherapy in different ways. For many, the use of acupuncture has been shown to be successful in reducing chronic pain when other forms of physiotherapy alone had limited or no effect. Rather than speaking of acupuncture as a realistic alternative to physiotherapy it’s probably more accurate to refer to it as complementing more traditional forms of physiotherapy.


…oral health is just as important as physical health…

Daily rituals of dentists – how to look after your teeth

Close-up of patient’s open mouth before oral checkup with mirror near by

Close-up of patient’s open mouth before oral checkup with mirror near by

Ever since you were a child you’ve probably been told to look after your teeth, but a lot of people aren’t very good at doing it. Many people brush their teeth twice a day, but they neglect to floss and they’re too busy for regular check-ups. If you don’t look after your teeth you can end up paying a heavy price.

It can seem as though teeth cause nothing but problems in life. They hurt when they arrive during teething, they need constant looking after and they mean you have to pay regular trips to a dentist which many people find stressful. It’s only if we lose teeth that we realize just how valuable they are, and how they are worth all the aggravation. Keeping hold of your teeth in good condition is the reason why good oral hygiene is so important.

How should you look after your teeth?


Once you get into a healthy oral hygiene routine it’s not that difficult to keep up. There are several points that you need to remember in order to make sure your teeth and gums remain healthy.

 Brush your teeth after breakfast and before you go to bed. Use a medium strength tooth brush and brush in a circular motion, not up and down.

 Floss between your teeth at least once a day.

 Cut down on the amount of sugary treats in your diet, such as fizzy drinks.

 Have regular dental check-ups.

Missing out on doing any of these things can lead to the build-up of plaque on your teeth, to decay, abscesses and gum disease.

What happens if I have problems with my teeth?


If you neglect your teeth and gums then you’re going to end up needing treatment such as fillings or root canal work. This can be very costly and unpleasant. That being said, you should never be afraid to seek dental treatment.

Even if you know your teeth aren’t in great condition, and you’ve been avoiding the dentist, you should take that step and go, to protect not just your oral health but that of your whole body. It’s been shown that bacteria from your mouth can have a detrimental effect elsewhere. You should also remember that your teeth are vital as you eat and they help you to pronounce words as you speak. Your teeth also help to form the shape of your face. If you’ve seen someone who hasn’t got any teeth, you will have noticed that their face has a sunken appearance. Another important aspect of having healthy teeth is a great smile. There’s nothing worse than feeling as though you have to walk around with your mouth tightly shut because you’re ashamed of your teeth. Smiling makes you feel good and if you can’t smile there’s a good chance you will lose confidence.  All it takes to avoid all of these problems is few minutes each day spent on dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups.


…Infinite Life Fitness Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancake…

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes_ILF

Tis the season to enjoy things that taste like pumpkin!
Here is yet another great recipe for those who would like to have pumpkin for breakfast.  I will have to admit… This recipe makes the pumpkin flavor quite mild.  The banana and cinnamon are the first things that I initially taste, and then there is a slight pumpkin after taste.  If you would like more of a pumpkin kick I would suggest adding pumpkin spice to your mixture before you make the pancake.

Here is the recipe:

1 packet of protein (pumpkin protein meal replacement shake, if possible). OR 1 scoop of your own whey protein (to get it to taste like pumpkin if you use another flavor of protein powder other than the pumpkin flavored powder you will have to add pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree)

1 whole small banana

2 egg whites

1 tsp of cinnamon


Mix all ingredients into a bowl like regular pancake mix, and cook like you would a regular pancake.

You can get creative and add nuts, fruit, berries, and even other spices.  You will want to be careful with what you do add to the mixture so that you do not change the texture and overall flavor of the pancake.  You can change it up however you would like!  I like to add Walden’s Farm Syrup to my pancakes OR you can try 1 tablespoon of fat free whip topping.

Feel free to watch as I make this live on the KTVO Morning cooking show:


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Bodybuilding and Supplements

Are body building supplements necessary for results in weight lifting?

Weight lifting is increasingly competitive and it can be more and more difficult to gain that edge needed to achieve the success you crave. Obviously training and general fitness is essential for any professional athlete. But targeted training is only going to get you part of the way. Over the years there has been much discussion as to whether supplements are just making up for a lack of dietary quality. This is obviously not the case. Rather, they are essential in the promotion of fat loss and muscle build.

The use of supplements is just as essential as training regimes or tailored diets, to weightlifting professionals. All of these aspects have to be combi9ned to give you the advantage in competition. If you want to know the best options for you from a supplements point of view it’s a good idea to seek the advice of experts.

Purchasing supplements from the experts

If you buy supplements from a reputable expert then you can make sure you’re getting products that do the job you want them to, safely and efficiently. Wellness Fitness and Nutrition Network is a globally recognized supplier of supplements and hormone replacements products. It works with medical professionals to ensure that it is responsible in the provision of all products including anavar for sale.

The team at Wellness Fitness and Nutrition Network all have experience in the industry. They know what is required from supplements, steroids and hormone replacement treatment. Many of them have worked in the field of personal training or have experience as athletes. The want to make sure you get the best performance from the products you buy and that you stay safe while using them. If you approach experts such as Wellness Fitness and Nutrition Network you know you’re getting a product you can trust from professionals you can rely on.

What happens if you don’t use supplements?

With all the scare stories that circulate there some people, especially inexperienced weight lifters who are reluctant to add the taking of supplements to their routine. They believe that hard work, targeted training and a high protein diet should be enough to help them attain the muscle mass and level of performance they need.

Unfortunately for them, this isn’t the case. Competition in the weight lifting arena is fierce and any weightlifter is never going to achieve a significant level of success if they don’t use the right supplements to help them out. Meal replacements, fat burners and pre-workout supplements should all form an integral part of the day to day of any weightlifter. They aren’t magic and they won’t suddenly propel you to the top of the ladder, that still takes work and effort as well as skill.

Supplements will give you the edge that you need to make all the hard work pay off as you get the results you live for.


…FALL into fitness…


As the seasons change, so do peoples choices stay active and fit. The cold weather rolls in, the holidays start to quickly approach, and life gets busier and complicated. You, me, EVERYONE has to remember the sole reason why they want to stay active, eat healthy, and continue to work towards whatever health goals are set.

What is your main reason for setting health goals? Do you have them written down? Do you review them regularly? What do you use to help keep you motivated and going towards your goals each day?

Everyone has to use this Fall season to “Fall into fitness”.  Set your goals and your priorities.  Make yourself and your health goals  just as important as any other duties or responsibilities you have in your life. YOU are the only person that can help you reach your goals.  You can not fake being healthy and fit.  You can have to work for it and make a complete lifestyle change.

Some people may have limitations.  These may be lack of money to have a trainer and lack of money to have a gym membership.  Here are a few at home workouts you can try to help get you started with your fitness journey:


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