Deanna’s GREAT Before And After Pictures

November 6, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

The first time Deanna contacted me was via e-mail.  While reading this e-mail, to be honest, I thought to myself, “oh great, another one of those, ‘I’ll do WHATEVER it takes to get results as fast as possible,’ types.”  When she told me her goal (and they were very aggressive goals. Not your typical, I want to lose 1-2 pounds per week, type of goals), I had to e-mail her back, telling her to slow down and ease into this thing a bit more.  But she swore to me, that once she puts her mind to something, she TRULY sticks to it.  Anyway, I was still a little apprehensive and thought that maybe she was setting herself up for disappointment.

What was the end result?  I’ll let her tell the story.  Deanna, it’s all you…

I lost over 40 pounds in 4 months with help from Danny McLarty. Sounds like one of those ads on TV but it’s true.  I did not use diet aids or magic pills.  I used hard work and self discipline while Danny guided, recommended, and encouraged.

Deanna's Before Pic

Why did I choose to lose the weight?  January 2nd I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office and was so disgusted with my weight that I couldn’t even concentrate on what the doctor was saying.  I realized my clothes were too tight.  I noticed that the steering wheel was rubbing on my belly when I drove.  I’m over 40 and I have had two kids – that’s just what happens, right?  Avoiding the cameras should have been the first clue for my true problem…I was not happy with myself and excuses were not fixing my problem.

I joined a corporate-wide “Biggest Loser” contest through work on January 4th.  My first weigh-in was tough.  I had to get on a scale in front of one of my co-workers.  My stomach lurched as she leaned over to read the scale, stated my weight out loud, and wrote it down.  I was embarrassed at my weight and even more determined to change myself.

I was referred to Danny by a dear friend that had been going to him already.  I contacted him by email through his website and we scheduled an appointment for an evaluation.  I was surprised that his evaluation had absolutely nothing to do with a scale.  He checked my flexibility and had me do a few exercises and ran some measurements that had to do with range of motion.  There was no measuring tape around the waist.  I liked that.  We also discussed eating and accountability.  He gave me a list of recommended food choices and alternatives to what I was accustomed to eating.  We also discussed portion control.

Deanna's After Pic

After the meeting, I obtained a calendar and religiously recorded exactly what I ate throughout the day.  I made sure to measure my portions and I kept track of both the calorie count and the grams of protein for each item.  I even measured salad dressing.  By doing this I soon realized how much I used to consume because I liked the food rather than for what I needed to feel full.  I learned that by eating a reasonable portion of protein I felt more satisfied than I had with an oversized portion of pasta.

Danny created routines specifically for me.  The routines consisted of weight lifting, circuit cardio, and core exercises.  He demonstrated the routines and then monitored me while I performed them.

Final weigh in was March 1st.  With a loss of 14% of my body weight, I won the corporate wide contest.  Besides winning the contest, I also discovered that I enjoyed weight lifting; perhaps not the process so much as the invigorating feeling afterwards.  My clothes were baggy and I noticed that I had more energy.  I went to a follow up appointment at my doctor and found that my blood pressure had gone down and I was happy to report that I hadn’t needed a medication to prevent heartburn in nearly 2 months.

I continued with my twice per week training and by April 1st I had lost even more weight.  I wasn’t being nearly as strict with my food choices but my food preferences had changed.  I prefer fruit to sweets.  Peanuts are now one of my favorite snacks.  I still love pizza but I stay away from the pasta except on special occasions.  It’s now November 1st and I’m still down just over 40 pounds.  My weight has been steady and so has my lifestyle which includes regular exercise and continued training with Danny.  I’m comfortable with how I look and I love how I feel.  Thank you, Danny!

-Deanna Wolfe

Thanks, Deanna!  GREAT job!

The secret?  There is no secret.  Hard work.  Determination.  Consistency.

Let’s take another look at those pics! …

I Have The “Answers” To Everything In Life, Plus Impressive Hip Thrusts Inside…

July 19, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

In the health and fitness industry, we often see all kinds of crazy claims.

  • I deadlift 8 days a week because they are the best back-builders known to man.  Vs… Deadlifts will destroy your lower back and nobody should deadlift.  Ever!
  • Vitamin D is crucial for optimal health, therefore I lay out  in the sun 3 hours a day every day of the week.  Vs… The sun causes skin cancer, therefore I put on SPF 300,000 when I walk to the mailbox ever morning.
  • The bench press makes my pecs HYOOGEMONGOUS, which is why I bench every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Vs… The bench press is a shoulder killer, don’t ever bench if you want to keep your shoulders healthy.
  • Fish oil cures any and all problems in life. Vs… Don’t even say the word fish oil out loud.  If you do, you’ll develop prostate cancer within 2 weeks.

Ok, so there might be some exaggerations in my examples, but you get the point.  If I look at all the information that I’ve heard over the years in this industry, NOTHING has stood the test of time, as far as “magic.”  Pretty much all answers in health and fitness (as well as in life), lie somewhere in the middle.  So don’t get too emotionally involved to one extreme or the other.  Because there is a study right around the corner that is going to make you modify your views one way or the other.  This new information/study might be coming in a week, or you might come across it five years down the road.

The key to getting the body you want, lies in this quote that you’ll see in the “Meet Danny” section of my website: “Those that are consistent, disciplined, and give everything they have, can bring their health, physique, and performance to a new level.” No magic.  Show up to the gym and work hard – consistently.  In the kitchen, eat plenty of protein and healthy fat, pound the veggies, eat some fruit, and adjust your carb intake according to your goals/results.  Simple in theory, hard in practice.  But the point is to not get too tied up with ONE system or the newest gadget/supplement/food that promises you that, “by taking 3 capsules of XYZ a day, you’ll look exactly like Jamie Eason in two weeks or less.”

Jamie's physique... built with consistency and effort, not some miracle pill.

Impressive Hip Thrusts

Last week Paityn and her mom, Joie, combined to hip thrust 510 pounds!  Studettes!  I thought you may be interested in seeing it in action, so here you go…

They were out of town this week, so I’m looking forward to Paityn going for 300 + when she returns next week!

Have a great weekend, and remember, the “answers” always lie someone in the middle…

Training and Nutrition Content From Around The ‘Net…

April 3, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I hope everyone is having a great week!  I’m looking forward to the Final 4 this weekend and I’m pumped that the Cubs started the season off with a victory!

If you have a few moments, I have some great reading content for you.  First up…

Roundtable Interview: 3 people you should listen to, Part I

This is a great, common-sense article on nutrition.  And Brian St. Pierre is one of the “people you should listen to” in this article.  If you’ve been reading for sometime now, you know that I’m a huge fan of BSP.  His part alone is worth the price of admission.  Well, it’s free, so it’s a pretty good price either way. :) Anyway, give it a read.

The Doctors Talk Cardio

This is a podcast where Dr. Layne Norton and Dr. Jake Wilson talk all things cardio.  Very interesting!  Long story short – steady-state low(er) intensity cardio (like jogging) breaks down muscle tissue more than high intensity cardio (All OUT sprinting/bike sprints, etc).  And lower intensity cardio has an “interference effect” while high intensity cardio does not (interference effect in this case means that it is harder to add muscle while performing lower intensity cardio).  Plus, as we all know, it is MUCH more time-efficient!   Check out the podcast… a lot of great thoughts!

And here is a video of Paityn performing box squats at MVP Training the other day.  Box squats are awesome.  AND, they are great to use as a progression en route to back squats (with no box beneath your butt).

If you’re looking to improve your squat, or to simply start adding squats, check out this article that I wrote just over a year ago…

First Time Front Squatters and Squat Progressions

Make sure to pass these articles around to your friends on facebook/twitter/e-mail, etc, as they can definitely help out the majority of fitness enthusiasts out there.

See you soon…

How Sarah Lost 10 Pounds In 30 Days

February 27, 2013 by danny · 2 Comments 

My friend and client, Sarah Herschlag recently finished her “30 days of perfection.”  The end result has her down 10 pounds!  Before these 30 days, Sarah had done a “pretty good” job with her eating.  Enough to make modest changes … her clothes were starting to fit looser, you could see her face start to lean out, etc.  But as I tell people, if you want to make a REAL physique change, you need to go ALL OUT for about 30 days.  Then you can get back to “mostly good.”

So, at the start of the new year, I e-mailed all of my clients and told them the plan that will help get them these NOTICEABLE changes in their body.  Sarah had to start her 30 days sometime in mid-January as she had some things to take care of before she could really start to get after it.

And from day 1, she stayed with the plan to a T!  No alcohol.  No poor food choices.  And no missed training sessions.  Her 30 days just ended, and as she said, “it was SOOOO worth it!”

I won’t go into detail in regards to her training program.  But I do want to mention that she really gave 100% at every session!  Effort is always the X-Factor.

ALL OUT Effort!

Below is the EXACT e-mail that I sent to my clients heading into the new year.  As beach season approaches, maybe it’s something you want to consider?.?  Anyway, check it out below, I hope you get something out of it…

“Hola everyone.  Ok, here’s the deal…

Some of you in this e-mail have already said that you are committed to do this (I’ll explain below), and some of you are still considering this.  And for those of you hearing about this for the 1st time, this will give you something to consider going into the new year.  What am I talking about? …

Starting in the new year - 4 weeks of perfection! No cheat meals/days, no alcohol, no missed training sessions (AND 2-3 cardio sessions on your own each week).  THIS is NOT a lifestyle! i.e. “be good most of the time, but every once in awhile have a few beers, or some pizza, or some candy, or some pop, etc.  But most of the time be good.”

THAT is a pretty good plan throughout the majority of the year.  But every now and then you NEED to make a couple runs (~ 4 weeks) where you are machine! THIS is how you see measurable, NOTICEABLE results!

Think of what a physique competitor (bodybuilder, figure athlete) does when he/she prepares for the final weeks before stepping on stage.  Think about what a model does when preparing for a photo shoot.  Think about what an actor does when preparing for a movie that he/she will be shirtless in or in a bikini.  EVERY ounce of their focus for their training and nutrition plan goes towards fast fat loss!

Again, this is not a lifestyle approach.  It is a 4-week “sprint” to REALLY make some great changes.  THEN, you can get back to your moderation, “mostly good” lifestyle.

One more point: If you are 40 years old, you’ve lived about 2080 weeks on this Earth.  All I’m asking for is 4 weeks of complete discipline and focus.  This is a fraction of your life that WILL BE OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!!!


Below you’ll see a sample day of eating.  You’ll notice that I put the “fast fat loss” plan in red.  So, think about eating the foods in red the majority of the time.  And then if you OCCASIONALLY start to feel really sluggish/low energy, you can throw in a meal with carbs in there (maybe like once every 5-7 days).

Check out the sample plan with the food list below and let me know if you have any questions.


  • Old-fashioned oatmeal with blueberries, scrambled egg OR
  • Spinach omelet made with omega-3 enriched whole eggs


  • Turkey burger on whole-grain bread, salad OR
  • Grilled chicken breasts, steamed vegetables


  • Salmon with grilled zucchini and squash OR
  • Steak with plain sweet potato and salad OR
  • Grilled chicken breasts (2) over large spinach salad, olive oil-based dressing
  • (either dinner example in red will work)

Food list…

Protein: lean steak, grilled chicken breasts, turkey breast, baked or grilled fish, protein powder, etc.
Veggies: large pile of mostly green veggies, steamed broccoli, spinach, zucchini, squash, etc.
Starch: small amount of dry sweet potato, whole-wheat pasta, or rice (these foods should not be consumed at all, or like I said, *maybe* once every 5-7 days)
Salad: large salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing — no cream dressings!
Dessert: small amount of fruit

Danny’s notes:
-The point about the salad dressing is HUGE… IF you are eating salad with “regular” dressing, then you are moving further away from your goals.  Salad with dressing other than olive oil and vinegar dressing is NOT healthy (with a few exceptions)!
-If you include fruit on this plan, only eat 1 serving per day and try to make your fruit of choice berries more often than not.  Focus on veggies over fruit for this 4-week run.
-Continue taking fish oil on this plan and try to include green tea daily.”

End e-mail.

So, props to Sarah for sticking with it for the entire month!  It paid off!  Now, there is more than one way to skin a cat, but the above plan works great for a quick fat loss burst.  For anyone that I know that has TRULY stuck with it for the entire 30 days, they always see great results.

If you decide to give it a try, or are about to “hit it hard” with your fitness/nutrition plan, let me know… what is your plan?

Quick Snack + The Exercise of the Week

February 8, 2013 by danny · 2 Comments 

Here is a quick blogpost for you to start implementing right away…

Quick, Healthy, Tasty Snack

This is a snack that my babies and I just shared together (really).  Greek Yogurt + Protein Powder + Blueberries

My clients often say to me, “yeah, I know all the foods on the food list that you gave me, but what can I snack on if I get hungry between meals and/or only have a minute or two to prepare something?”

Good question, and here is what you do…

-Buy some FULL fat PLAIN greek yogurt (HERE is why I suggest FULL Fat yogurt).

-Buy some blueberries

-Get some high quality protein powder.  For taste and quality, my 1st choice can be found HERE.

Personally, I like to add a little vanilla AND chocolate protein powder in together because I’m crazy like that.

NOTES: I prefer to get PLAIN yogurt b/c there are NOT any “extras” or “fillers” in the ingredients.  If you get blueberry yogurt (for example), you’ll see that they always do more than just add in blueberries.  Next time you are shopping for yogurt, check out how many more ingredients are in “fruit yogurt” compared to plain yogurt.  Now, I think plain yogurt tastes like poop (or something like that), hence the reason I add the protein powder and berries in.

Exercise of the Week

Goblet Bulgarian Split Squats

I’m rarely in commercial gyms anymore (thank goodness!).  But over the years I’ve lifted 100,386 times in the walls of commercial gyms (give or take).  And I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this exercise performed.  Maybe it’s too hard (probably).  Or maybe people just don’t know of it.  Either way, here is me shooting a video with Marci back when I was still living in California.  Add these!  Your quads and glutes will love/hate you for it. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Don’t Be a “Nutrition-Hopper”

January 29, 2013 by danny · 4 Comments 

Quite often in this fitness industry, us trainers get frustrated when we hear about people “program-hopping.”  You know, one week a person is performing a workout from Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.  Then next week they want to give P90X a try.

When they realize that wasn’t for them, they say, “screw this, I’m just gonna start working on my bench press because I want hyooge pecs!”


This guy (or girl) never gives a program enough time to play-out, so to speak.  When you’re executing a program properly, you should be working to progress from week to week, on said program.  If you just hop all over the damn place, you have no idea what’s working, and what isn’t.  And you definitely aren’t working TOWARDS anything (a better butt; leaner arms; a stronger deadlift; a faster 40 time, etc etc).

If you program hop, you’re essentially throwing a dart with your eyes closed and just hoping that it hits the bullseye.  Not likely.

Anyway, I’ve touched on this before, so I’ll say no more in regards to program hopping.  But I do want to talk about…


This is not talked about quite as much as program-hopping, but it can be just as problematic.  I see people hopping from one nutrition plan to the next all the time.  Sometimes daily.  ”I was going low-carb but then I saw blah, blah, blah on Dr. Oz.  Now I’m cleansing, and then I’ll start up with the Zone Diet next Monday.”  A couple days later… “I was reading in Shape Magazine that I should blah, blah, blah, so after this weekend’s cheat meals, I’m gonna start X,Y, and Z on Monday.”

This continues for-e-ver.  For-e-ver.  For-e-ver.

Tell 'em, Squints.

Bottom line: give your plan (training and nutrition) time to fully develop.  See that plan through, and then make adjustments where necessary.  By doing so, you’ll increase your chance for success, and learn something along the way.

Keep it simple, and stay consistent…

Quick Tips: Training and Nutrition – Episode II

October 15, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

If you missed Episode I of this series, be sure to go back and check it out.  You can find it HERE.

My buds Marci Nevin Curtis and Michelle Adams both made great contributions to the previous Quick Tips post.  Today it will be just Michelle and I.  Marci just got married, so she gets the week off.

Marci showing off the guns!

My boy Jason, looking smooth!

I will admit, I was a little hurt that she put her wedding day over my blog.  But whatever.

Tips from Michelle…

#1) Remove all tempting foods from the house. Or hide them! Peanut butter is a major trigger food for me. But, I like to have it for when I need to give my dog her supplements. I put it in the back of the fridge so that I don’t see it every time I go in there. It really helps.

#2) Deal with your emotions another way other than eating. Anger, loneliness, boredom, etc., all make people want to eat. One of my clients was reading 50 Shades of Grey and she stopped binging! Seriously! Find what works for you.

#3) Always have food pre-cooked. I regularly have chicken and ground turkey cooked and ready to go. I am hooked on Rosie’s organic free range chicken at Costco.

#4) Get clear on what your goal is. Then, attach a strong reason for wanting to reach that goal. So many people say they want to lose fat but ultimately they are really happier staying where they are. It’s got to be something that gets you outside of your comfort zone. Raise the bar! I said Yes to doing a fashion show benefit. The idea of walking down a runway in front of people is scary. I want to look good! But on a day to day basis, my mentality is I expect myself to be a role model for my clients. Change your mindset and your expectation of who you are and your behavior will change. Remind yourself daily of the expectation of the new you. Write it down!

Tips from Danny …

#1) Set up for success! This means something different for everyone.  Maybe this means you set your breakfast food out on the kitchen table the night before so when you wake up, it is sitting there calling your name.  Don’t do this, and it may mean that you throw a quick and convenient (but so not so healthy) food in the toaster – like a pop tart.

This is what’s often waiting for me on the kitchen table…




-Protein Powder


And then I grab some blueberries and natural peanut butter (or almond butter) out of the fridge while the oats are cooking.  And I’m good to go.  The day has begun on a good note!

#2) Find ways to succeed. A little slip up here.  A little mess up there.  It all adds up!  For example, have you ever done a great job of packing leftovers in the fridge that you planned on grabbing before heading off to work… only to walk out the door, hop in the car and not realize that they are still sitting back in your fridge ’til you get 1/2 way to work?  Well, I have – and PISSES ME OFF!  So, to make sure I avoid this, quite often I’ll put my keys on top of my fridge so I can’t help but remember to ALSO grab my food before I walk out the door.

It works for me!  This may seem dumb to you (but it’s not, so if you think it’s dumb, you’re wrong! ;) ), but we all have little flaky things that we do in life.  So, if you find some of these little things are holding you back from reaching your goals, adjust accordingly.

Alright, that’s all I have for today.  Thanks for the great tips again, Michelle!  And Marci, I’ll let it slide this time, but don’t let it happen again. ;)  Just playin’!  You looked lovely at the wedding!  The weights, cardio, and clean eating definitely paid off!

Quick Tips: Training and Nutrition – Episode I

September 25, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Throughout the course of each week, I make sure to find time to read nutrition/training related articles/blogs.  However I only have so much time in my day, so reading long article after long article can become too time consuming or just start to get old after awhile.  Therefore, I really like articles that can provide quick, easy to apply information… kind of like this blog post I made a few months back.  Or, like the series Eric Cressey has going over on his blog.

My good friends from back in Cali are here to drop some quality tips that can help you get one step closer to reaching your health and fitness goals.  Both Michelle Adams and Marci Nevin have already made some great contributions (found HERE and HERE and HERE), and today they’re back for more…

Tips From Michelle…

#1) Stay busy! Don’t plop down on the couch at night and eat in front of the TV. Eat with the TV off. Clean up. Move on. One of my clients gave me a tip. She schedules something to do right after she eats, like fold the laundry. (Note from Danny: Oh, me likey!  Great idea… Michelle be sure to give your client props for me.  What a great idea!

2) Keep your list of food choices small. Stick to foods you like and don’t force yourself to eat foods you don’t like. I love oatmeal. When I was dieting for a show it was my carb of choice. Are sweet potatoes better? Yes. But when I was dieting it satisfied me. Feeling deprived just leads to overeating. I enjoy more food options now but I go back to my narrow food list when I need to tighten up. Caveat is #3.

#3) Get obsessed with vegetables. Explore new veggies and see how many colors you can eat it one day.

#4) Have tea at night after dinner. That is a tough time for me. I make a doctored up lemon ginseng tea, heating up a 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk and water and adding some liquid vanilla stevia. It’s very satisfying and hits my sweet tooth.

#5) Follow someone on Facebook that inspires you. I love Jamie Eason. Who doesn’t?! Just going to her page, reading her posts and looking at her awesome pics motivates me to stay on track.

Jamie Eason

Tips from Marci…

#1) In the wise words of Dr. John Berardi, “If it’s in your house, eventually you will eat it.” This is a simple way of saying, dont bring your trigger foods into your home. There are certain foods that I just cant buy, even healthy ones, as I know I have the ability to eat the entire box/jar in one sitting. There is bound to be a time when you lose your self control and cave to these foods, which often sets off a cascade of negative emotions and can cause you to blow your diet for the rest of the day.

#2) Some of my best workouts have come on the days when I felt the worst or was the least motivated. If a time comes when you really don’t feel like training, just get yourself to the gym (or where ever you train) and at least go through your warm up and a few sets. 99% of the time you will get into the zone and end up completing your whole workout.

#3) Stop program hopping if you don’t see the results you want within the first week. There is no perfect diet or training plan. The results you get are determined by how well you execute it. Find a plan and stick to it. Just make sure it is one that you enjoy and will be consistent with, as you will be much more likely to succeed.

Tips from Danny…

#1) Similar to tip #4 from Michelle above…

When I start to get a craving that I know I have no control over (i.e. my hand reaches for my phone to dial up some pepperoni pizza from the local pizza joint even though my brain is yelling, “PUT THE PHONE DOWN!”), I have 3 things that have worked for me to beat these STONG cravings..

A) Brush my teeth.  Because who feels like eating after getting that “clean mouth feel?”

B) Chew a piece of gum.

C) Drink tea (like Michelle mentioned).

Those incredibly strong cravings aren’t going to last that long, so if you can get rid of them for even a few minutes, they usually don’t come back.

#2) Make sure you have regressions and progressions for every exercise that you perform.  For example, let’s look at some single leg exercises, going from easiest to hardest…

Static Lunges with dumbbells (DBs) < Reverse Lunges with DBs < Walking Lunges with DBs < Static Lunges with a barbell (BB) < Bulgarian Split Squats with DBs < Reverse Lunges with a BB < Walking Lunges with a BB < Bulgarian Split Squats with a BB.

Barbell Bulgarian Split Squats

Now, I know I didn’t list EVERY POSSIBLE single exercise imaginable.  And you may disagree with the order in which I ranked the difficulty level of each.  But I hope you get the point.  And that is, if you are struggling to keep good form on one exercise, regress and master another one before “moving up the ladder” to a move difficult one.

Alright, that’ll wrap it up for now.  I’ll be back with some more great and easy (in theory) to apply tips from some of my friends in the fitness biz.

Now get out of here and go stock up on some tea and colored veggies.  Now!

If you think these tips can help a family or friend out, be sure to share it on FB and/or twitter…

Recipe of the Week from Marci Nevin… Greek Salad with Avo-Ziki Dressing

August 14, 2012 by danny · 3 Comments 

My good friend Marci, who has already contributed to my website HERE, has a great recipe for all of us to try (including me, as I haven’t gotten to it yet, but plan on making it later on the week).  This will help me get on track after my donut burger gaffe from last weekend. I’ll let Marci take over from here…

Marci Performing Weighted Chin-Ups

August in California is HOT. While the heat of the summer has never swayed my eating habits, I know plenty of people who don’t like eating heavy foods this time of year. My fiancée is one of them, and as a result he has eaten a big salad for dinner every night for the past few months.

Last week, one of my clients gave me 6 pounds of frozen, wild caught halibut that I’ve been eager to eat. Since we typically eat dinner at with my parents on Sunday night, I thought it would be a good time to grill it up. I was trying to find the right type of side dish to accompany the fish, and I came across this salad, which looked delicious. It ended up being the perfect summertime meal for a very warm evening. Jason got his salad fix and I got to enjoy the halibut, so it was a win-win.

While this may look like your typical Greek salad, I promise you that it is much more. This Avo-Ziki dressing is incredible, and it truly transformed the dish. It’s almost more of a sauce, really, thereby making it very versatile. I ended up putting it on my fish as well, but it would also go great on top of a burger, chicken or other type of meat/fish, or as a dressing for a different type of salad.  I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Greek Salad

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup cucumber slices
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, halved
  • ¼ cup Avo-Ziki dressing
  • 2 T (or less) extra-virgin olive oil

Mix romaine, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix avo-ziki sauce and olive oil. Top the salad with the dressing.

Avo-Ziki Sauce

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c grated cucumber
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove grated garlic
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 t fresh dill, finely chopped (I left this out as I didn’t have any on hand)

Combine all ingredients by hand or with a small food processor or hand blender.

It sounds great, Marci!  Thanks for sharing this with everyone.  I can’t wait to try it!

NOTE: This recipe comes from the Diane Sanfilippo’s book, “Practical Paleo.”  You can find the book HERE.

Nutrition Week – Guest Post by Marci Nevin (Intermittent Fasting)

February 23, 2012 by danny · 5 Comments 

We kicked off “nutrition week” with a great interview with Brian St. Pierre; got a chance to see what Michelle Adam’s food log looked like; and today we finish up with Marci Nevin’s food log.

Marci and I have been good friends for a number of years now.  We also worked together as trainers before I moved from California, back to Illinois.  Marci is one dedicated girl.  And VERY disciplined too.  She is a great cook… especially when it comes to making  goodies.  Whenever we used to have get-togethers, Marci’s treats were always a crowd favorite.  I consider myself a pretty disciplined guy.  But if I’m baking some treats (yeah, like that’s going to happen :) ), I’m GOING TO take a bite or two along the way (like a nice scoop of cookie dough)!  Not Marci.  With no problem, she cooked for all of us and didn’t even take a smidge of this or that.  Ever.

Moving onto Marci’s food log… I must admit, when this whole “intermittent fasting” thing started to pick up in popularity, I rolled my eyes a bit.  ”Just another fad,” I told myself.  In time however, I’ve heard many individuals that I really respect (including Marci), report the great success they have had with intermittent fasting.

Marci Nevin

So Marci, let’s get to it.  The floor is yours…

Ive been serious about my training and nutrition going on ten years now, and in that time I’ve experimented with many different dietary protocols to reach my goals. Trying various approaches has definitely taught me that all diets “work”, yet it has also shown me that there are certain ways of eating that just make me feel and perform better. Back in June, I hired a nutrition coach to help me through a slow, muscle gaining phase. After 6 months of eating a balanced diet of carbs, protein and fat with every meal, I was about 12 pounds heavier. Although the plan worked, I noticed that the diet left me feeling sluggish and a little off most of the time, especially after I ate. I began researching some different methods, which lead me to discover a popular new way of eating that is becoming increasingly popular in the fitness industry. Enter intermittent fasting (IF) and carb back loading.

Such methods are on the opposite ends of the spectrum as to what I was doing previously, yet I enjoy this way of eating so much more. IF is simply alternating periods of eating (anywhere from 4-10 hours) with periods of not eating (anywhere from 14-36 plus hours). I typically fast for 14-16 hours. The reason IF works for me is because it allows me to eat more at one sitting (and I LOVE to eat), as well as at times during the day when I’m naturally hungrier. I can wake up at 5:00 a.m. and train my morning clients having had nothing more than coffee, yet I feel energized and mentally sharp. Come 11:00 or so, I start to get hungry. Lucky for me, this is right around the time when I can break my daily “fast”.  The other reason IF fits my life so much better is because it allows me not be so consumed with food. I’ve always loathed having to prepare meals the night before, shovel in cold food in between clients or in the car, and being “that person” who carries meals around wherever I go. Simply put, IF fits my lifestyle. As for the carb back loading, it basically just means that I completely limit my starchy carbs to post -workout and evenings. I could eat my weight in vegetables and really enjoy meals that are comprised of protein, fat and vegetables most of the time. But it’s after my workout that I crave carbs, so this approach allows me to indulge in that craving while still reaching my goals. The concept is a little more in depth and scientific than I described, so if you want to learn more about it, you can do so by clicking Here. (Albeit this is a pretty simplified explanation as well).  And to learn more about IF, you can  click Here.

Training Day

5:30 a.m. – 8: 00 a.m.

  • 2 cups coffee  with almond milk and stevia

11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

  • 1 egg, 4 whites, 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup spinach, cooked together in coconut oil
  • 2 pieces turkey bacon (nitrate free), cooked in Ghee
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter

2:00 p.m -3:00 p.m.

  • 5 oz ground turkey
  • 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, zucchini, etc)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Handful of nuts


5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Post Workout

  • Whey protein shake (If I feel like it, sometimes I will add fruit to this)
  • White rice (approximately 40 grams of carbs)

8:00 p.m

  • Coconut Pumpkin Pancakes (coconut flour, pumpkin, egg whites, cinnamon, stevia)
  • 3 oz ground turkey or chicken
  • Butternut Squash
  • Vegetables with a little drizzle of olive oil

Non-Training Day

5:30 a.m. – 8: 00 a.m.

  • 2 cups coffee  with almond milk and stevia

11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

  • 1 egg, 4 whites, 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup spinach, cooked together in coconut oil
  • 2 pieces turkey bacon (nitrate free), cooked in Ghee
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter

3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.

  • Turkey Meatloaf (ground turkey, spices, salsa)
  • Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (cauliflower, coconut oil, salt, all blended until it resembles mashed potatoes)
  • Zucchini sautéed in coconut oil
  • Handful of nuts

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  • 4 oz poached, organic chicken breast
  • 1 whole egg
  • Broccoli Slaw
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 2 teaspoons coconut aminos

*I cooked all of this together into a big scramble

  • Green beans, drizzled with olive oil

*Some days I will add a protein shake between my 3rd and 4th meal on non training days. Made with chocolate pea protein, coconut milk and spinach. (And yes, its much better than it sounds)

*As for supplements, I take a minimalist approach. Each day I take fish oil (3 g EPA/DHA), 5000 IU vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin b12, and probiotics.

Back to Danny…

Awesome, Marci!  Thanks for sharing!  I don’t know if I could ever go the IF route!?!  Although the fact that you save a lot of time NOT having to prepare so many meals, is appealing!  We’ll see, I’ll never say never!

Have any of you tried intermittent fasting?  If so, how did/do you like it?  I’d love to get more feedback on IF.  Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.  Or, if you are considering IF and have a question for Marci, go ahead and and do so in the comments section.

And Marci, the next time we meet up, PLEASE make me one of your extra special treats!  They are ALWAYS soooo good.  Pretty please? ;)