I’m off to Marbella in a few weeks.
I have a couple of great friends out there and so it seems to make sense to get over there to see them and get a little sun and partying done. It’s been work, work, work and very little play this year. I’ll have worked 17 weekends in a row! Time to address that and get some balance! No carbs before marbs.
I leave the UK on Thursday 21st June. Today is Tuesday 5th June. This post will follow the next two weeks and be updated every day or two, so if you like the content keep coming back.
Gav’s post from last year called Project Ibiza inspired me to do this.
I keep in pretty good shape all round and the purpose of this is to show the difference that can be made in a few weeks with a little discipline. My goal is not weight loss, it is to get leaner, while maintaining and possibly adding muscle.
I weighed in at 79kg this afternoon at the gym. I plan to get my biosignature done to see my body fat at the moment in the next day or so. I will start to get strict with the eating plan (diet) tomorrow.
You’ll see what I am eating, how I am training, and other little tips and tricks while on this type of meal plan. I want it to be interesting. Any constructive feedback and questions are welcomed at the end and I’ll do my best to reason and answer as fast as I can.
PS If you want to speed up the reading of this blog, just read the highlighted bits.
This is me today (5th June 2012), in my front room. I’m guessing I’m about 9-10% BF.
NOTE :: Please understand I could easily have pushed my stomach out in this shot to look somewhat fat as people always seem to do in these ‘wonder’ before shots in those testimonials you see. These shots are actually quite often taken only a few hours apart (believe it or not).
There’s been studies to prove that the first shot is in bad light when the subject is puffing their stomach out as far as possible, and they are unshaven in lose clothing. Then they get a few layers of tan, suck their stomachs in, put on tight clothing in a perfectly lit studio and hey presto they now look as if they have encountered an amazing transformation.
With me you’ll see the change, but we don’t need the tricks, that’s my TV in the background in my living room. Keep an eye out for it in the final shot
I want to prove the visible difference that can be made from just 14 days in someone who is already at a decent trained level. It is harder for me to make changes than others due to my level of conditioning, so this will be a good test physically and mentally!
I was at the Queens Jubilee Picnic and Concert yesterday for my birthday and the picnic was very rich. Here’s a pic of Mum and in the garden at Buckingham Palace
It was a great day, made me proud to be British, and check out the menu below. It does not mention the 4 ice creams that were a bonus too. Oh and the 4 beers. And mums Red Leicester, and champagne….
After that day of overdoing it (and if you know me well, you know that once I start to eat rich foods, I have little self-control) thought I’d set myself the challenge to follow a 14 Day FAT FURNACE type eating plan. We’ve had some amazing feedback from the plan that Gav and I worked very hard on, so thought it was time to take my own medicine, even though my goal is not to lose pounds as I stated before. We’ll have some of those testimonials up on the BLOG soon, best loss so far (to my knowledge) is 15lbs in 14 days!
So this morning I gave mum her first bowl of Oats, Vanilla Whey protein, cinnamon, milled flax and nuts mixed with cold water… that she really liked (which surprised her greatly) and I set about eating some meat and nuts. The healthy eating plan starts tomorrow but I thought I would hit the road running with good food choices today, here’s the break down;
Pre-Start :: 5th June
08:15 Chicken and almonds (with tablespoon of Aliment Fish Oil)
10:30 Protein shake
12:45 Feta Salad starter (yes this is dairy, but I’ve not started yet) and lamb steak shish with vegetables. Glass of red wine (alcohol stops tomorrow and I was with mum!)
13:45 Pre Workout Black Coffee
14:00 Trained – Deadlifts 10 sets of 10 reps, some lower back exercises
14:45 Rookie move, as had no post workout shake, so had 50g bag of almonds (Gav will moan at me). Need to plan better in future
15:30 Protein shake plus scoop of greens powder
17:30 Turkey and mixed veg. Tbsp Fish Oil
19:00 A quarter of a organic celery
20:30 3 organic eggs and half an avocado
2 litres of water through day including Green tea and Rooibos teas
Boom, not bad really apart from the alcohol, dairy and screw up on not getting the post workout shake in fast enough. I am upping my good fats and getting in lots of veg and will see how I feel. So far so good!
Day 1 :: 6th June Wedneday
Up at 05:40. I think it is important to note a few things before going over day 1. We all have hectic, busy lifestyles. I am no exception. I finally have a few weeks off work as of next week, but they are packed full of other things such as seeing my family down in Devon and having a belated Birthday get together. These are times when a well planned meal plan and training plan can get thrown off course.
I have factored in that I will drink on one night as it is my birthday and if we cannot have a ‘break’ on a birthday then when can we? You see some people will wait and wait to start something like this for when the time is right and everything is perfect. They will see one event in the 14 days and that will stop them from doing anything. Time drags on and they never start it, and the file is confounded to live eternity in the computer’s memory banks. Trust me it is better to do it 95% of the time than not at all.
NOW notice I said a good excuse! Your own birthday counts. As does maybe your own Wedding. An evening out with friends because the sun was out does not count! A weekend spent doing the usual with other friends does not count. I am talking big occasions here! Add to this that I am targeting getting ready for a specific date and that the celebration falls in the middle of this and I either do it mostly or not at all.
If you have some leeway on when you want to get in shape for then set the date and do it 100% then! I hope you get my point. I will not be drinking while in Devon and I will eat within my confounds there (which will probably get comments from my family), but hey that’s all part of it. To be fair I usually order green veg with meals instead of traditional potatoes, fries, rice, etc anyway and I’m not a massive fan of sauces!
Another thing I will be reducing is salt. I like salt, I like it too much. I will not add it to food for 14 days and see what happens. First time in my life I will have done this, so will be interested to see what happens. Paprika, and other spices will be used instead. I will still get it from other foods I buy invariably as I understand that some salt is vital, just not too much. I will be away working a lot and smoked fish contains it, as does prepared salads, etc. I’ll monitor this. The only salt I use at home is Himalayan pink salt. Anyway you get my drift that it will not be thrown without thought not everything for a few weeks and at the end I’ll have less of a need for so much.
Coffee will be black, tea will be green and rooibos.
05:55 Strong black coffee, two Alpha One capsules from Aliment
06:45 Gymtime. Chest, Shoulders and Arms
08:00 Post workout protein shake and greens
08:30 Scrambled eggs, spinach and smoked salmon from Pod
10:00 Free range chicken breast from Athleat and mixed veg (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach)
12:30 Protein shake, tbsp fish oil. 25g of Brazil nuts
14:30 Free range chicken breast from Athleat and half an avocado.
16:00 Snack of some organic celery and 25g brazil nuts
18:00 Homemade beef burgers x 2 with half an avocado and some celery (recipe and pics below) No bread just burgers!
20:45 Can tuna in water, with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on it and a large scoop of homemade hummus (see below), tbsp fish oil
I soaked some chickpeas overnight and cooked them up today, to make some hummus. It’s quite an effort, and maybe buying canned organic ones (as I have before) is a more convenient option? I froze half of the cooked chickpeas (about 200g) and the others I hand blended with half a fresh organic lemon, a clove of garlic, a few tbsps of water, a few tbsps of EVOO, and generous shakes of ground turmeric, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. I know there is a little carbs in chickpeas (about 18g per 100g), but I’m not that fussed as my daily intake of carbs is very low anyway and if I do have some I’d like quality ones like this. I’ll keep the home-made hummus in the fridge and have a spoon or two when hungry or on some celery.
Homemade beef burgers,
500g Athleat 28 day grass-fed steak mince
1 Organic egg
Lots of cracked black pepper
Pinch (generous) paprika
Put all in bowl, mix together with hands. Turn on George Foreman grill or I used my Woll pan with Coconut Oil in it. Make into 4 patties, try to make them the same size. Put two on baking paper and into Tupperware for breakfast tomorrow. Cook to liking. I have to admit the recipe would have been better with an onion shredded into it, but I forgot that.
Day 2 :: 7th June
Today is my weekend of sorts. I have a very busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday where I’ll be working. Today I can focus on getting some work done at home and have a cheeky lie in. Slept well and feel good. My hay fever is not nearly so bad this year as in the past ten. I attribute this to my diet, and possibly the addition of the greens drink and also fish oil personally.
I will have more time to write today too. I’ll get another workout in today in the park, as I know working out in next few days will not be possible. Fourteen hour days take their toll!
09:00 Greens drink and green tea (good friend Richeats is a green tea fanatic and he advises to always put a small amount of cold water in the cup with the leaves/bag before adding the boiling water. if there is boiling water alone it burns the tea and ruins some of the powerful benefits of drinking it in the first place…. plus you can enjoy it at the right temperature without burning the inside of of mouth off 😉
I also got the two homemade burgers out of the fridge at this time and let them sit on the counter and acclimatise to the room temperature before cooking. it is also important to let meat rest after cooking it for a few minutes. Jamie Oliver, Heston and all the top chefs I have read talking about the subject say this is important as the meat relaxes and is then more tender.
09:20 Homemade grass-fed beef burgers x 2 with 25g almonds and tbsp fish oil. Alpha One capsule also and multivits and minerals. (no bun with burgers!)
Feel full after that meal and focused, have you read the reasons why HERE
12:15 Preworkout coffee before heading to the park. Just talked to friend Oli who I am going to Marbs with and he said how alive I sound. Does that mean I usually sound dead? 😉 feeling good and not even had the coffee yet!
These are the nuts I buy. I get them from Tesco and i like how they are packed in small 50g bags. I have half a bag at a time. Just makes it easy to account for and makes sure I do not overeat them. They come in almonds, brazils and cashews varieties. Cashews are one of my fav’s but that’s probably because they are high in sugar. So they are out for the two weeks. Lots of good fats, fibre and a little protein. I’ll rotate between the almonds and brazils over this program. M&S also do a small tub of mixed nuts, which can be used in three sittings.
12:40 Park-time for a workout. Intensity is key here. I don’t have all day, it’s up to me how much I put in and what, consequently, I will get out of it. I jogged the quarter mile to the park near me that has a little circuit of stations that can be used. It is raining and that’s good as it will cool me down in between sets (that’s what I am trying to convince myself with)
I am focused on the chinning station and the dips stations and the gap between them.
Warmup of press ups and some back drills to warm it up before chins, see this video for details from our friends at Body Solutions. I had no bench to use so I just pivoted forward from my hips so my body at a 45 degree angle and kept my abs tight!
Workout as follows
10 full range body weight (B/W) pull-ups into a 60 meter all out sprint into 10 full range B/W dips.
walk 60 meters for recovery then repeat 5 more times. Focus on technique, and keeping shoulder blades back and chest high on every exercise!
Done and I am dusted….. Jog back home.
13:30 Protein shake with greens and 60g of organic oats. Yes this is one of the rare times I will ingest carbs on these 14 days, purposely in the form of oats. My goals are not of weight loss and I want to maximise recovery. I want to possibly build a little more muscle, while burn maximum amounts of fat. The post-workout carbs are not as extreme as the high glycemic ones stated in the link here but I’ll take a few on board none-the-less and as I’ll only be training a few times a week it’s negligible.
15:00 Free range chicken breast from Athleat and mixed veg (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach). This is cold as I made up a lot of this a few days back and keep it in the fridge as cooking bores me unless it is something new and/or for someone special (everyone is special – 😉 ) I am missing salt, and as I just worked out I added a little bit (compared to what I usually use) to this meal. I also made a dressing from EVOO, cayenne pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon and Apple cider vinegar from the mother (this means it has not been pasteurised) look out for that on the label when buying!
Great meal and filling. I have not felt hungry on this plan yet and feel on the ball. You’ll notice the addition of greens, lots of veg, apple cider vinegar, etc is for a few reasons but one is to balance the acidity of the protein I am eating! These things are all converted in the kidneys into alkaline and the western diet is traditionally acid rich, which can cause illness, bone problems, feeling lethargic and a plethora (my big word of the day) of other things that are not good.
One of the issues with the Atkins diet is the high acidity and the high saturated fats. You’ll notice my fats are high, but from good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated natural sources). These are fats that are essential for us and fats that makes us thin and healthy.
btw….. I have been working from home for a few days so this gives me the opportunity to be on time and prep everything. I know I have a few full on days ahead. I will be prepping food tonight for those days to keep me on track and also I know there is a M&S simply food close to where I am as a backup! Meal times there will be when I get a chance. Let’s see how I do?
17:00 Snack of 25g almonds and the rest of the homemade hummus with organic celery
Cooked up some turkey steaks to cool down overnight and have through day tomorrow. Also prepped some more homemade grass-fed beef burgers and put them uncooked into the fridge, ready for breakfast tomorrow and Saturday.
Also put some protein powder into a container (see picture to right), and packed it with a shaker and two bags of nuts for tomorrow. Long day ahead.
19:00 4 organic eggs, scrambled in coconut oil. 1 small avocado
21:15 Protein shake and tbsp fish oil
Early night tonight. Feel great, actually thought I’d be a little lethargic and hungry but all good. Hope it continues. Not needed any willpower at all yet!
Day 3 :: 8th June
Up at 05:45
06:30 Homemade grass-fed beef burgers x 2 with 25g brazil nuts and tbsp fish oil. Alpha One capsule also and multivits and minerals. (no bun with burgers!) Greens drink.
Off to work….
09:00 25g brazil nuts
11:00 Free range turkey steak with 25g almonds
14:45 M&S prawn and calamari salad plus 25g almonds (salad and mackerel quite salty, so glad I am keeping salt low right now) Sorry for pic being wrong way around, but it’s 22:30 and I am shattered 😉 Had salad for a little taste and variation.
16:45 Protein shake
17:45 Half a cucumber
19:00 Free range turkey steak with 25g almonds
Busy, busy day today at work 13+ hours, ate when I could and I am happy with the results to be fair. Energy levels fluctuated, but then it always does on days when I am indoors all day and on my feet. Drank a lot of water and green tea and one black coffee.
Back again tomorrow for what should be an even busier day. Bring it on!
Day 4 :: 9th June :: Saturday
06:30 Homemade grass-fed beef burgers x 2 with 25g almond nuts and tbsp fish oil. Alpha One capsule also and multivits and minerals. (no bun with burgers!) Greens drink. Green tea, see pic to the right for the one I am using right now.
Last of the homemade burgers before I get a chance to order more grass fed meat from Athleat. Cooked with a George Foreman to drain off excess fat.
Stomach visibly getting leaner, will post pic later today.
Off to work……
10:00 Protein shake and 25g almonds
11:30 M&S hot smoked salmon (but it’s cold) and half a cucumber
13:30 Free range turkey steak with 25g brazils
17:00 M&S chicken portion and 25g walnuts
18:00 25g walnuts
19:30 M&S garlic and parsley prawns.
20:30 M&S Chicken Kebabs (basically grilled chicken and red pepper on sticks)
Back home just a shade before 22:00
Pic above was taken this morning. Already visibly getting leaner. I’ll focus on look and how I feel rather than taking my weight every day as it is easy to get drawn into that trap and lose sight of the changes taking place.
I honestly feel great. My mind seems very clear…. I am sure many would say because I have no brains in there 😉 and my mood has been very constant, optimistic and great in general. Not feeling hungry at all, this is easier than I thought.
It was another long and very busy day at work, in a enclosed space and it went well. Felt better than yesterday even though the day was more intense. Keep tuned and check out the link below if you want all the details on the 14 Day FAT FURNACE.
Day 5 :: 10th June
Sunday so a later start to work today…. so up at 06:45 (yes not the best of lie in’s)
07:05 Free range chicken breast from Athleat and 25g almonds. Alpha One capsule also and multivits and minerals, and one tbsp fish oil (see picture for Omega Plus fish oils and Alpha One from Aliment !) Greens drink.
I’ll be honest. I thought my energy would suffer a lot more, or at least a little in comparison to how I normally feel. In the last few days I have felt more ‘on it’ and alive than I have for a long while, for no reason in particular. When I say no reason in particular, it’s not like I have been doing anything ‘out of the norm’ as I have been working every day.
It’s not like I have been in situations that would usually cause the brain to release serotonin, dopamine or adrenaline (clever little hormones that make us feel happy, excited and/or alive) like say going to an amusement park, going to a music concert to watch a favourite artist, driving a sports car around a track, or going on a first date with someone (four examples that come to mind this early in the morning…. shows how my head works 😉 Imagine a first date at an Amusement park, then having a track-day, with a music concert at the end….. too much for my head to deal with …. haha
So why am I feeling this good? Well I’m not going to break it all down too much right now and see how the next 10 days go. It’s still early on. All I can say is so far so good!!
off to work……
Big day today. Last day of a campaign and looking to get the team motivated and focused. It’s been a great seven weeks with great people but it may all hinge on today. So a little pressure thrown into the mix!
11:00 Protein shake with 25g walnuts
12:30 M&S lemon and pepper prawns with half a cucumber
14:15 M&S chicken kebab (see pic) with 25g walnuts
17:00 Protein shake and 25g almonds
18:45 M&S chicken and half a cucumber
21:00 4 organic eggs, scrambled in coconut oil with 1tbsp fish oil
Busy, busy day. You can see my food was not as regular as on previous days due to it being a more full on work day. Pretty happy though. Still feeling really good. Feeling really alert and quicker thinking and my vocabulary seems better in conversation. I have felt a little cloudy when trying to remember things the past few years. Feel like my vocabulary has been restricted somehow, as I’ll be searching for a word and the more I try to find it, the further away it goes…. haha, just put it down to age. Maybe it’s a lot more to do with diet than I thought!
I now have a few days off and will be driving to Devon tomorrow night to join up with my parents, sister, my bro-in-law and my two nephews. No internet connection there, so I will find a place nearby and report from there
Let’s see how a few days with pubs, restaurants and supposed temptations goes!!
Day 6 :: 11th June (Monday)
Wide awake at 5am. Alarm was set for 05:30, so got up at five and got some work done before todays newsletter goes out. Offering free PT sessions and Boot camps to a few select people.
05:15 Protein shake with greens and green tea. Multivits and minerals (see pic). Alpha one capsule.
05:55 Strong black coffee, headed to the gym for 07:00 Ultimate City Bootcamp – Week Starter
Heading to the gym on the last night bus! Bus driver seeing if he could break a new speed record for the N47 route I think. It’s no wonder so many older people fall over in buses and break hips, when some drivers drive like they are want to be Silverstone race drivers.
Nasty, nasty rainy weather…….. June in England, go figure!
07:00 Ultimate City Bootcamp time! Now I assumed that having eaten no carbs as such for 5 days I would have absolutely no energy and burn out fast. The bootcamps are full on and push me way past what I would usually do in the gym. However I am an all or nothing person and I find it hard to pace myself, so when there is a minute of full on exercise to do, I’ll be straight into it. Great when full of ‘energy giving’ carbs, but surely not when good fats and protein (with a special appearance of greens and veg) have been my main nutritional sources!
Well I surprised myself. I felt great, and although I did not manage to complete everything in the class (we have lots of complex, compound, awesome exercises and it’s the humble plank that kicks my arse every time!) i still did bloody well considering I have not done a bootcamp is about 3 months…. due to my heavy workload and an injury.
So where did this energy come from if I have been avoiding carbs??? Surely when people avoid them they smell due to being in ketosis like with the good old Atkin’s diet and they have no energy and feel terrible…. but hey they lost 8 pounds so all is good right 😉
The secret is the alkalising with the greens, green tea and veg. It’s in the food choices, avoiding bad fats and eating considerably more of the good ones. It’s from the water intake. It’s from the support of a good quality multivitamin/antioxidant/mineral formula!
Gav, who I co-own UCF with and who knows me better than anyone, noted that I look as lean as I ever have.
Bottom line is so far so good. Happy
08:00 60g organic oats and protein, and greens (to speed up recovery and bring down cortisol levels). Getting the carbs in post workout. Only time I’m purposely taking carbs in as mentioned before in this post.
10:00 4 organic eggs scrambled, 25g mixed nuts, with 2 tbsp’s Fish Oil. I am upping oil a little today as my energy requirements are higher. Added a bit of pink Himalayan salt as I sweated a lot today also.
11:00 25g mixed nuts
12:45 Free range turkey steak and veg. Tbsp fish oil.
Great day, getting UCF work done. We are moving our Blog over to another WordPress site that will be great for anyone that regularly checks in. We have had way over 30,000 hits this year so far, to make a total of nearly 40,000 hits (our ambitious target was a total of 20,000 when we set the years goals in December…. so we’ve more than doubled that and we have over six months to go…. Winning!). So it’s time for a change up in gear. Exciting offers and tips coming your way soon!
14:45 Protein shake and 25g mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts). Lots of green tea.
Headed to the office to meet up with some of the guys and head to watch the England vs France game in the Euro’s. Quite an entertaining game with a goal a piece before half time.
At half time a lot of food arrived, I had already been ignoring the iced bucket full of San Miguel and Peroni that was to the left of me. This food was stereotypical pub food with a Gastro-London twist. You’ll see that there was fish and chips, mini burgers, you won’t see the deep fried chicken wings, or the hand made scotch eggs!
I can’t ever remember going to a pub to watch football and not drinking at least one beer. Add to this the fact that if there is shared food about I usually make it my goal to share as much as I can myself 😉 So this was a great test for me, sipping on my iced water.
I removed the bread from the burgers (see my artistic showing below!) and had four of them and took the boiled/cooked egg out of the middles of the scotch eggs and discarded the rest. The burger meat was not up to Atleat’s standards by a country mile, but they filled a gap and it’s all damage limitation. Greg took great satisfaction in taking one of the scotch egg halves and filling it with chips and adding ketchup and mayo. Did it tempt me…. no not a bit. Nice!
I’m definitely not getting the usual pull towards ‘junk food’ that I usually would. My system is resetting and adapting to eating well. No chocolate now for 7 days, and I am not craving it. When I get into a pattern of eating chocolate, it’s almost as if I feel it calling to me when I pass a store. That has not happened once. Bonus!
Marbella will be worth the hard work and to be honest I feel too good to ruin it all with fish and chips which clog me up at the best of times and make me feel like I am running on 50%. Besides this is proving to be pretty easy and not hard at all so far!
Game ended 1-1. Good result for England!
17:45 4 mini burgers (without bread) and one boiled egg
Did a shop at Tesco for tomorrow’s trip to Devon. I have decided to set off at 05:30 and miss the traffic through London. Phil has let me borrow his beautiful little Fiat 500 Abarth Essesse, so here’s hoping for some sunshine. Will pass Stonehenge on the trip. Got some nuts (in those little bags, see earlier in post), and some organic avocados, cucumber and a can of posh Albacore tuna steak.
20:30 Can of tuna and an organic avocado, loads of EVOO and organic apple cider vinegar. 1tbsp fish oil.
Day 7 :: 12th June
Time to go on holiday Hitting the roads early to miss the London craziness. It’s raining, but I won’t let that dampen my spirit (well on the outside at least). It’s important to start the day as we mean to go on, so brekkie is vital……
05:20 Athleat 28 day grass-fed steak, almonds, greens drink, Alpha one from Aliment and multivits/minerals. A true breakfast of champions in my humble opinion.
Many people have issues with the idea of eating meat so early. I used to be the same having been lovingly raised on 6 Weetabix every morning with lots of ‘healthy’ semi-skimmed milk. Orrrrrr 4 Shredded Wheat. This evolved to ‘healthy’ porridge, but I still felt somewhat drowsy after eating all of the above for the first meal of the day. I guess I just put that down to how I was and after a while it becomes default for how we feel and act… yes it’s conditioning in full effect.
For others this may take the form of toast. Many people begrudgingly swopped from yummy white to ”””’healthy”””” brown years back and felt like they had done their bit for their health and whole grain is so much better for you isn’t it ??!!
Anyway, bottom line is that I have conditioned myself onto meat and nuts. In my opinion (and the opinion’s of way too many fitness pro’s, Olympic coaches, Athletes, top nutritionists, etc, etc that are far smarter than me) this type of breakfast is hands down the best way to start the day and the ways it gives me focus, clarity, feeling of fullness, levels out my blood sugar levels, and taps into my fat stores to access them as energy are all massive bonuses. Click on the pic above of the steak for more info and a fast-track to speed up leanness and feeling on top of the world…. even when it’s raining.
Massive, massive kudos to World renowned fitness and sports performance Legend Mr Charles Poliquin for opening the World’s eyes up to all of the above. The guy deserves so much credit! Google his name to open up a whole new world of info on health, fitness, conditioning, and feeling great.
Time to hit the road, and here is where my updates will probably get patchy. Will I be able to keep on track while in Devon pubs with the family…. The challenge starts here……
07:30 25g Brazil nuts
Was raining so much that two of the three lanes on the M3 were closed about 10 miles before the A303. Held me up for about 20 minutes. Caused delays of up to three hours soon after according to the news. All caused by the English summer weather and the rain flooding the carriageways!
09:30 M&S chargrilled chicken and a whole cucumber.
Stopped at the Simply Food services on the M5 at Exeter. I usually try and coincide stopping for breaks on motorways with either a Simply Food or a Waitrose as I know the food quality is of a certain standard. Stocked up on some other bits to take to the Holiday Cottage and back on the road.
Got to Hope Cove in Devon, it started raining just as I got there. Pretty little bay. My parents, sister, bro-in-law and my two nephews have been there since last Friday. Really nice 4 bedroom holiday house they have rented.
Got into the kitchen to see it full of cakes, biscuits, crisps, wine, beer, croissants, fruit, chocolate and my nemesis….. Snickers bars!
This will be my ultimate test. You’ll see we write in the 14 Day FAT FURNACE to rid the house of temptation as then if it is not there then you cannot eat it. I always see being with my family as a very comfortable occasion, and rightly so as they are amazing. However I usually find it as an excuse to overeat, especially Snickers bars, lots of Snickers bars!
I now have everything within easy reach. Game on! The thing is I don’t feel as drawn to it all as I usually would.
11:30 4 free range eggs and an avocado. 5 fish oil capsules (perfect for travelling with).
12:45 Half pot of M&S antipasti (sun dried tomatoes, artichoke, olives in EVOO), half a tin of tuna, 25g almonds.
Set off to Plymouth to take the kids to the Aquarium, packed my shaker with protein in it and a bag of brazil nuts.
Stopped at an organic farmers store near Plymouth and bought some organic steak mince, a free range chicken and some lamb steaks.
14:45 Protein shake and brazil nuts.
Fact I took out of the aquarium is that spider crabs are the only crab that can walk forwards, due to their legs articulation. Other crabs move sideways. Now you see this post is topical too 😉
17:35 200g Turkey breast off the bone.
Was caught short for food as we were out longer than I thought. Stopped at a Morrison’s quickly (who’s food is not at the top of my list) and went to the deli. Looked for the meat that looked the least processed and closest to natural as possible and got a few hundred grams of it. Better than letter the plan go with naff food from elsewhere.
Back to the house and I made some homemade burgers from the steak mince we got from the farmers store. Chopped a large red onion, 700g of the mince, fresh thyme, chopped sun dried tomatoes and a free range egg. Hand mixed it all together and made 12 burgers for the BBQ.
20:00 3 x small home made burgers with salad. 7 fish oil capsules.
Others had blueberries and raspberries with ice cream for desert and once again I did not feel I was missing out. Happy with my discipline and I honestly thought I’d find it all much harder.
Looking forward to eating low GI fruits again like berries in a few weeks, but doing me good to be free of them for 14 days. Still feeling good.
I had a bit of a discussion with my family about why I am doing what I am doing and the reasons. It’s often the case that those you love and that are closest to you are the hardest ones to sway and make understand.
It’s a case of a little at a time sometimes and not to get too emotional. I just am keen for everyone to feel great, and to be in the best of health. A friend of a very good friend of mine nearly died from a heart attack a few days ago…. He is 34!
I spend much of my time reading and studying about nutrition and training. I love the subject and I love learning about it. Am I a little obsessed about it? The answer is YES. But just in the way that successful businessmen and entrepreneurs are obsessed with what they do, which makes them successful.
If I am to make my living from telling and sharing information on these subjects to others that it is my duty to be immersed in the subject and to walk the walk. Too many times someone will be preaching about fat loss to others and telling them how to reduce their belt size, when their belt size is bigger than the people they are preaching to.
That’s not us, and so if I take things to the extreme somewhat so others can get a balance and improve their lives and if I feel great in myself from doing this then I’ve done my job, in my eyes.
On another subject, a good nutritionist friend of mine told me a while back that it is good to have a vegetarian day once a week to give your digestive system a break from meat for a day. I may start to give that a go soon, when this is over.
No phone reception or internet where I am staying. This has it’s pro’s and con’s, but I’ll focus on the pro’s for now!
Day 8 :: 13th June (Wednesday)
Woken up at 5am by seagulls having a sound off outside my room, that’ll teach me not to close my window at night. Dropped back off and dad came in at 07:15 with a cup of tea with milk in it. Love that, except I’d asked for a black coffee the day before… haha, he is so conditioned to tea in the morning that he completely forgot. Took the amazing gesture for what it was (can’t beat an awesome family) and looking outside. Queue glorious sunshine!!!
Got my shorts on and went for a HIIT run up and down some hills. I’ll post pics when I have a better internet connection (this is all written in the local pub called the Hope and Anchor, while sipping on a ginger and lemon tea). HIIT training is what we do a lot of in our Ultimate City Bootcamps, all about getting the metabolism fired up to create that Furnace that you may hear us mention now and again 😉
Traditional running bores me, a leisurely jog/speed walk with 60m sprints thrown in is far better in my eyes and science backs me up when it comes to raising VO2 max, improving conditioning as a whole, getting the body into an anabolic (positive) state and good ol’ fat burning.
Got to the peninsula of the Cove and looked back on the hamlet. Beautiful, with the sun out, the final two sprints up the hill were brutal, but rewarding. This is part of what a holiday is about….. drinking in nature and getting the bigger picture about how lucky we are to be able to experience such occasions.
Dad had followed me at a fast walking pace, so we took a few pics, had a chat, reflected a little and headed back to base, via the local shop to get croissants for the family (haha, no point in me expressing my views on them as the first meal of the day!).
08:30 Protein shake and greens. Multivitamins/minerals and Alpha one.
10:30 5 free range eggs scrambled with 25g almonds. 7 Aliment fish oil capsules.
Headed out to Bigbury-On-Sea, to have a little beach time. Naturally it was raining, but it cleared up and after a great play about with a Frisbee with the family, it was time to brave the sea….. hey if my nephews can play in it (ok they are in wetsuits) then I certainly can. Anyway it was freezing!! Can’t remember being that cold in the sea before. Waves were great so did some body boarding and then some beach sprints in the water, going deeper for more resistance or shallow for more speed.
This, as I have mentioned before, is what has surprised me the most as I have always veered away from eating like this due to thinking I would have little energy. Gavin has been going on at me for ages, telling me that as long as I up my good fats and fibre and make sure I am balancing my pH levels I’ll be fine and to be honest I am more than fine. 8 days in and feeling good!
11:45 Protein shake and 25g mixed nuts
12:45 M&S chicken and 25g mixed nuts. I’d bought the chicken yesterday at the Exeter services and then brought a cool bag with me today.
I’ve plateaued somewhat in my fat loss I feel. HOWEVER I am not perturbed by this. Nearly everyone that does the 14 Day FAT FURNACE will have a few days at the mid point when things seem to stop. It’s just one of the ways the body adapts and adjusts to the new way of eating and digesting the foods.
I know that I’ve responded to many people who have already done the 14DFF who had this happen and then after a few days progress restarted. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in losing weight, and seeing physical changes that we can forget how we feel psychologically, and emotionally. I am really happy with the physical results so far, and the way I am feeling and my moods are nothing short of fantastic and making leaving out the occasional ‘treat’ all the more worth it.
When I have asked the other 14DFF’ers how they feel, they have all said they feel great. Some have felt pretty naff in the first few days, which is normal with such a radical change in foods for them, but after a week to ten days they start feeling great and energy levels go up.
So I’ll keep you posted on if and when the body fat starts to shift again.
14:25 Steak and Vegetables from The Sloop pub in Bantham. Highly recommended pub here in South Devon. See pic
17:15 Protein shake and 25g mixed nuts
We’d bought a free range chicken at the farm shop yesterday. Chopped up some fresh herbs and pricked a fresh lemon and put it and herbs in chicken. Rubbed a little butter and more herbs all over skin of chicken and put it in the oven to roast.
19:30 BBQ lamb steak, roast chicken, roasted root vegetables, asparagus. 7 fish oil capsules and greens powder.
Great, filling meal without the carbs. Other had a desert of ice cream and fruit. I didn’t. No worries, proud of my self discipline over the last few days as I doubted myself somewhat before.
Day 9 :: 14th June Thursday
Not the best of mornings, but it was not raining. After an internal struggle between my comfort zone reasoning that a run and sprints is not a good idea due to lack of sun, and my winning side convincing me that I will probably never be in this place ever again and that I have the perfect outside track to use, sun or no sun. the winning side won and I hit the road for a 3km sprint/jog around the hamlet of Hope Cove, with some circuit style training thrown in.
Glad I did as as soon as my blood got a little oxygenised I was feeling much better and the sun didn’t matter.
I’m sure this internal battle happens to many of us in fitness (and many other) areas of life…..
“Shall I go workout?”
“I know I should go!”
“But I’m working so hard!”
“It’s too sunny!”
“It’s not long enough!”
“I’ll go tomorrow”
etc., etc., etc…… (add excuse here)
Bottom line is if you don’t use it, you will certainly LOSE IT. I think I can honestly say that when I do ‘do it’, after a few minutes I feel all the better for having taken that step and afterwards I feel infinitely better. The mental struggle is all that holds the lions share of us back. Exceptions to which are illness and injury!
Consistently working out three times or so a week, let’s be honest everyone can do that, especially when the end result is so positive and adds to every aspect of ones life.
Met dad on a hill overlooking the bay and we worked on his golf swing. He basically needs to do some warm-up drills as he has inflexibility issues. A few other tweaks needed too. He’s one of the strongest and fittest ‘granddads’ I know, but had a tendency to put himself down. Good sharing some quality alone time with him!
08:30 Protein shake and greens. Multivitamins/minerals and Alpha one.
09:30 Cold roast chicken (from last night) and 25g mixed nuts. 7 Aliment fish oil capsules.
Headed to Salcombe with Mum and my Sister to have a look about. Said bye to Dad, my Bro-in-law, and Nephews.
12:00 Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon in a lovely cafe sitting with an outlook of Salcombe bay.
Said bye to Mum and Sis and headed for London! Really happy that I passed the test of not gorging myself on chocolate, chips, crisps, alcohol, etc, etc over the past few days and I still had a great time. Proved a lot to myself!
14:30 M&S smoked lockmuir salmon and 25g mixed nuts.
15:45 M&S Beef slices and 25g mixed nuts (brazils, walnuts and almonds are the nuts of choice for the 14DFF for me)
17:00 met with one of my best and longest serving (he needs a medal) friends Ben at Fitness First in High Wycombe. Ben is an inspirational guy. A top hollywood stuntman (you’ll have seen him getting smacked about as the body double of the Huntsman in the new Snow White film, as Captain America in that film, in the new Bond film, when it comes out and in countless other massive recent films). He is also one of the best trainers I know (and I know some awesome trainers) and he’s great to hang out with.
We trained chest and back and he took the intensity level up a few gears! It’s always good to train with someone else (who knows that they are doing) as a training partner, or to have the occasional PT session. Yes it’s obvious that I would say this, being that I own a PT business, but for me the difference between good results and great results is how hard we are pushed when training!
It may only be three times a week for 45 minutes a time. But make every one of those 45 minutes count! Ben made me realise I need to up my training intensity!
18:00 Protein shake with 60g gluten free oats.
The other advantage of seeing Ben is getting to see my other great friend and his future wife Mel. Went to their place and she cooked an amazing pale meal of buffalo mince Bolognese, without the pasta naturally. It had a ton of veg in it, including aubergines, onions, courgettes, and tomato’s including Mr Organic tomato puree.
19:00 Organic buffalo mince Bolognese with salad
21:45 30g mixed nuts and 1tbsp fish oil
Day 10 :: 15th June Friday
08:45 M&S chicken and 25g nuts. Vitmains/minerals, Alpha one and 2tbsp fish oil
11:00 Protein shake and 25g Mixed nuts
13:00 25g mixed nuts
14:00 4 free range eggs scrambled and a avocado
16:00 protein shake with greens and 1tbsp fish oil
Out tonight for my birthday and this is the night I factored in as my night off. From 18:00 tonight until tomorrow morning it’s all off the radar in terms of nutrition and alcohol. I knew tonight was coming but I’ve made great progress up to now and I know one night will not ruin 10 days of focus 😉
Last night did not happen 😉
Day 11 :: 16th June Saturday
Today is my first weekend off for 17 weekends. I remember 17 weeks ago, in February, thinking how long it was going to take and now here I am in mid June. Typically I am not too sure what to do. I’m sure I’ll come up with something
I’m experiencing major DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) from the workout I had with Ben a few days back. This is experienced after a challenging workout, or when using or doing something new that recruits different muscles (motor units) and is the soreness felt within the muscle. It’s a good indictor, sometimes, that we have adequately pushed ourselves. The body will respond to the new stimulus over time and the DOMS will subside, or be less. That’s pretty well all that training is, it’s the way a body responds to the stimulus thrown at it!
If someone sits about all day, every day and does very little, then the body responds by getting fatter and having muscles waste away (as if you don’t use them, you lose them). If someone is on the move, active and throws in some effective training sessions a few times a week, then the body gets stronger, fitter, faster, better able to process food and oxygen, and about a million other positive things. Tough choice to make really.
We used Fat Gripz for some of the exercises and my forearms are feeling the pain today. Need to get a set of these. They add a whole new dimension to a workout. I’d read about them years ago, and have friends in fitness that use them, but this was my first experience. Here’s some info on them .
08:30 Protein shake with greens, half a cucumber, 2tbsp fish oil, 25g almonds. Alpha One capsules and multivits and minerals. Tall glass of cold water with half a lemon squeezed into it!
Didn’t sleep too much, but wanted to get up and at it and recover from a heavy night out. Protein to aid recovery, all the rest to do the same and also alkalize the body. Alcohol is acidic and a toxin. There is a great article on what it does to the body and why it’s the spanner in the works if fat loss is a serious goal in the 14 Day FAT FURNACE. There’s also a great section on what alkaline and acidic foods are and which should be eaten and which avoided for health, fitness and getting in great shape reasons.
10:30 3 free range eggs, 25g brazils
12:30 free range turkey and vegetables. 1tbsp fish oil
15:00 Protein shake and 25g mixed nuts
17:30 4 free range eggs and an avocado. 1tbsp fish oil
Well today is a day off, so what do I do? I spend it behind a computer screen writing a FAQ section for the 14DFF. I’ll be honest I love writing and sharing all this information that I do on this site. Gav is the same, it’s a buzz to get the information down and document it. So I have been working through emails that we have been sent from people that have already done the 14DFF and who are doing it, or who are thinking of doing it. It’s turning out to be quite a document and I will add it to the bottom of the new version of the 14DFF very soon. If people have already bought a copy, as many of you have (thank you, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and applying it as much as we did putting it together), then I will soon email you with details and a link to download it. Should be done by mid week.
20:00 Organic lamb steak and vegetables. 1 tbsp fish oil.
Day 12 :: 17th June Sunday
08:00 4 organic eggs scrambled in coconut oil. 25g almonds. 1tbsp fish oil. Multivits/minerals and alpha one capsule.
10:30 Protein shake and 25g brazils
12:00 hit the gym and trained legs. Squats and single leg deadlifts, plus calf work on leg press.
Good to see the Olympic Rings have been placed into position at Tower Bridge. Here’s the story on BBC’s site. The gym I use is at More London so I pass by the bridge on the way to workout. Possibly the best route to any UK gym?
13:00 Post workout protein with 60g oats
14:30 free range turkey and vegetables
17:00 Can of mackerel, half cucumber, 25g almonds
I can see I have lost a little quality after Friday’s big night out. The poor food choices and alcohol have had an effect and smoothed me over a little. Alcohol really is not conducive to burning body fat! I’ll be on it massively in the next few days to turn the tables at the end of day 14. Annoyed with myself, BUT I knew I’d have this night and there was no putting it off!
My advice is block your calendar if and when you do the 14DFF of going out. It’s important to have the 14 days break from certain foods and that toxin alcohol that we are all so fond of. Anyway lesson learnt and please learn from my mistakes!
19:00 Homemade grass-fed beef burgers x 2 with a lot of broccoli.
Got a lot of work done on the new site today and the new version (v6) of the 14DFF . We now have the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) done and attached which makes the ebook 70 pages. Really happy with the content. Got a lot done with the products we now have available through our affiliates. Our UCF Amazon store is up and running and we’ll add items of value in the quest of feeling great and looking great nekkid through time. The link will always be in the menu bar above.
We now have found a great deal on Greens powders that is about half of what we would pay in the UK for a great product. Check out the tub of greens in the bar on the RHS of the page – you may need to scroll up. Lastly the Legends that are Athleat. Great guys with an amazing product. We tend to get lost in the confines of Supermarkets and choose what is right in front of us food wise rather than take a little thought to wonder what journey that food had before it hit those shelves.
When it comes to buying meat it’s important to give a little extra of that thought to the quality of it. If the animal had not been fed an optimum diet and was stressed then it will manifest in the quality of the meat (it’s all about the food chain here). Athleat make sure that the animals are fed with their natural diets (grass fed for Beef and Lamb and a foraging diet for Chickens) and so the quality of the meat and the essential fats contained within it are of the very best quality. For more info check out their website and compare prices with what you usually pay for corn/grain fed meat from factory farmed animals! We are giving 10% off the first order to our readers, just enter ultimatecity into the coupon box.
Day 13 :: 18th June Monday
05:45 Protein shake and greens, Alpha One Capsules x 2
It’s Monday again so that means it’s time for the Ultimate City Bootcamps 7am Week starter Bootcamp. Gav ran another great session. Amazing how quickly fitness levels increase over a short period of time. Had much more energy than last week.
08:15 Protein and 60g oats. These are the only carbs I have been eating and only after a workout. Just to explain once again that my goal is not weight loss on these 14 days, so I will be taking in a few carbs on training days. For those of you looking to maximise fat loss leave the carbs for the two weeks and just have a black coffee or green tea with the Alpha One capsules before a morning workout.
10:00 Scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, spinach and chillies from POD.
11:30 Quarter free range roast chicken and 25g mixed nuts.
Over to Gav’s place in North London. Getting some great work done on UCF today. Learning more about how to get our ideas and training articles and practices out to a larger audience. Really enjoy the process and we had a few more testimonials come in today too. Feels good to know we are finding a way to help others hit their fitness goals via the medium of this site and other ways, rather than just one-on-one Personal Training and Bootcamps (whiach are great by the way!)
13:30 Free range turkey, spinach, tenderstem broccoli, red peppers, tomatoes, and EVOO dressing. Gav pulled that one out of the bag!
Good meal! Now back to work!
16:00 4 free range eggs scrambled with 25g nuts
18:30 Free range chicken with mixed veg
20:30 Can mackerel, half a cucumber and 1 tbsp of fish oil
Day 14 : 19th June Tuesday
Today is my last day, so I’ll get a shot tomorrow. I’ve noticed that my obliques (sides of the body) have got a lot leaner as has a lot of my body (arms and legs massively). My abs are always the last place to go, but there is a change Need to get Toni (my flatmate) to be photographer tomorrow morning!
Getting my bodyfat tested later today, so will let you know how that goes. That is the measure that does not lie. I’ve lost about 3 lbs but that was not my goal at all. Getting leaner was, and that’s why I added a little carbs into the mix on training days.
All in all I am very happy with the process. I wish I had not had the night out on Friday as that definitely put me back a step. I think I will do it all again soon after my trip to Marbella and see if there is a difference. Don’t worry I won’t bore you all with it again 😉
For me it’s been how I feel. My energy has gone up and I feel great, much better than in the past. I get lean from time to time, and that’s great, but feeling good on the inside is more important to me. It’s all very well looking half decent, but if you’re not feeling good about it then what is the point!
Getting leaner in fast time. The plan, if worked properly is very powerful. If there is a big date coming up, then this is a great springboard into it. If someone wants to lose a lot of weight over a few months or get in to their best ever shape in a few months, this is the perfect starting block!
10:45 Protein shake and 25g mixed nuts
13:00 Mackerel salad.
Above are the results from getting my body fat done. Happy with that. Thanks to great friend Wern for getting it calculated and Ben for his measuring skills!
15:30 M&S salmon and 25g almonds
17:30 Mackerel and 25g brazils
Big game for England tonight. Come on!
England scraped a win! BUT WHO CARES….. They are through to face the Italian’s on Sunday which I’ll watch in Marbella
I’ve just realised that this post if over 10,000 words, so if you read it all you either need a medal, or you ned some sort of psychiatric help. Either way, thank you for paying an interest. It’s been an interesting trip.
Realised that the protein I have been using has gluten in it. I will switch back to a gluten free with probiotics in it soon and see if results are changed at all. I may also rotate no carb days with low and medium carb days. I know some friends that say when body fat is already low this can be a good final tweak. Bodyfat ended on 6.3% – about 3% lower than 14 days ago and to be honest it was much easier to do than I thought!
20:40 free range chicken breast, broccoli and 1 tbsp fish oil.
22:30 Protein shake and bed
The day after the 14 Days……
For a set out plan of how and what I am doing (I DID NOW IT’S DONE – Editor) with all the reasons why, with fat loss tips, ideas, best foods to eat and what foods to definitely steer clear away from, plus much, much, much more click the 14 Day FAT FURNACE box below