Your Moment of Zen by G Diesel
I once hated the alarm clock. My precious sleep, already limited as it was, rudely interrupted by the siren song of reality. The higher the stakes in my life have become, however, the more I’ve come to embrace it. If my best friend Poo Bear doesn’t wake me up around 5AM to go out in the backyard and take a leak, the alarm on my phone surely will. Strangely enough, I love it.
In the dark of an early morning, my beautiful girls are still asleep. The house is quiet. My phone, in preparation for its relentless daily deluge of texts and emails, is still slumbering. It’s just me, a shaker cup of VICE X on ice and my vintage LifeCycle exercise bike in the basement. This is my time.
In these early hours, I am able to order my thoughts, breaking a sweat, sipping my X about 20 minutes in, slowly coming alive. I can write. I can listen to music or a podcast. I strategize my workout and my day. It is peaceful and serene. For 30-60 minutes per day, followed immediately by services in the iron temple, it is, as Tara says, “my Zen”. An enlightening, calming, spiritual experience. One that I cherish.
Quite literally, it is my daily therapy session, one that enables me to grow as a person. More positive. More patient. More productive. It is a constant investment in myself, accruing daily interest and building wealth of the sort more valuable than gold.
At this point in my life, I am nothing if not a product of a process. One characterized by routine and rigor, and regular regimentation that I have adopted in the quest to build the best version of myself. Since I was a kid, I was determined to take the raw material of my life and create something great. This pursuit has defined my days and given me purpose. But with it, comes a fair share of anxiety and pressure, much of it self-imposed.
Six days a week, my moment of Zen helps to mitigate the damage and manage the stress of an ambitious life. Not only do I grow physically stronger, but of greater intellectual and emotional stature with each pre-dawn ritual. Making savage the body as my mind is soothed and civilized. Put simply, it helps me build a better man, from the inside out.
My hope for you, is to unlock the same potential in the dark, still hours of an early morning. For #TheProgram2021 to provide the structure for your own process, allowing you to escape into the recesses and shadows within, to be alone with your hope and ambitions, spending intimate, private time with your dreams. Working on you. We will begin this New Year with The Program. We will start our lives over again, beginning each day with our own moment of Zen.
#TheProgram2021 Nutrition: The “Recipe” for Success
Bodybuilding, fitness, and any sporting or physical performance goals, however you want to define them, reach far beyond your actual training or competition. As always, your success will be found in your enthusiasm for paying dues, and that your vocation is not merely something you do, but an elemental part of who you are. It is not merely a game, or hobby, but a lifestyle.
And so much of that lifestyle, revolves around kitchen. “The difference between the freaks and the flock is the fork” if you will. Life in the real world, however, as is so often the case, tends to get in the way of our best intentions, causing us to drop the ball when we need a completion the most. But instead of making excuses, we endeavor to provide solutions. And yet another cheat sheet check list for steps we can all employ to eat better and in a manner aligned with our goals and aspiration.
Prepare in Bulk
That doesn’t necessarily mean a gorgeous-patterned grid of Andy Warhol-esque identical Tupperwear meals fit for Instagram. But, instead, make larger quantities of protein and carbs at a time. If 1 lb of grilled chicken will cover you and your family for dinner tonight, grill 5 lbs. Get large Rubbermaid containers and store it in the fridge. Same with your carbs, instead of making roasted potatoes in the oven or rice in the rice cooker for one meal, make enough for five. I can’t tell you how many times simply having prepared protein and carbs on hand saved my ass and my diet in the process. So much so, that knowing I have that box checked and taken care of puts me at ease. When I’m not sure what I’m going to eat and when, it puts me on edge and creates an unnecessary obstacle to my success.
Have a FEAST
We created FEAST for a reason. To fill the gaps in your diet with a complete and nutrient dense, calorically-economical meal that is ultra-convenient. After training, in between meals, as a meal replacement, as a snack alternative—whenever you need it. One of my tricks is to throw a scoop of FEAST in a shaker cup with half a cup of plain oats when I’m leaving the house, and keep it in my car or gym bag. When I’m on the road and a meal is hard to come by, I throw some water in there, bang it back and in a matter of seconds, I’ve covered my nutrition bases. No utensils, no refrigeration, no microwave, no mess.
A well-hydrated muscle is a muscle flushed with nutrients, prepared to perform and grow. But sometimes it is hard to drink enough. A simple solution is to find a jug or bottle that can contain a sizable amount of fluids (50 oz, 64 oz, a gallon). And make it your goal to finish it over the day. It is a small accomplishment, but pile up enough of the small victories and the big wins become inevitable.
Eat Your Veggies
You’re not 7 years old. Part of responsible adulthood and advanced, serious training, is fortifying your diet with the phytonutrients, micronutrients, antioxidants and fiber native to fruits and vegetables. To avoid them is to undermine your health and your performance. But that doesn’t mean you need to choke down a bag of Green Giant frozen peas with every meal. Make your goal a simple one—have a piece of fruit postworkout and eat a big green salad with dinner. This is also the reason we created LIFE. As an insurance policy to make sure we’re sneaking in an extra potent dose or two of all the good stuff we know we should be eating.
Cheat to Win
Food is among life’s great joys. But most of the best fun foods and junk foods cannot be consumed on a regular basis, by any serious, health-conscious athlete. This is not me telling you to live like a monk. On the contrary, it is telling you to treat the food you desire most as what it is—a reward or treat. One to be earned by eating and training in the manner you know you should. The harder you train and more lean muscle you accrue, the better your human machine processes calories. So, if you want to eat that burger and fries or those cookies and ice cream, bust your ass in the gym and earn it the old-fashioned way.
Dump the Rubbish
Make it easy on yourself to remain disciplined, by not being surrounded by temptation. Foods and drinks that constitute your cheat meals shouldn’t litter the pantry or fridge. Compartmentalize your eating and limit the presence of junk food in your life. Restricting that access allows you to more easily adhere to a stricter regimen and to stay focused, actually better appreciating and enjoying the foods you should be eating. When that cheat meal comes, crush it and leave no prisoners. Out of sight, out of mind and out of your mouth, and back on the program.
Break the Fast
The crucial hours that your body rests also is a time spent processing calories for growth and recovery consequently depleting your nutrient stores from the prior day’s training. Waking up hungry is a good sign, so take advantage of this positive trend by feeding yourself properly. A balanced, high protein whole food meal for breakfast, like the classic eggs, oatmeal and fruit sets the tone for your day, starting you on the right foot. Helping to fuel your training, curb your appetite, holding you accountable for the meals that follow, not wanting to “break your streak”, making a point to break the evening fast the right way, is no doubt a “recipe for success”.
Monday, January 11th, 2021
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