Archive for December, 2012

FitRanX – Level 5 – Workout 1

fitness ranking12

Now that the holidays are over and New Years is right around the corner.

Everyone starts thinking about how much weight they are planning on losing.

Let this year be the year that you actually reach your goals.

It’s not going to be easy!

But anything worth fighting for is never easy.

I want to let you know, that I will be here to help you along the road to your success.

There is no reason to wait for the New Year, lets start today.

Lets get this started with this Level 5 Workout I put together for you….

Fitness Ranking

Stay Motivated,

Sgt Rians


Surviving The Holidays – Part 2

7 Polite Ways To Turn Down Food


Most of us think that there are only two ways to handle Holiday food temptations.
You could say “No” to everything and get the reputation of being a Grinch.
Or you could say “Yes” to everything and end up gaining 5 or 10 pounds.

Let’s explore the following 7 ways to politely turn down Holiday food that’s pushed on you by well meaning friends and family.

Food Push #1: “This is your favorite! Hand me your plate.”
Stalling Response: “I can’t wait to try some in a little bit.”

Why stalling works: By not directly turning the food pusher down, they feel that they’ve won and will drop the subject.

Later you may decide that you want a small portion of the offered food, or you may decide to skip it.

Food Push #2: “Try this new dessert I made, you’ll love it!”
I’m Stuffed Response: “I wish that I had saved some room, but I’m stuffed.”

Why being stuffed works: No one can refute your statement about being full.

If your food pusher is persistent then let them know that having one more bite would make you uncomfortably full to the point of pain.


Food Push #3: “I made this dish especially for you. Eat up!”
Diet Restriction Response: “Oh man, that looks good! Too bad I can’t eat gluten.”

Why having a diet restriction works: Even the pushiest people are likely to back off when they hear you have a diet restriction.

The key is to be consistent.

If you say that you aren’t eating gluten then don’t reach for a bread roll.

Food Push #4: The food pusher puts something on your plate without permission.
Spread It Around Response: Take your fork and spread the unwanted item around your plate to make it look like you took a few bites.

Why spreading it around works: You’re not making a scene, and quite frankly, no one is going to notice.

When food is put on your plate without your consent you are under no obligation to eat it.

Spreading the food around is a simple way to defuse the situation without eating something you didn’t want.


Food Push #5: “You are too concerned with dieting.”
Thank You For Noticing Response: “Thank you for noticing the healthy changes I’ve been making. Your support means a lot.”

Why saying thank you works: Sure, the dieting comment was probably made passive aggressively, but nothing is stopping you from taking it as a compliment.

Seeing you make healthier choices may be intimidating for friends and family, so approach the subject with understanding rather than defensiveness.

Food Push #6: “Here’s a bag of leftovers for you to take home!”
Take a Break from Cooking Response: “Thanks, but keep the food so that you can take a break from all the cooking you’ve been doing.”

Why saying they’ll get a break from cooking works: Every good host wants to send their guests home with something, but given the option they’d love to have leftovers for themselves as well.

Compliment their cooking and let them know that you think they deserve a break over the next few days.

Food Push #7: “We only have this dish once a year – you HAVE to eat some!”

I Want to Live Long Response: “That looks amazing! I’m going to skip it this year so that I can live to see many more wonderful holidays with you.”

Why wanting to live long works: Said with good humor, this drives home a serious point.

You are watching what you eat so that you will be around for many more holidays to come to enjoy with your loved ones.

No one can deny the importance of this!

By warding off food pushers you’ll eat fewer calories and will avoid holiday weight gain to start the New Year off right!

Remember that exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving weight loss.

So head over to our Youtube or Facebook page today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body in the New Year.

Stay Motivated,

Sgt Rians

Surviving Holiday Parties

Active Santa

I know sticking to your meal plan is hard during the holidays, but it can be done.

Stay strict during the week and use your cheat day for that holiday party you are going to.

If you don’t want to use your cheat day, then make sure you eat before you go.

Another thing to help you survive the holiday parties is, do not hover around the food area at the party.

Stay away from it!!

In an effort to keep your holidays healthy and bright, here are some mouth-watering recipes sure to please the palate.

Offering optimum flavor, presentation and nutritional value, these dishes are so delicious you will probably adopt them as part of a new, healthy holiday tradition.


Appealing Appetizers

The abundance of holiday get-togethers makes mindless snacking a common pitfall. What better way to prevent overeating of the wrong foods than by BYOD (bringing your own dish). Following are some fabulous-tasting recipes that won’t leave you feeling deprived!

Bite-Size Bruschetta Baskets (vegan, gluten-free)

Quick and easy to prepare, this flavorful combo is yummy over pasta, tempeh, fish, grilled veggies . . . or whatever you can imagine.

Note: This appetizer stores well in the refrigerator for 4–5 days, so prepare ahead if your schedule is busy, or double the recipe for use later in the week.

1 long, thin artisan loaf or baguette, cut into 1½-inch-thick rounds,    soft centers scooped out or pressed to create a small hollow
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (tbs) freshly grated Parmesan cheese cayenne    pepper, freshly ground, to taste
½ cup organic sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), snipped into thin    slices
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
¼ cup spicy tomato sauce or sun-dried tomato pesto
1 ripe avocado, diced
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons (tsp) fresh garlic, minced
1 vine-ripened tomato, seeded, drained and chopped fine
2 tbs Kalamata olives and/or capers (optional)
freshly ground pepper, sea salt
¼ cup basil pesto sauce
fresh basil for garnish

VGF Option:
Instead of bread, use 30 endive leaves or try mushrooms or cucumbers (centers hollowed out). Omit Parmesan cheese.

Brush bread “baskets” lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cayenne. Toast lightly in hot oven or under broiler for a few minutes. Set aside to cool. In glass serving bowl, mix together all remaining items except basil. Adjust seasonings to taste. Spoon topping into bread baskets, endive leaves, cucumbers or mushroom caps. Garnish with basil. Serves four to six.

Black-Bean Salsa Dip (vegan, gluten-free)

To avoid high-calorie creamy dips and cheese trays full of saturated fats, try this delicious, high-fiber, antioxidant-dense dip. Easy to prepare, it will keep for 3 days in the fridge. This is a perfect make-in-advance dip.

1–2 tsp minced garlic
1 (15-ounce, oz) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed well
½ cup fresh salsa
2 tbs fresh lime juice
½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1½ tsp ground cumin
chili pepper, fresh or dried, to taste
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro for garnish

Measure all ingredients into food processor, except sea salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Season to taste and transfer to serving bowl.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with veggie crudités, organic tortilla chips or Mary’s Gone Crackers. Makes about 2 cups.

Oh-Wow! Holiday Sweets

Of all the holiday food challenges, nothing can kill willpower for most people like nutritionally void sweets. Following are some amazing treats that address the cookie and calorie conundrum. These goodies can also serve as a perfect host/hostess gift.

Nut–Butter Dates With Macadamia Nuts (vegan, gluten-free)

24 pitted fresh medjool dates or boxed soft dates (found in produce    section)
¼ cup raw cacao nibs
¼ cup raw almond or macadamia butter
cayenne pepper, to taste
macadamia nuts for garnish

Halve each date, fill each with sprinkling of cacao nibs and top with small spoonful of almond butter. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper as desired.

Arrange on serving platter garnished with macadamia nuts. Makes 48 date halves.

Sweet ’n’ Spicy Maple Nuggets (vegan, gluten-free)

These fantastic little gems are super-easy to make, and the spices will boost your immune system. Double the recipe, buy some decorative glass jars and ribbon, and fill them for delectable “made with love” gifts. Store nuggets in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

4 cups raw nuts (combine almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc. . . . your    favorites)
½ cup unhulled sesame seeds
1/3–1/2 cup maple syrup or unprocessed natural honey
1/2–3/4 tsp sea salt
3/4–1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, ginger and cardamom powder
½–3/4 tsp cayenne or crushed chili pepper flakes, to taste

Preheat oven to 300–325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line large baking sheet with 1- to 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper.

Combine nuts, sesame seeds, maple syrup or honey, and seasonings in large bowl, stirring well. Spread out evenly onto baking sheet, place into oven and bake 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished baking, stir nuts again and let cool. Makes 14–16 ¼-cup servings.

Note: Sesame seeds not used in the photo shown.

Organic Cocoa-Coconut Gem Truffles (vegan, gluten-free)

2/3 cup organic cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
1 cup almonds, ground
¼ cup organic coconut, small flakes
3/4 cup pitted fresh medjool dates or boxed soft dates (found in    produce section)
3 tbs extra-virgin organic coconut butter, gently warmed to melt
¼ tsp sea salt
soft hemp seeds, to roll balls in or to sprinkle on bars, if desired

Combine cocoa powder, ground almonds and coconut flakes in large food processor.

Add dates, coconut butter and sea salt; purée until mixture sticks together. If needed, add a little more melted coconut butter or dates to adjust texture to desired stickiness and level of sweetness.

Roll into 1-inch balls or 2-inch patties, or press into 8- x 8-inch square baking dish and cut into bars. Roll balls/patties in hemp seeds, or sprinkle seeds over bars. Chill for minimum of 1 hour.

Store in refrigerator or freezer for up to 2–3 weeks—if they last that long!

Tip: Soaking/sprouting the almonds for 8 hours removes some of the enzymes that inhibit nutrient absorption. Makes approximately 24 truffles (or if bars are preferred, fills one 8- x 8-inch baking dish).

Stay Motivated and Happy Holidays,

Sgt Rians

Save the Children


America’s children are overweight.

Why? Because WE are! Two-thirds (66%) of Americans are overweight according to the Centers for Disease Control/Prevention, with 15-30% of the children either overweight or dangerously close to being overweight.

That means that nearly 200 million Americans fall into the overweight category.

We are setting a horrible example for our children.

According to a study conducted by The American Health Foundation, 25% of American children are now officially overweight, and the youngest are especially at risk.

These extra pounds are more than just a passing phase; another ADA study suggests that half of obese children will become fat adults.

Rates of Overweight and  Obese Children

Rates of Overweight and Obese Children

Obesity among children is increasing at an alarming rate, and the health consequences are very severe.

Billions of dollars every year are spent on medical bills by overweight/obese patients due to (preventable) obesity related illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

What’s behind the growing number of children who are now overweight?

Lack of exercise accounts for more than 50 percent of the problem.

Only 30 percent of the problem is due to overeating or choosing the wrong types of foods.

So, let’s resolve to better ourselves, set the example, and get our children moving again.

You can start right here with this Level 2 FitRanX workout.

Fitness Ranking System


Stay Motivated,

Sgt Rians

Do You Have Hip Problems?

Hey FitRanXers,

Have you ever had a hip problem?

If you think only elderly people have hip problems, your wrong.

Hip issues are very common in highly active people as well.


The most common cause for this is overuse or a muscle imbalance.

A lot of you may not know that I was in a wheelchair for 3 months at exactly this time last year.

Going to Christmas parties in that thing was a blast:-)

My hip actually popped out of place because of a muscle imbalance.

The muscle imbalance in my hip actually came from a back injury I received from my time in the Marines.

This was my ride for 3 months.

This was my ride for 3 months.

Back in 2005, I had to have surgery on my back.

My L4-L5 had herniated over 50% of the disk.

So the neurosurgeon had to go in a scrap out the part of the disk that was herniated.

The only problem was, the doctors made me wait 4 months before they got me in for surgery.

This caused irreversible nerve damage because the disk had trapped the nerve so severely that I was receiving no nerve activity down my left leg.

Once the doctor scrapped out half of my L4-L5, I gained a lot of feeling back in my left leg.

disc problems

I still had nerve damage, but at least I could function again.

I had to learn how to work out around my injury.

I had to learn how to run different to eliminate the compression in my spin.

I also had to incorporate back therapy into every workout I did.

I did not realize how much of a muscle imbalance my back injury caused until my hip popped out.

After this experience, I found out that I have to work my left leg 3 times as hard as my right to keep the muscle imbalance in check.

So this video today is dedicated to Keith, one of my Marine buddies who is having some hip problems as we speak.

This is the hip therapy routine I did almost everyday until I recovered.

I know a lot of people out there get real depressed and just want to quite everything once they get an injury.


You have to fight through it.

There is always a way to make it better.

You just have to have the WILL to stand back up and fight through it.

So, if you are one of those people out there that has a injury and just don’t know what to do to beat it.

Let me know.

I can help you –

Ran to the top of Mt Baldy after back surgery

Ran to the top of Mt Baldy after back surgery

Stay Motivated,

Sgt Rians

FitRanX – Level 3 – Workout 2

Hey FitRanXers,

fitness ranking motivation2

Happy Friday! I’m giving you guys a Level 3 workout today.

I know working out during the holiday season is tough.

You have to make sure you set a routine for yourself.

We are all creatures of routine.

It may take us a week or so to adjust to the new routine, but once you have it set, you will be more likely to stick with it.

For myself, I make sure to get my workout in first thing in the morning.

That way I don’t have to worry about when I am going to fit it in once I start working.

So, figure out your routine, stick with it, and you will you make it through the holidays without gaining weight and still achieving your goals.

So get out there and get your weekend started right.

Stay Motivated,

Sgt Rians

Working Out and Your Health

Hey FitRanXers,
Working out is just as important as your health, and in reality, working out correlates directly with our health.
If we are not taking care of our bodies, we get sick.
Before you start, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.
If you have been sitting around for a long time, you can’t start with a full fitness routine.
You will want to start slow and build your fitness level little by little.
If you try to do too much at first, you will likely give up because it left you too sore or weak.
Start by walking every other day.
It involves the entire body and you don’t need any special equipment to walk.
A good pair of shoes is nice but don’t let your old shoes keep you from walking.
As always, check with your doctor before starting any fitness program.

Be Realistic

It would be great to be able to jump right into a hard workout, feel great, and see instant results.
However, it is important to be realistic about several things.
First, you need to understand that you more than likely will not (or should not) start out with a hard workout if you have not been in a regular exercise routine.
Start out slow and do not set yourself up for failure by expecting miracles overnight.
Getting fit takes time and with commitment, you will reach your goals.

Envision Success

Try to envision how great you will look and feel once you get in shape.
If you can, find a picture of someone that has the same body type and pin it up where you can look at it every day to help you see the same results you too can reach with hard work and time.

Track Progress

Often when trying to get in shape, it seems like you are working hard and sweating, but getting nowhere.
In actuality, things are happening, just not yet seen.
We see ourselves in the mirror everyday.
Which makes it difficult to realize our changes.
If you can, take a picture of yourself in the same outfit every two weeks.
Also keep track of these two things.
First, track your measurements.
You will probably be surprised within only a few weeks at the progress made.
Second, track your routines so you can determine what is working for you and what is not as successful.

Warm Up

Before you start your exercise routine you will need to get your muscles and joints warmed up.
If you have a foam roller and know how to use it, GREAT!
If not, I will make some video’s on how to properly foam roll to warm up your muscles and joints.
Stay tuned!
fitness ranking

Cool Down

Just as warming up for exercise is important, cooling down after exercise is just as important.
Once you have completed your workout, take five to 10 minutes to walk, or stretch to allow your body to cool down.
This is very important for the muscles and joints and for the heart and lung.
fitness stretching

Diabetes and Exercise

Aerobic exercise can actually be beneficial for people with diabetes.
This exercise increases the insulin sensitivity and when combined with good eating, can help restore a normal glucose metabolism.
Before starting into a workout program, you need to see your doctor first to determine if there are any risks for coronary artery disease and that your blood glucose control is appropriate for exercise.
Once cleared, you will feel better and see for you the benefits associated with exercise.

 Get Started Today

Now that you have read this and you are ready to get started, go to our Youtube channel and start following along with me in the FRX Training Video’s.

I know we only have a few out so far, but we are adding 2 to 3 new workouts every week.

Stay Motivated,

Sgt Rians

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