Raw Vegan Cleanse – KaengRaeng Review

Mango, Pineapple, and Banana “DayBreak” mixed with banana, ice, and water
Sprouted Quinoa, Sprouted Almonds,Sprouted Pepitas, Banana, Raw Coconut Nectar
Sprouted Quinoa, Sprouted Almonds,Sprouted Pepitas, Banana, Raw Coconut Nectar


Being raw vegan would be easy if you stayed home all day or lived next door to a Whole Foods Raw Organic Salad Bar. Otherwise, it’s pretty damn hard to eat a strictly raw-vegan diet, be social, and live a normal life in DC.  I’ll admit, I faltered. Everything was vegan, but not raw. I had some cooked eggplant and some dark chocolate pretzels yesterday. Onto the cleanse…

Feeling: The fiber content in these shakes is NO JOKE! I was gurgling and bubbly and digesty all day long. If you’ve ever eaten one too many FiberOne bars, you know the feeling. But hey, I asked for the Master, and I’m guessing it’s more fiber than the Beginner! When your tummy is all bubbly though, you want to avoid eating, which in turn makes you consume fewer calories, and detoxes your body! Yay!

Flavor: These shakes are pretty darn tasty. My favorite is the yellow one called DayBreak and it has pineapple, banana, and mango. It tastes really great actually blended with ice water and a banana! It reminds me of Jamba Juice. The worst is the IntoTheBlue, as it has the least fruit flavor, yet still makes a nice icy treat on these hot summer days.

Conclusion: I was 120lbs the day I started drinking these shakes. This morning I was 118lbs. Now I know weight can fluctuate by water and so on, but that scale has refused to remove that “2” for a while now, so I was happy to see it down under 120! My goal weight is between 105-110, which is healthy for my 5’4 stature. I will definitely focus on more raw-vegan foods in my diet, and realize that it’s not too hard! I sprouted nuts and quinoa for the first time, so this cleanse really sparked my interest in raw foods. Plus I bought some raw Nori sheets to make some raw-vegan sushi. These cleanses and detoxes always get me into the kitchen and remind how much I love HEALTHY, LOW-CALORIE, NUTRIENT-DENSE foods!! Thank you K.R. for that!

Lessons Learned:  “Raw Vegan” gets a bad rap, but you don’t have to be 100% to get the benefits. Fresh fruit on a hot summer day is not only an amazing meal, but is very refreshing. Raw fruits and veggies are totally underrated, and I will be stocking my fridge and stomach with more raw foods for now on. It’s not like I didn’t do this before, I will just be increasing the ratio of raw to cooked. Sprouted foods are also on my to-do list for now on, since I realized it wasn’t hard to do. I bought some pseudo-grains to start sprouting and eating this coming week. I looked at the ingredients and saw Psyllium husks as the fiber. I will definitely be researching a good organic one to add to my smoothies for now on. I feel like the fiber from the husks was a big part in keeping me full and satisfied. I also have a huge sweet tooth and realized I need to be going straight to fresh melon and strawberries instead of craving a cupcake! I mean, again, I already know this, but we derail. We are human. Discipline is hard. And will power is limited. So we must be hold the whip and keep ourselves in line if we want to be healthy, thin, and fit! Right?

Suggestion to KaengRaeng: I really like the shakes. I wish I could buy a single one here or there from the store. I don’t necessarily want to do 3-days straight of gut busting, fiber-filled, fruit smoothies all that often.  I’d like to supplement a few days a week with one of these shakes as a meal replacement. Would it be possible to sell them in single packs at Whole Foods or online? The price is also steep. Honestly, I’ve wanted to try KaengRaeng for a while, but could not (and still can’t) afford the price. I think single packets on Amazon and a lower price would have me coming back for more!

Thank you KaengRaeng for the cleanse and detox! I hope this review helps you as much as it helped me! 


Losing Weight With An Injury


Losing weight is hard enough on it’s own. Cut out all your favorite junk food, eat out less, go to fewer happy hours, and choose egg white scrambles over the french toast. Stop snacking all the time. Reduce your sodium intake. Eat fewer carbs. It’s hard. I know. I’m doing it.

When you choose to lose weight, you really have to take charge of your life. It takes an immense amount of commitment, dedication, and discipline to get results. Losing weight is a serious mental challenge. The hardest part is eating the right things at the right times, and knowing how much or how little.

The exercise is the easy part compared to the obstacles we face with food. All of the walkable restaurants, bakeries, $5 slices of pizza, coffee houses, and cheap delicious food around does NOT make it easy! It takes a strong mental focus, serious social support, and dedication, to overcome an attachment to food.

You want to eat what you want to eat. When it comes down to it, you want that slice of pizza and cupcake, you want that pint of beer, and you want to have fun at a social outing. You DON’T want to deprive yourself, starve yourself, detox yourself, and ignore your cravings. You want to live life and be happy. I get it.

I’ve been fit as a fiddle, working my ass off to get down to a certain number, size, and look. And then I became injured. I can no longer do any sort of cardio requiring my lower body. Your lower body is your POWERHOUSE of energy burning. Running, cycling, stair climbing, squats, dead lifts, plyometrics, and lunges torch calories. If you have full use of your legs, USE THEM to your advantage.

Over the past 4 weeks, I’ve become more than a few pounds over my ideal weight because of my lack of cardio. This means I’ve had a surplus of calories. Plus, I’ve lost the muscle in my legs from non-use and it has turned to fat. I’m officially in need of a change. At this point, I feel like I’ll do anything and everything to heal this stupid leg injury!

But I can’t accelerate healing – it has it’s own timelime. I am powerless.

Feeling powerless is the worst thing in the world. And when you are fat you know this. You feel powerless over cravings, hunger, thirst, mental roadblocks, and more. You don’t know what to do, and you just want to feel healthy. I get it, and I’m here to help.

I’m joining YOU, my clients, on YOUR weight loss journey.  I’m going to try and lose this weight even without the use of my “legs day” or “cardio day.” I need to let my body heal, and I’m ready to do what it takes.

My first step to recovery is to detoxify and cleanse my body. I admit, after moving to DC in April, I’ve been trying tons of new places to eat, indulging in a few too many snacks, trying out a few too many flavors of cupcakes, and going out for drinks. All that stuff didn’t make me fat; but it sent me down a spiral of eating too much when I shouldn’t have. You have to know when to stop, and today is that day. I’m still going to be social and enjoy myself; what is life about anyway? But now I know I need to seriously watch my snacking and get back to my healthy routine.

The Plan
I’m starting my weight loss goal by replacing a few meals with a VegaOne shake and only having a small salad for dinner. This will last 3 days. My next step will be to do a 3-day juice cleanse to give my body a break and let it focus on healing. Last, I will incorporate a 24-hour fast to fully give my body some rest and rejuvenation.

Digestion takes a load of energy and attention from your body. When you replace meals with liquid alternatives (meal replacements, shakes, smoothies, broths, tonic, fresh green juice) it can focus on other, more important tasks, such as recovering and rebuilding.

I hope you come along this weight loss journey with me! Show your support and join in if you’re in the same boat! Say goodbye to being fat and hello to being healthy!!

Best Health,


Finding a Life as a Full Time Personal Trainer


Hello Washington, DC

I have landed my dream job.  I will help people become fit, healthy, and happy each hour of the day. I will perform fun training sessions as I live in a city full of spark. Somehow I will find a way to discover peace, sanity, happy hours, and brunches.

A personal training job is not a nine to five. It is a 7am-noon and 4pm-8pm kind of schedule. Your life is your job. Your gym is your new home… if you want to make money. I’m excited. I love the work. I love the people. I love getting to know people, forming genuine relationships, and helping people. It fulfills me. It makes me happy. It gives me strength and purpose.

Ever wonder what your purpose was? This is mine.

With a lion’s heart, I will be brave, courageous, and hard working. I will master my skills and show you exactly how much I care about your well-being. But of course, I must find mine first. For me to love you and help you, I must put myself first. Let me be my best, and I will be the best for you.

Swing Free My Darlings


Supplement Sample Reviews

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Mens Vs Women’s Supplements

Last week I stopped by VitaminShoppe in search of the new VegaOne Bar. To my dismay, they are not selling in retail stores yet so I must wait longer since I refuse to pay $50 for a box 0f 12 without tasting one! And I LOVE Vega.

So I asked the cashier if he had anything else for sample, and he grabbed me a goodie bag of the stuff pictured above. As I sorted things out, I quickly realized the difference in the marketing, packaging, and names of the products. On the left there you can see things like “N.O. Explode, Energy, Hyper, ShotGun, Accel, C4, Concrete, Jitter, and Shred.” They are named after explosives and manly things, and are packaged in bright eye-catching colors. Men really need to be impressed with a package in order to buy something. Do they think the more radical the name, the brighter the color, the better it works? I hope they are smarter than that!

The women’s supplements are named, “Omega, Calm, Natural, Fat Loss, Healthy, Green.” I must admit, they are NOT sport supplements like the men’s obviously are. But still, notice the colors/names and make your own assumptions.

Now as you see on the right, a lot of white and light colors, minus the one black package which could have been sorted with the men’s, but because of it’s ingredients and stance, I sorted it with the women’s. So I usually don’t consume or buy anything that isn’t organic, holistic, or vegan, but since I got all this stuff for free, I was like, eh, why not? If I’m going to harshly judge them, I might as well give a few a shot, or even a taste.

I just want to make this point: Supplement companies pay a lot of money for their products to be marketed to specific types of people. Do the research on the ingredients. Find pure and organic sources. And don’t trust the claims!!! 

Astravar 2.0. Its main ingredient is beet root. Funny thing is, the day before I went to the Shoppe, I was researching the effects of pure organic beet juice (BeetIt) on Nitric Oxide. As you can see, even the capsule is beet red. The directions tell you to “stack” which in supplement language, means take with other supplements, for “full effect.” My first response was, “How do I know if it’s working if I’m stacking it on my usual routine that gives me PLENTY of energy?” Ugh. So I did as it said, tried it two days in a row, and didn’t notice or feel any different. I stacked it on my AminoClear (vegan BCAA) and big cup of water for working out. Noticed Nothing. Honestly, I think I’ll try real, pure, organic beet juice and see what that does! NEXT….—>

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Natural Calm This stuff rocks. Natural Calm Magnesium. A total of 0 calories, lots of flavor, and a true relaxing effect. It’s a magnesium supplement in the form of a drink. I usually sip on Airborne or Emergen-C, so this was right up my alley. It came in little powder packets and was easy to mix into hot or cold water. I used it one night as my hot tea since I was out, and honestly PASSED OUT. It really does calm you down! I researched magnesium and realized I do eat some foods where it is naturally found, but most people DO NOT get enough in their diet. I’d suggest it to anyone looking for a tasty drink, who needs some magnesium and a calm response. Go Nature!

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C4: Today I tried the C4 supplement for my HIIT workout. The taste was reminiscent of Kool-Aid as a child, fruit punch. Not too sweet, not too acidic. It’s called a pre-workout supplement, but I put it in my gym water for flavor, and drank it as I did my 35 minute HIIT routine on the elliptical. I liked the taste and it definitely gave a boost of energy. A huge downfall was that it made me itchy like crazy.

I would never take this again, and I only put half the sample in my 28oz Blender Bottle. Reviews online claim the itchiness and tingly sensations are normal and from the beta-alanine. Some say it pumps them up even more, but it made me just want to itch. I don’t like getting itchy. No Thanks!

N.O.Explode: Sunday night I put about a tsp of the N.O. Explode in some water, just to see the taste and what all the hype was about. I know people claim this is “the best” out there. It’s full of a bunch of stimulants, and honestly I felt it. I drank about a total teaspoon or two and felt the caffeine rush from this drink. Yes, it does taste like a blue raspberry pixy stick, but I wouldn’t buy it because of all the crap in it. I’ll stick to my organic supplements for energy.

I do admit, the caffeine is crazy quick and strong, but I’d rather not submit my body to that kind of thing daily. If I’m training un-fasted, I’ll use my natural Guarana, Matcha, or Vega Pre-Workout Lemon-Lime drink. 

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Clif BuildersI’ve been reading a ton of literature on training, muscles, and recovery. Last night I saw this Clif Builders bar suggested to people on vegan diets to supplement their protein. With my 3-4x week weight lifting and High Intensity Interval Training sessions, I should be taking in about 1g/lb of body weight in protein daily. That’s roughly 100-110 grams! That’s a lot for me, since I do intermittent fasting and eat in an 8hr time frame.

Anyway, I picked up this bar to have after my workout. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. I give it props for being vegan and having 20g of protein, even if it is from soy protein isolate. I’d rather it be from a mixed source like quinoa, brown rice, or pea, but those aren’t quite out yet…or that I know of. (I will be on the search though!) It did not taste like an oreo, had a weird protein bar after-taste, and eventually was hard to digest (tummy ache). It packs a whopping 270 calories in the bar. This was great today since I had been fasted 18+ hours and needed some energy after an intense workout. But on any other given day that was not similar to today, this will be hard to accept. (I’m used to eating my 180 calorie Luna Bars, even though they only have about 9grams of protein.) 

Other Simple Notes

 *I tried the HealthyBody fiber and it blended well into my yogurt. I didn’t taste anything, and I didn’t feel any effect of the fiber.

*I tasted the OmegaOrange supplement marketed towards kids/moms as a yummy omega 3, and it tasted GROSS like fish. Ew.

*I tried a tablet of the AminoEnergy and they tasted like baby aspirin. They contain caffeine, so I’m sure they give a kick, but the aminos in them aren’t even BCAA. Lame.

*My boyfriend tasted the AccelGel and said it was pretty tasty; he didn’t consume the whole supplement, nor was interested in doing so.

Question: What supplements do you take? What are you interested in trying and why? Do you think they are all a gimmick?

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Kevita Drinks Product Review + Giveaway


What is Kevita? Kevita is a probiotic, functional drink that promotes health and energy. It is handcrafted by a winemaker and holistic health consultant in Southern California. The company has a whole family of delicious flavors, including a new Lemon-Cayenne Daily Cleanse and Mojita.

How is it healthyProbiotics are the “good bugs” in your body that increase immunity. Did you know that over 80% of your immunity is found in your gut? Your digestive track houses the majority of these beneficial bacteria, which fight off illness and disease. People who indulge in probiotic food, drinks, and supplements have less reported bouts of colds, flus, and infections. Get on the bandwagon now! 


Product Review


I tasted all the flavors my health food store has. Sadly, they don’t have the new Mojita or Lemon-Cayenne cleanse flavor, which I want to try! If I find them elsewhere, I’ll add them to this review later.

Pomegranate Coconut – The flavor of the pomegranate coconut is light, crisp, and fruity. It has a hint of coconut and sweetness that hits the spot when you’ve got a craving. It tastes more like coconut than pomegranate, so it’s not tart like you’d expect. This is my favorite one because of the mix and it’s also my boyfriend’s favorite. 

Pomegranate- The flavor of the pomegranate is reminiscent of mixing pomegranate juice and sparkling water. Once you get a few sips in you really taste the pomegranate and it’s delicious! This would actually be perfect to make a healthy cocktail if mixed with some vodka!

CoconutThe coconut is a refreshing coconut water taste with a very light flavor. This would be perfect to accompany a meal or replenish electrolytes after/during a workout.

Mango Coconut I like mango and this has a nice mango spark. It’s light enough where if you’re not a huge fan of heavy mango flavor, that you would still enjoy this drink. It’s tropical and refreshing. It would make a great alternative to a mocktail if you’re a fan of those fruity sugary drinks. But this has no heavy sugary/mango taste, so it’s excellent any time.

Energy After drinking a sip, you feel refreshed. After about the half the bottle, you get a kick of light energy and wide-eyed readiness. This must be from the probiotics boosting your digestion. 

Replace Soda Why do I love Kevita so much? It helps fight obesity by supplying us with a tasty, low calorie, sparkling, and healthy beverage. Even their mission statement includes fighting the obesity epidemic! It’s safe for any age and will always make you smile. Soda is a sparkling and refreshing beverage, but is terrible for obesity and the body. Even diet soda tears up your stomach and leeches calcium from your bones, among the many other negative side effects! 

Plus the bottom of the bottle has a heart. It shows how much love and positive energy they want to spread in the world. 


How do I get some? Click here to start entering the giveaway now! Then email me your address after liking Kevita’s Facebook page. Be sure to comment below with your favorite healthy beverage.  Be sure to share this post on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for extra brownie points.

Have any questions about this drink? See their FAQ‘s. Want to try some right now? Check out their store locator

I was not paid to write this review. These opinions are solely mine. Product info and the images were taken from their site. I was given coupons for free kevita to try out the product and review it. 

Kevita Facebook 
Kevita Pinterest
Kevita Twitter 

Good Stress Vs. Bad Stress Breakdown

Thrive Stress 101

Bad Stress creates a physiological response in our bodies that makes us tired, irritable, fat, and weak. More than half of the stress we experience is bad stress. When you say that your stress is killing you, you are right. It is weakening your nervous system, organs, mind, and bones. It’s terrible, and we have to find ways to cope with daily stress accordingly.

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Many people choose to eat, drink, smoke, or exercise it away. You can guess which one of those methods is the healthiest.

We know about bad stress. We wish we didn’t, but we do.  If you’re like me and want to know all the science behind it click here: Scientific Slide Show. Let me know if you have any questions!

Good stress is the small amount of pressure that makes you get up off your ass in the morning and be productive. It is the mediocre amount of stress you put on yourself that makes you actually do something with your day. It is the tiny shot of cortisol that allows your body to wake up and start functioning.

A common type of good stress is the kind you put on your body during a workout. You end up stronger, faster, and thinner afterward. It’s a great type of stress! Another type is studying or learning. You are stressing your mind, but only for it to grow and become smarter.

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When I’m Stressed I tend to do one of two things: sleep or workout. I run until I can run no more. Or, I sit on the couch, lethargic, and waste away. Sometimes I combine the two. I try to run it out, physically and mentally. If you think about it, this makes the most sense: our bodies are in fight or flight mode. So the best tactic is to punch a bag or run! I admit, it’s a temporary fix. When I’m running, sprinting, or hiking up that 15.0 incline, I feel great. But when I put my coat on and drive home, I’m back in my head, stressing out about whatever the current life issue is.

So you may ask,”Did it really make you feel better?” Yes. It did. And it made my body feel better because it used up the cortisol and adrenaline that was being pumped out before I got to the gym. It’s worth it.

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Cravings can be your health’s worst enemy when stressed. I crave carbs like sourdough bread, cake, and sugar. Our bodies naturally crave carbohydrates when stressed because they boost our serotonin, which calms us down. The bad part is that our body is already full of released sugar because it’s in fight or flight mode. So we eat a cake donut, and add more sugar to our bloodstream. If we don’t use it up by exercising or playing, it turns into fat.

Healthy Foods help our bodies find homeostasis more quickly. They get us back to feeling energized, happy, and relaxed. They fight adrenal fatigue. (Your adrenals release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.) When we have exhausted our bodies, eating foods that de-stress us is vital. The Thrive program has these three great videos and handouts to make it easy to deal with stress in a healthy way.

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My favorite healthy de-stressing snacks are VegaOne Smoothies, Chia Seed Pudding, and apples or bananas and almond butter. They all tastes like dessert, but they’re healthy. Yay for healthy carbs!

How do you deal with stress? What are your negative and positive reactions to it? What do you crave when your stressed? 

Health is a Journey, Not a Destination

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Making A Lifestyle You think it’s a diet. You think it’s a cleanse. You think it’s not eating carbs. You think wrong. Health is a lifestyle. It’s a complete way of living. Health is from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed and the hours in between. It’s a 24/7 practice. It’s eating, drinking, breathing, and heart-beating. You can eat whatever you want, you can workout whenever you want, and you can socialize in any way. A healthy lifestyle means doing those things with health in mind.

I eat cookies, pizza, sushi, cake, brownies, and dark chocolate. I take days off from working out. I sit in my pajamas all day on sunday and watch tv. I eat chinese food once a week. Does this sound healthy? Not at all! Here is a health-ifying breakdown:

  • I eat organic cookies I either bake at home, or buy in small portions. 
  • I eat organic vegan pizzas that are single-serving, or made from home on a pita. 
  • I go to sushi once a month or less. 
  • If I eat cake, it’s a mug cake that I make in the microwave. Again, single serving. 
  • Same goes for brownies. (Why have a huge pan sitting around to devour?) 
  • Dark chocolate is afforded to one small square a day, or in the form of Raw Cacao powder to make hot cocoa or chocolate milk.
  • Rest days are essential to rebuild and recover. Taking an extra one is always okay.
  • My chinese food is made from Gardein Mandarin Chick’n and Quinoa.
  • Sunday is a rest day, so I’m allowed to do what the hell I want!


Have Your Cake and Eat It Too You see? You can have all those things if you just healthify them! I have a major sweet tooth. I am a fat kid in a health nut’s body. I love my sweets, but I always keep health in mind when eating them. If I go overboard, I’ll be sure to make up for it in the gym. Aim for balance.

Your life is important. Your vitality, wellness, vigor, energy, and spirit is important. You deserve the best because you are the best. 

I may indulge in all those things, but guess what? It’s OKAY. I’m healthy and you can be too.

Find time, at least an hour a day, to devote to moving. If you can’t get to a gym, do some body exercises during one of your TV shows. Squats, Push-ups, Dips, Mountain Climbers. Those four things will shape you up just fine. They will get your body, digestion, and metabolism moving more efficiently.

I know it’s hard to change your frame of mind. Change is a frightening thing. But if you don’t change how you look at losing weight and gaining health today, then you won’t ever get there. You will continue the same behavioral patterns and end up where you started, or worse, heavier and sicker.

If you need any help, just ask. My mission is to fight obesity and that starts with one person at at time.

If being overweight isn’t your healthy lifestyle issue, what is? Tell me below and inspire the next blog. Thanks for reading.

Best Health,


Let Go


Let go. Let go of your past. Let go of your anger. Let go of your anxiety. Let your worries float free.

You’ve got to let go to move on. The reason we fail in life is because we are holding onto something that is bringing us down. Would you stay tied to an anchor if it was drowning you?

If you don’t let go of something that is taking up your life, you won’t have room for anything fresh and new.

Cravings, emotions, and attachments can anchor you to that sugary donut, white bread, and want to eat. A love lost, death, departure, and uncertainty can anchor you to not want to eat.

They are making you depressed and pushing you further down into the deep, dark ocean of emotion where you can’t breathe. The past life you lived, the habits that consumed you, and the present issues that are circling in your brain are keeping your mind and body from becoming healthy.

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Personal Tidbit.  The idea of a perfect body has always been the anchor drowning my ability to have ultimate wellness. The obsession started around age 14 when we all go through that awkward pubescent stage of life. I was in a very rough patch. My parents were going through a divorce that was going on 4 years, I didn’t have a place to call home, and I needed control. The only thing I could control was my diet. I decided I didn’t like everything I was forced to endure, so I stopped the one thing I could: eating.

After many years of nutrition courses, vegetarianism, veganism, and health-nuttiness, I still have issues of wanting the perfect level of health, the perfect body (which is constantly changing), and the perfect life. It’s not healthy, and I try to break this obsession with more health.

My way of dealing and coping with it is to eat the utmost perfect diet: organic, low-fat, full of antioxidants, plant-based, etc. And to be a personal trainer: obligated to having a muscular physique, toned abs, and perfect skin. I’m working on accepting the body I have and letting go of the perfect anchor.

We all have our own issues we need to let go. I have mine, you have yours. But we can’t let them destroy us. We can’t let them drown us.

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We must choose to let go of them. It’s no easy feat. It may be a lifelong battle. All we can do is work on letting go: one day at a time, one emotion, one memory, one loss, just one at a time. We can do rituals to make ourselves well, like yoga, meditation, and self-love. We can take medications to block out those obsessive thoughts, but that won’t make our body any healthier. In the end, we must realize, breakthrough, and let go. Untie yourself from the anchor drowning you. 


Get pumped. Get huge. Look vascular. Bulk up. Bulge out. Get ripped. Gain libido. Unmatched muscle fullness. Get swollen. Jack3d. Explode. C4. Cellucor. Detonate. Supplement. Depth. Massive. 

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Being the best personal trainer means knowing all the factors that influence someone’s health decisions. I need to be on top of the new packaged foods, commercials, studies, popular supplements, workout DVDS, diet trends, energy drinks, and everything else that hits the market claiming to increase your health. I will test it myself, read others’ reviews, or research the science of the claim. As I traverse my journey to building muscle, I became curious about the supplements that claim to give you pump. I wondered, “What is this pump? Is it real or false? Will it help me get bigger, faster? Does it work on women? Why are only men on the packaging and marketing?”

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What’s the Deal? Recently made pre-workout supplements that claim to give you pump contain a form of nitric oxide called Arginine Nitrate, or NO3. This lab-made chemical dilates your veins and blood vessels, allows more blood flow, and gives your veins a visible inflated appearance. This is known as pump. This is what they are selling. But what got me interested was the claim to increase strength by simply downing a watermelon or cherry flavored kool-aid as seen here:

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Notice the claim for strength.

I wondered, “If a supplement gives you access to pumped veins before even working out, will it improve your workout? Will it really improve your strength?”

Is it Legit? Turns out, no. Pump is solely an appearance thing. The actual vascularity has no direct relation to strength.

Everyone who takes them will tell you they get a boost of energy and feel stronger. This is due to the amount of caffeine and sugar in them, which will let you run faster and work harder, so that later you are stronger. Having fresh oxygen and hydration in your blood will let you work harder without fatigue. This is true. The false part is that the “pumped up veins” gives you strength.

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Fact: The only way to get faster and stronger is to run more and lift heavier.

Supplements themselves do not give you strength, speed, or agility. It is the energy they provide, in carbs, caffeine, and available ATP, that will help you workout longer, push harder, and recover faster. But you know what? Really good organic nutrition that is timed correctly can do the same thing.

Personally, I use things like yerba mate, kombucha, ginseng, ginger, matcha, and other organically found nutrients. I’m not a fan of the synthetic lab-made materials in these supplements, but that’s my individual stance. Plus, the one time I tried a sample of Jack3d, I practically had a panic attack.  Below are the nutrients in the pre-workout fuel I take sometimes. It can be found here.

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How do I get strong without these powders?
You need to push your muscles past the limit they are used to being pushed. If you normally use 10lb dumbbells, you will need to work up to 12’s and then 15’s. This is your strength increasing.

Personally, it has taken me a while to get up to 20lb dumbbells. But once you realize you can do 3 reps, 4, 5, and then 8, you did it! You used a heavier weight and your muscles will respond to that challenge. They will recover by building more muscle fibers so that next time the weight won’t feel so heavy. If you can do more than 12 reps with the weight you are currently using, increase the pounds. 

Bottom Line: Those who take supplements but make no changes in the way they train and eat will not see any improvements. Lifting weights 5-6 times a week will increase muscle and strength, not a supplement. Supplements can help give you energy and reduce fatigue, and so can food. 

A triathlete who got this way on organic nutrition:

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