Protein Peanut Butter Cup Squares

Ingredients

Topping:

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 9.25.16 AM.png


Instructions

  1. Line an 11×7 baking dish with waxed paper.

  2. In medium bowl, mix the butter, whey protein powder, erythritol, stevia and peanut butter together. Spread mixture in the bottom of prepared pan.

  3. In Pyrex or metal bowl over pot of simmering water, melt chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Pour melted chocolate over peanut butter mixture and spread evenly to cover top.

  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into squares. Keep in the refrigerator for snacking.

Do You Want To Drop 2 Jean Sizes in 8 Weeks?

If you don’t, no reason to read this one today. No biggie.

Is it really possible to Drop 2 Sizes in just 8 weeks?

Yes it is. Plus, if you don't, you get your money back! 

Click here --->>>http://bit.ly/spurlingjeanschallenge

Current Spurling Member and Want In? Click here --->>> http://bit.ly/jeanschallengemember

"What is the Drop 2 Jeans Size Challenge All About?"

Most people work out just to work out.

And there's nothing wrong with that, if you're not interested in specific results.

But we like setting goals, be it weight loss, strength gain or what have you - and actually helping our clients achieve their goals.

We're fanatical about delivering results!

Many of our clients have come to us after working out at big box gyms, trying random weight loss programs, and working with other personal trainers with little to no results.

Frankly, we pride ourselves on the results we are known to deliver to our clients.

We guess you can say that we like to create fitness and fat loss programs that produce results and that our clients can stick to.

That's a BIG thing... creating workout programs that are challenging enough to change your body, but fun and motivating so you'll stick with it.

Well, we've created what we consider our best challenge yet.

We call it the "Drop 2 Sizes Challenge" and its fat loss driven workouts and nutrition program (not diet - we HATE diets) is designed to get you down at least two jean sizes in only eight weeks!

Let's say that again...

We've figured out how to help you lose two pants sizes in only eight weeks without having to starve yourself or having to work out six days a week.

Don't get me wrong, our "drop two jeans sizes in eight weeks" program does require you to work out and you'll work out hard, but only 3-4 times per week.

And like we said, there's no dieting or starving involved, just good ol' sensible eating.
We'll give you a list of foods to eat, foods to avoid and foods to exchange so you'll get maximum fat burn from this program.

This program isn't just about losing inches and weight either.

It's about getting toned and defined in your arms, legs, and midsection.

Click here --->>>http://bit.ly/spurlingjeanschallenge

Current Spurling Member and Want In? Click here --->>> http://bit.ly/jeanschallengemember

How Does the Drop 2 Jean Sizes Challenge work?

  •  It's an 8-week fat loss and fitness program designed to melt at least two pants sizes off of you. (If you’re a current member your membership will be upgraded to Premium, unlimited sessions).

  • The workouts take place here at our facility under the watchful eye of certified fitness experts.

  • Every workout is designed to put you into the coveted state of "afterburn", which is a state of having an elevated metabolism for well over 20 hours after you've worked out. (The afterburn is the real reason you'll burn maximum fat.)

  • And to help you get the most out of this 8-week program we're going to give you a nutrition plan to follow.

  • As always, you're going to have a ton of motivation and accountability because that's our secret ingredient. Well, that and our awesome ability to help you burn fat and tone up fast

Now The Fun Part...

  • This 8-week program starts on Monday, October 22nd.

  • And the best part is that you're going to go shopping and buy yourself (or find an old pair) a nice pair of jeans. BUT, they must be two sizes too small for you. (There's a method to our madness here... motivation.)

  • And then you're going to bring your new pair of jeans in to us on your first day and we're going to hold 'em for you here at Spurling Fitness. 

  • At the end of the eight weeks, you'll have lost at least two pants sizes and you'll comfortably fit in your new jeans

  • We've created a really fun, motivating and high-energy program to help you drop at least two sizes in eight weeks.

  • Best of all, this program is for any fitness level... whether you're just starting out or you've been working out for a long time, this program will work for you because it's customized for your fitness level.

I Almost Forgot To Mention...

I'm so confident that this program will help you drop at least two sizes that we’re backing it all up with an unconditional money-back guarantee. If at the end of eight weeks you haven't lost at least two sizes, we'll refund your money.

Click here --->>>http://bit.ly/spurlingjeanschallenge

Current Spurling Member and Want In? Click here --->>> http://bit.ly/jeanschallengemember

As a reminder the program starts on October 22nd & we're closing applications on October 14th.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

P.S. - The next 8 weeks are going to go by no matter what...you might as well make good use of them with this special program.

Click here --->>>http://bit.ly/spurlingjeanschallenge

Current Spurling Member and Want In? Click here --->>> http://bit.ly/jeanschallengemember


Simple

That’s the only way I could describe him.

A man of few words, few people in his life, and just….

Simple.

In 2011 I told him I wanted to start a gym.

“A fucking gym, DJ?”

He called me DJ.

Douglas Joseph.

I think he was still in shock because when he was in my life the most (1-17 years old), I was pushing 400lbs, couldn’t see my belt buckle, and was keeping Little Debbie in business.

“Yes, dad, a gym.”

Now granted by this time I had graduated with my exercise science degree, worked in nursing homes, worked in physical therapy offices, and worked in gyms, but it still caught him off guard.

I was a young and dumb 21 year old at the time, and I had no one else for support, my mom had passed away in 2010 so he was it.

I still remember him driving around with me as I responded to Craigslist ads about used fitness equipment.

He had a big truck at the time, he couldn’t do much physically, but he would always drive with me and find a place to sit as I negotiated with the random people on how much I think a set of dumbbells are worth.

He helped me take rides to Tractor Supply where we bought all our flooring (stall mats) at the time, almost bottoming out his suspension in his truck as we drove it back to our first location.

During renovations, again he couldn’t do much, but he found the one antique chair that was left in the space from the previous tenant, plopped himself in the middle and watched as I sweat my ass off 16 hours a day trying to build my dream.

Although he never voiced it, he was a man of very, very, very few words, I knew he was always there for me.

When it came time to start having to spend money to start the gym in 2012 he let me max out his credit card, an amount so small today, but without it I wouldn’t be where I am today.

As the years went on his health continued to decline.

Eventually, my aunt passed away who was taking care of him, and my brother and I decided to move him up to Maine.

I found a nice little apartment in Cape Porpoise on the water and moved him to Maine.

He seemed to love it.

Earlier this year we got a notice that the owner was selling the building and my dad had to leave.

After chatting it over with Megan, I had my opportunity to pay back my dad for everything he did for me.

This past spring, we bought him a house.

A simple one.

One bedroom, one bath, a condo association so he didn’t need to worry about snow, landscaping, or anything like that.

It only took one truckload to move him from his Cape Porpoise apartment.

I’m not joking.

A couple of boxes and his recliner.

He slept in his recliner, watched TV in his recliner, and ate in his recliner.

A recliner, a TV, and a of couple boxes.

That was it.

Simple.

That’s all he ever wanted.

I remember continuing to ask him every time I saw him (of course now I reflect back and say it was not enough)…

“Do you need anything, dad?”

“Are you happy, dad?”

No matter the question the answer was always simple.

“I’m good.”

My dad had a slew of health issues that would take up multiple pages in the printer, everything from end stage renal failure to COPD, to diabetes, and everything in between.

He was a ticking time bomb.

His words, not mine.

Well, Wednesday, October 3, 2018, the bomb went off.

My dad was supposed to be at dialysis on Wednesday.

Multiple people in the community know that, and it was odd to see his truck parked at his house on a Wednesday evening.

As Megan stopped over to the gym to grab me, I knew something was up.

“People can’t get ahold of your dad and his truck is still in the driveway.”

I knew the moment she said it.

He was dead.

The reality came when I left the gym, pulled into the parking lot and the Paramedic came out of the front door.

The paramedic is a long time client of the gym, and this was not the first time either of us had gone through this.

“He’s gone, Doug.”

We laughed, hugged, and he went back to work to save more lives.

We laugh because what else can you do?

He and I have now both lost are parents young.

My mom died when I was 21 and now my dad at 29.

It’s a weird feeling that you’re not even 30 and you don’t have any parents alive anymore.

However, as most of you know, I’ve written about it at length in the past…

My mom was the reason I kept my last name on the doors of Spurling Fitness and the Spurling Community of Businesses that continue to grow.

Now, my dad will be up there next to her.

It just continues to drive me to make them proud.

Simple.

That’s how I’ll leave it.

We can learn a lot from my dad, a man of such few words, but so simple.

On Sunday we had my dad over for dinner and he got to see Kaden one last time.

For that, I’m forever grateful.

Thanks, dad. Say hi to mom.

PS: This is only picture I have of my dad with my son.

unnamed.jpg







25%

Yesterday I talked about .1% (how one month of your life is .1%) and today I want to talk about 25%.

25%.

That’s how much is left in 2018.

Remember those New Years Resolutions you set 9 months ago?

How are they going?

Are you 75% towards your 2018 goals?

If yes, awesome.

If no, don’t fret, we still have 25% of the year left.

There is so much that can get done in the 4th quarter.

Just watch the Patriots :)

This is the 4th quarter.

This is the final 25%.

It’s time to take action, dial things in, and sprint for a STRONG finish in 2018.

There are 90 days left in 2018.

It’s amazing how fast time can pass.

It seems like just yesterday we were setting our 2018 goals, and now we’re 75% through the year.

But if you need a “do-over”, I’m going to give you one.

You can REDO your New Year Resolutions right now, but you can’t waste a single second.

If your goal is fat loss, you need to start today.

If your goal is to get stronger, you need to start today.

If your goal is be healthier, you need to start today.

75% of the year is gone.

Will you make changes today or will you let another 25% pass?

Don’t waste another minute.

Start today.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Not 1%, But .1%

.1%

Do you know what that represents?

Not 1%.

.1%

If you live 30,000 days, (about 81 years), .1% is a single month of that.

One month of your life.

.1%.

Just think about that.

I’m going to take you down two paths.

Path one…

Just think about the mental frustration you put yourself through because you had a “bad month.”

Maybe you didn’t make it to the gym, you didn’t eat that well, you’re rehabbing an injury, you didn’t get done what you wanted to get done, or life is just smacking you in the face.

So what?

It’s .1% of your life.

We have the chance to make the other 99.9% awesome.

In the grand scheme of things, one month is a speckle on the graph of life, yet we beat ourselves up because we only made it to the gym twice, or we didn’t get the results we wanted.

When I hear people wanting to stop something, take a break, or give up on a journey because of a bad month, I continue to remind them that although in the moment it seems like such a long time, in the grand scheme of this life long journey we’re trying to build, it’s really just a blink of the eye.

If you had a bad September, if you didn’t get what you wanted out of it, if you didn’t show up enough, if you didn’t start what you wanted to start, don’t fret, it’s just .1% of your life.

Today is a new day, a new month, and the chance for something awesome.

Path two…

Just step back and think of everything you can accomplish in 30 days.

Think of everything you can see and do in just .1% of your life.

In 30 days…

You can start something new…

You can change bad habits…

You can make a difference in the world…

You can meet new people, make new friends…

You can see new places, visit family…

You can feel better, look better, and move better…

You can become happier, more mindful, and filled with gratitude.

You can change.

In .1% of your life you can change and make a difference.

How freakin’ cool is that?

Imagine a few of those stacked together?

The possibilities are endless.

We overestimate what we can do in a single day and underestimate what we can in a single month.

Depending upon where you’re at in life and what side of the bed you woke up on this morning one of those two paths resonated with you.

Either way, it’s a new day, a new month, and it’s time to make a change.

A change for a better version of yourself.

.1%

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Apple "Cookies"


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 apple

  • ¼ cup peanut butter

  • ¼ cup almonds, sliced

  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped

  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

  • ¼ cup chocolate chips

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 11.36.51 AM.png

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice apple into thing rings and remove core.

  2. Spread peanut butter over one side of ring. Top with almonds, walnuts, coconut, and chocolate chips.

Source: https://rachelschultz.com/2014/04/09/apple-cookies/

We Are Driven By Only 3 Things...

I was recently interviewed on a podcast and was asked what drives me. 

One word.

Vision

A relentless pursuit of my vision. 

I have a really clear vision for my life, my family, my businesses, my team, and even my fitness. 

To put it simply, I know why I do everything I do. 

I firmly believe if you want to be consistent and motivated in any effort in life you have to have a clear vision that you're working towards. 

It can be tweaked, adjusted, and grow with you, but you have to have a north star. 

What's your why?

Why do you do what you do?

Where do you want to go?

Once you know that, each day is just like building a sculpture. 

We're just slowly chipping away at this thing to make it a little better each day. 

This is true for what you want in life, what you want in your career, and what you want in fitness. 

You see, a goal of tightening and toning your butt and arms will only take you so far. 

It's a great goal to start, but it's not your vision, it's not your north star. 

Toning is not WHY you workout. 

Your vision and your why should tug at the strings of your heart. 

As you ask yourself "well, why is that important to me?" you begin to go a layer deeper and you realize that maybe the deeper reason to why you told me your goal is toning is actually a goal of being happier around your family, being a good role model for your kids, and being a better spouse. 

I don't know. 

We each have our own vision and our own pursuit of a vision. 

It's up to you to learn what that is and use that as motivation to kick ass every day. 

However, I do know one thing. 

If you want to live an amazing and fulfilling life you must live for something bigger than yourself. 

According to Daniel Pink, we are driven by only three things:

Autonomy: a desire to direct our own lives

Mastery: a desire to get better at something that matters

Purpose: being a part of something bigger than ourselves

Those three things combined are why you do what you do, your vision, your north star. 

As I write each piece here I always try to make sure there is a clear action step, something for you to actually do so that you get something out of it. 

If you don't know why you exist, what your vision is, I would spend some time trying to figure that out. 

It won't come to you at first, but if you continue to ask yourself "why is that important to me?” or “what does success look like in ____(category of life)?”, and go several layers deep, it will eventually surface. 

I can promise you that it's bigger than just an individual goal, and once you find it, you'll be forever motivated. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Action Breeds Motivation

Do you ever feel like you just can't get motivated?

We've all had those moments in our life. 

You're sitting on the couch, you have all this stuff to do, and you just can't get yourself to do it. 

Or, bigger picture, you've been wanting to start working out, but you just can't seem to find the motivation. 

The good news is, it's not just you! 

We've all been there. 

The better news is, there's something you can do about it. 

There's a popular saying that goes something like this...

"A rolling stone gathers no moss."

The person that is active in life never has a chance to stagnate. 

The fascinating notion can be applied to the motivation of changing any habit, including fitness or nutrition. 

It's amazing, if you're not feeling motivated, what simply walking to end of the driveway and back can do.

Now, it's not that walking down to end of the driveway and back sheds tons of fat or anything special, but what it does do is get the mental gears turning, the snowball rolling, and you begin to then start emptying the dishwasher, which leads to washing the floors, which leads to going for a walk around the street, which leads to a healthy home cooked dinner, etc, etc, etc. 

Action breeds motivation. 

Unfortunately, it can be so easy for a day to pass and you didn't actually get anything done that you wanted to. 

I challenge you to just kick the ball down the hill, just get the snowball rolling, just do something, even though it will seem so small because that little spark could be what lights the whole forest down. 

It can be a negative feeling not getting anything done, you can reverse those feeling into positive ones by simply taking one action step, 1% better. 

If you want to join a gym and start a new fitness routine, but not feeling motivated, don’t start with the goal of going 5x per week.

Start with the goal of going for walk after work…

That snowballs into a walk and some bodyweight squats in front of the TV…

That rolls into inquiring about the gym because you want more results…

Start small, 10 workouts a month, and then you can stack more on top.

However, don’t start with this big massive goal because you won’t feel motivated, and you won’t take action.

Just pick the smallest step, the lowest hanging fruit.

The future depends on what you do today. 

Action breeds motivation. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Will It Ever Be Enough?

The other night Megan and I were sitting down for dinner and I was rambling on about some idea I had, I can’t even remember that idea.

She stopped me mid-sentence and said…

“When will it ever be enough?”

Wow.

That stopped me in my tracks.

I needed to hear that.

With a growth mindset, I always am chasing the next thing.

How can we make things better?

How can I do more in a day?

What more can we do?

As soon as one thing gets accomplished, I’m immediately onto the next thing and conquering that.

A strength for sure, but also a huge area of opportunity.

I’m also ashamed to admit that was not the first time Megan and I had that conversation.

As much as a lot of our goals align (family, travel, etc), she is very comfortable just doing her thing, loves her job, has never really expressed any concrete goals, and just wants to be a good mom.

I admire that, because I can never ask her the question she asks me “will it ever be enough?”

On the other hand, I’m 110% confident I was put on this earth to change the world.

Change how things are done.

Change what can be done.

Change lives…

However, that creates a constant tug-o-war of when is it good enough?

How big is big enough?

How small is small enough?

So…

Before I keep going down a rabbit hole let’s wrap this around fitness.

What is enough?

How do we balance the goals of wanting to lose weight, wanting to get stronger, and always wanting more out of our fitness with the question of will it ever be enough?

We know that fitness is ultimately something we want to enjoy so much that we never stop.

I’ve written at length about it, and see it everyday…

Hitting a weight loss goals does not equal happiness.

It’s great that we hit that goal, but quite often the first question out of that persons head is…

“What’s next?”

“Ok, now 10 more pounds.”

When will it ever be enough?

I’m not sure.

I hope to keeping getting better until the day I die.

I hope to keep changing lives until the day I die and leave an impact beyond that.

But will it ever be enough?

I’m not sure I have an answer today.

I still do think the ultimate destination is not in fact a destination.

Happiness.

Be happy with where you’re at.

Be proud of how far you’ve come.

Be happy with what you have.

It could always be worse.

However, at least for me, part of constant happiness is to never stop, never stop having goals to chase, never stop having new ideas, and never stop changing the world.

But will it ever be enough?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Stumbling into gratitude

I stood at the bottom of the mountain, penned in a box with 150 other participants, thinking of my typical Saturday routine. Sleep in a little, maybe meditate, then sit down with a fresh cup of coffee to get some writing done while Rooney sleeps on my feet. 

Instead of sipping hot coffee, I was looking at the side of the mountain that I was about to have to run up as part of the 2018 Tough Mudder Half. A mountain that in winter, is reserved for skiing.

Down.

Not running up.

So that’s a hill. And those specs are people…

Some folks were jumping up and down to warm up, others were cracking their necks side to side, while a select few others were screaming.

Like just randomly screaming.

Loudly. 

I stood, cemented in place, unable to shut off the steady stream of sarcasm rolling through my mind.

I looked at my teammate Lauren. 

“I’m not doing this next year,” I said.

“Yes I know. You said that last year, so I’ll remind you that you said that again when we’re standing in line for next year’s race.” 

We both laughed. 

I stopped laughing abruptly. 

“Yeah, that’s totally going to happen again isn’t it?” I asked.

“Yup,” she said. “Totally.”

*****

Next thing I know, we’re schlepping our way up the side of the mountain and I’m dishing out a healthy stream of bad one-liners. 

“Why would I want to be at home drinking coffee and watching game day?” I asked to no one in particular. A guy who was doing his 100th race swept past. 

“Because this is so much more fun!” 

“Yes,” I said. “Yes fun. That’s the word I was searching for right there. Thank you.”

I’m not always proud of my sarcasm, because I know it bumps up pretty hard against negativity. I toe that line of negativity and often cross it, and I crossed it a lot more on Saturday than I wish I had.

Humor is how I cope. And Saturday’s course provided a lot of things to cope with. This was by far the most difficult course I’d ever attempted.

Towards the end of the run, once we had sponges for shoes and mud in places you never thought mud could go, we came around a corner to another mountain. But this one was too steep for walking. We had to scale the mountain on all fours. 

I’d like you to take a moment to recall the famous Chevy Chases tirade about a happy family from the movie Christmas vacation. 

Then add another minute of expletives.

That’s roughly what came out of my mouth at the bottom of that mountain - sans Santa hat.

But there was no way around this obstacle. So all of us, many of whom shared my thoughts, threw ourselves into the mountain and just started climbing. 

Half-way up the mountain, I lost my footing. Up to that point I’d been methodically choosing my footholds and hand holds, moving quickly, not giving myself enough time to think.

But suddenly, I had nowhere to put my foot or my hands. I looked down. 

If you do this course next year, let me give you some casual advice when you arrive at this stage of the race. 

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SACRED DO NOT LOOK DOWN. 

So then I looked up. And I’d like to take a moment here to add a second piece of advice. 

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SACRED DO NOT LOOK UP. 

Not gonna lie - I kind of panicked a little. 

But here is what’s cool about these kind of races. I said I was stuck, and the woman behind me put her hand up for me to step on it. So I did. And I was able to get my footing again. After a few minutes, I could see flags in the distance and hear my teammates cheering me on at the top. 

(When people cheer for me in sports, they can’t help but call me Kimmie, because they need that extra syllable. And for some reason, in that context, I find the name Kimmie oddly comforting).

Once I hit level ground and could stand up, I leaned up against a tree to catch my breath. I looked out at the view. I looked down at the others still climbing. 

And in that moment, I stumbled straight into gratitude. 

Gratitude that I have a body that allows me to scale a mountain. Gratitude that I didn’t have to go it alone. Gratitude for my health. Gratitude for a growing sense of camaraderie I had the good fortune of getting to know a little better on Saturday.

At the end of the night, a shower never felt so good. Sweatpants never felt so warm. And my bed never felt so soft. And I was grateful for all of those comforts.

But I’m not doing this next year…

A Single Step...

We stood in a crowd of 200 others jumping up and down…

The music was pumping nice and loud…

The countdown began…

10, 9, 8, 7….

3, 2, 1, Go!

And just like that we were off.

The 2018 Tough Mudder Northeast was underway.

5 miles, 13+ obstacles, and a free beer at the end.

But then reality set in.

The course started with climbing the side of the mountain, straight up.

As you walked up, you had to mentally talk to yourself to keep going, you passed people that had to stop on the side and catch their breath.

Whether it was the mountain climbing, or the obstacles that seemed impossible, there was always one thing I kept in mind.

A single step.

Just one more step.

Just one more…

There seems to be this massive hesitation in society when starting something new, especially when it comes to fitness. 

Now, "new" could be starting from scratch, someone that has never done anything in their life, and new could also mean a new goal or a new event. 

We quite often get the question of "how do I start?"

Although it's thought to be more complicated than this, I challenge you to realize, it's just a matter of doing something, anything. 

You don't just all of the sudden "find" motivation. 

That's why people who never start or attempt any action with fitness find it hard to have any kind of success. 

Motivation is built on action. 

It's a snowball effect. 

You need to do something to get the snowball moving. 

Once it's moving, it will build on itself and continue to roll down the hill faster and faster. 

That's why if you're feeling extra motivated it's usually the result of a chain of actions built on each other that has created it. 

Just like after climbing the mountain, I felt motivated to climb over the wall, then once I climbed over the wall I felt motivated to keep going.

Action breeds motivation.

So, how do you start?

Whether it's starting a brand new fitness routine, joining a gym for the first time, or conquering a new goal or event like a Tough Mudder.

Pick the easiest action you can do. 

Think of it as a project. 

Every project has a series of "to dos."

What is the first to do?

For example, it could be inquiring on the website. 

It could be going out and buying some new shoes. 

Maybe it's registering for the event.

Quite often we paralyze ourselves as we look at the big project ahead, or a new change, or new routine.

That analysis paralysis freezes us up mentally and physically and next thing you know six months go by and you're still in the same place you were. 

There's no magic answer, unfortunately, I think it's just a good reminder of the famous quote...

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

And it's just that...a step. 

Don't get overwhelmed by the journey, just take the first step. 

That will lead to the second step, the third step, and then, and only then, will the momentum and motivation start to build.

Oh, and who’s joining me for the 2019 Tough Mudder Northeast?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

One Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces linguine pasta

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth*

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup white wine (recommend Chardonnay or another wine that’s on the dry side)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped small (about 1 cup)

  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste

  • 1 (4-ounce) log fresh goat cheese (chevre)

  • 1 small bunch parsley, chopped

Screen Shot 2018-09-21 at 3.47.01 PM.png

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients except the goat cheese and parsley (and any additional salt and pepper) to a large, heavy pot – I use a 7-quart dutch oven.

  2. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. As soon as it comes to the rolling boil, set the timer for 9 minutes. Stir and toss with tongs as it cooks, stirring frequently for the first few minutes and then constantly as it thickens and begins to stick to the bottom of the pot. When the 9 minutes is up, the pasta should be tender and the sauce will have thickened slightly. If the pasta is not yet cooked, continue for one more minute. Remove from heat.

  3. Crumble goat cheese into the pasta. Stir gently until melted and combined. Let sit for 5 minutes (at this point, the pasta will seem somewhat soupy, but it will thicken as it sits).

  4. Stir and taste. Add additional salt and pepper if desired.

  5. Divide between bowls and sprinkle parsley over the tops.

Source: https://www.kitchentreaty.com/one-pot-creamy-pumpkin-pasta/

It's All Connected...

I remember cleaning out my dorm in college one year and it came time to grabbing the TV...

All the wires behind it were so tangled I just bear hugged the whole damn thing and threw it in a box. (that very quickly stressed me out, if you know me, and as soon as I got home I took it out of the box and separated all the wires).

But you know what I'm talking about, right?

Look behind your kid's TV and you see all the wires to the game consoles, different routers, etc. 

What happens when you go to try to undo them?

You start working on one, you think you have it, and then another knot happens on the other side of the bunch. 

So frustrating! 

Christmas lights are the same way, right?

Why? 

Because it's all connected. 

This is the perfect analogy for a 1% better lifestyle that we promote. 

We’re in week one of a 6 week Lifestyle Challenge at the gym where we’re having clients focus on things sleep, stress, and gratitude.

This week specifically is no screen time after 9pm.

It sounds easy…but it’s harder than you think.

However, the feedback of how much better people are sleeping and feeling refreshed in the morning is overwhelming.

It's all connected. 

Think about it...

You have this great idea that you're going to go to the gym tomorrow. 

So you say, ok, just one more dessert. 

You devour a dessert the night before. 

The sugar keeps you up late (along with screaming kids) and you only get 4 hours of sleep. 

You sleep in because you're tired so you grab "something quick" for breakfast…

…it just so happens to be a donut. 

You're tired all day, so you're not productive at work. 

That stresses you out...

You were so tired you forgot to pack lunch so you do your best to pick up something healthy. 

As the day winds down you're so drained that you just tell yourself that you'll go to the gym tomorrow. 

Guess what?

This happens to all of us!

But there's do denying that it's all connected. 

Sleep

Stress.

Nutrition. 

It has to work together. 

That's why we promote 1% better. 

The above story all started because we tried to go "all-in" in one area. 

How about just chipping away, looking to get a little better every day. 

Maybe it's 20 more hours of sleep a month. 

Maybe it's 20 more grams of protein a day. 

Or maybe it's 20 minutes of quiet time to focus on YOU :)

Whatever it is, 1% better, every day, will always win out because you're getting a little bit better in all the aspects of improving your lifestyle, not just going gung-ho in one area, and thinking the other areas don't matter. 

So, what are you doing today to work on those wires, that 1% better?

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Will You Be Able To Do?

Why do you want to lose those 20lbs?

No seriously.

Why?

Do you actually even know why or do you just want to look and feel better?

There's nothing wrong with that, but the clearer you get with your goals the higher success you will have with them. 

For most of us, it's not the 20lbs (just using that number for the sake of example), it's what the 20lbs allows us to do. 

I want to weigh 152lbs. 

Why?

It's a number. 

You don't want to weigh 152lbs. 

You want to fit into your jeans, feel confident around your husband, be able to climb the stairs without getting out of breath, be around and healthy with your grandkids, or look good in that bathing suit for your trip. 

Does it really matter if you are 152lbs or 162lbs if you can achieve all of that?

You'll hear us preach until the cows come home that the scale is just a measurement of gravity. 

It never tells us the full picture. 

Sure, most of us have some excess weight that we need to shed off, but if you want to have long-term success, you can't focus on the number on the scale but instead focus on what you want behind that number, what you'll be able to do. 

Now, I'm not saying I don't want you to lose the weight. 

Of course I do. 

If you're carrying too much weight we need to work on getting it off. 

But don't dial it down to a specific number on the scale. 

Dial it down to a feeling, a look, or an ability to do things you can't do right now. 

That's ultimately may come down to hitting a certain number on the scale, but it most likely is not the number you think it is. 

I'm going to challenge you again...

Why do you want to lose those 20lbs?

It's not hitting a number on the scale, it's deeper than that. 

Because what happens when you see the number you want?

You smile, pat yourself on the back, and go back to your day. 

What we really want is to be able to do certain things (fit in jeans, have confidence around spouse, gain energy, sleep better, keep up with kids, go on that trip/hike, be injury free, feel comfortable in a bathing suit, etc) that we currently cannot do. 

Focus on what you want to be able to do and use that as your measurement of success, not the number on the scale. 

Because let's face it...if you can do all of the things you want to do, feel the way you want to feel, and have the look you want, does it really matter if you weigh 185lbs or 179lbs?

My final two thoughts...

1. We challenge you not to focus on the scale, not because we don't want to see change, but we know in order to have long-term success you have to have other ways to measure success because you'll go crazy if that's all you focus on :)

2. The number one thing we need to remember is our actions (changes) need to match our desires. If you're not getting results, we can beat around the bush 1000 ways and get into the weeds, but it ultimately comes back to this. The more change you want to see, the more changes you're going to have to make. And from our experience (ourselves included), our desired result is not backed up by the amount of change that is necessary. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What counts as exercise?

Last week, Sheila was weeding in her garden when I left for the gym.

“I’m off to do the work that doesn’t benefit anyone but me,” I shouted as I got in the car.

We laughed but….it’s kind of true.

Don’t get me wrong - from a mental health standpoint, everyone is much happier when I get in my workout. Exercise puts me in a better mood, which is good for me and anyone around me. 

Sheila on the other hand, isn’t really much for the gym. 

As in, she kind of hates the gym. 

On the other hand, her garden has produced 12 feet high sunflowers (not exaggerating) and at least three pumpkins that are twice the size of my head. Along with various other flowers, more zucchini than we know what to do with, and enough cherry tomatoes to feed a small army. 

She’s been busting her tail building her garden since March. And while she doesn’t necessarily “work out,” I’d argue that she gets in as much exercise as I do with my workouts in a given week.

People often struggle to build an exercise routine that sticks for a litany of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because they think that they have to peel themselves off of the floor after a workout in order for it to count. 

Sure you can do that for a few weeks, but I’ll be the first to tell you that even as someone who enjoys exercise, I don’t look forward to doing that kind of routine very often. 

But what if you start to think of exercise and movement a little differently?

The past few weeks, I’ve been listening to the book “No Sweat” by Michelle Segar and she writes at great length about the way we perceive exercise. 

Her main point of the book? 

That humans are hard-wired to choose immediate gratification over delayed benefits. Which means we’re only going to exercise if it makes us happy right now. 

So for many people that means choosing movement activities that give us some benefit right now. For Sheila, working in her garden gives her immediate benefits. And while she’s gardening, she’s doing plenty of squats, deadlifts, and farmer’s carries. She is doing plenty of activity that carries over to have physical benefits.

For me, I get the instant reward of an endorphin release when I do a workout. The immediate benefit for me? I feel better. 

If you're trying to figure out what type of exercise program might work best for you, start with the kind of movement you enjoy. Walking your dog. Working in your garden. Playing on the floor with your grandkids. 

Start with movement you enjoy and see where it takes you.  

Be kind to yourself.


12 Ways To Improve Your Nutrition

If you've been following our stuff by now you know we're big fans of habit-based nutrition coaching. 

What does that mean?

Instead of cramming a meal plan down your throat, and telling you to eat certain things at certain times, we're going to try to change your behaviors. 

You see, following a "diet" is not sustainable. 

It may work for a week or two, but can you really follow it as a lifestyle?

Nutrition is more of a behavioral psychology. 

Today, most people know what healthy is, and maybe you need some ideas and recipes here and there, but for the most part, we know what "healthy" means. 

So instead, we work on coaching you through habits. 

We know what healthy is, but why do we sometimes go after the unhealthy stuff?

Habits. 

You and I know both know that the vegetables are healthier than the ice cream, but we'll still both go for the ice cream. 

It's not about more education, it's about the behavior, the choices, the habits. 

We approach habits in a stacking format. 

Kind of like building a wall...one brick at a time. 

Pick one nutrition habit, focus on that 100%, and crush it. 

Then, generally after 2-4 weeks, we "stack" another habit on it. 

That way, we change the behavior over time, and you can sustain things as a lifestyle. 

That being said there are 12 habits you can work through...

  1. Planning: Plan your meals for the week

  2. Shopping: Go shopping for your food

  3. Cooking: Cook your meals

  4. Journaling: Keep a daily journal of food and drink intake

  5. Gratitude: Keep a gratitude journal

  6. Slow Eating: Eat slowly

  7. 80% Full: Stop eating when you’re 80% full

  8. Portion Control: Practice proper portions

  9. Protein: Make sure you’re getting enough protein

  10. Calories: Review food journal to look at total calories

  11. Quality Carbs: Check the quality of your carbs

  12. Healthy Fats: Make sure you’re getting most of your fats from appropriate sources

They seem easy, but see if you can dial in 100% for 2-4 weeks on one, and then stack the next one on. 

Give it a go and let me know how it goes. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling.

Lights, Cameras, Action

This morning I’m writing the e-mail from a different spot…the gym.

As most of you know, I typically work from home in the mornings and then make my way to the gym after work.

After a crazy summer, it was time to check in on the morning folks so I’m mixing up my routine a bit.

All good…

I always notice my team is a little peppier…

But it reminded me of a good tip I use for our team that you could use for your own accountability.

How would you act if you were being filmed 24/7?

The more you think about it, it's actually a great accountability mindset. 

There is no denying it, when the lights are on us, when we're on stage, and when the camera is rolling we probably act a little different, just like the folks on stage or television do.

So, why not use that to your advantage?

Imagine that you're being filmed...

Would you sleep in and hit the snooze button five times?

Would you eat a donut for breakfast after voicing a goal of losing fat?

Would you not go to the gym, but instead sit on the couch and watch TV?

Would you skip reps or not work as hard when you were at the gym?

One of my favorite lines is...

"The hardest thing to do is to work hard when no one is watching."

Well, what if everyone is watching?

I always remind my team that the gym floor is our stage, and we're always "on."

People are watching you, listening to you, reading your body language, and noticing things out of the corner of their eyes. 

We only have good days and great days, there are no bad days because this is our show. 

What about your life?

For some, this mindset tactic may not work, but for others, it could be a game changer. 

If you're on stage, spotlight on and camera rolling, you will make better decisions. 

It's easy to sit and eat a bag of chips on the couch when no one is around, but what if were you on camera?

Would you be meal prepping or working out instead?

If you want to have success you have to work hard when no one is watching, and that's not easy. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


Crockpot Skinny Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 4 chicken breasts, cubed

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 3 lemons, juiced and zested

  • 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoons honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • 1/4 cup green onions, diced

Instructions

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and brown quickly--you don't need to cook each piece through, just add a little color to the outside.

  2. Place in a crockpot. Sprinkle with chopped garlic, salt, and drizzle 1 1/4 cups of vegetable broth over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until very tender.

  3. 30-40 minutes before serving, whisk together remaining vegetable broth, lemon juice and zest, soy sauce, cornstarch, and honey. Pour this mixture into the crockpot, stir to coat. Turn crockpot to high and cook for 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

  4. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds and green onions. Serve and enjoy!

Source: https://skinnyms.com/crockpot-skinny-lemon-chicken/

What's Your Input?

When I put my foot to a gas pedal the more input (pressure) I give, the more output (speed) the car will produce. 

What happens if you press the pedal more?

The car goes faster.

Input = Output. 

Simply put, what you put into something you'll get an equal return out of it. 

In any facet of life, but especially fitness, if you're not happy with your output (results), then you need to change your input. 

I've always said, I think the reason why I enjoy all of this "stuff" is because it's all connected. 

Almost any principle you read from me always has a fitness or nutrition tie to it, but it can always be applied to any other facet of life whether that's family, friends, financial, career, etc. 

I like to use examples outside of the fitness world that way you can use that same principle to gain a better understanding. 

Input = Output. 

If I'm not happy with my relationship I potentially need to put more into it. 

Am I spending enough quality time with them?

Am I being empathetic, compassionate, and loving?

In financials...

If I want my savings to grow I need to have a certain input, the more I input, the more I'll output. 

Now, let us dial it into fitness and nutrition. 

Nutrition is the simpler one to tie to this lesson. 

Removing all emotions (which plays a huge factor) fat loss is a simple math equation. 

If I consume less then I burn I will lose weight. 

Whether it's the right weight (muscle, water, fat, etc) is another topic for another day, but the math is the math. 

If you're not happy with your output (results) just change your input. 

If you're not losing fat, decrease your input, and keep decreasing it until you like the output it's producing. 

In fitness...

The same principle applies. 

Input = Output. 

Inputs can be things like...

The type of workouts...

The frequency of workouts...

The intensity of workouts...

If you're not happy with the output, change the input. 

Maybe you need to bump up your frequency. 

If you change that input and it doesn't change the output maybe you need to look at the intensity of each workout. 

If I ramp up the intensity, the changes the input, and thus will change the output. 

Each day is a collection of choices. 

Those choices are your inputs. 

If you're not happy with the results, the output, you need to change an input. 

Again, for some this is a fitness lesson, for others, it's a life lesson. 

I'll end with one my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar...

"Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output. And our output determines your future."

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Which One Are You Doing?

Are you filling buckets or building pipelines?

That’s the question I want you to ponder for the next minute…

If the goal is to get water somewhere and keep it there, just like the goal is to get results and keep the results coming….

which way is better?

Sure, in the short term it seems quicker to just fill buckets of water and run them to the spot where you want to fill the water.

But every time you have to empty the bucket, fill it again, run back, and dump it out again, probably losing water out of the bucket as you run.

However, what if you built a pipeline of water to the spot that you wanted to the water to go?

In the beginning it may take you longer, and it may seem like you’re way behind because you’re building the pipeline, but in the end, you’ll have a continuous flow of water to the area, always beating out the method of filling buckets.

Why?

It’s a proven system, a sustainable system, that with a lot of work up front, yields long-term results that will always be there, and at any point you can turn the pipeline on.

So, what’s your fitness and nutrition pipeline?

Well, lets start with what isn’t.

Filling the bucket is following the shiny objects, the quick fixes.

The over-restrictive diets, the training methods that promise a six pack in six weeeks, you know what I’m talking about.

Sure, you may get results, but you’re going to bounce back and yo yo again, having to put a lot of work in, “running” back and fourth.

Or….

You can build a pipeline, a system, a system of sustainable habits.

Mastering good meal shopping and preparing habits…

Mastering portion control and calorie consumption…

Mastering protein, vegetable, and water intake….

Finding a training plan that is appropriate for YOU, not the masses, and something you can repeatedly stick to, a frequency you can stick to, an appropriate intensity, etc.

A system that works for you, habits that will carryover and last a lifetime.

It’s a lot of work in the beginning trying to learn these habits and change behaviors, but it’s building the foundation for life long habits.

Following a meal plan for a month will yield results…

But what happens when you can’t follow the plan?

Instead, master good portion control, change your behaviors on shopping and meal preparing, and understand macronutrients like protein, carbs, and fats…

That will yield long-term habits and life-long results.

Start building your pipeline.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling