You don't have to go completely vegan or vegetarian but we can all benefit from stepping up our plant game. A plant based diet benefits the dieter, the environment, and animals. It's also guaranteed to be healthier than the typical American diet. Plants, fruits and veggies provide us with nutrient dense calories. Both fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Some veggies are even calorie negative, meaning they provide less energy than it takes to digest them.
The minerals and vitamins found in plant food sources do tremendous things for our bodies like regulate bodily functions, help fight disease, and help metabolize other food for energy. The fiber in fruits and veggies helps regulate blood sugar, maintain healthy body weight, promotes heart health, and can ease gastrointestinal issues like IBS. While fruits contain sugar the fiber benefits of fruit, in many cases, negate the sugar in the fruit.
Do yourself a favor and load up on veggies and eat plenty of fruit. When making a meal start by covering the majority of your plate in green leafy vegetables along with other colorful veggies, add a healthy portion of protein and a serving of fruit and you will be consuming a healthy meal. Veggies are nutrient dense and low calorie, meaning that you can really eat a ton of them, if you like them. If you're like me and veggies aren't naturally appetizing to you, then get creative. Add veggies to your eggs, any pasta dishes you make, or to any other dish you can. Try eating your veggies first before anything else to make sure you fill up on the good stuff. Get creative and when you find something that works for you, share it with me!
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My name is Chris Dagley and I am a personal trainer, a weight loss specialist, and a nutrition coach. I have been working in fitness for just under 8 years now and have held all sorts of roles. I often get asked by clients why I do what I do and figured it might make a cool blog post, so here we go.
I grew up an athlete. I played soccer, basketball, and volleyball regularly. I even played other sports recreationally when I had time. I had the opportunity to play at the collegiate level for soccer but decided against it, don’t ask me why. After suffering an achilles injury playing soccer and spending a ton of time with my athletic trainer, I decided to pursue athletic training as a profession in college. However, when I got to college I decided to pursue partying a little harder than any school subject. I quickly found myself on the outside of a highly competitive athletic training program and switched to business and then finally to recreation management. I also found myself gaining significant weight, although I didn’t really notice it much until well after graduation.
Throughout college I continued to play sports for fun. I played basketball almost every day for three hours. It was on the court that I started to really hurt myself. I wasn’t properly stretching before or after activity and developed some really tight hamstrings which over time resulted in two herniated discs in my low back. After graduation when I joined the workforce my back pain got worse and worse. I went to PT, got an epidural, and took all sorts of pain meds. Nothing really worked. I forced my doctor to allow me to have back surgery at the ripe age of 24. He was against it due to my young age but in the end it was the right decision. Little did I know that the surgery would play a large part in determining my career and life’s passion.
Several months after the surgery I started to develop some similar low back pain. When I graduated high school I was 6 foot tall and weighed between 185-190 lbs. When I graduated college I was pushing 245 lbs, and it wasn’t good weight either. When I started to develop that back pain again I said enough was enough and got a gym membership. Like most men I started with what I call the mirror muscles; chest, biceps and core. Those are the muscles that women see when they look at you so it made sense, at the time anyways. I started to see some results and got addicted to the process of changing my body. At the same time I took a job managing a park district fitness center. Now my personal passion had become my job which I thought was pretty cool. I continued to push myself in the gym and learned more and more about fitness.
I decided I needed to get certified as a personal trainer since I supervised trainers. I studied and busted my ass and got my first personal training cert. I had no intention of every training but once I was certified I decided to try it out. I got my first training gig at a big box gym between where I worked and where I lived. I quickly took to it and really enjoyed training. It wasn’t long before I had decided that training was more fun then managing was and I made a career switch and started training full time. I haven’t looked back since.
After a few years training I decided it was time to start my own business and create my dreams. I started as an independent contractor at a few gyms and then added in home training as well. I love working with my clients, establishing relationships, and helping my clients achieve their goals. I strive to continuously educate myself in the field and obtain new certs and experiences I can use to help my clients out. My goal is to have my own facility in the not so distant future. Being my own boss is stressful and challenging but totally worth it.
If you are wondering I now weigh just over 200 pounds and have added a ton of muscle and dropped a lot of body fat. I am by no means where I want to be, but I like my client's am a work in progress. I’ve learned that goals are great to shoot for, but the journey is the most rewarding part. I do my best to share that message with my clients and friends as often as possible. This blog, my website, and my social media pages hopefully reflect my passion.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more content.
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