Category Archives: Diet & Nutrition

13 Alternatives to Peanut Butter

The love affair with peanut butter usually begins in childhood with the ever-so-wonderful PB&J sandwiches in your lunchbox. We would also slather that peanut goodness on apples, celery (ants on a log), crackers or just grab a big spoon and dig in. Today, the classic peanut butter we all fondly remember has competition from a variety of nut and seed butters. Some offer greater nutrition than peanut butter, while others are better left on the store shelf.

To help you pick, we’ve listed 13 nut and seed butters that include their nutritional information (based on 2-tablespoon servings):

pecan nuts in a rustic scoop against a grunge wood background

Almond – Nutrition facts: 190 calories, 18g fat (2g sat fat), 7g protein
Almond butter is a great source of omega-6 fatty acids and a better source of omega-3 fatty acids than peanut butter. Benefits: Almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut, meaning they’ve got the highest concentration of nutrients per calorie and ounce. We’re talking potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. Other studies have found that eating almonds (the raw variety, at least) can help lower blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL.

Close up of a coconut and grounded coconut flakes

Coconut – Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 18g fat (16g sat fat), 2g protein
Coconut offers minimal omega-6 and barely any omega-3 fatty acids. Benefits: For thousands of years, people have been eating this heart-healthy nut that supports the immune system, boosts metabolism and can even help prevent bacterial infection. Cons: There’s not too much protein in a serving of coconut butter and the saturated fat content’s pretty high. So be sure to spread a limited amount on fortified bread or another great protein source.

Close up of hazelnuts on the wooden texture

Hazelnut –  Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 17g fat (1g sat fat), 4g protein
Like peanut butter, hazelnuts are a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, but don’t offer too much omega-3. Benefits: Also known as “filberts,” hazelnuts are packed with the good stuff: protein, fiber, vitamin E, copper and manganese. Cons: The problem is that a serving of hazelnut butter has about half the amount of protein that peanut butter has; therefore, it’s best to pair the butter with fortified pasta or another protein-packed food item.

Bowl of Macadamia nuts, with shelled nuts in foreground

Macadamia – Nutrition: 230 calories, 24g fat (4g sat fat), 2g protein
Macadamia nuts have a lot more omega-6s than omega-3s, though not quite as much of either fatty acid as peanut butter. Benefits: Of all nut varieties, Macadamias contain the greatest concentration of monounsaturated fat (good for the heart). In fact, research suggests that eating macadamia nuts can help prevent coronary artery disease. Cons: Even though it’s the good kind, macadamias are still pretty high in fat, so try not to exceed the 2 Tablespoons serving size. They’re also relatively low in protein, so punch up the nutritional value with milk, fortified bread or even oatmeal.

pecan nuts

Pecan – Nutrition facts: 213 calories, 20g fat (2g sat fat), 4g protein
Pecans are packed with about 20 times as much omega-6 as omega-3 fatty acids. Benefits: It’s like a vitamin (and mineral) shop in a nutshell. Pecans are packed with vitamins A, B, and E, plus magnesium, potassium and a ton of fiber. And studies have found pecans can help lower cholesterol levels. Cons: Pecans are a little higher in fat than peanut butter, so consider limiting intake to 2 Tablespoons, as tempting as it is to eat an entire jar in one sitting.

Roasted pistachio nuts seed with shell

Pistachio – Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 13g fat (1.5g fat), 6g protein
Pistachios are also a much better source of omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. Benefits: These super-nuts are full of fiber and potassium, and more protein than most other nut varieties. Some research even suggests pistachios can lower cholesterol and boost antioxidant levels.

soya beans on wooden surface

Soy – Nutrition facts: 200 calories, 14g fat (2g sat fat), 10g protein
Though a better source of omega-3s than peanut butter, soy nuts are also a better source of omega-6s than omega-3 fatty acids. Benefits: Soy nuts offer a hefty dose of protein (even more than peanut butter) and all essential amino acids. Plus the isoflavones in soy products may help prevent heart disease and cancer.

Fresh walnuts in the basket

Walnut – Nutrition facts: 174 calories, 17g fat (10g sat fat), 3g protein
Walnuts are a great source of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, though they’ve got more omega-6s. Benefits: Look inside the shell for antioxidants, plus vitamins and minerals that can improve blood vessel health and help reduce inflammation. Cons: Walnuts are pretty high in saturated fat and low in protein, so consider limiting the serving size and sprinkling some other protein-power nuts, like pistachios, on top.

Brazil nuts on a spoon on wooden background.

Cashew – Nutrition facts: 160 calories, 14g fat (4g sat fat), 4g protein
While cashews have slightly more omega-3 power than peanut butter, they don’t pack quite as much omega-6. Benefits: Cashews have a ton of important vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorous and manganese. The nuts may also reduce triglyceride levels, especially important for those with diabetes. Cons: Cashews are lacking in the protein department, so add a glass of milk or another source of protein to the meal.

pumpkin and seeds on wood background

Pumpkin  Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 14g fat (4g sat fat), 10g protein
Pumpkin seeds pack more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. Benefits: After Halloween has come and gone, this superfood still makes an awesome snack in any form. Its best benefits include a ton of protein (more than peanut butter), fiber, potassium and beta-carotene, a nutrient associated with boosting the immune system.

sesame seeds

Sesame – Nutrition facts: 170 calories, 16 g fat (2 g sat fat), 6g protein
Like peanut butter, sesame seeds are filled with omega-6 fatty acids, and not so much omega-3. Benefits: Sesame seeds are a great source of nutrients including calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B1 and fiber. Research suggests the seeds can lower cholesterol levels and help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Heap of hulled sunflower seeds

Sunflower Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 16g fat (2g sat fat), 6g protein
Sunflower seeds don’t offer much omega-3 fatty acids, but they’re brimming with omega-6s. Benefits: Sunflowers offer a great source of magnesium and antioxidant vitamin E.

While JIF and Skippy are nice on your wallet, most of these alternative butters are less processed and better sources of protein and Omegas. You can usually find them located in the natural section of most grocery stores. You can also order most of these butters online. As much as I love a good PB&J, using almond butter instead of peanut butter is just as tasty. Give it a try!

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”


Let Loose the Juice!

Joe Cross (Day 1 and Day 60)

This past week I visited my home town of Atlanta, GA and spent some quality time with my folks. While flipping through Netflix one evening, I stumbled upon a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  Of course, many people already know who Joe “the juicer” Cross is and how he lost a ton of weight and got mega healthy (even removing all of his medications) doing a 60-day juice fast.

Why does this matter to you? Let me get to the point in regards to guys who are already fit.

Athletes and Celebrities alike are Mega Juice Fans! They know how a healthy inside and outside is vital to everyday living.

Among his many plans, Joe also has a 10-day “Reboot”, and while this is definitely the opposite of our mighty meaty diets, it does something for our bodies that we need: flush out disease-encouraging toxins and help recharge our bodies to a healthy status.

In a nutshell, Rebooting your system by drinking 100% liquid sunshine or eating restorative plant-based energy will give you a hydro-boost to sustain vitality, fight disease and also lean you out.

Don’t worry, though, weight loss tends to happen in the people who have excessive weight to lose. If during the 10 days you feel like your losing too much weight, simply include juicing to eating a clean diet for the remainder of the days.

Joe says that, “People who are undertaking a Reboot for health reasons often worry about losing too much weight. It is our experience that Rebooters who are slim to begin with need to still be consuming enough juice and nutrients to keep their body healthy and their weight as close to stable as possible.”

Dr. Oz isn’t the only medical professional who believes 100% in the power of juice.

If you’re feeling tired, have a mental “fog” and your body stops feeling “peak”, it’s probably time to juice up with the nutrients found in fruits and veggies to get your system running at supreme condition. If your body isn’t where it needs to be, you can’t lift at your maximum performance.

Juicing isn’t anything new. Celebrities have been doing it forever and people like Dr. Oz have promoted it for years. Another great documentary on Netflix to watch is Hungry for Change. Don’t you want to look good on the inside too? I know that I do.

I’m planning on starting my 10-day Reboot on Monday. My Breville Juicer is arriving tomorrow, thanks to my Amazon Prime account. Gotta love that 2-day free shipping! I’ll post an update with my results.

Joe’s Mean Green Juice


  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 2 apples
  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 inch piece of ginger

My Favorite Red Juice


  • 2 Beets
  • 6 Carrots
  • 2 Apples
  • 2 inch piece of ginger

Wash all of the produce, peel the lemon, core the apple, add all of the ingredients in your juicer and enjoy!

Tristan "Lucky"





Written by: Tristan “Lucky”


Caffeine: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It’s natural to wake up to a cup of freshly brewed coffee to help get your day moving. But, could the caffeine in your morning cup be harmful to your health? Caffeine dependency is more common than you might think and cutting caffeine out of your healthy diet can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world. It’s cheap, legal and socially acceptable. 90% of Americans consume caffeine on a daily basis. Caffeine comes in many shapes and sizes, from natural sources to energy drinks. It comes with its perks and also its negative effects.

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly:


One of the most healthy caffeine choices is tea. All tea comes from the same place – the Camelia Sinensis plant. Tea is packed full of antioxidants which can boost heart health and polyphenols which 1protect against heart disease. Studies have even linked tea consumption to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has the fantastic effect of booting cognitive function and helping you feel more alert while promoting a feeling of relaxation.

Coffee is also a rich source of polyphenol antioxidants, which can help mop up free radicals and protect our bodies. It has been discovered that drinking two cups of coffee a day decreases your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by up to 25%. Coffee could even protect you against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.


2Caffeine is a stimulant which occurs naturally in coffee and tea; it stimulates the central nervous system and can lead to physical dependence. Consuming more than a couple of cups of coffee or tea a day could lead to caffeine-dependence. Once you’re a caffeine addict, you will have withdrawal symptoms when you try to reduce or quit. Some of these side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating


Notice, I’m just now introducing energy drinks to the conversation. Gulping down an energy drink is very appealing. With names that sound like you’re awakening the beast within, these drinks are highly marketed to people who are wanting a quick, mega boost. Celebrity endorsements and sponsorship of athletic teams only add to the appeal. But, the dangers of these drinks are real.

3Did you know that energy drinks are sold as dietary supplements, not beverages? This means that they are not subject to the same scrutinizing safety standards of food and drinks. It’s easy to confuse a stimulant boost with “energy.” The major difference is that energy is real fuel and stimulants only have a short-lived effect on your heart rate.

Also, mixing stimulants with alcohol and have a dangerous combination of “uppers” and “downers” that can result in cardiovascular and neurological side effects. I would think twice before downing an energy drink with vodka the next time you’re out at a bar.

Instead of an energy drink, I recommend using a pre-workout powder that is from a reputable manufacturer. If you safely follow the directions, you can help maximize your workout. Do not use stimulants throughout the day. If you do, you’re abusing it like a drug and it can have very nasty side effects on your health. Instead of waking up with an energy drink, have a cup of tea or coffee instead. Your body will thank you.

Tristan "Lucky"





Written by: Tristan “Lucky”


7 Natural Herbs Every Athlete Should Take

Herbs have been around forever and you may be surprised what power these little guys contain. Natural herbs can be more effective than man-derived products and often without the nasty side effects. In fact, the herbs listed below will not only improve your athletic performance, they help your body in many other ways too. Some herbs are wildly popular (we’ve all heard about #1), while others have been secretly hiding in the shadows.

Here are the 7 herbs you need to add to your supplement super-stash:


  1. Ginseng – Everyone knows about this super root. Ginseng is available in different forms, yet most athletes choose the standardized root extract to keep it simple. Ginseng treats any type of body deficiency and also has beneficial effects on the central nervous system, adrenal, sexual function, anti-fatigue properties and is known to accelerate metabolism. In addition, ginseng can stimulate nitric oxide production in immune cells, arteries, vascular endothelial cells and erectile tissues.Ashwagandha seed (Withania somnifera)
  2. Ashwagandha – This herb literally means “the grounded strength of a stallion” which leaves no doubt about its ability to increase athletic prowess. Ashwagandha is referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties even though they are botanically unrelated. This powerful herb is most well-known for its restorative benefits and can help with post-workout recovery.Medicinal holy basil or tulsi leaves
  3. Tulsi-Holy Basil Leaves – These leaves support drastic increases in endurance while minimizing post-workout recovery time. Most prefer this as a tea as it also helps assist with digestion, not to mention improving mental sharpness and supporting adrenal function. Holy basil is also known to decrease pain and swelling (inflammation).ginseng stack up on a white background
  4. Eleuthero – Formerly called Siberian Ginseng, this root is the food of champions and ruler of the adaptogens. Eleuthero helps increase and provide long term energy. In addition, it helps with adrenal function and raises blood-oxygen levels. Many people use this in combination with Gotu Kola.Tumeric and tumeric  powder.
  5. Tumeric – A significant amount of the stiffness and soreness after a workout comes from an inflammatory response. When tumeric is consumed with your post-workout hydration, it assists the body to speed up the recovery of injuries as well as optimize muscle mass.snowdon rose
  6. Rhodiola – Besides being a great herb to enhance memory, rhodiola strengthens the body, making it more resilient to challenges such as exercise and fatiguing tasks. In one study, healthy adults who consumed 200mg of rhodiola extract one hour prior to exercise significantly increased their capacity for endurance. Rhodiaola extract also reduces levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, and creatinine kinase, a marker of muscle damage.ciwujia
  7. Ciwujia – This loaded root has shown in studies to significantly improve workout performance through a carbohydrate-sparing action. During exercise, ciwujia shifts the energy source from carbohydrate to fat, thereby increasing fat metabolism. This shift also improves performance by delaying the lactic acid buildup associated with muscle fatigue.

Herbs should not be taken lightly. In case you didn’t know, ma huang is an herb. What is this crazy Chinese name? Known as “Ephedra” here in the States, the FDA actually banned this herb back in 2004 due to its powerful effects. Just because these are herbs, you should still pay attention to the recommended dosage and not go crazy.


Tristan "Lucky"





Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Reality Check: Eating Junk Because You Workout

junk food 5You’ve heard the phrase: “I workout so I can eat whatever I want to.”

For some guys, eating “clean” is a four-letter word. Indulging in the monster burrito with a frosty beverage is worth extra time in the gym. But, is that added workout time truly X-ing out the poor food choices? Let’s find out.

We can take a wild guess that the calories in that burrito are not being torched even with an extra hour of working out.  Some guys think that if they eat a lot of unhealthy calories they can just work it off, but that’s not the case. While exercising can certainly help mediate the damage done by a less-than-healthy diet, there aren’t enough hours in the day to work off the foods that are eaten in the mindset of  It’s OK, I just worked out.

A January 2014 study from Arizona State University found that strength-based exercises burn the following calories:

  • Push-ups burned 514 calories per hour
  • Crunches burned 437 calories per hour
  • Squats burned 560 calories per hour
  • Pull-ups burned 597 calories per hour

junk food 7Obviously, no one does any of those exercises for a solid hour. According to a Harvard Medical School study, a vigorous hour of strength training burns an average of 532 calories. Make that only 266 calories for a general weight training session.

Ready for some shocking news? Per the University of Washington’s recent research, the number of people meeting their exercise guidelines is rising. Good stuff, right? Now here is the big BUT. So is the number of people who are obese.

Trying to out-exercise a junk food diet is about more than calories in vs. calories out. The body is complex and hormonal factors can have a huge influence on weight gain and loss.

For instance, when you eat a sugary waffle, soda or scoop of ice cream, your body’s levels of insulin rise. This forces your body into “fat-storage” mode. You aren’t just eating X number of calories. You’re basically injecting X number of calories straight into your ever-expanding fat cells. Now doesn’t that sound delicious?junk food 6

A junk-food diet allows fat to accumulate under the skin, on top of your muscle. Even if you exercise daily, you won’t see the muscle definition until you get rid of that fat. Muscle growth requires lean protein, not poor fats and sugars.

Eating poorly, despite your exercise routine, can lead to health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other adverse medical issues.

As if this wasn’t enough to clean out your cupboards, eating a lot of unhealthy food promotes inflammation. This can lead to weight gain all on its own, per research published in the journal Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome.

junk food 4

The Bottom Line: When it comes to sculpting your body and enhancing your performance, without a diet to support your training, you are wasting your time at the gym. Save your sweet tooth for “cheat” meals.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Foods That Kill Your Sex Drive and Lower Your Testosterone

Have you found yourself going to bed without an urge for some sexual relief more than usual? It might be something you ate. These days, more men suffer from decreased sex drives than ever before and some of the major culprits are as simple as what you’re putting in your mouth.

Foods can negatively impact your libido, especially as your age, so it’s vital to limit or get these ball breakers off your plate. T levels affect sexual desire, so anything that depletes your hormone (“man-mone”) levels can eventually kill your sex drive.



5. Soy – Don’t worry about getting “man boobs” if you have small, irregular amounts of soy in your diet, but excess amounts of the legume-derived products (soy milk, tofu, edamame) can drastically reduce the levels of testosterone in the blood and decrease your libido, according to a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researches found that men who consumed 120 mg of soy a day had a decrease in testosterone. If you’re working on becoming a dad, make sure you cut down or delete it entirely from your diet since it can lower sperm count.


4. Graham Crackers – Surprised? I was too. When Dr. Sylvester Graham created Dr. Graham’s Honey Biskets in 1829, he believed the graham meal would suppress carnal desires (i.e. masturbation).

Any refined carbohydrates, such as those loaded into graham crackers, can still wreak havoc on a man’s intimate time between the sheets. Excess refined carbs (bleached white flour) can kill T levels. Sugars from refined carbs will not only make you gain weight, but can raise your estrogen levels and deplete T levels. So, if I were you, I’d lower your intake of S’mores.


3. Alcohol – I’m being serious. I know this is a tough one. A little here and there never hurt anyone’s lust, but surprisingly, overindulging can bring things down by the end of the night.

Sex coaches are really big on this known fact and sex therapist, David Yarian, tells us, “Too much alcohol, too much rich food-too much food in general-is going to make the person sleepy and not that interested.” Another coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, Amy Levine, advises to “work on having two to three drinks max if you want to be ready later.”


1. Meat containing hormones (especially red meat) – Foods that contain added hormones or antibiotics are a huge sex offender by unbalancing a man’s natural hormones when consumed in excess. For some, certain foods can even affect secretions like semen, sweat, urine and breath, according to Amy Levine.

Overall, red meat has its pluses when consumed as grass fed beef with no hormones. You can then embrace the awesome-ness of red meat by gaining muscle and zapping fat if you also opt for leaner cuts.


1. Eating in excess – This is the #1 sex drive killer for any man. The worst food that a man can have for his sex drive is too much of it. Diet accelerates the aging process. Anyone carrying extra weight from ages 35 to 60 is accelerating the aging process. Midsection increase is probably the number one reason
for lost sex drive. A good diet equals good sex.

Tristan "Lucky"





Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

17 Reasons to Eat Your Little Trees

184989100Broccoli, or “little trees” as you probably called them as a child, is one of the most rejected foods on many plates, including adults. I seemingly recall staring at the green forest in front of me while vigorously shaking my head “no, no, no” until Mom added cheese on top. Since broccoli is one of the top health foods, it is also quickly despised by those who are sick of healthy foods being shoved in their faces. It’s time to re-visit the world of green goodness.

Broccoli has a lot to offer, both in the nutrients locked inside each green floret and in the flavors you can coax out of this relative to cabbage and cauliflower. Don’t give in to those negative feelings for this common super-food. It’s worth exploring!

17 Reasons to Love Broccoli: T BroccoliMan

  1. Cancer – Broccoli reduces inflammation and oxidative stress while aiding natural detox. Antioxidants like indole-3-carbinol protect against cellular damage that causes many cancers. Broccoli also contains glucoraphanin which is converted into sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that kills bacteria known to increase cancer risks. It also reduces damage from the sun, removes toxins, and regulates the methylation of DNA.
  2. Cholesterol – The soluble fiber in broccoli binds to and removes cholesterol during digestion, especially when lightly steamed.
  3. Detoxify – Glucosinolate phytonutrients, like glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin found in broccoli, help detox at the genetic level on up.
  4. Balance Vitamin D – The vitamin K and vitamin A in broccoli help control the levels and effects of vitamin D throughout the body.Girl-with-Broccoli-300x225
  5. Anti-Inflammatory – The flavonol kaempferol reduces inflammation, combats allergies, improves heart health, and may even combat some cancers. Broccoli also contains some beneficial omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation too.
  6. Antioxidant – The antioxidant powers of broccoli deserve another mention since they help the body resist much more than cancer. Vitamin C and carotenoids like zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene are plentiful in our friendly broccoli florets.
  7. a_20648_637Heart – Sulforaphane reduces the inflammation of blood vessels and prevents or reverses the damage to the linings of these vital vessels. Lutein prevents the thickening of the arteries while B6 and folate help control heart palpitations.
  8. Blood Pressure – The sulforaphane, potassium, calcium, and magnesium in broccoli all aid healthy and balanced blood pressure.
  9. Digestion – Broccoli is low in calories while rich in protein and minerals to keep you full and satisfied while your cells are well-nourished. The fiber aids digestion and prevents constipation too.
  10. Bones – Broccoli is rich in vitamin K and calcium for strong, young, healthy bones.
  11. Nerves – The potassium, healthy fatty acids, and B vitamins in broccoli are good for the nervous system, keeping those signalsBoy and Healthy Broccoli Diet on White firing and our nerve cells healthy.
  12. Immunity – The sulfur compounds in cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli bolster the immune system and inhibit bacteria. Vitamin C, beta carotene, and the trace minerals zinc and selenium all play a role in immune system health too.
  13. Alkalize – The nutrients and minerals in broccoli can help alkalize your system.
  14. Arthritis – Sulforaphane prevents cartilage destruction and acts as a mild pain-killer by reducing inflammation.
  15. Blood Sugar – The fiber and chromium in broccoli aid in balancing blood sugar.
  16. Skin Health – Sulforaphane prevents and repairs damage done to the skin by the sun, healthy fats keep skin supple and inflammation free, and vitamin C builds healthy collagen.Boy-eating-broccoli

Broccoli is at its best as sprouts or micro-greens, but it is still healthy steamed or lightly cooked. It is also more delicious than it gets credit for. You can search and find some amazing broccoli recipes and taste-test them for yourself.

The PROTEIN Guide: Bodybuilders With Food Allergies

Note: Any of the products I’m suggesting I am not being paid to mention. I have actually tried and tested these products myself.

These days, it is the norm to hear people mention a food allergy or intolerance: gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, shellfish, and soy just to name a few. This can make it especially hard for those weight training when trying to find a protein powder or a bar they can eat without having side effects.

Some people (like myself) choose to only eliminate their food intolerance(s) while some other people will go all out vegan, paleo, or create their own special diet.

Sadly, I’m dairy intolerant. Prior to my blood test results, dairy was a staple in my diet. I had to learn my way around this new food obstacle and I found there were items that could be replaced without killing my taste buds. Of course, you can never truly replicate cheese – sorry Daiya, you’re close.


I had just bought a huge 4 lb container of MusclePharm’s Combat whey protein powder in my favorite chocolate peanut butter flavor. I stood there for what felt like hours just staring at it blankly. Then, I finally walked away after a very heavy sigh.

I had tried Jay Robb’s egg-white protein powder in the past and didn’t really enjoy it. I then bought some Hemp protein powder by Nutiva and after two attempts, it’s been in my cabinet ever since. It’s hard to compete with the taste of some of the whey protein powders out there that are packed with what I want AND the taste I need.


Finally, after doing a ton of research, I found PlantFusion. It’s a totally vegan protein powder that has:

  • No Dairy
  • No Soy
  • No Animal
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gluten Free

1 scoop (30g) contains: 120 calories, 2g fat, 4g carbs, 4g sugar (frutose), and 21g of protein. Not bad!

I use the Chocolate and Cookies n Creme flavors on their own (sometimes add some peanut butter). With the Vanilla Bean, I toss in some frozen fruit. Tasty!  I have not tried the Natural or Chocolate Raspberry. They do have a new product called “Phood” which I’m definitely going to order and try out! It’s supposed to be your daily supplements and protein shake all in one.


My next favorite vegan protein powder I found is by Sun Warrior. I have only used their Vanilla flavor and give it two thumbs up. This company has a variety of products most everything is Raw, Non-GMO, Organic and Vegan.

Both products contain a high profile of essential amino acids in a complete, balanced profile. Both also contain pea protein, which is a remarkable source of plant-based proteins and amino acids. Protein from peas satisfies all FAO essential amino acid requirements and include Lysine, Arginine, Glutamine, Leucine, Isoleucine & Valine (BCAAs).


Next on my list was finding a bar that (a) was friendly to food allergies (b) wasn’t a sugar bar, and (c) tasted delicious.


This wasn’t an easy process. First I tried KIND bars. These, I admit, are very tasty, yet they just don’t contain the amount of protein I was wanting. Only 3g of protein per bar isn’t cutting it. These are NOT for anyone with a nut allergy, since the bar is basically all nuts. But, if you’re looking for a snack, this pretty much nails it.


Next on my list, was Betty Lou’s Organic Cacao Acai Bar. These bars contain cashews only, no other nuts. Again, the protein came in at a slim 5g per bar. The taste? Oddly very good.


I was about to call it quits when I stumbled upon a bar that blew my mind….seriously. AMRAP Bar Almond & Honey made me love life again. This isn’t vegan because it contains egg-white protein and to the nutty folks, sorry, it has almonds. Each bar delivers 15g of protein and this is becoming THE bar for the paleo enthusiasts. The bar itself is dense, so it fills you up. By the texture and taste, you can tell they went all out on quality for their bars. They also have Cashew & Vanilla and Fig & Cacao which I haven’t tried yet, but ordered them today!


Last, but certainly not least, is an innovative bar I stumbled upon this past summer on a trip to Austin, TX.  EPIC bars are not your average protein bar. It’s a meat bar, but is softer than jerky, and contains ancient berries and premium nuts. All of their bars are 100% grass fed meat and my two faves are the Bison Bacon Cranberry bar and the Beef Habanero Cherry bar. Their other flavors include Turkey Almond Cranberry and Lamb Current Mint. With 10-14g of protein per bar and an “epic” source of omega-3, CLA, vitamins E and B12, antioxidants, niacin…and are gluten-free with no added sugar? I don’t know if it can get better than this! Seriously. These are what I call my “MAN” bars and I always try to keep one in my bag. When I flew back home I was thankful to find them at my local Whole Foods Market!


Go ahead, don’t be shy – leave a comment with your favorites. I’m always game to try some new things.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”


LeBron James: 67-Day Diet Facts and Sample Meal Plans

LeBron James

LeBron James: Ketogenic Paleo

LeBron James has opened up about his much talked-about slimdown, speaking with multiple media outlets, including Sports Illustrated and CNN, about his strict 67-day diet, which he labels “Ketogenic Paleo.”

“I had no sugars, no dairy, I had no carbs,” the four-time NBA MVP told SI. “All I ate was meat, fish, veggies and fruit. That’s it. For 67 straight days.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers star described his diet as a “mental challenge,” which he initially planned to limit to one month, but extended because his body felt amazing.

“I haven’t been in this weight class,” James told CNN‘s Rachel Nichols without specifying the exact number of pounds he now weighs. “I’m in the 250-ish range. A lot lighter than I’ve been playing at the last few years, but I feel good,” he said.

For James, the hardest food group to give up was sweets. “It was either pancakes or chocolate chip cookies and ice cream,” he mused, adding that he went to bed dreaming of the fluffy breakfast food all the time. He joked: “I had the cookie monster chasing me a few times in my dreams.”

Last month, James had fans wondering how he achieved his ripped and significantly leaner frame after he shared numerous shirtless photos of himself on Instagram. “Every now and then I enjoy the fruits of my labor,” he captioned one pic. ‘#LivinLiveWithASmile #Blessed #StriveForGreatness.”

LeBron James: Sample Eating Plan


  • Option 1: Veggie omelet with a side of turkey bacon, fresh fruit, and sweet potato hash browns.
  • Option 2: Peanut butter or almond butter smoothie made with PalntFusion and Almond or Coconut milk, banana, and side of blueberries or other sliced fruit.
  • Option 3: Egg Scramble with mushrooms, bacon, onions topped with avocado and salsa.


  • Option 1: Spinach salad with veggies, grilled chicken, and a light balsamic, vinaigrette, or olive oil dressing. Pair with a side of fresh fruit, or add sliced berries, apples, or mandarin oranges as a salad topper.
  • Option 2: Tuna Fish mixed with vegan garlic mayo, onions, celery wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves. Add healthy toppings like spinach, avocado, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, and yellow mustard. Pair with a fresh fruit salad.
  • Option 3: Pizza made with ground turkey substituted as the crust. Top with sauce (no sugar), veggies, and meats, no cheese, and bake.


  • Option 1: Grilled or baked salmon with crushed pistachio topping, and steamed vegetables, drizzled with freshly squeezed lime juice, olive oil, or balsamic vinaigrette. Season with dried herbs like rosemary, chipotle pepper, or paprika.
  • Option 2: Chicken or shrimp soft tacos in romaine leaves with black beans, avocados, diced tomatoes, or chile peppers and salsa.
  • Option 3: Chicken or Beef Chili

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by Tristan “Lucky”

Pro Football Training Guide: 8-Week Body Transformation

One of my long-time friends, Ryan, is a pro football trainer in in the Midwest and has been working with top athletes for the past 8 years. His main job is getting athletes leaned down and ripped out as quickly as possible prior to the season starting. He focuses on building strength and endurance.

Athletes have to train with only natural products and stay away from steroids or other banned drugs. Ryan can pretty much transform a person’s physique in as little as 8 weeks. This is through a combination of diet, daily lifting, interval training, and what he calls his “1-2 punch combo.” He is also known for his “Game Time 20” workout routine (listed at the end of this post).

This is one of the lead extras from the movie 300: Rise of an Empire. (I'm not allowed to show Before and Afters of main actors - sorry).
This is a well-known wide receiver of a pro football team. (I’m not allowed to show the face of the athlete, or say his name for legal reasons).

The “1-2 punch combo”, which he says is also used by actors and bodybuilders, is using IGF-1 along with an HGH booster. These two supplements combined are actually proven to be effective alone, but when used together the impact almost triples. Basically, they multiply each other’s effects.

Obviously, over here at Ripped Science, we’re all about the science behind the muscle, so here is a quick explanation. Science has known for years the dramatic effect HGH has on muscular strength and growth; its effects proven in dozens of studies. IGF-1, which can be derived from deer antler velvet, is the chemical cousin to HGH. It also builds muscle, but not as quickly as HGH. IGF-1 is important because it lasts much longer in the body and actually stimulates the body’s natural HGH secretion too.

The secret is to stack both together so that when your IGF-1 levels are rising, so are your HGH levels. The more HGH releases, the more you can train harder and longer, while also allowing your muscles to recover and rebuild quicker. This “1-2 punch combo” allows for rapid muscle growth and huge gains in record time.


There are two products Ryan uses the most; deer antler velvet and an HGH booster. He has tried countless products over the years. Some have worked, some were scams.

The best deer antler he suggested was Supreme Antler, which is the only product with a full 100 Mg of pure deer antler velvet per serving. I personally never tried deer antler before, but have had several gym buddies give it two thumbs up and confirmed it definitely benefited them.

The other product he recommended was Sytropin HGH. It has a perfect A+ rating with the BBB (which is obviously good news) and was one I was already using prior to Ryan telling me about it.

I admit, both websites look like your typical muscle-head sale sites…the kinda “in your face” look, which used to make me skeptical. Ironically, some of the best products I’ve used have come from these types of sites. It’s kinda like that dive-looking Chinese food place that looks sketchy on the outside, but the food is freaking outrageously delicious. That’s exactly my best analogy for these products.

My coworker, David, trained with Ryan for 8 weeks and used the “1-2 punch combo” he recommended. He started on July 1st, 2014 and ended his cycle on August 26th, 2014. In that time, he gained 11.7 pounds of muscle and cut his body percentage from 19% to 13.6%. Needless to say, he just got back from Los Cabos and looking at the vacation photos, he looks very happy…and so is his wife!


“It’s ALL about stacking!!! Use the BEST that is out there. I’m 35 years old and I have taken a lot of different workout supplements over the years and nothing has given me the tone and definition that Ryan’s “1-2 punch combo” has. In my opinion, this combo is the workout supplements I’ve been looking for to achieve my goals in record time.” – David L. –’s graphic design guru


Some days, we just don’t have time to put in an hour+ at the gym, but we definitely don’t want to completely skip a day and off-set our weekly routine. Ryan says, “The super-set is a great way to workout if you have limited time. Pick any of the cycles below. Each cycle should only take you two minutes to complete, for a grand total of 20 minutes per workout.”

Push-up/Crunch Super-set:

Repeat 10 cycles of:

– 10 regular pushups
– 10 crunches
– 10 wide pushups
– 10 crunches
– 10 tricep pushups
– 10/10 Left/Right crunches

Leg / Ab Super-set:

Repeat 5 cycles of:
– 20 squats
– 20 crunches
– 10 lunges per leg
– 10 crunches
– 20 calf raises
– 20 crunches


4 Mile Track Work:
– Jog 1 mile in 7:00-8:00
– Three sets of 1/4-mile sprints in 90-100 seconds
– Jog or walk – 1/4 mile

Or you can mix exercises together and do what Ryan calls the “Speedy Spartan.”

Speedy Spartan:

– Run 1 mile
– 100 pushups in as few sets as possible
– 100 crunches
– Run 1 mile
– 75 pushups in as few sets as possible
– 75 crunches
– Run 1 mile
– 50 pushups in as few sets as possible
– 50 crunches

This is the ultimate workout I have ever done in under 20 minutes. The challenge is to do:

– 100 pullups as few sets as possible
– 200 pushups in as few 2:00 sets as possible
– 300 situps in as few 2:00 sets as possible

Do these as quickly as possible. You can alternate exercises after each set of maximum repetitions.

BONUS: One thing we like to do over here at RS is provide you guys with free trial offers. Instead of having to pay full price, you can give these two oral supplements a try without breaking the bank.



Supreme Antler is not available in stores, only online. Using the following private link, you can get a risk-free trial bottle for only $4.95. Quantities for Ripped-Science readers are extremely limited, so act now before this offer ends.




Sytropin is available in some stores, but they are currently offering, a 20 day free trial so Ripped Science readers can “try before they buy”. Use our special link to get your free bottle of Sytropin (a $60 value!), and use coupon code “HGHNOW” to pay just a $3.95 shipping charge to have it at your door in a few days.



Leave comments with your results!

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”