It’s-a-me, your Pandemic Pal, Corona Chum, and Quarantine . . . uhhhh . . . Quixote?
And here we are, socially stranded, steadily sanitized, and slightly stir crazy thanks to The Rona, which isn’t merely “another flu,” as many not-doctors on (delete your) Instagram would have you believe.
But hey, there are some white clouds in the sky, too.
For instance . . .
- Thanks to the cancellation of sports, many men have discovered they live with women and children who seem pretty nice.
- We’ve discovered how someone eating bat soup in China can cause a worldwide shortage in toilet paper.
- This may lead to an orgiastic baby boom, and in the 2030s, we’ll witness the rise of THE QUARANTEENS.
Ha ha ha, and that’s not all sweet cheeks—open your mouth, so I can ladle some more rich, creamy good news into it.
According to a March 19th message from Harvard Health Publishing . . .
- Most people with COVID-19 recover. Estimates now suggest that 99% of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 will recover. Some people have no symptoms at all. And while thousands of people have died, the overall death rate is about 1% (or perhaps even lower), far less than MERS (about 34%), SARS (about 11%), or Ebola (90%), though higher than the average seasonal flu (0.1%).
- Children seem to be infected less often and have milder disease. According to the CDC, the vast majority of infections so far have afflicted adults. And when kids are infected, they tend to have milder disease.
- The number of new cases is falling where the outbreak began. During his speech declaring the new coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the director-general of the WHO pointed out that “China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining epidemics.” In fact, Wuhan province (site of the very first cases) has just reported no new local cases for the first time since the outbreak began.
- Scientists around the world are making breakthroughs in developing a vaccine. For instance, vaccination trials are already underway at Kaiser Permanente, Israeli scientists are nearing development of their first vaccine, and China is testing five different vaccine options, claiming it could have one ready by next month.
- Many businesses have stepped up to help us through the crisis. The sports world is raising money for stadium employees, Uber Eats is divvying out free delivery to help independent restaurants, professional soccer players are entertaining viewers with a FIFA tournament, and restaurants are doling out free food to those in need, to name just a few out of dozens.
What’s more, if we all comply with the requested precautions, we may get to enjoy a tide of positive developments and see a marked shift toward normalcy by the end of next month.
So, let’s just mind our own business for a couple of weeks, and then we’ll be able to say we survived the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020 and not . . . something else.
That said, if you’re new to working (and working out) from home, the quarantined life is a long row to hoe.
How are you supposed to organize your day? What should you do with your newfound free time? How do you keep from skipping workouts, eating too much, frittering away all your time on social media and entertainment, and shirking your work?
That’s what this podcast will be all about.
Before we get to all of that, however, let’s begin with a bit of perspective.
5:00 – How do I manage my time better?
14:19 – What should my routine look like?
23:06 – How can I eat well?
34:17 – How do I stay productive and busy?
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hi there. I’m Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life and thank you for taking a little bit of time outta your day to listen to my words. Okay. Enough of that. What’s up? My pandemic pals. Here we are. I. Global pandemic. Yes, it sucks. Moist, open sphincter. People are dying, economies are crashing, and many of us are wondering if the doomsday clock is about to strike midnight.
I. Then again, if you’re listening to this, you are probably not dying. Your economy is probably still functional enough to provide you with high-speed internet. And let’s not forget that scientists and intellectuals and elites have been predicting the imminent end of days for a long time now, at least since malice.
So, Count yourself lucky, and especially if you and your friends and your family are healthy and you still have jobs, and maybe you’re even about to receive a couple wheelbarrows of Trump bucks. Oh yes, sweet stimulus, scrilla. And even if you’re not gonna get any of that, if you have a job, your employer is almost certainly going to be getting. Quite a bit. He’s gonna be getting, or she, they are gonna be getting their payroll, rent and utilities covered for a couple months, two and a half months I think it is. And that helps you keep said job. So I want you to say something out loud with me. Yes. Say it out loud. I am thankful for my health. Job and Trump bucks.
Come on, don’t be an ingrate. Say it. Health job. Trump bucks feels good, right? What’s more, you can view this current predicament as an opportunity to focus on and optimize things that you can control instead of focusing on all the things that you can’t control. And that starts. With your schedule. So if you are working from home, for example, there are no office shenanigans anymore.
No distractions to sap your productivity. There are no coworkers to bat the breeze with. There are no unnecessary meetings to zone out in. In other words, here’s your chance to see just how productive you can really be. You also now have extra time for. Self-care necessities, like getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night, working out every day, and preparing healthy homemade meals.
Then there’s other wholesome stuff that we now have a good excuse to engage in more of like spending more time with our families and our friends and our neighbors at a safe distance of six feet, of course, and maybe reading some good books. Books and listening to some good podcasts, watching some good movies, learning some new skills.
And yes, I said watching some good movies. We can’t afford to sneak in some good television and movies. Two, and who knows when this viral Boogaloo is finally over and the group of seven has kicked the Chinese government into the sewer grates to become sewer clown food. Oh, I can’t wait for that to happen.
Some or many of these new healthy habits of yours are gonna stick. So imagine just a couple months from now, you are healthier, happier, and fitter than before the Beer virus world tour kicked off. And who knows, maybe more so than ever before are you game? All right, well keep listening then. My lovely little dru.
Now, before we get to the show, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please consider checking out my v i p one-on-one coaching service. My team and I have helped people of all ages. Circumstances and needs.
So no matter how complicated or hopeless you might think your situation is, don’t worry. We will figure out how to get you the results you want. Every diet and training program we create is 100% custom. We provide daily workout logs, we do weekly accountability calls. Our clients get priority email service, as well as discounts on supplements, and the list goes on and on.
We basically do. Everything we can to help you lose fat, gain muscle, and get healthy as quickly and enjoyably, that’s an important point as possible. So to learn more, head over to legion athletics.com/coaching and schedule your free consultation call now. There is usually a wait list and new slots do fill up quickly, so don’t wait.
Just. Head over to legion athletics.com/coaching. Lock in your free consultation call and let’s see if there’s a good fit. Okay, so let’s talk about creating a daily schedule, an effective daily schedule and sticking to it. And this is important because without the familiar structure of our normal workdays and weekends, many of us feel a bit lost and list lists right now.
Kind like zoo animals that have suddenly been released into the wild, the cure. Is routine as Mason Curry details in his book, daily Rituals, the secret of many prolific artists, inventors and innovators, many of whom had free reign over how they spent their time was a precise. Personal schedule. Some like the writer Ernest Hemmingway, the composer, Gustav Mahler, and the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright did their best work first thing in the morning.
Others, on the other hand, like the writer Samuel Johnson, the musician, Bob Dylan, and the artist Pablo Picasso, all worked best at night and still others preferred to break up their work into chunks throughout the day. So the important thing here is that you find a routine that works for you and then stick to it like stink on a teenager.
Here are some tips that work well for me. One is time blocking, and what this is, is it’s really just dedicating blocks of time each day to certain types of tasks. So for instance, I prefer to spend the first few hours of each day writing. Uh, that’s books and articles. So I’m always working on the next book, and I’m always working on the next article.
And I do that because I find it easiest and most productive when my energy levels and my motivation are at their highest, which for me is in the morning. I also like to schedule all podcast interviews, calls and meetings in the afternoons when my energy is a bit lower, and I find that I just don’t do my best writing.
And then I dedicate my final time block of the day to more menial type of stuff, like email and administrative tasks. And I recommend that you use the same system for scheduling your workouts and meals and social and even leisure time. Everything that you do, you can organize into time blocks, and then, You can put it on a calendar, like a digital calendar.
Google Calendar is what I use, or a paper calendar if you prefer that. Another tool that works well for me is task prioritization. So time blocking specifies what type of work to do when, but not exactly what to do. And so that’s why I start each day by writing down what I’m going to do in each time block and the order I’m gonna do those things in.
And those tasks are. Organized according to priority, the most urgent stuff gets done first. So for example, currently my writing time block looks like this. I have at the top a new book for the 40 plus crowd that Simon Schuster is going to publish next summer. I’m on a tight deadline on this need to be done with the manuscript by May.
In considering that I started it in, I wanna say the middle of January, I’m on target, but I have to give it a, a fair amount of time every day to stay on target and to do that. Then I had to make sure that this comes first. If other things need to get bumped, like for example, I’m a bit behind an email these days because of this book that I’ve been working on, and.
The next couple things that that I’m gonna mention, and that’s okay. I’m okay with that. If I get behind on email, so long as I know why and so long as I understand that it is the right tactical move to take time that I would normally put into email, I. Away from it temporarily to work on something that is a higher priority.
So the next task in my writing time block is a new second edition of Beyond Bigger Lean or Stronger that I am working on. Almost done with, have been working on for some time now, probably close to a year now, really. And I plan on self-publishing that this summer. Itching to wrap it up, release the book, but it comes after the 40 plus book that I’m doing with Simon and Schuster because it’s not as important that Simon and Schuster deadline is more important because they need about a year to publish the book, to go from a completed manuscript to a.
Published book and as I want the book to come out next summer and not later in the year next year, which Simon Schuster probably wouldn’t even want to do. That means it would probably get pushed to the following year, like the first quarter, probably of the following year. I wanna avoid that. I want it out next year, and so to do that, I have to hustle.
So that’s why I make sure first that I get, uh, enough words done on the 40 plus book to stay on track for that may deadline. Then once that’s done, I move on to working on B B L S 2.0. And then after that, once I’ve put in time there and gotten enough done to get it out this summer, I move on to writing articles for my blog [email protected].
And although this is not as important as releasing new books, many people do appreciate and. Enjoy my blog articles and many of those blog articles then get repurposed into podcasts. They give me easy material that I can talk about on the podcast, and so I’m always working on at least one new article for the blog.
And so, practically speaking, how this works is I don’t have a set period of time that I spend on each of these projects. It’s all based on output. So for example, I know that I need to put down about a thousand words a day on this. 40 plus book to stay on target, and I need to put down about 500 words per day on BB 2.0 to stay on target.
And so I work on those tasks, those projects, until I’ve hit my target and then I move on to the next thing. And on some days it goes fairly quickly. Some days, for example, I’ve put down a thousand plus words on the 40 plus book in an hour or so, and on other days it’s taken several hours. It just kind of depends on the material and how much legwork I need to do to get to the final copy.
And if you want to learn more about the thinking behind this concept of time blocking and task prioritization, and you wanna learn more about how to. Implement it. Check out the work of Cal Newport. So there’s an article that he wrote called Deep Habits, the Importance of Planning Every Minute of Your Workday and Deep Habits, three Recent Daily Plans.
Check those articles out. And I also highly recommend his book Deep Work. Okay, moving on to another tip for managing your time better, and that is internet mindfulness. Because if you’re not careful with how you use the internet, you are going to wind up spending way too much time in what the writer Tim Urban, refers to as the dark playground.
So to quote Tim, the Dark Playground is a place every procrastinator knows. Well, it’s a place where leisure activities happen at times when leisure activities are not supposed to be happening. The fun you have in the dark playground is an. Actually fun because it’s completely unearned and the air is filled with guilt, anxiety, self-hatred, and dread.
Sometimes the rational decision maker puts his foot down and refuses to let you waste time doing normal leisure things, and sense the instant gratification. Monkey sure as hell isn’t gonna let you work. You find yourself in a bizarre purgatory of weird activities where everyone loses. In other words, with the internet, it is very easy to bargain away your time instead of doing something productive or meaningful.
And the more often you do that, the more, sorry, stressed and stupefied you feel. This includes the obvious stuff like Daisy chaing YouTube videos, indulging in protracted bouts of retail therapy and mindless Instagram scrolling. But it also includes busy work. You know, stuff that may feel kind of productive, but really is just a distraction from what you should be doing, you know, higher priority tasks.
And some examples of this are. Text or Slack conversations, non-urgent emails and analytics browsing. And so what do we do about this? What’s the solution? Well, to quote Cal Newport from his book Deep Work, which again, I highly recommend schedule in advance when you will use the internet and then avoid it all together outside these times.
I suggest that you keep a notepad near your computer at work on this pad record the next time you’re allowed to use the internet until you arrive at that time, absolutely no network connectivity is allowed no matter how tempting. Now, what if you need to use the internet though to work on an important project to do something productive and meaningful?
Well, the easiest way to win there is to just use software like Cold Turkey that allows you to restrict your access to the tempting websites that are not mission critical. Okay. So if you agree that routine is good and you want to establish a healthy, productive routine that keeps you sane while quarantined, let’s talk about that.
What should your routine look like? Exactly? Let’s start with exercising every. Day now to quote the All American athlete, writer and coach Dan John, if something is important, do it every day. If it’s not important, don’t do it at all. A lot of wisdom in those words and exercise is important and definitely should be done every day, even when we can’t follow our normal training programs.
And you know, I would say, especially when we can’t follow our normal routine first, realize that home workouts can be. Far more effective for maintaining or even gaining muscle and strength than many people realize. In fact, if you do it right, no matter how experienced of a weightlifter you are, you should not lose any muscle to speak of over the course of the next month or even two months, and minimal strength.
And most of what you’re gonna lose in the way of strength is actually just skill. You’re not gonna lose any muscle, really. That’s what drives most of our strength is our muscle mass. But if we haven’t been under a heavy barbell in a few months, it’s gonna feel a bit awkward at first. So we’re not going to be able to jump right back into our training blocks exactly where we left them off.
Even if we didn’t lose any muscle, we are going to have to ease a bit back into it. Now, you may also be surprised at how many fewer calories you’re burning while stuck inside all day and not moving around and moving about like you normally would. And doing homework workouts can help with that. It can help make it easier to maintain your normal diet and your body composition to eat the way you like to eat without gaining a bunch of fat.
Now if you want to learn more, About how to make the most of your home workouts. Head over to legion athletics.com, go to the blog and pinned right at the top is a long 10,000 word article I wrote on home workouts. I put everything I could think of in there. There are body weight workouts, band workouts, dumbbell slash kettlebell workouts, beginner workouts, intermediate workouts, advanced workouts, equipment recommendations, programming tips.
The list goes on and on. Again, that’s legion athletics.com. Go to the blog pinned right at the top is the article, and it’s free, of course. Now let’s, let’s look at the, let’s say the worst case scenario, right? Let’s say you do lose a little bit of muscle while quarantined. There still is a nice big silver lining.
I still have some good news for you. It’s gonna come back very quickly. That muscle that you lose, you’ll regain very quickly once you get back into the gym. And I’m talking weeks, not months, and that is the power of muscle. Memory, which is a very real physiological phenomenon. And if you wanna learn more about that, you can find an article [email protected], I believe.
I’ve also recorded a podcast on it. So if you search the podcast feed or YouTube channel for muscle memory, it should come up now. Yet another reason to keep working out while we are at home is just maintaining the habit. A regular exercise because that is just as important as maintaining your physique, and this is particularly true if you are kind of new to this whole working out thing.
And training isn’t a permanent fixture of your weekly routine just yet. Now, exactly how long it takes to form a new habit depends on several things. It depends on your personality. It depends how motivated you are. It depends on how difficult the task is and some other factors. But the more consistent you are about doing something, the more likely you are to keep doing it.
That’s true for all of us. You’ve probably heard that on average it takes a couple months for a new habit to take hold in. Most people, in some people it could be a couple weeks. Uh, in other people it could be many months. But if you just keep going, the chances that you will keep going increase. And as a corollary, the less.
Consistent you are with a new habit, the less likely you are to stick to it, the less likely it is to become a long-term habit. And if you want to learn more about that, if you wanna learn about the science of building positive habits, head over to legion athletics.com and search for habits, and you’ll find an article called A Scientific Guide to Habits, how to Build Good Ones and Break.
Bad ones. So then staying fit and strong are not the only reasons to do home workouts. They also will just help keep you in the habit of working out, and that’s gonna make it easier physically and mentally to resume your normal workout routine once you are. Gym is reopened. And let’s also not forget about the mental and the physical health benefits of regular exercise, which we can all use an extra helping of right now.
It doesn’t take much to get the job done either. Research shows that even a 10 minute walking workout can brighten your mood and boost your energy levels, and most of us have the time to do quite a bit more. Than that right now. And a little tip for people who don’t have, let’s say, 45 or 60 minute blocks of time, they can dedicate to working out, let’s say people with small children, for example, who always need something.
A good little hack for this is to break up the workout that you want to do. That takes, let’s say, 45 or 60 minutes into 15 minute blocks or 20 minute blocks. That’s totally fine. So let’s just say you’re gonna do a home workout that consists of. Four exercises, let’s say four sets per exercise, about 15 minutes per exercise for a total of about an hour.
What you could do is you could do your work on the first exercise if you have a 15 minute window, and then do what you gotta do around the house or with your kids or whatever, and then a little bit later, do the second exercise a little bit later, do the third, and finally do the fourth. Totally feasible, so long as you get your entire workout done.
By the end of the day, you have done a good job. Something else you might want to consider if you’re not already in the habit of doing it, is just start doing cardio now is a perfect opportunity to do. Cardio and not only will that help you burn some calories and improve your cardiovascular health, it’ll also give you an excuse to get outside if you can get outside, which can also benefit your health.
Spending just a short period of time among nature can make you feel. Better. And if you want some ideas for effective and fun cardio workouts, head over to legion athletics.com and search for H I I T and you’ll find an article called The Top Three Reasons To Do High Intensity Interval Training and Search for Easiest.
You probably search for easiest cardio. And then you’ll find an article called the Easiest Cardio Workout you can do that actually works. Those articles will probably help you. Now. Finally, the Coronavirus Crisis, the disruption in downtime is a worthy occasion for reviewing your normal. I. Workout programming as well and seeing how you can improve it and tweak it for when we do get back in the gym.
And if you want some help with that, just head over to legion athletics.com and check out the workouts category on the blog, and you’ll find quite a few articles that I’ve put together with workouts on how to build a workout routine. How to build a strength training routine, in particular, upper body workouts, lower body workouts, full body workouts, push pull legs, and many others.
Hey, before we continue, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please consider checking out my v i p one-on-one coaching service. Now my team and I have helped thousands of people. Of all ages, circumstances, and needs.
So no matter how complicated or maybe even hopeless you might think your situation is, we will figure out how to get you the results you want. Every diet and training program we create is 100% custom. We provide daily workout logs and we do weekly accountability calls. Our clients get priority email service, as well as discounts on supplements, and the list goes on and on.
To learn more, just head over to legion athletics.com/coaching, and if you like what you see, schedule your free consultation call now. There’s normally a wait list to work with our coaches and new slots do fill up very quickly. So if this sounds even remotely interesting to you, head over to legion athletics.com/coaching now and schedule your free consultation call and let’s see if our program is a good fit for you.
I. Alright, so let’s move on to the next major point, uh, that you should incorporate into your routine right now, and that is to eat well. Now we know that grocery stores are struggling to meet the demands of panic shoppers and they’re struggling to keep their shelves stocked. But you know what? They’re not running out of, or at least what most or many are not running out of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains.
The nutritious stuff, of course. And yeah, these foods don’t keep as well, and they aren’t as attractive for stockpiling. But when people are scared, they don’t turn to broccoli, oranges, and bananas. For solace, that’s what frozen pizza, ice cream and mac and cheese are for, and. Please try not to be one of these people because not only is eating recklessly going to result in unwanted weight gain, it’s also gonna make it harder to shift back to healthier eating when the coronavirus has passed.
So instead of using this current, Predicament as an excuse to become a human garbage disposal. Why not flip the script and get better at preparing delicious and nutritious home cooked meals instead? And to that point, let me share a few tips with you. The first one is, now is a great time to learn to cook delicious and nutritious meals because with restaurants closed or only accepting.
Takeout, which often tastes like, but in my experience as well as disposable income, dwindling for many people, cooking is becoming a, a prized skill right now. What’s more, it’s also a skill that is going to pay dividends for the rest of your life. If you can cook good food, you can save money, you can improve your dietary compliance.
You can promote healthy eating habits, not just for you, but anyone who lives with you. And there’s also something to be said for not having to rely on other people and businesses to provide one of our most basic needs, which is sustenance and hopefully tasty sustenance, right? Because it’s not that hard learning to cook.
Good food is not difficult for starters. You can pick up just about any popular cookbook and just choose one of the simpler recipes in it. Follow the instructions as best you can, and you’re probably gonna enjoy the result. What can be trickier though, is making mouthwatering food that is not loaded with calories because anything tastes good.
If you put enough butter, sugar, and salt in it, but it does take some creativity and skill to make delicious fair from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, seafood, dairy, and so forth with minimal added fat and sugar. Luckily, there are cookbooks for that as well, and here are some of my favorites for beginners.
You have the Shredded Chef by yours truly. You have the Skinny Taste Cookbook. It’s actually a series of. Of cookbooks by Gina Homolka, I believe. So there’s the Skinny Taste Cookbook. That was the first, and then there’s Skinny Taste One and Done. That’s another one that has a lot of simple, tasty, let’s say diet friendly or calorie friendly dishes.
And another is The Racing Weight Cookbook by Matt Fitzgerald. Now, if you are already a half. Way decent cook, and you would like to use this time to take your skills to the next level. Here are a few books to consider. One is Cook Wise by Shirley Krier. Krier, yeah. C O r R i, her h e r. Now, not all of the recipes in this are macro friendly or fitness friendly, but the author does give you an excellent overview of the fundamentals of good cooking and the science of good cooking, and with some simple little.
Hacks. You can easily reduce the calories and fat in just about any type of recipe. There are a lot of good tips for that online. Uh, Gina Homolka has some good ones on our website. Actually, another book that you should consider if you are an intermediate. Cook is the new Artisan Bread in five minutes per day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.
And this is particularly helpful right now with many stores running out of packaged bread and fresh bread is easy to make and destroys packaged bread. I love fresh bread. It’s almost a dessert to me. Really good fresh bread with just butter is delicious. Another cookbook that anyone who takes their cooking seriously should have is the Betty.
Crocker Cookbook by Betty Crocker. This is really just a classic and it has been updated many, many times, has a lot of fantastic recipes. And last but not least, is on food and cooking the Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. Now, this is the most advanced and comprehensive cookbook on my list, but it is also one of the most detailed and illuminating.
So if you really like. To nerd out on the art and science of making great food. You’re gonna like this. I would not recommend though reading it until you’ve read, probably Cook Wise, at least by Shirley Corer. Now, if you’re looking for an even larger variety of recipes, or if you just don’t really want to buy any cookbooks right now, you can also sign up for an online meal planning service and they’ll give you detailed instructions, graphics, and so forth.
Now these services do charge a monthly fee, but in return you get complete weekly menus along with recipes and grocery lists, and some even provide nutrition facts for all of the meals and the ability to sort them by dietary preferences or filter them by dietary preferences like vegetarian, keto, low carb, and so forth.
And a few of the more popular ones are cook smarts, plate joy, and emails. And now there are many online cooking classes as well. A few good ones are Gordon Ramsey’s Masterclass [email protected], the Instructables cooking class, which is instructables.com. It’s slash class slash cooking hyphen class.
But if you just search their website for cooking class, you’ll find it. And then there is Cooking Basics by the Great Courses Plus over at the great courses plus.com. And specifically it’s called Cooking Basics, what Everyone Should Know, and it is by Sean Collenberg. And last but not least here is all the recipes that are [email protected].
We have quite a few recipe posts over at the blog. And so if you go to legion athletics.com, go to the blog, and then you’ll see there’s, you can select categories and you wanna select recipes. And so we have all kinds of stuff overnight, oats waffles, omelets, grits, smoothies. Ground bison recipes, chicken pasta, recipes, Japanese curry recipes, sausage ground Turkey, chicken, salmon, Cajun meatball casserole list goes on and on.
There’s a lot over there, so you might find some stuff. To enjoy there as well. Alright, my next tip for eating well during the Coronavirus crisis is to create and follow a meal plan. And especially if you’ve never done this before, if you have never followed a proper meal plan, now is the ideal time to start.
Now, a meal plan is like a personal schedule, but it’s for your diet. It tells you what to eat and when to eat it so you can achieve your body composition and your health goals. And so that means, of course, that it helps you regulate your calories. And your macronutrients, and it helps ensure you’re eating enough nutritious foods and that you’re eating on a schedule that works for you.
So you might do better with fewer meals per day than me. For example, I like to eat five or six times per day, but some people only like to eat three times per day. Some people like to skip breakfast and do intermittent fasting. Some people like to eat more food earlier in the day and less food later on in the day.
And some people like to do the opposite. So by going through the process of meal planning, you will learn what. Works best for you. And what’s also nice about it is it more or less guarantees results and it’s also more enjoyable and it’s definitely more time efficient than trying to track your meals on the fly.
Using a calorie counting app like MyFitnessPal and meal planning is also particularly helpful for people who tend to use food to deal with boredom and stress, like the boredom and stress resulting from weeks and I guess maybe even months of, of self quarantining. Right? Now people who successfully use meal plans to lose fat and gain muscle also almost always tend to be the most successful intuitive eaters as well, because through meal planning, these people have developed an accurate sense, and this happens naturally to everybody.
If you get in the habit, you will do this too. You will start to understand intuitively how much. Food you should be eating. And thus, when you’re not following a plan, you’ll just be less likely to accidentally overeat because you’ll be able to follow your body’s natural signals of hunger and fullness.
So if you want to learn how to create an effective meal plan and just head over to legion athletics.com, search for meal planning. And there’s an article, there are a couple on meal planning, but there’s one called The Definitive Guide to Effective Meal Planning, and that really gives you everything you need to know.
And if you don’t feel like creating a meal plan on your own, my sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics, does have pre-made meal plans for sale. And these are for fat loss and muscle gain for men and women. And we also offer custom meal plans where we build a meal plan precisely tailored to your goals and preferences.
And you can find those things in our store [email protected]. The former, the pre-made meal plans are, In the store as an item, and then the latter. The custom meal plans are on our coaching page, which is linked on the menu. Okay, moving on here to the next Eating Well tip, and that is to use online tools to buy healthy food.
So you’re self quarantining. Hopefully you’re not sick. But you might just not feel like going to the grocery store to buy food. And I understand, although I kind of like grocery shopping, I also don’t like that it feels like a waste of time. And so what you can do is you can pay a small fee to have food brought to you.
For example, there are a number of food ordering services that just make healthy eating a lot more convenient, like ButcherBox and public goods and us. Wellness meets. You have Amazon Prime fresh delivery, which I understand depending on where you live. There may not be any delivery windows open. They are very slammed, at least where I live, here in Northern Virginia.
But there are pickup times that open up throughout the day. I haven’t seen a delivery time open, but I’ve seen pickup times open, which saves times. So somebody does your grocery shopping for you. You just show up and pick up your bags and leave. And yes, you pay a small fee for that, but if it’s worth it to you, it’s worth it.
Instacart is uh, in the same boat right now. Instacart, at least in my area, has no delivery windows openly available. You have to, I guess, keep an eye on it and they release ’em as they become available, but maybe different where you live. Purple Carrot is another option for getting food delivered to you as well as Blue Apron.
Okay, let’s move on to the next big lever that you can pull. While you are stuck inside to emerge a little bit better, and that is to stay productive and busy. Now, I would say that you should ignore this advice at your peril because if you do not spend most of your time purposefully right now, productively, you are going to come out of this in a worse place.
Mentally and emotionally. So think lethargy, depression, despair, and the like. And on the other hand, if you want to bolster your morale, then you want to occupy yourself. Actually, you want to preoccupy yourself with meaningful activities, and that includes, I. Work, of course, but also anything that aligns with a goal of yours.
If you can do this, if you can put most of your time into meaningful activities, you’re gonna be less tempted to fall into bad habits. You know, idle hands, do the devil’s work and all that. So at the very least, by focusing on your goals, that’s gonna keep you from filling your days with Netflix and video games and food.
In fact, one of the best diet hacks out there is just staying busy. You might be surprised how little you think about food when your attention is on other things, especially if they are engrossing and interesting. Another benefit of staying productive and busy during this downtime is you’re gonna feel better about yourself.
So remember the dark playground that we spoke about earlier. Staying busy is the best way to tune out its siren song and to quell feelings of guilt, doubts, and anxiety, if you can just focus on what’s in front of you that you can control and then just do your best things will likely work out fine in the end.
Lastly, If you follow my advice here, you may be in a better position financially because some people are saying that the economy is going to soar back or it’s likely to soar upward this summer, like a phoenix rising from the coronavirus ashes, and others are saying it’s probably gonna limp along like a wounded animal.
For a year or more, and others still are saying that we’re already approaching the point of no return and a global depression is on the horizon. Now, I’m not an economist, so I’m not sure what to think, but I know this no matter who’s right, if I can work hard now, you can do the same thing than we are going to be better prepared for whatever comes next, good, bad, or middling.
And so if you’re on the same page here, let’s talk about now how specifically you should stay busy and productive. So the first one is the big obvious one, right? It’s just work as much as you can if you can work. And now that you don’t have to commute, you don’t have to attend meetings or probably as many meetings or.
You don’t even have to get dressed anymore. Chances are you have some extra time on your hands. Some people have an extra couple hours per day now, and if it’s possible, I recommend to pour that into your work. I mean, look at it this way. If you are working for someone else, then this is a great opportunity to not only demonstrate your dedication and set yourself up for a post coronavirus reward, but it’s also.
A great opportunity to help your company do as well as it possibly can during this economic shakeup. And remember, millions of people have already lost their jobs, so if you still have one, you should be thankful and you should be willing to. To show that Now, if you work for yourself, I’ll bet many of your competitors are scrambling right now.
I know a number of mine are, especially those who rely mostly on retail or on Amazon. So anyways, this may be a chance to outpace your competitors and gobble up some market share. For example, advertising right now online is cheaper than it’s been in a long time. The pandemic has created a lot of demand for certain types of products and information, and you can think about how you and your business might be able to tap into that and provide people with.
Help that they’re seeking. For example, that’s why I put together the long home workout guide [email protected] and instead of selling it, I just wanted to give it away for free. I always like to do that whenever possible, and I’ve always used that strategy in my content production is giveaway as much great free content as possible.
So then people are interested in checking out what else I have. And so in the case of that home workout article, it’s already at about a hundred thousand page views and it’s getting several thousand page views per day, anywhere between two and 10,000 page views per day. And so again, the point is, in your business, if you have a business, if you work for yourself, is there any way you can get creative right now and generate a lot of goodwill?
Again, give people help that they are. Seeking and even if it doesn’t make you much money right now, it can turn into more support. When things go back to normal, many people are going to remember the help that you gave them. So for example, with that home workout article, I’m not sure how much money that article has made me, but I know that a lot of people have really appreciated it.
They’ve reached out to tell me how much they’ve appreciated it, and who knows. At some point maybe they’ll come back around and buy something. And that’s also why I did a charity sale and donated over $10,000 to the Center for Disease Philanthropy. One, I like to support causes that I believe in. I give a fair amount of my own personal income to charity.
I just don’t really talk about it. But last year I gave probably close to 10% of my personal income to groups and even individuals through Patreon and subscribe Star whose work I like and who I. Want to support, and I think that’s important. It’s one thing to say that you support something or say that you believe in something, but it’s another thing altogether to give either your money or your time or both.
And so I think it’s actually hypocritical for people to say how much they believe in some cause or some person, and then give no time or no money to it. So I wanted to give money to help fight the coronavirus. And so I found my team and I found a great smaller charity, very high ranking on Charity Navigator, 92.22% did a charity sale on our health supplements, and donated 20% of the profits to the Center for Disease Philanthropy.
And that came out to over $10,000. And now we’re actually just gonna continue it. We’re not gonna continue it with a sale, but I’m just gonna continue donating a portion of. All profits to the C D P until we’re over the hump on this thing, and I’ll be announcing that over on the website. I’ll make it clear on the website for people browsing that from now until the worst of this is behind us, I’m gonna be giving a portion of legion’s profits.
To a charity that is helping first responders and people who have been hit the hardest by this disease. And I’m doing that because I believe in it personally, but it’s also good business. It’s good marketing, it’s good public relations. People like to know that when they spend some money with me, a portion of it is going to another good cause.
A lot of people like. My cause with Legion to help reform the sports nutrition industry and help raise the bar on what it means to be a science backed supplement company. But they also appreciate that I’m willing to give up a portion of the money they give me to help people who need help. Okay, let’s get back on track here and talk about how to get the most.
Out of your work. So first, review the steps at the beginning of this podcast on how to set up an effective daily routine, because that’s crucial. And once you have that in place, it helps to set up a productive workstation, particularly true if you don’t normally work at home. So that means brushing up on some basic ergonomics basically, and just trying to make your workstation check all the major boxes.
It’s. Hard to get a lot of work done when you’re uncomfortable and if you’re used to having a comfy workstation, you might not realize how much of a difference it makes. So the biggest things you need to get right are you want to have the top of your computer screen at just above eye level. You want you computer screen to be about an arm’s length away from your foot.
Face your hands should be at or slightly below your elbows when you’re typing. Your back should be slightly reclined, more or less vertical though, and your knees should be about the same height as your hips. If you do those things, you will be maximally comfortable. And so you won’t be distracted from your work by annoying aches and pains.
You may also wanna consider getting a standing desk so you can alternate between standing and sitting. Now this isn’t gonna help you burn very many calories, contrary to what some people say. And sitting per se is not as unhealthy as some people would have you believe. But it is nice to take a break from sitting all day.
Another major factor. For productivity is noise. You want to ensure that your workspace is as quiet as possible, and as Cal Newport explains again in his book, deep Work that I recommend, A Wealth of data shows that even seemingly innocuous distractions like a conversation in the next room or a text message that’s buzzing on your phone, an email notification, all these things can significantly derail your focus and disrupt your productivity.
Alright, moving on. Moving on. What else should you do with your time? What else can you do that is productive and meaningful outside of just your work? Well, I recommend that you start putting time into, if you’re not already reading Great Books now this is, I. Probably not surprising. If you’re familiar with me and my work, I encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you much like compound interest.
The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the more you can do, and the more you can do, the more opportunities you have to succeed. It really is that simple. Now, on the flip side, I also believe that there is little hope. For people who are not perpetual learners, life is overwhelmingly complex and chaotic, and it slowly but surely drowns and devours the lazy and ignorant.
So if you haven’t seen the bottom of your. T B R pile since birth. Maybe you can make a dent in it by the time the quarantine is lifted. And if you haven’t finished a book in about as long, maybe you can glimpse a little bit of what you’ve been missing. Now, as for specific book recommendations, here are several that are particularly relevant to right now.
I think. There is meditations by Marcus Aurelius, thinking In Systems by Danella h Meadows, principles by Ray Dalio. The Lessons of History by Will Durant, the War of Art by Stephen Pressfield, the Magic of Thinking, big by David Schwartz. Resilience by Eric Greitens. The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday and a message to Garcia by Albert Hubbard.
And now here are some books that are great for enhancing your health, happiness, and hardiness Some of my favorites. Deep Work by Cal Newport. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven r Covey, the One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, the Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J.
Stanley. Mastery by Robert Green. Good to Great by Jim c Collins, flow by McKayley Chicks, McKayley Peak Performance by Brad Stohlberg and Steve Magnus. Getting Things done by David Allen. Bigger, leaner, stronger by some guy named Mike Matthews. Thinner, leaner, stronger for women, and the little Black Book of Workout Motivation, also by Misa.
Now I have more book recommendations. Naturally. I wanna share some of my favorite biographies that I think are also relevant because here are some stories that can remind us what we humans can overcome. We can overcome things much worse than c Ovid 19. So there is Julius Caesar by Philip Freeman, Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman.
Benjamin Franklin in American Life by Walter Isaacson, Elon Musk by Ashley Vance, band of Brothers by Stephen e Ambrose, Titan by Ron Chernow, grant by Ron Chernow. Tesla by w Bernard Carlson Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko and Shadow Divers by Robert Kirson. Lastly, yes. Here’s my last little list. I haven’t read much fiction in the last several years.
I’ve stuck most to non-fiction, but a few standouts are American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis, Fahrenheit 4 51 by Ray Bradbury. I. The Lord of the Rings by J r r Tolkien, the Born Identity by Robert Ludlum, world War Z by Max Brooks and Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. Okey-dokey. So that’s books. Let’s talk articles now because if I had a nickel for all the times I’ve come across an interesting well-written article and then.
Saved it to Instapaper. You may use Pocket, I use Instapaper and then never saw it again. I would be making money in a very odd way. And if you can sympathize, let’s make some headway together, shall we? And if your article aggregator is lonelier, or if you don’t even have one, here are some. A plus options to fill it with there is the checklist by Atul Gawande, A T U L G A W A N D E.
Edward Snowden by James Bamford, the secret history of Tiger Woods by Wright Thompson. Secrets of the Little Blue Box by Ron Rosenbaum, snowfall by John Branch. Why Procrastinators Procrastinate by Tim Urban. Chaos at the top of the world by Joshua Hammer. That time George Lucas asked a guy from Pittsburgh to join him in Rule The Galaxy by Anthony Breznik, B R E Z N I C A N.
The perfect irony that the Wolf of Wall Street film was also a real life scam, crazy story by Zan Burnett, Z a r. O n Burnett, what really happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane by William Lanisha, L A N G E W I E Ss c h e. That’s a very German name. And the man who captures criminals for the d e a by playing them by je Jiji.
Oh, these names are killing me. Y u D. H I J I T. That’s the first name. Last name is B H A t t a c H A R J E E. Alright, articles done. Let’s move on to podcasts. And I have a confession to make. I usually don’t make the time to listen to podcasts because. My time is limited these days and I prefer reading, but if you choose wisely, podcasts can be one of the easiest ways to learn interesting and useful information to find compelling stories and to better understand how the world works and some that I’ve liked are Mind pump.
Also good guys, friends, revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell. Startup, which I recommend you go back and just listen to the beginning. This is from Gimlet Media, by the way, startup History of Rome by Mike Duncan. Hardcore history by Dan Carlin, lore by Aaron Mankey, M A H N K E, serial by W B E Z, and the TED Interview Podcast by Ted Talks.
Okay, so we’ve learned a lot of things. We’ve done a lot of work. We’ve worked out. We’ve naed and nourished, and now let’s talk about rest and relaxation. And hey, if we’re gonna park ourselves in front of the tv, we might as well make it something great, right? Then waste our time on much of the pap that the streaming services are full of these days.
So here are some mic approved movies and documentaries that you might like. The Defiant ones. Man on Wire, the War by Ken Burns, the Godfather Trilogy, Spartacus, the 1960 version. Gone with the Wind Black Hawk Down Band of Brothers, Lawrence of Arabia, the Shawshank Redemption. I. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, taxi driver, Dr.
Strange Love, which is a fun kind of end of the world satire. If you wanna laugh at the current state of things, and if you have a dark sense of humor, you’ll like it. Braveheart, Raiders of the Lost Arc, the Incredibles Memento, live, die, repeat, edge of Tomorrow, Stargate Downfall. Idiocracy, please watch Idiocracy if you have not seen it yet, because it is a disturbing but hilarious vision of what’s to come.
Goldeneye the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Office space headhunters. And Pirates of the Caribbean, and as for TV shows, my recommendations are really just gonna be throwbacks because I don’t keep up with modern tv, but bear with me. I remember loving the first season of Lost and then it got bad from there.
I remember loving the first season of True Detective and did not like the second, I didn’t make it very far before quitting that one. Same thing with Dexter. I think the first two seasons I remember really liking and then not liking it. Sherlock was fun. Archer makes me laugh. The Americans is something I’m watching, a couple cardio sessions per week, so I’m slowly chipping my way through it, um, toward the end of the first season, and I’m impressed.
It’s very well written, well acted. I think they do a good job. Breaking Bad was a lot of fun. Chernobyl was outstanding. The expanse was cool. I was sick like a year ago for a few days, and just sat on the couch and watched Expanse all day. Eventually it got a bit wonky, but I remember liking it, I think through the entire first season.
I don’t remember how far I made it, but I thought it was pretty good. Battlestar Galactica was fun. The more recent version of the show, not the old one, and turn also was fun. The Revolutionary War Show. Oh, right. Well that was a lot, right? And hey, this nasty new coronavirus will have most of us bunkered down in our homes for at least a few more weeks.
Hopefully not months. That would be a bit absurd. So we might as well make moves to make the most of the situation that we’re faced with, right? Some people are wilding away their days, panic posting on social media, surfing the streaming services, and sucking down a steady stream of cheap calories. But why not do.
The opposite. Why not use this pandemic to double down on improving your productivity and your health and your knowledge? And that doesn’t have to be hard either. In fact, in some ways it’s probably easier to do now than it’s been in a long time because for many of us, I. There’s not much else to do, right?
So at bottom what I recommend is establish a daily routine that manages your time effectively and then just stick to it every day. And that routine should include some sort of exercise to help you maintain your muscle and strength and general fitness. And that, of course, is also gonna help you stay in the habit of working out until you can get back into the gym.
I also recommend that you allot some time in your schedule to preparing healthy meals at home using. Whole minimally processed fresh foods. And if you don’t know how to cook cookbooks, online recipes and courses and meal planning services are a plenty. You should also consider making and following a meal plan, which makes managing your body composition much easier, and especially when you’re not very active and when you are surrounded by food like you are at home and battling.
Boredom and stress. And to that point then one of the most important things you can do, one of the most important ways you can manage your time right now is productivity. Doing things that are purposeful, like work or anything else that brings you closer to a goal that you. Care about, and this more than anything is gonna help keep your spirits up and help you thrive.
After all this is over and yes, it will end. This is not gonna last forever. Lastly, I recommend you use your leisure time wisely. Read great books, read great articles. Listen to great podcasts. Watch great movies. Watch great TV shows. Think education, cultivation, and fascination. Not vegetation. I thought that was pretty clever.
Anyway, do all of that and in, uh, the next month or two, you’re gonna be able to pat yourself on the back for making capital out of this crisis. I. All right. Well, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever you are listening from?
Because those reviews not only convince people that they should check out the show, they also increase the search visibility. And help more people find their way to me and to the podcast and learn how to build their best body ever as well. And of course, if you wanna be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and whatever app you’re using.
To listen and you will not miss out on any of the new stuff that I have coming. And last. If you didn’t like something about the show, then definitely shoot me an email at [email protected] and share your thoughts. Let me know how you think I could do this better. I read every email myself and I’m always looking for constructive feedback.
All right, thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.
+ Scientific References
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- Otto MW, Church TS, Craft LL, Greer TL, Smits JAJ, Trivedi MH. Exercise for mood and anxiety disorders. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;9(4):287-294. doi:10.4088/PCC.v09n0406
- Lally P, van Jaarsveld CHM, Potts HWW, Wardle J. How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. Eur J Soc Psychol. 2010;40(6):998-1009. doi:10.1002/ejsp.674