Don’t be scared that Halloween candy will ruin your diet

Halloween Candy

Ah, Halloween. That one day of the year where we stock up on bags upon bags of delicious candy that we plan to give out to the endless kids that knock at our door.

Except, they often don’t.

And, in 2020, they likely won’t.

Then we’re left with all that delicious candy, just staring at us each time we open the pantry door looking for a “healthy” snack. We eat some. We eat some more. Then we decide that we have ruined our last few weeks or months of dieting and so tell ourselves we may as well give up and go back to our unhealthy eating habits.

Halloween ruined everything!

True story? It doesn’t have to be. Halloween is indeed just one day out of 365 where your diet can go off the rails. Even if you factor in Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other major holidays, you’re still looking at over 350 days of the year where you can be mindful of what you eat. That leaves you with a 95%+ success rate!

In other words, eat your Halloween candy, enjoy it. And then get right back on track with your healthy eating plan. If you have WAY too much candy or still worry you may revert back to your old diet, here are some tips to help:

  1. Set aside one day’s worth of candy and then throw the remainder away.
  2. Too extreme? Freeze the remaining candy for another day or celebration. Frozen candy takes time to thaw and so less tempting.
  3. Donate your candy to a local mission or shelter.
  4. Use a small piece of candy during a lengthy or vigorous workout. A quick boost of carbs to help reenergize you!

I still eat candy. Not every day. Not much. I usually eat the bite-size, not the family size. I remind myself of the calorie content and ask myself if I’ve earned it or truly need it.

Don’t feel like you need to give up Halloween and its delicious excuse for a candy treat. Just be sure you remember this is just a treat, don’t trick yourself otherwise!

Helping Duke Health spread stroke and heart health awareness

Duke Health photo of Andy Beal

I have been working with Duke Health, one of the most respected hospital systems in the country, spread the word about heart attack and stroke awareness, prevention, and treatment.

Here’s an extract from their feature piece:

The stroke was preventing blood from reaching the left side of Beal’s brain. Doctors refer to this as an occlusion. Beal needed treatment fast. He was transferred by helicopter to Duke University Hospital in Durham where the stroke team was waiting.

“We talk about it like this: time is brain,” said Dr. Fernando Gonazalez, a Duke vascular neurosurgeon who specializes in stroke care. “Every minute you have an artery that is occluded, you’re losing two million neurons,” “No other emergency in medicine is as time-dependent as stroke.”

You can read the full article here:

If you want to learn more, don’t forget to pre-order my new book, Optimize Your Heart.

Read the intro to my new book for free & learn how to help the American Stroke Association on #WorldStrokeDay

Optimize Your Heart

My new book, Optimize Your Heart: A practical guide to lowering your risk of a heart attack or stroke, hits Amazon on October 29th. That happens to be World Stroke Day and that’s not a coincidence.

Order Optimize Your Heart on Amazon Button

Optimize Your Heart is a blend of my personal story with simple, proven steps anyone can undertake to improve their cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you would like to learn more about how Optimize Your Heart can help anyone, of any age, then look for the link below to download a free chapter.

Once you see just how valuable Optimize Your Heart can be, you can go ahead and place a pre-order for the Kindle version right now! It will be downloaded to your Kindle or tablet on October 29th. You can also wait until October 29th and purchase the paperback version of Optimize Your Heart.

Either way, you will be helping the American Stroke Association as 50% of the profits from all pre-orders and first day sales will be donated to help fund Stroke treatment, research, and awareness.

Click to download the introduction from the book Optimize Your Heart

Download the introduction from the book Optimize Your Heart.

Order Optimize Your Heart on Amazon Button

What happens to your body when you go for a walk?

If there’s just one exercise you do for the rest of your life, it should be walking. Studies show that simply adding 20 minutes of brisk walking each day can reduce the risk of mortality by 24% in people of normal weight and by 16% in people who are obese. And walking just 20 minutes a day will help you burn over 10lbs in a year!

And that’s not all!

MyFitnessPal has put together this cool little graphic to explain all of the benefits your body gets from walking.

Why I want to encourage you to be more eccentric when working out 🤪

Eccentric is often defined as:

a person of unconventional and slightly strange views or behavior.

Wow, that sounds just like me! 🤪

However, when I say that I want you to be more eccentric when working out, I don’t mean wearing crazy colors and boogieing between sets to your favorite playlist (although, please send a video if you do!) What I mean is being mindful of the eccentric component of any exercise your perform.

When you work a muscle, there are three components that can contribute. Concentric, eccentric, and isometric*. This image will help explain the three: Continue reading “Why I want to encourage you to be more eccentric when working out 🤪”

This one simple coffee hack will help me lose more than 7 lbs!

Admit it. Part of you didn’t want to click on this article because you thought “no way that can be true!” but part of you was curious anyway. Well, it’s true and it was really simple. Let me explain what I discovered.

I love my morning coffee. In fact, I will drink at least 3 cups in the morning and sometimes even 4 cups. I normally drink half-caf coffee, so it’s not a simple case of just wanting the caffeine. I love the taste.

Even during my diet and fitness overhaul, I have used full-fat half & half creamer in my coffee. Mostly because it was organic and cheap at Costco. However, that’s 40 extra calories per cup of coffee. Well, today, I finally made a change and switched to a coconut-almond creamer that has just 15 calories per serving.

25 calories saved X 3 cups X 365 (yes, I drink coffee every day) ÷ 3500 (the standard number of calories per 1lb) = 7.82 lbs lost over the next year!

Wow! Nearly 8 pounds will be lost over the next 12 months and all I did was switch coffee creamers!!!

Not only does that show you how hidden calories can quickly add up to extra pounds over a year, but there are many that you can cut or substitute and subsequently lose weight without much effort.

Take a look in your pantry. Take a look at your daily diet. What can you change? Start small and you can still see big results!

Why I’m excited that I only lost 1lb during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic

Once the 2019 holiday festivities were behind me I switched my focus and training to my March 15th goal–complete my 2nd half-marathon and crush my previous time. I trained hard, completed many runs, and was ready to line up and race. Then, 3 days before race day, the race was canceled and the state of North Carolina joined many other states in a Coronavirus/COVID-19 lockdown and keeping everyone at home.

I was devastated, but instead of quitting altogether, I adjusted my plans and worked harder than ever on my health. Over the last 3 months, I have stayed committed to my diet, exercise, and mental health plans and, after weighing in this week?

I lost 1 pound–and I’m pretty happy with that number. Here’s why…

Continue reading “Why I’m excited that I only lost 1lb during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic”

5 reasons why cross-training is for everyone, not just athletes!


When I first started working out and getting healthy I heard the phrase “cross-training” many times, but never really looked into what it actually meant. Before I give you my own definition, here’s the official definition of cross-training:

the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance in one’s main sport. “most serious athletes in any sport these days do some form of cross-training”

And with that definition, I never considered myself that much of an expert in any one sport so I didn’t need to worry about improving it by adding a complementary activity.

These days, I have come up with my own definition for cross-training:

adding variety to your main exercise of choice so that you don’t get bored, fatigued, or hit a plateau

Allow me to explain the benefits of cross-training for those of us that don’t aspire to become an elite athlete. Continue reading “5 reasons why cross-training is for everyone, not just athletes!”

The Beginner’s Fitness Checklist – 7 key initial steps for building a healthier you

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have already made a decision to improve your health and fitness. There’s also a good chance you’re not sure where to start.

That’s why I created The Beginner’s Fitness Checklist!

I have put together 7 key steps everyone should consider before jumping in and getting started on a path to a healthier YOU!

The Beginner's Fitness Checklist
Click to enlarge The Beginner’s Fitness Checklist

What’s your fitness goal? I’ve found it vital to have some kind of goal in mind when starting any new fitness goal. If you don’t set a goal, you won’t have something to focus on. Continue reading “The Beginner’s Fitness Checklist – 7 key initial steps for building a healthier you”