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It’s not surprising that the vast majority of people these days own a smartphone. It makes our lives way more convenient — we get to communicate with each other in a whole new way. We are now constantly connected. The myriad of games, articles, and social media posts can often serve as a distraction. But what if we can take advantage of our phones in order to reach our fitness goals?

Turns out, there are tons of apps available for download. Think about what part of losing or gaining weight is difficult for you. I bet there’s an app that can help you! Do you have trouble tracking your macros or calories? Wasting time looking for good music? Not sure how to perform certain exercises? Need a structured workout plan? Whatever your goals, there’s free options and paid options so you can download these apps and take them to the gym with you.

If you want to get serious about your goals, download one or more of these apps. These are some of my favorites!

  1. Streaming Music

There’s a lot of apps available that allows you to stream music! The most popular ones are Spotify, Pandora, Fit Radio and Youtube. Each of these apps has a free version and a paid (subscription-based, monthly fee) version. The free versions are okay, but if you’re serious about having ad-free music at your fingers, I recommend investing in the premium services. There’s nothing worse than running through a difficult mile or pushing for your last rep, really vibing to the song, then an advertisement blares in your ears!
Each app has their pros and cons. Spotify has a pretty cool radio feature similar to Pandora and also has the ability to make your own playlists, unlike Pandora. Pandora is for those who don’t like to sit there and manually add songs to a playlist — just pick an artist you like and the app will play similar sounding songs, so you’re sure to enjoy. Fit Radio acts the same way — if you hate making playlists or don’t have time, try Pandora or Fit Radio.

Fit Radio is an app made specifically for the fitness crowd. There are playlists for running, walking, yoga, lifting heavy, and dancing, to name a few. You can choose by genre also but they excel in the EDM/Dubstep categories. Fit Radio is unique because they keep a constant beat which is important if you’re running for an hour or taking a Spinning class. The free version of Fit Radio is extremely limiting. But if you want to pay the $5 a month, you get a ton more content and the freedom to choose the genre or workout style and honestly, it’s probably worth it.

But if you want to listen to a particular song or want more freedom, look into Spotify or Youtube. The free Spotify app is pretty limiting, you’ll need to shell out some money to be able to listen to any particular song — otherwise, the free version only lets you shuffle the available songs. But they have a huge variety of artists available. Spotify also has a running radio where they will actually match the beat to your pace — which is a must for long runs.

The Youtube app is not great for free users either; you have to have the app open to watch the videos. If you like having your phone in your pocket or armband, then this might not be the most secure. However, the Youtube Red (premium version) is pretty great — you get access to ad-free use and you do not have to have your phone open to listen to the audio. I have never had trouble finding great playlists either made by myself or by using the search feature, and you’re not limited by what Pandora thinks you’ll like or if you like to have a variety of different genres of music within your playlist.


  1. Counting Calories/Macros

If you’re at all serious about your fitness goals, whether it be to lose fat or gain muscle mass, at some point you are going to need to count your calories and probably your macros, too. My Fitness Pal is the main one, but there are others worth looking into, such as Lose it and Lifesum.


My Fitness Pal is a food and exercise diary. They are a website that came out with an extremely useful and fully functional app. Anyone from stay at home moms to IFBB Pro bodybuilders use My Fitness Pal, and for good reason. It has an easy to use interface and the app makes the tedious task of counting a lot easier! You can add calories by using the search feature or by scanning the bar code. Input your serving size and your meal. You can also track your cardio, strength exercises, and your water intake. There’s a spot to take notes. There’s weekly and monthly reports. There’s a nutritional evaluation section, so you can see if you’re getting enough micronutrients too. If you have a wearable fitness watch or band like Fitbit or Apple Watch, you can sync devices. This is all for the free version, by the way.


There are some limitations in the free, although you’d have to decide if paying for the premium version is worth it. The free users cannot decide if the exercise calories they’ve burned are added to the calories to eat total. Some people do not want to eat back their exercises calories, and some should not, especially since My Fitness Pal tends to overestimate (if you sync your fitness tracker, this may be more accurate, however). You will also get more control over how many meals you want and if you want to set a calorie goal for each meal. A huge advantage for premium users is the ability to set a different calorie goal for each day. This is perfect for those who want to eat less calories or less carbs on their non-workout days, and for bodybuilders who use calorie cycling methods for fat loss.

Lose It and Lifesum are two other big calorie counting apps. They have a lot of the same features as described above for My Fitness Pal, with differences in the look of the user interface and with differences in the amount of food in the database (MFP tends to have the largest). Both have free and premium options. Lose It has a new “Snap it” feature where it analyzes your photo of your food to get the nutritional information! Pretty cool! If you hate manually adding your calories, try Lose It’s snap feature.

Lifesum is slightly different because it offers ways to help you in other aspects of health, too, like reminders to drink your water and ways to help you if you’re having a tough day. It also has a beautiful interface that’s easy to use!


  1. Get Running!

Many people have the goal to start running and the best way to do that is to get on a structured walking/running interval program! The best one is the Couch to 5K app that works for thousands of people, including yours truly. The official app is designed by Zen Labs Fitness, so be sure to download the correct one for the best experience. You will run three days a week for 8 weeks. Each week you will run slightly longer than your walking intervals and by the end you will be able to run for 30 minutes straight! The app allows you to listen to your own music while the app’s narrator alerts you to “start running” or “start walking.” It’s simple, it works, and it’s a proven program to go from walking to running. Best of all, it’s a free app. Try it out! If you need a new challenge, they also have programs to help you run a 10K or a 13.1!


Other notable running apps are Zombies, Run! – a fun audio game that allows you to pretend you’re running away from zombies. If you’re easily bored by your treadmill runs, or want to spice up your outdoor run, this is a fun way to do it.

Every runner needs a way to track their mileage and other stats. There’s apps that will connect to your GPS and track how many miles you ran and how many calories you burned. Map My Run or Runkeeper are great options to try out.

  1. Workouts in Your Hand!

Okay, we got our music, we are tracking our calories, we’re running, now what? We need to hit the gym! If you’re lost on what to do inside the gym, there are apps for that, too. If you want to get seriously strong, try Stronglifts 5×5. It’s an app that tracks your progression on the popular Stronglifts workout using five main barbell exercises for 5 sets and 5 reps! Want something for cardio/fat burning? Try SWEAT by Kayla Itsines! It’s a tough HIIT workout that uses torturous and fun Crossfit style workouts like burpees, squat jumps, and ab work! This is only available as a paid version, however, and it’s pretty pricey. Want a free workout? Try Bodyspace, the app designed by with the full library of their workouts designed by IFBB pros and trainers.

  1. Doing Intervals? You’ll Need This!

If you’re interested in doing High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Tabata style workouts, you’ll need a timer! Try Tabata Timer or Interval Timer apps on your app store — they are mostly the same with simple interfaces and fully customizable whether your HIIT is 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off or 1 minute on, 1 minute off!

  1. Meal Planning, Recipes, and Inspiration!

There’s inspiration everywhere you look on your phone! You can utilize the social media apps you probably already have — Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat — to scroll through meal prep ideas, inspirational quotes, and helpful videos/articles about fitness. Another huge source of inspiration is Pinterest! You can save helpful pics on your board and scroll through when you need a dinner idea, or a workout idea, or anything in between. If you’re looking for a more fitness oriented community, there’s a support area on your calorie counting app, like the My Fitness Pal forums! You can ask questions, read and help out others, and talk to people in the same boat as you. If you’re looking for a simple meal plan, try the Eat This Much Meal Planner app. It takes your stats and your calorie goals, how many meals you want and your macro goals, and spits out meals that fit within them. It’s a cool way to see how to structure your meals and what the sizes should look like. If you’re just looking for apps to find out what to cook, try Yummly or AllRecipes Dinner Spinner!

I’m sure your phone is bursting with all kinds of useful apps that will make your fitness goals much easier to stick to. Try some out and let me know your favorites! Did I miss some? Let me know what apps make your life easier!

Posted by edibolic_2019


Tacos are the way to the heart, amirite? But it’s also a good way to eat excess calories and gain some unwanted fat! Let’s take one of our comfort foods: the taco, and see if we can make it more calorie friendly!

The Damage:

3 soft flour tacos – 255 calories

Chicken – 180 calories

Salsa – 20 calories

Cheese – 100 calories

Sour cream – 115 calories

Guacamole – 200 calories

Total: 850 calories

That’s not even counting if we were to have a side of rice and beans or any type of drink! This would make your meal well over 1000 calories.

How can we lower this calorie bomb? Let’s start with the shells. We can switch to soft corn tacos, or even take away the shell altogether and put them in romaine lettuce. All we need is a vehicle for the filling, so why not take away 255 calories altogether?


A good tip when ordering food is to choose ONE source of fat. On these tacos, we got three: cheese, sour cream AND guacamole. That’s fat overkill. You can choose which ever is your true love, but for the best nutritional bang for your buck, choose the plant source: avocados! Some restaurants add sour cream as a filler for their guacamole, so make sure to ask. If you want to skip the filler ask for diced avocado straight up!

Salsa is generally low in calories and full of veggies, so spice it up! Try chunky tomato salsa, salsa verde and hot varieties.

With these changes, we now have a more diet friendly meal:

Romaine lettuce – ~10 calories

Chicken – 180 calories

Salsa – 20 calories

Guacamole – 200 calories

Total: 410 calories

Much better! Now if you have the calories to spare, we can have room for double meat (more protein, which fills you up), or rice and beans as a side, or maybe even a margarita (you DO get a cheat meal at least once a week!).

Meal Shakedown: Macaroni & Cheese!

One of the ultimate comfort foods, stemming from those blue Kraft boxes, is macaroni and cheese. Warm, gooey, and cheesy are the flavor notes to hit. But what tends to happen is a huge bust to the calorie budget!

The real killer with mac and cheese is that no one, and I mean NO ONE, sticks to the serving size alloted on the box, which is only ½ cup. This tiny ½ cup portion has a whopping 180 calories and 50 grams of fat! Let’s do some quick math. Say you stick to a modest 1 cup portion, which probably isn’t going to keep you full since there’s no protein or vegetables added to this dish. That’s almost 400 calories and 100 grams of fat. Let’s say you’re filing a bowl to your heart’s desire and end up eating 2 cups worth. So, 720 calories and 200 grams of fat for a meal you will be physically stuffed from, but not satisfied. Are we doomed to say goodbye to our beloved mac and cheese forever? No way says I!

I’ve hinted at the problems in this childhood favorite. They are: lack of lean source of protein, lack of vegetables, too much fat. So our fixes will remedy these accordingly!

  1. Lack of Lean Protein

If you are only consuming mac and cheese for dinner, then you are likely to consume a ton of calories without feeling at all full. I recommend adding 4-6 ounces of a lean protein like baked chicken breast or ground turkey to your bowl. This will give the meal a much needed protein boost. Try to avoid fatty pieces of meat like steak or pork if you’re not also doctoring up the original recipe to lower the fat, because remember, the ½ cup serving already has 50 grams of fat, which may be close to your daily fat goal.

  1. Lack of Vegetables.
    The best way to control your meals is to fill your plate with vegetables! You can chop 1-2 cups of vegetables and add it to your ½ cup portion of pasta. This is an easy way to increase meal volume without adding a ton of calories. The best part is the cheese sauce, who cares if it’s covering a piece of enriched macaroni or a piece of broccoli.

If you’re really cutting calories or don’t have a ton of wiggle room if your daily goal, you can go a step further and totally cut out the carby pasta. You can add only vegetables, and focus on the cheesy goodness to soothe your craving, or you can try some of the varieties of low-calorie pasta available near the tofu section in your supermarket. These are refrigerated and bagged in liquid, which is highly recommended to be rinsed thoroughly before tossing in your cheese sauce.

There’s also protein pasta available, and pasta made from alternate sources. Trying to stay more plant-based but still need that mac and cheese goodness? Try pasta made from chickpea flour or black beans. If you want to stay super fresh, try spiralizing squash or potato and then giving it a rough chop (to more resemble the shorter pasta used in mac and cheese) and giving that a quick sautee. It’s a great way to get more vegetables in!

  1. Too Much Fat

I’d argue to say that the best part of this comfort food is the warm, ooey, gooey cheese sauce! If you do not want to compromise on this, I don’t blame you! Cut your calories by replacing all or some of the meal with vegetables and lean protein, and make a buttery, creamy cheese sauce to enjoy. If your true love is pasta, then I can understand why you’d opt to compromise a bit on the fatty cheese sauce. But have no fear, just because the fat is lower, does not mean that the flavor is inept.

Let’s take a card from our fellow vegans and choose a dairy free cheese sauce. This cheese sauce is surprisingly tasty, and it works for picky kids and husbands, too. The base is a mix of softened russet potatoes, carrots, vegan butter and nutritional yeast. It’s processed and thinned out with almond milk (unsweetened unflavored) and seasoned with salt, pepper and dijon mustard.

If the idea of vegetables as cheese sauce makes your inner child sad inside, then try this gold cheeze magic from Oh She Glows: 5 ingredient Cheeze Sauce

If you’re wanting a cheesy flavor without cheese, the nutritional yeast is a game changer. The salt is recommended to mimic salty cheeses like parmesan and the pepper is a great compliment to any cheese sauce.

If you want the real stuff, just more calorie friendly, make your own cheese sauce with lower fat ingredients. Choose part skim milk shredded cheese, a small amount of butter, thin with almond milk or skim milk, let it melt and thicken up with your pasta of choice, and season with salt and pepper and maybe some pepper flakes. Add a cup of vegetables, a portion of lean protein, and don’t go back for seconds. Easy, simple, and lower in fat.

Posted by edibolic_2019


We live in a go-go-go society these days, rewarding those who work the longest and fastest. Unfortunately, we only have 24 hours each day. It seems like there’s never enough time to do it all! Add trying to start or maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it’s no wonder things start sliding into the “not a priority” pile. Often the first thing to go is eating healthy.

Who has time to scroll through Pinterest for meal ideas, create a meal plan, figure our how many calories you need, read the article on how much protein you really need, go wait in line at the grocery store, sit in traffic, lug all those bags inside and then cook? Then you have to add those calories into My Fitness Pal, figure out a macro cap, and still have time to exercise and live your life. the truth is, if you don’t have time to cook those protein pancakes you found on Instagram because you have to be at work at 5 am for a 10 hour shift, then you’re probably going to swing by Dunkin’ Donuts and grab a high calorie coffee drink and maybe a bagel, too.

It’s true that eating healthier when you’re short on time can be a bit of a challenge. If you just barely have enough time on your lunch break to eat, you’re likely not going to sit in your car with a calorie counter and figure out the most balanced option for your goals. The good news is that there ARE ways to fit healthy eating into your lifestyle. All it takes is a little planning and a little compromise — but it can be done! Here’s how:

  1. Compromise some variety. The easiest way to make life easier is to minimize your choices to cheat. Choose one breakfast you can grab and go each morning like overnight oats or a shake. If you have a few minutes, maybe you really love having your bacon and eggs each morning. Whatever you choose, that’s always your breakfast. You can do the same thing for lunch, too. Every lunch during the workweek, throw together a turkey wrap. Or a chicken salad. Some people like to cook dinner each night, so you can leave that open. Or maybe nights are your hectic time, in that case, make a list of 1-5 choices for easy to cook dinners and cycle through those options. Maybe three nights a week you choose steak and potatoes and three nights a week it’s chicken with broccoli. One night a week is pizza with a side salad.
    The trade-off: this way of eating is simplified to the point of being boring. You still have to make time to cook and plan these meals.
  2. Compromise some time. Whether you have chosen to simplify your meals to a few choices or if you still like the variety of different meals each day, another great way to make sure you eat healthy throughout the week is to spend a few hours every Sunday to cook in advance. This method of batch cooking can be very useful. Cook all your proteins for the week, then you will only need to change up the sides when it’s time for a meal. You can cook your veggies and carbs too if you set aside more time to meal plan. If you don’t like week old food, try cooking your meals every three days or twice a week.
    The trade-off: this will require organization and time on your part to create a meal plan, organize a shopping list, and skill in the kitchen to be more efficient. You’ll also need enough containers and ad space in the fridge to cook food this way.
  3. Invest in a meal prep service. If you don’t want to sacrifice time or taste, then give Edibolic Kitchen a try. We cook, package and deliver all meals to your door, from tasty protein packed breakfasts to delicious and balanced lunches and dinners. We have specials each week to prevent boredom with restaurant quality meals. We even assist with meal planning so no matter what your goal is, we can cook for you. On a budget? We can find the right solution for you. Everyone can afford to eat better. We even have the option to buy in bulk, which is extremely cost-effective. Check out our new menu and give us a call or email.
    The trade-off: you’ll be spending money on a service that can help you reach your goals. There might be a delivery fee. Your grocery bill will be smaller, and you don’t have to clean dirty dishes. Oh, and you will need to buy smaller pants.
Posted by edibolic_2019