Friday, 14 December 2012

Chocolate Almond Black Bean Brownies with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe inspired by the Anabolic Cookbook

Chocolate Almond Black Bean Brownies with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm no stranger to sweets and when dieting that can be my biggest downfall which is why I love experimenting with clean variations of my favourite recipes!



Ingredients:

 Brownies:

19oz black beans
3oz egg whites
2tsp coconut oil
1tsp olive oil
1/4 cup cocoa
1tbsp stevia
1tsp organic baking soda
1tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4tsp sea salt
3tbsp dark chocolate chips
1tbsp almond butter

Frosting:

3tbsp 95% Fat Free Cream Cheese
1tbsp almond butter
1/4tsp stevia 
1/4tsp cake sprinkles

Directions:

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse and drain black beans.
Blend all brownie ingredients except chocolate chips on high in blender until smooth. 
Add 2tbsp chocolate chips and stir by hand.
Pour brownie mixture into 9 inch brownie pan. 
Add 1tbsp chocolate chips evenly on top of brownies
Bake for 30-35 minutes

Frosting Directions:

Let brownies cool completely in refrigerator.  
Beat cream cheese, almond butter and stevia and cake sprinkles until smooth.
Spread frosting on brownies and cut into servings. 
Serve and enjoy!




Makes 12 servings. 

Each serving contains:

2g Protein
7g Carbs
5g Fat

Keep in mind that all ingredients in this recipe promote fat less and a lean physique! The fat comes from a combination of healthy MCT oil and unsaturated fats and 90% of the carbs are slow absorbing. Enjoy this treat as a snack between meals to keep your metabolism fired up!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Anabolic Avocado Pudding

Recipe as inspired by The BodyMind Institute!




Avocados are a great source of healthy fats that will actually help you burn unwanted fat on your body in problem areas such as the stomach and thighs! 

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup water
1 scoop Isobolic Protein powder
1 tbsp vanilla

Blend or beat until smooth!

Makes two servings. 

Nutrition information per serving:

15g protein
5g carbs
10g fat

Suggestions:

Add peanut butter, almond butter or any other little additions for extra flavour!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

How Sweet It Is - The Benefits of Sweet Potatoes


One of my favourite foods is sweet potatoes. I like them baked, mashed, whipped and could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of the best things about sweet potatoes is the volume you can eat in comparison to other foods of the same nutritional value. 

As an example, 6 ounces of sweet potato has nearly the same nutritional value as 1.5 ounces of brown rice and 2 ounces of Quick oats with no fat. 6 ounces of sweet potatoes has only 36g of carbs, 6g of protein and 0g of fat. That means if your diet has a restriction on the amount of carbohydrates or calories you're taking in you can eat more food while keeping the calories low.

Sweet potatoes are also a natural anti-inflammatory, which can be very beneficial when restricting calories in the first place, as this causes excess stress on your body and can lead to injury. They are also high in magnesium, Vitamins C, D and B6 and iron which all assist in important bodily functions. 

There are many ways to prepare your sweet potatoes, my favourite simply being mashed. I peel and boil my potatoes and add cinnamon, 1/2-1tsp of vanilla and maple extract and a pinch of stevia. For extra creaminess you can add 1tbsp of melted coconut oil, which is extremely beneficial in burning unneeded fat. 

Here's a simple clean recipe for making sweet potato fries:

Healthy Sweet Potato Fries


Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Skinny on Fasted Cardio and Training Depleted

It's common practice for athletes and individuals looking to achieve optimal fat burning, be it for a fitness competition, professional sports or just personal achievement to do "fasted cardio" or cardio training before breakfast on an empty stomach. The theory is that training on an empty stomach will allow you to tap into fat stores more quickly and optimize fat burning. There is much debate surrounding this technique and unfortunately little specific research to back it up. Some research has suggested that fasted cardio may cause loss of muscle due to catabolism because the muscles are working in a depleted state. Without nutrients to repair the damage caused from exercise the muscle begins to break down and is used for energy.

On the other hand sometimes a slight loss of muscle is worth it to reach your desired goal, especially if that goal is weight related (such as in professional fighting). In the case of bodybuilding and fitness competition however, muscle loss is something to be avoided as much as possible.

To approach this theory we have to look at the science behind it in the first place. A few questions we have to ask are: What is the overall state your body is in after sleeping? How does being depleted affect your muscles? Are there ways to take advantage of this depleted state without losing muscle? What steps should you take to recover after training depleted? What other considerations should we take into account?

First we'll look at the state your body is in after sleeping. Our body uses glycogen in our muscles, brain and organs for energy. Although it takes approximately 24-48 hours to be completely depleted of glycogen and reach a state of ketosis, depletion can occur after 4-8 hours. This means that when you wake up you are generally using a combination of fat stores and muscle breakdown (catabolism) for energy. Being in a glycogen depleted state causes acidity in our body which can put excess stress on our lymph nodes and immune system while potentially damaging the cells and muscles, making injury more likely and nutrient absorption less effective. On the other hand it also increases our "flight or fight" state and influences fat burning by using the fat stores for energy.


Note: Carbs are stored in the body in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is 1 part carbohydrate and 2.8 (3) parts water.  

So what does this mean? If we can bring our body into an alkaline state, reducing the acidity while keeping it depleted we can take advantage of the fat burning mode we're in while reducing the risk of injury and damage to the immune system and body overall. To achieve this we can do one or both of the following:
  • Drink a glass of water immediately upon waking with a few pinches of sea salt and trace mineral drops. This will help replenish electrolytes and bring our body into an alkaline state. 
  • Drink 500ml of water with 1/2-1tsp of organic non-alluminum baking soda prior to training. This is another technique that will make the body alkaline and will also reduce lactic acid build up while training, minimizing injury and muscle soreness while influencing recovery.
Next we look at what causes catabolism, or muscle breakdown. As mentioned above, muscle breakdown occurs from the body being in a glycogen depleted state forcing it to use fat and muscle for energy. When we exercise we are tearing small muscle fibers which is necessary for growth. The product of this is lactic acid and muscle breakdown if not treated properly through nutrition. There are a couple of techniques that may reduce this process from happening.

The first method to preventing muscle breakdown while training is to use a BCAA supplement with a pinch of sea salt, such as Nutrabolics' Anabolic State to feed the muscle it's vital amino acids to influence repair and recovery. Although BCAA's are delivered more effectively when paired with a carbohydrate (an insulin spike will speed the delivery to the muscles) there is still benefit to having them without one. Using this BCAA supplement will push repair any breakdown that is occurring and reduce the chance of injury. The sea salt is beneficial in keeping your body alkaline and balancing electrolytes.

This next suggestion is a bit trickier. Typically when someone is participating in fasted training it is very soon after waking. It's best to minimize the time your body is in a depleted state so training soon after waking is the first suggestion. However, if there is a time frame of 45 minutes to an hour before you're working out it could be beneficial to have a 1/2 - 1 serving of whey protein powder mixed with water. The theory behind this is that in a depleted state your body will absorb nutrients much quicker and whey protein has a faster gastric emptying time (the time it takes to leave your stomach) than protein from foods. This means that if you take in 1/2 - 1 serving of whey protein up to an hour before training you can minimize the risk of catabolism by providing your body with amino acids through breakdown of the protein. This method is best if tested to ensure that indigestion does not occur as is possible when ingesting protein too soon before training. It is also believed that artificial sweeteners, such as those often found in whey protein can cause small spikes in insulin, which may assist in protein absorption without affecting glycogen levels. The best time to drink the shake would be 5-10 minutes after drinking your sea salt, water and trace minerals mixture. Taking BCAA's during the workout could still be beneficial even with this protein breakfast.

After you've trained depleted your body is in an extreme state of hunger. Now it's time to replenish your glycogen and get your body in a state of repair. Despite using a BCAA supplement or whey protein prior to training your body is still going to be in a catabolic state after exercise. There are two steps you can take to ensure the maximum amount of recovery and glycogen replenishment while still influencing fat burning.

The first step you can take is another mixture of 1/2-1tsp of organic baking soda. This will immediately bring your body back in an alkaline state and reduce muscle soreness while also bringing your body to a better state of nutrient absorption. You should take your baking soda immediately after exercise with 500ml of water then wait 5-10 minutes before having your post-workout shake.

Your post-workout shake should consist of 30-45g of whey protein with 60-90g carbohydrates within 30 minutes of completing exercise (a serving of creatine as well as 500mg - 1g of vitamin C may also be beneficial in speeding up muscle recovery). The best carbohydrates to use post-workout are vitargo, waxy maize, maltodextrin or dextrose. Some research suggests it's best to use a combination of waxy maize and dextrose/matodextrin to get the best results. After a workout your goal is to spike your insulin to increase the rate of nutrient absorption (such as amino acids from protein) while also replenishing your glycogen stores. Waxy maize is great for replenishing glycogen stores but not so great for spiking your insulin, while dextrose is the opposite. Using a combination of the two in a 3-1 waxy-dextrose ratio can give you the results you're looking for. Using a product such as vitargo can give you both results through one supplement but it can be costly. It is also suggested to wait 45-60 minutes after your post-workout shake before eating your first meal.

These techniques can also be applied to other types of training such as light weights with high repetition, HIIT or sports training as long as caution is used. Your body is much more sensitive to injury and muscle tearing in this state and if care is not taken you can become badly injured. It would be best to try these techniques with a gradual increase in intensity before participating in heavy exercise.

Supplement Tip: Taking 2-4g of L-Carnitine 30 minutes prior to training depleted may also increase fat burning. L-Carnitine forces fatty acids to the mitochondria in your cells to be used as energy. It may also assist in feeling more energetic while training. L-Carnitine is also found to increase stamina and strength when used as a pre-workout supplement. 

For more information on effective nutrition for sports and fitness email info@collisionsports.ca or visit www.CollisionSports.ca 

Ricky Goodall is a certified Sports Nutritionist and professional MMA fighter out of Halifax, NS. He is also the owner of Collision Sports, a health supplement store that specializes in combat sports, fitness and nutrition coaching. 

Follow Ricky on Twitter at @RickyGoodall and @CollisionSprts and Facebook here



Sunday, 2 September 2012

Jumping Hurdles - My path to becoming a Sports Nutritionist

I believe that in any career we come to hurdles and obstacles that can potentially make or break our reputation and credibility making others, and ourselves second guess our own experience, accomplishments and abilities. One such hurdle for me was missing weight in the past for fights. 

Age 11
Before I get into the details I'll start by giving a little background information about my career. At thirteen years old I started training karate with close friend and Chito-Ryu black belt Jeff Kennedy. I was an overweight, insecure kid and martial arts were a great way for me to build self-confidence and security. I went throughout most of my childhood battling weight issues mostly from lack of knowledge and understanding of nutrition. I would go on to train Kickboxing under Ed Burns, Craig Doiron, DJ Kennedy and Ron Dean then eventually Judo and BJJ with Mike Kitson and the others at Titans MMA in New Glasgow.

Me in 2009 at 240lbs
At age 23 I found out that Jason MacKay, local MMA fighter and promoter was going to hold an MMA card near my hometown in Trenton, NS. At the time I weighed a whopping 240lbs. Still knowing very little about proper nutrition I started training for the fight under Jason Rorison and Jaret MacIntosh. The fight was signed at 200lbs, which I made easily with 1lb to spare. My opponent was a very lean, tall 6'3 fighter named Richard Aston (I'm only 5'9). I won the fight via decision. 

Me in 2008 at 245lbs
After taking a two year layoff and moving to Halifax to train with the Halifax Titans MMA I decided to step back in the cage again. I gained a lot of the weight in my off time and was back up to nearly 240lbs again. I signed the fight at 195lbs and started stumbling through the darkness and received a meal plan from close friend and body builder Josh Rioux. Having most of his experience in coaching fitness athletes designing a plan for an MMA fighter training twice a day, 5-6 days a week was tough. My plan was very much based on a ketosis style of carb depletion and made my recovery suffer. I was getting injured often and had very little energy to train, but I cut the weight. I fought Kurt Pelletier in 2009 at 195lbs. 

I went on with my career and continued to drop weight classes. My next fight would be Meneka Weva at 185lbs where I had only 2lbs to cut in the last week of the fight. I'd go on to fight Jon MacGrath at 180lbs then signed a fight with Brian Mazerole back up at 185lbs in April 2010. The problem with this fight was that I only walked around at 180. The day of the fight I had to eat breakfast and drink 2L of water so I would appear to be of similar weight while learning that Brian cut 20lbs and nearly didn't make it. The day of the fight he weighed close to 205lbs at 6'3 and I beat him in under two minutes via submission. 

Dieting is nothing new in our society and as many know there are lots of ways to go about it. One process that isn't well known, however is the proper method of cutting weight. The "old school" method is simply sweat, sweat, sweat. Having been taught this most of my big weight cuts were done by suffering in the sauna until the weight came off. 

In May 2011 I signed a fight with Steve Rogers at 155 in Moncton, NB. This was my first ever attempt at this low of a weight class and I had about 17lbs to lose in a couple of days. Until then my biggest weight cut was 19lbs to 170. Little did I know at the time, the lower you get in weight the harder it is to "sweat out" the pounds, making a 17lb drop to 155 more like a 25lb relative drop to 170 (your body has a certain percentage of water that it can safely lose before causing permanent damage; as your body composition changes and the weight comes off the smaller percentage you have to work with). I ended up missing weight by two pounds, weighing in at 157lbs. 

I moved on from this fight and ended up signing a fight against Derek Gauthier in December 2011 again at 155lbs. This time the fight was in Quebec, meaning I would be flying. Another aspect of cutting weight I was unfamiliar with is that flying causes severe water retention if you don't properly prepare for it and at this point I was still stumbling in the dark with my weight cuts, relying on my teammates' experience and information gathered from my own research. We tried some new methods of cutting weight (looking back I almost chuckle at my ignorance and mistakes, knowing what I know now) and actually nearly poisoned myself severely in the process. I was in really bad shape, hallucinating, vomiting and more throughout the night. My skin felt like it was melting and I could barely see. The methods we attempted were not only extremely dangerous at the time, but would make it nearly impossible to fully recover to fight the next day; but I did.
Me in 2012 at 180lbs
This time I missed weight bad - by a humiliating 9lbs. The worst part about this was that the fight was on international television and pay per view where many friends and fans were home watching. I knew I was going into this fight as the "bad guy" and would have to face a lot of judgement, win or lose. 

I won the fight by decision in Gauthier's hometown, which would have been much more rewarding if I hadn't have missed weight. 

Shortly before this fight I was able to achieve a long time dream of opening a combat sports/supplement store called Collision Sports with long time friend Andrew Nutt. We would offer many types of products from MMA gear, clothing, supplements and much more along with the complimentary knowledge and advice one would pay for in most circumstances. The store would be located inside of our gym, Titans MMA and also through our website, www.CollisionSports.ca .  

After missing weight I talked to my coach and told him this can't ever happen again; I'd either quit fighting or I'd have to find someone who knew how to help. I was introduced to a fantastic dietician named Glenn Faltenhine who although he had limited experience with fighters and our cutting method was more than enthusiastic about helping me learn as much as I could and did lots of research himself, emailing colleagues and finding out what he could to offer insight. Glenn opened my eyes to a lot of changes in my diet, including learning that carbs are extremely valuable in weight management and recovery and excess protein is just not necessary when maintaining or cutting weight. 

I moved on from Glenn to work with MMA nutritionist and some may say weight cut genius George Lockhardt and his company Fitness VT. Fitness VT works with many well known MMA fighters including UFC's Jon Jones, Kenny Florian and Brian Stann, so needless to say I was in good hands. My first cut with George would be back at 170 in April 2012 where I would cut 14lbs overnight without even the use of a sauna. This weight cut method would be the best I have ever tried and made me feel incredible during and after the weight cut. 

After this fight I changed my training to focus on strength and power and put on some more muscle mass. I would fight again at 170 in July 2012, having about 22lbs to drop 5 days before the fight. Not only did I drop the weight easily and effectively, but again I used no sauna, no traditional "suffering" based weight cuts and was even eating and drinking small amounts the day of the weigh in. I made weight easily and had so much energy I fought 5 rounds without even sitting between each round. 

After this fight I decided to continue my knowledge and passion for nutrition and cutting and started my certification as a Sports Nutritionist. I finished this course and was offered a scholarship for my Level 1 Nutrition Coaching course based on my performance with the previous certification. In one month I helped three different fighters with nutrition plans who all made weight easily and effectively without killing themselves in the sauna or spending hours exercising before their big fights. One of them started cutting with only a week's notice for a late call from The Ultimate Fighter, needing to drop important pounds for his elimination fight. He not only made weight but went on to win his way into the house. 

I decided to team up with my best friend and girlfriend, WBFF Pro Celia Hodder to offer nutrition planning and coaching to not only fighters, but fitness competitors and the general population. Together we have combined our experience and knowledge to confidently offer advice to all types of people, from professional athletes to those just looking to look and feel better through my business, Collision Sports.

I believe in life everything happens for a reason and for stubborn, thick headed people like myself sometimes it takes a really loud knock for me to hear opportunity on my doorstep. I believe the humility in my career will not only push me to become a better athlete myself, but also allow me to assist others in reaching their personal bests.

I have started my own nutrition plan for another drop to 155lbs. I am preparing myself to be a very lean and strong lightweight in 2013 where I will continue my MMA career. In the meantime I will be offering nutrition planning and coaching for all types of clients and can be reached by email at ricky@collisionsports.ca . You can also reach Celia at celia@collisionsports.ca . Our website will soon offer a variety of services including a "trainers" section where clients can view profiles of our various affiliated trainers and choose who is right for them. Keep posted on our Facebook group here and our website at www.CollisionSports.ca

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Healthy Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

1 lb Sweet Potatoes
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp crushed Sea Salt
Dash of cinnamon or curry (optional)

Directions:
  • Cut potatoes into french fry shape sticks
  • Melt coconut oil for 15-30 sec in microwave
  • Put potatoes, coconut oil and salt in a Zip Loc bag and shake until evenly distributed
  • Place on baking sheet and bake on 425C turning once for 30 minutes or until crispy

Funky Munky Anabolic Ice Cream

The summer is a trying time for dieting and eating clean and one of my all time favourite treats is ice cream. I could eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I decided to attempt a healthy, muscle building variation of this yummy dessert!



Ingredients:

1 ripe Avocado
1 Banana
1/8 cup Splenda
1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 scoop Nutrabolics Isobolic chocolate protein powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Chop banana into small pieces and put into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add avocado, milk and vanilla extract and mash with potato masher. 
  3. Add Splenda and protein powder and beat on high with an electric egg beater
  4. Freeze, serve and enjoy!
The fat in avocado is said to help metabolize and burn fat in the body and therefore aids in a leaner body composition! 

Nutritional Information for entire recipe (makes 2-4 servings):

22g Fat (3g saturated)
33g Protein
37g Carbs (13g dietary fibre)

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Low Carb, Low Fat Cauliflower Crust Pizza

As most of us know, the hardest part about dieting is not so much the daily routine of eating clean, it's facing occasions such as holidays, birthdays and more without straying from the meal plan you have set out.

With low-carb, cauliflower crust pizza you can do just that! 



Ingredients:
  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 2 small cans of pizza sauce
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • Hot pepper rings
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 package Butterball Turkey Pepperoni
  • Cabot 75% reduced fat Mozzarella Cheese
  • 12 inch pizza pan
  • Pam cooking spray
Directions:

  • Grate full head of Cauliflower into microwave safe bowl. The Cauliflower will grate into a rice like texture which can also be used as a great low carb substitute for rice dishes!
  • Microwave for 8 minutes
  •  Add egg whites, a small handful of grated cheese, desired spices (such as parsley, oregano, pepper, etc) and 1 chopped garlic clove to Cauliflower and mix well. Spray pizza pan with Pam cooking spray and press mixture on with a spatula.
 

  • Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes on middle rack at 450 until golden brown
  • Heat pizza sauce on low while the crust is cooking with spices and garlic so the flavour is distributed evenly
  • When the crust is done let cook for 2-3 minutes then add the sauce leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Add vegetables and grated cheese then pepperoni. Add a little bit more cheese on top of the pepperoni for esthetics
  • Bake 8-10 minutes on broil until cheese is melted and enjoy!


The Butterball Turkey Pepperoni has about 2g of fat and 0g carbs for 10 slices, and the cheese is virtually fat free! This cheese was given to us by Shasta McNamara and was purchased in the US but low fat variations such as Parmesan can be used.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Five Thousand Years

Five thousand years ago men and women hunted for their food, fought thieves and predators and SURVIVED. The women hunted with their men while raising families and when the men died they hunted alone and they survived. In fact, the human mind becomes sharper and more focused when hungry and deprived of necessity.

If you don't have food then good, be hungry. There is no inspiration or motivation like a stomach pang. Be hungry, be broken. Five thousand years ago you'd either curl up and die or you'd become a new version of yourself and rise higher, being more evolved and a smarter, wiser stronger version of yourself.

Our society is pampered. You have no money? Good. You have no food? Good. No place to live? Perfect. Now you've hit the starting line. Now you're
motivated. Only now can you feel inspiration. Thank the universe and do something with it. Become better than you've ever been and don't look back ever. Don't read this, nod, feel some goosebumps and revert back to your old self. Feel inspired, be inspired and achieve greatness.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

How to Gain and Retain Professional Sponsorship

A huge part of of the business world and more specifically the promotion and entertainment industry is obtaining and retaining business relationships with similar, or sometimes completely unrelated companies and individuals who are often referred to as "sponsors." A sponsor can be defined as "a person or organization that provides funds or support for a project or activity carried out by another, in particular" (see below for citation). Often a sponsor is an entity that is going to provide financial support or support through products or services to help an individual or a group reach an ultimate goal or flourish in their career. These relationships exist everywhere, from professional sports, television programs, charity events and more. Sponsors, in many ways, make the business world go round.

There are many ways to go about obtaining sponsors for yourself or your organization and there are many ways to go about retaining them. A relationship with a sponsor is as important as a business' relationship to it's customers and suppliers, as sponsors often fill both roles. 

Understand the relationship

The first step to considering the search for sponsorship is to understand the relationship between a recipient and the sponsor. A sponsor isn't always a faceless, nameless "sugar daddy" who's going to give you or your cause cash to do with what you will (although that would be nice!). A sponsor is usually a business or individual who is often more likely to help you when they think they are getting a return on their investment and an appreciation for their involvement. Sometimes it may be advertising, a tax break, a discount on your product/service or even a feeling of generosity and a sense of just helping something they believe in. Like any relationship both parties should feel a sense of fulfillment and worth.
  
Know yourself and your industry

The next thing to consider is how much you know about yourself and your position in your industry. Are you a professional athlete? What is your level of experience? How well known are you? Does your cause or organization have a clearly defined message? How are you affecting the community around you? How many other organizations or individuals are there like you in your area? What sets you apart and makes you different? These, and many other questions should be considered before moving forward. It doesn't matter if you are an aspiring athlete, an entrepreneur with an idea or an international champion; if you know your industry and believe in yourself you will be able to sell it to sponsors and you will find the help you're looking for. You may want to consider creating a "resume" style document outlining and highlighting the "selling points" that you would want sponsors to know about you.

Choose the right sponsors

 If your industry is health and fitness then chances are you're not going to land a sponsorship with a tobacco company (or you shouldn't at least). Although there are many endorsements that may be questionable (such as a professional athlete being sponsored by McDonald's) building a relationship that's both beneficial to you and your sponsor you should first attempt to find those connected in some way to your industry. This may seem discouraging, as many businesses may not appear to be affiliated with your industry, but I assure you, there is always a common ground. Athletes still need homes, therefore real estate agents and construction companies are great choices to consider. Musicians drive vehicles to their shows, therefore mechanic garages and car dealerships are suitable. A memorial or health fundraiser marathon may have a route going right near a business' physical location, why not ask them to sponsor? There is no limit to what and who you can approach. At the end of this article is a link to link to a few suggested leads for various industries.  

Tip: It is much easier to obtain sponsorship from a small business than a larger company. Often with large company there will be many chains of command to go through and your request will get lost in the shuffle. Always attempt to approach an owner first and if they're not available look for a manager of advertising or sales. 

Build your network

Another huge asset in today's business world is your "network." Often a business is going to decide to sponsor you based on what they can get in return in way of advertising, exposure and representation of their business or product. If no one in your community knows you or your cause exists then how can you properly represent someone else? There are many ways to build your network including soc. You can send a simple email to friends, family or business contacts simply letting them know what you're up to and ask them to tell their friends and family. Another huge aspect of building your network is social media, which we'll touch on shortly. At the end of this article is a link to a great article on building and maintaining your personal network.


Create a brand


When considering building yourself in the eyes of businesses and individuals you need to treat yourself or your cause as a business would treat a product or a brand. When you think of Nike you think sports, when you think of Black and Decker you think power tools. When people think of you or your cause an idea should come to them. A professional fighter may be known for his humble attitude, or impenetrable will; whereas a ballet dancer may be known for her grace and mannerisms both on stage and off. Create a consistent brand and stick with it.

Build a social media presence


In today's information age we have access to an infinite amount of data at our fingertips. International news travels in an instant and tales of celebrity mishaps surface before any damage control can be applied. As someone looking to build a network and business relationships this phenomena needs to capitalized on. The best way to utilize this is through social media. Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and many other websites, as well as blogging, the posting of pictures, videos and more. Social media has taken the world by storm, with Facebook alone being worth $100 billion. A simple silly idea has become very real. 


In order to establish a positive social media presence you want to again know your brand. Are you the athlete that will be posting recipes and training tips, or are you the cancer survivor who will share your message through personal experiences and fundraisers? Once you establish your brand you can start to build your social network presence in a consistent, relative manner.


Social media is free advertising and one of the most powerful tools in today's business world. It is not to be overlooked or undermined. Below is an article on the importance of social media as well as tips to establishing your own social media presence.

Sell yourself

The most important step to gaining sponsors is to sell yourself. After all, if you don't believe in yourself, who will? You need to ask yourself what you can do to help these businesses and how they can help you in return. In fact, you may want to ponder how this business managed to get by without your help up until now. You want to show them that your network and image is a valuable asset to their company and will assist in their goals while helping with yours. Creativity will play a huge role in your sales pitch. It is encouraged to educate yourself in basic selling principles. Again you must treat yourself or your vision like a product that is valuable and helpful to this company, not just a way for them for fork out some cash. 

Some things you may want to offer sponsors are:
  • Advertising opportunities at your event or function; be it your competition, fundraiser, marathon etc. on your clothing or banners such as logos or messages. 
  • Promotional opportunities such as handing out flyers, samples or even surveys. 
  • Personal messages and testimony in interviews such as radio, TV, newspaper or on their website.
  • Personal messages and testimony through your own social media network.
  • Being present for marketing events that they may hold.
There is no limit for what you can offer and an unlimited potential for creativity. The more you can offer sponsors the better. 

At the end of this article is a link to some helpful sales tips.

Give back

Finding a good sponsor can sometimes be very difficult. When you build a relationship that works for you and your cause then you should do everything you can to maintain it. After  competition or fundraiser send your sponsors a thank you letter or give them a phone call. Send some memorabilia, maybe an autographed picture or item that they can display in their business. A little gesture can go a long way. 

Own it 


When a company endorses you they are trusting that you and/or your organization will represent their company in a positive, responsible manner. When you take on a sponsor you become a face for their cause and their business. The way you act on stage, in the ring or at the event is  as important as how you act in your own personal time. Just as you wouldn't expect the CEO of a company to cause public scenes and act irresponsibly nor should you. Own the role and act accordingly.

Try, fail and try again 


Finding sponsors is a grind. It's not easy and often you will want to give up as many people do, but your hard work will pay off. If you have to ask 100 people to sponsor you and only one does then it makes it all worth it. You should never be ashamed, discouraged or embarrassed to ask people to sponsor you because as mentioned above you are giving them a valuable asset and providing assistance in building their business and mission through a much more personal avenue than could be achieved with traditional advertising and promotion. You are offering a symbiotic business relationship that both they, and you will benefit from. Seek assistance, ask questions and take the initiative to continue building your network and your brand.




Leads for sponsors in various industries
http://rickygoodall.blogspot.ca/2012/06/leads-for-obtaining-sponsors.html

Google's definition of a sponsor: 

Leads for Obtaining Sponsors

There is no limit to who you can approach for assistance when looking for sponsors. Below are a few suggestions for industries to approach. 

Athlete:
  • Physiotherapy and/or massage clinics
  • Tanning Salon
  • Meat Butcher
  • Produce Market
  • Organic Food Store
  • Local Farm
  • Supplement Store
  • Sports Equipment
  • Car Dealership
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Fashion Designer
  • Jewelry Store
  • Local Bar (for after parties)
  • Local Restaurant (for after parties and functions)
  • Local Musicians
  • Law Office
  • Sports Psychology

Musician:
  • Music Store
  • Instrument Company
  • Car Dealership
  • Beer or Alcohol Company
  • Local Bar
  • Local Restaurant
  • Computer Store
  • Law Office
Fundraiser:
  • Local Political Party
  • Car Dealership
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Local Bar (for after parties)
  • Local Restaurant (for after parties and functions)
  • Local Musicians (for performances or help fundraising)
  • Local Celebrities (for donation, assistance in raising funds or testimony)
  • Related Industries
  • Sports Store
  • Law Office

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries



I found the unhealthy version of this recipe online so Celia Hodder and I decided to try out a healthy version and it was better than we could have expected!!

Ingredients:

1 lb large strawberries
1 (8 ounce) package 95% fat free cream cheese, softened
3-4 tsp Splenda
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 cup quick oats

Instructions:
  1. Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry. Remove the top and clean out with a paring knife, if necessary (some of them are hollow already. Prep all of the strawberries and set aside).
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, Splenda, and 1tsp vanilla until creamy. Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or Ziploc with the corner snipped off. Fill the strawberries with cheesecake mixture.  
  3. Bake oats mixed with 1tsp vanilla and 1tsp Olive Oil for 5min until golden brown
  4. Once strawberries are filled, sprinkle or dip the tops with oats. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Guiltless Creamy Guacamole



Avocados have  become a staple in my new diet plan, providing me with lots of great fats and many fat burning benefits. My favourite way to eat avocado is in the form of creamy guacamole as a topping on chicken, eggs, tuna, turkey and even salad! I was buying it from the grocery store for some time until I realized I could probably make my own version much cheaper and more delicious, so here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe pitted avocados
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of black pepper
Directions: 

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and serve! You can add fresh onion, peppers and tomato for a chunkier dip, but I prefer it creamy. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Guilt-free Boneless Chicken Wings

This recipe is another variation of the "breaded" chicken idea.


You can also use a brand of sauces called Mr. Spice Organic sauces which are sodium free, fat free and less than 1g of carbs per serving. They come in flavours such as Indian Curry, Spicy Thai Peanut, Ginger Stir Fry, Garlic Steak and of course Hot Wing. Check out their line at www.mrspice.com



Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Fiber One
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • Mr. Spice Organic Hot Wing! Sauce (Frank's Red Hot Buffalo if you're not worried about sodium)


Directions:
  • Blend or grind Fiber One and Garlic Powder into a fine powder (blending for 10 seconds in a blender of Magic Bullet works best). 
  • Put all powder into a medium to large sized ziploc bag or tupperware container and add chicken. Shake well, ensuring all of the chicken is covered in the breading.
  • Bake for 35 minutes on 375 degrees
  • Let cool and put in a different tupperware container. Add wing sauce, close container and shake until the sauce is distributed evenly and enjoy!
Because the Fiber One is pretty much just fiber this meal is extremely low carb and pretty much just protein based! Great treat when dieting heavily and low in sodium so safe to eat close to a cut. 



Saturday, 17 March 2012

Lucky Peppermint Patty Pancakes

Don't act like you're not surprised... It's St. Patty's Day! Naturally a green protein pancake variation is necessary :) It's simple but works!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Egg Whites
1 Brown Egg
1/4 cup Oats
1 tsp Flax Seed
1/2 Banana
1/2 scoop Chocolate Nutrabolics Isobolic Protein Powder
1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract
1/4 tsp Green Food Colouring
1/4 cup Blueberries (fresh is better, frozen works too)
No Added Sugar Old Tyme Maple Syrup
Cooking spray

Directions:

  • Pre-heat non-stick frying pan on medium heat with cooking spray
  • Chop banana into small pieces and combine all ingredients except blueberries in a blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until mixture is consistent.
  • Pour mixture into pre-heated frying pan. Add blueberries carefully by hand until distributed evenly along surface of pancake
  • You'll know one side is done when the mixture no longer moves a lot when you tilt the frying pan. At this time flip the pancake.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until side is done, then flip again to make sure the top is fully cooked.
  • Cut into 6 pieces like a pizza and top with 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • Makes one large pancake. Use smaller pans to make more than one pancake out of this recipe.

402 Calories
33g protein
45g carbs
10g fat with only 1.5g saturated fat

Friday, 16 March 2012

Almond Brittle Protein Shake

This recipe is by far one of my favourite post-workout shakes!

1 scoop vanilla Isobolic Protein by Nutrabolics
20g dextrose or 1 scoop Waxybolic by Nutrabolics
10g Glutamine
1 tbsp sugar-free Jello Butterscotch pudding mix
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp sliced almonds
3 ice cubes
250ml water

Blend all ingredients for 30-45 seconds and enjoy!

Anabolic Shamrock Shake

With my professional boxing debut coming up next weekend St. Patrick's Day celebrations are limited to training and clean eating, but that doesn't mean I can't be creative! Here's a recipe for my very own Anabolic Shamrock Shake :)



1 scoop Nutrabolics Isobolic Protein
1 scoop Nutrabolics Waxybolic
10g Glutamine
3 Ice cubes
1/4 teaspoon green food coloring
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
250ml Water

Add all ingredients in a blender and blend for 45-60 seconds on high!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Attitude of a Champion - Celia Hodder WBFF Pro

The following article has been written by Celia Hodder, WBFF Pro and Fitness Model based out of Halifax, NS. Please visit her Facebook fan page at WBFF Pro Celia Hodder and follow her various helpful and education blog postings at celiahodder.blogspot.com

The Attitude of a Champion
By Celia Hodder

In light of competition season, conflict and negativity are becoming increasingly evident amongst fellow competitors. It seems that competitors tend to pay too much attention to critiquing others, rather than staying focused on the task at hand. The fact of the matter is that
what other competitors are doing is irrelevant. A real champion understands
this.

Successful people look forward, not back, or side to side. They visualize success, and
know that success will come, no matter how long the process may be. They know
the results they desire will come to them, because they put the necessary
efforts and concentration into their goals, no matter what. Successful people
know that to be really great at something, you may have to be unreasonable with
what you are willing to put into it. They know that nothing can stand in their
way to reaching their goals. They also understand that success is not defined
by a material trophy or prize.

Successful people rejoice in the success and progress of fellow competitors because they
wish to compete with the best, and as should the competition. A real champion
understands that a bad attitude stands out as equally as as a bad sweater. Helping
and supporting others is valued as feelings comparable to winning, and reflects
a winning character. Champions are not concerned of competitors faults, or
weaknesses, because wasting time on other peoples weaknesses is understood as a
reflection of their own self doubt and insecurities. Successful people
understand the difference between confidence and conceitedness, and have no
time for the latter. They are aware of personal strengths and weaknesses.
Always striving for improvement but not dwelling on weakness. Successful people
know that when they reach their goal, there will be no regrets. They will
confidently demonstrate their personal best, because they have taken
responsibility to do everything within their means to produce the absolute best
package. If that means that someone else is judged “better”, than they know
that the competition must be pretty damn good, and it was an honor to be judged
with the best.

In such a competitive world, full of criticism and negativity, ask yourself, are
you a champion? What defines “success”
to you? Is your goal to simply hold a trophy at the end of the day? Or is it
bigger than that?

Friday, 3 February 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Pancakes

It's no secret that I love protein pancakes. In fact, I love them so much that I even eat them for breakfast post-fight when technically I can eat whatever I want! Sometimes as a treat I'll use little variations such as adding chocolate chips, whip cream or other yummy additions.

One of my favourite cheats of all time is a combination of chocolate/peanut butter ANYTHING. There's not much out there with those two words that I don't love, so naturally I created a protein pancake recipe based around this :)

Here it is:

3/4 cup Egg Whites
1 Brown Egg
1/2 cup Oats
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Flax Seed
1/2 Banana 
1 scoop Isobolic Chocolate protein powder by Nutrabolics*
1 tbsp Dark Chocolate Chips
Natural Peanut Butter
No Added Sugar Old Tyme Maple Syrup (optional)
1/2tbsp Coconut Oil

*Nutrabolics' Isobolic Protein has a triple protein matrix so is fast AND slow acting and also tastes like a delicious dark chocolate protein powder. Perfect for this recipe!

Directions:

  • Pre-heat non-stick frying pan on medium heat with coconut oil
  • Chop banana into two small pieces and combine all ingredients except chocolate chips, peanut butter and syrup in a blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until mixture is consistent.
  • Pour mixture into pre-heated frying pan. Add chocolate chips carefully by hand until distributed evenly along surface of pancake
  • You'll know one side is done when the mixture no longer moves a lot when you tilt the frying pan. At this time flip the pancake.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until side is done, then flip again to make sure the top is fully cooked.
  • Cut into 6 pieces like a pizza and top with natural peanut butter. For extra sweetness also top with 1/8 cup maple syrup (optional)
  • Makes one large pancake. Use smaller pans to make more than one pancake out of this recipe.










Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Top Ten Workout Songs

Besides training and competing in mixed martial arts I also have spent a considerable amount of my life playing, performing and writing music (close to 15 years to date), so needless to say I've developed a pretty wide variety of tastes in music (except country, I really hate country music). I'm very passionate about music and my iPod is a mixture of pretty much everything, but there are a handful of songs that can really get my heart rate up when I'm doing cardio or hitting the weights. 

Below I list my top ten workout songs not necessarily in any particular order. 

Requiem for a Dream Theme - Custom Remix (my walk-in song)


Skrillex - Reptile


Kanye West - Monster


 Deadmau5 - Sofi Needs a Ladder


 Roy Jones Jr. - Can't be Touched (with highlight video)


Eminem - Till I Collapse (with Ramon Dekkers highlight video) 


Kevin Rudolph - I Made It


Wiz Khalifa ft T-Pain - Black and Yellow


Black Eyed Peas - Don't Stop the Party


Benny Benassi - Turn Me Up



Friday, 13 January 2012

Collision Sports is now open!



Hey everyone!

I have finally been able to materialize one of my long time dreams to open my own MMA gear/supplement store. My store is called Collision Sports and is co-owned with a very close friend, Andrew Nutt. We're located inside of Titans MMA and Boxing on 3200 Kempt Road in Halifax, NS! Our hours at this time are 11:00am - 9:00pm Monday to Friday and 11:00am - 7:00pm on Saturdays.

We sell all types of products including MMA gear, boxing gear, t-shirts, shorts, sports supplements and much more!

Click here to see our Facebook page or http://www.collisionsports.ca for our website (under construction). You can also follow us on Twitter at @CollisionSprts for updates and promotions!

For more information email me at ricky@collisionsports.ca or call 902-452-9260