You know that one auntie?
I don’t mean to be rude,
But every holiday, nobody eatin’ her food…
– Kanye (actually)
Happy Friday, Coach J here from Anyman Fitness – and welcome to the latest edition of The N.W.A. Newsletter.
Each Friday’s N.W.A. Newsletter will have 3 parts:
- A Nutritional Tip to help make your diet healthier and easier to stick to.
- A Workout Tip to help make your training sessions more effective and fun.
- An Attitude/Mindset tip to help you strengthen your greatest asset – your mental toughness.
I will also give you my single favorite piece of social media content from AF over the past week and link to it on either Instagram or Twitter.
Without any further ado… let’s get started, shall we?
N.W.A. Nutrition Tip Of The Week
Thursday is Thanksgiving in America.
And in honor of Thanksgiving, it’s time to give you the All-Time GREATEST Dessert you could ever make:
My infamous Pumpkin Pie Crunch.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Wait… I thought this was a fitness newsletter – why would you be giving us a calorie, sugar, and butter filled recipe, Jason?!?”
And I’m glad you asked…
Proper nutrition isn’t about avoiding everything under the sun and depriving yourself 365 days out of the year.
It’s about balance.
Most of the time, eat right and train hard.
But when you want to go off plan and have some hedonistic fun, DO IT!
Life is too short.
When you’re on your death bed, which will you remember more?
The fact that you nailed your macros on Thanksgiving, 2022?
Or the fact that you had a wonderful time with your family and ate some fantastic food to celebrate all you’re thankful for?
Yep, that’s what I thought.
Moderation with everything, INCLUDING moderation. 🙂
Now, let’s get to it… a short back history on this dessert.
My first year teaching was 2005, and the day before Christmas break, one of our room moms made this dish for the teachers and put it in the breakroom.
I cut myself a slice, took one bite and my knees literally buckled!
I couldn’t believe how insanely delicious it was – I had never eaten anything like it!
I immediately asked who had made it, emailed her, and asked for the recipe.
Ever since then, I’ve made this recipe for my family on Thanksgiving – we look forward to it every year.
Be aware – if you make this *once*, you will be asked to make it every holiday from here on out.
It’s THAT good.
So, unless you want the title of the “Pumpkin Crunch King/Queen”, tread carefully…
Without any further ado… here we go…
The Infamous Jason Helmes Pumpkin Pie Crunch
2 cups brown sugar
1 can full fat evaporated milk
1 large can pumpkin (NOT “pumpkin pie filling” – actual pumpkin)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Pour the mixture into a greased, 9 x 13 baking dish.
Over the mixture, evenly sprinkle an entire box of yellow cake mix.
Melt 2 sticks of butter in the microwave.
Lightly drizzle the melted butter over the cake mix, attempting to saturate each morsel of dry cake mix. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect – it will come out just fine.
You can add crushed walnuts if you wish and/or if no one in your family has any nut allergies.
Bake at 350 for an hour, or until the sides become brown.
It’s best to make this dish the night before, allow it to cool, and put it in the fridge overnight to serve cold.
It goes best with whipped cream a bit of vanilla ice cream on the side.
And there you have it.
The best dessert you will EVER taste, hands down!
After you make this on Thursday, shoot me a note and let me know how everyone liked it!
N.W.A. Fitness Tip Of The Week
I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet…
The holidays are here.
It’s the toughest time of the year for fitness (late summer vacation season excluded).
You’re naturally going to be eating more food.
Use this to your advantage!
Extra calories = extra energy.
And extra energy = more strength in the gym.
Be sure you’re putting those calories to good use!
It’s never good to be caught in “permacut”, and to be always trying to lose weight.
As such, it always makes sense to plan your fitness around the rhythms of the year.
So really smash those weights during the holiday season!
Use this as a time to eat at maintenance, or perhaps slightly above.
This will set you up nicely to make some rapid progress in early 2023 with your newfound muscle, and increased metabolism.
N.W.A. Mindset Tip Of The Week
Now that I’ve given you an unhealthy recipe, it’s time to chat for real about the next 6 weeks.
Did you know the average person gains 8 pounds between now and New Year’s Day?
The holidays are a huge reason why we tend to gain weight year over year – this phenomena has been studied many times before.
*Most people* gain 8 pounds over the holidays.
And then, they spend the next year trying to lose those 8 pounds.
On average, they lose 5 of the 8 pounds, which means they net 3 pounds of fat gain each year.
Rinse and repeat for a decade, and you just gained 30 pounds of pure body fat…
But I’m here to tell you that DOES NOT mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself over the next 42 days.
You absolutely SHOULD eat some goodies and treats.
Every civilization has celebrated holidays and big events with food – there’s no need to deprive yourself.
BUT you still need to be careful…
There are 5 “big days” during the holidays:
- Christmas Eve
- New Year’s Eve
- New Year’s Day
And there are 37 other “normal days”.
Those normal days are what you really need to focus on.
The Big 5 only makes up 12% of your holiday season.
The other 37 days make up the other 88%.
The issue with the holidays isn’t the Big 5 days… it’s all the OTHER days that really get you.
It’s the alcohol that surrounds you over your break.
It’s the leftovers you eat for the next 3-4 days after each holiday.
It’s from dining out frequently because you’re tired of cooking so much food.
THAT is where the real issue is.
So, my tip for you is simple:
Enjoy the HELL out of each holiday, but when it’s done, it’s done.
Don’t take huge bags of leftovers home and have “Thanksgiving Dinner” 5 times in a row.
Don’t feel the need to polish off every dessert in the house because of ‘starving kids in Africa’.
Enjoy your holiday.
And then, move on, turn the page, and get back at it.
If you nail the 37 “normal days”, you’ll be in a great position after the holidays are over, even if you have some fun on the “Big 5”.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Drinking regularly in your 20’s is a pretty normal thing.
But if you’re still doing it to excess in your 30’s and beyond, it’s time to take a hard look at the reasons why.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Anyman Fitness N.W.A. Newsletter.
I’ll be back next week.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
I always love listening to this song. It’s so refreshing to hear a rap song with a positive message and zero curse words.
This one is totally safe for work – you can play it at Thanksgiving next week, no problem.
Have a great holiday! -Coach J