About T.J. LaPanta

T.J. LaPanta

T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

Here are my most recent posts

T.J. LaPanta, Author at Healthy Lifestyle Issues From a Concerned Comic - Page 74 of 76
T.J. LaPanta
T.J. LaPanta

Author Archives: T.J. LaPanta

How to Get Shredded Naturally

bodybuilder

There are many theories out there about how you can get shredded naturally, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be up to you to execute a lot of the simple things in life that are going to allow you to get that lean, mean, muscle machine of a body. I’m going to separate theory from fact, and let you all know just what you need to do to get the body you dream of.

How to Get Ripped The Natural Route

Getting in shape is different from getting absolutely shredded to the bone. Few people actually get to the point where they have a physique that “pops” or features “rock hard abs.” Being ripped is having a very low body fat percentage. For women, that rate is usually considered having a body fat percentage of lower than 14%. For men, it’s about 10% and lower. When you get that low, your abs will start to show. It’s not easy to get there, but when you do, it’s highly rewarding.

Steps to Getting Shredded

1) Lift Heavy

Heavy Lifting

If you are looking to get chiseled, you need to build up your muscles while retaining muscle so you can get that lean look. If you are doing weight training, you need to know that to get your body fat this low, you need to do it about 5 times per week. 3-4 times will help, but may not be enough. Look for 45 minutes to an hour for each session. Of course, depending on which workout routine you follow, they will have you on different programs. I like to follow the shortcut to size program.

You’ll need to focus on muscle growth, which will mean you need to work out like I outline below:

  • Rep count – look for the 6-12 rep range.
  • Number of Sets per specific exercise – you’ll need four sets to really grow muscle depth. Five to six will only help.
  • Volume – this will vary from person to person, but it’s the way to describe the amount of work put in per body part.
  • Rest – important as anything, you need a good 60 to 90 seconds of rest between heavy lifts.
  • Time Under Tension – your muscles will develop to the best of their ability if you are able to get this time frame to about 40 to 70 seconds. Slow your reps down and use control. You don’t want to risk injury working too fast. Bad form also happens when you rush your sets.

2) Being Your Day’s Intake with Protein and Fat

Everyone harps on the notion that you need to have carbs in the AM to get energy. That’s simply a falsehood. We have a solid amount of energy residing in our fat, and if ideally if you are looking to get lean you want to burn that off. Limiting carb intake in the AM can help you use fat for fuel, which will help get rid of it.

Look to start your day with eggs and other lean proteins. Yes, even a sirloin steak or other slab of lean beef (I hear the carnivore dieters howling) along with some nuts and an avocado is a great way to kick off your day. You’ll also stay full for a longer period of time, so you’ll eat less over the course of the day.

See also: starting your day with a healthy breakfast.

3) Too Much Cardio Can Reduce Muscle Mass

Sometimes the hours of jogging around is actually hurting your ability to lean up and get shredded. You’ll want to make sure you don’t burn too much muscle mass with cardio that will do that. Look at long walks and other simple cardio if you are on the final cutting phase and want to keep your muscle mass.

4) Your Carb Intake Must Vary

To lose weight in the early stages, cutting carbs is a solid idea. However, science shows that as you get leaner, you actually need them more for recovery. Add 50 grams of carbs to your post-workout and see if you become leaner. If you do, you can add more carbs incrementally.

5) Boost Your Protein Intake

This is needed to build muscle as well as repair broken down fibers in your body due to heavy training. One gram per pound of body weight is ideal.

6) Address Lifestyle Factors

sleeping well

Getting a good night's sleep is uber important to getting in shape.

Sleep well! This is very important and is often overlooked. Stress is also another factor you can’t look past.

Conclusion

We all want to get ripped. The truth is, there are no short-cuts. Women, you can jack yourself up with pre-workouts supplements, eat clean, and exercise daily and you will have a hard time reaching 14%. Men, you can boost your testosterone levels as high as you want, but at the end of the day if you aren’t on a clean diet, your work is all for naught.

September 14, 2018

What is a Healthy Breakfast?

Breakfast

What is a healthy breakfast? this topic is debated quite a bit. I turned to none other than Harvard Health, where a PHD chimed in on the topic of eating breakfast. Today I’ll curate some of that content as well as provide my own take on the topic in my own smart alec ways.

What Exactly is a Healthy Breakfast?

According to Monique Tello, PHD, it’s not really what we put into our system first thing in the morning, but it’s more about how we break our overnight fast.

People eat at different points of the morning, and some, even into the afternoon. Tello suggests that if you aren’t hungry, you don’t need to eat right away. She also adds that eating right away to “rev up your metabolism” was an old myth made up by pesky cereal manufacturers. (I blame Mikey, from Life.)

Why Overnight Fasting Helps Weight Control

Fasting for weight loss is becoming the norm. Ask around, and you probably know someone who does some sort of intermittent fasting. It’s proven to help with weight loss and metabolic health.

For most people, this means you stop eating at 8 PM the night prior, and wait a full 16 hours until you eat again. This will bring you until noon if you stop at 8 PM. You can eat stuff like broth, (but not an entire dish of Pho) but your liquid intake should be confined to coffee, water, seltzer, and tea. Stay away from sweeteners and creamers for full effect.

If you can do this, you’ve fasted 16 hours. Most of it was while you were having wet dreams, so how hard was it really? If you follow this plan, you can eat for the next eight hours. Further, if you can keep that healthy by eating vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins along with healthy fats, you’ll be full blown operating under the circadian rhythm intermittent fasting program. This means you can expect lower blood sugar and insulin levels along with losign a few pounds. Once you get started, it’s easy to maintain.

I’ll be doing an entirely new page on intermittent fasting in the near future. I’m going to record myself doing this program so you can all follow along.

Why Low Glycemic Foods Help

No matter when you eat, the article continues, research shows that we function better when we don’t spike our blood sugar levels.

This means eating a lower glycemic load.

For breakfast, this means eating fruits, (I knew my fascination for kiwi fruit would be rewarding) vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

Breakfast Ideas

Whole wheat toast with nut butter is an example of a low glycemic food.

If you are looking for more ideas, they suggest whole wheat or rye toast with nut butter, black beans with tortillas, oatmeal, fruit, nuts, and yogurt.

September 13, 2018

How We Ruin Our Diets

Hamburger

Chances are, you are sabotaging your diet and you don’t even know! This morning I read a piece in the local Sun Sentinel that talked about the many ways people are blindly wrecking their weight loss attempts. It was eye opening, and I found myself guilty of making a few mistakes myself. What, me? No, I’m perfect.

It doesn’t matter which diet you are on. It could be the Atkins, the Paleo, or one of the popular diets on social media. People fall off for numerous reasons, and they are cited below.

Which reason is your reason you fail at dieting?

Ways We Ruin Our Diets

#1: Not Eating After a Workout

Smoothie

A basic smoothie or protein shake will go a long way after a workout.

The number one way we ruin our dieting is not eating directly after a workout. According to science, this is when your body needs nutrition! Dieticians will cite two items that you need to consume immediately after a grueling workout: carbs and proteins. Your workout will have more impact if you do this.

#2: Skipping Breakfast

All the intermittent fasting peeps are certainly going to argue this point, but how many times have we heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Eating breakfast actually jumpstarts your metabolism after you’ve fasted all night, and if you skip breakfast you are more prone to diabetes and high blood pressure. I literally just talked about my struggle with this in yesterday’s update.

#3: Eating Like Crap

Chips, candy bars, and all the other processed garbage needs to be replaced with healthy snacks like beef jerky, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. There is no room for bad foods if you are taking this seriously.

#4: Resisting Cravings

cheesecake

Let yourself have that slice of cake on the birthday of your co-worker, they say. This way you won’t have an all out meltdown and eat an entire cheesecake next time you crave something sweet.

#5: Counting Calories

This is important – you need to have an idea of how many calories you are consuming, especially if you find yourself eating out a lot. There are apps that actually have estimated calorie counters for many of the major restaurants out there, so get one, download it, and start counting. Chances are, you are over eating.

#6: Relying on Reduced Calorie Foods

These typically come processed, which means there are many potentially deadly chemicals abundant.

#7 Avoiding Fats Entirely

Definitely avoid eating crap, but don’t skip out on fats. Nuts and avocado are my primary sources of healthy fats.

#8: Diet Soda

I used to live on diet soda. It’s better than soda, right? Maybe not, it’s full of chemicals and sodium, which are obviously awful for you. They are also responsible for acne breakouts as well as mood swings and dehydration. I have made the move to seltzer water and never looked back.

#9: Cutting Carbs

Pizza

Sure, low carb diets are all the rage, just see this all beef diet plan. But long term they may have some serious side effects. Your body demands energy from carbs, so feed it!

#10: Gluten Free Diets

These are also a fad, but are they worth doing? Many people are saying NO. You should only do this if you have an allergy causing you to eat this way.

#11: Making Foods off Limits

Don’t do it, you need that pizza. Seriously, cheating isn’t bad for you and if you don’t do it, you may suffer from mood swings. It’s good to have limits, but also have some concessions.

#12: Skipping the Water

Spa Water

Water runs your body, if you don’t consume water it’s like not putting fuel into your motor vehicle. Besides, it’s super easy to do and it is tasteless. If you want taste, make some of my spa water. I use lemons and cucumbers to make any water taste much better.

September 12, 2018

How Many Garlic Pills Should I Take a Day?

Garlic Cloves

I’ve had struggles with high blood pressure the last several years. I take Lisinopril, which is like a blood pressure basic medicine and nothing special. It’s like the Tylenol of blood pressure medicine. A band-aid, if you will. As a health buff, I took my search online and found out that garlic is an answer to lowering blood pressure. Garlic pills, here I come. So, how many garlic pills should I take a day?

Garlic Benefits for Men

Let’s be real, I’m only taking these because there is no shot I am going to suck down multiple cloves of garlic each day. I understand it can save my life, but imagine me hollering at women in a bar with garlic breath! Oh, the horror! However, I do care about living good and not worrying about having a stroke, so naturally I’m going to supplement my face off to make sure I don’t have any issues.

Now, getting down to brass tacks here, when you look at a garlic supplement dosage there are many ways you can chop this up. (Chopped garlic, see what I did there?)

Garlic

Ultimately, the effective dosage of garlic you should consume isn’t entirely determined. I’ve visited many of the big authority sites out there like Web MD and others, and most are ranging from one to two cloves of garlic for adults if they are eating the raw garlic OR 300mg of a supplemental tablet two to three times daily. If you are using the Metric system, 7.2 g of aged garlic extract works.

So what does this all mean?

At the end of the day, I looked at this data and decided that I’d consume one 1,000 mg dosage of garlic extract. I chose this one (below) after reading many supplement reviews. Since the well-informed writers at the American Family Physician are telling me to take these 300 mg dosages a few times per day and I read nothing about “over-consumption of garlic pills” I figured I’d do it all in one shot. Whenever I take supplements of any sort, whether for my brain, weight control, or just a multivitamin, I always prefer to do it in as few instances as humanly possible.

So, if you are looking to emulate the success I’ve had with using garlic pills to lower blood pressure, this picture below is the exact company I used. I bought it on Amazon via their Prime program and have been very happy with the results. It was given a vote of confidence as the best garlic pill supplement by Woman’s World. (Don’t worry, I made sure it was good for us men as well.)

I found these on Amazon and they have been tremendous.

Benefits of Garlic Pills

Taking garlic in a pill form is much easier to add to your daily good health routine when compared to slicing it up and adding it to your food. What other benefit would you get from a pill in comparison to natural consumption? I’m not all that positive, to be frank with you.

However, I have spent considerable time on my own dime looking into this as I attempted to find out if this was going to be a potential game changer when it came to my high blood pressure. Ironically, I found out there were many other benefits to consuming garlic pill supplements.

Closely related to bulbs such as chive, leek, and onion, garlic is a bulb of the species Allium. Garlic is made up of a “head” and “cloves.” Cloves are the sections inside the actual head, so one you get one piece of garlic it’s a clove, and when you get one whole garlic it’s a head. Usually you’ll see about 10 and 20 cloves and most dishes will require a serving size of 1-3 cloves.

With over 100 compounds that equate to better health, you’ll find Vitamins B1, B5, B6, and C. Additionally, you’ll find zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorous, and manganese. That’s a lot of antioxidants right off the bat, but let’s look at what else this will do to benefit your daily life.

Allicin is the big hitter here. It’s actually the part that you can thank for the unique smell when you chop fresh garlic. Push that smell aside, because it’s an amazing remedy that helps you more than you probably knew.

As mentioned, consuming this can help your blood. What’s also great is that it can be used to fight a fever, the common cold, other sicknesses, and even cancer. Yes, cancer. A lot of this goes back to old, Western medicine, but the science is there. (I looked it up, I have no reason to waste my time blogging and making up bogus information, lol.)

Garlic Medical Uses

  • Treats hardening of the arteries
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Prevents and treats yeast, colon, and prostate cancer
  • Lowers blood sugar (diabetes treatment)

Again, the pill supplements are all the rage because they are being made without the pungent odor that you usually get to enjoy.

Additional Uses

  • Antimicrobial agent to fight bacteria
  • Helps prevent muscle soreness and inflammation
  • Reduces frequency of upper respiratory tract infections
  • Assists with breast and menstrual pain
  • Huge antioxidant benefits

If you shop at your local nutrition store, you should be able to find garlic pills. It’s worked for me to lower blood pressure in a cost effective way. Being a man without a ton of time for browsing, I choose to do it all online and buy on Amazon.com.

Recommended Garlic Pills

Thought Cloud CBD Oil

CBD Oil

9.8

Results

10.0/10

Ingredients

10.0/10

Satisfaction

10.0/10

Value

9.0/10

No Side-effects

10.0/10

CBD oil or Cannabidiol oil has many therapeutic uses and many people often find relief with a health issue by using products made with CBD. In fact CBD oil has become so popular these days that nearly every person out there with a certain health issue is using it for relief. As someone who really likes to stay holistic and keep away from dangerous pharmaceutical products, I have decided to buy ThoughtCloud CBD Oils. Today, I share my Thought Cloud review.

If you're just browsing around, you can also view my list of best CBD oils here and see where this ThoughtCloud review ranks among the others I've tried.

Why Thought Cloud CBD Oil?

I think the better question to start this ThoughtCloud review with is “why not?” The medicinal properties of cbd oils in general are substantial. CBD oil is capable of relieving several health problems including pain, acne, anti-aging, and much more. But apparently, the CBD oil still shares a whole lot of controversy simply because it is made from the same plant which is otherwise popularly used as a recreational drug.

Yes, CBD oil comes from hemp plant which is used to make marijuana and hashish which are both recreational drugs that create psychoactive results when consumed. However, it is important to know that the chemical compound responsible for the high is in fact THC and not CBD. Hemp plant has both CBD and THC. That's probably the most ​important misconception about CBD that I should start off with in my ThoughtCloud review.

I’ll also add that while people are “against” hemp products, they fail to realize how much more dangerous drinking alcohol is. Yet, they are fine with Beer Companies sponsoring major sporting events. Let that sink in for a second.

When CBD oil products are made, extra care is taken to remove THC from them so that you do not experience any of the ‘high’ you would otherwise get if you consumed THC. But since there are many brands out there making CBD oil products, a lot of them have traces of THC because the brands are not careful enough.

If you want to try CBD oil for a health issue but do not like the fact that they could still get you high, you should buy from a reputable brand. I’ve looked around for a few weeks now and landed on ThoughtCloud, and I loved my experience so much I felt compelled to write this ThoughtCloud review.

ThoughtCloud was founded in 2016 by a holistic medical practitioner with an aim to provide pure CBD products that are 100% from THC. In simple words, the CBD oil you get from ThoughtCloud will never ever get you high.

But this isn’t the only reason you should be buying from this company. In my full ThoughtCloud review below, I present a full list of many reasons why this is the best brand out there for any kind of CBD product.

Benefits of Buying CBD from Thought Cloud

First and foremost in my ThoughtCloud review, all products from this brand are extensively tested and made with an aim to completely remove THC. This is the biggest selling point of the company and something worth specifically highlighting in this ThoughtCloud review.

Secondly, the products at ThoughtCloud are so carefully made that they are not only better in providing relief, but are also highly regarded as the most quality eccentric CBD products out there. Nearly all of the products listed by the brand, covered below in my ThoughtCloud review, have high levels of efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and consistency.

750 mg pure cbd

If that isn’t enough, all products made at ThoughtCloud use 100% organic ingredients. In simple words, the company does not use any synthetic chemicals to boost the performance or shelf life of the products. This is something of a big issue with many CBD oil producing companies who time and time again have been caught of creating synthetic cheap chemical compounds acquired from China to alter their product. The results are often tons of unwanted side effects when you use their products. That's not the case with ThoughtCloud.

ThoughtCloud products are made from 100% US grown hemp plant in Colorado and everything is made in a facility that passes all the quality tests. The employees of the company are also very well educated in their respective fields (they were very helpful in my putting together info for this ThoughtCloud review) and they help in creating the perfect blend before it is released in the public.

One other reason why ThoughtCloud comes as highly recommend is the variety of CBD products listed on their website. You may find another ThoughtCloud review that just talks about their oils, but they have so much more. You’ll find everything from vape juice to tinctures and bath bombs. The company has the biggest product listing in the US when it comes to CBD, and I have a whole other batch of ThoughtCloud review posts on this site (find them here) that go into detail on each individual product. It’s literally an online mega mall!

Unique Features of Thought Cloud

Professionalism – ThoughtCloud operates from the internet and has one of the best customer support out there. They make sure that as a user you have one of the best experience when shopping with them. As a result they keep a close eye on what their customers want and provide immediate help and consultation when needed. Any ThoughtCloud review would be remiss to point out the soft skills, beyond just the product, that make a brand great.

Organic products – All of the products listed on the Thought Cloud site are 100% organic products. You’ll never come across a product that is not made from ingredients obtained in a natural way.

Safe – All CBD products from ThoughtCloud are extremely safe to use and do not have any side effects. The products are also suitable for your pets. You can find a write-up specifically about their pet products in another ThoughtCloud review post here.

Made in USA – No ThoughtCloud review is complete without telling you the source of their plants. All products are made in USA inside a high-tech facility with professional staff. Products are also extensively tested for quality and purity before they are packaged and sent off for sale. The company also exclusively uses hemp plants grown in Colorado as opposed to other companies who import their hemp plant from dubious sources.

Free shipping – ThoughtCloud will send your product within the next 24 hours for absolutely no extra money charged.

Full Guarantee – And if you do not get the desired results from a product acquired from this company, and you aren't feeling the same things as I describe in this ThoughtCloud review, they are willing to give you back all the money you spent on shopping from them. This offer is valid for 30 days from purchase.

Great for beginners – If you are someone who is using CBD oil for the first time, you probably have no idea how to use it and what should be the dosage. You've come to the right place in this ThoughtCloud review. Thanks to Thought Cloud, this problem is solved when you buy a product from them. All the CBD products from the brand come with full instructions meant to help you understand how to use the product. This is excellent for people who have no idea how CBD oils are used.

Coupons – Who doesn't love saving money? Scroll down to the end of this ThoughtCloud review to find a coupon for a discount on your order!

If you are looking for Thought Cloud CBD Oils, you should know that they extract their CBD extracts from hemp plants grown on licensed farms in Colorado.

ThoughtCloud Review - Final Thoughts

This brand is my favorite CBD oil manufacturer in the USA for many reasons mentioned above in my ThoughtCloud review. (I’ll be frank, it’s the only mail order company I’ve used so far, at the time of this writing, with my only other purchases being in the Las Vegas dispensaries. My overwhelmingly great experience led me to write this ThoughtCloud review.)

Since they offer free shipping and money back guarantee at Thought Cloud, there is no risk in trying their products out. Plus when you compare their products with other companies producing CBD oil, it is quite easy to see the level of professionalism put in producing these.

Compared to other brands out there, all products listed on ThoughtCloud are also very cost effective which gives you another big reason to try them out today.

I’ve enjoyed my experience with this company, which is why I took the time to write my full ThoughtCloud review. I’m not always easy to please, so I’d tell you if this company was piss-poor.

ThoughtCloud Coupon

A great deal gets even better when you have a coupon! The fine folks at Thought Cloud provided a discount code exclusive to the readers of my ThoughtCloud review. Just use the code COMIC during checkout. It works on a sliding scale - the more you spend, the higher the discount!

Thanks for reading my ThoughtCloud review!

September 10, 2018

The Facts About the Carnivore Diet

Ribeye

Many people will battle about how diets work until the cows come home.  (Literally, since we are talking about beef here.)  The carnivore diet is getting a bad rap by people, and Good Housekeeping cites that it can lead to vitamin and mineral deficits.  Today I’ll share some facts about this diet, from a guy who loves beef, but has gone a bit cleaner and focuses on plant-based foods more than simply protein.

How the Carnivore Diet Works

In this diet, which is amazingly simple to follow, you eat only beef, salt, and water.

Cows in Pasture

The average American will eat 222 pounds of beef this year. (Source: Qz.com)

It’s sort of like the Keto Diet, but not really.  You can’t eat vegetables, fruits, (Adios, Kiwi), nuts, legumes, seeds, or any dairy products.  It claims to assist in weight loss, but as mentioned, it certainly lacks the vitamins and minerals a steady diet consisting of the four food groups will give you.  When you omit many vitamins and nutrients, you can suffer from bone loss as well as organ failure.

Yikes!  Maybe that’s why this wasn’t named in the most popular social media diets?

I’ll once again go on record saying that I will never pass up a rib-eye, made black and blue or at the very odd occasion – rare.

However, without any greens or fruits I could never subscribe to this diet plan.  I love steak, and could eat it daily.  In fact, I used to until I learned how to cook fish and found out how delicious poke bowls are.

It’s fun hearing from the like-minded beef enthusiasts out there that will say this diet is life-changing, but if I’m going to go for mostly protein, I’m going to do something like the anabolic diet that allows me to eat some greens and not get so bored with simply one food.

The diet also calls for some weird things, namely infrared saunas and cryotherapy, giving your body both extremes – hot – and cold.  This is said to have a metabolic affect, but hey, you can do those anyway without this beef diet.

Can you imagine how regular you must be when you just eat beef? No need for these pills.  

Why You Should Avoid the Carnivore Diet

Let’s start – and end – with the fact that there is zero scientific backing to this diet.

Of course a low carb diet can help speed up weight loss, there aren’t any long term studies on people to make sure they are safe for a lifetime.  Sure, many people who follow a Paleo lifestyle will cite their successes, but again, until an actual agency with some credentials pipes up, we can’t assume anything.

I’ll never turn down a solid piece of beef – or heck – an American Wagyu steak at Snake River Farms – but the prospect of organ problems and mineral deficiencies that could lead to bone loss, pain, and failure simply freak me out.

But hey, if this is something you want to do, go ahead.  I’ll be right along side you eating beef, but with a side salad or some vegetables.

If you suffer from obesity, my advice to you would be to try one of these fat burning supplements.  Unlike the carnivore diet, these have some scientific data behind them.