How to Take the Stress Out of Summer!

Hello Empyreans!

Carl Here and I'm here to shed some light on something that is putting more unwanted pounds on you faster than eating Moose Tracks ice cream smashed between 2 chocolate chip cookies (oh yea...) and that my friends, is STRESS.

Lets Go Back in Time Real Quick...

In the prehistoric ages (like cavemen era), there were only 2 known MAJOR stresses that the human body experienced and they were...

1. Don't get eaten by animals higher than you on the food chain.

Survival makes the body move.

Survival makes the body move.

2. Hunt enough animals lower than you on the food chain to survive long winters.

And Fast Forward...

Now, in modern society, we probably experience all different kinds of stresses every minute of everyday. If you live in America, you know that this is true. The same feelings of stress are now triggered by all different kinds of stress now!

For example, being stuck in traffic and the thought of being late for work, children and working your butt off to pay (a yearly increasing) college tuition, when you look at yourself in the mirror and wondering if you're in control of your health, paying rent or a mortgage, trying to be appreciated or desired, and last but not least trying to distress yourself for the summer and you find yourself working just as hard! The list can go on forever but when do you ever catch a break nowadays!  

The summer begs lazy days and trying to unwind. The reality is that we're working, balancing family obligation,s and trying to take vacations – which seem almost non-existent in corporate America. Some may even replaced the term "work-life balance" with "work-life integration." Their thinking? There is no more balance. We are working all the time, whether if its at the office or at the beach. 

Its hard to unplug nowadays!

Its hard to unplug nowadays!

The Magical Power of Visualization

The most effective and powerful communicators and leaders know how to decompress and find ways to release tension. These are some very simple yet incredibly impactful tips which can be applied to a host of business and life situations.

Let's say you're trying to leave on a seven-day vacation with your family. But at the office there are reports to be completed, clients to be updated, 200 emails to answer, and four more meetings than there are hours left in the day. Your to-do list is longer than your arm.

Stop and Try This

Close your eyes, take two deep breaths and imagine you are at the beach. Hear the surf, and feel the sand between your toes and the sun on your skin. Why the beach? The warmth of the sun, the white noise of the waves, the smell of the surf, the feel of sand between your toes. In other words, four of your five senses will become involved in this imaginary excursion. (If you want all five, imagine eating an orange, or something else juicy and delicious.)



Why do this? If you can truly put yourself in this imaginary "play" – your mindset will shift and hopefully put you in a different, less tense state. By enlivening the five senses, by shifting focus, by creating a mental image that engages the mental "body" summer vacation will come early.

Mind Over Matter

The ability to alter your mind to minimize the internal feelings of stress is a powerful tool for business and life. Recent studies have shown that it is not stress itself that is damaging to our health, but our opinion about stress. Those who think stress is bad have increased restriction in their blood vessels, which is indeed damaging over the long haul. But those who see stress as a part of life, a welcome challenge, nothing to be worried about, a strength or character booster seem to suffer far fewer physical effects.

We know so little about the impact of the mind on the body. I recall reading about a study years ago where a smell was associated with the delivery of a pain-reducing drug. Later, those who had associated the smell with the drug merely needed to smell the same scent for their pain to be reduced. I do not know, but have often wondered if perhaps they reached the point where just imagining the smell had the same effect.

Bring Summer, Wherever, Whenever

What I do know is we all tend to get stuck in the same mental ruts as we do physical ones. We think the same tired, and perhaps stress-inducing, thoughts over and over, and rarely give ourselves the time and space to play with our thoughts in the same way. For example, we'll give ourselves a break from routine by playing a sport. Why not?

Listen to this and play imagination!

Why not bring summer into winter? Why not spend a few solitary moments imagining sitting under your favorite tree, feeling a breeze, listening to birds and smelling the grass? Why not bring summer vacation a few days early? What might happen? You may just find that by allowing yourself a few moments of imaginary play, when you do reenter the stress of work and deadlines and meetings, they're not nearly as onerous as they seemed before.

Other Ways to Filter Stress

There are 2 other ways that can help significantly reduce stress.

1. Exercising intensely at Empyrea Group Training.

2. Getting great sleep.

Exercising and deep sleep has been shown to filter stress hormones that have been built up through a long day and releases feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.

Sleep is the only time our bodies has to recharge the batteries. If were are always running low on energy, we're always stressed about being tired. Try your hardest to get more sleep!

We Hate Stress!

Stress stinks, Empyrea works.

Stress stinks, Empyrea works.

Our workouts get pretty intense but the best part about them is that anyone can do them. Whether its your first time or you're just simply looking to take your workout to the next level. All of our exercises are modifiable for all fitness levels! Ask our clients!

If you want to relieve some stress, burn body fat, build lean muscle, and get better sleep; easily sign up to one of our classes here.

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

Meal Prep Extreme - Made Easy!

Happy Humpday Empyreans!

Justin here and I love prepping my food!

I wanted to take the time out today to talk about the importance of meal prepping and how to make it as simple as possible for you and your family. I'll tell you how I personally meal prep my food each week and how you can do it too!

 . I have gone through years of trials and tribulations to approaching my cooking and meal prep the way most body builders and fitness models choose to do because

1. It works

 2. It now becomes convenient rather than tedious.

This is all after you get the hang of it and find your own rhythm to doing this method. This style of prepping food consists of cooking food in bulk, weighing out the appropriate portions to get the correct amount of protein per serving/meal, and then packing your meals into Tupperware, making it easy and convenient to grab a meal at any time of the day or night.

I do this method about one to two times per week depending on how much food I have time to cook in one shot. It can take me anywhere from 1-3 hours to do the entire “factory line” process and take cleanup into account as well! In the end, you have many meals, ready to go, measured out with the correct portions of macronutrients for your goals, and you do not have to come back into the kitchen to cook or clean for an entire week….how is that for you!?

Once you are able to get past the weird looks from your family and friends, they will all become jealous of your delicious meal you are eating after a long day of work, while they are heating up spaghettio's because they are “too tired to cook”

Everyone can cook. How would you survive if you couldn't?

Everyone can cook. How would you survive if you couldn't?

What Do I Cook?

I like to begin by purchasing a lean protein: chicken, salmon, steak, pork, ground turkey, etc. in a bulk package. This can be a large cut, or take a package of multiple chicken breasts, steak filets, etc. you can get the idea here. “The more the merrier”.

How Do I Cook It?

Then I like to cook my meat in two different ways: typically in a baking dish or diced up cubes of my lean meat in a large oriental wok. You can also use a standard frying pan, especially with ground turkey as I don’t see any other easier way to cook this type of meat– each is very quick and easy, and one may be more appealing or easer to do than the other, so take your pick and also feel free to use your own method. Again, this is what works for me personally.

If you are baking your meat, you can start by lining a dish with tin foil for easier cleanup. I also like to use the foil to make a “boat” with some of the fish I cook. It helps steam it up and make it nice and tender with all of the marinades and seasonings.

How Do I Make It Taste Good?

I typically avoid all seasonings that include excess salt, sugar and ingredients I cannot pronounce! Stick with your black peppers, herbs, spices, Mrs. Dash, (which is salt-free) and for liquids – I like to exclusively use “Lea and Perrin's" all-natural, low sodium Worcestershire sauce. I also use red wine vinegar, small amounts of balsamic vinegar (it does contain small amounts of sugar), and also, hot sauce (this contains some sodium, but it is 10x better than using ketchup or other condiments).

Mustards are good as well. Other than those, you really do not need to add anything else, as they provide TONS of flavors in small amounts and you do not need to really measure the amounts either, because they are virtually salt and sugar-free. I have been marinating meats and cooking with these seasonings for years, finding my particular taste and amounts for each type of meat that I cook, and they all really taste amazing.

This is just me though – ask my girlfriend to eat my food and we may have some dirty looks. She is a lot more particular than I am! Ha-ha. But long story short, you cannot go wrong or screw this up.

What Oil Do I Use?

I like to use extra virgin olive oil for coating to avoid sticking and also adding additional healthy fats to the mix. I may also include a tbsp. of EVOO measured out to drizzle on the final product for an additional 15g of healthy fats! This is a great way to add up the fat calories if you are under for your daily goals.

EVOO is healthy, light and delicious. Due to high fat content though, this is the only liquid I really measure out when I do cook.

Show Me The Veggies!

As most of you should know by now (I hope!), vegetables should make up the majority of your carbohydrate intake during the day. I like to add a cup of veggies to every Tupperware, shake it up to mix it together and it’s ready to go.

I have used other methods in the past, such as adding the veggies to the frying pan, but when going the bulk route, simply purchasing the largest bag of frozen veggies available (stop and shop sells 4.5 lb. bags of frozen broccoli which is a staple for me - $5!), typically take a gigantic bowl, dump the veggies into it, throw in the microwave for 10-12 mins., and then take out to disperse by measuring 1 cup and dumping into each Tupperware.

Using a variety of different vegetables is your preference and you cannot go wrong. Fresh veggies work well too, but keep in mind the cost may be higher and more prep goes into cutting up vegetables. I like this method for the low cost, and convenience.

How Much Do I Cook?

Measuring your meat portions: For men and women I would say there should be a slight difference in the portion sizes because we all require different amounts of protein. The body can only process so much at one time before excess is stored as body fat (any macronutrient in excess can be stored as fat for later use). I would recommend women weighing out their meat in ounces to equate to 12-25g per serving (may be roughly 3-4 oz. give or take), and men 20-30g per serving.

The easiest way to figure out the math per serving is to use your myfitnesspal app – simply type in the meat that you are having, and select the different serving amount in ounces until you have come to a number of protein grams that matches what you should have. Once you have this figured out, take a scale, (if you do not own one, I recommend the “Ozeri touch professional digital kitchen scale” which is about $20 on and free shipping. It is excellent.), place an empty Tupperware on the scale and find the weight.

Once you see the weight, you can take your meat and add to it and do not forget to include the Tupperware weight as well – this should allot you an additional 1-1.5 ounces to the total number. (Example: Tupperware is 1.40 oz. Salmon for 28g of protein is 5 oz. My total number should be 6.40.). You may then remove the Tupperware and start to add to the next one, until you have used up all of your meat and filled all the Tupperware.


Add a cup of veggies to the mix, put the lid on, shake it up, and then you’re ready to eat or store for a later time! I have used a package of 5 lbs. of chicken breasts, which came out to be roughly 10 meals! Between eating breakfast and my protein shakes and snacks during the day, I would only need to eat about 2 or 3 per day. This is nearly enough whole meals minus my breakfast for the entire workweek.

Consistency and Convenience.

Consistency and Convenience.


Meal prepping does NOT have to be overly complicated. Following a healthy lifestyle is all about the two C’s:

Consistency and convenience.

When you have those two things down, you will be successful. When you overcomplicate your meals and cooking, it can become expensive, tedious to prepare and tiring to cook and clean up. Do yourself a favor – give this approach to cooking an honest shot sometime…you may surprise yourself at how easy and effective it is – also, not having to cook for a week is awesome!

Happy Prepping!

- Justin