0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    ICON Meals Catoring To The Competitor In Each Of Us

    ICON Meals Blog — healthy

    Blog Menu

    My Fitness Journey: Things I Wish I Would Have Known!

    My Fitness Journey: Things I Wish I Would Have Known!

    Things I wish I would have known when I started my fitness journey!

    1)  Don’t overthink workouts. There was so many times I doubted if I was doing things wrong and wasting time - but I soon realized mistakes are bound to be made and so long as I keep learning I’ll always keep making progress!

    Read more

    5 Reasons Your Healthy Salad Could Be Making You Gain Weight

    5 Reasons Your Healthy Salad Could Be Making You Gain Weight

    Original article by Matt Weik may be found directly on Nutrabio Supplements site.

    When trying to lose weight, what is one particular food that everyone tells you to consume more of?   Salad.  Yes, everyone assumes you need to eat like a rabbit in order to tighten your waistline and drop body fat.  While salad isn’t the only nutritional change you should be making to your diet, when used incorrectly, it could actually cause you to GAIN weight unexpectedly.

    To help you better utilize salad during your weight-loss journey and allow these green leafy gems to work for you rather than against you, there are five things you need to be aware of so you aren’t left frustrated when looking at the scale.  I also provide a bonus tip at the end for good measure.  But first, let’s dive into the reasons you need to watch out for salad.

    You Don’t Pay Attention To Your Dressing

    This is one of the simplest things to change, yet one of the hardest for people to fully grasp and understand.  If you were looking at salad dressing and wanted to reduce the number of calories you consume, there are two things you need to focus on.

    1. The type of salad dressing you are using
    2. The amount of salad dressing you are using

    Seems so simple, right?   Wrong.  The first thing people tell you is to stop using regular salad dressing as it is full of fat.  They tell you to opt for the “fat-free” versions instead to drastically cut down how many calories are coming from your dressing alone.  

    I’m here to tell you that’s a terrible idea.  For starters, a little fat with your salad can help you better absorb some of the nutrients found in your salad.  Also, depending on the kind of fat you use, it’s not necessarily “bad” for you.

    Because both lettuce and fat-free salad dressings are low in calories, you probably won’t feel satiated from the meal – this will cause you to overeat later in the day.  Also, most fat-free salad dressings are using corn syrup (when you look at the ingredient list, it’s normally one of the first ingredients listed) to replace the fat for it to taste good.

    Skip the fat-free dressing, stick with the regular.  All you need to focus on is reducing the amount you use, and if possible, choose some sort of vinaigrette which includes some healthy fats.  If you are getting a salad when you’re out and about, ALWAYS ask for your dressing on the side.  Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of however much (generally WAY too much) dressing they pour on top.

    Adding Croutons

    While adding some texture and crunch to your salad, croutons are one of the worst things you can add as a topping.  Essentially, all the store-bought croutons you find are full of nothing but processed white flour that provides you with no health benefit at all.  Many times, croutons are fried, which adds unhealthy fat to your diet.

    Sure, you could use bread and make your own croutons at home, but again, all you’re doing to your salad is adding carbohydrates which increases the total calorie count.

    My suggestion?   Skip the croutons altogether.   When you go to a restaurant, ask the waiter if you can have your salad without croutons.  They will be more than happy to accommodate your request.

    Skipping The Protein

    As mentioned earlier, lettuce does not contain many calories. It’s mostly made up of water.   Even after adding a little vinaigrette to your salad and tossing in some healthy vegetables like tomatoes, onion, carrots, cucumber, and even some peppers, you’re still not left with a satiating meal that provides any sort of bulk to your meal.  If you want to increase satiety, consider adding some protein to your salad.

    Protein is necessary for building lean muscle mass as well as needed to maintain and preserve it.   Protein is also very filling and can add some quality macros to your salad.  

    Additionally, protein has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF), which means it takes your body more energy to digest, absorb, and utilize this macronutrient than any of the others.  What this means is that your body will burn more calories when you consume protein with your meals.

    Consider adding some lean cuts of steak on top of your salad, some hardboiled eggs, shrimp, grilled salmon, or even the most commonly used protein source, which is grilled chicken.   If animal protein isn’t your thing, you can use tofu or other plant-based protein alternatives to add to your salad to increase the overall protein content.

    Another topping that includes protein that many people forget about is chickpeas.  These delicious little balls of protein goodness can spruce up any salad you add them to.

    Using Too Much Cheese

    While not the worst offender when it comes to toppings on your salad, cheese quickly causes the calorie count to shoot up due to the fat content.  If you get a salad from a restaurant, they tend to go a little overboard with how much they put on top.  When putting cheese on your salad at home, many people have a difficult time eyeballing the correct serving size and don’t necessarily want to weigh or measure everything out.

    The best thing to do would be to skip cheese as a topping with your salad or put on a TINY amount just to add a little flavor if you absolutely must have cheese on your salad.

    The Type Of Salad Matters (They’re Not All Created Equal)

    Without getting into the plethora of names given to salads these days, I just want you to think about what’s available and what you generally find in all of the various salads out there.  

    A salad can come with a taco shell, glazed nuts, dried fruit, wontons, nuts, seeds, processed meat, fried toppings – the list goes on and on.  Every little thing added to your salad will alter the macros and calorie count.

    Many of the toppings mentioned can definitely alter and improve the flavor of a salad and make it more palatable, but at the expense of causing your salad to become more calorie-dense.

    BONUS TIP!

    If you’re packing a salad for a meal on the go or for lunch, there are a few things you need to know.   First, ALWAYS wash and dry your greens before you package them in a container to take with you.  If you pack them up wet, your salad will go limp, and it can ruin the flavor and texture of your salad.  

     The second tip is to never add your dressing on top of your salad if you don’t intend on eating it right away.  Similar to what happens when you don’t dry off your greens, the leaves will wilt, and the flavor will be altered.  Pack your dressing separately and take it with you to add when you’re ready to sit down and eat.

    Original article may be found directly on Nutrabio's site.

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

    A Sit Down With Jessy Jess

    A Sit Down With Jessy Jess

    This week we're excited to feature Team ICON Member, Jessica Rose-Clark! Better known as "Jessy Jess" she is an Australian mixed martial artist who competes in the women’s Bantamweight division of the UFC. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jessy and ask a few questions!

    How long have you been doing mixed martial arts (MMA)?

    I’ve been training for 12 years and fighting for 10.

    What made you want to do what you are doing? What’s your story?

    I was dating a guy who took me to kickboxing one day, and just fell in love with it! I legitimately never looked back. It was the first thing in my life that I ever truly fell in love with.

    What has been your favorite fight in UFC so far?

    Probably my debut. I’ve had some good fights, but nothing will ever compare to the feeling I had, walking out for my first UFC fight, in Sydney australia in front of ALL of my family and friends.

    Why ICON Meals? What makes us different?

    I’ve actually been using ICON Meals for almost 3 years, in and out of camp. I love ICON Meals because they always have so much flavour. A lot of other pre made meal companies that I have sampled, were bland and tough when reheated. Not the case with this crew!

    What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

    Wooooooo that’s a good question. There’s been so much! - you can help someone but you can’t control what they do with that help - gotta take one step at a time to climb Mt Everest - doing something 80% well is better than not doing it at all because you were worried you couldn’t do it perfect.

    Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?

    This is probably going to sound conceited, but honestly, I inspire myself. It’s been a long and arduous journey, not just through my career but through life. I don’t need to turn to what someone else has done, in order to inspire me to keep going.

    How do you balance your UFC career and life demands?

    Also a good question. I don’t believe in balance. My UFC career is my only priority. It is what allows me to keep a roof over my head and my dogs fed. Everything else comes secondary.  

    What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?

    Honestly, just as being a good person. In a world where there’s so much trauma and heartbreak, I just want to be kind to people and bring joy to my surroundings.

    What is your current focus? Any plans for the future?

    Fighting fighting fighting. We all want gold.

    What are your favorite ICON Meals? Or favorite thing about ICON Meals?

    Literally all of the pasta dishes. Especially the lasagne. My other fave is the keto meatloaf. It’s soooooo good!!!

    Stay connected with Jessica on

    Want to be featured on ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

    Motivation vs. Commitment (+ Free Workout)

    Motivation vs. Commitment  (+ Free Workout)

    Greg McCoy, Owner of Hidden Gym


     

    What’s the difference between motivation and commitment, and why should you care? This important topic will give you an edge tackling any goals you set, including your health and fitness goals.

     

    Motivation PUSHES you to start, while commitment KEEPS you going. People often don’t realize that motivation is temporary. Some days you’ll feel motivated, and others you won’t. Everyone’s had days they don’t feel like going to the gym. I have those days too. 

     

    When motivation fades, commitment comes in. Commitment is having the grit to work toward your goal even when you don’t feel like it. 

     

    Greg McCoy - Hidden Gym | ICON Meals

     

    Getting Motivated

     

    Motivation Myth: motivation comes before you get started.

     

    Motivation is often the result of taking action, not the cause of it. 

     

    “One of the most surprising things about motivation is that it often comes after starting a new behavior, not before.” –Brian Cain, Mental Performance Mastery Coach

     

    On unmotivated days, getting to the gym is the hardest part. How do you prevent “losing” the day? Preventative measures and accountability. Remember, motivation will come after taking action.

     

    • Schedule your workouts in your calendar.
    • Have an accountability partner. 
    • Commit to meeting someone at the gym. 
    • Hire a trainer that’s going to be waiting on you.
    • Have someone ask you tonight about how your 4pm workout went.

    Greg McCoy Hidden Gym | ICON Meals Blog

     

    Motivation & Commitment Exercise

     

    Write down a time you felt motivated but were not committed. For example: 

     

    In January I was motivated to lose 10 lbs., but I was not committed to the process so I didn’t achieve my goal.

     

    Write down a time you were committed but didn’t feel motivated. Example:

     

    In college I wasn’t motivated to pass my biology class, but I was committed to earning my degree. So I attended class, studied, and passed biology. 

     

    Four Ways to Increase Your Commitment

     

    1. Know your “Powerful Why.” Consistently reminding yourself WHY you want to achieve your goal — the benefits of sticking it through — will keep you committed on unmotivated days.

    2. Have SMART Goals.
      S – Specific
      M – Measurable
      A – Attainable
      R – Realistic
      T – Time-based

    3. Keeping your goals SMART is proven to increase your likelihood of success.

    4. Break down long-term goals into weekly and daily goals. Truthfully all fitness goals can be boiled down to one meal and one workout at a time.

    5. Accountability. This powerful tool is excellent at keeping you committed.
      1. Schedule workouts with a partner.
      2. Have someone ask you about your workouts.
      3. Hire a personal trainer. We put effort into things we pay for. 

     

    Understanding motivation vs. commitment is often a lightbulb moment for getting people on the right path. Hopefully with personal reflection and putting these ideas and exercises into practice, you will be much closer to reaching your finish line.

    Free Workout: Beach Body 10s

    I did this workout on my birthday to burn serious calories and make room for the huge feast I planned that evening!

    10 rounds with no breaks

    • 10 kettlebell swings
    • 10 pushups
    • 10 inverted rows
    • 10 calories on a fan bike*

     

    *If you don’t have equipment that measures output by calories, use any stationary cardio machine for 45 seconds at a 7/10 intensity.

     

    The aim is to do this workout with no breaks, so you will need to pace yourself. Set up your stations before you begin and make sure you’re properly warmed up. Vary the intensity by changing kettlebell weight and speed of burning the 10 calories.

     

    Beach Body 10s should be done stand-alone or after a strength or endurance training session. 

     

    Want to workout for free at Hidden Gym? If you live in the Allen, TX area, come by Hidden Gym and get a workout in on me!  https://hiddengym.net/free-day-pass/

    Growing up poor to becoming a U.S. Army veteran, celebrity white house chef and motivational speaker.

    Watch the video above or listen to the podcast below. You can also listen to the podcast on your favorite podcast app.



    Chef Rush is one of the top chefs in the country, embodying the word “excellence.” His accomplishments include serving in the military for 23 years, working as a chef in the White House across four administrations, and becoming a celebrity in his own right.

    In this special ICONiCast Chef speaks at length with our CEO Todd Abrams about developing his work ethic, his passion for cooking, how he trains, and what it took to get where he is. 

    Chef is larger than life and this entire interview is well worth your attention — but if you don’t have the time right now to listen to the whole thing, we’ve timestamped the top moments below.

    💥  Listen to this podcast on your favorite podcast app! 💥 


    0:00 - Introduction

    2:10 - Why Chef does 2,222 pushups a day. 
    22 military veterans die to suicide every day.

    3:30 - Bullying
    Chef was bullied as a kid. Since he’s always been big he wasn’t scared, but he didn’t want to fight. 

    4:30 - How many pushups has Chef done?
    Millions.

    5:15 - Chef’s work ethic
    His father put him to work at a very young age, and has always committed to being the hardest worker.

    7:40 - Chef’s first culinary teacher
    Chef learned cooking from his mother, at a time and place where men didn’t do such things.

    10:30 - Chef’s daily routine
    Four hours of sleep.

    12:30 - Chef’s favorite meal
    Simple — organic chicken.

    14:40 - How Chef trains
    Hard and heavy with more than 15 reps.

    16:30 - Todd on training with others
    Avoiding mediocre mindsets.

    17:15 - “Destroy it.”
    Chef’s mantra.

    18:30 - Becoming a celebrity chef
    The current result of a mountain of work, and based on helping others.

    20:30 - The hard job of cooking
    Why Chef strived to earn that title.

    21:00 - What Presidents eat
    High-quality service to heads of state and homeless alike.

    22:10 - What drives Chef
    Helping people and experiencing more of life.

    24:00 - What Chef’s doing today
    Traveling most of the time and speaking to groups.

    26:40 - Cooking to Cope program
    Helping people understand how important food is to physical and mental health.

    28:15 - Chef’s favorite cheat meal
    There’s a lot of them.

    29:40 - Entrepreneurial drive
    The most intense drive in the world isn’t enough — you need an amazing team.

    31:00 - Being his own biggest critic
    Chef knows perfection is impossible but tries to get there every single time.

    33:15 - Chef’s mentors
    Not the typical heroes — people who had to earn their way from the bottom.

    36:00 - Chef’s book, Call Me Chef, Dammit!
    The story of Chef’s life, from childhood racism to working in the White House. Available March 1st, 2022.

    38:00 - What’s next for Chef


    Follow Chef Rush: https://www.instagram.com/realchefrush/

    Follow Todd Abrams: https://www.instagram.com/toddabrams/