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Pat Sadowski

A Definitive Ranking of the Best Holiday Food

Holiday Food Power Rankings

Ah the Holiday season. In my last article, I talked about the best parts about this wonderful season. Of course, holiday food made the list – but what kind of food, exactly?  The turkey, gravy, stuffing, dessert, bread…?

Here’s 2016’s Holiday Food Power Ranking, brought to you by Fit University.  (Note: the numbers represent a primary research survey, how comparative the food is with other meals, how amazingly tasty they are, and finally how often can you eat these foods without getting sick and tired of them.)

10. Candy Canes (17)

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Let’s start off this list with a great holiday classic: candy. Honestly, I feel like I was obligated to add these to the list. And was I wrong?

9. Bread Stuffing (25)

Some prefer meat stuffing. Either way, whichever type you prefer, stuffing is an iconic dish for the holiday season. I consider it a complementary dish to pretty much everything else.

8. Hot Chocolate (29)

Hot chocolate indoors on a cold winter’s day. That is all. 

(Did somebody say marshmallows?!)

7. Gravy (33)

Gravy goes well with almost everything on this list (Ok candy canes and gravy, probably not that good though).

6. Mashed Potatoes (42)

 

Who knew when you boil potatoes, mash them, add some milk, butter and salt you create some godly dish?  Well someone did and they deserve a trophy for it.  This should be on everyone’s list, just depends how deep in the list.

5. Turkey (43)

I may receive some hate to have turkey ranked this low. Turkey is fantastic, we all know that. However, I have reason to believe that there is a better holiday meat that trumps this list. Stay tuned.

4. Sweet Potato Casserole (45)

Specifically, with MARSHMALLOWS.

Now I’ll be upfront, I’ve only had this a few times in my life, but it only takes one bite to understand this dish belongs in the rankings. Is it a dessert? Is it a side dish? Is it both? That is what makes it amazing.

3. All Pies (52)

Apple pie, pudding pie, sweet potato pie, pecan pie. There are too many to count, they’re all so delicious, how can pies not make anyone’s power rankings?

2. Crescents/ Bread (61)

I have said it once and I am sticking to it.  I love bread.

Bread alone is phenomenal. Personally its my favorite type of food. However, there’s something special about the holiday season and crescents.

I can crush way too many of these little guys. The only thing I love more than bread during the season is…

1. Spiral Ham (66)

The GOAT of the holiday season, at least in my household. Nothing beats a home cooked ham – its literally perfect.

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Look at it, strutting it’s stuff.

Other contenders: Chocolate (14) , Corn (11), Cheesecake (10), Cannoli (9), Cranberry Sauce (4) 

Happy Holidays, and enjoy your eating!

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5 Things to Love About the Holiday Season

Why the holiday season is the best season

Before I start, I must admit: I celebrate Christmas and therefore, may have a slightly bias towards Christian traditions.

 

It’s the holidays, everyone! And if you’re anything like me then it is one of your favorite times of the year. Summer is awesome, of course. Spring and Fall are cool in their own separate ways, too. But the holidays to me are something different. Something special.

In my mind, this is the time of the year where people are the happiest.  I feel there is a warm feeling no matter where you go this season, and because of that, I love it.  So here’s a list of things to love, and not to take for granted, this Holiday Season.

The Music

Music, in general, is something I love.  Whether you’re by yourself, at a party, bar, you name it –  it gets the people going.

All jokes aside, though, I love Christmas music. It helps jump start the holiday season and somehow keeps it going. It’s like an energy drink for holiday spirit. Call me crazy (and mostly everyone I know does) but November 1st is when the Christmas music starts for me. In my opinion, it’s never too early to jump start the festivities; plus, the songs are great too.

What’s my favorite holiday song, you ask? Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.

The Snacks

Gingerbread men are the GOAT for me, and there is no telling me otherwise. Nothing beats homemade cookies, cakes, pies, you name it during the season. 

Window Shopping

Actual shopping is a ton of fun, but newsflash: I’m a broke college kid and can’t buy everything. So what’s the next best thing? Window-shopping.

I’m not sure where everyone lives (I’m currently up in Boston) but walking down 5th Avenue in Manhattan during this time of the year gives me chills. Between all the big shops like Macy’s and Lord and Taylor to Rockefeller Center, it really is a wonderful sight to see.

Movies

Home Alone is by far my favorite. Can’t beat Kevin McCallister. Get cozy with some hot chocolate and fire and go watch your favorites!

Decorations

The lights, the ornaments, stockings, and of course, the Christmas tree!

It was the week after Halloween when Boston started putting up its Christmas tree in Faneuil Hall – like I said, it’s never too early to start the Holiday season.

 

Although the list can probably go on forever, these are my top 5 favorite things to love about the holiday season. Between setting up decorations and window shopping, try to squeeze in a few workouts if possible; after all, this is Fit University!

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Why You Should Try Tabata Training

Tabata? Tiabiata? Ciabatta?  

Let's Do This Tabata

For someone who has been using this form of training for months now, you would think I would at least know how to spell it (lawlz). 

But what exactly is this exotic form of training? What are the uses? Are there multiple forms? Well, let’s break this down!!

What tabata is:

Now if anyone recalls from the story of how I got into fitness, I used to hate any forms of cardio.  In fact, for the longest time I thought it was a myth.

However, when preparation for beach bod season came Let's Do This Tabatainto play, I found this amazing program on bodybuilding.com and the basic idea of the program was tabata.

Tabata, simply put, is just a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

Now, HIIT really kicks ass already, and tabata is basically the ultimate form of HIIT. Tabata takes only 4 minutes.

FOUR minutes. Let that sink in.

It consists of 8 total rounds, with each round consisting of 20 seconds of intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest.  The rounds are continuous, so one round is followed immediately after the other. 

Now 4 minutes might not seem like a lot, but if you’re doing it right you will feel like absolute toast. (Side note: avocado toast is absolutely bomb and 10/10 would recommend). 

 

A photo posted by Fit University (@gofitu) on

Why it works:

There is some science behind tabata.

Researchers and scientists conclude that those who performed tabata saw increases in both aerobic and anaerobic system capacities. The anaerobic system is the one that does the intense, immediate work. Moderate to low intensity training such as walking on the treadmill only saw improvements in aerobic performance.

Going at this high of an intensity in short intervals will bump your metabolism and heart rate immediately.  With such a high level of intensity, your body will need to work extra hard to keep this amount of work going. Your metabolism will jump up both  during the workout and long after it (sometimes even hours later), helping your body burn fat well after the workout session.

However, if only works if you’re actually going at a high intensity! If your tabata workout isn’t leaving you breathless, you’re probably doing it wrong. 

How to do it:

The traditional view of tabata is to perform one or two exercises for the 8 rounds, but by all means try to switch it up if you’re bored!

These exercises are all great opportunities to try tabata-style training:

  • Incline treadmill sprints
  • Sprints on a stationary bike
  • Speed rowing
  • Mountain climbers, jump squats, and other bodyweight cardio moves

I also like to use tabata for my ab workouts – more as a circuit, where I do multiple ab exercises with the classic 20/10 timing.

So give this style of training a try, and let’s do this tabata!

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The Fitness Motivation You Need to Get Past Your Slump

Feeling Slumped? Motivation Tips!

Whether you’ve been working out for a few years and consider yourself a #gymboss or are just getting started with fitness, everyone has hit their slump.  It could last a day or up to a week, but do not let this get the best of you!  Try these motivation tips to revamp your mind, your body and your attitude about fitness.

Change up your routine.

Ask yourself this: when was the last time you changed your workout? A month? 3 months?

Just like your mind, your body gets accustomed to your workouts. Because of this, the gain train might miss your stop after awhile. Though undoubtedly frustrating, this is completely normal. Maybe you’re working out because you’re a college athlete, trying to gain muscle mass, or just trying to stay in shape. No matter your goals, switching things up can only help you improve. Try to spice things up and give a new type of workout a try.

Bump some different tunes.

If you don’t listen to music when you work out, then this does not apply to you – or does it? Before you scroll down and skip this one, think about it: if the way you’re doing it now (silently) is getting dull, couldn’t playing some fun new tunes help?

If you’re lacking on the motivation and there’s no music in the background, consider picking up the headphones. From my personal experience, I get tired of listening to the same stuff over and over again.  For that reason, every couple weeks or so I’ll switch up what I listen to.  Whether its alternative, throwbacks, rap or some house music – switching up the tunes can give your workout a different rhythm and a different mindset.

If you’re not sure what to listen to, or don’t want to spend the time making a playlist, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered

Find a workout buddy (or ditch your usual buddy & go alone).

This is pretty straightforward. If you work alone and the motivation is not there, try and find a workout buddy.  I always find working out with someone will help push and motivate each other to new PRs! 

On the other hand, maybe you’re tired of your buddy (maybe he or she doesn’t show up on time).  Try going alone.  You may need just some alone time with the gym to get in touch with what you really want to be doing and accomplish.

Try going at a different time of day.

I personally prefer the morning to workout out in, but some people may not know what works best for them. If your schedule is flexible enough, try going at different times of the day: it may give you a burst of new energy.

Supplementation

I am an avid believer on taking the right supplements for you to enhance your workouts. For myself, I take Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl Protein (10/10 rating in my opinion), Best Creatine by BPI Sports (if you are unaware of creatine, I highly recommend researching the benefits of this amazing supplement), and ON multivitamins. Do a little research and figure out which ones you want to be taking for your fitness goals (or consult an expert).

The right supplements go a long way in terms of endurance, performance and recovery.

 

A photo posted by BPI Sports (@bpi_sports) on

Take advantage of the summer weather.

Get outdoors! With a little of creativity, the traditional playground can turn into your own outdoor gym. Try a simple routine while you get your tan on at the beach, even.

You can try this bodyweight workout you can do anywhere (Or this one. Or this one.). Just do each move for 30 seconds, then rest for 10-30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit as many times as you want.

  1. Pull-ups
  2. Push-ups
  3. Hanging leg raises
  4. Triceps dips
  5. Burpees
  6. Finish off with some sprints

Don’t forget to stretch!

Ditch fitness for a week.

The problem might just be that your body is lacking energy and needs a break. You may just be fatigued. Listen to your body. A rest week can in fact be beneficial every once in a while. Rest up and get some cheat meals in!

 

A photo posted by Fit University (@gofitu) on

Watch Pumping Iron

Then watch it again. Feel motivated?

Feeling Slumped? Try These Motivation Tips To Get Back On Track!

Remember why you started.

To start something is one thing, but the real reason we’re all here is to finish something – to stick with your goals all the way through.

Remember why you started your fitness journey; everyone has their own reasons. What are yours? Like the great MJ once said, “limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”  Get those limits you have in your head out— let finish this.

Pokémon Go

Ha, ha. But for real. Download it. Go on a run and catch some rare Pokémon and hatch those eggs! #TeamMystic4Life

Now that you’re all motivated, what are you waiting for? Go for it! 

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College, the Gym, and Learning to Lift

fitness4nonners

My name is Pat Sadowski and I am an ambassador for Fit University! But I wasn’t always the gym buff that I am today. Here is a little background about how I got into fitness, especially in college.

I am originally from NJ, specifically near the Jersey Shore (side note: I dressed up as Pauly D for Halloween a few years back).

I currently attend Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and right now I am finishing up my 3rd (middler) year. Though I call Boston my home, for the past 6 months I have been co-oping (working full-time) in NYC!

Back down in Jersey, I learned about working out from being on my high school’s track team. I was placed on the throwing team due to my inability to run fast (this will make more sense when I explain my views on cardio momentarily). From there it was history – I was hooked.

The first few workouts I learned were primarily weightlifting. I learned the standard Olympic lifts – mainly the big 3: bench, squat, and deadlift. Immediately, I fell in love with one of these lifts: – the bench. Way back then, when I still had so much to learn, legs meant nothing to me. Therefore, I saw no purpose to do squats or deadlifts. It was a dark time; I did not know any better.

squat

Fast forward a couple years. My sports career came to an end, but my love for weightlifting does not stop. I loved everything about the working out lifestyle (besides legs of course). Researching new workouts, diets, and supplements now took up my free time. Bodybuilding.com became my best friend. I was making initial muscle gains, and I loved it.

To me, working out was like working hard on your academics at school – you’re able to see the progress. If you work hard in class, generally the end results will reflect that. The same was true for fitness, where not only can you see the physical changes in your body, but you can feel it too. The amount of force you are able to generate in the gym increases over time and it is a sensational feeling hitting a new PR!

These rookie gains I was achieving were great, but soon I started to plateau. I finally came to my senses as to how important working out your legs really is. To put things in perspective: your legs make up more than half of your body. So if you’re not working them out, only half of your body is seeing the effects of fitness.

After some critical research on the squat, deadlift, and lifting with legs in general, I fell in love all over again. Deadlifts soon became the G.O.A.T. for me, and continue to be a favorite lift. Squats are just as fun; and as many people say, it’s a great analogy for when something heavy brings you down and you get back up.

 

Although my perspective of working out and fitness as grown exponentially over the years, some things do not change: my hate for cardio. I played sports my whole life, and even swam competitively for well over a decade. And yet I cannot stand cardio. Treadmills, ellipticals, Stairmasters… You name it, I hate it. I think we can all relate that a minute on the treadmill is equivalent to an 8 hour work day. However, even though I truly do hate cardio, I’ve also come to understand the importance of it, especially when it’s cutting season. And with summer just starting, cardio has been a huge part of my cutting phase. 

So that is my background and the start to my fitness lifestyle. Some days I work out because I want to stay in shape or see changes in myself, and some days it is simply my therapy. My love for it is constantly evolving and that is the main reason why I signed up to be a FitU ambassador.

I love fitness and I hope to spread my passion for it throughout the college community – one squat at a time. If anyone ever wants to talk fitness, I can spend all day talking about it so please reach out!

~ Stay fit my friends ~

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