1,000 Calorie Whole Food Shake

bananashakeOne of the top weight gaining powders on the market, Monster Mass, currently costs about £1.00 per serving. For that price, you get 610 calories and a pretty decent tasting product.

While these shakes are convenient, we want to give you a more cost effective option that features better overall nutrition.

The following 1,000 calorie shake recipe contains only whole foods. Each of the ingredients can be found at any local grocery store. You’ll need:

  • Whole Milk
  • Peanut Butter
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Bananas, Large
  • Whey Protein Powder

Heavy Whipping Cream. This is not the whipped topping you put on top of pies. Heavy whipping cream can be found in the refrigerated section near milk in almost every supermarket. It is a calorie dense dairy product that is used to make butter, or real whipped topping. In this case, we will use it simply to add extra nutritional value, taste and calories to our homemade weight gainer shake.

1000 Calorie Weight Gainer Shake

To make this shake, simply add the following into a blender, and mix well:

  • 2 cups of Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp of Peanut Butter
  • 1 large Banana
  • 2 ounces of Heavy Cream
  • 2 scoops of chocolate Whey Protein Powder

This will yield about a 22-24 ounce shake that can be consumed either at one sitting, or split into 2 shakes. The calorie content of this weight gainer is slightly over 1,050, while also containing approximately 65 grams of protein.

In addition to providing quite a few more calories than a weight gain powder like Monster Mass, our homemade shake is also more cost-effective. It yields a greater amount of calories, on the average, per pound spent.

Weight Gainer Shake Variations

If you are not a fan of peanut butter, chocolate or bananas, there are many other possible shake variations you can make. Here are a couple of possible ideas:

  • Ice Cream and Berries – You could make a vanilla ice cream and berry shake, using fresh strawberries and blueberries.
  • Cinnamon, Vanilla and Oatmeal – Combine vanilla whey protein powder, a dash of cinnamon, and a half cup of cooked instant oats.
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Posted in Sports Nutrition

Statins Good or Bad?

We often get asked this question, statins there’s no easy answer for it at this time although the prescription of Statins is on a constant increase and the side effects can be fairly horrendous for both the taker of Statins and their immediate family.

So the real question is, do they work and are the side effects worth the discomfort to control your cholesterol?

Firstly we’ll be positive and examine how they work and the benefits you get from being on Statins…..

Cholesterol is the single greatest risk factor for heart disease and a major risk factor in stroke and disease of the arteries. Statins reduce harmful cholesterol by slowing its production in the liver.

They’re proven by ‘study’ to reduce heart attack and stroke by reducing harmful cholesterol which thickens arteries and increases risk of clots. A review of 90,000 statin users by the Medical Research Council in Oxford and the University of Sydney concluded that risk of fatal heart attack or stroke fell by about a third.

Benefits started immediately, increased the longer they were taken and the further cholesterol fell. It reported statins are especially valuable to people at high risk of heart attack or stroke and they protect patients whose cholesterol was considered normal. There’s no question that statins save lives but at what cost to the other areas of your body?


Statins have been tried and tested for 20 years. They’ve been in use for over a decade and most trials, involving tens of thousands of patients, continued for five years or more. But do we know enough about the other things going on in the body that Statins may or may not help with?


So we know Statins work, but is it the best way to deal with your Cholesterol problem?

We believe not, there is a strong case for simply monitoring your diet correctly and using an L’Arginine supplement like Ark 1 L’Arginine. The L’Arginine in the drink helps to boost your healthy cholesterol and lowers your bad cholesterol. The other benefit of using Ark 1 instead of Statins would be that it’s a powerful vaso-dilator which boosts the Nitric Oxide levels which lowers blood pressure by softening the smooth cells of the arteries which allows them to flex, thus lowering the blood pressure. Nitric Oxide also cleans up the arteries, freeing them of atheroma which is basically Cholesterol & other waste products which are the cause of the related heart disease problems. Statins seem only to help prevent heart disease and stroke because they reduce the amount of LDL (harmful Cholesterol) in the blood stream. There is no study currently available to the public that shows that Statins have reliably done any more than just reducing the harmful cholesterol.

You can contact us via this website to ask specific questions about approaching cholesterol problems in a natural way free of drugs:- http://goo.gl/QZZzi

Ark 1 L'Arginine

Secondly we must now cover the side effects of Statins…….

Common side effects

Although side effects can vary between different statins, common side effects (which affect up to 1 in 10 people) include:

  • nosebleeds
  • sore throat
  • a runny or blocked nose (non allergic rhinitis)
  • headache
  • feeling sick
  • problems with the digestive system, such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or flatulence (passing wind) (embarrassment)
  • muscle and joint pain (see below)
  • increased blood sugar level (hyperglycaemia)
  • an increased risk of diabetes

statinsHowever, it’s clear most of the common problems people experience when taking statins are actually caused by the medication itself. On a personal note we know of previous Statin users that suffered daily with un-comfortable indigestion and daily flatulence which is certainly un-wanted if you’re a social person. In our experience the people we know that suffer when using statins did not have the same conditions present prior to using statins, they only came about after statin usage developed the side effects.

Uncommon side effects

Uncommon side effects of statins (which may affect up to 1 in 100 people) include:

  • being sick
  • loss of appetite or weight gain
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or having nightmares
  • dizziness – if you experience this, do not drive or use tools and machinery
  • loss of sensation or tingling in the nerve endings of the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
  • memory problems
  • blurred vision –if you experience this, do not drive or use tools and machinery
  • ringing in the ears
  • inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), which can cause flu like symptoms
  • inflammation of the pancreas (pancreaitis) which can cause stomach pain
  • skin problems, such as acne or an itchy red rash
  • feeling unusually tired or physically weak


Rare side effects

Rare side effects of statins (which may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people) include:

  • visual disturbances
  • bleeding or bruising easily
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)Muscle effects

Statins can occasionally cause muscle inflammation (swelling) and damage. Speak to your doctor if you experience muscle pain, tenderness or weakness that cannot be explained (for example, pain that is not due to physical work).

Your doctor will carry out a blood test to measure a substance in your blood called creatine kinase (CK), which is released into the blood when your muscles are inflamed or damaged.

If the level of CK in your blood is more than five times the normal level, your doctor may advise you to stop taking the statin. Regular exercise can sometimes lead to a rise in CK, so tell your doctor if you have been exercising a lot during the period of using Statins.

Once your CK level has returned to normal, your doctor may suggest you start taking the statin again, but at a lower dose.

So that’s a lot of potential harmful side effects just to combat your harmful LDL Cholesterol level which as we explained earlier can be handled just as easily with your own personal diet choices, regular steady exercise and advanced formulation supplements which if you have the money for, are by far the best way to address these basic health issues.  You can even enjoy the basic yoghurt’s that have now been produced for some years which have had some effects on Cholesterol as well. All of this without the unwanted side effects of Statins.

Our personal choice from experience of working with people that have been on Statins is that if you can fix the Cholesterol problem in a natural way then this is certainly the best course of action as using the Statin drugs is not a comfortable life for a lot of people, certainly the people we’ve known personally on these drugs have not had a comfortable life at all, even simple bloating, indigestion and flatulence on a daily basis not only leads to added expense of buying new clothes, daily uncomfortable indigestion and the rather embarrassing condition of wind but also the loss of self-confidence in older people that no longer feel comfortable with the conditions to go out. Until Statins can work in a more natural way and give better more wide ranging results they have limited use because the side effects massively out weigh the known benefits at this time. They’ve certainly become a quick and easy solution for GP’s to prescribe but perhaps are not the wonder drug they’re portrayed to be. We certainly welcome more studies in the future as there is not much information regarding the usage of Statins for women at all. There is some doubt as to the benefits of Statins to women who may even need CoQ10 as well to make the use of Statins safer and more comfortable. It may come as news to you that CoQ10 is not easily available on the market in Multi-Vitamins but it certainly should be because any Multi-Vitamin that doesn’t contain CoQ10 is now out of date and not worth using. The Co Enzyme Q10 is like a little truck inside your body that helps everything to get where it’s supposed to go and also help move the waste products out of your system. A quality Multi-Vitamin containing CoQ10 can cost as much as £30 but is worth it to supplement your diet with key vitamins, minerals and botanicals that will keep you healthy and illness free.

The photo below shows the Ark 1 L’Arginine Drink which helps to reduce bad cholesterol naturally and the Ark 2 Supreme CoQ10 Multi-Vitamin which delivers incredible vitality & energy. The two pack of products is essential for people who live busy lives and require the supplemental support of Premium nutrition to keep their bodies free of stress & disease. You can purchase your own products here:- http://goo.gl/0MozF

Ark 1 & 2 (Micro 2 Pack)

Ark 1 & 2 (Micro 2 Pack)


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Posted in Health

Viagra and it’s side effects

viagraA little known fact about Viagra is that the little Blue tablet that appears so harmless is also incredibly damaging to your body. The miracle effects in helping men overcome the issue of erectile dysfunction have stopped people from looking at the larger picture of using the drug in their lives and the possible unwanted consequences to their health.

On this post we show you the natural alternative in the Ark 1 L’Arginine Pink Drink which has become a very popular health tonic.

The Ark 1 L’Arginine Pink Drink has many health benefits but one of the key benefits is it’s ability to boost both male & female sexual health as it works in the sexual reproductive system. For men the benefits of Ark 1 are that it makes it easier to achieve and maintain an erection. This is done by the Ark 1 containing the Amino Acid L’Arginine which the body converts to Nitric Oxide, this in turn acts as a vaso-dilator allowing blood to flow more freely around the body, thus aiding the achievement of erections.
For women the Ark 1 product allows greater enjoyment during sex as the better blood flow to the female sexual organs allows for greater feeling and sensitivity during lovemaking.

All the Ark 1 benefits come without side effects as the formulation is based completely on natural ingredients.

Below we share the  list of side effects of the Viagra tablets so that you can see the full extent of the issues you may face on the drug, some of these issues may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking sildenafil:

Less common

  • bladder pain
  • burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings
  • cloudy or bloody urine
  • dizziness
  • increased frequency of urination
  • indigestion
  • pain on urination
  • stomach upset
  • tenderness in the stomach area


  • Abnormal vision
  • anxiety
  • behavior change similar to drunkenness
  • bleeding of the eye
  • blurred vision
  • bone pain
  • breast enlargement
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • cool and pale skin
  • deafness or hearing loss
  • decrease in amount of urine or the frequency of urination
  • decreased vision
  • difficulty in concentrating
  • dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • double vision
  • drowsiness
  • dry eyes
  • dry mouth
  • dryness, redness, scaling, or peeling of the skin
  • excessive hunger
  • eye pain
  • fainting or faintness
  • fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • feeling of something in the eye
  • fever or chills
  • headache (severe or continuing)
  • increase in the size of the pupil
  • increased sweating
  • increased thirst
  • lower back or side pain
  • migraine headache
  • nausea (severe or continuing)
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • numbness of the hands
  • painful, swollen joints
  • prolonged, painful erection of penis
  • redness, burning, or swelling of the eyes
  • redness, itching, or tearing of the eyes
  • restless sleep
  • seeing shades of colors differently than before
  • sensitivity to light
  • shakiness
  • skin lesions with swelling
  • skin paleness
  • skin rash, hives, or itching
  • skin ulcers
  • slurred speech
  • sore throat
  • sudden weakness
  • swelling of the face, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • trouble breathing
  • twitching of the muscles
  • unusual feeling of burning or stinging of the skin
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vision changes
  • vision loss, temporary

Incidence not known

  • Blindness

viagraSome side effects of sildenafil may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your healthcare professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Aches or pains in the muscles
  • bloody nose
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • flushing
  • headache
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • redness of the skin
  • sneezing
  • stomach discomfort following meals
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusually warm skin


  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • abnormal dreams
  • anxiety
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • cough
  • diarrhea or stomach cramps (severe or continuing)
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • ear pain
  • increased amount of saliva
  • increased skin sensitivity
  • lack of coordination
  • loss of bladder control
  • mental depression
  • nausea
  • numbness or tingling of the hands, legs, or feet
  • rectal bleeding
  • redness or irritation of the tongue
  • redness, soreness swelling, or bleeding of the gums
  • ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • sensation of motion, usually whirling, either of one’s self or of one’s surroundings
  • sexual problems in men (continuing), including failure to experience a sexual orgasm
  • sleepiness
  • sores in the mouth and on the lips
  • tense muscles
  • trembling and shaking
  • vomiting
  • waking to urinate at night
  • worsening of asthma
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Posted in Health

Choosing your MLM company….. A Simple Guide

Hi Gang

Thanks for checking out this new post, we like to offer you simple tips that allow you to enjoy MLM and benefit from being a distributor.

Firstly make the effort to learn about the company you’re looking to join.

How old is it? are the distributors that contacted you willing to tell you the name of the company straight away? do they provide access to the marketing plan straight away? do you earn well quite early on in the business?

If the answer to any of the above is NO, then you should be moving on towards a better opportunity straight away!

Are the top earners known for being in the company from the beginning or did they move a whole downline of distributors across from another company to get to the top level? is the opportunity new in your country and the top leadership team has already been created and not worked from the bottom to get to the top?

If the answer to the two questions above is YES, then you should be moving on towards a better opportunity straight away!

You will of already established that the companies don’t allow you to earn easily from the beginning which is the whole reason you’re looking to join it in the first place. Also they have dubious ways of advertising their opportunity and unfair methods of creating their networks. Any company that allows leadership teams to be pre-selected or a whole chain of people to suddenly join the company without building their way up from the bottom the hard way, doesn’t value you as a distributor. This is also the type of MLM company where you find strange things occurring like people you sign up in your network get moved around until they’re under other people in your upline and then you find out all your distributors that you’ve spent months training are no longer in your downline and your royalty cheques have dried up.

In a good MLM company you will have the ability to see how everything works from day one, you’ll understand the marketing plan, how it works and how you will qualify for the next level. You should also have an understanding of the products the company is selling and the quality of those products. We would urge you to check the ingredients and standards of manufacture before you commit to actually joining a company and selling the products. Cheap products you can sell because they’re cheap but it’s normally only once that you can do this, people won’t buy a cheap product twice if they’re not gotten a good result from the product. A good product always gives results and generates repeat custom which means in MLM you can find the 10-20 customers you need and then maintain them easily through repeat custom. The key to qualifying for your royalty cheques every month is in this simple method of maintaining your monthly product order by having a solid customer base ordering from you every month and of course this lies in having quality products.

So if you’ve got the quality products you need to build a business on what are the keys to being successful? Well you need a quality marketing plan, one that you can see a clear path in to that dream income. The starting point though is much simpler, put some numbers into the marketing plan and be honest with yourself, does this marketing plan allow you to make your current monthly income in a monthly royalty cheque after 12 months in the business with less than 50 people signed up under you?

If you can hit your current monthly income with less than 50 people in your network then you can do it PART TIME and that’s the key, if you can hit your full time income monthly in just part time hours in your business then there’s no reason why you can’t make the business opportunity work for you and also find other people that would want the same, it’s that easy when you see it right!

Who wouldn’t want to make a FULL TIME income in PART TIME hours around their normal job? That’s the magic of MLM right there and that’s what you need in MLM, it builds the business from the bottom, creates the foundation and generates everyones incomes. They myth that MLM doesn’t work for 98% of people is total nonsense, the truth is simple, 98% of people don’t have the right attitude, motivation and determination to succeed.

We’ve taught you the basics here of choosing your MLM, find the MLM that suits you and have the time of your life as you build your dream income.

If you want any specific advice on choosing an MLM company and you need help choosing one that suits you or you want more information on how to make yourself a better distributor please don’t hesitate to contact us via e-mail on lifestylefocus@live.co.uk

We’re also on Twitter, Follow us on @lifestylefocus1

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Posted in Sports Nutrition

Core Stability Training

Core Stability training

In recent blog posts I wrote about weight lifting for cyclists and strength training to reduce left/right strength differences. These workouts have all had a focus on the legs, which is the main source of power for a cyclist. However, it is also important to train your upper body. This is important for several reasons. First reason to strengthen your core is because you can actually use the force in your upper body to improve power output on the pedals. To do this, however, you need to be able to ‘transport’ this force from your upper body through the core, lower back and hips to the legs. The weakest link in this chain will be your limiting factor, so it is very important to train all parts. Some other reasons to do core stability training are a reduced risk of injuries, and better capability to breathe during high intensity workouts.

Research has shown that in untrained cyclists, upper body strength correlates with cycling performance as well as leg strength. Although this will probably be a bit different in trained cyclists, it upper body strength will still contribute to your total power output. But this upper body strength can only be transformed into power output on the pedals if the entire chain in the core can deliver the force produced in the upper body to the legs. This means all parts of the chain need to be strong. This chain includes the chest, abs, upper and lower back and the hips. The arms can also be considered a part of this chain, although I would prefer to consider those separately.

Another important reason to do core stability training is injury prevention. Many injuries, for example knee injuries, are caused by a weak core or a bad stability in the core. When your core strength and stability are not good enough, you will unconsciously start to compensate this by moving in a different way than your body is designed to do. This leads to small injuries that cause new compensational behavior and other injuries. This can cause injuries throughout your entire body! Of course this is not what you want.

In some cases, breathing can also be compromised by a weak core. When you do core stability training, pay attention to your breathing. This will teach you to keep breathing while there’s a high tension on the muscles involved in breathing. If you do this right, you can strengthen the muscles involved in breathing and also improve your breathing patterns. Remember to always take long and deep breaths, rather than the small breaths. This way you reduce the influence of your ‘dead space’. In a later blog I will pay more attention to breathing techniques.

To train the core, you can do really simple exercises and a workout doesn’t have to take much time. We do a 1 hour core stability session with the team every week, but I hardly ever join those sessions. Instead, I do my own sessions at home 3 times per week. Each session only has to last 10 to 15 minutes, and should include about half a dozen of exercises. As long as you make sure those exercises train all parts of the chain in the core, this is enough. I have a 6 exercises routine that I repeat 3 times every week. After one week, I drop 2 of the exercises and replace them for 2 new exercises. This way you do every exercise 3 times per week for 3 weeks, so 9 times in total. By that time, your progression in that particular exercise will start to plateau a bit, and you will be better off doing some other exercises just to get back to the previous workout later on when your overall core strength has improved and you can start making big improvements on this exercise again. If you search the web you will find many different exercises you can do to improve your core strength, and video examples of most exercises can also be found on YouTube. Do check those, as it is very important to do the exercises right in order to prevent injuries. You can do both static and dynamic exercises, and you can do exercises using weight or just using your own body weight. I prefer to do body weight exercises as they are easy to do anywhere anytime. The downside of those exercises is you can only increase the load by doing more reps or holding static for a longer period of time. And I can tell you planking gets boring after 8 minutes! I also prefer dynamic exercises over static exercises because although in cycling your upper body should hardly move, it is still a dynamic sport. Another reason I prefer dynamic exercises is because it causes less stress on your body, reducing muscle aches. However, you will have to do some static exercises as well. To reduce muscle aches, you can also use the Ark 3 purple pills after your workout.

Tom Gakes

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Posted in Sports Nutrition

Cyclist Training (Left/Right Leg Differences)

Differences between left and right leg

In my previous blog I wrote about the importance of strength training and weight

HRTC Training

Tom Gakes/Nick Molijn

lifting for cycling and endurance sports. That blog mainly focused on the importance of strengthening your muscles of both legs to increase performance. But there is another reason to do strength training. Most athletes have a strength difference between their left leg and their right leg. This is normal and doesn’t have to be a problem, but the difference in strength shouldn’t be more than 10%. If it is, you should make a plan that includes strength training to decrease this difference.

In my case, the difference between my left and right leg is well over 10%. In fact, if I do maximum number of repetitions of step ups with the same amount of weight for my left and my right leg, I do about 50% more reps with my right leg compared to my left leg. You can also see this from the outside, as my left leg is visibly smaller than my right leg. When I recently measured my thighs, my left leg was 59 cm and my right leg was 61 cm. Both are pretty big for a cyclists, but the difference of 2 cm is huge for a healthy person.

Of course it is very important for me to work on this problem, not just for cycling but also for every day tasks. For instance in stair climbing I can also notice the difference. Of course for me the difference is not yet a big problem in every day tasks, as my ‘weak’ leg is still very strong. But when I get older my strength will decrease and by then it will become important for every day functioning. For people who are less fit, it can already be important to decrease the difference between legs (or arms or other body parts).

The best and most effective way to work on this, is strength training. But how

Tom Gakes Elite Cyclist

Tom Gakes Elite Cyclist

should you train then? Because if you train both legs, both will get stronger. And if you train them both to their maximum, the strongest leg might even get a bigger effect and you might even increase the difference. But if you only train the weak leg, your strong leg might only get weaker which is not what you want either. The solution is somewhere in between. It is best to train both legs, but the weak leg just a little more than the strong leg. You should do exercises that have to be done with one leg at a time, and do them with the same amount of weights and the same number of repetitions per set for both legs. Good exercises you can do for your upper legs are step ups and single leg squats. I do the single leg squats on a balance board. This is very hard for your balance and decreases the number of repetitions you can do or the amount of weight you can lift, but is good to get functional strength in stead of ‘empty’ muscle. The number of repetitions per set should be based on what the weak leg can do, so the training will be more effective for the weak leg than for the strong leg. In order to make sure the weak leg is also doing more work than the strong leg, do 2 sets more with the weak leg compared to the strong leg. So if the strong leg does 4 sets, the weak leg should do 6 sets. And if the strong leg does 5 sets, the weak leg should do 7 sets. These are good numbers of sets for endurance athletes to do. Remember from my last blog that it is important to do long and many sets for endurance athletes if they want to increase their performance in competitions. Train the same way if you want to decrease the difference between legs.

Leading the Peloton

Leading the Peloton

Arkworld products can benefit this type of strength training in the same way as it can for normal strength training for endurance athletes. Ark 1 before and during the workout can increase your energy levels and Ark 1 after the workout can help with recovery. Ark 3 after the workout will reduce muscle soreness and speed up your recovery.

I will soon write another blog on another topic related to strength training, which is strength training for the smaller muscles in your core. If you have other requests for topics you want me to write about, please leave a comment or contact Kevin or me.

Tom Gakes
Team HRTC/@tomgakes

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Posted in Sports Nutrition

Bio Availability of Protein

Here we provide a simple chart to help you choose your choices of protein sources to match your training regime, diet plan and also budget. We hope this helps you to choose your protein source a little easier and get the best value in your training and gains.

In the near future there will be a new form of protein available called ‘Protalyn’, this protein is bespoke and unique, it will become the most bio-available protein a human can absorb and head straight to the top of this list. If you would like to be told of it’s arrival on the market please express your interest by leaving your details via e-mail here:- lifestylefocus@live.co.uk

Protein Source Bio-Availability Index
Whey Protein Isolate Blends 100-159
Whey Concentrate 104
Whole Egg 100
Cow’s Milk 91
Egg White 88
Fish 83
Beef 80
Chicken 79
Casein 77
Rice 74
Soy 59
Wheat 54
Beans 49
Peanuts 43
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Posted in Sports Nutrition
Lifestyle Focus Arkworld Distributor