Food for Fitness

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Hey FXfit’ers
I had the privilege today of speaking with Anchor Todd Boatwright of Time Warner Cable News today about eating to perform for your workouts. It was so successful that I was inspired to Blog about it to you fine people. I encourage you to take notes and try these easy recipes for on-the-go healthy planning.



  • OPTION 1: Simple Protein Shake – Coconut milk and a scoop of whey protein. Don’t forget your banana on the go.
  • OPTION 2: Two scrambled eggs (cage free) and two slices of nitrate free bacon. Add a half sliced grapefruit for a healthy carbohydrate.



  • OPTION 1: Coconut/Almond KIND Bar
  • OPTION 2: FXfit Trail Mix – Banana chips, walnuts, dried blueberries, and coconut flakes.



  • OPTION 1: Turkey Patty and Salad – chopped mushrooms and celery mixed in the patty. Spinach salad with “FXfit Trail Mix” as your topping and 2 slices of avocado.
  • OPTION 2: FXfit Chicken Salad – diced chicken breast tossed in coconut oil and tablespoon of bbq sauce, then pan fried. Chop up organic apple and celery. Mix with organic/paleo mayo for desired taste.


  • OPTION 1: Turkey Patty and Asparagus– chopped mushrooms and celery mixed in the patty. Pan-fried asparagus in coconut oil and a dash of graded Parmesan for taste.
  • OPTION 2: FXfit fajitas – strips of grass-fed steak of choice, tossed in poblano pepper and onion, pan-fried with grass-fed butter. Wrap your fajitas with romaine leaf. Side of chopped avocado and tomatoes.


My goal with these specific meals were to make it easy, quick, but tasty. Here are 3 simple tips when planning food:

  1. Portion Control – 2 fists for meals and 1 fist for snacks
  2. Shift your calories early in the day. Make your dinner 3 hours before bed.
  3. Shop organic, local, grass-fed, and natural.


Enjoy your week!



A Story of Loss and Gain… Ronnie Smith


Ronnie Smith.
These 2 words have been ringing in my ears for the last 24 hours. My birthday was yesterday and I was given the honor of sharing the date with Ronnie’s death. My dear friend has become my dearest hero. Ronnie was murdered in the line of duty. Not the military, but in the eternal duty of spiritual warfare, defending our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ yesterday in Libya.

The story of Ronnie, the one only I know, is a story I would like to share. The fact that Ronnie’s friendship revolved around “fitness” is hard to ignore. God used fitness as a tool for Ronnie, our friendship, and ultimately my spirituality.

My walk with God has not always been the same. You can call it maturity and growth; I call it being lost and being found. Fresh out of college as a personal trainer, Ronnie was one of my 1st clients. In the midst of our program together he encouraged me to check out The Austin Stone Community Church as well as encouraged me to lead my girlfriend with true love. He encouraged me to spend my money like it was not mine. He encouraged me to live as if I was living for someone else. It all offended me, but it also haunted me.

God’s endless pursuit of love, grace, mercy, and more saved me once again.

A couple of years later, Ronnie and I became great friends. Ronnie shared with me that his wife and him were going to plant a church in another country far away. My girlfriend and I asked him to “marry” us before he left. He was honored. Shortly after that discussion, his wife and him became pregnant and their due date was my wedding date.

Ronnie took his family across the world to do great things for God. Before he left, he was the catalyst in helping me build the class I now teach at The Austin Stone called, “Physical Fitness for the Glory of God”.

I believed in Ronnie so much that my family supported him tangibly, emotionally, and spiritually as he launched and lived his mission. We even encouraged a few others to do the same. He was well equipped, spiritually wise and courageous, and he found true Joy in his mission. He was perfect for what God had planned, he was given this life because he is strong enough to live and die for it.

For over 2 years of being in his mission, Ronnie and I kept in touch. I actually continued to send him workouts. We would workout together over e-mail sometimes. I believed that I was meant to be his personal trainer so I could help him take care of his body so he could be available for God in the most efficient way, so he could foster gratitude with the body God gave him, and so he could set the example of being physically healthy for his family. It was an honor to be his friend and his coach.

Yesterday I was told that Ronnie was shot and killed while he was “exercising” or “jogging”. I can’t help but wonder if he was doing one of our workouts or just doing his own thing? I try to imagine myself being there and saving his life. I try to imagine if I was in his thoughts before he died. All I know is that his death is an honor. He died the best way a human being can die… he died for Jesus Christ. His wife doesn’t have a husband and his son doesn’t have a father… this is sad, but this is temporary and his family has a hero to remember for all their life. I want to be that kind of Dad and that kind of Husband. I look up to him more than words can describe.

Don’t get confused. What’s important to God is the way in which you do your “work”. The way and the motivation in which you exercise is what really has eternal impact. This is fitness. This is a story of loss and gain.

Trial or Consequence?


James MacDonald is a wonderful Christian writer and speaker. I was inspired by a recent blog post shared to me by my wonderful wife. I encourage you to check it out. Click Here.

James has a great point. If you are experiencing a struggle, is it a trial from a greater reason beyond our comprehension or is it a consequence of a behavior that had false motives? As a business owner, I experience this question 24/7. Am I leading my trainers well? Are my motives pure or selfish? Is my success or lack of success within the company a trial or a consequence? As a father and husband, am I leading my family? Am I selfish with my time, with my work? Constant prayer and reading in the Word are my default actions… most of the time. I remember that I am grateful for all and any because God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame – Elizabeth B. Browning.

“Alright Shawn, wrap this philosophical mumbo-jumbo up and get to the earthly point!” Well… I carry this into fitness. Do you struggle with weight loss? Do you struggle with obsession over exercise? Is this a trial or is this a consequence?

I see a trial in achieving your fitness goals as personal growth. Losing weight, gaining muscle, and running a marathon are challenging achievements. The “challenge” may be a trial of you over coming an obsession in overabundance, control, or comfort. Learn from this trial, over come it, and be successful.

I see a consequence of your fitness goal struggle as a slap on the wrist. If you are at a fitness level you are not happy with, remember one thing… most of you put yourself right where you are. Being out of shape is a consequence of neglect, overabundance, or narrow perspective. The great news is that it is reversible! Turn your consequence into a new trial, overcome, be great, and live the truth.

Thanks for reading. See you soon!



Fitness and Spirituality


I had an amazing lunch about 10min ago and I feel convicted to share the experience I had. I met with a group of guys that are all pursuing fitness with Christ on their hearts. It was an amazing thing to see. All these gentleman were Executives for their companies. They are in a position of power and influence. What I was inspired most by was that fitness is truly becoming a vehicle of power. If you are a fitness entrepreneur and you are successful, what next?

How do you use this “power”?

What do you do with it?

Why have you been given this “power”?

My company is pretty unique. We are intimately placed in the homes of 1000’s of people. We create and manage the fitness amenity in luxury apartments. Yes, I’m proving exceptional personal training, fun and popular fitness classes, and we add to the culture of the property… but what does God want me to do with this? This is my prayer every day.

Fitness is an area of “Spiritual War” said Jeremy Thiel. I agree. It’s a dangerous thing. Superficial? Idols? Obsessions? Exploitation? How do you make sure that you are being Godly in your business? The answer is prayer and reading the Word of God. It is easier said than done. You want to be a leader to those who work for you, but it is a full on job of integrity and trust. You can not do it alone.

I’m blessed… so blessed with my wife, my church, and great men in my life that God works through to help me run a fitness company that is ultimately a Missional Business. “It has to be a slow burn” said Chris Allman.

I may have taken the risk of losing some readers or followers for my strong voice, but I think it is time to get a “little extreme”, right Matt Carter? My goal is to use my company to build relationships and serve people in whatever way God wants me to, and I am so thankful that my heart desires that.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you will discern the Will of God; what is good, acceptable, and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 (Thanks Amber).

The Missing Ingredient…



Hello FXfit’ers and followers. I hope you are well and have been practicing self-discipline in your fitness realm. I struggled with what “advice” to offer this month. Past newsletters have offered great fitness tips and nutrition guidance. This month I wanted to try out a piece of guidance that we can all consider… motivation!

I am no philosopher and in no way does FXfit strive to be a self-glorifying company, but I am excited to share some important points… let’s go for 3 so we can practice simplicity.

  • Humility: Many things come to mind with this term, but what I am referring to, is the understanding and the respecting of one’s own limitations. This can be taken to all avenues of life. We are all different and we all have varying capabilities. In terms of fitness, know where you are strong and know where you are weak. Maintain your strengths and be open to improve your weaknesses.
  • Servitude: This word is more than likely making you fidget in your seat a bit. Really, this word should inspire you because the meaning has everything to do with NOT YOU. Serving others can be an amazing and driving tool. Be fit for reasons beyond yourself… God, family, friends.
  • Leadership: Leading with authority does not take power. It does not take money or riches. I see leadership as the ability to influence people. What better way to lead people than to live the example you are trying to set? Be a leader, be the example, be in the front and not in the back.

These values or disciplines are things that I try to live by everyday. I take this into being a husband, a father, a CEO, and a fitness professional. My main purpose to live this way is because I have a mentor that I pray to everyday that was a pro at such skills. This is my motivation and I hope it kept you reading.

What are your motives?

Why do we Workout, Really?


Well the short answer is “to look good.” I’m sure there is a small percentage of America that will disagree, but the fact of the matter is, society has influenced our desire to look a certain way and when the gym gives us this “look”, we enjoy it. I do. The problem is, beach muscles can cause injury and dysfunction. I talk to clients all the time about fancy things like “Upper-Cross Syndrome, Lower-Cross Syndrome, weak TVA, etc.” Most of them don’t care, they just want to “look’ good and not hurt. This is awesome and I agree.

Many people can’t move properly. It is a fact. When you bring this truth into the gym, major problems arise. Most people have no glutes (butt) and they use their neck as their core. When the average person bends over to pick something up, they shrug their shoulders, lock their knees, and use their back. This is a perfect illustration of America’s common dysfunctions. We spend the majority of life in a position of flexion. We drive, we sit, we watch, we eat, we text, we type, we Google, etc. This causes all of our flexion muscles to be over-active. That is problem one. Problem two is that over-active flexion causes our extension muscles to be weak. These are glutes, scalenes, rhomboids, deep neck flexors, etc. These muscles allow us to move properly and keep us balanced, minimizing injury. Asymmetry in the body of any kind will influence injury.

OK Shawn, so what do we do? The answer is functional training. You can train to “look” good AND train to be mobile at the same time. It’s just about putting a little more thought into your workouts. Your foot needs to be stable, your ankle needs to be mobile, your knee needs to be stable, your hips need to be mobile, you lumbar spine needs to be stable, your thoracic needs to be mobile, your lower cervical spine needs to be stable, and your upper cervical spine needs to be mobile. See the pattern? Strong and mobile is the game.

I’m going to keep the homework simple… a plan of action for you is to find your glutes. Before you start your workout, roll your glutes with a Grid or firm foam roller. Do this for at least 2min total. This generates some blood flow and will help you find them. Now lay on your back and squeeze those cheeks as hard as you can. Do this for 20s and do 3 sets. Do your leg workout and really focus on your butt. Drive through the heels on squats and lunges. The glutes is an external rotators of the hip, so when you focus on keep those knees out when you squat, it may help. Developing your glutes and be a miracle for your lower back.

There are exercises you can do to really help your posterior chain. The turkish get-up, the hard/reverse deadlift, cobras, and medicine ball reverse throws. The problem with these exercises is that they are easily done very wrong. I would recommend seeking a personal trainer for guidance or look on YouTube and e-mail me, I’ll let you know if this video is a reliable resource.

Thanks for reading! I hope to hear some feedback.



The Food Battle


The topic of “food”… what a loaded word. It’s so overloaded that I’m actually nervous writing about it, even as a personal trainer and the owner of a fitness company. Let’s get real though, in America at least, this is a touchy subject to talk about. Why? Well I can come up with 2 hot reasons.

What’s Right?

The Atkins, The South Beach, The Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, Paleo, Vegetarian… the lists are infinite and the most confusing part is they all promise to be “the best” and “the only way to eat”. Furthermore, all of these “diets” support each other in some ways and completely bash each other in other ways. Of course this is confusing.

My Opinion… I believe that everyone responds to food the way their body genetically and socially is designed to respond. It’s a waste of time to compare your body with someone else. It doesn’t work like that. Just because you eat exactly how someone else is eating, doesn’t mean you will look exactly like him or her. Everyone has to find out for themselves what works and what doesn’t. It’s a long process of elimination, but once you figure it out, guess what?! You are set for life.

Application… Give yourself a 30-day challenge of eating “real” food. Just eat what grows on trees, what grows from the ground, what runs on land, and what is fished from the sea. If you miss certain foods, reintroduce them into your eating and see how your body responds. If it’s a negative response, maybe your body doesn’t like it. Eating organic, local, and GMO-free foods are a great way to ensure you are eating “real” food.

The Quality of Regular Food Sucks

I won’t get into this too much, but the fact is food isn’t what it was 20 years ago. There are more people in this world and to keep up with demand, agriculture has been forced to be more efficient. Our foods are genetically modified to grow quicker, bigger, and taste better. The foods that are easiest to produce are modified the most.

My Opinion… Food isn’t what it should be, but I also believe that we shouldn’t have to bend over backwards 24/7 to try to avoid American culture. Life is about balance and moderation.

Application… Educate yourself and before you put food in your mouth, ask yourself:

  • “Is this the best decision I can make with my current options?”
  • “Why am I eating this?”

If your answers are positive, go for it! If your answers are questionable, maybe you are convicted and you need to consider another option.

Food exists for survival and to be enjoyed, but it can also become an idol. Being educated on the Ying and the Yang, living in balance, and making “good” decisions can be great armor to win the “Food Battle”.

“Why did you decide to be a Personal Trainer?”

Some asked me this recently, and I might as well blog about it ; )

“Are you hungry mijo?” said my grandma, most of my life. She was an amazing woman. All she did was love us with Jesus and food. She constantly prayed for us and constantly cooked for us. My grandmother, the woman that impacted my life the most, died a few years ago from cancer, diabetes, and many other health misfortunes.

My grandmother’s death followed my grandfathers death, which was also induced by cancer. My grandparents were very overweight and very sedentary people and did not have a structure in their diet. They ate when they were hungry and they were active when life asked them to be active.

My grandmother’s death sparked my interest in health more than before. I was determined to be a doctor, a doctor that would beat cancer. I went to college pre-med and for two years tried to ignore this voice in the back of my mind that said, “This just does not feel right, does it?”

One night while studying at the library at 1am, I closed my organic chemistry book and said, “I can’t do this anymore, there has to be something better for me.”

I went to the counselor the next day and asked, “I want to help people, but I want to address their health immediately. I want hands on, direct involvement in making their bodies better.”

“Have you considered Kinesiology?” she asked. She handed me a pamphlet of the prerequisites and the description of what Kinesiology was. I grew misty eyed and felt this happiness and passion come over me. I could help people by teaching them how to stay out of the hospital as opposed to helping those that were already in the hospital.

I graduated with a Kinesiology degree in Health Promotion and Fitness. I became a personal trainer and seven years later, I still am. I have learned so much about the perspective on health from many cultures, including Hispanics. I have learned so much about the imbalances of income distribution and the connection with minorities in that dilemma. I have come to many conclusions and many solutions, but they may just be ideas that people can read about one day. My passion is to change the community from the inside out, with one healthy client as a time.

Are you “fit”?


Are you “fit”?

Fitness is an evolving science and study. It has come a long way from even 10 years ago. If you ask a 60 to 70 year old what a personal trainer is, they will probably describe to you something along the lines of a football or basketball coach. If you ask a 50 to 60 year old the same question, they will probably describe to you something along the lines of a large, male, bodybuilder that drinks protein shakes 10 times a day. If you ask a 40-50 year old the same question, you will probably get a description of “Crossfit”, “P90X”, or “The Biggest Loser”. As you can see, fitness is constantly evolving as well as the perspective on fitness.

So what is fitness? And what exactly is a personal trainer? Why are these important?

Interestingly, if you look up the true definition of “fitness”, you will get a scientific explanation that flirts with the idea of “survival”. Being fit is about living life in quality. It is the pursuit of consciously working towards and earning a body (inside & out) that is able to function maximally over its lifespan. This may sound very scientific and Darwin-like, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually, & physically, fitness is also a way of choosing to step up to the plate and take an active role in being the best version of yourself possible.

A personal trainer is a fitness professional that guides you towards your fitness goals efficiently and safely. A qualified fitness professional is able to offer 100% guidance on cardiovascular health, flexibility, strength, nutrition, and motivational components of a healthy lifestyle and fitness program.

Today, superior personal trainers have a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine or Kinesiology and they have at least one nationally accredited certification. They are highly educated and spend years learning about the human body and staying up to date on current research to better the clients’ experience. With the evolution of fitness and its current trend, not many people understand that it is becoming more of a priority in preventive care and pre-medicine/post-medicine. Fitness professionals are becoming educated and respected to the level of physical therapists, chiropractors, and doctors.

Fitness professionals are available to you at most gyms and some clinics. When shopping for one, be sure you are offered a “free” consultation. This is where you will interview your trainer and they can get to know you and your specific fitness goals. It’s a great opportunity to learn a little about what you need and if you can benefit from some professional guidance. Be apart of the fitness revolution!

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Next year we are the title sponsors at a Super Show in Austin, TX. Naturally Fit is the company putting it together and they asked to do a commercial with us.