Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another edition of ‘Life’ Ingredients, where I share a workout, a healthy recipe, and a piece of motivational advice. Now that it’s October, that means we can kick back, put on our sweats, and enjoy a bunch of rich comfort food in the cooler weather, right?

Oh, come on. We don’t kick back around here. At least, not until we put a full day of work in. No, I like to think of the fall months indifferent terms: Since there’s three months left in the year, let’s maybe look back at those New Years’ Resolutions, bear down, and get ready to finish strong. Let’s keep our minds and bodies healthy, which, with the end of Daylight Savings almost upon us—and a lot of folks reporting feeling more depressed when this happens—becomes so much more important.

I think you’re going to love this month’s Life Ingredients. This time around, I’m going to share one of the best workouts you’ll ever do—which only requires one piece of equipment and left me in absolutely dripping with sweat the last time I did it—and a recipe that, once you make it, is going to have everyone in your house asking you when you’re going to make it again. At the end, I’ll share my parting thoughts that will hopefully give you the boost you need to get going on your goals and finish the year strong.

So, let’s dive right in, shall we?

As a no-frills kind of guy, I’m a big fan of workouts with simple setups, and it doesn’t get much simpler than this barbell complex workout. (FYI, the word complex, in this instance, is a noun denoting a workout with this particular structure—various exercises, done in succession with no breaks—and is not an adjective meaning complicated. Glad I could clear that up for you!) Simply load a barbell with a weight light enough where you’ll be able to do each exercise. The training effect comes less from the weight used and more from the fact that you’ll be generating a lot of cardio effort by incorporating muscles from all over your body and working swiftly.


For reference, all directions and exercise descriptions are listed below as usual, but this month we’re also proud to present a video breakdown of the workout from Robert Irvine Foundation VP and Director of Veteran Outreach David Reid, who also happens to be a retired Army Ranger Purple Heart Recipient, a single leg amputee, and one of the fittest guys I know.

Trust me when I say you’re in good hands with Dave! Below you can watch Dave break down each movement and/or follow along with the written instructions.

Workout 1


This barbell complex doesn’t just hit every muscle group, it’s also a fun and challenging way to get your workout in. After a thorough warmup, load a barbell and set it at your feet. Then complete 10 rounds as quickly possible while keeping good form on all the exercises.


The number of reps escalates as you go on, starting with one rep on all exercises in Round 1, moving up to two reps in Round 2, and so on up to 10 reps in Round 10. Record how long it took you to work up to 10 rounds for reference and try to beat that number in future workouts. Make sure to do at least 10 minutes of a cool-down—light jogging or walking on a treadmill—and stretch before leaving the gym.

No one is immune to the inflation, and there are few places where that inflation is more apparent than the grocery store. If you’ve got a family to feed, then you’ve got a family to feed, and you can only cut back so far. But basics like chicken breast don’t have to taste basic. This Lemon Chicken Francese recipe has such strong, satisfying flavors, your family is going to be licking their plates, and it can easily be doubled if you’ve got a bigger family, older kids, or simply want to meal prep out lunches for a few days. Enjoy!

I want to talk about what we can and cannot control, starting with Daylight Savings. The end of Daylight Savings hasn’t hit yet, but you can already feel it. When I’ve been waking up lately, it’s still pitch black out, and it’s not the middle of the night! It’s six am. When the clocks shift back an hour in a couple weeks’ time, the sun is going to start setting around 4 pm, and if you’re like me, the first few days—or weeks—can be disorienting. Moreover, the increased number of waking hours spent in darkness can have a negative impact on mental health; doctors report increased depression symptoms when daylight savings ends, and if you simply try to go about your usual business during this time, you’re putting yourself at risk to experience that same negative impact.


So, I want to recommend a solution—a plan—that has worked for me: Do everything you can to maximize the amount of time you spend outside during daylight hours, getting outside a minimum of three times for fifteen minutes each. If you can do more than that, wonderful, but if you’re someone who barely gets outside at all due to your job or other commitments, then start with this minimum and work up.

Second, with the ongoing coverage of the Russia and Ukraine conflict and the more recent war in the Middle East, anxiety and depression are on the rise. We are constantly over stimulated with the amount of content thrown our way. Here are three simple ways to help improve your mental health during this time and during the season change:


1)    Work Out Outside

For me, as a gym rat, that means shifting more of my workouts outside. During the early stages of the pandemic when all the gyms were closed, I rediscovered my love of bike riding, and I find the cooler fall months to be the very best time to ride, especially where I live in South Florida when the summer heat gets unbearable. If you don’t like to ride, take a few dumbbells outside or invest in a kettlebell or two and check out previous ‘Life’ Ingredients workouts.


2)    Take A Short Walk After Lunch

This doesn’t take the place of your workout; it’s just meant to expose you to sun and fresh air again. Additionally, walking after a meal has the bonus effect of regulating blood sugar levels and preventing the post-meal sluggishness you might otherwise feel.


3)    Unplug

Take a break from your screen! Take a book outside for a few minutes to a park bench or your back porch. Or, don’t even feel compelled to do that much. We’re absolutely saturated in media 24/7, so a few precious minutes to feel the sun on your face and merely be alone with your thoughts can have a tremendously positive impact on your mental health.


If you can get outside and embrace the sun as much as you can while it’s up, you’re going to beat the blues that so many of us face this time of the year.

REMEMBER: we can’t control the season, we can’t control inflation, and we can’t control the actions of others. All we really have control over are our own actions, so I urge you to make your own mental health a priority, get outside, and when you need to, talk through any negative thoughts or emotions you might be experiencing. None of us are truly alone. Leaning on those you can trust isn’t a weakness; in fact, it’s the practice of all the strongest people I know.

Until next time, remember the words I live by:

Nothing is Impossible.