18 Minutes to a Leaner (and Healthier) You

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Note from TG:  Today, I’ve got a guest blog from current Cressey Performance intern (and Precision Nutrition Lean Eating coach), Jason Bonn.  Jason, as you might expect, is a very knowledgeable coach and recognizes that – almost always – the battle of the bulge, is often won and lost in the kitchen.

Read on, you might learn a thing or two.

18 Minutes to a Leaner (and Healthier) You

Sounds like some infomercial, doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s real—and I have video to prove it.

First, the quick introduction. I’m Jay Bonn. I’m a Lean Eating Coach for Precision Nutrition (PN) and I’m interning at Cressey Performance.

When Don Gentilcore of the CP Crime Family lets you guest blog, you know you’re on your way to becoming a made man. And hey, who knows? Perhaps I’ll one day be rubbing elbows with him and Capo Cressey.

Kidding aside. Given his own work and credentials as well as his ‘guest author’ list, it is an honor to have Tony let me write for his blog…while he’s away…in a warm climate…kickin’ it on the beach. (I think that S.O.B. duped me).

Note from TG:  Just to rub it in, as I post this blog, I’m about 35 seconds away from stepping into the hot tub after spending the entire day out on the water on a boat.  Yeah, life doesn’t suck.

With the great content that comes up here, I knew I had to try to come up with something significant.  Something that would stand out among the quality content he puts up.  What I came up with was a video, but not a training related one.  A food related one.

As a Lean Eating Coach for Precision Nutrition, I work with people in many situations (jobs, lifestyle, etc…), from all over the world, ranging from teenagers to those closer to the century mark. Vegetarians? Yes. Omnivores? Yes. On a box, with a fox, eating lox? Yes, yes and yes (even on bagels).

Yet, with all the diversity I work with, I still see commonly cited reasons why people say they’re having a difficult time getting to the goals they want.  Regardless of whether their goal is health, body composition and/or performance related, I’m often hearing about lack of time and/or money.

Ryan Andrews, my friend and colleague at PN, has written many articles and posts talking about these two excuses. In addition, a certain someone you all know and love has covered this topic as well.  Therefore, I won’t restate already good content.  Instead, I’ll show you a video of just how little time it actually takes to prepare multiple days worth of food.

A few notes before viewing:

  • This is completely unrehearsed. I’m not lying here either. In fact, I was going to speak for a few minutes as a test to check the sound, but decided to just go with it.

  • On the topic of me speaking, I currently have a bastardized accent. I’ve lived in NY, Chicago, as well as just outside Boston. While I mostly speak in my true accent (NY), I do flip around a bit.
  • I apparently have a serious warped sense of time. I keep saying everything is going to take a few minutes and it ends up running eight minutes longer than I thought. However, in the grand scheme of things, eight extra minutes isn’t that much. (Plus, as you’ll see, that’s not the main point of this blog.)
  • Be sure to watch the entire thing—unless you want to risk missing an event involving an open flame, a Dustbuster vacuum and a penguin.

So without further ado, your feature presentation:

As you can see, it really doesn’t take much time at all.  So there goes that excuse.  The truth is though, it’s never really about “time”, “money”, or a similar excuse.  In general, I think people are quick to look outside themselves for reasons why they’re not achieving the goals they want.  What I believe it comes down to is the intersection of your behaviors and values.

Me? I value my health and body.  Since I value that, my actions will reflect that.  I’ll consistently eat quality food, exercise, take some ‘me’ time to relax, etc… Eighteen minutes is a relatively minor amount of time.  I can make eighteen minutes available.  Then again, even if it took 180 minutes to prep food, I’d make it available—my values mean that much to me.

Before I move on, I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking,  

“But Jay, I don’t have those incredible knife wielding skills like you. It’ll take me much longer.  So I really, really, really, honestly don’t have the time.  Even though I value my health and body, I guess I’m doomed to never reach and/or maintain my goals, huh?”

To that I say, “Au contraire mon ami”.  There’s more than one way to skin a cat.  No two situations are alike so we all have to find different paths. This may include:

  • Buying pre-cut, pre-washed veggies at the store. (After all, shopping only takes a short time)
  • Buying pre-cooked proteins (rotisserie chicken, canned beans/lentils, canned tuna/salmon, etc…).
  • Swiping some leftovers from the family dinner on Sunday.
  • Hiring someone to do it for you. (Note: Unless you’re Mila Kunis, I’m booked through June.)
  • Switching the loaded baked potato for some grilled veggies.
  • Heck, even switching from a triple whopper to a double would be a step in the right direction.

There’s always a way to live closer to what you value. Find it.

My health and body are definitely not the only things I value, but they’re high up there on my priority list.  Sure that may sound a bit selfish—because it is.  And I think it’s okay to be selfish in this regard.  I need to take time for myself and I fully understand when others need to do the same.  My belief is that if you can’t take care of yourself, you’ll have a much more difficult time taking care of others.

The question you should ask yourself is: Does what you truly value match your daily behaviors?


Are you actually DOING the things that are in line with what you feel to be most important?  If you value your health, body and/or performance, are you doing the things like consistently eating well and exercising?  Are you making good choices in general?

If you value your family, are you spending quality time with your wife, playing with your children, visiting/calling your parents, etc…?

Rather than finding the time for these behaviors/actions, make the time.  You have the ability to adjust your daily schedule any way you see fit.  Cut/reduce the non-essentials first.  Things like surfing the internet and TV you can probably do without.  If you’re not sure, try going for a week without or reducing time spent on something.  Should you survive, you know it’s not a necessity.

“18 minutes to a leaner and healthier you”. That was just a tagline. Something to reel you in to ask you the REAL questions: Are you making time for what you value?  Do your actions match your values?

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

Comments for This Entry

  • Sindre R

    Sweet blog and a good point, creds from Norway! Weee

    April 4, 2011 at 2:22 am | Reply to this comment

  • R Smith

    Amen, Jason. I'm convinced that anyone who is really serious about staying lean and healthy will commit to preparing the vast majority of their own meals. None of us has as much time as we think we need, but as Dan John says, "If it's important, you should do it every day." And as anyone who regularly reads product labels or eats out at the more popular restaurants can attest, we certainly cannot trust the food industry to help us stay healthy. I cannot imagine anyone loathing cooking more than me, but it gets done, usually on Sunday, and it ensures I don't suffer the urge to gouge my eyes out at the thought of having to eat out. Thanks very, very much, Jason.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:29 am | Reply to this comment

  • Nock

    great post! oh yeah and thank you for the "Mila Kunis" picture on the post.......:D

    April 4, 2011 at 8:38 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lelli

    I just blogged about a very similar topic this morning before my daily check-in with T-Gents. It really does go a long way to be able to set yourself up for the day/week with healthy foods. 1 hr a week for me, and 90% of all my food is cooked and ready to go. That leaves me with roughly 167hrs to fit everything else in. Can do!

    April 4, 2011 at 9:59 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mark

    Great video. You did a good job of keeping it entertaining and informative. I laughed out loud multiple times. Also, R Smith: I don't know you, but based on your comments on this site and Eric Cressey's site, you seem like the nicest guy ever.

    April 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Gentilcore

    hahahahaha, at the 9:17 mark - did I mention I was single. Classic.

    April 5, 2011 at 5:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • R Smith

    @ Mark: I'd be lying if I said your comments did NOT make my day. Thanks very much. Eric & Tony are awesome guys who I trust immensely, and reading their blogs--and a few others--is something I look forward to each day. And, as a bonus, I get to interact with great folks such as yourself.

    April 5, 2011 at 6:41 am | Reply to this comment

  • Danny

    Niceee Chips A Hoy in his cupboard at 4:22! :)

    April 5, 2011 at 8:45 am | Reply to this comment

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