Simple Recipes for Idiots: High-Protein Mac and Cheese

While one of the main points in my book is that you can eat anything and still lose weight (even McDonald’s), being able to cook at home is a better, more nutritious, and more wallet-friendly option than eating out. If you’re like me, though, finding recipes is like reading old chemistry textbooks. I understand some of the words, but that shit is just not happening.

So, I’d like to share some of the recipes I’ve discovered that are cheap, delicious, filling, relatively low in calories, and most importantly of all, basically idiot-proof. Today I’ll be presenting…

High Protein Mac n’ Cheese

Ingredients (2 Servings)

Whole Wheat Macaroni Noodles - 4 oz (or about 1.5 cups dry)

Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese - 1/2 cup

Shredded Parmesan Cheese - 1/4 cup

Whole or Low Fat Plain Greek Yogurt - 1 cup


Cooking Instructions

Bring water to boil. Add macaroni noodles. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until desired tenderness. Drain water. Add both cheeses and Greek yogurt. Mix well. Divide into two servings. Simple.


Each serving of this recipe comes out to about 435 calories, with 45 grams of Carbs, 16.8 grams of Fat, and 32.5 grams of Protein.

Final Note

Obviously, this recipe is incredibly simple, so feel free to adjust it as you please. Too much Greek Yogurt for your taste? Fine, add less. Want smaller portions? Do so. The point is, it’s incredibly easy to make a quick meal and to track the calories you are consuming. Whatever you do, make sure you know how many calories are in what you are eating. That is the quickest way to lose weight.

For more about the truth behind weight loss, check out Your Diet is Bullshit: A Simple Guide to Losing Weight.

David Goggins Will Inspire You to Be Better


 Update: Since writing this post, David Goggins has published his own book, Can’t Hurt Me. It is an absolutely fantastic read, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

A Certified Badass

One of my favorite figures in the fitness world is David Goggins. For those that don't know, David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL, ultramarathon runner, triathlete, former pull-up world record holder, and all around badass. This dude ran 100 miles in under 19 hours despite never even running a marathon before, and then went on to place 5th overall in an ultramarathon mere months after beginning to run. In a four-month period in 2007, he ran 6 different 100-mile races. 600 miles of races in four months. And he didn't stop. You can see the list of all of the races he's done here

David Goggins is a badass. There's no question about it. He has accomplished things that most people couldn't even imagine doing. Running a marathon, on its own, is an amazing feat. I'd be proud to run even a single marathon in my life. David Goggins ran races four times as long at an astounding frequency. He also had to overcome asthma, sickle-cell trait, obesity, and a heart defect. He graduated high school with a 1.6 GPA and had an abusive childhood. You can't write him off as having amazing genetics or being an athletic freak. Everything that he has accomplished has come from pure willpower. He has suffered more than most of us can even imagine. And he has done great things.

Suffering and Failure

The road to success is riddled with suffering and failure. It's unavoidable. Everybody who has found success has only done so on the back of countless failures. It is the ability to continue despite these hardships that sets successful people apart. Failing at something does not make you a failure. Giving up does. 

"Everybody comes to a point in their life when they want to quit. But it's what you do at that moment that determines who you are."

Goggins embodies this mindset better than almost anybody. He has endured incredible pain and suffering, but continued despite it. His first race ever was the San Diego One Day, where he had to run 100 miles in 24 hours to qualify for further ultramarathons, which he wanted to use to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. He was not a runner, and weighed around 240 pounds at the time. He made it 70 miles before collapsing. His feet were broken, his leg muscles were tearing, and when he tried to make it to the bathroom, he began peeing blood down his leg. He was in the worst pain he had ever experienced and on the brink of death. Did he give up?

"This became a personal thing, this became me against this race; me against the kids that called me ni**er; me against me. It just became something I took so violently personal.”

He walked for the next 11 miles with his wife by his side. To even finish the 100 miles, even at a walk, would have been admirable. But his wife told him that he wasn't going to make the time at a walking pace. He ran the final 19 miles and made it under the 24 hours. Despite everything working against him, despite his body being shattered and enduring the worst pain of his life, Goggins finished the race. His will to succeed was so strong that it overpowered everything else. Failure reared its head and demanded that Goggins give in, but he ignored it. The suffering he experienced was great enough that it literally could have killed him, but Goggins somehow kept going. His mind took over when his body failed.

On the journey to personal success, whether it be in weight loss, fitness, or any other life goal, you will encounter resistance along the way. It will be tough and grueling. You will grow tired. Life will beat you to your knees and demand that you stay down. It is your job to get back up. No matter how many times you fall, you must get back up. The goal is to become unshakable. To be disciplined enough that the curveballs that life throws at you will not deter you from your goals. To recognize that you may be tired, and that eating a pizza would feel great right now, but to deny yourself that simple pleasure. To recognize that you are doing something greater. You are on a path of success, and nothing will stand in your way. 

Embrace the Discomfort

Changing yourself is uncomfortable. It means stepping outside of your comfort zone, doing things that you don't want to do. That's okay. It is the ability to push past this discomfort and to challenge yourself that will set you apart. 

"Get your ass kicked. Do things you hate to do. Be uncomfortable every f***ing day of your life."

Most people who are resistant to the idea of exercise imagine endless pain and discomfort. And it's true, working out is tough and uncomfortable. But so is anything worthwhile. The funny thing is, those who are able to push through this discomfort learn to love it. Ask any fit person in your life, and they will tell you that they love working out. That may seem strange to somebody who doesn't understand. But it makes sense. It is this exact pain and challenge that brings you happiness. Every time I step under a heavy barbell, I know that it's going to suck. It's hard and painful. But the feeling of accomplishment I get after grinding through a heavy squat rep, or setting a personal record, is unmatched. I understand that I dared to challenge myself, to push myself to the brink of failure, and I came out on top. I threw myself into the fire and dared it to burn me. When my muscles were screaming and my legs were on the verge of giving out, my mind demanded that I continue. Toughness is born on the brink of destruction. 

"If you can get through to doing things you hate to do, on the other side is greatness."

Dare to be better

We can all be a little more like David Goggins. Sure, most of us will never run an ultramarathon, set the pull-up world record, or go through SEAL training. But it's not about comparing yourself to one of the most badass people on the planet. It's about striving to push yourself, to be better than you were yesterday. It's about embracing the discomfort and smiling in the face of adversity. 

"I wanted you to go home that night, after you beat the living shit out of me and I smiled in your face - I wanted you to feel worse than I did, and you were going home to a nice warm bed. I wanted you to think about me, knowing that I'm comfortable being very uncomfortable."

What would happen if you dared to be better? If you put aside all of your preconceived notions about yourself and decided to change? You can only find out by trying. Aim high. You may fail. But it is better to aim too high and fail than to never reach your full potential. If you aim high and succeed? That's where greatness is born.

Be more like David Goggins.


For more tips on how to better yourself, check out Your Diet is Bullshit: A Simple Guide to Losing Weight. It will give you the simple truth about weight loss with real steps to implement change.


Why I Lift Weights (and you should too)

the Physical and Mental benefits of Lifting Weights

For many years, I felt uncomfortable telling people that I lift weights. It wasn’t just the fact that I was a scrawny 6'4" and didn’t look like I lifted, but also because of the images I would conjure in my mind. When I said I lifted weights, I figured people would imagine all of the classic gym-bro stereotypes. Cut-off t-shirts, half-rep bench presses, and mid-workout protein shakes. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that those stereotypes are not true. Most people I meet in the gym are nice, hard-working individuals. I’ve also realized that I’m proud to be a weightlifter.

Lifting weights represents more than being a sweaty bro. It represents a commitment to improvement. It represents a willingness to challenge your mind and body, and push yourself to your limits. You can easily bullshit and meander your way through life, never fully reaching your potential. But step into the gym, and that all changes. It’s just you and the weights, and the weights don’t lie. They will challenge you to be better every single day. You will try, and you will fail. Failure is common when you are truly pushing yourself in the gym. But it allows you to grow. Failed to hit a new PR on squat? Do better next week. There are only two options: do better, or quit.

Of course there is a huge physical benefit of lifting. You’ll look and feel better, and the confidence that comes from this can help you in all aspects of life. But there is also an underrated mental aspect of lifting. Lifting weights is like a form of meditation. You can go to the gym for an hour everyday, and forget all of your problems. Any bullshit that may be going on in your life, the gym doesn’t care. I’ve been through breakups, been passed up for promotions at work, failed huge tests. I’ve been called an asshole, I’ve been told that I’m not good enough. I can go to the gym, and none of that matters. It’s just me and the weights. Sure, it’s tough. Lifting is an uncomfortable experience, and you’ll fail more times than not. But you know that every day you are getting stronger and getting closer to your goals, pound by pound.

Lifting takes discipline and heart. I don’t want to wake up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to hit the gym before work, but I do it anyways. Because I’ve fallen in love with the process. Every pound that I add to my bench or squat represents growth. It means I am better than I was yesterday. I don’t lift to be better than others. I lift to be better than myself. To reach beyond what I am currently capable of, to dare myself to grow. Sometimes I fail. But that is okay. Failure is the precursor to success. 

That’s why I lift weights.


The Weight Loss Process

The following is an excerpt from chapter 3 of Your Diet is Bullshit: A Simple Guide to Losing Weight.


Now that you understand the science behind losing weight, we must discuss some facts about it. While the principles outlined in the previous chapters are relatively simple, adhering to them can be an entirely different challenge. We must acknowledge these challenges and discuss the difficulties you’ll face along the way. To ignore them would be to set unrealistic expectations. And having unrealistic expectations is one of the major barriers people face when they set out to lose weight. The most common unrealistic expectation is that of rapid improvement. It’s important to understand that losing weight is a long-term process.

This is another lie you’ve been told, and it’s one that many people still seem to believe. Every magazine, advertisement, and fitness guru advocates “one trick to lose your gut in one week!” or “a shortcut to six-pack abs!” or “the one secret to shredding fat!” Everybody has a method that will give you results in an incredibly short amount of time. Once again, most of these are bullshit. They are lies meant to sell products or services. They act as though they happen to have the one secret or shortcut that nobody else knows. Just pay $19.99 per month and you could know it too!

Perhaps the most important fact in weight loss (or any type of body transformation for that matter) that nobody seems willing to admit is this:

It takes a long time.

There are no shortcuts. There are no tricks. There is only time.

This might be a painful realization. You won’t reach your goal in a week or a month or maybe even a year.

“That sucks!” you say. “If I won’t look good in a month, what’s even the point?”

Yes, it does suck. But why shouldn’t it? You are literally reshaping your body. You are changing its entire composition. If we could all reshape our bodies in a few weeks, movie stars and models would be out of a job. You don’t want Chris Hemsworth to be jobless, do you?

You’ll find that progress breeds further progress. When you finally lose that first five or 10 pounds, you’ll realize just how possible this whole thing is. It’s a long and difficult process, but it’s completely possible. When you realize that, it helps solidify the knowledge that long-term discipline trumps all. It may even become easier. Physically, you’re still doing the same thing: eating less and moving more. But mentally, it’s like unlocking a whole new worldview. When you understand that progress is the result of putting your head down and taking the correct steps every day, it allows you to go further than you ever have before. Don’t focus on the end goal; focus on the process. Focus on eating the right amount of food or getting the correct amount of exercise. Focus on the now. Yesterday and tomorrow don’t matter. There is only today. Do what needs to be done today. You don’t climb a mountain by focusing on the peak. You climb a mountain by putting one foot in front of the other. Take one step at a time, and soon you’ll see the whole world sprawled below you.

In fact, the process never ends. This is why you must so profoundly embrace it and learn to enjoy it. Many people never learn this. Why is it so common to see people lose large amounts of weight only to gain it all back a few months later? Because they were so fixated on the goal that they didn’t learn to embrace the process. They believed that once they reached their goal, the process was over. They relaxed back into their old habits, the habits that made them overweight in the first place. Once they hit their end goal, there was nothing left to do.

The process never ends. You must accept that you’re leaving your old habits behind. You’re leaving the easy path for the hard one. It’s a difficult decision to make. The path you’re leaving is soft and comfortable and well-traveled. It welcomes you with open arms and ensures an easy journey to the end. But don’t let the ease of this path deceive you. It’s viciously dangerous. It contains hidden dangers lurking within the comfort. The danger of complacency. The danger of unfulfilled potential. The danger of regret. The other path is more difficult. It’s the road less traveled. It’s overgrown and hilly. It twists and turns and seems to never end. You’ll struggle and fall. You’ll bloody your hands and knees. But you’ll become stronger. Day by day, your steps will become more confident and your hands will become calloused and hardened. Soon you’ll find yourself pushing through the bramble and sprinting up the hills. You may still fall, but you’ll leap back to your feet as though it’s nothing. That’s the magic. The path hasn’t become any easier. You’ve become harder. If, at this point, you were given the choice to step back onto the easy path with all of its comforts, you’d deny it, because although the hard path is long and difficult, it’s more rewarding than the easy path could ever be. It brings you true happiness, not the superficial joy of comfort. It challenges you to reach your true potential. It allows you to be proud of your struggle. And that makes all the difference.