Lilly’s Diet and Fitness

This is guest post from Lilly, my homeboy and wingman in Tampa. Lilly was a college athlete and he continues to take care of himself by going to the gym regularly and eating right.

Yo, Lilly here. Lance asked me to write a guest post on diet and fitness, so here it is. I’ve been exercising consistently since I was 15 years old. I’m still in good shape and I look and feel pretty damn good for being almost 32. When I was a kid, I was tall and skinny and I wanted to put some meat on my bones to get in better shape for surfing, look better for the girls, and feel better about myself. Well, I accomplished all three of those goals. Here’s what I did.


(Lilly may or may not look like this)


This one is going to be broken down into a number of items. For the normal person, diet is over 80% of the battle. Unless you’re Mark Wahlberg or Angelina Jolie (if you’re a chick), your diet is much more important than exercise. You are what you eat and that is a fact.

Eat 5 Times a Day
People always tell me that I have a fast metabolism and that I’m blessed to be able to eat as much as I do. My boss visited me the other day and said, “Is that all you do is eat? Every time I come over here you’re eating.” I don’t think I’m blessed with a fast metabolism, I think that I’ve earned it. My parents used to call me Buddha Belly when I was a kid, hence the insane working out for 6 hours a day in college! But, seriously, the more often you eat, the more efficiently your body uses the energy. There are no spikes in blood sugar, no ups and downs in energy, and you actually end up being able to eat more.

When I say 5 meals a day, I mean as many as you can evenly proportion out. If you determine that you eat 2,500 calories a day, than each meal should be about 500 calories. Eat a normal breakfast, have a piece of fruit in between lunch, and then eat a normal lunch. Gradually add more to your snack and a little less to lunch and breakfast. A meal for me would be a sandwich with ¼ pound of lunch meat, two slices of whole wheat bread, an apple, and a banana. A morning snack is yogurt, fruit, and maybe a few lightly salted mixed nuts.

Eat Every 3 Hours
This is how I make sure to get in all of my meals in a day. It works perfectly: breakfast at 6 am, snack at 9 am, lunch at 12 pm, snack at 3 pm, sometimes a few raisins before working out, and then dinner at 7 or 8 pm.

Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
If it’s in a box with wrappings and it comes from a factory, do you really want to eat it? I do eat cereal, but I eat Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Try it, it’s expensive, but it’s high in protein, fiber, and, yes, carbs (you need them, just not in the form of white bread or icing on a cake). Canned vegetables are great for you but I would pretty much stay away from canned fruits as they are laden with sugar. I mostly shop on the outside edges of the supermarket where all the natural foods are located. I try to eat fruits and vegetables with every meal possible. The frozen foods section has some great things for snacking and meals. Publix has these garden burgers that are pretty damn good despite being vegetarian, i.e. you get protein and vegetables.

Eat Natural Foods
The more it’s processed the worse it is for you. Wash the dirt off and enjoy!

Eat a Variety of Foods
I eat all types of fruits and vegetables. The more the better. Spaghetti squash is actually really really good for you and tastes so similar to regular pasta that there’s no point in not eating it. Plantains are also really good for you depending on how they are prepared. They can be fried into chips or baked as sweet plantains or platanos maduros for those of you who know Spanish. All types of berries are good and taste good. Any type of vegetable is good, califlower can be mashed with small amounts of butter and garlic added to resemble garlic mashed potatoes but with tremendous amounts of nutrients and hardly any fat. Typically the more colors and deeper the colors the better it is for you.

I made a chili the other day with lean ground beef, red, green, and yellow peppers, onions, canned tomatoes with spice, three different types of beens, black, pinto, and kidney, and it was really good. After sauteeing the vegetables and cooking the beef, I just threw everything into a gigantic pot, cooked it until it boiled, and then ate it for lunch all week and even dinner. You could freeze it, too. There are so many options when it comes to food that you don’t have to eat McDonald’s. Ever. I can’t even remember the last time I ate anything from a fast food joint.

Eat Meat
Honey is going to kill me on this one. The health benefits of meat are inarguable. It is the best source of protein available.

Take a Supplement
My dad used to make fun of me because I would whip up a protein shake after every workout. He called it a steroid shake. Protein powder is an excellent addition to a healthy meal, plus it’s a quick and easy meal to create in, oh, 20 seconds. I like that. Make sure you get quality protein and not the cheap stuff. Also, take a multivitamin if you think you are lacking in some nutrients.

If you’re trying to build muscle, alcohol actually breaks muscle down. Plus, the hangovers and dehydration wreak havoc on one’s system. But, it’s a vice like any other and its fun to have a few drinks. So be responsible and know your limits.

Eating Quality Junk Food
Look, if you ate perfect all the time you would be an android and boring to hang out with. You know what you like, so when you do decide to cheat make sure it’s on something REALLY good. Don’t go to the snack machine at work and buy M&Ms! Those are made with cheap chocolate, cheap peanuts, and cheap sugar. You need to go out to somewhere special like Bern’s Steakhouse dessert room and get the Banana Foster’s or find somewhere that has a fantastic cheesecake or Enzo’s molten lava cake. Or if dark chocolate is your vice, find a Godiva shop nearby and get the good stuff. You’ll find out very quickly that you will enjoy it MUCH more and you won’t eat as much of it.


If you don’t know what you are doing at the gym, than get someone to show you. Ask a cute girl (or guy) at the gym how to use a machine and maybe you can get them to show you around and get their number. Get a trainer or find someone to work out with. I usually weight train 3 days and run 3 per week.

My 3 day a week lifting regime consists of combining body parts for maximum growth and rest. Plus, I’m only in the gym 3 days a week as opposed to 4. This has taken me quite a number of years to perfect so if you can’t combine it than it’s okay. Most people work chest and triceps or back and biceps on one day but I find that after doing chest I don’t get as full a work out with my triceps or after back with biceps. Thus:

  • Day 1 – chest and back
  • Day 2 – legs and calves
  • Day 3 – shoulders and arms.

Each day I do sit-ups and lower back exercises so that I don’t have to do them after I run since I’ll get cramps sometimes. Chest and back typically takes only about 1.5 hours, legs are usually a longer workout of about 2 hours, and shoulders and arms is usually pretty quick at about 1.75 hours. Each of those times include abs and lower back. Adding legs in between allows for rest of my arms and allows for my legs to be sore for about a day or two so that I can do cardiovascular exercise. So, Day 4 is rest and then Days 5 and 6 I’ll either run, surf, or anything else. Day 7, which is usually Sunday, can be an off day or another cardiovascular day depending on how sore or tired I am.

I also change things up. Mostly I just go surfing, but on occasion I’ll go snowboarding, wakeboarding, mountain biking, swimming, etc. I highly recommend doing weight training AND cardiovascular training. Also, weight training is more important than most people think, and sorry girls, but that excuse about getting too muscular, there is no chance in hell unless you’re either a genetic freak or you spend 8 hours a day in the gym.


The one question people have asked me about is motivation. How do I stay motivated? Lately I’ve been pretty un-motivated but the thing that has kept me motivated is surfing. I found something that I thoroughly enjoyed and I spend hours dreaming about it. When I don’t want to go to the gym I tell myself that if I get out of shape that I won’t be able to surf as well and so far that’s been true. Sometimes I can’t get to the beach for a couple of months, but once I get there, after a couple of rides, I’m back to where I was. I recommend everyone find a physical activity that they can enjoy until they die and that will keep your motivation at its highest.

As a quick note for those of you who want to burn the most amount of fat, lift weights first than do the stair stepper or treadmill. And if you replace your body fat with muscle, you burn tons of energy just sitting around doing nothing.


Now that you’re exercising you need to make sure your body recovers. Try to get at least 7 hours a night. 7.5 is optimum since your body sleeps in 1.5 hour intervals. When you first start working out you may need more than usual, but that will pass. Some people need more sleep, some less. If you can’t sleep, sex is a fantastic exercise and sleep inducer so if you have someone, well, you get it.

I’m sure I’ve left more than a few things out but I think these are the main points. The most important things are that everyone has to find what works for them, everything in moderation, and the only day for a new, better you is today!

  • Honey

    Great post, Lilly! Here, since you literally asked for it…

    While the BF became veggie after extensive reading of animal rights literature (and I fail to see how compassion is a negative personality trait), I became veggie because meat upsets my stomach so badly that it interfered with my ability to live my life. I do still eat some cheeses and fish. Fortunately for us, because humans are omnivores, meat is a dietary decision. That means (and all the literature supports this), it can be included or excluded without any negative effects, provided you make other dietary decisions accordingly.

    As far as saying there’s no better source of protein than meat, tempeh (made of soybeans) has 18 grams of protein and 11 grams of fat per 3-ounce portion. Similarly, seiten (made of wheat gluten) has 22.5 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat and 0 carbohydrate per 3-ounce serving, more protein than a similarly sized portion of meat, poultry or fish. Not only that, but its texture is so similar to meat that many vegetarians find it too “meat-like.” Quorn-brand products are almost indistinguishable from chicken and also have the same amount of protein per serving as meat, with less fat.

    I have to say that aside from your obvious ignorance of vegetarianism (**grin**), that most of your suggestions are excellent! I tend to do full body every time I lift weights, but mostly because my gym schedule is so hectic right now. Maybe I’ll break it down a little more after the move.

    Honey’s last blog post..Lilly’s Diet and Fitness

  • Lance

    I went and bought a box of Kashi this evening based PURELY on this post. Thanks!

  • Lilly

    Honey, Thanks for letting me know about those meat alternatives. I’ll have to try them sometime. I do sometimes get tired of eating meat and will stop for a week or two and just eat veggie burgers, protein shakes, and PBJs. You did see the veggie burger plug, right? I’m not completely biased as I have seen what happens in the processing of animals and I will admit that it’s not good. But, you make a great point in that it’s a decision because I decided to ignore that fact and enjoy the taste.

    I’ve also had plenty of vegetarian friends and completely supported them except for a few pokes of fun but only because they were either too skinny or too fat from not getting enough food to not getting the right types of calories.

    Unless you’re not getting the gains you want, girls would probably benefit more from a total body workout but only if you make it into a cardio/weight workout, i.e. with very little rest in between sets and a combination of exercises. The interesting thing with your body is that it doesn’t like change BUT at the same time it will respond very quickly to change. So, if you mix things up with your workouts your body will respond very positively. I commend you for going to the gym and I’m sure the BF thoroughly likes it, too.

    More girls should be like you for many health reasons that could develop later in life such as osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, etc.

  • cheekie

    I was vegetarian for 12 years, right through my pregnancy as well.
    Healthy as a horse. Somehow I managed to gain an arseload of weight throughout, and was never, ever anemic. My doc and midwives were amazed at how healthy and strong I was. Still am. Even though now I am back to the evils of meat…still even a bit ’rounder’ than I used to be, I am pretty damn healthy due to a balanced, no-processed food (as much as possible anyway) and loads of water lifestyle.

    So many misconceptions about being veg. Sometimes I want to go back (damn you bacon and your delicious aroma) just for the pure fact that I never felt more energized and ‘clean’.

    Great post. Lots of excellent info.

  • Honey

    Lilly, I did notice your plug for the veggie burgers, and your points about eating lots of fresh, deeply colored vegetables, too! I just couldn’t resist giving you a little shit because, if you’re a friend of Lance’s, I know you can take it :-)

    I completely understand why people find it so hard to give up meat. The BF and I would like to be vegan eventually, but we LOVE cheese. Because of that, and because evangelism of any sort is pretty annoying, I try really hard not to give people crap about their dietary choices. But there are so many great meat alternatives out there it’s easy to at least reduce your consumption. The meat industry also is the #1 polluter on the planet. A vegan who drives a Hummer pollutes the earth less overall than a meat-eater who drives a Hybrid!

    Okay, off my high horse. I HIGHLY recommend Quorn products (available at Whole Foods). I also have a mean recipe for mulligatawny using seitan…the BF makes a fantastic mongolian “beef” with seitan. People with a wheat sensitivity should probably avoid it, though.

    I’ll try changing it up in my workouts, thanks for the tip!

    Honey’s last blog post..Lilly’s Diet and Fitness

  • Honey

    The BF eats Kashi cereal almost exclusively. It’s got too much sugar for me…

    Honey’s last blog post..Lilly’s Diet and Fitness

  • Lilly

    What if you’re a meat eater who drives a Hummer? Are they all burning for all of eternity?

  • Honey

    Only if you have a bumper sticker that says, “I eat cows and chickens! The pandas and polar bears I kill for fun…”

    Honey’s last blog post..Lilly’s Diet and Fitness

  • Hot Alpha Female

    Hey Lilly,
    That was an extremely detailed post. Really great! I reckon it just goes to show that if you want to be healthier and look better its not just some crash diet. Its a whole lifestyle and mentality really.

    Neways honey … I’m vegetarian too. Went to an Anthony Robbins event .. He was talking something about Acid .. And then showed all these videos of how they killed the cows. lol. Brainwashed and emotionally scarred for life i tell ya!

    Neways eat fish sometimes too..

    You wanna know the name for it? Aquatarians!!! hahha

    Vegetarians that eat fish .. such a classic right?


    Hot Alpha Female’s last blog post..Knowing The Game – Yet Still Getting Gamed

  • cheekie

    LOL!!!!! I literally just laughed-out-loud. HARD.

    Good one Honey.

    It’s like this one:

    ‘Meat is Murder. Tasty, Tasty, Murder’

    Ironic coming from me, I used to be one of those annoying veggie-nazi’s…
    Diet for a Small Planet and Animal Liberation sent my 20 yr old idealistic brain right into a fervour.

    Now, at definitely not 20, I realise that things aren’t as black and white as that. Although I do still hold some of the same values, I enjoy my filet mignon. a lot. a lloooootttt. Especially now that bbq season has struck up here in the Great White North. (portabello mushrooms on the bbq taste so good too!)

    But, I don’t drive, so I even-stephen my harm to the planet.
    My son used cloth diapers for the first year. I did the whole thing. Home birth, etc etc.

    Yoga is my big thing. Flexibility is key as we get a bit ‘older’ (god, it pains me so to say that).
    It is also amazing for stress and centering and calming yourself.
    I try to do it as much as I can. Even just a few stretches when I can fit them in. And have you ever seen a chubby yogi? Nope.
    Long, lean muscles. Healthy diet.

    I sound like a saint, but I definitely am not.
    I drink a little too much, I love sweets- especially carby chocolate anything, and I smoke. Horror!!!
    But, it is all about balancing the good and the bad. Right?

    Lilly this is such a great post, very inspiring.
    I feel not-so-intimidated about starting a more aggressive work-out routine/lifestyle.

    My question to you though is- how do we as women stop from gaining bulk instead of lengthening? My family is quite stocky and muscular, so I find when I work out I just bulk up a lot.
    Benefit is my abs tone up fast, but I don’t like the truck driver look…any hints?

  • Lilly


    Lots of reps. If you can do 20 or 30 repetitions with little rest in between than you won’t bulk up. It’s kind of like a target cardiovascular workout on your biceps. And you probably will have to do some aerobic exercises to get rid of some of the fat. With me, to build muscle it’s really hard so I lose fat in the process, i.e. ectomorph. But if you are a fast gainer, i.e. mesomorph, than you build muscle with the fat on top thus getting much bigger much faster. That’s why you need to do double the work.

  • Lee Coles

    Great tips- I teach my clients to work out- it helps instill confidence, makes you look nice in your threads, and can’t hurt sexual stamina.

  • JT

    Nice motivating writeup, Lilly. But I have to say, it sounds like you’re inefficiently spending your whole life in the gym! I used to, but I was forced to change when I began working about 60 hours per week. Specifically, I was motivated by the book “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss. His whole book is about QUALITY over QUANTITY and always testing to see how much results you can get with minimum input. I cut my gym time down to 2 hours per week by:
    1. Cutting caloric intake, negating the need for cardio to achieve low bodyfat.
    2. Alternating exercises working opposing muscle groups (one set of chest, one set of biceps, etc…) instead of resting between sets to cut gym time in half.
    3. Cutting out unnecessary reps by getting to muscular hypertrophy (growth) faster by increasing weight so much that you attain failure in about 3-6 reps.

    Basically, quality over quantity in the name of efficiency.

  • Lilly

    I’m extremely glad you piped in with a different outlook and workout plan because this is the exact example I was talking about where you have to do what works for you. JT, you’re probably like a friend of mine who is short and stocky and who easily puts on muscle, i.e. mesomorph. In this sense you do low reps and build muscle easily. I do low reps and then get fat. On top of that if you remember I stated that I really only train in order to surf. And to have a decent body. But, with surfing you need the perfect blend of strength and endurance, thus I do higher reps and more sets with heavy weight. As far as resting, that is also part of my routine in that I really don’t rest that much. I usually take about a minute in between sets whereas they recommend 3-5 for maximum growth.

    That’s great, JT, I’m glad you found something that works for you.