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Carpe Diem: Gather Ye Rosebuds

Dead Poet’s Society – ‘Carpe Diem’ from Sam on Vimeo.

How Many Books Can You Read In One Summer?

GREAT IDEA FOR SUMMER:  An old-fashioned reading challenge, sponsored by the non-official book club of Florence Welch, (Twitter: @BetweenTwoBooks).

To take part in the challenge, simply Tweet to @BetweenTwoBooks and tell them what your reading goal is for the next few months. (use hashtag #BTBChallenge) and you’re officially in.

I’m using the summer challenge to finish writing my book, Surfing With God. 


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Meet Healthbook: Apple’s First Big Step into Health & Fitness

Healthbook’s user interface is largely inspired by the iPhone’s existing Passbook application. Versions of Healthbook in testing are capable of tracking several different health and fitness data points.

Read more

The Complete Beginners Guide to Buying Good Cross-Training Shoes

HEY SAM:  I am thinking about buying cross-training shoes to use in the gym. Is there anything specific I should look for in cross-training shoes?
~Bob, Los Angeles

As with men, it’s important to know that not every shoe is equipped to handle every need. Knowing the differences between these types shoes will help you get what you need, but moreover — prevent unnecessary injury! In terms of exercise, there are three kinds of shoes to be concerned about: running, walking and cross-training shoes. So what makes a cross-trainer a GOOD cross-trainer?


MESH — The shoe needs to have some mesh fabric. Mesh in a cross-training shoe helps the shoe handle variations in temperature, as well as to be moisture-wicking, (pulling moisture away from your skin). Breathability determines whether your foot drowns in a pool of sweat, or glides along comfortably.

Shoe Guy 257x300 The Complete Beginners Guide to Buying Good Cross Training Shoes

FLEXIBILITY— One surefire way to developing unsightly corns is an inflexible shoe (especially in the toes). A good cross-training shoe should feel flexible. Does it bend in different directions easily? Does it allow your foot to move easily for movements like burpees and pushups? If in doubt, do a few in the shoes and see.

SHOCK ABSORPTION — The heavier you are, the more important this is. Shock absorption protects your heels from crashing down too hard and hurting your ankles or knees (or both). Place your fingers on the underside toe area and see if there is a little bit of give in the sole and do the same for the heels— a good cross-training shoe should have both.

LATERAL MOTION — Good cross-training shoes have support not only for forward and backward movement, but also side to side motion. Also, the ankle area should have a bit of give. Do some jumping jacks in the shoes and ask if the shoe is giving you enough support. You should always have the ability to move your ankle without interference, otherwise you will have unnecessary soreness.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS — If you have high arches, consider yourself genetically gifted. Very few shoe companies manufacture shoes with high arch support, because they are catering to the “average” consumer. If you need more arch support, find a good brand and stick to that brand like glue. Not supporting your arches affects how you walk, which can make your body develop symmetrically.

THE HAPPY FACTOR — Buy shoes that you like looking at. Choose a cool color—maybe a bright neon—that makes you smile, or makes you excited to work out. Good cross-training shoes should not only make you look good, but also confident, capable and fully supported.

RESEARCH — Finally, remember to go online and read some of the reviews on technical aspects of the shoes, how long they are expected to last, and how much use you can get out them BEFORE you buy.

Do you have a favorite cross-training shoe?

Shoe Guy

100+ Great Workout Songs, a Spotify Playlist

Seven hours of new music to fuel your workouts. Subscribe in Spotify and receive updates for free.

thad castle

What To Eat For Breakfast?

HEY SAM:  I just had a protein bar for breakfast, but I’m still hungry. What should I eat now?  ~LaManda, Los Angeles

That’s great that you got some protein with breakfast! (Research shows that people who eat a high protein breakfast 30 minutes after waking lose more fat than people who don’t).

The reason you are still hungry is because a protein bar is not a meal replacement, it is usually a snack.  Check the carbohydrate content of your bars. For your first meal—every day—your breakfast must also contain carbohydrates. This is a rule. It doesn’t matter whether you’re following the Easy, Standard or Express version of the Zig Zag diet, because your body always needs carbohydrates to kick off strong. (To balance out this protein bar breakfast speficially, good choices could be some oatmeal, or some Greek yogurt).

If you’re trying to lose those last 2o pounds, you will need to remember the inconvenient truth about weight loss.

Here are 14 ways to control sugar cravings.


Football is Life

IT STARTED AS A DARE from my shrink, of all people. “Join the LA flag football team,” she said, herself a former collegiate athlete. “I think it will be a good way for you to socialize and meet new people.” She had a point. Life as an independent fitness professional can be social but is often quite solitary. “You’ll do great,” she predicted, and I left the office thinking about the dare, something I’d actually considered for more than 10 years, since I first became aware of the league while lining up sponsorships for the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney, Australia.

A few days later, quietly sitting in my office after hours, I decided to accept her challenge. I registered online with the Los Angeles Flag Football league as a “free agent,” not aligning myself to any particular team, essentially allowing the powers that be to “draft me.”  I was quickly drafted to the Long Beach team.  Initially I was designated a rusher, but now I am a blocker on the offense.

I’ve been so busy learning how to play the game itself, and all of the shorthand lingo (which comes so naturally to my fellow players) that I can barely draw any parallels to life—yet. But I’m sure they will come to me as I continue to show up for our Saturday games. One thing I can say about my experience is that it opened up something within me. Accepting my therapist’s challenge and joining the team broke down a wall and offered a new and different path for me to follow.


The Zig Zag Express

If you want to shed body fat fast, the Zig Zag Express is for you. Of the 3 Zig Zag cycles, this one takes off weight the fastest.

Unlike the “Easy Zig Zag” and “Standard Zig Zag” which alternate low and high-carb days, “Zig Zag Express” alternates two low-carb days against one high-carb day—you’ll burn fat two days in a row. You’ll stoke your body’s furnace (metabolism) on your high-carb day. And you’ll lose weight … vominos! 

Even though “Zig Zag Express” has an extra low-carb day as compared to the “Easy Zig Zag” and “Standard Zig Zag” cycles, it is not a calorie-restricted cycle. Women should not consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day, and men should not consume fewer than 1,500 calories a day. And since you’ll have two low-carb days in a row, you may feel less energetic on the second low-carb day. But this is OK and normal. Low-carb days are powerful weight-loss accelerators!

Here’s what a Zig Zag Express turbo cycle week looks like:

Zig Zag Express The Zig Zag Express

As with my other cycles, you can stay with the Zig Zag Express  as long as you want, or you can change cycles.

The program is tailor-made and customized to you.

Zig Zag Express

Zig Zagging 101

The Zig Zag cycle is the understructure of what I do with every client, because it really works.  I’m going to introduce you to the basics of Zig Zagging, and three different Zig Zag plans—Easy, Standard, and Express.

What is Zig Zagging? 

It’s pretty simple: Zig Zagging is a food plan which alternates high-carb and low-carb days. Depending on the plan you follow, it also has built in reward days, or reward meals. This way, you can still eat your favorite foods on a regular basis while still losing weight.

  • Each week has a slightly different mix of high-carb and low-carb days, but each day basically follows the same pattern:
  • Eat five meals — no more, no less.  (A “meal” is really an “eating opportunity”)
  • Every morning, eat a high carb breakfast that includes protein within 30 minutes of waking 
  • The remaning four meals should be eaten at regular 3 hour intervals
  • Choose foods from my Zig Zag smart food list.  (Sign up here to receive a FREE printable food guide!)
  • Drink a gallon of water.

How does it work? 

To lose body fat, our bodies need the right combinations of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats.

Proteins build and keep our muscles strong, and muscles burn calories like a furnace. Always keep your protein intake up to an appropriate level, because proteins break down more slowly than carbs and fat, and make you feel fuller longer.

Carbs are your body’s preferred fuel source, and they come in healthy versions (veggies, whole grains, legumes) and evil “high glycemic” versions (fudge, juice, candy, donuts, soda pop, cakes, and many processed foods).   Healthy “low glycemic” carbs keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable so that you can continue to burn more body fat.

Healthy fats (unsaturated) keep energy levels stable by preventing you from feeling hungry. Consumed in moderation, they can also help the development and function of your eyes and brain, preventing heart disease, stroke, depression and arthritis.

Why the Zig Zag mechanism? 

To simplify things, the reason for alternating between “Zag Up” (high-carb) days and “Zag Down”  (low-carb) days is because the pattern “tricks” your metabolism into burning a lot of calories — on high-carb days, you’re stoking your metabolism so that on low-carb days, your body burns fat.

What benefits can I expect? 

There are so many benefits to Zig Zagging:

  • No matter where you are, Zig Zagging fits almost any lifestyle
  • You’ll learn how to shape your body by making smarter choices.
  • You’ll have more energy
  • You’ll sleep better
  • Your digestion will improve
  • You’ll get to eat the foods you love
  • You’ll build lean muscles
  • You’ll transform on every level:  physically, mentally and spiritually.

I’ve touched only briefly on Zig Zagging, learn more about my three Zig Zag plans to find your best fit, and let the Zig Zagging begin!

Easy Zig Zag Cycle

Standard Zig Zag Cycle

Express Zig Zag Cycle

Looking Back at 2013


When you’re focused on moving forward, it is ever more important to take a moment to look back to acknowledge and say, “Actually, I did some cool stuff!”

And professionally, I did: from working with a wave of new Sam Page Fitness clients, to fundraising for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

From successfully launching “PocketSAM” my mobile app, to co-leading a new year’s climb up Mount Echo.

From consulting on the $15,000 studio remodel at the Hollywood Production Center, to training to become a certified executive protection agent.I’ve kept pretty busy!

But 2013 wasn’t just about professional milestones.

These past 12 months, I’ve been constantly reminded of the truly impermanent nature of … everything.

We are all in a state of transition, even our relationships.

Nothing is fixed or solid.

Everything is tentative — or as I prefer to think: “just about to become something!”

Really acknowledging this on a soul level — that nothing is static — has helped me become a more open-minded, easygoing human being.

I’ve grown more comfortable with ambiguity, and shifted my thinking to a space where belief (in anything) is not necessary or required for admission.

I’m more flexible, ready, aware & open to see what’s actually unfolding, moment by moment.

I’m a even a better listener.

These awakenings I attribute in part to a growing identification with Buddhism, developing a closer relationship to the nature of my own fear , and my fascination with practical neuroscience.

I’m profoundly grateful for this year, for my practice, and if you’re reading this … for you.  :)

I hope that your happiness is increasing and your suffering is decreasing.

Be well this holiday season.

peace + love + lunges,


Sam Page at Trebek Open Space December 2013
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