A big aspect that’s often overlooked when getting into shape is your environment. Most people focus only on their diets and their training routine. Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! spends four chapters focusing on your actual living environment. Join me as I apply the environmental lessons from the book towards my goal to get down to 195 pounds.

Chapter 15 Basic Food Tools

My kitchen is stocked with all the basic kitchen tools plus lots more. I’m a big foodie so over the years I have purchased lots of kitchen gizmos. Those gizmos have made my meal planning pretty easy. As the years have gone by, I don’t use most of my gadgets as much. It’s always nice to know that they are around if needed.

The pantry in my house consistently contains sauces and seasonings to create various cuisines. We try our best in our household to make our meals exciting. That can be going from Caribbean jerk chicken one night to Indian curry the next.

I’m currently working mostly from home, so I don’t carry my lunch around like I had been doing for most of my adult life. In the Release The Beast Video Course, I show my infamous lunch cooler that got me through many years of eating healthy on the go.

Chapter 16 Create A Safety Zone


This chapter comes at a perfect time. In last week’s Countdown to 195, I mention just how bad my eating week was. I suffered a mini depression spell. It’s hard to know if it was due to the weather OR due to all the crappy eating I was doing. I personally think it was a combination of the two.

Throughout that week (and the week prior) I had been eating foods that I KNOW I shouldn’t eat. They were the foods that for years I had identified as my personal trigger foods. I continued to purse them because sub-consciously I knew I would be getting towards this chapter.

This is the chapter that changes the game when it comes to what you keep in your safety zone. This chapter is all about making trigger food lists.

What is a Trigger Food?

Trigger foods can be identified by one or more of the following:

  1. Contains Sugar
  2. Contains Salt
  3. Contains some sort of fat
  4. One serving size is normally UNREALISTIC

Those combinations basically create a situation in which people just can’t control themselves when presented with the food item. Those are the characteristics of all the classic binge foods. That’s exactly the foods I was snacking on in excess for the past couple of weeks.

Trigger foods are broken down between Yellow and Red Groups. The yellow is more of a gateway drug. That means that these are items that can be in your house and you don’t crave for them. BUT if you were to eat one of them…..it most likely will lead to two servings…which turn to three……which turns you towards eating something else (most likely from your Red trigger food lists.)

Red trigger foods are the foods you KNOW you can’t control yourself with. These are foods that you completely cave in around while in eyesight. An example for me is ice cream. I’ve never been able to just eat a single serving and be satisfied. Give me the whole half-gallon!

Based on the past couple of months, I’ve been able to put together a pretty good list of my trigger foods. Creating this list is probably the ONLY good thing about me not reaching my 195 goal yet. Here are the two lists:

Yellow Trigger Foods

  1. Wheat Bread
  2. Muffins
  3. Soda
  4. Popcorn
  5. Cheese
  6. Candy (see what happened to me after Halloween!)
  7. Peanut Butter
  8. Crackers (saltine and/or Ritz)
  9. Alcohol

Red Trigger Foods

  1. Ice Cream
  2. Potato Chips
  3. Cake
  4. Cookies
  5. Pie
  6. Pastries
  7. Popsicle/Novelty treats
  8. Doughnuts

I have a list of all these foods placed on my refrigerator door. For now on, I’ll be sure to always look at this list before attempting to eat something on this list. It doesn’t mean you will go the rest of your life avoiding these foods. By having these foods written down, it will bring awareness and make you really evaluate whether or not you should be eating that item at that moment in time.

Chapter 17: Shop, Chop & Prep

cart full of groceries

In my household we plan two weeks worth of meals ahead of time. My wife and I pull out a calendar and mark down the meals we would like to have for the next two weeks. Once that is done, we typically go grocery shopping once a week. For us this is the easiest and fastest way to plan.

It’s only my wife and I in our household so I currently don’t have outside influencers making it harder to shop.

In a normal week, we cook about four-five nights a week. On one or two of those nights, we’ll make a big meal that’s designed to last for several days. Given our work/life schedule, we don’t mind cooking as often as we do. The key is to do what works best with your situation.

Chapter 18: Surviving The Office

Oh man, I remember the dreaded office days. For the past couple of months I’ve been working primarily from my home office. So I currently have not had to implement most of the lessons taught in this chapter. It wouldn’t surprise me if I found myself back in a office environment in the next couple of months. If I do, I’ll be sure to come back to this chapter!

But as I read the chapter, it did remind me that I should definitely get up and walk around more often. I have several set of stairs in my house that I should be taking advantage of during my breaks.

Speaking of breaks….I need to start taking them more often! I have a habit of getting in the zone and next thing I know five hours have went by with me at typing away at my laptop!


These are the four chapters in Release The Beast that address your environment. If you haven’t read the book yet, I highly suggest you do!

Categories: MindsetReflections

Related Posts

Food Advice

Why Do You Eat What You Eat? Part II

In Part I, I explored the topic of why do you eat what you eat. I would like to continue this topic in today’s Part II. Let’s take a moment and think about nature in Read more…

Food Advice

Why Do You Eat What You Eat? Part I

In today’s fast paced society it’s rare to take time to think about how you got to be were you are today. When wanting to lose a ton of weight we automatically search for 6-12 week Read more…

Fat Loss Journeys

How To Survive A 14 Day No Sugar Challenge

Do you have what it takes to do a No Sugar Challenge for 14 days straight? Like everything in life, it’s easier said then done. In today’s video post, Mr. Travel Fitness aka Micvinny breaks Read more…