The Unpredictability of Life Requires A Flexible Fitness Mindset (by BEAR WILLIAMS)

 

For many people, fitness means keeping a strict diet and workout routine. But as Guest Correspondent Bear Williams discusses today, it’s important to build a level of flexibility into your routine. If you’re overly committed to your plan and you haven’t incorporated room for changes, you might end up feeling frustrated. Instead, it’s better to be open-minded and free.

As many of you remember, Bear was stranded on the Thai island of Koh Phangan during Storm Pabuk. He was forced into incorporating flexibility into his diet and fitness routine. Below he shares some inspiration on how to stay on your game even after being knocked off your game.

The Unpredictability of Life Requires A Flexible Fitness Mindset (by BEAR WILLIAMS)

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple

“With my target being only to explore and adapt, the last two months of maintaining and improving a healthy lifestyle built specifically for me, have been interesting and wildly challenging.

I spent the month of December on an island. I was unable to eat many of my staple foods, and could not cook for myself (something I will remedy immediately if I return to same or similar situation). Training was light the entire month.

While on the island, I made lesser evil food choices and used carbonated sugar beverages often to fill gaps in calories needed for energy. In hindsight, I was a carb-burning monster and actually got leaner drinking 3-5 Coca Cola a day. I think the healthier option for me and more conducive to island-living will be a ketogenic + low fruit approach. The sugar withdrawal from soda was fucking terrible.

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple Island Life 2

While leaving the island and returning to Bangkok, my girl and I both got sick with a bad sinus infection and cough. Mine due to lack of sleep, bad food, minor stress, and possibly made worse by the Bangkok pollution.

I opted not to take antibiotics, and use Advil and nasal decongestant, along with lowering my total target food volume by 30%. While sick, I cooked all my food, mostly different soups with pork, beef, egg, shrimp, vegetables, and rice. Heavy amounts of turmeric, ginger, lemon/lime, honey, and water were consumed everyday.

Training was reduced to 1-2 days per week in preference of bed rest and sleep. My work schedule was maintained.

I lost about 5-6 kg when normally I would be growing slowly. This is a bummer, but I was able to weather 8 weeks filled with the inconsistencies of island life and beat an awful and debilitating cold while still keeping my body together.

…having “goals” is great, but too many people are married to the goal or outcome and quit because it doesn’t come quickly, or predictably, or easily.

Anyway, the point I want to make is that having “goals” is great, but too many people are married to the goal or outcome and quit because it doesn’t come quickly, or predictably, or easily.

Sure. I have a “goal” and it’s to build muscle. I just don’t think about it every moment because it’s set on a 5 year timeline.

I focus on everyday habits and the understanding that life is unpredictable. Many times the path to a goal requires going backwards methodically, and never giving up.”

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple Island Life
Perfectly balanced as all things should be.

 

How do you handle changes to your workout routine or diet?  Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

Wigwam Arizona : My Weekend At this Historic (and Delicious) Resort

Arizona has always been one of my favorite West Coast getaways so when I was invited to check out The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, I was in! Here’s some highlights from my weekend at this historic (and delicious) resort. 

The Wigwam is a truly stunning and perfectly-maintained resort

The Resort

The first thing I noticed was how immaculate the resort was. You can immediately tell that they put a lot of effort into making sure everything looks beautiful. This really is an upscale resort. If I’m on vacation, I want the place I’m staying to be both beautiful & clean and Wigwam nails it on both fronts.

I later found out that they change the grass every season (different grass does better during different seasons). For those who haven’t been here yet, this herculean task  cannot be overstated: The Wigwam sits on 440 acres and includes 3 professional 18-hole golf courses. They reset the grass 4 times a year. Insane!

The style of the buildings is what’s referred to as Territorial Adobe so while the outside has a historic feel, the rooms themselves are spacious and modern. The Wigwams refers to their hotel rooms as “casitas” (little homes) as they’re much larger than your typical hotel or resort stay.

FootGolf

I had never heard of FootGolf until The Wigwam and it is such a fun sport! It’s a combination of soccer (which I’m not very good at) and golf (which I’m also not very good at) but it doesn’t matter if you’re good at either because its a lot of fun! Same rules as golf just with a soccer ball (and a lot more fast paced)! I also found out through Instagram that there’s a professional FootGolf league. You can check them out here @southwestFGC! It was 105 degrees the day I played so I was able to get a tan too.

FootGolf, a combination of soccer & golf at The Wigwam

Cocktails

Despite being into fitness, I do enjoy mixology and The Wigwam does not disappoint! Through September 3rd, they’re celebrating the last decade through their Centennial Cocktail Menu (a different drink from each generation). I tried their 1950s Piña Colada, 1980s Bramble & (being from New York City) their 2010 Manhattan Revival. Delicious trio of drinks (the Piña Colada was my fave).

3 cocktails from The Wigwam Bar’s Centennial menu

Also, I gotta shout out their Berry Margarita. I never thought of adding fresh berries to my margarita but they did it here and it was delicious. Nothing beats a fruity Mexican cocktail!

Berry Margarita from The Wigwam

The Food

If you’re visiting The Wigwam, make sure you come hungry! The Wigwam is a foodie’s paradise (If you like food porn, check out my friend’s IG @thefoodiearticles). 

I received an invite to The Wigwam’s famous monthly “Wine Dinner Series” which features an incredible 4-course meal paired with wine by Plumpjack, Cade & Odette. Between each meal, Chef Jason Paterno would discuss his inspiration behind each dish and a Sommelier would give details about the wine’s history and why it was paired with that dish. Not only was this dinner delicious, but it was very educational as well.  The dinner had a number of repeat, local customers so you know this dinner is well-liked.

Check out this savory menu : 

Incredible menu from Chef Jason Paterno

There’s 2 dishes that I must talk about: 

  1. Chef Jason Paterno’s Pork dish (with plum, blueberry, corn & mustard : the texture of this pork melts in your mouth. 
  2. Litchfield’s Diver Sea Scallops (with risotto, sweet corn, tomato, bacon, mascarpone & basil) : this a crowd-pleaser and some of the best-cooked scallops I’ve ever had. And that risotto. <3
Chef Jason Paterno cooks one of the best pieces of pork I’ve ever tasted
Litchfield’s Diver Sea Scallops

So if you’re looking for your next foodie adventure, I highly recommend The Wigwam.

Pet-Friendly

The Wigwam is pet-friendly!

As someone who always travels with their fur kids, I’m always looking for pet-friendly resorts. The Wigwam accepts pets (at $25 per day per pet).

You can learn more about the Wigwam at their website here or on their IG @wigwamresort. If you have any questions or want to connect with their sales or marketing team, you can contact me adam@befreemysheeple.com.

The Key to My Happiness : Create Your Own Career

Create your own career.

This is some of the best advice I can give to anyone.

In 2016 I quit my job to travel across Asia. In those 3 months, I never felt more alive getting lost on the Tokyo trains or exploring the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or visiting the same jungles in Vietnam that my dad fought the Vietnam War in or hiking in pitch black darkness in Hong Kong. I had zero work e-mails to worry about. I didn’t even think of how many vacation days I was using or how many I had left because for that moment, they felt infinite. (The only thing missing was my dogs).

When I came back to the US, I wanted to enjoy my time in LA so I didn’t work for 4 months. It was glorious. I fell in love with the freedom of not having a job, not having a boss to report to, and every single day of the week being my own. A Monday-Friday felt like a Sunday-Sunday for me. I would wake up and forget if it was a weekend or a weekday because it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to wait for the break between Christmas and New Years to do something epic.

Check out my 2016 life-changing trip to Asia on Instagram by searching #PapisInvasian

But of course there’s this limited resource called money and LA & NYC are not cheap cities to live in so I started to rack my brain about how I could generate income (without dipping into my investments which would continue to multiply if I didn’t cannibalize myself) but still have a relatively easy work schedule and the freedom of traveling whenever I wanted and waking up whenever I wanted. Was it possible to work smarter and not harder?

While these thoughts crossed my mind, it also happened that LA taught me the value of TIME & HEALTH over MONEY & THINGS (both of which NYC prioritizes) so I also realized that I didn’t need to make that much money anymore to have the lifestyle that I wanted. Yachts, penthouse apartments & brand names lost their allure to me. Freedom, time with my dogs and the ability to travel started to matter more. You can always make more money but you can’t make more time.

The question I get from people the most is “Adam – how do you live your lifestyle?” And the answer is that I created my own career (and stayed single – relationships come with limitations lol). I launched my own influencer agency called YourFavoriteInfluencer and as it is a business based (mostly) in Instagram, I can work and generate income from anywhere in the world because guess what! Email works everywhere! Do I make the same amount of money I made in NYC? Not even close, but it’s enough to maintain the comfortable lifestyle that I want (and the income will be worth 10x more in Thailand lol). I also take the job very seriously and it’s important to me that all of my clients have a positive experience.

I also set up my own consulting firm and I am exclusively working with VodelMedia to drive revenue from agencies (which is what brings me to NYC 10-14 days a month). I’ll be continuing to work with VodelMedia when I am in Bangkok. Very excited!

Lastly, I rent out my apartment for a rate which far outweighs my actual daily rent and this has given me a rent-free lifestyle (until Thailand).

A big reason for my Thailand move is because you can have an extremely high quality of life for a very low cost. 🇹🇭 YOLO!

So there you have it. That’s the secret to my lifestyle and my happiness. I created my own career. When you create your own career, the money may not be as steady or as predictable as a full time 9-5 job (and lord knows you have to pay for your own health insurance 😂), but the freedom is what life is all about. 2 or 3 weeks of vacation is not enough to live the life you were meant to live and I’m sure it’s not enough to live the life that many of you want to live! Your health is not guaranteed long term. Do you want to finally be free at 60+ when you might not even make it there and even if you do, you might not be physically fit to enjoy hiking Hong Kong Peak or touring Angkor Wat?

If you need advice, feel free to DM me! Don’t be miserable at your job. Travel more. Be more free. In other words…

Be Free My Sheeple! 🐑

P.S. follow me on Instagram either @adamfrancisco or my vlog @befreemysheeple if you aren’t already. I need more followers #addicted. 🚶🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️

Cardio at the Santa Monica Stairs (I almost died!)

 

I’ve been living in LA for almost 3 years and I never checked out the iconic Santa Monica Stairs until this week.  I’ve always heard that running up and down the stairs (170 steps) a few times is a good workout and they weren’t wrong. 

First off, this neighborhood is absolutely stunning. The houses are quite expensive. I hopped on Zillow to check out the prices and you can see the prices range from $3 million USD up to $18 million USD. Yeah, that’s probably not happening in my lifetime. 

Map of available real estate prices by Santa Monica Stairs

Once you get close to the stairs, you start seeing a lot of people exercising in the general area. I saw a lot of runners, a woman using resistance bands for a thigh workout, and a guy shoulder-pressing 30 pound dumbbells that he keeps in the back of his SUV (not sure why I haven’t thought about throwing a few dumbbells in my trunk and basically having a mobile gym). It’s a good place to workout because seeing all the people exercising can be more motivating than working out alone. However, keep in mind that you can’t park on the streets after 6pm or you might get a ticket. Shout out to the fellow stair-climber who mentioned this to me at 5:57pm as I was filming my vlog. She’s the real MVP.

Here’s a good workout routine:

-Run up and down the stairs 10 times as fast as you can (but not too fast or your heart might explode like mine almost did)

I did 1 climb and I was sweating, out of breath and my heart rate was certainly elevated. 

I’m going to hit these steps tomorrow as my diet has been a little brutal lately (including a Happy Meal from McDonald’s last night).

If you live in LA or you plan on visiting anytime soon, definitely check out the Santa Monica Stairs as a tourist or to get a workout in. You won’t regret it (or maybe you will). As my friends over at Anabolic Aliens say, “if it was easy, everybody would do it.”

And if you liked my pants, you can get them on Amazon.  Super comfortable and very affordable. Just look for SUPERBODY.

My Favorite Hot Pot Restaurant In The World (Literally!)

Have you ever heard of Hot Pot?

The cute Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot logo

According to Wikipedia : “Hot pot is a Chinese cooking method, prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table, containing a variety of East Asian foodstuffs and ingredients.”

I define hot pot as “THE MOST DELICIOUS WAY TO GET YOUR LEAN GAINS ON.” Seriously. Hot Pot is basically broth, with thinly-sliced meats (proteins) & veggies (super healthy). Of course you can add in noodles and other carbs if you wanted, but if you leave those out, you have a really healthy meal. I like to add spinach, baby bok choy, lotus root & broccoli.  I always pick the spicier broths. Yo soy Mexicano!

Now I’ve been to many hot pot restaurants from Taiwan, to Hong Kong, to Cambodia, to New York City to Los Angeles & many more, and I was surprised that my favorite hot pot restaurant is a global chain! Ironically (based on my blog name), the restaurant is called Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot. The first time I tried this restaurant was completely by happenstance.

Early 2017 I was staying in NYC for a work trip and the only pet-friendly, affordable and convenient hotel I could find on Hotel Tonight was in Chinatown, NYC (Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel). At 10pm I went searching for food when I stumbled across an “All-You-Can-Eat” hot pot sign. Sold. Being that I was in LEAN GAINS mode (building muscle while losing fat), I made sure to only order meat & veggies. Here’s a wonderful picture of my flexing at the excitement of this clean meal.

Flexing at the excitement of discovering lean gains in Chinatown, NY

Back in LA, I was absolutely thrilled when I found out there were multiple Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pots in the Los Angeles area! The one closest to me is in Torrance, CA, a city of LA that’s known for their authentic Asian cuisines. Torrance has the 8th largest Asian population in America at almost 40%. It’s no wonder this is a go-to area for delicious Asian cuisines. Source. I’ll review some more restaurants from this area in the future!

Expressing my love of Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in Torrance, CA

In mid-2017, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot stopped offering an All-You-Can-Eat menu but it didn’t matter. I was hooked. I was happy to pay almost double the price for the same amount of food because I enjoyed the flavors and the experience that much. I love their strategy – get the people hooked on their food at an affordable price, and then increase it after we’re addicted because we’ll pay anything! 

In late-2017, I spent a few weeks in Cambodia (Phnom Penh). I was riding in the back of a Tuk Tuk when I looked up and saw the legendary logo of the Little Sheep!!! I made my Tuk Tuk driver pull over immediately so I could try Cambodia’s version. I assumed it would be significantly cheaper than their US counterparts but I was wrong – it was more expensive! This restaurant is one of the higher-end establishments catering towards tourists & rich Cambodians. With the average monthly income in Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s most expensive city) being $340, this is a meal that  is unfortunately out of most locals budget (which is why I thought it would be priced to the market). Source. If you haven’t been to Cambodia, I highly recommend Siem Reap (for the stunning Angkor Wat) & Phnom Penh (for the nightlife & history). Your dollar will go very far here so it’s a cost-efficient place to travel to. Beautiful country. E-mail me if you have any questions or want some travel advice. adam@befreemysheeple.com 

And some good news everyone! Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot recently brought back their All-You-Can-Eat menu!!! #winning. I’m not sure what the prices are across the country but the Torrance location was $23.95. If you haven’t been here yet, check it out!

Flexing with 2 plates of delicious meat