29 June 2009

Food, etc.

A few meals posted.

Picked up a slab of london broil, marinated seared and slow cooked at 250F along with 2 bell peppers, celery and a red onion. Tasty, but actually a little tough. Was in a rush to make this last week and didn't let the marniate soak long enough (<1 hour).
Pterodactyl sized chicken breast in evoo and balsamic + some spices with steamed broccoli, pine nuts and some parmesian. Spices were a little salty, but chicken moisture was A+.

Grilled a 10 lb turkey on Sunday. Tough to sear since the turkey is a non-prismatic shape. Nice crispy skin. Meat was pretty juicy and the wife was pleased, but next time, I'll up the moisture content via beer can insertion as Marc recently did here.

Loads of juicy turkey with spinach and broccoli (farm fresh)

Went for a run outside on Saturday, hilly course around the neighborhood. Tough 2 miles in a pathetic 15:57. Been waaaaay out of practice for any running, sprints or otherwise.
Ran 5k today in 23:15. Still have to knock a solid minute off of that to get close to last year's race time. Followed that up by:
- Squats 135x15, 185x8, 205x2 (faded)
- DB lunges 25x8, 25x8, 30x6
Took an Erno-approved contrast shower and went back to work

26 June 2009

Vibrams

Well the week has been quite busy between work and getting the car repaired, so gym time has been non-existent. Did manage to swing by a shoe store in Nashua that had some vibrams. I tried on the classics and the sprints - which were the only models they had for european size 42 or 43. Apparently the place has a hard time keeping them in stock.

Due to my high arch, I opted for the sprints shown below. More of a neutral color (I think it is called putty). The classics in khaki looked sharp on line, but the only color in classics they had were brown. No KSO's in my size at all. I like the center arch velcro on the sprints that keeps the middle of the shoe in close proximitaty to the foot. With the classics, it felt like the middle part of my shoe was out in the breeze more than I was comfortable with. Who knows, maybe that will change as I get used to these.

25 June 2009

PaNu

New blog mentioned by Conditioning Research called PaNu (for Paleolithic Nutrition). The author is a doctor and although his chosen specialty is radiology, he discusses the Paleo approach to nutrition in simple and straight-forward text. Recommeded to check out and just added to my blog roll.

23 June 2009

Quick EF

146 again on scale this morning. Been staying under a buck-fitty, but the bf% has been pretty constant as well. A little concerned that I've lost some muscle mass lately. Ironically, my running has been near non-existant lately. Thinking of running a 5k in August, so I have to get on it.

Regarding exercises via 15/8/4
- bench 95/135/155
- db press 35/45/55
- cable flyes 30/40/50
- deadlifts 135/155/175
- BB curls 45/55/65
- DB curls 25/30/35

Got on the treadmill to go for a run, but only did a handful of intervals. Much different trying to run after the exercises than beforehand (IMHO)

20 June 2009

Vibrams Anyone?

Also took a ride to the a local shoe store that sells the Vibrams Five Fingers shoes. Am debating whether to get a pair since I've heard several endorsements. Scratching my head over which kind to get, how to know if it actually fits right, and what kind to get.

The options are:

- Classic: open on top of foot and drawstring in the back
- Sprint: open on top of foot, 2 velcros at heel and 1 above ankle
- KSO: closed mesh on top of foot, 1 velcro adjustment for heel and ankle
- Flow: closed neoprene on top of foot, 2 velcros at heel and 1 above ankle

They are almost worth buying in camo colors to see the look some at work will give me followed by a lecture that they are not suitable for work. Then saying they are a safety hazard (yeah? how about the women with open toed shoes?)

Saturday Stuff

Another day off from the gym. Getting a little antsy. Going to rain tomorrow, so the wife and I took the bikes out for a spin on a mission to find some decent local veggies, etc.

Stopped at four different farm stands. First one was a bust in that they were really focussed on selling plants and had little to no produce. Second place had farm fresh eggs in a cooler and an honor system for eggs. $3.00 per dozen and picked up those shown below. Shells are as hard as rocks with great colors and some with blue dots. Not sure what causes that, but we'll find out how they taste shortly.
Third place had some fresh mutant strawberries that are extremely juicy and bright red. Fourth place is a good old boy from NH who has a big 20 year old barco lounger in his barn with a giant jug of Jack Daniels next to him. Picked up some vibrant green lettuce and broccoli.
Senya made some grilled bacon wrapped shrimp over the lettuce. The shrimp has a little bite due to the cayenne pepper and cumin, but the lettuce cools things down a bit. I thought it was great.

19 June 2009

Just Food

After Monday's abuse at the gym, I didn't make it for the rest of the week. Bags were packed on Friday, but work interfered. So just some food pics.

Wednesday - bacon cheddar burger with sauteed yellow squash, green squash, red onion and mushrooms + pico de gallo on the side:

Thursday - NY strip marinated for a day with evoo and balsamic cooked via sear and then slow roast on grill. Steamed broccoli with parmesian and sauteed mushrooms in butter:

Friday - Senya made kabobs with chicken, multi-colored bell peppers, red onion and mushrooms:



15 June 2009

SloMo + IF + Squats + Tilapia

Friday/Saturday/Sunday:
Slo-mo torture with Jeff on Saturday at the Y. Jeff only kept track to the time to see if I was in the ballpark for weight. With different machines, it is always different regarding the target weight. Like 300lb on the Gold's leg press may be the same as 270 on the one at the Y. Must be different cams affecting leverage.

Anyway 12 minutes of torture including leg press, chest press, military press, seated rows, close-grip pulldowns. Felt like I was going to cry at the end and tried to shoot hoops afterward. Many air-balls thrown up since no feel for jelly-arm range.

Many fine foods in Clifton Park and Saratoga. Good grass-fed beef burgers, fantastic grilled turkey with brussel sprouts, primal pancakes, Chenin-blanc, coronas, tuna salad, etc. Nice visit to the Troy "Paleo Goldmine", though we did not pick up anything.

Forgot to pack the camera, so no pix :'( Picked up some farm fresh eggs and veggies at a few local places in Eastern NY and VT.

Monday:
147 on scale despite weekend gorge-fest at Chez Erno. Intermittent fast today. 15/8/4+ with the following:
- Squats 135/185/225 + 245x2 * new high
- 40 degree leg press: 270/360/450
- BB lunges: 30/30/35
- Seated calf raises: 45/70/105
- BB press: 30/40/50
- Cable flys 50/50 machine broken, so couldn't adjust weights (thanks Golds)
- Dips
Tried to go for a run afterward, but legs felt shredded; could not even do intervals. Just decided to hang it up and head back to work.

Made dinner as shown below with tilapia breaded with almond meal, fried in virgin coconut oil. Sauteed a red onion with yellow and green squash with evoo and pepper. Turned out fantastic.

11 June 2009

Food, Inc.

Movie opening on Friday regarding the commercial food industry. Name of the movie is Food, Inc. and is based on the book by the same name. I'll quote directly from the movie's page regarding "about the film":

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.


Having recently finishing reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, this film release comes at an appropriate time. I'm sure the film will be graphic - illustrating the conditions under which animals are forced to live which won't come across in text.

The preview on the film's web page is also worth watching. There is a great line in there preview "...when we run an item across the supermarket scanner, we're voting for local or not, or organic or not...", etc.

Now I'm not a conspiracy nut and I do believe that nutrition through animal consumption is hard wired into our omnivore genes. As with other changes to my diet, I'm just looking for healthier options out there. I'm coming around to firmly believing in trying to support the local farmer and buy truly organic products.

10 June 2009

World's Strongest Toddler

In between watching the Red Sox win for their 7th straight against the New York Yankees, I was flipping to an interesting show regarding a three-year-old named Liam Hoekstra - aka the World's Strongest Boy. Here's another good writeup about him.

Fascinating story. The kid can do an un-assisted pull up (palms out), three point pushup stance, etc. He has 40% more muscle in his legs than a standard three-year-old. Strength tests peg him at having the strength of a six or seven year old. The show on The Learning Channel demonstrated this as well as the kid scaling his parents refrigerator unassisted (he grabbed on to the vertical handle, pulled him self up until he could reach the top!)

At first the doctors suspected he did not have the gene that produces myostatin (muscle growth regulation), but found that he has myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, where he has terrific skeletal muscular growth and retains very little body fat. In fact the doctors are more worried about his inability to store body fat since his body may attack the central nervous system.

I'm sure that nutrition/exercise/supplement firms are just smacking their lips that science will uncover the secret to this for consumption by the general population. Like when myostatin was discovered in the 1990's, immediately advertised myostatin inhibitors became available to the market - whether any of them work effectively or safely is another discussion.

08 June 2009

IF Misfire

Did a 20 something hour intermittent fast today and 19 times out of 20 this usually ends up with and amped time at the gym. Today was that 1 time out of 20 it just didn't happen.

146.0 again on scale this morning.

Picked up the pace a little on the 3 mile run. Race coming up in August, so ss running is on the upswing. Anyway, covered 3.0 in 22:00 today. Followed immediately by 1 minute manly plank + 1 minute each side.

Also going to shift gears from slo-mo for a bit, so picking up with 15/8/4 DeVaney / EF, etc. Pressed for time today.

- Bench: 115x15, 135x4, 135x6. Still don't know wtf is up with that. Shoulder is almost fully recovered (I thought)
- Squats: 135x10, 155x8, 175x4. Weights and reps down here also, which I thought was one of the exercises where things were improving
- DB press: 35x15, 40x8, 45x6
- 40 deg incline leg press: 270x12, 360x8, 450x4
- Superset the above weights reps with calf raises.
- a few dips then it was back to work.

07 June 2009

Lester Dominates Rangers

Day off spent in Boston Saturday. Had tickets to the Sox/Rangers game (Thanks Kerry!). Regarding the game, Jon Lester absolutely dominated the Texas Rangers. He retired the first 19 batters before giving up a double. 11k's total (9 of first 15 batters), 2H, 2BB, 1ER. Was so close to the Pesky Pole that we heard Ortiz's HR THWWAAAACK off of the pole.

Had a pleasent dinner at McCormick and Schmick's at Faneuiel Hall before hand so we would not be tempted to feast on ballpark fare. I don't mind a Fenway Frank every once in a while, but really, there is nothing worth eating at Fenway (aka Carb-way) Park. But the overweight dude next to us had:
- at least 4 beers
- one HFCS lemonade
- Fenway Frank
- Cracker Jacks
- Cotton Candy
- Papa Gino's Pizza

Which despite the severe blow to the wallet, is like a Bruce Li rabbit punch to the pancreas. I'm sure it was begging for mercy.

05 June 2009

Rest Intervals

Superhumanradio (available via web or iTunes podcast) episode 306 had a interesting discussion on rest interval on growth hormone promotion. His guest was Bob Buresh (dept of health, Kennesaw state).

Bottom line:
Longer rest intervals (1-2 minute between sets) promote strength
Shorter rest intervals (<1 minute) promote hypertrophy and asthetics

But he also discussed via testing of two groups, that after 5 weeks, their hormone levels were identical. Meaning that you have to change things up after a while to avoid plateaus.

I'll have to try one or the other as currently, I don't really follow either per se. But I definitely agree with the 4-6 week change in protocol, one way or the other.

Cupcake Rage

Jeff and I have had frequent discussions regarding the addiction to sugar. This was underlined today when I was listening to Howie Carr on Boston talk radio this afternoon. He was doing his Police Blotter Fax Friday, which are comical stories that people fax in from their police blotters.
One of them today involved this kid who assaulted his mother because she would not let him eat any more cupcakes. So how many had the kid already consumed? Two, three? Try SIX! And he was making moves to power down ANOTHER SIX. When the mother finally said enough, he assaulted her and ultimately the police got involved. Sad.

04 June 2009

IF + EF

Intermittent fast today, 146 on scale, 15/8/4 EF workout today to change things up

- easy run of only 1.5 miles, still feeling Monday's run
- manly planks 1 min center, both sides
- deadlifts 135/155/185
- seated rows 100/115/130
- renegade rows 30lb db, 3x10
- db raises 10/12.5/15
- floor wipers 10/10/5

02 June 2009

Agave

I had been curious about agave nectar and stumbled across a discussion on Richard's Free the Animal blog which referenced this article from Natural News. The bottom line is to be cautious what is defined as natural or healthy regarding sweeteners.

I think what is telling regarding avave nectar is the required processing. For instance, if one could fend off the bees, you could eat honey right from the hive. Actually, I've seen footage of bears doing exactly that - and getting stung the whole way. Whereas the Natural News implies that you can't just eat agave nectar like honey, or an apple. It requires factory time just like everyone's favorite: High Fructose Corn Syrup. Interesting quote from wiki...no wait actually shocking. Wiki is pretty middle of the road (imho), so it is surprising how they come down on this issue:

Due to its fructose content and the fact that the glycemic index only measures glucose levels, agave syrup is notable in that its glycemic index and glycemic load are lower than many other natural sweeteners on the market. [6].
However, the extremely high percentage of fructose (higher than that of high-fructose corn syrup) can be
deleterious and can trigger fructose malabsorption, metabolic syndrome[7], hypertriglyceridemia, decreased glucose tolerance, hyperinsulinemia, and accelerated uric acid formation.[8][9][10] Low-carb diet advocate Dr. Michael Eades M.D. advises to "avoid it [Agave syrup] like death".[11]

The fact that Dr. Eades really pans it carries some weight with me. Here is the link to the article where he mentions that. In his own words:

Agave was the big new product this year. Last year there were a few vendors; this year they were everywhere. They were selling agave syrup, agave nectar, agave crystals, agave this and agave that. An entire other group of vendors was promoting various products sweetened with agave. For those of you who don’t know, agave is the latest entry into the caloric-sweetener sweepstakes. It comes in a variety of forms - syrup, nectar, crystals - from the agave plant, a succulent plant found mainly in Mexico. The claim to fame of this sweetener, which was emblazoned on banners, literature, labels and just about everywhere, is that it is a low-glycemic sweetener. And it is was being touted as a great food for diabetics and any others with glucose-intolerance problems. And it is indeed low-glycemic because it is composed of about 90 percent fructose. If you think high-fructose corn syrup is bad at 55 percent fructose, just imagine what Agave syrup can do for you. Yet all these ignorant people are ga ga over it as if it were the second coming. My advice is to avoid it like death. But be prepared to be seeing it everywhere.

Another interesting graph from Wiki that I've seen before, but show the dramatic rise in HFCS consumption:


Plus here's another great discussion on Whole Health Source regarding fructose and glucose.

Shredded

146 on scale. Hadn't run in over a month. "easy run" for 3.0 miles, completed in 22:25. After I was done I felt a pretty good quad burn.

15/8/4 for chest and legs today

- weak ass bench for 95/135/145 (don't know wtf is up with that. Seems like that is going backwards)
- DB presses 35/40/45
- cable flyes 30/40/50
- dips, supersetted with leg raises
- squats 135/155/185 (conversely, that felt great and I should move up in weights)
- leg extensions 70/85/100
- seated calf raises 45/70/95

Good sweat going the whole time. Took about 1.5 hours including run. Felt shredded when I left.

Gym quality has really headed south due to the influx of idiots from the Golds up the road. All kinds of trash suddenly appearing in locker room and gym floor. Weight re-racking is sporadic, or morons put four 45lb plates on 1 side and zero on the other, etc. Much busier now even in the middle of the afternoon.

01 June 2009

BF Update and some pics

Despite a week of vacation eating, 147.0 on scale this morning. BF measurements:
- 16.7 ab
- 8.3 chest
- 4.7 leg
= 10.2% body fat.

Down a little from last month. Was pretty good paleo-wise over vacation with a few exceptions being:
- about a dozen beers. I love my Guinness
- 1 piece of mother-in-law's home made pumpkin pie
- some tortillas included in some real mexican food (can't comprimise that when we have the real stuff so infrequently)
- 1 desert with mexican dinner.

Other than that, here are some pix of the good stuff.

Caprice salad - arugula, basil, tomato, mozarella, chicken, balsamic:
Senya made some scrambled eggs loaded with peppers:

Last nite's dinner - seasoned chicken, roasted red onion, grilled yellow and green squash, eggplant with mozarella, tomato, balsamic and fresh basil plus 1 ShockTop:

Here's me outside of the Camelback Inn on the day we were leaving

Managed to get to the gym 1 day for a mixed slo-mo + 15/8/4 workout.