29 December 2010

Making Strides

Ok, not quite the success with the super strict December challenge, but the worst has been a few more nuts and more dark chocolate than usual. Also interesting is how much caffeine that chocolate has. The stuff keeps me up at nite making it tough to get to sleep. Yet another reason to dial that back. But overall, been a little better than average all considered.

Knee rehab coming along. Did some light squats yesterday along with some leg presses and lunges. Muscles were limiting factor as they have not seen those exercises in 5 months. Feeling it today, but still erring on the conservative side.

Also, before getting back into sprints, been doing some easy treadmill work. Mainly consisting of 0.25 mile walk at 4.0 mph + 0.50 run at 6.0 mph + 0.25 walk at 4.0 mph. Been expanding the running section time each time.

What's more interesting / challenging is transitioning to running solely with the vibrams five fingers. Been tough transitioning from the heel striker slap to ball/instep strike. Think I am finally getting the hang of it. Yesterday's effort definitely felt more natural landing on the mid-foot and ball. And the sound of the strike on the treadmill was more like a THOCK THOCK THOCK as opposed to previous heel striking SLAP SLAP SLAP. Feeling the effort much more in the calves than the quads.

20 December 2010

Food Pics, Dec Challenge Update

Pretty standard issue quiche I make about once a month. Vary the recipe a little here and there but the basics are:

Preheat oven to 350F.
Fry 4 strips of bacon. When done remove and let dry on paper towel.
Sautee half an onion and some mushrooms in bacon fat.
In a large bowl, add 2cups of shredded cheese, and some chopped spinach (about 4-6oz, I usually get some prepackaged stuff there)
Crumble up bacon and add to cheese and spinach.
When onions are carmalized and shrooms are done, add those to bowl: mix together.
Grease a 9" pan with butter lightly.
Then I sprinkle maybe 2-3 tablespoons of almond meal and shake pan so it sticks to sides and bottom; this makes a small but effective crust.
Add spinach/cheese/bacon/onion/shroom mix.
Then take 6-8 eggs and beat them separately.
Pour ontop of mix in pan.
Put in oven for 45-55 min until top start to turn brown.
Top with tomatos if desired and enjoy.

Beef roll up with cheese, spinach, bacon + sauteed squash:

3 lb chuck roast seasoned and awaiting braising followed by slow cook in crock pot. Didnt' take pictures of the final product but there was none left after dinner.
So, on to the December challenge. I have cut way down on fruit, nut, chocolate intake. And of course tried to avoid the Holiday pitfalls. Cant say I have been 100% compliant as a relative's wedding derailed me for a day or two, but nonetheless scale is indicated about a 4lb drop in weight and 1% drop in body fat. Calipers will tell the tale in a few weeks, but it is interesting.
Getting back to the gym a little more often as the major crunch at work has finally passed - like a kidney stone. Doing a little bit of treadmill time and the knee is feeling good. Maybe 90% recovered; still erring on the conservative side.


03 December 2010

December Challenge

Utter madness at work over the past few months. Knee recovering well from surgery. Only been making to the gym about 1x/week and started doing about 0.5 miles of walking. Had been revisiting the old Devaney 15/8/4 protocol and had seen some gains. Been so sporadic at the gym, I am unworried about falling into a routine.

Interestingly, despite zero cardio since July (5 months now), through stricter adherance to proper diet the body fat percentage has been falling a bit. I think in October it was around 15%, November 14%, December readings 13.5%.

So made it thru Thanksgiving with minimal fallout from all the temptations. Obviously the month of December is a challenge for all. So this month I am seeing how long I can do 100% Paleo compliance. Meaning zero refined carbs and obvious sweets. I am taking a break from dark chocolate, dairy, fruits and nuts. While the latter are less non-compliant, for me the fruit and nuts seem to keep that body fat up.

Going to be very busy at work thru the end of the year, so gym time will continue to be sporadic at best. A few good food pics lurking around on the hard drive from Hawaiian vacation, so I'll post those when I get a chance.

02 October 2010

Post Op

Ok 10/1 body fat measurements:
ab: 24 mm
chest: 12 mm
thigh: 10 mm
bf%: 15.4%

Still higher than what I'd like. I still advocate that a high percentage of fat loss etc is dependent on diet, but to get below that 10% threshold mandates a certain level of activity. So this summer was a big miss due to one thing compounding on another. Like a two week hedonistic beer guzzling vacation in May/June which rolled into insane work hours through July which rolled into knee injury and subsequent surgery.

After work calmed down, seemed like things were trending in the better direction when the knee injury occurred. Gym time was down and there were a few occassions of drifting off of the paleo reservation.

OK, so knee got scoped, and stiches come out tomorrow. Finally getting around without crutches; still hobbling at a reduced pace. Wont be doing any sprints or squats for quite some time still, but plan on getting my ass back into the gym more faithfully and clamp down on diet miscues.

Got 3 weeks til vacation in Hawaii, so have to look decent for the pics! :)

One thing I am scratching my head about is picking a exercise modality. BBS? 5x5 stronglifts? Return to Devaney 15/8/4? Huge in a hurry? Even after hearing all the arguments and trying them, I still struggle to find one that fits how I roll.

22 September 2010

Out of Action

Wow, been really slackin off lately on the blog. But a few changes of note.

- after getting back onto a normal working schedule, been getting to the gym more regularly. Been trying some different combinations of regimes. I like the intensity from Body by Science slow mo, but also enjoy the variety of exercises from more conventional workouts. I know that the BBS basically dictates one exercise per body part and that secondary muscles aid in hypertrophy. My stubborn desire is to work those secondary muscles as well. That said, I have been performing multiple exercises per body part. However, I have been striving to high intensity (never as high as BBS, though). Last week or two has been down time which will roll into this next week....segway

- knee getting scoped tomorrow. I think this is a result of a skiing injury about 15 years ago. The knee has steadily been getting worse and it finally popped when I was doing interval sprints in July. Convenient timing since my health care benefits at work will drastically change next year.

- Also, been much better with the diet. Not like I ever was way off the reservation. But to get back to 10% body fat from current high of 15-ish, I notice that too many nuts, beer, dark choc def keep that up. A couple of weeks of being super pure, and the tanita scale numbers have dropped.

- a couple new food pics to post once I down load them from the camera, but not available right now.

07 September 2010

Updates

Ok, been slacking posting updates for the last month or so. So standard food p*rn pics for those who care:

Ordered this salad at Pizzaria Uno of all places, but duplicated it myself the other night. Consists of spinach salad, watermelon spears, blueberries, red onion, goat cheese, walnuts and a splash of evoo. Top with balsamic if desired = fantastic.
Finally picked up some real farm bacon from my favorite spot. Halfway through the 4 lb order. Interestingly, the jar of bacon grease has contributions from store bought bacon (bottom) and the more naturally raised pig (top). Interesting stratification. Draw your own conclusion.


Paleo scramble with roasted cauli. Grass fed beef, bacon, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms. Quick, filling, satisfying.
Other updates. Knee outlook not good. "significant" tear most likely means surgery within the next month. Actually it is an old injury that has just got worse and worse. Still trying to get to the gym several times per week.

One of the interesting parts is that since I am unable to do really any cardio exercise, i will have to rely solely on proper diet to drift back to my usual 150-ish weight and back to single digit body fat numbers. Stay tuned.

10 August 2010

Some Pics, etc.

Been getting back into making some solid meals - or rather taking some pics of the more interesting ones.

Found these softball-sized, round green squash at a local farm stand. Stuffed them with browned grass-fed ground meat, onions and topped with a bit of cheese. Into the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or so and POW - dinner.
One of our favorite grass-fed sources has outstanding strip steak. I think this one is a T-bone, but it was outstanding also. Topped with sauteed onions, shrooms plus steamed brocoli.
Near-perfect 4-egg omelette stuffed with pico de gallo and a bit of american cheese.

The farm that has the grass-fed beef also had a few real-free-range chicken broilers. Roasted that with some veggies on the side. What was surpising was how small the bird was when it's not raised on growth hormones. Managed to be a decent size for two. Seems like Cornish game hens are a little chunkier. But about 1 hour at 325 and it was super moist. Coated beforehand with butter, salt, pepper. Shot of lemon juice into the cavity. Skin was more browned on the far side since the bird tended to list to port.
In other news, MRI confirms my knee is messed up for sure. Follow up appointment with orthopedic surgeon later this week. What will be interesting will be to see if I can get my body fat back to the normal range without humpin on the treadmill. The last two months of humpin on the computer at work have certainly taken their toll on pushing that BF% up a few points.



29 July 2010

Few Steps Forward, a Few Steps Back

Good news is that the crunch at work has passed, so back into the routine regarding spending more quality time at gym and in the kitchen.

Bad news is that my doctor thinks I need to get my knee scoped. Been nagging since a skiing injury over 15 years ago, but really becoming intolerable.

Such is life.

Hoping the local farm has the primo bacon back from processing this weekend.

24 July 2010

Shoes

Think the 12-14 hour days are at an end. Next week will be system reset time and time to get back on the horse.

Shown are some new purchases: The wife's Vibram Bikilas, and my Nike Free Run+.

The Bikilas are best described as like the KSO's, but with additional pads on the soles. They are not too raised - maybe 1/8" inch, and the purist may say they have too much sole. However, they really dont deviate much from the goal of breaking away from the free style shoe. The pads are independent and the side wall is still minimalist. I would suspect the remainder of the shoe will wear out long before the pads.

I am digging the Frees. Planned on doing some sprints in them this week, but (ironically) twisted my knee doing sprints with my old running shoes (Mizuno Wave Rider 11). So hoping the knee recovers soon. Discomfort still lingering.

Anyway, way back I was running with Asics GT-2110, which were fine. Then, I got the Mizunos. I thought my Mizunos were light when i got them a few years ago (11.2 oz), but the Nike Free Run+ are specified at 8.4 oz and I believe it. These things are like air. We'll see how it goes with running, but they may be a good intermediate step to getting used to sprints with my Vibram Sprints.

Also picked up some bison bacon, shown below from Yankee Farms. The stuff is wicked lean and second go around in cooking it, I had to add a little bacon grease to lubricate the pan. Has an interesting taste. Slightly gamey, but good. Regular pork bacon still carries the day regarding taste, though.
Weight drifting up into mid 150s and not looking forward to body fat measurement for August.

03 June 2010

Fishing Trip Fallout

Ok, haven't been to the gym in a month due to expired membership and work demands. Coupled with guzzling beers on a boat and eating from interstate rest stops equals a new record.

Weight up a little 155, but 6/1 body fat measurements are unfavorable
ab: 25 mm
chest: 12 mm
thigh: 10mm
15.5% body fat. super ouch

New gym expected to open 6/17 plus corporate 5k in 8 weeks plus motivation. We'll see what we can do about improving these numbers.


29 May 2010

Gone Fishing

Off on vacation to go fishing in Ontario... actually i am in transit on the way back. And to get back on the saddle with a new gym and new resolve.

Awesome fishing though.

29 April 2010

HFCS vs. Sugar

Interesting article debating which is "better" for you - high fructose corn syrup or sugar.

Read for yourself HERE.

Bottom line: avoid both!

27 April 2010

Paleo Fest

Been in a bit of blog hibernation lately. Truth is that I've been pretty swamped at work plus my gym membership ran out. Currently waiting for a local Planet Fitness to open up next month and then I'll hit it. Been sponging off some friends for temporary guest memberships in the mean time.

Anyway, had a paleo fest which included bacon wrapped scallops, grilled shrimp, caprice salad, sauteed veggies in ghee, grilled chicken etc. Along with a few non-paleo beers. Well received overall and plenty of food to eat.


Was planning on making this sirloin wrap for paleofest, but people were full enough, so made this for dinner tonite.

Here's my bro Jeff doing some bare foot hiking. Primal.
Seems like body fat and weight are slowly returning to the 11%/150lb range like it was at the beginning of the year after ending the Biggest Gainer nonsense.



03 April 2010

12% Plus, Ouch

As suspect, the biggest gainer experiment was making me feel fatter. Confirmed through 4/1 body fat measurements of 20mm ab, 10mm chest, 6mm thigh = 12.2%. Ouch. Well that experiment is over w/regard to overeating and protein shakes. Back to just eating until satiety and keeping the food real.

Some food pictures. Near perfect omelette with home made salsa from Zach, and Springdell farm sausage.

Weather was so nice we ate dinner outside last nite for the first time this year. Massive filet mignon from Springdell, with mashed cauli and sauteed yellow and green squash.


30 March 2010

Biggest Loser & Biggest Gainer Ending

Biggest Loser

A friend of mine had a biggest loser contest at work. It was set up with couples at her place of employment and there were enough people that there was serious cash money involved as a price. It ran about 10-12 weeks and I was in frequent contact with him to see how things were going, offer advice, assurance, and motivation.

My $0.02 was obviously slanted toward the Paleo approach, to not worry about portion sizes or counting calories. Also suggested that he incorporate more heavy, intense lifting for muscle development that burn more fuel. In hindsight, I think he stuck to the diet portion fairly well (by his own admission). He did increase his exercise regiment and was getting a good burn while supplementing that with some running. All while both working full time and with a <1 year old at home.

In the end, he and his wife lost a total of 17.5%. Not as impressive as the unrealistic NBC show, but damn good enough to win first place. Well done Mike and Steph!

Biggest Gainer

Ok, this experiment is coming to an end for now after the 4/1 weigh in. Personally, I just feel like I am adding percentage of body fat points. The semi-reliable Tanita scale has been hovering in the 11+% zone for far too long now. Granted, the last two months have been less than idealic for work-gym balance, personally. However, for now I'm going to focus on returning that body fat % to the sub-10% range.

21 March 2010

Tough Month

On and off frequency at gym lately. It will be like hitting it for 4-5 days in one week followed by 1x the next week. Also gym membership is expiring at my current gym, so I'm looking for something around work that suits my needs.

Diets been pretty good. Haven't had a major excursion off the reservation in a while. Bout the worst thing was having a few Black and Tans to celebrate St. Patricks Day. Tanita scale said 156 this morning and <10% body fat for the first time in a while, so go figure.

Picked up this remote meat thermometer at Walmart. The display is a little cheap, and I constantly have to switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit, but overall I'm pretty happy with it. The base transmits up to 1000 feet (so they say), so it is awesome to coordinate meals with it while either at the stove or on the couch when something is on the grill. Really would have come in handy over the winter when the temp was much colder.


Also we watched a program on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC (here is his official site). I really find this facinating and can relate to the struggles he portrays on the telly. Basically, he goes to a grade school in a town that has one of the worst health records in the country and tries to reform the nutrition menu. He starts out by looking at what the kids are fed now and it is indeed revolting.
Obviously, they are conforming to USDA standards which means a lot of refined carbohydrates in addition to almost exclusively processed foods. The old guard from the kitchen staff up through administration, the local radio station, and news paper is reluctant to change and wondering why the hell this guy is interfereing with their 'working' nutritional construct. I'll be curious to see how sucessful he is in upcoming episodes.

14 March 2010

Stuff

Picked up almost $200 worth of pasture fed beef and pig product from a pretty good place. Cat was most interested in the stuff. Got a London Broil marinating in the fridge ready for the grill this week.
In other news, been watching the scale creep up; hit 157 today for the first time in a looong time. Still riding around 10% body fat (per questionable accuracy Tanita scale). But I'm wondering if this Biggest Gainer thing is really going in the right direction. I'm thinking that I'd really like to get that BF% below 10% and work on the problem ab area (always the highest measurements).

Still doing intervals at the gym, plus some super-strict deadlifts today. Didn't preclude me from mashing the shin again.

09 March 2010

Biggest Gainer for 3/1

Another 11 hour day and despite best efforts to get to the gym, it didn't happen. Just a quick update on things.

w/re Biggest gainer here is how the race is going

Andy - up slightly in weight and body fat. Overall lean body mass increase of +6.5%. But that damn body fat % is hovering between 10 and 11%. Not sure if I should switch to the lean-out approach.

Decarlo - down in weight and body fat. Overall -0.6%. Guy has to bottom out soon at 7.something % bf.

Jeff - last record was +1.1% increase. Big 4-0 coming up for him.

Manny - up 0.5%, but dropped an amazing 2% body fat in 1 month based on proper diet, sleep, increased gym attention; way to go!

Zach - up 0.8% due to slight increases in weight and body fat (like me). Wondering if I'm seeing some correlation here.

I WILL make it to the gym tomorrow. I WILL make it to the gym tomorrow.

Did go a couple days over the weekend. Noting that tried a 3 mile chronic cardio run for a change. Checked my records and have done nothing but intervals since the first week of the year. Ran 3 in 22:31, but it felt pretty labored especially at the end.

Hopefully more to come.

01 March 2010

System Reset

Well, sorta back to normal. Considering February a lost month. Nonetheless, got on the scale and got calipers out for monthly update. Despite a turbulent month results are as follows:

Weight: 156.4, Body fat: 10.4% = lean body mass of 140.1lb which is a slight increase over last month, despite not being happy about the slight bump in body fat %.

Made it to the gym the last few days, emphasizing the oly lifts. Scraped the sh!t out of my shins doing deadlifts, but was happy banging out 185x5x5.

On an interesting note, the gym was offering 7 day passes along with candy and Axe soap. That says it all. Here have some candy before you try to lose some weight! And obviously, I'm the outcast not hosing myself off with Axe.


19 February 2010

Derailed

Efforts for biggest gainer, exercise, and blogging in general have been derailed for the last few weeks due to work demands, computer issues, and a touch of a rare cold. No doubt that has slow things down for me. Can't imagine those cough drops are low sugar either. Next weigh in will be 3/1.

Anyway, good article about how the population is getting larger as discussed here w/re Airline Seats. Hard for me to believe that Southwest caved in to that fat ass and actually gave him a voucher. Yes, we all must be politically correct now.

Ironically, I took a look at the site mentioned in the airline article (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance ) and though I disagree with their whole 'acceptance' BS, there was a good article on why the Low Fat movement sucks.

Hopefully the blog activity will pick up shortly.

06 February 2010

Fuel

Quick update on food adventures.

Got a sampler platter of meats from relatives for Christmas and decided to thaw out what I thought were pork chops. Actually I think it was lamb, but still not 100% sure. Anyway salt & pepper and in the oven til temp > 160F. Tried the apply chutney again, but even with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, that was still pretty strong. Aspragus in ghee.
Was reading a post from Eat Like a Caveman and opted to try the bacon spinach omelette. Alas, no spinach in the house. But carmalized the shallots in the bacon grease added a nice sweetness to the omelette.
Off to the gym in a few to keep the fire burning.

05 February 2010

Biggest Gainer Update

Been pretty busy at work lately, but at long last are the 2/1 Biggest Gainer updates.

Starting on 1/8 (ish) the stats for lean muscle mass (LMM) were as follows:
Andy: 148.4 @11.3% BF = 131.6
Decarlo: 174 @7.8% BF = 160.4
Jeff: 187 @11.9% BF = 164.7
Manny: 145 @11.6 BF = 128.2
Zach: 209 @12.5% BF = 182.9 (late entry, stats from like a week ago)

Results as of 2/1 (ish)
Andy: 155.0 @10.1% BF = 139.3
Decarlo: 174.9 @7.8% BF = 161.3
Jeff: 186 @ 10.5% BF = 166.5
Manny: 144 @ 11.6% BF = 127.3
Zach: 209 @ 12.5% BF = 182.9

So, percentage wise this sums up as:
Andy: +5.9%
Decarlo: +0.5%
Jeff: +1.1%
Manny: -0.7%
Zach: +0.0%

Interesting. Now for myself, changes I have made since the contest stare are:
- I'm on the see-food diet, but keeping it in the paleo world
- only doing like 1 IF per week
- trying not to skip meals and sometimes powering down and extra serving
- taking some protein shakes 2x day
- interval sprints only (no chronic cardio)
- amping up the intensity with heavier weights and 5x5 protocol
- going to near failure on some sets

Also been thinking that fruit and nut excess is what drives my body fat up or down. Happy to see it drop a solid 1%. Also thinking that my weight was on the low side when the contest started (don't call me sandbagger).

The 5x5 protocol does get someone tiresome, but like last year I'm seeing some benefits. Like doing deadlifts for 5x5 with 185 today and got 225 for 3 for 1 set last week. For me (the a=1, hahahah) that seems to be what helps. To each his own.

Next weigh in 2/15. Between now and then more food pics and Tales From the Gym coming.

31 January 2010

Just Some Notes

Standard spinach quiche with with cubed sausage links (easier to brown) this morning. Repeat of previously made, but again turned out pretty good.


Been reading several posts on barefoot running. Seems it has been in the news a lot lately. So for ha-has, I did some interval sprints with the vibrams for a change. I guess I have to do some more reading since I'm a dedicated heel-striker. Not exactly easy to change your running stride to strike further forward toward the ball of the foot. In reality it is probably the reverse that is true; that one may naturally land on the ball of the foot, but by wearing cushioning shoes, etc, it has taken years to develop and shift toward a heel-strike landing.

Anyway, been a pretty good month paleo wise. I'd say 2 days of 31 where I drifted off the reservation during customer meetings. Other than than, been thinking more about keeping the fruit and nut intake on the low side.

Biggest Gainer weigh in after baseline for tomorrow, so I'll post results after I collect all of them.

27 January 2010

Don't confuse activity with achievement

A) First off, I'll get the food porn pic off: honey glazed pork loin with leftover veggies. Pork turned out fantastic. Cooked with the fat on top to auto-marinate the meat, 325F for about 2 hours til thermo said 160F. Needless to say, this didn't last long in the house.


B) Next, Zach (who is the 5th biggest gainer entry) sent me this LINK regarding barefoot running. Basically, the cushioned shoed runners strike the heel more and have greater incidents of repetative injuries. Go Vibrams!
C) More good abuse at the gym today. Did a 24 hour IF and pressed on at the gym after not making it due to work reasons:
- 155 on scale this morning
- 10 x 9.5mph intervals
- squats, up to 165
- calf raises up to 90
- DB lunges w/35lb
- triceps pulldowns 150
- super set dips and leg rasises.
D) I thought I heard on sports talk radio that Bill Belichick had told his players "Don't confuse activity with achievement." (actually I think John Wooden had originally said this). Regardless, it is a powerful statement that I am continually reminded of at the gym. It's January and of course that means an influx at the gym. But look around and how many are doing some honest work. Lot of people carrying water around in gallon containers or talking on the cell phone - or both.
Does not matter to me too much except to provide extra motivation to really make the gym time a quality workout. Only time it gets to me is when people are lounging around on equipment. Two recent cases come to mind where one guy was chatting away on his cell phone for a solid 30 minutes without doing anything other than precluding anyone from doing any seated rows. Another pair over the weekend was relaxing and having a spirited conversation while occupying the squat rack for 20+ minutes. Of that pair, one of them did 1 set of squats and 1 set of shoulder raises then he went out the door. Does that even count toward going to the gym?
Anyway, next Biggest Gainer weigh in: 2/1

24 January 2010

Signs of Improvement?

It's easy to say that the world is going right to hell, given today's society with lack of personal responsibility or accountability, the decay of the moral fiber of society, etc. And obviously there is the food angle with GMO products, HFCS-laden offerings, the decline of the true family farm and rise of the CAFO monopoly.

Then there's the quick-fix / instant gratification attitude that seems quite prevalent. Like the statin commercials "when diet and exercise are not enough" while emphasizing that statins are the only salvation to lower your cholesterol. When people can't lose weight, it's not their fault, just make an appointment with a bariatric surgeon! I must see at least three ads in the Sunday paper for weight loss specialists; but read the ad closer and it is really an ad for the surgery.

However, I've noticed a few things in the past few months that tend to give me hope that possibly there is a slight course correction for society.

a) I read this article in the Sunday paper regarding antibiotics and livestock. Since more and more antibiotics are pumped into our meat every year, the bacteria are becoming more resisitant (shocking!). There is some discussion about eliminating the antibiotics or limiting the uses to treat only sick animals. And this should be no surprise that the major CAFO overlords are in opposition to this (translation: fear of profit reduction).

b) I see more people at my gym doing some sort of high-intensity training. While 80% of the people are mindlessly doing either i) elliptical, ii) bench press, or iii) curls, I see an occassional interval sprinter. More encouragement by clean & jerks, dumbell snatches and more cross-fit type exercises.

c) I've had more people have honest-to-god discussions with mre regarding nutrition, exercise, etc. I know it's January and a lot of resolutions are still fresh, but either my salesmanship is getting better (unlikely) or there is a real increased interest in eating better and leading a healthier life.

d) About four months ago, my friend Zach hooked me up with a local farmer who raises his steer humanely and on grass. When I first ordered meat from this guy, there was zero back log. Second order (about 8 weeks ago) and the back log was a month. I picked up my purchase and he says his backlog is pushing out in to late spring! So obviously there is a market for his services and he had no problem getting up to full capacity.

e) I notice more people taking an interst in movies like Food, Inc., King Corn, etc. And as a result of movies like that I see more outrage / disbelief that our tax dollars are funneled toward a crop that serves as the basis for HFCS which is directly encouraging the obesity epidemic. Meanwhile, there is pressure to shut down the family farm (like Polyface Farm). What's wrong with that picture? Shouldn't the government be encouraging, celebrating, (and subsidizing!) an operation like Polyface Farm and shouldn't they try to change the HFCS / CAFO construct?

Anyway, a few meal pics that were on the camera. Turkey cutlets grilled with broc:

Clam marinara (sp) with spaghetti squash (S made this)


22 January 2010

Mixed Pyramids

Hooked up with one of my co-workers Mike this morning and had a mixed-pyramid workout as follows:

deadlifts: 95 to 185
squats: 95 to 205
db lunges: 30
calf raises: 45-90

Also showed Mike a few sets of renegade rows and introduced him to the pleasure of Burpees. Did set of 10/10/8

weight at 155 this morning, but not sure it's all LMM

18 January 2010

Just gym time

Sunday off watching SD poop the bed against the NYJ. Back to the gym Monday including
- 5x9mph intervals
- squats 155 x 5 to 205x5, knee felt much better
- leg curls
- lunges 25-35 x 5
- tricep extensions
- dips

Gym was very busy mid-afternoon.

16 January 2010

AMPED

Don't know what it is today, but had a great workout this morning and still rev'd up and ready to roll.

Started off with 10 interval sprints, 2min walk at 4.0mph, 1min run at 9.0mph. Plan on slowly increasing the run speed until I max out the treadmill, but haven't done intervals regularly in a while so working back into it.

Then did some 5x5 protocol exercises (re-baselining a log of weights, so they may be a bit light) including:
- deadlifts, 155
- seated rows, 130
- renegade rows, 25, 35
- BB curls, 65
- DB curls, 35
did a few pull ups also, close grip

Regarding diet, I've been on the see-food diet and have added taking a protein shake (nitro-tech from muscle tech) . That's like an extra 40g of protein a day. woooo-hoooo.

Scale up a bit at 156 this morning, but bf% via tanita scale is saying 10.6%. hmmm.

14 January 2010

How I Roll / Getting Started

I often discuss nutrition and exercise with people, friends, co-workers, strangers, etc. and though I enjoy it, I often find my self saying the same things. I remembered a year ago I had summarized how my wife and I got started and recommended advice. That is FOUND HERE and also HERE.

After digesting that info, there are plenty of links on side written by people who are both more informed and articulate (and also have more time) than me. Browse through them and tune your own program to one that meets your goals. Plenty of food ideas HERE and you'll begin to get the drift: meat, poultry, fish, veggies. It's real simple. Protein and healthy fats plus complex carbs via veggies. Nothing out of a box, no refined carbs, sugars or sweets.

Personally, I think I have the nutrition part down. As I look back on the exercise side, there have been some good periods, but it is a bit status-quo (IMHO). I had played with a bunch of protocols discussed HERE and am possibly still searching for the one that suits my needs the best. But it is my opinion that weight loss/maintenance is 80% diet/20% exercise. Like they say "you can't exercise away a bad diet"

In other news, we got a pineapple cutter from Rosle. I had learned to cut a pineapple a while ago, but this thing makes it easy. It probably gets about 85% of the good stuff and leaves the core and skin intact. Used it tonite to make a fruit salad for a party my wife was having at work.

Hope everyone has a healthy 2010!


12 January 2010

Biggest Gainer Baseline

Ok, the contestants are set and they are (in alphabetical order...drumroll):
NAME / WEIGHT / BF% / LEAN MUSCLE MASS
- Andy / 148 / 11.3 / 131.6
- Decarlo / 174 / 7.8 / 160.4
- Jeff / 187 / 11.9 / 164.7
- Manny: 145 / 11.6 / 128.2

For reference, I'm 5'10", Decarlo and Jeff are both about 6'1", and Manny is a little shorter than me.

That mofo Decarlo (who had the idea for this contest) is coming in at a amazing <8% body fat. The rest of us are over their desired percentage, but whatever. I'm hoping to add muscle mass AND lower that percentage of body fat by employing the see-food diet, interval sprints, and using the 5x5 stronglifts protocol for a while (to move heavier weights).

I'm thinking about a check every two weeks or so, so next update will be around 2/1.

11 January 2010

Chowing for Biggest Gainer

Looks like four contestants for the Biggest Gainer. Just waiting for stats from my bro Jeff. Will post all starting weights after that.

Meanwhile a few meals. Filet mignon with brussel sprouts and the mandatory shrooms and onions. All veggies sauteed in ghee.
Chicken tenders breaded with almond meal and coconut flour mix, fried in coconut oil with ghee sauteed squash:
Thinking about using 5x5 workouts for Biggest Gainer as it tend to use heavier weights.

08 January 2010

Biggest Gainer Baseline

As of this morning my baseline stats for body fat measurements and weight:
body fat measurements (3 measurement average):
ab: 18.3 mm
chest: 8.0 mm
thigh: 6.7 mm
body fat%: 11.3
gross weight: 148.4
lean weight: 131.6

Let the eating begin!

07 January 2010

Biggest Loser? How about Biggest Gainer

The Biggest Loser Rant
Yes we launch into another season of The Biggest Loser. And the contestants get larger time. One guy starting off at 526lb. Ideal weight if one was about 10'6" tall, but he's only 6'3". The sad part is that the guy is only 30 years old. Personally, I try to get calibrated by finding contestants about my height (5'10"). There are two this year: a) Daris, 25 years old/350lb and b) Darrell, 46 years old/420lb. It is getting like The Running Man and I don't think NBC will be happy until someone strokes out.

The Biggest Gainer Proposal
Anyway, I wasn't real pleased with my latest body fat measurement (post holidays) and did a 24 hour IF for 3 of 4 days this week akin to the Warrior Diet. My buddy Decarlo who's been trying to put on weight suggested a contest to try to gain the highest percentage of lean muscle mass. So, I'm game, he's in, his roommate Manny is in, and my bro Jeff said he'd give it a go for The Biggest Gainer. Any other of the few readers want in, just let me know.

The Biggest Gainer Criterion
Simple. At least over the period of time that the Biggest Loser is on the air this round (approx 16 weeks), we're going to see who ends up with the highest gain in lean muscle mass. It would be easy to gain weight by gorging on donuts and ice cream which is why body fat percentage is important. Personally, I don't care if people want to take HGH, or protein shakes, or andro to get there. Actually, it would be interesting to see what works for the 'hard gainers'.

Baseline
So tomorrow morning, I'll take my weight and body fat measurements (I suggest calipers and this site) to determine percentage body fat and my lean muscle mass. Anyone interested who I don't talk to via text, email, or phone, just post weight and body fat % in the comments section. I'll post the guinea pigs results on Monday and away we go.

Periodic Updates
Usually I take my body fat measurement at the beginning of the month and weight daily. For now I suggest that this would be a good period, but I can do it more often if so inclined.

Prizes
Can't say I'm thinking about any kind of meaningful prize other than may be a jar of almond butter, ghee or FAGE, but I am open to suggestions.

Anyway, good way to pass the time over these cold New England winters. Let the games begin!

05 January 2010

Back to the Gym Everyone!

Ah yes. The New Years resolutions are still strong which means that the gym is still packed to the gills. Got caught up in a meeting that ran late and didn't make it to the gym until late afternoon. Big mistake. Literally 3 of 30 pieces of cardio equipment not in use and people milling all over the place. Saw about a handful of regulars otherwise a bunch of newcomers with more people signing up at the front desk.

Got me thinking about my favorite gym stories as I saw a few morons about. Some of the milder ones I've seen lately:

a) just today walking across the parking lot to the gym entrance, I hear a truck with glass-packs roaring across the parking lot. It's some jacked up (and beat up) F-150 doing about 40 mph. So naturally he doesn't want his baby scratched, so he parks it sideways in the crowded lot taking up about 3 spots. Grown man with a mohawk gets out and guess where he's heading. yup to my gym! Lucky day! I see him in the locker room and he puts his flannel shirt in a locker and then heads out to the gym with construction boots on. Does the 40 minutes of mandatory bench press and curls, then leaves.

b) saw another guy doing seated rows. The machine is positioned near a wall on one side. Spent the entire time doing rows and watching himself in the mirror.

c) about a month ago there was a guy with a tank-top doing mostly curls to develop his guns. Somehow we ended our workout around the same time. So I go into the locker room and there he is in front of the mirror with this shirt off posing and flexing. I almost laughed out loud since in addition to looking ridiculous, he had this enormous beer gut that wasn't as obvious with the shirt on.

But several of my all time favorites are:

d) From Manny and Keith (two different gyms, but identical scenarios): person doing a set on some type of cybex/nautilis machine WHILE EATING A CINNABON! Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. And even more remarkable that two unrelated people in two different states saw the same thing at two different gyms!

e) From Decarlo and Manny: some dudes bring a video camera to show the world how diesel they are and film their bench presses. Even more impressive is that they bring a piece of plywood to put on their sternums. Guess they brought some smelling salts to get crazy and slapped each other around - getting amped up for the big lift.

f) From Zach: you know those air blowers that are sometimes found around a sink to dry one's hands? Well my friend Zach says he saw a guy at the YMCA buck naked in front of the sink with one foot on the counter flexing while using the air blower to dry his crotch off. I'm serious, this is too bizarre to make up.

In other news, I did back-to-back IF days on Monday and Tuesday and been doing the 3 mile run every other day. Been focusing on spending roughly an hour at the gym and trying a different routine out. More on that to follow, as well as other goals for 2010.

03 January 2010

2010 Start and Lame Turducken

Starting the year off with the Primal Pancakes (made with almond meal, eggs, heavy cream, blueberries) and apple sausages. My wife made these and they turned out real well. Wonder if coconut flour would be a good addition. I imagine it would.
Now we come to the Turducken, which is supposed to be a boneless duck stuffed inside a boneless chicken stuffed inside a turkey. I was searching all week for one at butcher stores, etc., but failed to find one. The local Stop n Shop had a pre-packaged one for $30 (5lb), so thought I'd give is a go.

This thing was completely boneless which was nice. Placed in a ceramic dish with about 1/2" of white wine in the bottom. Salted and peppered the top, added some butter on top. Covered with aluminum foil, added meat thermometer and placed in 300F oven. Pulled out when thermo said 165F. A little pink here and there, but I think most of that was duck bleed-through to the other meat. Regardless a few more minutes in the oven uncovered to brown it.

Well the good news is that the duck and turkey were tasty. The andouille sausage stuffing imparted a nice spicey flavor to the birds. Bad news is that there was about a pound of stuffing and they seemed to forget about the chicken (literally zero chicken to be found). The duck portion was about 3 oz. Kind of lame for a turducken and didn't live up to the billing. However, we have plenty of turkey to eat for the next few days.

Anyway, got on the scale and it said 154 this morning. Body fat measurements as:
Ab: 19.0 mm
Chest: 7.7 mm
Thigh: 7.3 mm
= 11.6% BF.

All on the higher end of things. So I'm assuming that between the holiday fare and the accident-induced reduced activity, things are reflected in the above numbers. On that note, I'm going to brave the gym today and fight the crowds before the Patriots game starts.