Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

I am restructuring my life to accomplish my fitness (NOT weight loss) goals.   Sure, I will probably shed some pounds along the way but this plan is not centered on the goal of weight loss.  Such plans usually end up being self-defeating and scale-focused to the point of unhealthy compulsion.  My goal, with each passing month is to: have a better heart rate and lower BP, to run farther, to punch the heavy bag harder, to flip the tire more times in a single minute, (to acquire) and flip a heavier tire, to lift heavier weights, to feel more energized each morning, to push my body to the limit as often as I can and come back better for it.  It won’t be easy–it never was.   The first few weeks back are about as fun as working as circus janitor; it stinks, there aren’t many rewards, and you have to drag yourself through each work(day/out).

So how will I do it?  What is my plan?   (more…)

A happy New Year to all those who still scramble up the crag that is this old worn out blog to view my inconsistent (and sometimes incoherent) fitness ramblings.   I know you are expecting me to talk about how I resolve to post more to this blog over the coming year, but actually I don’t.  I plan on posting more and I expect to be more active than I have been the past year or two, but it isn’t on the top of my to-do list.  I was putting too much stress on keeping this blog up and anxiety was getting the better of me.  I hope that with a more relaxed attitude I can better keep up with this blog, minus the stress and anxiety.

So what are my resolutions?  Before I get to that I should note that experience has tempered my firm belief in specific goals.  They are great until you reach them.  Then what?  A new goal?  Where is the joy in that?  Instead, it is better to find general guidelines for how life should be lived, live by them, and reap the rewards as they come.   No more stress or pressure to hit specific numbers.  I will take my victories as they come.

So the question is changed to what are my guidelines and how do I plan on implementing them.  I answered that question by creating three general guidelines, short enough to remember, but broad enough to allow for a considerable amount of change in the life of myself and my family.  I have termed these “Family Commitments” as they impact both myself and my family.  However, because of their dual nature I will refer to them interchangeably as family and individual commitments, depending on the context.

The three primary commitments are:

  1. Keep God first in all things
  2. Eat fresh and be active
  3. Buy less, throw out more, and organize what we keep

These three commitments hit on the big four: mind, body, spirit, and wallet.   Commitment 1 will keep us spiritually balanced and aids us in keeping commitments 1 and 2.  Commitment 2 will keep us healthy and aids us in keeping commitments 1 and 3.  Commitment 3 will keep our bad spending habits (and my tendency to hoard things) in check, and reinforce commitments 1 and 2.

Now how do I turn these three broad commitments into a plan of action?  Like this: (more…)

I am working my way through my second day of the Alternate Day Diet.  I wouldn’t call it working though since today has been a breeze.  You see, today is my up day.  I can eat whatever I want whenever I want.  I have chosen to stick with healthy foods, but I am consciously ignoring calories today.  You heard that right, I am completely ignoring calories.  I don’t have to count them at all!  Heck I just baked (although as easy as it was to make I can hardly call it baking) some muffins and had a few.

[Easiest Muffin Recipe EVER: 1 box of devil’s food cake mix, 1 15 oz. can of 100% pure pumpkin (no added sugar).  Mix.  Bake.  Eat.  Told you it was easy.]

And although I knew today would be easy, I didn’t expect yesterday to go as well as it did.  Heck, the book claims the first day should be the hardest.   I didn’t find it all that hard.  I did my best to fit a lot of food into the allotted 500 calories.  It worked out to:

  • Breakfast: Nothing (fasting for blood test)
  • Snack: Nothing (still fasting)
  • Lunch: 24 hour protein shake (120 calories)
  • Snack: Miso Soup (35 calories)
  • Dinner: A bean and lentil in tomato based soup with Miso soup on the side (extra seaweed added in), and a mini cucumber.   (165 calories)
  • Snack: Protein shake (120 calories)
  • Overall 15 cups of water

Not bad and NO major hunger difficulties to report.

Today (my “up day”) I had:

  • Breakfast: Kashi Honey Almond Flax Crunch, unsweetened shredded coconut, and 1/2 a serving of 70% dark chocolate (more…)

I have tried a lot of different plans over the course of my online health experiment.  I’ve done everything from the velocity diet to simple balanced meals.  Low-fat, low-carb, no-carb; I’ve done them all.   Well, I am going to try something new starting tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will begin experimenting with the Alternate Day Diet.   The general idea is that calorie deprivation every other day not only leads to a caloric deficit, but activates certain healthy cellular level responses (no doubt explained by the whole “hunter-gatherers didn’t eat well every day” kind of argument).  “Down days” of 400 calories or less are balanced out by up days when one can eat freely (relatively speaking).  In theory such should help with the usual problems of most diets and or caloric restriction plans- a rapidly plummeting metabolism that adapts to low calorie intake.  Also, the nutritional plan is supposed to help me (or you) achieve the benefits of caloric restriction without making you look like the people who are on caloric restriction diets (think Christian Bale in the Machinist).

My father speaks very highly of the nutritional plan contained in the book, so I figured I would give it a shot for 2 weeks.  Of course this means I will have to juggle my workout schedule around, as I can’t possibly do my usual workouts on any of my “down” (400 calorie) days.  If nothing else it will be an interesting experience.  I will of course keep you updated.  I will take measurements tomorrow morning (along with pictures) and we will see how far I can go in 2 weeks.

This is a tasty snack with low calories, whole wheat, plenty of veggies, and lots of healthy fat (depending on how you make it).   The base is simple (and cheap), a whole wheat Joseph’s Pita (you can buy 6 in a package for $2.79 at Wal-mart).   Their whole wheat pita has a well-balanced nutritional content (see image below).  From there the steps are simple. (more…)

(1) I’m back to 6 meals a day.  For an idea of my average day check out my meals from yesterday:

  • B/Fast: 3 eggs, 4 slices center cut low-fat bacon, 100% whole wheat toast
  • Snack: Apple (sliced up) with 2 tablespoons organic peanut butter
  • Lunch: London broil slices with mozzarella cheese, onions, garlic, cooked in 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Snack: 12-hour protein shake
  • Dinner: Curry chicken breast with carrots, rice, corn, cucumbers
  • Snack: Pistachios

*NOTE: all the above foods contained no added sugars or High Fructose Corn Syrup.

(2) My Workouts are up and running again.   I am sticking with a simple formula of 30 minute workouts based around three two exercise supersets of ten minutes each with a rest of 3 minutes between each.  I go all out for ten minutes, from one exercise to the next and back again until time runs out.  For example, Wednesday’s workout:

  • Superset 1: Goblet Squats (reps descending from 10 to 1)/Push Press (reps descending from 10 to 1)
  • Superset 2: Push-ups (10 reps per set/7 sets)/ Side-to-side knee movement (8 reps per side/7 sets)
  • Superset 3: Chin-ups (1 set as many reps as possible, remaining 6 sets 10-30 second negatives)/ Skull crushers on kitchen bench (seven sets of 5 reps).

(3) I’ve scheduled more “fun exercise” into my daily routine.  30 minutes on the trampoline with my daughter.

(4) I’ve instituted a level of financial discipline which should carry over to my nutritional intake and exercise routines.  Our new grocery budget of $65/week (a considerable drop) has done wonders to cut the excess snacks from my cart.

I am looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish before the first day of class on January 19th.

The breakfast of champions, the protein shake.   But not just any protein shake, Elite 12-hour, which is in my opinion the best protein shake on the market (NOTICE: I am NOT being paid to say that).  Throw in a handful of wild grown frozen blue berries and you’ve got yourself an anti-oxidant rich, protein dense meal.  And for lunch today: grilled lamb, tomato, and onions with a bit of Worcester-shire sauce.   Probably a protein bar, an apple, and a pear somewhere in there and cap it all off with some chicken breast and veggies.

As far as activity goes this lingering cold/sinus infection isn’t making that easy.  I am keeping it to a minimum today with 30 minutes on the Wii fit plus (mostly yoga) and lots of stretching.  Hopefully the next couple of days will see this sinus infection pack up its bags of mucus and split town.

I ache ALL over.  My legs hurt (especially thanks to those one-legged squats), my shoulders hurt (thanks to push presses), and my core huts thanks to pretty much every exercises I did yesterday.  Oddly enough, otherwise I feel great.   I have plenty of energy, my guts doesn’t quite feel as annoying (even though its only slightly less noticeable visually), and even when I wince with pain when I stand up or shift in my seat it is a good reminder of a workout that went better than expected.

I am not going to push myself too hard as I get back into the swing of things.  For the next three weeks I will stick to about 3 days of heavy training per week with one day off between workouts (and one day day off period each week).

But today is anything but a “day off.”  I almost titled this post something like “first day off,” but i deleted that title.  I deleted it for a reason.  There are no day offs in fitness.  While I won’t be lifting any weights today (with the possible exception of tossing my daughter around) I am working very hard on my nutritional intake.     Today’s meals include:

  • Breakfast: 12-hour Elite Protein Shake
  • Snack: Protein Bar with an Apple
  • Lunch: 2 slices of whole wheat toast with roast beef, turkey breast, lettuce, tomato, spicy mustard, and spinach.
  • Snack: walnuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, and dark chocolate.
  • Dinner:  Function at church, so I have no clue what will be offered.   This will be my first real challenge.
  • Before Bed: 12-hour elite protein shake with milled flax seed
  • ***NOTE: Water is consumed in large quantities throughout the day with and between meals.

I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s meals.  I bought a bunch of turkey drumsticks and I will be putting them in the rotisserie with some herbs and spices.

I’ve spend the summer neglecting every good bit of nutritional advice I’ve ever received, and as a result I feel bloated, tired, and “ick.”  So as of yesterday I got back on the nutritional wagon.  As per my trainers instructions:

“[Eat] fresh vegetables (no root vegetables or squash), berries, small amounts of nuts & seeds, unprocessed animal protein, unprocessed fats, salt, spices, coffee with cream, tea, water and 1 tbsp of fish oil per day.”

So I planned all my meals out for today.  But as we know the best laid plans often go straight down the toilet. My plans went down the drain thanks to a severe thunderstorm that left our family stranded in the local Wal-mart until lunch time today.  The only food place there was subway, and as we all know, if you want something that doesn’t come on bread (and isn’t a salad), Subway ain’t the best place to eat.  So after reviewing the menu several times, my frustration finally eased when I saw a steak and cheese omelet sub.  I ordered the sub with double steak, part-skim mozzarella, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and spinach.  I ditched the bread in the trash and laid out the omelet et al. on the table in front of me.  It was quite delicious, and despite the VERY user unfriendly nutritional info at the Subway website (they won’t let you deduct or add specific ingredients)   I was able, with a little math, to guesstimate my nutritional intake at around:

  • 400 calories
  • 9g carbs
  • 37 protein
  • 18g fat

Sounds good to me.  Not ideal, but the best alternative.

The last two days have involved some fairly intense but simple exercise routines.  To be honest they are only intense because I allowed myself to get out of shape.  Yesterday I had the house all to myself, so I cranked up the Itunes and fit in an indoor workout for a change.

  1. Heavy Bag Dead lift/Squat: 12, 10
  2. Wide Grip Push-up: 20, 20
  3. Alternating Bulgarian Dead lift: 12 each side, 11 each side
  4. Diamond Push-up: 15, 15
  5. Towel Pike: 10, 8.  These are simple, just watch the video.  All you do is replace the swiss ball with an old towel under the balls of your feet.                                                                                  
  6. Alternating Push-up: 12, 10 (more…)