Day 12- Ritual Is Becoming Routine

294.8

Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, is a cofactor essential for the synthesis and oxydation of fatty acids in the human body. Storage of fat for energy and the breakdown of fat for use in the muscles depends on biotin.

Produced by bacteria in the intestinal tract, biotin is also found in foods, notably carrots, romaine lettuce, swiss chard and tomatoes. Almonds, bananas, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, egg yolk, milk, mushrooms, oat meal, onions, peanuts, raspberries, soy, and walnuts are also good sources.

Yesterday I didn’t eat nearly enough but I think I kept the majority of the protein to the early/middle part of the day and the carbs later, which should work well. By varying the food I eat all of the timeI am trying to make eating an adventure rather than a chore.

My Food

1 cup cottage cheese(240 cal.)P26F10C8

lunch
pork tacos (1264 cal.)P100.7F49.4C94

dinner salad
1 cucumber(32cal.)P1.6F.4C5.8
4 oz. spinach(28 cal.)P3.2F0C4
4 tbsp. thousand island dressing(180 cal.)P0F14C12
total=240 cal. P 4.8 F 14.4 C 21.8
1744 cal. P=131.5 F=73.8 C=125.8

My workout

1.2 mile run
100 single unders

your workout:
walk 1 mile
25 single unders
walking lunges 10 each side

Day 11- The Importance Of Coaching

295.6

If you are like me and don’t go to a gym that has a coach that can give you pointers when you work out, take video and save it for later. You can always watch yourself do the work and then find a video of someone teaching the movement and you can compare and see where you can improve. I have been working on getting my back squat up to 200#(90kg.) for 5 sets of 5. I feel this is an achievable short term goal. For a long time my progress was halted by the fact that I did not have a squat rack and I could only manage about 150# front squatting in the racked position. Unracking the weight put unacceptable strain on my wrists. I finally installed a sort of squat rack on the side of the house and have been able to increase the load now. My new limiting factors are from errors in form and recovery time vs. detraining atrophy. From the video I took the other day I can see that I have corrected for the most part rounding of the back at the bottom of the squat and a tendency to butt wink occasionally. I still however keep way too much weight in the front of my feet, you can tell this by watching the bar path as I go down each time. Things to work on means more reasons to workout again, practice, practice, practice!

A word about shoes. When you workout, especially if you are running or moving your feet side to side a lot, it is incredibly important that your shoes fit correctly. I am as guilty as the next guy of buying the cheapest tennie-runners out there for normal wear, but when I workout, I have good quality, well-fitting shoes. If I am shuffling down the road and my shoe starts moving around on my foot and my toes are trying to keep my feet in the same place all the time I am setting myself up for injury. Stop. Right. There. No excuse in the world is good enough in that situation.

My first pair of workout shoes were Inov8 bareXF-210’s. I scoured the inter webs for weeks looking for the perfect shoe, mainly because I have enormous, extra wide, size 15 feet. They turned out to be the only shoes available in my size but I did have a choice of colors, hideous green or dayglo pink. I love me some green shoes. I can wear out a $13 pair of WalMart’s fine footwear in about 3 months but these shoes soldiered on for three years solid. They still get to do some duty when I run in the morning, there is something to be said for minimalist shoes when you run on concrete. Before I put the green meanies out to pasture I made my most significant footwear purchase to date. The ultimate workout shoe of it’s time. Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0’s. Also in a hideous color, ‘Rope Burn Red’ this time, because of the size. I kid you not, it’s like having Cadillac’s on your feet, the shoes feel so good. They cost enough, I will probably be buried in them, lol. just get shoes that fit you, that’s all I’m saying, the whole purpose of shoes are to protect your feet and good shoes do just that.

Squats- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

My Food:

4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10

16oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)P16.2F9.6C24.6
total= 614 cal. P 46.7 F 30.8 C 36.2

lunch salad

4 oz. spinach(28 cal.)P3.2F0C4
1 cup cottage cheese(240 cal.)P26F10C8
1 can tuna(90 cal.)P20F1C0
2 Tbs. ranch dressing(260 cal.)P0F28C2
total= 618 cal. P 31.2 F 39 C 14

dinner

6 oz. chicken thigh(354 cal.)P43.9F18.5C0
1/2 cup rice(320 cal.)P6F0C72
sweet chili sauce(100 cal.)P0F0C25
total= 774 cal. P 49.9 F 18.5 C 97

My Workout

1 mile run
Back squat 5×5 @160#
100 singleunders
Hang-clean reverse pyramid EMOM ‘Every Minute On the Minute’
10@95#-9@100#-8@105#-7@110#-6@115#-5@120#-4@125#-3@130#-2@135#-1@140#

If you are following along with the getting started workouts I post, your workout today is:
1 mile walk
25 single unders with the jump rope, I know it sounds monotonous but you will soon be able to tear through all 25 without stopping, it really gets your heart racing, that’s the exact effect we are after, chasing VO2max.

Day 10- Knowledge Is Power

296.6

Muscle fibers and how to maintain them

We have two kinds of muscles involved in physical movement, fast twitch and slow twitch. Put simply muscles we use for strength and muscles we use for endurance. Slow twitch, or endurance muscles, rely on our cardiovascular system, fuel and oxygen in the blood keep them working. To train endurance, these muscles are stressed over and over so that the number of blood vessels or capillarity is increased and the efficiency of the actual transfer of oxygen and fuel to the muscle fibers is increased. With fast twitch muscles, adaptation occurs once a stimulus or load on the muscles is so great that all muscles of a given group are recruited for the movement. These muscles grow in size as a response. This is a really simplified explanation but I will go into detail later. Basically when it comes to training, bodybuilders don’t run and marathoners don’t deadlift.

So what does that have to do with anything? Being older, my body reacts to stimuli a lot slower than it used to. I recover a lot slower and I need more time for muscle growth to catch up. The thing is, the body will still atrophy at the same rate unless you exercise regularly. In order to keep the type I muscles healthy, cardio has to be done on a very regular basis. Training the type II muscles has to be done as well but scheduled around an extended recovery schedule. A regular endurance program should keep the type I system at a high level of fitness and at the same time optimize the pathways that will lead to growth in type II muscles whose training is properly adapted for effective recovery.

HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) should be ideal as it tries to operate at or close to VO2max, the limit of the bodies ability to supply oxygen to the muscles. At 40% of VO2max, you would have to workout for 2 hours or longer to get the same stimulus as you would by working out at 100% of VO2max for 15 minutes. The thing is, very few people can get to VO2max much less maintain it for any appreciable amount of time, but the closer you get the better. When Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile, he didn’t train by running the mile over and over, he did it by running a series of 10 sub-minute quarter miles every day for months. At the end he was able to mimic his stride and cadence in the quarter for four consecutive quarters, and become the premier miler of his time.

My food:

Breakfast Rellenos

4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
4 oz. queso fresco(353 cal.)P22.8F27.4C0
4 Anaheim peppers(21cal.)P4.5F.45C21.3
total= 744 cal. P 57.8 F 49 C 32.9

Roast chilies whole under broiler, turning once. Slit longways and seed, reserve, do not remove stems. Finely crumble cheese into eggs and tomatoes, scramble egg mixture as desired. Stuff peppers fully with egg mixture, enjoy!

Chinese for lunch

1/2 cup rice(90 cal.)P6F0C72
1/2 tsp. Turmeric
1/2 onion(32 cal.)P.7F0C7.8
10 oz. chicken thigh(590 cal.)P73F30.8C0
2 Jalapeño peppers(8 cal.)P0F0C2
2 tbs. peanut butter(180 cal.)P7F16C6
2 tsp. coconut oil(80 cal.)P0F10C0
1.5 oz. sunflower kernels(250cal.)P10F21C7.5
total=1230 cal. P 96.7 F 77.5 C 95.3 2 portions/660 now

Rest of chinese for dinner

1 can Dr. Pepper(150 cal.)P0F0C40

My workout

1 mile walk
100 single-unders

 

For those following along:

one mile walk for warm-up

25 single jumps with jump rope

 

Day 9- Motivation

297.4

Motivation is so much more than ‘I want to.’ Motivation is doing, it is taking the action, it is moving forward. Motivation is a habit. To always act with motivation makes you a force, it makes you powerful. One interpretation of Newton’s first law is that once moving it takes more energy to stop than it does to keep going.

I  f I allow myself to think about something too long I will end up not doing it. This has been proven by me over and over. I truly believe that no one can change another persons thoughts and actions but by small, subtle pushes in the right direction, I can change the way I think about and do things. Sometimes I have to trick myself.

One morning I woke up and was going to go for a run and was sitting on the end of the bed and caught myself thinking about running. I realized that the more I sat there the less likely it was that I would ever get out there and run. instead of sitting still I began to get ready, putting on socks and shorts, finding a t-shirt, putting my shoes on, grabbing my stop watch. Now, even though i was still thinking instead of running, my little ruse had allowed me to be in a position to simply walk outside and start running. It worked. Many times since then, when I don’t really feel like working out, I will get dressed to work out and more often than not, I go on out there and get my sweat on.

Motivation is where you find it. More often than not, it is right there inside you.

So what are all of the extra numbers about in the food lists? The protein, fat and carbohydrate numbers or PFC’s are what are referred to as macronutrients. When you zoom out on what you are eating, say in an entire week instead of just one meal, you can get a good idea of where your calories are coming from. Once you know that it can be easier to make small changes that will add up down the road. For instance, I notice that I use a lot of oil when I make eggs. I use the oil to keep the eggs from sticking, to a teflon pan! I eat eggs about 5 times a week, using no oil saves me 200 calories and 23.5 grams of fat a week. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but if that becomes a habit, I consume over 10,000 calories less a year, that’s 3 pounds or 12 chocolate milkshakes.

Small changes over time make a big difference as you can see. Changing the way that we look at what we eat and making little tweaks here and there will bring us closer to the goals we seek. Does the notebook begin to make more sense now?

I am going to start making up recipe cards for some of my favorite meals. That way I can concentrate more of the calorie and macro information in one spot and spend less time writing everything down and figuring it out over and over. But until then:

Breakfast
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
14g. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F4.7C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
Total=410 cal. macros P30.5 F 24.9 C 10

Lunch salad
9 oz. imitation crab(330 cal.)P18F4.5C54
4 oz. spinach(28 cal.)P3.2F0C4
green apple vinaigrette dressing(399 cal.)P.3F35.5C4.9
total=757 cal. macros P 21.5 F 35.5 C 62.9

chicken and rice
7 oz. chicken thigh meat(413 cal.)P52.7F21.7C0
1 1/2 cup rice, boiled(90 cal.)P6F0C72
sweet chili sauce (300 cal.)P0F0C75
total=803 cal. macros P 58.7 F 21.7 C 147

My Workout

Jump rope 100 singles
Push mowing 2 hrs.

Your workout
If you want to get to wearing out that new jump rope, walk a mile to warm up and try doing 25 single jumps today. Jumping rope is a very complex movement that happens so quickly that to do it well you have to use muscle memory, that is the body needs to be able to do it without thinking. This takes practice. It feels like it will take forever to learn, it will not, trust me.

If you have questions you would like to ask or a blog topic you would like me to take a stab at, feel free to message me.

P.S. The CrossFit Games are now streaming live on YouTube, check these people out, they leave it ALL on the field.

Day 8- Rest And Reflection

298.2

It has been a week, one whole week. We have started new habits. Weighing ourselves every morning and writing down the number in a notebook. Writing down what we eat, everything that we eat. Now it’s time to find out why we do that.

As I said, the weight number is pretty much useless except in an empirical sense. We track our weight simply to be aware of it, writing it down makes us accountable to do it every day.

We log all of our food intake for a different reason. Eating healthy is a good habit and most all good habits are learned behavior. Food logging lets us step back and look at patterns in our diet, things that could change as well as the things that we are doing right.

If you have been following the little workouts that I post on the bottom of the blog each day you could be feeling better and maybe even sleeping better than when you started. I assume that anyone that is doing this has no equipment what so ever and I program the workout just that way. From this week forward, small investments in equipment will pay huge dividends. I am not nor will I in the future sell anything at all. I will recommend certain items, only those items that will bring great results with a very small investment. My first such recommendation is getting a jump rope.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 7.12.04 PM

There it is, $6 with tax. That is your workout today, go get a jumprope. It is the last you will ever see of that six dollars too because if you stay with me we are going to wear that sucker out. I have said this before and I will say it again, “I am no expert!” But I know a heck of a lot of them. I would like to introduce you to Buddy Lee, the Micheal Jordan of the jumprope…

Just because there is no workout today does not mean there will be no need to write in your notebook today. As an exercise, make a list of each food item that you ate last week, you don’t have to duplicate anything, just note the unique items. Now make a new folder on your desktop and name it “Food”. Go to this website, I like this one because they make you a label…

http://www.calorieking.com/

Type in the name of the food from your list and click a quantity that would make it easiest to figure out the calories that you consumed, ounce, each, whatever. When you click the quantity it makes you a label that has all of the nutrition info for that particular food. Take a screenshot of each label, rename it with the name of the food and save it to your folder. This will save a bunch of typing later.

You now have a fitness notebook that you are recording your daily weight, food and workouts in. If you have been thorough you are on track to build on some really good habits. Also this week, start writing down the calories in your food each day just as I have been doing here. This is your new habit that you are starting this week. And you have a brand new jump rope.

Breakfast
3 eggs(240 cal.)
2 oz. Queso Fresca(160 cal.)
5 Corn tortillas(250 cal.)
2 tsp. coconut oil(80 cal.)
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)
total=924 cal.

This is what these screenshots can look like, just name them so you can find them and put them all in a folder so you have them when you need them.

1 extra large egg:

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 7.51.42 AM

Lunch Salad
6 oz. Imitation crab(220 cal.)
4 oz. spinach leaves(28 cal.)
1/2 medium onion(32 cal.)
4 Tbs. Thousand island(180 cal.)
total= 460 cal.

Stuffed peppers
2 Anaheim peppers, seeded(30 cal.)
3 oz. imitation crab(110 cal.)
1/2 cup cottage cheese(120 cal.)
1/2 onion, diced(32 cal.)
1 oz. sunflower kernels(165 cal.)
total= 457 cal.)

Today is my rest day as well, I am feeling the squats in my inner thighs, I may modify my idea of squatting 3 times a week, we’ll see.  Please send me questions if you have any, I will do my best to get you the best answers that I can.

Day 7- Limits, Expectations and Goals

300.2

Limits, Expectations and Goals

Let’s talk for a moment about limits. I know that I am getting older, I get it, I don’t like it but I know that there is nothing that I can do about it.  I take that back, I can’t stop getting older but I can change the definition of aging as it pertains to me.  ‘Old people can’t’, ‘People your age shouldn’t’, these are artificial restraints that may apply to some, but do not necessarily define me.  I don’t view life and a continuous, inexorable crawl towards the grave.  Life is for living and for the living.  I don’t view limits as absolutes, I see them as challenges.

My expectations likewise are constantly changing.  As I grow I see new opportunities every day. Things around me change and I try to change with them.  To resist change is to be left behind.  I like to think of change as adaptation, of better fitting in with new surroundings.

I try to set realistic goals.  Goals that can be reached maybe not today or tomorrow but within reasonable times.  Time is on our side if we learn how to use it as a tool instead of an impediment.  When we were younger we thought, “I can’t wait to be older,” because age was a limiting factor in the way we viewed what could make us happy.  Now we wish we were younger, I wish I would just make up my mind.

Back when I started going to the gym there was a sign posted on one of the walls titled, “Benchmark Movements.”  There were things listed there that most of the people in the gym could do some if not all of.  I could not do any of them. I was too fat or too out of shape or too inflexible.  Always some reason and that bothered me.  It still does.  These things are some of my goals.  Pistol squats, pull-ups, double unders, hand stand pushups, all of these things that fit people should be able to do.  These things are going to be addressed in upcoming installments, they are achievable goals.

Using What We Learn About Ourselves

My workout today involved two concepts, moving explosively and moving with strength.  The first part of the work is a variation of a CrossFit ‘girl’ workout called Grace.  A classic rX Grace is a 135# barbell floor to locked out overhead, 30 times for time.  My best PR is 9:10.  I haven’t done Grace or any Oly lifting in a while so to get the benefit without potential for injury I’m doing 1/2 Grace, rX weight, 15 reps for time.  That is the explosive movement portion.

Overall strength is expressed in the squat.  It uses the most amount of muscle you can recruit in a single, compound movement.  One of the first ‘programs’ I followed when I started training myself is called 5×5.  5 Basic lifts, 3 per day, 3 times a week using a linear progression.  Each time you do an exercise you add 5 pounds more than you lifted the last time, easy.  If you are 25.  My squat stalled out at 175# and I stopped for a time rather than risk injury.  This is smart.

I am starting this series of lifts again but this time I am going to allow for a longer period of recovery by altering the progression.  Instead adding 5 pounds each time I squat I am going to a weekly progression.  Starting today at 20# off of my last weight of 175#, Monday will be 155#, Wednesday will be 160# and Friday 162#.  The following week, Monday will go down to 160#, Wednesday 165# and Friday 167#.  This will allow me to progress at 5# a week and really modify the recovery process.  My thinking is this, by allowing the recovery to catch up to increased stress more adaptation or growth of new tissue can occur as body resources that were used for recovery are freed up.

Do not attempt anything like this yourself, yet. The workouts I post are ones that I have personally done, I only record them here to document my progress.  There is a substantial learning curve both physically and mentally involved in doing this sort of workout.  I have been doing CrossFit for four years on a daily basis, I have done several versions of Grace at least 8 times and have been coached in the specific movement many hours by professionals, thanks John.  The weight that I am using in the squat was worked up to over a seven week period by squatting three times a week, you simply cannot jump into a weight like that without getting hurt.  I personally have hurt myself weightlifting, using too much weight while doing a movement that I did not understand.  It took three weeks to recover from that injury and I was very lucky.  I would not wish that amount of pain on anyone, please be careful.

WORKOUT
1/2 Grace

135# Barbell Floor to Overhead 15 Reps for time 4:36

Back Squat

155# 5 sets of 5 reps

FOOD
Eggs and Chorizo with Cheese
3 eggs(216 cal.)
4 oz. chorizo(285 cal.)
2 oz. queso fresca(160 cal.)
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)
total=905 cal.

Post Workout Recovery drink
2 granny smith apples(206 cal.)
1/2 cantaloupe(75 cal.)
1 cup water
total=281 cal.
Recovery Protein
1 can tuna, drained(90 cal.)

This combination supplies 74.3 g. carbohydrates and 20 g. protein to aid in recovery.  Recovery drinks/foods need to be consumed within 1/2 hour of the end of the workout for maximum effectiveness.  Do not forget to hydrate before, during and after your workout.  This particular smoothie has a lot of fiber in it.  Metabolizing this amount of fiber may take additional fluid, keep this in mind during the day and drink some extra water to compensate.

Lunch Salad
4 oz. spinach(28 cal.)
5 oz. cucumber(16 cal.)
1 avocado(180 cal.)
1 oz. sunflower seeds(165 cal.)
2 Tsb. thousand island dressing(90 cal.)
total=479 cal.

Dinner
Chicken and peppers(447 cal.)

For those of us just starting out, today’s workout is:
1/2 mile walk, this is the warm up, then
Burpees-Stand up straight with hands at your side. Get down into the pushup position and then get back up and clap your hands over head, that’s one.
3 sets of 10 Burpees

Links:
Grace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydeCu7W1VRc
Burpee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhJ3nQH-y9M
5×5 System in all it’s glory: http://stronglifts.com/5×5/

If you have any questions please ask, I would be happy to answer them if I can, or suggest someone who is smarter and better looking than I am to give you the answer you are looking for.

Day 6- Recovery: The Real Workout

300.4

Recovery: The Real Workout

When we work out to achieve our fitness goals we push ourselves mentally and physically. We are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and a general feeling of well-being that lasts well after the workout. If we push ourselves hard enough physically, stress adaptations will occur in our bodies. Muscles will be worked harder and longer than they are used to and this will cause some minor tearing of the muscle fibers and also some localized inflammation in the muscle. This is both natural and necessary for us to get stronger and more fit. Discomfort during a workout is normal as well as some post workout discomfort related to the stresses we expose our bodies to.

Lactic acid is formed in the muscles when they reach their aerobic threshold and the body can no longer supply enough oxygen to produce the needed energy. At this point glycogen is recruited to supply this greater energy need and lactic acid is produced as a result. The ‘burn’ that you feel when working at this intensity level is a combination of oxygen deprivation and lactic acid accumulation. As the stresses are removed the oxygen levels return to normal and within a half an hour to an hour lactic acid is dispersed into the rest of the body. Lactic acid is extremely soluble in water so adequate hydration before, during and after a workout aids the natural removal process.

Rule of thumb: Always hydrate ahead of thirst, once you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated and you’ll never catch up.

DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness is often blamed on lactic acid buildup in the muscles but is nearly always caused by microtears and related inflammation in the muscle fibers due to the stress of working out.  Proper nutrition pre and post workout will help keep this to a minimum and allow healthy muscle growth during recovery.  Sufficient amounts of essential fatty acids in your diet will help reduce inflammation post workout.  B-vitamins and magnesium are also necessary for effective recovery.  Whey isolate protein shakes taken immediately after a workout are a good idea, a 0.8g carbs/0.2 g. protein per kg. body wt. formula is said to be most effective in replenishing the body’s glycogen stores.(150# person=55 g. carbs/14 g. protein)

The single most effective part of a successful recovery strategy is sleep. Plan 7 or more hours of sleep as religiously as you would program your next workout. Some things cannot be rushed and a goodly portion of muscle recovery is one of them. You simply cannot soar with the eagles if you are out all night with a bunch of turkeys.

Eggs and Chorizo with Cheese
3 eggs(216 cal.)
4 oz. chorizo(285 cal.)
1.5 oz. queso fresca(120 cal.)
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)
total=865 cal.

Rare Lunch Out
6 Wing Stop Boneless wings(504 cal.)
1 sm. fries(400 cal.)
total=904 cal.

Cheat snack
Chocolate shake(800 cal.)

Random link about the benefits of coconut oil, of course do your own research:
http://eatlocalgrown.com/2-coconut-oil.html?c=JER&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=postplanner&utm_source=facebook.com

Active recovery day: Don’t sit around, go to the mall, play with the dog, do sometime fun.

Day 5- The Low Down On Low Impact

302.6

Let’s talk about buzzwords, specifically these two words, low impact, as they relate to exercise and fitness in general. Low impact refers to an activity that will not sever your spine, liquify a kidney or cause one or both legs to fall off. I’m kidding there, a little, but seriously there are really 3 low impact exercises: walking, swimming and cycling. Without the interference of an outside force it is almost impossible to hurt yourself doing any of these activities. As long as you start slow and work up gradually to the level you wish to achieve. Let’s say on day one you walked 100 yards and every day after that you walked an additional 100 yards. You would literally run out of daylight before you reached the limit of your endurance. It would take you two and a half weeks to get to a mile a day, which would take you about 20 minutes. At the one year mark you would be walking about five hours at a time, probably less because you will be walking faster now. I don’t know how slow you would have to start out swimming to do the same, maybe 20 or 25 yards but it is interesting still.
I know for a fact that cycling endurance has one limiting factor above all others, that is how long you can stay in the saddle, that can only be trained so much. Cycling uses fast twitch and slow twitch muscles, fast twitch for slow, out of the saddle climbing and slow twitch muscles for the continuous quick pedal turnover of long, flat stretches and down hill portions of the ride. Early on I thought that it was peculiar that fast twitch muscles were used in the slower uphill parts of the ride but it was explained to me that out of the saddle stomping on the pedals was similar to weightlifting in the method of muscle recruitment. Rapid pedal turnover is accomplished by simultaneously pushing one leg down while pulling up with the other, neither one a maximum effort, just quick and repetitive, therefore the recruitment of only slow twitch muscle tissue. Here is the key to longer(more fun) bike rides: if you have to climb a hill, stay in the saddle and get a slower gear, more pedaling less rolling, rather than coming out of the saddle. When you stay in the saddle you force your body to use slow twitch muscles which recover quickly, when you use your fast twitch muscles, they only recover with sleep, once they are gone, they will stay gone until morning. As long as you keep the blood flowing through them by pedaling, the slow twitch muscles will recover with a minute or two of reduced effort or coasting. I don’t like to stay on a bike more than 10 miles at a time, I take frequent breaks, and then I can enjoy the ride. In my favorite ride of the year, the HH100, there are 14 rest stops in the 100 mile course and I stop at every one. It is a major rush to finish this ride but there is no prize for ‘died trying’.

Temperature during this ride was 95F/35C. This is training for the epic HHH century ride at the end of August.

Can-appl-oupe smoothie

2 granny smith apples(206 cal.)
1/2 cantaloupe(75 cal.)
1 cup water
total=281 cal.

Put water in blender. Core apples and blend on medium until you have an applesauce consistency. Halve the cantaloupe, scoop out seeds, cut in slices and then peel, make chunks and add to blender. Another 20 seconds on medium speed and you should be ready to go. This will fairly fill the blender jar. I usually drink one large glass of smoothie right then. I keep 2 quart plastic cups in the freezer with about 3 inches of ice in the bottom for ice water during the day, filling one of these up with the rest of the smoothie mixture makes a brilliant agua fresca!!

Tasty Salad

4 oz. fresh spinach(28 cal.)
4 oz. avocado(180 cal.)
5 oz. cucumber(16 cal.)
1 oz. sunflower seeds, finely chopped(165 cal.)
4 Tbs. Italian dressing(120 cal.)
total=509 cal.

I am here to tell you, this is yummy!  I split the avocado and then scored the inside, turned the skin inside out and viola! Repeat for other side and you’ve peeled and sliced an avocado and not made a big, green mess. I have a cutter for shoestring potatoes, I used the smallest blade and made spiral spaghetti out of the cucumber, it looks really cool. 4 tablespoons is too much italian, maybe half that next time.

Dinner-bad example

8 oz. cooked chicken thighs(472 cal.)
2 Tbs. Sweet Chili Sauce(200 cal.)
total=672 cal.

Had to cook off chicken thighs for coming week, too lazy to actually put together a meal. On the up side, the chili sauce is amazing, it really tastes good on lots of stuff. A note on chicken thighs: the place I shop has chicken thighs for $1.27 a lb. in 5# plus trays. The yield on skinning and boning your own thighs is right around 3:2, for every 3 pounds you bone, you get 2 pounds of boneless which works out to just less than $2 a pound, much better than the price if the store does it, $3.68/lb.

A quick tutorial on deboning chicken thighs. Pull the skin off one side. With a thin, sharp blade follow the attached skin and cut away the extra fat on both sides of the thigh. Next, there is a small piece of joint and tendon left behind when they separate the joint on one end, that end is usually flat. Looking down at the flat end place the point of the knife to one side of the small piece next to the bone and with the blade facing away from you cut under the piece at an angle outwards. Do the same on the other side of the joint and you will have cut out a triangular bit with the small bone and most of the tendon, pick it free and discard. Run the knife blade down the thigh from one joint to the other and with the tip of the knife, start scraping the meat off of the bone until it all comes free. You may have to cut around one of the joints to free the thigh entirely.

Late night snack
chicken, peppers and rice(leftovers)(447 cal.)

Take that dog for a walk, do about a mile and relax, you’ve earned it.

Day 4- Taking A Better Look

302.4

Now that we are developing better habits, what are these habits going to do for us? I for one am becoming very aware of what I eat and what is in it. It helps a great deal that I make almost all of the food that I eat and that that food is very basic, that is, not processed in any way. Raw chicken, raw vegetables, of course the sauces and dressings are premade but you draw a line for time and your own ability. I personally would love to make my own salad dressings but I have not one clue how to start doing that just yet. I said ‘yet’. The reason I would make my own dressing is not to reduce calories per say, more to change the type of fat and really, the taste. After all, if I like it, I am going to eat it.

Let’s talk about dietary fat for a moment. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet, the fat that you eat allows your body to function properly. Without going into specifics let me say this about what dietary fat does NOT do. When you eat food with fat in it, that fat does not pass through the stomach lining as fat, enter the blood stream as fat and travel to your hips/butt/abs and get deposited there unchanged. I am no expert, so I am going to stop there, just don’t fear fat, that’s all I’m saying.

BMR-
Basic Metabolic Rate. This is the rate at which your body processes the calories in the food that we eat. Below you will find a calculator that will take your height, weight, age and gender and give a basic number of calories that your body needs every day. But wait, there’s more. Once you have that number, go to the link that’s right below the form you just filled out and do the Harris/Benedict calculation, which takes into consideration your level of physical activity to more acurately predict your daily calorie needs.
http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

This number is just a guide. It was developed by people doing research that have never met you so it is at best, a guess. Calorically speaking, one pound of fat contains 3500 calories, if you eat 3500 calories less than your body needs to maintain your current weight, you should weigh one pound less. Here is a better idea of why your daily weight number is really just a number. You eat 3500 calories less, your weight did not go down 1 pound, why not?
1)Water retention: You should be drinking between a half and one gallon of water a day. Your bodies biological machine uses water for everything, energy production, food synthesis, it is the oil for the engine that is you. When you dehydrate, it takes more energy for the heart to pump blood, other processes become more difficult, etc. Hydration is not perfect, water in equals water out for the most part but there is no perfect way to tell when that time is.
2)Solid food elimination. Enough said.
3)Muscle building: When you force adaptation through exercise, your body builds/rebuilds muscle fiber, which is considerably more dense than fat. If you eat less and are more active you may gain weight even though you are consuming less calories because the fat you are burning is being replaced by muscle fiber.

My breakfast, lunch and dinner breaks down like this:

Chicken Omelette
6.25 oz. chicken thigh meat, roasted(354 cal.)
4 eggs(288 cal.)
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)
12 oz. 2% milk(183 cal.)
total 865 cal.
Just something easy that also gets rid of pesky leftovers in the fridge, win/win.

Salad for lunch
5 oz. spinach (35 cal.)
4 oz. tuna, canned (90 cal.)
2 Tbs. parmesan cheese (60 cal.)
4 Tbs. ranch dressing (260 cal.)
total 445 cal.

Lazy dinner
chicken, peppers and rice(leftovers)(447 cal.)
This is from the recipe the other day, tastes great the second time as well.

I spent an hour in the gym doing upper body movements. I call any day without squats a light day. This workout is designed to preexhaust the muscles that assist the pecs in the bench press, so that I can get an adaptation response with a lighter weight and fully work the arms and shoulders at the same time.

3 sets 10 reps French Curl 65#
3 sets 10 reps Reverse Curls 65#
3 sets 10 reps Bicep Curl 65#
Main workout
5 sets 5 reps Bench Press 135#

This took around an hour, got a good sweat on, it was easily 100 degrees in the gym.

Try this, you can hate me later.
Take a one mile walk and after you are warmed up:
Lunges 3 sets of 10 reps(5 each leg)
Step forward and kneel with the rear leg until the knee just touches the floor. Recover and repeat on the other side. Do not try and do all of these at once, take at least a minute rest between sets.

Day 3- A New Body The Hard Way, Change One Thing

304.8

At this point, diet is so much more important than exercise a few small changes can show gains or in our case losses almost immediately. The weight that we record in the top right corner of each day’s journal is a reminder only, results will show up in the long-term changes we make to how we approach eating. We will begin to feel healthier long before any visual signs appear.

Breakfast was one of my worst diet meals. You name something that you shouldn’t eat and I would have a ton of it before 8 a.m.. Slowly I am changing that, I have eliminated processed foods and make everything myself. Here is an example:

Scrambled eggs w/ jalapeños on corn tortillas:
6 white corn tortillas(300 cal.)
1 large jalapeño, seeded and deveined(8 cal.)
4 eggs(308 cal.)
1 Tbs. Coconut oil(120 cal.)

Seed and devein a large jalapeño, dice it and cook on medium heat with 1 tsp. of coconut oil. When the pepper pieces start to brown, add 4 eggs and scramble. When eggs are done to your taste, put on plate and set aside. Wipe out pan, add 2 tsp. of coconut oil and heat both sides of each tortilla one at a time.

I use coconut oil almost exclusively, it’s still fat, but it’s good fat. It looks like crisco when cool but turns to liquid at around 76 degrees F. Good quality coconut oil, like LouAnn, is around $7 a jar, I use a lot of it but it still takes several months to run out.

As you can see, better breakfast requires some planning. Fresh vegetables are not expensive but you do have to eat them soon after purchase. Eggs look like they last forever but they do not, still a dozen can be gone through in a week without really trying. 736 calories for breakfast, not bad for a start. Replace jalapeños with any combination of veggies that you want, give your breakfast wings!

4 oz. Spinach, fresh(28 cal.)
2 oz. sunflower seeds, chopped(330 cal.)
4 Tsb. Italian dressing (160 cal.)

I use chopped spinach in my salads, it has more character than the conventional lettuces/lettuci? and it isn’t bitter like kale, the super food. Finely chopped sunflower seeds add good fats and they add a bit of fun to the salad. If I am using Italian dressing then a sprinkle or three of parmesan cheese, with ranch dressing sliced avocado(more good fat) is wonderful. I worked in food service for years and made gallons of guacamole and never even tried avocados by themselves, they are now one of my favorite foods to eat and experiment with.

2 lb. chicken breast, cubed (992 cal.)
4 Jalapeños, seeded and julienned (32 cal.)
1 med. onion, sliced (48 cal.))
2 cups Minute rice (340 cal.)
1 Tsp. coconut oil (80 cal.)
4 tsp. soy sauce (30 cal.)
2 Tbs. sriracha pepper sauce (40 cal.)
3 Tbs. sweet chili sauce(105 cal.)

I don’t have a name for this, I just threw it together one day and it was good and I kept it around. I use brown rice if I have any but any rice will do. When you have the rice and water on to boil add a couple of drops of sesame oil, it adds a beautiful aroma to the rice. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat, prep and add the jalapeños and then the onion. Move them occasionally so that they soften evenly. Dice up the chicken and add it to pan. Season with soy sauce, sriracha and sweet chili sauce. Stir frequently to make sure that chicken sears on all sides. When you can’t see any raw spots on the chicken reduce heat and let simmer about a half an hour. If you do brown rice and start it first, the chicken will be done when the rice is, about an hour total. As written, this recipe makes 4 servings at about 417 calories each.

Take a walk today, get a good look at the outside world and then write it down. Now that you are warmed up, try this. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms straight ahead, palms facing the floor. Focus on spot on the floor about ten feet in front of you, push your butt out and squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, stand up and repeat until you have done ten total. These are called air squats, now do this two more times with a short pause between sets of ten. If you are a stranger to exercise you won’t feel anything right now, you will probably feel it tomorrow. That feeling is your muscles adapting to new stress, get used to it, it’s your new best friend.