Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Get back into the zone...

Yesterday’s Meals:

3oz Chicken
1 grapefruit
.5 cup grapes
3Tbs. Avocado
=3 Blocks

2.5oz Chicken
1 cucumber sliced
1 yellow bell pepper
.5 cup salsa
2.5Tbs Avocado
=2.5 Blocks

1.5oz ground Buffalo
.5 cup salsa
1Tbs Avocado
=1 Block

1/3 chocolate Cliffbar’s Builder Bar
1 Chicken sausage
.5 Apple
2 cups Broccoli & Cauliflower
1/4Tbs peanut butter
=2.5 Blocks

9 Total Zone Blocks

Yesterday’s workout @ Crossfit Oakland: “Grace”
(I was all but graceful while doing this wod yesterday)

30 Clean & Jerks for time (Rx’d weight is 95lbs for women): 11:36 @ 80lbs
The last time I did this wod was 9/21/07 (4 months ago). I was 2.5 minutes faster 4 months ago, but it was with 65lbs versus 80 which explains the longer time. My hope is to soon be able to do this workout at the prescribed women’s weight, so I don’t mind taking a slower time in exchange.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Confessional

I had a college buddy visiting this weekend and went way outta the zone. In fact, I couldn't even see the zone from where I was.
I've been dreading this post because I feel super guilty not to mention gross, about all the damage I did in just a few days. However, I think its only fair that I share.
***Please don't try this at home folks.
Alright so here it goes...

Friday: 2 pints of IPA

Saturday: 2 glasses of wine, 1 glass of Champagne, 3 Gin Martinis, 1 shot of JD, 1 shot of Patron, Chocolate cake, cheese pizza and unknown number of Oreo cookies.

Today: 2 glasses of wine, a giant hamburger w/ cheese & bacon and finally a large piece of Taramisu.

Tomorrow I promise to break this self destructive cycle and find my way back into the zone.

Workout today @ Crossfit Oakland- "Cindy"
How many rounds in 20min of:
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 squats
=10 rounds + 2 push-ups
The push-ups were brutal and really slowed me down, or perhaps it was all the booze.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What is a carbohydrate, really?

A recent conversion with fellow crossfitter/zoner has prompted this post on carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are 40% of each zone meal, the other 60% are comprised of equal portions of fat and protein, thus making carbohydrates a key component to get right as it makes up most of your meals.

Personally, I believe that carbohydrates are the preeminent factor in determining your success with the Zone. The carbohydrates you choose to eat will make or break your diet. Remember guys, you can still eat potato chips and be in the zone!

For those of you who have not yet read up on the Zone or have no interest in reading Sear's books, you can still be a successful zoner as long as you remember that not all carbs are created equal. Not only is it important, but it is essential to select carbohydrates with a low glycemic index while still maintaining zone portions. Glycemic Index is the rate at which carbohydrates are converted into glucose. It is based on a 0-100 rating system with 100 being the high end. Carbs with a high GI convert to glucose quickly; spiking blood sugar levels causing an immediate insulin response. The downfall is that an overproduction of insulin will signal your body to STORE fat! In other words, high GI carbs=big gut.

What is a carbohydrate? Fruit, vegetables, starch, grains, legumes and dairy (also has protein). (Most fruits and vegetables have a low Glycemic Index)

What is protein? Anything that once had a face.

What is fat? Nuts, avocado, oils and butter

Check out the zone block chart to the left for a detailed list and the block prescription for each.

Here is an interesting article published by the Harvard school of Public Health on GI:

Meals today:
3 hard boiled eggs
1 Grapefruit
1/2 an Apple
.5 Tbs. peanut butter
=3 Blocks

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


As usual, I use the Crossfit rest day, the day following the third day of a workout cycle, to work on my lifts. On most days, I strictly follow Mark Rippetoe's 5x5 scheme that he so thoroughly lays out in Starting Strength.

Yesterday was a particularly good day, in that I set a new PR in power cleans: 3/4 my bodyweight for 3 reps! Better yet, this fulfills one of the goals on the CrossFit skills Assessment guide for "Intermediate Athlete/ Level II". I'm super stoked!

Yesterday's workout/ Crossfit Oakland:

5x5 Back squat @ 105lbs. & 3x5 Power Cleans @ 86lbs. (PR)

Today's Meals:
2oz Salmon
.5 cup Berry Bliss
4 Tbs fresh salsa (tomato, onion, cilantro)
=2 zone blocks

2oz Roast Beef
.5 Grapefruit
1.5 cup steamed Broccoli
.5 cup Blackberries
2 Tbs. Avocado
=2 zone blocks

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I've decided I need to cook at home more.
Here are meals for yesterday:

Bellwether Farm's Sheep Yogurt (my new favorite thing)
1oz sliced Turkey breast
1 cup Organic Blackberries
=2 zone blocks

2oz sliced Turkey breast
Frozen berries w/ Almond meal & Flaxseed meal
=2 zone blocks

1/3 Clifbar's Builder Bar (protein bar)
2 hard boiled eggs
1 apple
2 macadamia nuts
=3 zone blocks

2oz Prather Ranch Lamb (photo above)
1/2 cup Pineapple
1/4 cup Onion, bell pepper, broccoli, Shitake mushrooms
2 Tbs. Avocado
=2 zone blocks

Total Blocks for Monday= 9

Workout/Crossfit Oakland : How many rounds in 20 min?
5 Handstand push-ups (to target)
10 L Pull-ups (kipping)
15 walking lunges
=4 rounds + 5 Handstand push-ups
This was the first time I had done the L pull-ups with a kip, previously I did jumping pull-ups with a L negative. Also, I feel like I got a lot more range of motion on my push-ups than ever before.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A great catch!

For those of you who haven't joined the Zone cult yet...what the heck are you waiting for?!!!!

At the zone support group dinner held at Crossfit Oakland this weekend, there was a discussion on fish oil and the benefits of supplementing zone meals with this golden elixir.

Here is a list of 7 positive effects fish oil has on your body:
(Taken from EzineArticles)

1. Less Pain and Inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly EPA, have a very positive effect on your inflammatory response. Through several mechanisms, they regulate your body's inflammation cycle, which prevents and relieves painful conditions like arthritis, prostatitis, cystitis and anything else ending in "itis."

2. Cardiovascular Health. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been proven to work wonders for your heart and the miles and miles of arteries and veins that make up your cardiovascular system. They help to lower cholesterol, tryglicerides, LDLs and blood pressure, while at the same time increasing good HDL cholesterol. This adds years to your life expectancy.

3. Protection from Stroke and Heart Attack. When plaque builds up on arterial walls and then breaks loose, it causes what's known as a thrombosis, which is a fancy way of saying clot. If a clot gets stuck in the brain, it causes a stroke and when it plugs an artery, it causes a heart attack. Research shows omega 3 fatty acids break up clots before they can cause any damage.

4. Better Brain Function and Higher Intelligence. Pregnant and nursing mothers can have a great impact on the intelligence and happiness of their babies by supplementing with fish oil. For adults, omega 3 improves memory, recall, reasoning and focus.

5. Less Depression and Psychosis. Psychiatry department researchers at the University of Sheffield, along with many other research studies, found that omega 3 fish oil supplements "alleviate" the symptoms of depression, bipolar and psychosis (Journal of Affective Disorder Vol. 48(2-3);149-55).

6. Lower Incidence of Childhood Disorders.

7. Reduction of Breast, Colon and Prostate Cancer. They stop the alteration from a normal healthy cell to a cancerous mass, inhibiting unwanted cellular growth and causing apoptosis, or cellular death, of cancer cells.

Aside from eating in the Zone, fish oil supplements puts you a giant step closer to reaching optimal health! So, chug away my friends!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Enough's enough!

So after having taken L-Glutamine supplements for about a month now, I think I'm gonna call it quits. The truth is those damn pills make me jolt to the toilet every half an hour, especially before a work out. To my surprise, the research on the side effects of L-Glutamine claimed to be the opposite of what I was experiences. In fact, L-Glutamine was recommended for use in suppressing diarrhea! Crazy!

Although I will continue taking Arginine supplements and fish oil regularly, I am confident that a well balanced diet should produce sufficient levels of glutamine to support muscle recovery/growth without taking additional supplements. Just another reason for me to stick to my coveted 10 zone blocks/day.
Yesterday's Meals:
1) 7:45am
3oz Turkey breast
1 Grapefruit
1 kiwi
3 tbs. Avocado

2) 12:45pm
2.5oz Birria
2 Red bellpeppers
1/2 Salsa
2.5 tbs. Avocado
2 tbs. Hommus

3) 5:30pm
2 Turkey meatballs
1oz Swiss Cheese
1 cup Marinara sauce
1/2 an Apple

4) 9:30pm
Sm. Ceaser Salad
1/3 Builder's bar
Total Zone blocks consumed =10

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Day 4

Okay so I let it myself cheat a little over the holidays, big deal. Alright maybe a lot, but lemme tell you, I enjoyed every minute of it!
Its time to get serious now, for real. I have some major fitness gains to achieve this year and I'm not gonna let a little holiday wieght slow me down. Now that I've finally gotten all of that partying, eating, drinking and celebrating out of my system I'm going super strict zone for as long as I can stand it.

I know firsthand that whatever I put in my body will have a direct and immediate effect on my performance at the gym. Today marks my fourth day of strict zone eating
Yesterday's Meals:

1 Chicken Sausage (gluten-free)
1 cup Organic Blueberries
Coffee w/cream (fat source)
=2 Blocks
3oz Turkey Breast
1 Cucumber (sliced)
1 Apple
3 tbs. Organic Avocado
=3 Blocks
2oz Turkey Breast
2 Tangerines
6 Almonds
=2 Blocks
4.5oz Ground Lamb
Lrg. Green Salad
1 Organic Pear
=3 Blocks
Total Blocks for Monday 1/14=10

Yesterday's Workout: Crossfit Oakland:
Shoulder Press 3 sets of 5 (60#) only got 4 each set :(
Power Cleans 2 sets of 3 (84#)
Deadhang Pullups 3x3

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I spent the day with my parents today and was stoked to see the large pot of goat meat they brought me (along with about 358 eggs). My parents live on a ranch in Ukiah where they breed goats and chickens. On occasion my dad will slaughter a goat and make Birria. Birria is goat meat slow-roasted in the ground overnight. Its a Mexican thing.
My dad literally digs a hole in the ground, builds a fire in it and then gets up at 2am to keep an eye on the meat. He also makes a delicious red salsa that compliments the meat nicely. I looked up the nutrition facts about goat meat and was delighted to see that it is a very lean and healthy source of protein. And its yummy!
From the United States Department of Agriculture :
3-oz. serving of cooked goat meat has 122 calories, 2.6 grams of fat, 23 grams protein and 63.8 milligrams of cholesterol.
The same size serving of chicken has 162 calories, 6.3 grams fat, 25 grams protein and 76 milligrams of cholesterol.

Now who's gonna help me eat all this meat??

Workout Today: CrossFit Oakland Pull-up ladder= 10+9 (pr)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thanks for the feedback Tom and Tim, very wise words from you both. And yes, I do agree that I could really benefit from more rest in between workouts. I have a really bad habit of wanting to hit it hard as much as possible with as little rest as my body allows me to. My motto tends to be: if I'm not sore or limping then I can do the wod. I have been trying to be more conscience of giving myself some more rest. However, as I reflect on my last week of training I can see that perhaps I have been depriving my body of some well-deserved rest.

Friday 1/4: Last Rest day

Saturday 1/5: Tabata Something else (278)

Sunday 1/6: Power Cleans 5x5 (80#), Shoulder Press 5x5 (59#), Dead hang pull-ups (max #)

Monday 1/7: Front Squat 10x1

Tuesday 1/8: Cindy (11+3 push ups)

Today 1/9: ????? I think I should probably take a rest day

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Reality Check

Yesterday's wod made me wanna cry and scream at the same time!!! What I meant to say was that it really put things into perspective for me. The wod on the CrossFit site was Front Squat 10x1 the last time I had done this workout was on July 11, 2007-the same day I started the zone.
7/11/07 I worked up to 131 pounds for my final rep

1/7/08 65/75/85/90/90/95/100 (failed)/100 (failed)/ 97 (failed)/97

That is a down a whopping 34 pounds from the previous time! Granted I am about 12 pounds leaner than I was on July 11th, I was still disappointed to see how much my weight loss has effected my squat. Don't get me wrong, I am sooo glad I started zoning and I am much healthier now, but 34 pounds????? Errrrrrr!!!!

3 oz Pastrami
1.5 cups Berries w/ Almond meal & Flax seed meal
=3 Blocks

3oz Pastrami
1 Apple
5 Cherries
1.5 cups Steamed Broccoli
3 Tbs Avocado
=3 Blocks

3oz Chicken
2 cups Brussels sprouts
1 cup broccoli
.5 cup grapes
3 Tbs Guacamole
=3 Blocks

Sunday, January 6, 2008

New PR!

After months of being stuck at 57 pounds, I have finally set a new PR for my 5 rep max Shoulder Press! Wooohooo!
Today's new personal record= 59 pounds!!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Think yourself thin?

Like most mornings, I was tuned into NPR before heading to work and listened in on a program on the placebo effect and its ties to weight loss. Alix Speigel was speaking to Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer who recently published a study in which she experiments with weight loss using the placebo effect on hotel maids. First, Langar conducts a survey and surprisingly finds that more than a third of the maids polled don't consider themselves physically active, even though their job require them to perform demanding physical tasks all day long.
When she informs half of the group that they are in fact exercising far beyond the recommendations of the U.S. Surgeon General and of how many calories are burned during each working day, a wonderful thing happens. The group that is informed actually looses weight! When she goes back a month later she finds that these maids had decreased their systolic blood pressure, and waist-to-hip ratio. There was no change in the uninformed group.
So, according to Langar, "if you believe you are exercising, your body may respond as if it is. It's the same as if you believe you are getting medication when you are actually getting a sugar pill — your body can sometimes respond as if a placebo is actually working".
Here is a link to the program in case you gotta hear this for yourself:

3oz Baked Salmon
1 grapefruit
1 cup of Coffee w/ cream (fat source)
=2 Blocks

1 Hard boiled egg, 1 egg white
Large Spinach salad with almonds & pinenuts
1 Tangerine
=2 Blocks

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Happy & Healthy New Year

It's a new year and you know what that means....resolutions! As I begin to come up with resolutions for the new year, I think its important to first reflect on what I acheived in 2007:

Kipping pull-ups
Dead hang pull-up
For the 1st time the following WOD's as Rx'd; Angie, Helen, Barbara, Fran, Murph

To realize in the New Year:
10 kipping pull-ups consecutively
Ring Dips
And last but not least, I hope to stay in the Zone

Wish me luck!

Your genes load the gun but your lifestyle pulls the trigger. -Dr. Houston