Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kicking the Habit

As I sit down to sip my hot, organic lemon-ginger tulsi tea (take that Starbucks), I am reminded that today marks my 30th day without coffee and chewing gum. When I first decided to give my two vices the boot I had some serious doubt that I could survive without either one-especially gum. After the initial withdrawal symptoms from the coffee, the transition wasn’t so bad. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times when I am captured by the smell of a fresh pot of coffee and find myself staring longingly into the pot. And I do miss my kiwi-mandarin Trident gum, especially when I’m craving something sweet after lunch. Now that I’ve successfully completed 1 month free of coffee and gum, I feel like I can do anything!

When I started the Holistic Nutrition Education program at Bauman College, I quickly became aware of the potentially harmful effects of all sorts of junk that we put in our bodies. In my case, it was the sorbitol and other synthetic chemicals in chewing gum coupled with the absorbent amounts of caffeine, in the form of coffee, that were the main culprits.

The Good News: For the first time in a LONG time, I did not have menstrual cramps this month. This makes it all worth it! I remember the pain last month all too well and am thrilled to not have to re-live it. And, lucky for my friends and family, not chewing gum all the time has resulted in no more burps! OK, maybe a few tiny ones here and there.

Today's Meals:
Breakfast 8:45AM
3 Eggs scrambled w/ Kale and Tomato
1 piece of Bacon
5 Macadamia Nuts
3.5 protein/1 carb/ 8 fat (?)
Lunch 11:45PM
3oz Turkey breast
Fresh Tomato w/ Hummus
1 Peach
Peanut Butter
3 protein/1.5 carb/7 fat

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gettin' on track

On Friday nite I had myself a cheat meal. I had just completed the first week of my strength cycle and was feeling the need to splurge. Besides, I really couldn't resist my sister's homemade chocolate chip cookies. They were tasty, but I regreted it the next morning when I woke up with a huge tummy ache. It's been awhile since I've had a reaction that bad- my body's way of telling me that it doesn't want sugar and flour, regardless of how good it tastes. Needless to say, I spent the first part of my morning in agony. A few trips to the toilet and I was feeling well enough to hit the track for some sprints...

For the next few weeks, I will be focusing on strength as I mentioned in the previous post. Here's what it will look like:

Monday & Friday
5x5 Backsquat or Front Squat (alternating)
5x5 Press or Bench (alternating)
5x5 Weighted Pull-up or Weighted Ring Dips (alternating)
Finisher: 5-10min of a heavy metcon like Fat Cindy, or 1 round of FGB @ men's weight.

Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday off

5x3 Squat Cleans or Squat Snatch (alternating)
OR, Deadlifts
Finisher: 10min metcon at normal weight focusing on intensity.

8 Sprints: 30 seconds on followed by 90 seconds of rest.

Last week went pretty well. However, I must admit that refraining from the long(er) CF wods is a lot harder than I thought it would be. But, I know that in order to get adequate recovery between lifting days I have to do this.

Diet: No major changes here, except that I am eating unlimited fat blocks and keeping carbs low except for post workout meals. Paleo foods 10 blocks with lots of extra fat for now, but I may bump up myself up to 11 blocks if I can't make my weight increases.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back to Basics

About a year ago I attended the Mark Rippetoes's Basic Barbell Certification seminar. Ripp along with Lon Kilgore, lead a 2 day seminar where they taught the power lifts (backsquat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press, power clean) and discussed the value of incorporating these lifts into one's exercise program to further improve overall strength. Rippetoe made it very clear that the squat in particular is especially critical in developing strength, stating that, "few things are graven in stone, except that you have to squat or you're a pussy."

Moving along, I have decided to really focus on my lifts again. After a period of linear progression, I've finally come to a standstill on my lifts. Rather than whine about it, and deliberately go out of my way to avoid backsquats, I am going after it with everything I got! There is simply too much to lose to just give up that easily. I discovered this excerpt on women and training on the strengthmill blog:

"It has been my experience that women progress exactly as men do, but at a slower rate. Adaptation is a trans-sex phenomenon, and we all progress in a linear fashion, testosterone or not. But in realizing the different rate of adaptation said hormones allow, you also realize that the small plates cannot wait even one more workout. These little jewels allow your progress to behave the same as a man's in terms of its linearity, instead of being stuck for 2-3 workouts as a matter of course. You can use 2" flat washers glued together to make up the plates you need inexpensively, so do this tomorrow." Here is another article he wrote on this topic.


Backsquat 5X5 @ 124 pounds 5-5-3 - I am going to attempt this same weight today.

Shoulder Press 5X5 @ 69 pounds 4-3-4

Today's Food
3 eggs scrambled w/ carrot, yellow squash and spinach
6 Almonds
1/2 Tbs Peanut Butter
= 3P/1.5C/4F

Salmon, canned
Raw sea Sauerkraut
Cabbage Salad w/ walnut oil & vinegar
1/4 cup Grapes
9 Almonds
= 3P/2C/6F

Saturday, October 18, 2008

3 Days On!

I just finished the final day of my 3 day workout cycle and boy am I pooped!

4 Rounds of:
10 Power Snatches
15 Pull-ups
20 Thrusters

AM workout
6 rounds+9 push-ups
w/ 20lb weight vest

PM workout
worked up to a set of 5 at 160

Angela's Snatch Clinic
Lots of good healthy practice.

"Filthy 50"

I felt really good to get back into the gym after being sick for bit. I think it actually may have helped my recovery. Well, I am off to have a humongous cheat meal! I'll be taking a rest day tomorrow as I will be in Milpitas for the BGDC show down. Lets wish our fellow CFOers well!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lunchtime at the office...

My lunch provoked much curiosity around the office today. It doesn't look very appealing because of the color and consistency but it sure is tasty! I got the recipe from one of my instructors at Bauman College but she may have taken it from another source. She calls it Beet & Carrot Slaw and she made it on our first day of class. I don't normally eat raw vegetables, not because I don't like them but simply because I haven't discovered many ways to prepare them. It's a lame excuse and in the future will make more of an effort to find more recipes. After all, I do believe we should enjoy foods in their most natural form. I happened to have A TON of carrots and beets from my dad's garden so I made a bunch of it last nite. And I mean a bunch!

2-3 Beets, peeled
2-3 Carrots, sliced
1-2 Apples, cored & sliced
Lemon Juice
Unsweetened grated Coconut
Sea Salt
Olive oil

Its very simple to make, but it can be a bit time consuming (pls don't let that stop you). In a food processor, coarsely chop the first 4 ingredients in the order in which they are listed. Place them into a large bowl as you chop. Add in the lemon juice, coconut, sea salt and oil and mix well. As a nice final touch you can grate some lemon peel on top. Its best served cold.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not just the Monday blues

Ugh, I hate to admit it, but I have definately caught the nasty bug that's going around. My week of clean eating and lots of sleep couldn't ward off this one. I felt it coming on all last week and this Saturday I woke up to a stuffy nose, sore throat and lots of sneezing (I sound like a Nyquil commericial). It took it easy this weekend, just planted myself on the couch and cuddled to a book all day on Saturday. Then at 4:45pm I thought it would be a good idea to get my body moving a bit...

800m Run
21 Shoulder Press #65
800m Run
21 Push-press #65
800 Run
21 Push Jerks #65

Time 20:59

The run was awful as a result of the congestion but my shoulder press felt pretty strong. Surprisingly I finished 2 minutes faster than the previous time I did this.

Sunday I took the day off from CF and spent the day in Ukiah with my family. We celebrated my nephew's 9th birthday! He's in pictured above blowing out his candles, unfortunetly you can't see his face because he's currently growing his hair out. Its THE new look, in case you didn't know. I was feeling good after resisting the Pete's coffee and so I treated myself to a piece of birthday cake. It was yummy...I even chased it with some protein to curb the effect of the sugar. It was so nice to spend some time with my family, I wish we could have stayed longer. We spent the rest of the day rummaging in my dad's garden, gathering up the last bit of Summer's gifts. I'll be posting some recipes soon...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Attn: Nutrition Heads

Nutrition Data is a useful site for those of you who'd like to, as their slogan says, know what you eat! You simply type in the name of the food and within seconds it spits out all of the nutritional information for that particular food. Oddly, I discovered this website last nite while looking for the nutritional profile of Spaghetti Squash. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of the vegetables featured in any of my Zone books, but I'm not surprised.

Today's Meals:

8:00AM (19 min)
3 Eggs
1 cup Cauliflower, steamed
1 cup Strawberries
1 Nectarine
1 Tbs. Peanut Butter
Green Tea
= 3P/2.25C/5F

12:15PM (9 min)
3 oz Turkey, sliced deli-meat
1 Tangerine
1 cup Spaghetti Squash, baked (salt, pepper & olive oil)
1/2 cup Strawberries
1/2 Tbs. Kalamata Olive Spread
= 3P/2.5C/4F
Status Update: Today marks the end of my 1st week without caffeine, sugar, gluten or dairy:)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Beyond Food Blocks

My first homework assignment for school was to keep a Food Journal for 7 days recording not only foods & beverages, but energy level, mood, location, duration and with whom you were dinning. As someone who regularly keeps a food journal, I wasn't sure what, if anything, I could gain from this assignment. Yet, in just a few days of journaling, I learned things about myself that were completely under my radar.

Upon examining the content of my diet, a few things really stood out to me. First, I noted a distinct relationship between the location of my meals and my energy level and attitude during and after that meal. For example, a good portion of my meals were consumed in my car while I was rushing to get somewhere. These meals left me unsatisfied and a bit stressed out as I attempted to drive while eating. Conversely, the meals that I made at home and enjoyed in the company of my loved ones were much more pleasurable. These meals had a positive and immediate effect on my energy level and mood.

As the week progressed, I noticed that I consume a lot more coffee than I thought I did.
This prompted me to try to reduce my consumption of coffee. I've always been a bit of a coffee aficionado, and didn't see my love of coffee as an addiction to caffeine until I removed it from my diet. In the beginning, I simply cut my daily intake from four cups to one. Then when I felt ready, I replaced my cup of joe with black tea and finally switched to green. It was particularly challenging at work because it gets brewed throughout the day and the aroma fills the office inviting us all to take it in. I found that drinking tea helped a lot, and now my cravings are almost entirely gone. My addiction to coffee really became obvious when the coffee was replaced with the intense headaches that are commonly linked with caffeine withdrawals. The headaches persisted for two days, but were worth kicking the habit.

The past 7 days were really insightful mostly because of the detailed structure of the Bauman Food Journal. It encompasses far more than just meal content providing a holistic view of the daily care for ones body. For me, it was recording the location and people with whom I was eating that helped me see how these seemingly minor details can have a significant impact on my overall well being.

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