Archives For August 2013

I can’t believe that it’s been almost two weeks since I posted last.  I just don’t know where the time goes.  I’ve been really busy with both my work at the health club and my graphics consulting.  I’ve been doing some film work in my design business which has moved me from my desk into the filed.  The good thing is that I end up burning a great deal of calories even though I don’t get a chance to complete any official exercise when I’m playing film director…and playing almost every other role there is to do in the filming process.  On location last week, I was bummed that I wasn’t going to get a chance to work out since I had a full of filming on location.  Turns out the next day when I weighed myself, I was down almost two pounds!  In retrospect, I had a FULL day of exercising.  I was setting up and tearing down film and sound rigs all day.  I literally was bending, twisting, squatting and climbing for eight hours…natural fitness in the best way.

Breaking Two Hundred

I officially broke the two hundred on the 18th.  After my weigh in, I held my breath because I knew my body could choose to do one of its little adjusting trick and pull me back into the two hundreds in a pinch…which it did…the following morning.  However, I was back under two hundred the very next day and started to slowly descend into the 190s.  I haven’t had the number “1” in front of my weight for almost 10 years.  When I was working out with Michael on a regular basis I had a little more muscle packed on than I do know and The lowest number I achieved was about 215…and I looked and felt good.  My body fat percentage then was about 23% (maybe a little lower).  I was eating well, but I was definitely NOT eating Paleo AND I remember always being hungry.  Right now, I’m 26.6% body fat.  I looking to get down to 15% body fat.  Now THAT will take some work, but I’m ready to take it on.

Seeing The Big Picture

I have to be okay will the weight coming off a bit slower now.  I may only lose a pound a week, or less,and I have to remind myself of the big picture and my longterm goal; to live a life of health, vitality and joy.  The game I playing is creating a healthy existence and not how fast can I drop the weight.  I need to remind myself to be present and acknowledge where I am now, which is a damn good place!  I look and feel good.

I have found myself recently looking in the mirror and becoming fixated at the little flaws…focusing on my “love handles” and thinking, “Oh, I want you gone!”  Then it becomes a slippery slope…I move on to dissect other parts of my body…I see how my inner thigh is not at tight as years gone by…I see how, in general, my skin is much looser…and I begin to feel unhappy and displeased.  Then I remember my own advice…in times like this, call on the person you used to be…imagine that person who was you four months ago at almost 260 pounds…imagine him standing in front of you…what would he say about you ranting and raving about your body…what would his two cents be?  It is then I can hear my heavier self chime in with extreme attitude…“Are you nuts!  Seriously, what is wrong with you?  Maybe you suffered hypoxia when you were Spinning or something because with that attitude I think you have some brain damage.  You look great and feel great.  Why don’t you focus on all that you have done right and stop focussing on the ridiculous fact that you have an ‘inch to pinch’ on your side.  I would give anything to look like you now.  So, go eat a carrot or something and shut up!”…Well, he told me, didn’t he?

The Same Thing In Reverse

In my experience, many people enjoy biking which leads them to maybe try a Spin class.  I did the same thing but in reverse.  I starting Spinning in October of 2011 and just this weekend bought a bike.

I remember my first day in Spin.  I thought I was gonna die.  The only thing more bruised than my ego was my butt.  How could anyone find this fun?  I kept up with it and it began to grow on me.  The advantage of owning the health club in which you attend classes is that you can make the class anything you want…so I worked with Glen (my very dynamic and fun Spinning instructor) to make the class great.  Almost two years late,r the Joy of Spinning at Healthworks is the most popular class at the club.  I am now a certified Spinning / Indoor Cycling instructor and will soon be teaching an advanced Spinning class in October.  I’ve come a long way baby…but I digress…

Did you hear about the Spin instructor that didn’t own a bike?  Yep, sounds like the opening of a great joke, but it’s true.  I didn’t own a bike.  I had one and I ended up giving it away years ago because it was gathering dust in the garage.  The last time I really rode was in 1998 when I bought a mountain bike so that I could ride in a race with my friend Nadine (Michael’s wife) in a race called, Bike Around The Buttes held in Butte County.  We did a 50 mile trek in both sunny weather and rain.  It was really fun because I was with Nadine but I wasn’t really into biking…I just liked adventure.  After the race the bike went into the garage and I never used it again. Several years later I gave it away to someone who needed a bike.  Flash forward to this past Saturday when I purchased a new bike at Mike’s Bikes in Petaluma.  Once a year they have an annual sale with 20-30% off all bikes and merchandise.  I promised myself in May that when (not, if) I dropped beneath two hundred pounds, I would buy myself a decent, but not expensive, bike.  The other part of that promise started long ago when I said I could allow myself to buy a bike once I passed a year attending Spin classes.  Well, I greatly surpassed that original goal!  Now I found myself under two hundred and it was time to honor the promise I made to myself.  I researched online and found that what I needed was a hybrid bike–one that could be used on pavement and light off-roading.  A hybrid is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike.

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…hot and sweaty after my first bike ride with my new Specialized Crosstrail!

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The new best friend!

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“Why, yes…I am a very serious cyclist…”

So I attended the sale on Saturday and bought a 2014 Specialized Crosstrail…and I’m in love!  In all honesty, I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a bike…ever…even if I go back to my childhood…I think I’m more excited now than then.  You see, I grew up on a dairy ranch.  There were no flat, paved roads…only dirty, dusty, bumpy roads that didn’t go very far and didn’t lead anywhere…at least anywhere I was allowed to go…not so much fun for me.  This was a time way before mountain bikes were popular or as technologically advanced as they are now.  We had dirt bikes, but you felt every bump in the road…again, not so much fun for me.

So, I got my bike home from the store and I was ready to take it for a literal spin around the block when I realized that the sales person forgot to put my new helmet in the bag…Argh!  Now being the safety boy that I am, I got back into my Jeep and headed back to the store to retrieve my helmet…safety among all else I say!

So now I have my helmet and I’m off for my new bike’s maiden voyage.  Wow, how fun is this!  I decided to just try it out since it was getting late and I wanted to go for a real ride in the morning….which I did at 6am on a Sunday!  Now that’s dedication (or pure excitement) for you.

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My Garmin Fit app helps to track my progress and makes the journey just that more fun!

Today I went for my second ride and went farther than the first time.  Going farther each time is a goal of mine as I stay committed to riding at least twice a week.  Today I went just over ten miles.  That might not be far for most people, but it’s farther than I have ever traveled on my own without someone to enjoy the experience with.  I used my iPhone and a Garmin Fit app to track my time and distance.  I really enjoyed going out and biking by myself.  I took several moments to acknowledge the journey I have traveled in a relative short period of time.  On my ride this morning I felt young and invigorated.  Am I really going to be 47 in just over a month? I can’t believe it…I don’t feel my age…that’s a good thing.  I look forward to pairing or grouping up with others for future weekend rides.  The idea of that is really exciting.

Oh, So Crunchy

My new favorite snack is Alive & Radiant’s organic and raw, Veggie Krunch.  It is very crunchy and very yummy.  If you are like me and have a tendency to be pulled toward the savory, crunchy and salty foods, you’ll love this product.  Sweets were never my downfall, but a bag of potato chips ALWAYS was my kryptonite.  Like many others, I could never have just a few.  Once a bag of chips was open, it didn’t survive the night.  It quickly ended up an empty, crumbled bag in the trash.  I don’t miss chips per se, but I do miss that salty-crunch factor.  Enter in my new discovery of Veggie Krunch.  The product is raw and dehydrated.  No oil is used and the product is not heated in any way.  It’s completely raw and healthy for you.  They have many flavors, but my favorite is the Cabbage Arugula.  Delicious!  It’s kind of expensive for what you get, but it’s high quality and you don’t need much to satisfy your craving.  It’s available at Whole Foods and other major health food chains.

I need to get payroll for the club going, so I’m going to end this post here.  I promise to be more frequent than once every two weeks.  My goal is at least twice a week, even if its short.  I welcome any feedback you have regarding what you would like me to write about or share.  I’m up for anything!  Okay, here I go now…Case-Veggie-Krunch_Arugula-2

IMG_3379First things first: It’s shortly after 90 days since I committed to a Paleo lifestyle and I have dropped 50 pounds!  Wooooow!  This is amazing!  I feel great and have lots of energy.  In the past couple of days, I have had a couple of people use the term “glowing” in terms of my skin (and they didn’t mean shiny).  It’s good to be healthy.

Okay, let’s move on…

If you are reading my blog, you most likely are already following a Paleo diet (or aspiring to do so). You have also likely experienced a tremendous shift in your health and well-being since eliminating (or at least drastically reducing) grains, beans, sugar and dairy. I know it takes a fair amount of commitment and willpower, especially in those early days, so congratulations to you.  Smooth sailing from now on, right? Not so fast.

Since beginning this lifestyle in May of this year, I’ve learned that there are pitfalls to the way many practice a Paleo lifestyle, as well as tweaks and customizations for the individual that must be considered if you truly want to thrive. Here are the top five that I’ve seen and what to do to guarantee a lifetime of “Paleo joy.”

Eating Too Much Meat.

When one first starts out eating Paleo, its pretty common to replace grains with meat as it’s the way your body can still feel satiated. Once the initial transition is made, it’s very important to limit your protein consumption to 20-35% of daily calories. According to Paul Jaminet, author of the“Perfect Health Diet”, the Paleolithic/Cannibal diet consisted of these macronutrient ratios:

  • Carbohydrates: 13-20%
  • Short-chain and medium chain fats: ~3%
  • Other fats: ~60%
  • Protein: ~15-25%

There are a several reasons why:

1. According to Jaminet, too much protein is toxic to the body: “At a protein intake of 230 g/day (920 calories), the body’s ability to convert ammonia to urea is saturated. This means the nitrogen from every additional gram of protein lingers in the body as ammonia, a toxin. Clearly, marginal dietary protein is toxic, via ammonia poisoning, at this intake level. A reasonable estimate for where toxicity begins is between 150 to 200 g/day.”

2. All meat is not created equal. The difference between a piece of grass-fed red meat with a nice marbling of fat and a conventionally-raised skinless chicken breast is BIG. Its important to have most of your protein come from the ruminants (cow, bison, lamb, etc), wild or organically farmed seafood and organic farm eggs to minimize polyunsaturated fat consumption and maximize saturated fat consumption (and also balance omega-6 to omega-3 ratios). Choosing organic, pasture-fed and ethically raised animals is crucial for your health, the health of the planet and the collective consciousness around meat-eating.

3. Too much meat can cause digestive distress and constipation if not eaten with sufficient fiber (ref). They say that life and death begin in the colon, and your body’s ability to move your food all the way through in a timely fashion is very important.

4. Meat is acid-forming in the body and many experts believe that disease can only live in acidic states. This doesn’t mean, like the vegan community would argue, to eliminate it. Grains, dairy and sugar are also acid-forming, so the answer lies in balancing your meat consumption with lots of vegetables and green juice, both of which are alkalizing to the body.

Not Eating Enough Vegetables.

In addition to keeping your body alkaline, veggies are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants that you simply cannot find elsewhere. The fiber and water in veggies helps keep your insides scrubbed clean and digestion moving. The color of your veggies is linked to the nutrients therein, so the more like a rainbow your plate looks, the better! Make sure to eat raw veggies with your cooked foods as they may provide enzymes to help breakdown cooked food and assimilate the nutrients. According to The Mayo Clinic: “some enzymes help digest food into simple substances that the body’s cells can use for energy. Other enzymes forge substances within the cells that are unavailable in the diet.”

Lack of Healthy Bacteria

Did you know that your body has ten times more bacteria than human cells? Isn’t that amazing?! There is a bacterial war being waged in your body at every moment. The enemy is fed by antibiotics, sugar, dairy, grains, chemicals and pesticides, while the good guys are fed by probiotics in supplement form and fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. Having strong digestion is the #1 most important factor for good health as all the nutrition from your food is either converted to be used by your body or passed through malabsorbed.

Lack of Variety/Nutrient Deficiency

It’s too easy to get in a rut and be eating virtually the same foods everyday. Chicken and broccoli at every meal does not constitute a healthy Paleo diet! There are some foods that are a MUST to incorporate into your diet.

1. Organ Meats: Chris Kresser reminds us that organ meats are between 10 and 100 times higher in nutrients than their corresponding muscle meats, and a fraction of the cost. They are loaded with vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid and minerals such as copper and iron.

2. Homemade Bone Broth: I fondly refer to bone broth as “the miracle elixir”.  I make HUGE batches and drink it almost everyday!  I love it. In addition to all of the lovely vitamins and minerals, bone broth is loaded with gelatin, which is great for healing your gut, glycosaminoglycan (GAGS) for joint health and connective tissue health and repair, glycine for mental and emotional wellness and collagen for beautiful skin.

3. Farm Eggs: One of the most annoying myths being fueled by the mainstream media is that cholesterol, and therefore egg yolks, are bad for you. Eggs are super nutrient-dense and may actually protect your heart! One egg yolk provides all 13 essential nutrients, are an excellent source of B vitamins, which are needed for vital functions in the body, and also provide good quantities of vitamin A, essential for normal growth and development. The vitamin E in eggs protects against heart disease and some cancers; eggs also contain vitamin D, which promotes mineral absorption and good bone health. Eggs are rich in iodine, for making thyroid hormones, and phosphorus, essential for healthy bones and teeth.” It is important to note, however, that some people are intolerant to eggs. If you suspect you are, try an elimination diet for a couple weeks.

Ignoring Your Body’s Signals

I know that many of you have been trained to push through hard workouts, you know, mind over matter. Please don’t do that with your body as it relates to food. Even on a Paleo diet, there may still be foods to avoid, and others your body in particular thrives on. The best way to determine that is by checking in with yourself about 20 minutes after you’ve finished your meal and ask: “How is this making me feel?” Since you’ve already eliminated the grains, beans, and possibly the dairy, this won’t be as straightforward, but intolerances to eggs, nuts, citrus, nightshade veggies and shellfish may still be present (you can have intolerances to any food, but these are the most common Paleo foods). You should have energy and feel good when you’re done eating a meal. If you don’t, there’s still something to tweak.

Mark-Before-and-After-080613Well today was my three-month milestone.  I can really see a difference in my body at this point.  The change is much more noticeable from the side than straight on.  If I know my body at all (and I think I do) I’ll start to see more “thinning” out of my portrait stance than my profile.

I wanted to get this posted before I went to bed.  Its been a long day, so I’ll complete the update on this post in the next few days!  Until then…

The Next Ten…

August 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

I have about 10 pounds to lose and then I’m officially under the 200 pounds mark and into the 100’s.  Once I’m in the 100’s I’m going to start weighing in once a week.  I look forward to that at this point.  Days like this morning where I put on almost a pound in one day NEVER makes sense to me especially when I’m golden on my eating and exercise.  It always boils down to just three possible causes:  (1) Too much salt, (2) not enough fat, or (3) my body just doing some kind of adjustment.

I cut back on my fat intake yesterday because I wanted to see a bigger loss on the scale this morning.  You think I would have learned that this is NOT the way to drop weight.  I know better, but that crazy idea that fat makes you fat still floats around in my head sometimes.  This is sooooooo not true.

The next time I weigh in will be Monday morning.  I’m going on a mini-vacation to Saratoga.  I’m going with a friend to see Gladys Night at the Mountain Winery which is a gorgeous venue.  If you live and the area, you must go see a concert there!  Until Monday!  Have a great weekend people!