Monthly Archives: October 2013

Day Fifty Four

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last official day in the Long Island office, penultimate day in the hotel gym.  Another 30 mins on the stationary bike and morning workout circuit plus the evening’s inversions, crows and dips back in the room after dinner.  So it has not been a week completely devoid of exercise, just not quite as much cardio as I’m used to and the diet has been a little less than ideal.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with raisins, cranberries, granola, cinnamon and maple syrup
    • Banana
    • Orange Juice
  • Lunch:
    • Tortilla chips and guacamole
    • House salad with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizers: Vegetable Samosa, Pakora, Papada
    • Yellow Lentil Dahl, Rice and Peas
    • Garlic Naan
    • Gulab Jamun
    • Glass of Cabernet

Lunch was at Chili’s.  Ughh.  If I’m ever asked again, no – I do not wish to go there.

Dinner at was at “Cotillion Lounge”, an Indian restaurant and banquet hall in Jericho.  A little unusual, but pretty tasty.  We were looking for a different restaurant which, it turns out, had recently closed it’s doors. We ended up next door to this place and decided to try it.  It’s mostly a banquet and catering operation and the restaurant was deserted when we got there, but it was 6 o’clock on Halloween, so that’s maybe not too surprising.  I decided to try another dessert. ( I feel like I’m going to have some work to do when I get home )  Galub Jamun, which is apparently a very popular dessert in India – “Fried Milk Balls” in a honey sauce.  Doesn’t exactly scream ‘health food’, does it?  It is a dessert after all and that’s not typically a health food course.  Very interesting and quite good.

One more breakfast in the morning, one more lunch on the plane and then home.  That sounds pretty good.  I should be home by 6pm to figure out what’s for dinner and I’m looking forward to getting out on the Simi Ride Saturday morning.

I’m a little anxious about stepping on the scale when I get home, but I do continue to see signs of what would appear to be improved body composition, so I’m going to do my best not to get hung up on the numbers right now and just get back to the routine of regular workouts and cleaner eating.

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Day Fifty Three

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Third day on the road = another 30 minutes on the stationary bike plus the regular morning workout in the hotel gym this morning.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with cranberries, raisins, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup. Banana
  • Lunch:
    • Vegetarian Club Sandwich, sweet potato fries, spinach salad
  • Dinner:
    • Kale and Squash soup
    • Beans and Pita
    • Tofu Veggie Crab Cakes with smashed sweet potatoes and roasted carrots
    • “Tula’s Earth Moving Dream Bar” (Dessert)
    • Glass of Cabernet (2)

An improved breakfast this morning. Sometimes you just have to ask for what you want.  No oatmeal on display, but they will make it on demand. Maybe I should ask if they have hemp hearts tomorrow?  Or if they can make me a green smoothie?  I miss my Nutri Bullet.

An outstanding dinner tonight at Tula Kitchen in Bay Shore.  A funky (described to me as “crunchy”) vegetarian restaurant with both meat and vegan options.  The soup was delicious. Every meal comes with a Beans and PIta appetizer that also hit the spot. The ‘Crab Cakes’ were a little loose, but tasty, served with a dairy-free tartar sauce plus smashed sweet potatoes and a generous helping of deliciously roasted carrots. I also indulged in dessert – a bar of Shortbread, Praline and Coconut with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Would have been a vegan meal if I had resisted the ice cream, but I had to try it…maybe I should have opted for the chocolate covered banana bread?

Hopefully I worked off some of that dessert with more inversions, crows and dips back in the room afterward.

A bit of a late night watching the Red Sox take the World Series from the Cardinals.

 

Day Fifty Two

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

30 minutes on the stationary bike in the gym this morning followed by the usual morning workout sans pull ups ( no bar ).  The bike workout was pretty good, though – no stop lights and no traffic, so more like a 30 minute time trial.

Woke up OK this morning with plenty of time for the workout, shower & breakfast.  The jet lag wasn’t even too bad this afternoon.

After dinner tonight,  back at the hotel, some inversions, crows and dips.

I finally started reading “The China Study” on the plane yesterday.  I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, I have read some mixed reviews and was wondering if I would find it full of contradictions and thinly stretched inferences, but so far I’m finding it’s analysis fairly measured and conservative.  Dr. Campbell spent a lot of time and energy trying to save the world by feeding it more animal protein and I do believe that he had to work hard to convince himself that his research was indeed proving that he was doing exactly the wrong thing.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Kellogs Smart Start Cereal with Raisins and Soy Milk
    • Banana
    • Orange Juice
  • Lunch:
    • Roasted Veggie and Cannellini Bean burrito, 1/2 yellow bell pepper, apple, banana
  • Dinner:
    • Vegetable Quesadilla
    • Goat Cheese Panini with green salad
    • Brewhaus Marzen (just one!)

Breakfast was the toughest meal of the day.  Smart Start it turns out is not such a smart choice, but it looked like a good option at the time.  Further research shows the ingredients list to contain sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, brown sugar syrup, poly dextrose and molasses. Sugar is listed 4 times. HFCS is listed twice.

I may have been better off with the pancakes….

Lunch was best ’cause I brought it with me from LA.  Dinner was better than expected, just a little dairy heavy.

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Day Fifty One

Monday, October 28, 2013

A travel day today.  Haven’t had one of those for awhile, not for business anyway.  I did get my morning workout in, a normal breakfast and a suitable lunch on the plane.  A little overindulgence at dinner tonight, but not too bad.  Now I need to try to get to sleep to start battling jet lag, get up early and get some time in the gym before breakfast.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, pecans, flaxseed and hemp hearts
  • Lunch:
    • (On the plane) Grilled vegetable and bean burrito, 1/2 yellow bell pepper, banana
  • Dinner:
    • Vegetable pot stickers
    • Veggie wrap with sweet potato fries
    • Apple pie
    • Glass of Cabernet (x2)

So besides the apple pie and the 2nd glass of cabernet, the big indulgence at dinner came in the form of unwanted, regular potato fries.  I ordered sweet potato and as soon as the waiter set the plate down in front of me, he said “Oh, you asked for sweet potato fries, didn’t you?  I’ll get you an order of those.” I should have asked him to take away the potato fries, but I ate all of them including the sweet potato.  I was hungry, but still I would have been better off.  Particularly because I followed it all up with the slice of pie.  It was a very satisfying dinner though, I must say…

The burrito for lunch was last night’s leftover grilled vegetables mixed with a can of cannelini beans and some salsa, wrapped in a tortilla.  Really quite good.  The smokiness of the veggies came through in a way that it did not last night.

I’d call that a vegan day, but I can’t vouch for the pie crust.

 

Day Fifty

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Small group of Renegades Chasing down the Cycle World shop ride today.  That’s the way it should be.  A reasonably mellow ride, but not easy – I was really feeling yesterday’s Simi Ride.  Feels good though, it’s been a couple of weeks since I had a good hard weekend like that.  Tomorrow I fly to New York for the week so I’m going to be challenged on both fronts, training and eating. I’m not going to worry too much about dairy, but I should be able to avoid meat for three days of business lunches & dinners.  There is a decent little gym at the hotel too, so no reason I can’t get in some good workouts.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed and hemp hearts
    • Banana
  • On the Ride
    • Toasted bagel with honey
  • Post Ride
    • Green Smoothie – Spinach, Kale, melon, blueberries
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizer: Carrots and Bell Pepper with Hummus, Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Ale (2)
    • Grilled vegetables, roasted garlic crostini
    • Salad with Hemp oil and balsamic dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet
    • I snuck a Luna bar from my wife’s stash…

Just a couple of platters of grilled veggies tonight – sweet potato, cauliflower, asparagus, onion, mushroom and tomato with some grilled, sliced baguette spread with roasted garlic.  Very tasty and simple.

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Day Forty Nine

Saturday, October 26, 2013

2nd time this season on “The World Famous Simi Ride”. Faster than two weeks ago, for sure.  No worries on the 1st half, but I did a lot of chasing on the 2nd half of Mulholland and that’s a painful place to be.  I always get a better workout than I realize on that ride.  Nothing else for today except a walk to the supermarket.

I did get some work done on the bike this afternoon – new tires, new chain, new cassette, fresh grease on the crank.  Should be a good ride tomorrow.  The new cassette is 11-25, replacing the 12-26 I’ve been running.  I have a compact crank so the 11 will help even the playing field a little on the long easy donwhills, like Sepulveda and Santa Susana and I don’t think I’m going to miss the 26 at this point especially if I keep working on the Armando style out of the saddle climbing.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, pecans, flaxseed and hemp hearts
    • Banana
  • Lunch:
    • Post Ride: Green smoothie with Spinach, Kale, melon and hemp protein powder
    • Cilantro Lime Quinoa with Pinto Beans and Corn Tortillas

The post ride lunch of Quinoa and beans was incredibly satisfying and the Eggplant tonight was freakin’ amazing. If you would have asked me a couple of months ago, I would have told you I don’t even like eggplant, but I have a couple of killer recipes now.  This one is from The Gourmet Vegan aka The Vegan Household which is at first a visual feast and also a fairly large collection of vegan masterpieces.  Most of the recipes are somewhat complex and it’s a UK site, so you have to some conversions of grams to ounces or tablespoons and Celsius to Fahrenheit, but if you are looking for something a little extra – for the weekend, for a special occasion or just because you are in the mood to put in a little extra effort for a big payoff, I think any recipe on the site will impress.


 

Day Forty Eight

Friday, October 25, 2013

Stats for Week 7:

Weight: 133.6 lbs
Body Fat%: 10.7
Body Water%: 64.0
Resting Heart Rate: 40

Some thoughts about the stats…I’m obviously still retaining fluids, still repairing damage done to my foot and subsequent overcompensation injuries.  The foot feels a little better every day and the swelling is starting to disappear, so hopefully all will be back to normal by next Friday.  I do not believe that I’ve gained 3.5 pounds of muscle over the past 4 weeks, thought I suppose it’s possible.  According to the scale, as my weight has inched up, my body fat % has inched down, so that’s all good.  The body weight work is making a difference and I continue to see subtle improvements in the mirror.

I have added a few calories lately, mainly in the form of about an ounce of dark chocolate most days and an occasional handful of dried fruit and nuts.  But the fruit and nuts were to replace the yogurt I stopped eating.

Next thought – to all who have told me that you can’t keep weight on while following a vegetarian diet….no comment necessary?

One of my tactics during this challenge period is to purposefully not count calories.  I’m simply focusing on the standard list of whole vegan foods – vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds while minimizing dairy and eggs, staying away from refined sugar and minimizing refined wheat.  I am eating until satisfied, not being too restrictive, but not being gluttonous. I’m religiously enjoying a glass of good red wine every day and an ounce of good dark chocolate most days, but not always.

The idea is to validate or disprove the theory that counting calories is a waste of effort when you are following this diet philosophy – that your body will get all the nutrients is needs to be healthy and happy and not too many excess calories that get stored as fat.

Weight fluctuates and I’ve been hard on my body the last couple of weeks.  I’m barely half way through the 90 days.  Where will I be by early December?

 

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed and hemp hearts
    • Green Smoothie – Spinach, Kale, melon, raspberries
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizer: Cheese & Crackers, Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Ale (2)
    • Pizza: Roasted Garlic Margherita, Artichoke and Sweet Onion
    • Salad with Hemp oil and balsamic dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet
    • Dark Chocolate

A Dairy forward dinner.  That’s my biggest indulgence now and that’s how everbody says it goes.  It was tasty, too.  I’ve been thinking of picking up some Daiya cheese, to see what that’s all about. A little indulgent in the alcohol tonight, too.  Long week, Friday night. Sometimes that happens. Time to reset for the world famous Simi Ride in the morning.

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Day Forty Seven

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I walked like a regular person today.  That’s progress.  Still a little sore, still some swelling, some fluid retention, so I’m not looking forward to recording stats for the week tomorrow morning.

Another busy day at the office, but I did squeeze in a Hanson Dam Loop on the single speed at lunch.  Got home later than usual and decided to forgo the evening workout tonight.  I’ve been overdoing it just a little, as I’m prone to do.  I have some overused abdominals that need a break right now.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, pecans, flaxseed and hemp hearts
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizer: Crudites and Ranch Dressing.
    • Butternut Squash Ravioli and  Mushroom Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce
    • Garlic Bread
    • Green salad with Balsamic and Oil dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet
    • Dark Chocolate

There was an open house at the plant this afternoon with a huge appetizer and sandwich spread…after much schmoozing and tour giving, I did indulge in some ranch dressing dipped veggies.

The squash for dinner was pre-fab, but tasty. Bertoli as I recall.  Definitely not a vegan day.

 

Day Forty Six

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A meeting that went into lunch time today meant no trip up La Tuna Canyon.  Maybe that’s a good thing? I don’t know, but I’m tired of having a sore foot, I’m tired of holding back.  It’s still a little better every day, just sucks having to wait it out, know what I mean?  And I’m already registered to run a half marathon in a little over six weeks!  The longer it takes to get started again, the greater the danger that I will overdo it and just make it worse.

I’m feeling fat, slow and frustrated right now.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed and hemp hearts
    • Green Smoothie – Spinach, Kale, strawberries, raspberries
  • Dinner:
    • Past with tomato sauce
    • Penne Mediterranean with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
    • Salad with Tahini Dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet
    • Dark Chocolate

Nothing particularly noteworthy about the food today, but the Tahini Dressing recipe is getting better.  A vegan day, but with too much wheat.

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Day Forty Five

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

That’s Forty five days.  We are half way through the challenge.

I feel like I’m sold – like I could eat this way the rest of my life and learn something new about it everyday.  But I’m trying not to cross the finish line early, not to jump to conclusions just yet.  I’m only half way there.  Will my opinion change by December 6th?

I’m still having fun discovering new things to cook and eat and developing new favorites.  There are so many things I still want to try just based on the recipes I’ve read in the last six weeks.  Tonight we had a fantastic vegan taco feast.

The foot is still messed up, but every day it’s different and I’m still steadfastly believing that it’s getting better.

The headstands are getting ever so imperceptibly more steady, but man it’s a slow process.  The extra work is definitely changing my body though and that’s rewarding to see after such a short time.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, pecans, flaxseed and hemp hearts
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizer: Hummus with heirloom carrots.
    • Vegan Walnut Tacos
    • Black Beans
    • Green salad with Tahini dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet
    • Dark Chocolate

The tacos were a hit tonight. I think that’s three nights in a row.  There is hope after all.  My wife Annette really liked the filling and said she was glad that I didn’t buy a piece of chicken to make just for her.  Jake liked it too.  I was fairly unsure what either of them would think so I’m very happy that it worked out that well.

The Tahini dressing was a nice change of pace, but needs a little work before I put my stamp on it.

Another vegan day.