Monthly Archives: November 2013

Day Seventy Four

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Long hard day, late night, short post.  Still no running tonight.

I left the office late, rode home in the rain and my knee is still feeling a little too tender.

Missed out on a lunch ride today too due to meeting schedules and other workplace drama.

Also, my bike headlight is not working properly – the battery has been barely lasting for the ride home lately, but now the light will only stay on for a few seconds.  Not acceptable.  I’m going to have to manage to get to the bike shop after work tomorrow.  I really need to get a run in, too and then still make dinner.  Another challenging day, that’s all.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Ful Medames
    • Sauteed Spinach and Kale
  • Lunch:
    • Bean Salad, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes
  • Dinner:
    • Broccoli, Cauliflower and Hummis
    • Creamy Tomato Soup
    • Glass of Cabernet

The tomato soup recipe was from Veganomicon and turned out well.  Annette even liked it – she ate almost half a bowl full!  I finished off the Ful at breakfast today so I made some Dahl tonight – “Spicy Indian Dahl” from Allrecipes.com.  I’m looking forward to that in the morning.

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Day Seventy Three

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just commuting today.  I was planning on a short run tonight, but my left knee is still feeling pretty tender and there is something just a little tweaked in my lower back that makes me think a wise man would wait one more day.  I’ve never prided myself on being particularly wise, but I guess it’s never too late to start.  Did the head-stand circuit instead and I’m going to shift my training for the rest of the week by one day.  Maybe I’ll go Simi on Saturday and then the long run on Sunday.  Maybe I’ll ride up Mt. Wilson instead – depends on my mood and the weather.

The head stands are getting there.  I think it’s almost time to move away from the wall crutch and try some free standing.  Almost.  Tonight I did 30 seconds without touching the wall.  Pretty cool.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Ful Madames
    • Sauteed spinach and kale
  • Lunch:
    • Bean salad
    • Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Dinner:
    • Whole wheat penne with tomato sauce and soy crumbles
    • Green Salad with Tahini Dressing
    • Big glass of Cabernet

Second day on the “Vegan Slo-Carb” experiment.

Breakfast was fantastic.  I’m definitely on board with a new paradigm here.  The sauteed greens with the beans was just really, really good.  The beans for lunch, also very good – I think just a little bit more is in order – another 1/4 cup probably.  I’m also really enjoying the plain, raw broccoli and cauliflower on the side.  It just tastes good, who knew?

The pasta at dinner was not slo-carb.  Whole wheat is still wheat and of course, it’s all been reconstituted anyway so it’s not really whole in any kind of genuine sense as it applies to food.  I wanted to try it with the crumbles though which really did substitute seamlessly for ground beef, in my opinion.  It also added more protein to the meal which is important right now.  Jake liked it, too.  It’s a processed food so I’m not that crazy about using it, but it could be useful and I’d like to try some other brands.  This was “Lightlife Smart Ground Original Veggie Protein Crumbles” and it was very good for the purpose.  I could totally see using this stuff in tacos, even chili.  More protein with no fat and no cholesterol so what the hell.

I’m really looking forward to breakfast tomorrow, also a good lunch ride and a good short run tomorrow night.

 

 

Day Seventy Two – Vegan Slo Carbs

Monday, November 18, 2013

EZ Recovery Day.  Feeling some effects from yesterday’s run on top of last week’s crash.  Just spun easy on the commute to and from work. I did the headstands, crows, hanging knee raises circuit tonight. I was a little worried about whether my shoulders and neck would be up to it, but they were fine and the balance continues to improve.  It’s almost becoming fun.  It’s always been enjoyable, but having a modicum of control makes it more fun.

My biggest physical concern at the moment is my left knee which I am hoping is good for a short run tomorrow night.  There is no room for error or deviation in my training plan!

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Ful Medames
    • Green Smoothie: Spinach, Kale, Strawberries, Blackberries, Hemp Protein Powder
  • Lunch:
    • Mujadara Wrap, 1/2 Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes
  • Dinner:
    • Big Vegan Nacho Salad ( Romaine, Red Leaf, Cucumber, Tahini dressing, Black Beans, Guacamole, Fresh Salsa Cruda, a few tortilla chips )
    • Glass of Cabernet

I’m starting a new experiment inside the experiment this week.  I guess I have a few of those going on already, but this one is a vegan adaptation of Tim Ferris’ Slo Carb diet: No fruit, nothing white (except cauliflower), plenty of protein. One go-nuts cheat day every week.  The idea being that having the cheat day as an outlet makes it easier to be rigorous the rest of the week.  If you don’t give yourself an out, you are likely to binge periodically anyway, so you might as well plan for it, control it, use it to your advantage. The spike in caloric intake which is going to be, by default, cheap carbohydrates also helps keep your metabolic rate from dropping from lower calorie consumption during the rest of the week.

So I might have to mothball my beloved Nutri-Bullet for a few weeks while I try this.  I want to take out all the fruit, just to see what happens and I don’t think I could quite handle just spinach and kale and water in a glass.  Sauteed though, with the bean dish of the day, that would probably work.  I could still make a fruit-forward smoothie post-workout on ‘cheat day’ with protein powder…it’s worth trying for a few days to see.

I was Googling for some good ideas about beans for breakfast and started reading about Ful Medames – the national breakfast of Egypt. Fava beans sauteed with garlic, onions, spices and a little tomato ( my version, anyway ) except that in Egypt it is typically served with Pita bread and sometimes eggs.  Mr Ferris would wholeheartedly recommend the eggs, but I’m going to leave them out and the Pita is a non-starter, but I do think a quick saute of spinach and kale would be perfect.  Breakfast would be a great time to get my Dahl fix, too and I’ll probably try that next week.

It’s all about experimenting, refining, keeping what works.  Continuous improvement.

When I make a decision to do something like this, I tend to just go for it, which means I have some fruit in the ‘fridge that will probably go bad and get thrown out.  It’s not very much though.  The last couple remaining wraps in the there will have to go in the garbage, too.  I used what are sold as “Garden Spinach Herb” wraps and was curious about the carb content and makeup. It turns out that spinach does not even appear on the ingredients list until the “Less than 2% of the following:” disclaimer.  The main ingredient is Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour; one of the nastiest and most nutritionally void of the highly processed carbohydrates. There are only 3 main ingredients – the 2nd is water (seems safe) and next up  is Interesterified oil.  That’s one of the newer creations of the modern industrial food complex, made by using a chemical reaction to move the fatty acids in a blend of oils from one triglyceride molecule to another.  It’s food science, but it’s not health science.  It melts at the perfect temperature, it has the perfect shelf life, it keeps the tortilla factory running at 100% efficiency.

I made a big batch of bean salad tonight for the rest of this week’s lunches.

Breakfast and Lunch will be full bore vegan slo-carb this week. Dinner might take a little more time, but I think I can learn to offer carbs that I personally fore go. Save ’em for cheat day.

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Day Seventy One

Sunday, November 17, 2013

8.2 miles today.  My longest ‘long’ run yet. Pretty modest, I know, but another milestone for me.  I ran it really slowly.  Some aches and pains that I most certainly would not have were it not for the crash last week.  The eight miles did not really seem far but it has just not quite all come together yet and I really don’t expect that it will until December.

I stayed off the bike today to make sure I had enough legs for the run.  It’s also my wife’s birthday so I ran early and then we went to the Encino Farmer’s Market.  We haven’t really done that since my obsession with cycling dominated my weekend mornings.  Maybe I’ll find balance through running?  Good one John.

The training priority for the next two weeks is preparing for the 13.1 miles on December 1st.  5 more training runs on the calendar.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with Molasses, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Blueberries and Agave
  • Lunch:
    • Post Run: Green Smoothie – Spinach, Kale, Hemp Protein Powder, Strawberries, Blackberries
    • Vegan Spicy Black Bean Wrap
    • Fresh Kettle Chips
  • Dinner:
    • Chips and Guacamole
    • Brueschetta with Tomatoes and Basil
    • 2 Double Barrel Ales
    • Green Salad with Tahini Dressing
    • Big glass of Cabernet
    • Strawberry Shortcake

I had a good time at the farmer’s market this morning where I filled a very big bag with vegetables for the week.  After the market we had a birthday lunch for my wife today at the “Sweet Butter Kitchen” where they had a new Vegan Wrap that was pretty good.

A simple meal for dinner tonight but I managed to stuff myself.  A little extra Shortcake didn’t help.

A little different take on the diet starting tomorrow…

 

 

Day Seventy

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Took a modest ride today – just 35 miles; two hours of riding.  An out & back route over the first hill northbound on Little Tujuna.  Out of the saddle on both climbs, heart rate right around threshold. That felt really good, but there are still a few aches and pains from Wednesday’s crash.

That was the number one reason for the easy ride – testing out the systems.  Also saving up for tomorrow’s ‘long’ run.  And it’s Annette’s birthday this weekend so I wanted to get home a little early.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • The Real Deal Oatmeal: with molasses, walnuts, blueberries and agave
  • Lunch:
    • Green Smoothie: Spinach, Kale, Strawberries and Raspberries
    • Mujadara Wrap, 1/2 Bell Pepper, leftover potatoes and brussels sprouts, Apple
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizer: heirloom carrots, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and hummus
    • 2 double barrel ales
    • Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
    • Green Salad with Balsamic Hemp Oil Dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet

     

I’ve never made Tortilla Soup without chicken before.  It was every bit as good. Next, the cheese…

I took Annette downtown to the Central Library today.  We spent 3 hours browsing the stacks and I ended up with one book – MIchael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food”, the one major work by Pollan that I haven’t read yet. I had a copy of Scott Jurek’s “Eat and Run” with me, but didn’t realize it was the reference copy and could not be checked out.  I was looking forward to reading that, too.  I do have a library card now to take advantage of so I can arrange to have another copy saved for me at the local branch.  What an endearing and enduring system.

I spent over an hour looking at Vegan / Vegetarian cookbooks which was fun, but nothing grabbed me enough to say “take me home with you”.  I have plenty of cookbooks and on-line resources at the moment, just need to keep working on meal selection and distribution with the recipes I already have access to before loading up with more.

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Day Sixty Nine

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stats:

Weight: 136.2
Body Fat: 11.4%
Water: 63.1%
Resting Heart Rate: 41

Holding my own?  Not really.  I’ve allowed myself too many sub-optimal diet choices lately.  That’s clinical enough to keep it impersonal.

So it’s another Friday night. 10th week of the challenge. I did not expect to crash on Wednesday so I missed a few easy miles but I still feel like I made progress on the fitness front – my body is starting to adapt to running and I continue to get slightly stronger.  I was developing some decent balance on the inversions but haven’t done any since the crash since I still have some tightness in the shoulders and neck.

Two weeks of training time left before my first scheduled half marathon.  I’m still confident I can be ready and this weekend will provide further proof one way or the other.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with Molasses, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Blueberries and Agave
    • Green Smoothie: Spinach, Kale, Strawberries, Blackberries
  • Lunch:
    • Mujadara Wrap
    • 1/2 bell pepper, apple, carrots
  • Dinner:
    • Heirloom Carrots and Hummus
    • 2 Double Barrel Ales
    • Onion and Artichoke Calzone
    • Green Salad with Hemp Oil and Balsamic Dressing
    • Big glass of Cabernet
    • Couple of Chips Ahoy – Yikes!

     

The Calzone was awesome, but cheesy and I’ve been giving in to sweets all week.  I’m looking at it as diet periodization.  It’s my wife’s birthday this weekend and I’ll get back in line on Monday?  It’s all part of the journey, part of the challenge.

 

 

 

Day Sixty Eight

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I was commuting on the race bike today since I crashed the single speed yesterday.  Took an easy ride up La Tuna Canyon at lunch to make sure all the body parts still worked.  They do, mostly.  Managed a 5 mile run when I got home. I set a record slow pace primarily due to nursing a groin pull resulting from involuntarily clipping out of my pedals yesterday, but tonight I am walking like any other human, so I feel I am starting to adapt.

I’m looking forward to something longer this weekend.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • The Real Deal Oatmeal: with molasses, walnuts, blueberries and agave
    • Green Smoothie: Spinach, Kale, Strawberries and Raspberries
  • Lunch:
    • Mujadara Wrap, 1/2 Bell Pepper, Apple, Banana
    • Brownie and Cookie PIg Out
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizer: heirloom carrots and hummus
    • Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
    • Moroccan Egg Plant
    • Green Salad with Tahini Dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet

     

I lost it today and ate a bunch of sugar that was lying around the office after somebody else’s business lunch.  Damn you, Corner Bakery!

Sometimes my will seems iron clad.  Other days are like today.  Probably means I’m not eating enough of the good stuff, particularly since I’ve added the running?

When I brought out the Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts tonight, my daughter said, “Oh, my favorite”.  My wife had a salad – so that’s cool. She is doing her best to cope.

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Day Sixty Seven

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It’s been a tough few days.

5 minutes into my lunch ride today I had an unwelcome encounter with an SUV that turned left directly in front of me.

The front end of the single speed is pretty well toast.  The wheel is trashed.  The fork does not look straight to me, the steering tube bearings are destroyed and the bar is bent.

I have a contusion on my forehead and a prize-fighter scrape under my eye from using my head to knock the side mirror off the car.  My right shoulder is scraped up as is my left elbow and I pulled something in my left leg; getting yanked out of the pedals, no doubt.  I do have some soreness and stiffness in my shoulders and neck.

Other than that, it was a great ride.  GPS data says I was only going 18.5 mph at impact.  We were only about a quarter mile into the ride.  Kevin was with me and I was looking forward to a nice cruise around Hansen Dam.  Thanks Kevin for hanging with me, driving me back to the plant and getting me home tonight.  Next time we’ll try it on bikes.

Hope I’m still good for a run tomorrow night.

TacoWheel

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with Molasses, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Blueberries and Agave
  • Lunch:
    • Mujadara Wrap
    • 1/2 bell pepper, apple, banana
  • Dinner:
    • Morracan Eggplant with Brown Basmati Rice
    • Green Salad with Tahini Dressing
    • A couple of big glasses of Cabernet (medicinal purposes)

     

I think my wife is reaching her limit with my vegan cooking. The eggplant was fantastic tonight.  She ate cereal.  Hey, that’s vegan – just highly processed industrial vegan, but it could be worse.  I’m going to have to work harder to find a compromise.  And I can do that – for one thing, I can be hardcore at breakfast and lunch and loosen up a bit at dinner, but I’m not going to eat meat and I don’t want to eat dairy.

Some of what I’ve made she’s really liked.  I can figure this out.

Tough day.

 

 

Day Sixty Six

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Just about a 3 1/2 mile run today and it felt good.  Still hurts, too, don’t get me wrong, but it’s starting to feel more natural, more like something to work on rather than simply endure.  My fastest 5k.  Not fast, but my fastest.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • The Real Deal Oatmeal: with molasses, walnuts, blueberries and agave
    • Green Smoothie: Spinach, Kale, Strawberries and Raspberries
  • Lunch:
    • Mujadara Wrap, 1/2 Bell Pepper, Apple, Banana
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizer: A few Chips with Salsa
    • Whole Wheat Rotini with Uncooked Tomato Sauce
    • Rosemary and Olive Oil Bread
    • Green Salad with Tahini Dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet

The recipe for Mujadara is from “Forks Over Knives The Cookbook”.  Lentils with brown Basmati rice, caramelized onions, cinnamon and allspice. I put it in a spinach wrap and it’s not bad at all.  The pasta also turned out well, thumbs up from both of my diners. It did have some Feta cheese in it  – and that was pretty tasty I have to admit, but I’m sure I could think of a substitute. Also too much bread and too much oil today.  It might be time for another small diet ‘Kaizen’, some focused improvements to take it up one more notch?

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Day Sixty Five

Monday, November 11, 2013

Easiest of easy recovery days today.  In fact, I skipped the morning workout this morning and commuted on the race bike so I could spin a small gear.  I did get in some inversions, crows and leg lifts tonight.  Every time I practice head stands my balance gets a little better now and that’s very cool.

I was walking a little funny on sore ankles today, but I expect to be fine by tomorrow.  Good enough for a 2 1/2 to 3 mile run, anyway.  Sounds easy.  I’m looking forward to it.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with Molasses, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Blueberries and Agave
  • Lunch:
    • Chips and Salsa
    • Acapulco Restaurant Buffet (Beans, Rice, Potatoes, Grilled Vegetables, Corn Tortillas, Green Salad)
    • Corner Bakery Brownie and Cookie
  • Dinner:
    • Tomato and Pesto Sandwiches on Ezekiel Toast
    • Baked Multi-Grain Onion Rings
    • Green Salad with Tahini Dressing
    • Glass of Cabernet
    • Dark Chocolate

Lunch with a colleague at the local Mexican Restaurant today and I did OK.  No doubt there is more salt, fat and sugar in that food than I would prefer, but I didn’t have any desire to chow down on the Chili Colorado or the Carnitas.  Those used to be my favorites.  The Grilled Vegetables were fantastic.  The Potatoes amazing.

I’ve been over indulging the past few days.  I lost control today and raided the leftover deserts from somebody else’s business lunch when we got back to the plant. It happens. I need to make some vegan treats from time to time to help keep that beast tame. ( Raw brownies, anyone? )