Monthly Archives: June 2016

2016, Day Four


Woke up pretty sore today. But I need to get some quality rides in to get myself ready for RAGBRAI, so I had my egg whites & seitan, but today with a banana instead of spinach and headed out on the Big Sky loop, an old favorite that I have not been on for a long time.  It’s not very long at 55 miles from the house and there’s not that much climbing at just over 3,200 feet, but it’s a challenging ride and I’ve put in some good work over the past two days, so I was really suffering by the last climb of the day, back up Santa Susana. That’s OK. I need it.

When I got back, I made a soy curl burrito and a big salad, along with about 4 ounces of Protein shake, all that was left in the container – new one arrived from Amazon this afternoon.

Dinner tonight was a grilled portobello burger, onion rings and an ear of corn on the cob. Beer and a glass of chardonnay because, hey, it’s Sunday.

Feeling pretty used up tonight, but in a good way.

Tomorrow is strength day at the crossfit box. How will I be feeling for that?

2016 Day 3

Weekends are tricky.

For lots of reasons, but they just are. I didn’t want too much to eat this morning before getting in a short bike ride, so I had a banana and 4 wheat thins with peanut butter. I know wheat thins are not an ideal food, but it’s what we had in the cupboard. Got in the bike ride, just 25 miles, some hill repeats on the Sepulveda Pass

Remember, I’m doing all these rides on my single speed Bianchi Pista track bike, because that’s the bike I plan on riding on RAGBRAI in a few weeks.

When I got home, I was starving, but we had Yoga in an hour, so I had another banana and 4 more wheat thins, this time with an ounce of sliced seitan.

Substitute instructor for yoga today made for a more intense class, which was fine with me. Did some head stands which was a first for me at the yoga studio! Tonight I feel like I’ve had a workout recently.  It feels good.

5 o’clock snack was cheese and a pear.

Dinner was chips & guacamole, soy curl & cheese quesadillas and pico de gallo.

Drank a couple of Anchor Steam beers. Hey, it’s Saturday.


2016 Day 2

First official weigh-in day of “The New Deal”. At age 54, 5′ 9″ tall, I’m 156.8 lbs and 18% body fat. That’s too much fat. By like, double. So that’s the number I’ll be watching over the course of the next few months and it will be interesting to see what happens to the overall weight with a renewed commitment to The Zone and the Crossfit box.

Had my new standard breakfast and lunch today (see Day 1) and my first trip back to the box in two full weeks. Man it feels good. WOD was 3 rounds of rowing, kettle bell swings, goblin squats and assisted pull ups, after the standard core warmup and some handstand work.

I forgot to bring my Primal Strips vegan jerky snack today, so I was really starving by the time I got home. I’ve been following my Crossfit workouts with a plant-protein shake, so I had one of those and then a little later an ounce of cheese with 4 wheat thins – hey, it’s Friday.

Dinner was vegetable lasagna with a big salad and a glass of cabernet.

A couple of good bike rides planned for the weekend. I’m training to ride RAGBRAI this year, but I’m going to do it on my one speed Bianchi track bike so I’m doing all my riding on that bike to prepare. I just signed up for a flat century next weekend, just to be sure I can go a hundred miles on that bike. Shouldn’t be a problem, but I need to know!


2016 Day 1

June 2, 2016

The week in Iowa definitely took it’s toll. Official weight in tomorrow morning will show the score. Nobody’s fault but mine, by the way, I just tend to overindulge when traveling and go even more overboard in Iowa.

So it feels good to be home and getting back to the normal routine. Today besides commuting I managed to get in a lunch ride and it felt good to be eating my own food again.  I’ve been working on perfecting a vegetarian zone diet.  There is plenty of information out there about The Zone, and I’m sure I’ll be talking about it more, but if you are not familiar, it’s a simple system based on getting enough lean protein by weight, making that 30% of your diet and complimenting it with 40% good, low glycemic carbohydrates and a little (30%) fat.  The objective is to eat this exact ratio of macro nutrients at every meal and snack. I’ve got a pretty good routine down for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I’m a little looser with dinner since I’m not just cooking for myself.

Over the past couple of years of vegetarian living, I’ve noticed that there are many happy, chubby vegetarians out there. And that’s OK, but it’s not what I’m looking for. Part of the problem is that most vegetarian protein sources come with lots of carbs. or too much fat. or both. Because I’m interested in athletic performance, in seeing what I can do with my body, I’ve needed better sources of lean, low carbohydrate protein and that has lead me to embrace gluten and soy, in particular home made seitan and commercial soy curls from Butler foods. A lot more about that later, for now my typical day, one of which I just had:

  • Breakfast:
    • 3 egg whites, scrambled with 4 ounces diced seitan
    • 3 big handfuls spinach, sauteed with 1 small garlic clove and 1/4 cup black beans
    • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • Lunch:
    • Seitan and black bean burrito
    • 1 apple
  • Snack:
    • Primal strips seitan jerkey (Mesquite Lime this week)
  • Dinner:
    • Wild mushroom ravioli with garlic, onion and tomato Ragu
    • Big Salad (with some seitan strips added to boost the protein content)
    • Glass of Cabernet

Here’s the Seitan recipe. I make it every week. It’s delicious and satisfying. Many recipes to come and much more about my other favorite new protein source – Soy Curls.

Stay with me.


Basic Seitan


  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 7 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed


  1. Pour 6 cups vegetable broth into a large pot, add the garlic and place over high heat while preparing the dough.
  2. mix the gluten and nutritional yeast in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the tomato past, broth and soy sauce. Mix with a spoon until the mixture comes together, then knead by hand for a couple of minutes until it's well homogenized and elastic.
  3. roll into a log about five inches long and slice into three pieces. Let rest while the broth comes to a boil.
  4. As soon as the broth is boiling, drop in the seitan pieces, turn down the head and partially cover the pot. You want to maintain a low simmer while the seitan cooks for 45 minutes, turning at least a couple of times.
  5. Turn off the heat, let the seitan cool and store in the broth, in the fridge for up to a week.
  6. Use in tacos, burritos, omlettes, sandwiches, you name it.
  7. I usually have to slice some off, cut into pieces and eat on a slices of baguette or cracker with a little mustard before it gets to the fridge.

Day Zero point one

June 1st, 2016.
Day zero

Most people tell me to fuck off when I mention that I need to loose this belly. After all, right now I’m 5’9” and 155 pounds. I’ve been going to the Crossfit box 3 times a week since January and I’m about 16% body fat. Most people I know tell me that’s remarkably fit and they hand me a donut. But I need to lose this belly. It pisses me off. The

Any of us who is pursuing fitness at some level is in a different place on the path. I’ve been much leaner in the past, but not as strong, not as well rounded. I like the way things are going right now – I think I’m on a great training program and I think I have a really solid nutritional base, but I’m just a little too loose with sugar and alcohol and late night snacks…

I want to prove to myself that at age 54 I can be physically in better shape than ever. I want to honor the body I’ve been given. One tool I’ve not employed for the past couple of years is the disciplinary tool of the daily journal / blog.

So here I am again folks.

Day zero.

Day zero because I’m on an airplane on my way back from the Midwest where I just buried my father, abandoned my diet and did virtually no training for the past 9 days. I feel overstuffed, bloated, disgusting and disgusted.

Tomorrow morning at breakfast I turn to page one of my new book.

I’ve explored a lot since I was here last that I want to share, so join me.