Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Health Talk

During this years Hazelnut Hang I gave a talk a health talk and handed out some packets to the people who attended the presentation.  I have been asked by many people if they could get a copy of this packet and I have uploaded the images below.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 20

Awesome morning.   I left the house around 6:45AM and headed to the Atlanta Beltline for my weekly long run.   It was 28 degrees and I was bundled up with my gloves, hat, jacket and had my my water bottle belt.   It was great to see my first 2 splits under 9 minutes.   I felt great and did not feel like was over exerting myself.   On the 2 mile return there is a steady uphill climb and I could not keep the same pace.   I was hoping to run 8 or 9 miles so I knew I needed to find a pace that would allow me to keep going.   I slowed down to a 9:15 pace and felt good over the next 2 miles.   The last 4 miles went very similar to the first 4 miles.  I was able to run a faster pace on the flats but had to slow it down on the inclines.  I ended up completing 8 miles in a 9:04 pace.   This felt like a good accomplishment because I had not done this course at that quick of a pace.   This pace would have also put me under a 2 hour Half Marathon.   I think I need to really start focusing on hill training so I can push through them and not lose a lot of pace.   

I was posed with a tough decision this evening.   My wife and I attended a wedding shower for our neighbors this evening and we would be having dinner at the shower.    They had a nice arugula salad and some homemade chili.   The chili was meat based so I had to make a choice whether I was going to eat dinner or spend the next 4 hours to 6 hours without eating.  It was already 7PM.   I remember reading a passage from the Scott Jurek book Eat And Run where he had to chose whether to eat some refried beans that he knew were made with lard.  Scott is a vegan but he knew if he did not consume some food it was not going to be good for his body.  I knew that eating away from my house was going to be the biggest challenge in trying to change my eating habits.   

To me the choice of eating some ground meat in a chili dish this was not as bad as consuming a 500 or 600 calories dinner at midnight.  You can only control so many things and I feel like I am doing a good job with my choices.

Food And Exercise


Friday, January 30, 2015

Day 19

I am looking forward to my long run this weekend to see how my legs respond to the increase in mileage over the last few weeks.   I don't know whether my legs will feel fatigue or will the extra mileage I put in give me more endurance.

Today is a lifting day and I am going to try to mix in some new exercises to target some other areas on my shoulders and triceps.   I feel like my triceps are holding my back my bench press capabilities and not allowing me to build my chest.  I am going to start to do more dips and add close grip bench presses to every triceps workout.  I think all the cable exercise are good for definition but they are not helping me build size and strength.   

I have been drinking a lot of water since being on The Rock Boat.  I used to drink a lot of Crystal Light and I am not really missing it.   I think if I throw in some cranberry juice mixed with sparkling water every few days it will help me from missing flavored drinks.

Food And Exercise


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Day 18

It was good to get back into my daily routine at home.  I woke up and had my water with apple cider vinegar and made one of my Vitamix shakes.  I decided to rework my back and biceps at the gym today because on the last day of the cruise I did not have a good training session.  The ship was rocking a good bit and I was getting a headache so I could not train my back and biceps to the level I wanted.  

I did some 400 meter sprints to finish the workout.  My legs felt great after running 23 miles over the last 4 days.  I think I might try kicking the sprints speeds up to 8.0 on the treadmill next week.  If I can complete those then it is time to try some 800 meter sprints at a lower speed.

I think I am going to change my outside running schedule a little.  I think on the Tuesday run I am going to look to find a flat course where I can run 6 miles. On Thursday I am going to keep my same 5 mile hill run but add 1 more mile.  This will give me a good balance to work on speed and the endurance of fighting through hills.

Food And Exercise


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 17

It was good to be back on land this morning.   I woke up early this morning and had my last Arden's Garden juice knowing it would be a while before I made it back to Atlanta.  I was fortunate to get off the ship early in the morning and take the earlier flight home to Atlanta.  I enjoy picking up my kids at school and taking them to their swim lessons.   I had planned to take the day off from training today but I had some time after the kids went to bed and decided to go run on my treadmill.  I went and knocked out 5 miles and I already have logged 15 miles for the week.   

I am so glad to be home and have access to my Vitamix and vegetarian food options.  Tonight my wife made lentil quinoa tacos which tasted awesome.

Food And Exercise


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 16

Today is the last full day on The Rock Boat.   I got up early again this morning before sun rise to go for my 5 mile run.  Around mile 3 a strange thing happened to me.   I heard these bells and jingles behind me and they were following me.  When I looked over my shoulder I thought I might be hallucinating the imagine I saw.  There was a certain member of our crew with a cigarette in their mouth running after me on the track.  Let's just say it is 7AM and they had not gone to bed yet.  We can also assume they probably had a lot to drink last night.  I was running at a 8:30 mile pace and this person wanted to race me around the track.  I almost had to stop because I was about to laugh to hard where I could no longer run.  I just ran a little faster to see if they would disappear.  For a minute I was alone again watching the sun rise across the ocean.  Then as I turned the next corner in front of me appeared a human hurdle laying in Downward Dog.   I had either had to jump over this individual or stop running.   Let's say this happened 3 more times before the crew member realized it was time to go load in for our sound check.  I finished my 5 mile run and headed to the gym.  I was planning on working out back and biceps this morning.  I only lasted about 20 minutes because the ship was rocking a little to much and I was getting a headache as I was trying to train.  

I feel like I did a good job over these 4 days of staying true to my plant based lifestyle.  I think the big realization was that the Vitamix shakes I make really suppress my appetite and give me the fuel to workout.   The Arden's Garden juices I brought were good but they just don't fill you up.  I probably ate more pasta than I would have wanted but there were not a lot of other vegetarian options.  I had lots of salads and beans and only drank water with my meals.

This experience gives me hope that when I am traveling on a tour bus from city to city that I can find ways to eat like I do at home.   I might have to convince Tony The Merch guy to brink his Ninja Bullet blender on the road so we can enjoy high calorie vegetable shakes in the mornings.

Food And Exercise


Monday, January 26, 2015

Day 15

I just completed 2 weeks of My Challenge To Me.  Last week I ran 5 times and completed 24.62 miles.   I am starting to see changes in my physical appearance.  My face is  thinning out and I can also see my rib cage and mid section losing body fat.  I will do anther weight check next week since I am not home to use my scale.

Today we are in Cozumel Mexico.   Since the boat is docked I decided I was going to go for a run and then I would train legs and chest.   It is very hard to train in the gym when the ship is moving especially if you are trying to do squats and lunges.   I was feeling really strong on my run this morning and knocked out 5 miles in a 8:39 average pace.  If I can start to run 10 mile training runs at that pace I will reach my goal of completing a half marathon under 2 hours.  After the run I went and had my Arden's Garden Paradise juice to give me a boost to go weight train.  I had a great workout this morning and was ready to go about the rest of my day.  

Food And Exercise


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 14

I went to bed at a decent hour after the first day on The Rock Boat.  In the middle of the night my phone decided to switch time zones and my 7:00AM alarm went of at 2:30AM.  My body did not want go back into a deep sleep at that point and I rolled in bed for the next few hours.   Around 6:00AM I decided I was going to go for a run up on the deck 12.  The Norwegian Pearl has a running track that is just under a normal 400 meter track.  You have to run 5 laps to equal a mile which is normally 4 laps on a standard track.    

Last night  I started reading the Scott Jurek book Eat And Run and it inspired me to push my self this morning.  I was about 2 miles into my run and the sun was just starting to crest the ocean in the distance and I was feeling great.  I was feeling stronger after each mile I ran.  My first mile was clocked at a 9:38 pace and by mile 3 I was running a 9:15 pace.   Miles 6-8 were all run under 9 minute miles.   I probably could have gone more than 8 miles that morning but I decided to shut it down and not risk any injury or extra soreness.   

I ate pretty well on the ship today.  I had my Arden's Garden Supergreen after my 8 mile run but I noticed it did not fill me up like my Vitamix shakes that I make at home.  I ended up eating a big breakfast because my body needed the calories to recover from the long morning run.  My goal for the rest of the day was to eat lots of salads and vegetables and whatever vegetarian dishes I could find.  I drank lots of water with my meals and just had a afternoon coffee to give me a boost for another long night.

Food And Exercise


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 13

Today is the first day of Rock Boat XV.   It is crazy to think that we have been doing the Rock Boat for the last 15 years.  The internet on the Cruise Ship is very much like dial up so I will not be able to post in real time each day.  I am just about 2 weeks into My Challenge To Me so I thought I should post a weight check today since I will be unable to do it on Day 14.  I weighed 181 today which meant I dropped 2 1/2 pounds since last week and 4 pounds since I started the challenge.   I feel like this is good progress.  I am about 10 pounds away from where I want to be so I can imagine each week I will be losing very small amounts of weight.

Today is also the first day I had to eat my plant based foods while traveling away from home.  Airports can be a challenge to find healthy food options especially for breakfast.  The eggs are either greasy or they are not made with real eggs.  Normally I would get a bagel with cream cheese but today I found a store that sold Odwalla juices.  At least this was close to what my normal food consumption is for an early morning meal.  I would have to wait another 5 hours before I boarded the Norwegian Pearl and could eat again.  I have brought some Arden's Garden juices with me so that I can start my days with a healthy juice.

The first day turned out quite well.   I found myself eating a lot of rice and salad to fill me up and I just drank water with all my meals.  My overall calorie intake was low because I did not have my homemade juice and eggs for breakfast.  We will see if I can keep this up for 3 more days.

Food And Exercise


Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 12

Today I had a very good cardio workout.   I did 30 minutes of 400 meter sprints on the treadmill and completed 3.43 miles for a 8:46 average pace.  I am hoping that doing these sprints will help me in 2 areas.  I think it will help build my overall speed for my longer runs including running a half marathon under 2 hours as well as burn more calories in a shorter period of time.   On my weight training days I only have time for 30 minutes of cardio so I have to really try to push myself during those 30 minutes.

Tomorrow I leave for The Rock Boat and it will be interesting to see if I can find enough plant based food on the ship for my meals.  I have packed some Arden's Garden juices to allow me to have my morning juice to start my day.   I might not be able to post from the ship but I will be logging all my meals and exercises.

Food And Exercise


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 11

Today was another day in which I did not have a very big appetite for lunch.   I am eating my eggs and toast after my workouts (at around 11 am) and it seems to give me enough fuel for several hours.  I did my 5 mile outside run today and I actually finished in my best time on this hilly course -  I completed the 5 miles in 45.32 for a 9:06 average pace which is where I need to be if I want to complete a half marathon in under 2 hours. 

I've been wearing my heart rate monitor on the runs and checking the data but am still trying to figure out how to analyze it and use to to improve my training. If there are any avid runners out there who train with heart rate monitors, I welcome your advice.

Food And Exercise


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 10

It was my birthday today and I am excited that this is going to be a great year for me.  I feel by this time next year I will have completed all my goals and be searching for new challenges.  Today, I thought that it might be helpful to get a physical after completing my 8 week Challenge To Me.   I should find out my cholesterol and blood sugar levels after changing my diet so drastically.  There is a history of heart disease and diabetes in my family so I probably need to monitor things more closely.

I had a great workout at the gym this morning.   I reversed the order of my training today and started with weight training and finished off with cardio.   I sometimes feel if I am pushing myself hard through 30 minutes of cardio which doesn't allow me to lift as much as I'm tired after exerting myself for the 30 minutes of cardio.

I trained back and biceps today and started to increase my weight through some of the exercises.  In order to get stronger and gain more muscle mass I will need to start lowering my repetitions and add weight.   If you constantly are doing 12-15 repetitions at the same weight your body gets used to the movement and you are not getting as much as you can from the training.   I finished the workout with my 400 meter sprints.   I did these at 7.0 on the treadmill with walking breaks at 4.0.  The breaks were 60, 45, and 30 second intervals.   I completed 3.18 miles in 30 minutes for a 9:29 average pace.  I think I am ready to move these up to around 7.5 on Friday.

Since it was my birthday I chose to deviate a bit from my daily plan.   I ended up having sushi for dinner - the rice certainly packed on a lot of extra calories but I also gained a lot more protein than a normal day.   I finished the evening with a 1/6 serving of Carvel ice cream cake.   Even with the sushi and ice cream cake I still ended up under my daily intake because of my cardio earlier in the day.

Food And Exercise


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 9

Today was a scheduled running day and I was hoping to get a nice 5 mile run outside.  The weather has improved in Atlanta over the last few days to where you can run outside without being bundled up.   The day kind of got away from me between practicing drums, teaching a lesson and fixing our rice cooker… I ran out of time to run outside.   After the kids were asleep I went down to our basement  and cranked out a good 5 miles run on our treadmill.  It is nice to have the that option when the weather gets bad or if you run out of time during the day to run outside.

I ran 5 miles in 48.21 for an average of 9:40 a mile.  My average heart rate for the run was 141 BPM.  It stayed pretty consistent throughout the run.

I have another 5 mile run scheduled for Thursday and I will be watching the heart rate throughout the run to see if I can keep it at a certain number.

I still really need some expert advice from some runners on where they train at within their Target Heart Rate.

Food And Exercise


Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 8

A strange thing seems to be happening with my food intake.   I seem to be less hungry throughout the day after I have a large juice in the morning.   Today I did not have my usual eggs after my workout and I was not starving.   I had a large burrito bowl from Willy's for lunch and it filled me up until dinner.   My overall calorie intake over the last few days has under 2000 total calories which is not normal for me.  With that said, I am not restricting my self from eating at any time in the day - I just haven't had a big appetite.

I do not know if this is from the foods I am eating or from the exercising.  I am going to monitor this more closely this week because I want to make sure I am getting enough food for my muscles to grow.

Food And Exercise


First Week

It's been 7 days since I started My Challenge To Me.   I can honestly say I feel so much better each day.   I have a lot more energy throughout the day and I can start to see changes to my body.  I do not miss eating meat and my appetite appears to be reducing as well.

I ran 19.61 miles this week which is a little bit less than I would have liked but I did not want to go out and injure myself the first week.  I got in 3 gym workouts and was able train all the body parts.

During the first week I lost a total 1.5 pounds.  I started at 185 pounds and I now weigh 184.5.  This is about what I expected would happen over the first week.  I did not expect to see large numbers because  I am only about 10 -15 pounds away from my target weight.

I will track my weight on a weekly basis and I will get a body fat and BMI number after completing 4 weeks of training.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 7

I woke up early today excited about about going for a long run on the Atlanta Belt Line.  I wore my heart rate monitor today so I could start to monitor my heart rate on long runs.   It was rather chilly at 7:00 AM so I need to bundle up in my cold weather gear including jacket, hat and gloves.  I love running the Atlanta Belt Line early on a weekend morning because you can usually run for about 45 minutes when it is not crowded and get into a zone.

I finished my 8 mile run in 1:17:24 for a overall pace of 9:40.   I was glad I could finish the 8 miles but a little frustrated that my pace was a little slow.   One of my goals for 2015 is to finish a Half Marathon under 2 hours and I need to being running a 9:10 pace to achieve that goal.

My heart heart was an average 155 BPM for the run duration.  I found some formulas to calculate Target Heart Rate

My maximum heart rate is 175 BPM (220 - 45 =145)

Resting Heart Average is 55 BPM

Heart rate max Reserve 120 BPM (175 - 55 = 120)

Target Heart Rate Lower Number (60%) 127 BPM (120 * .6) + 55 = 127
Target Heart Rate High Number (85%) 151 BPM (120 * .8) + 55 = 151

Target Heart Rate 139 BPM (127 + 151 / 2 = 139)

I think with averaging a 155 BMP I might need to work on getting that number down over the course of a long run.   

If there are any avid runners who train with heart rate monitors please leave me some suggestions in the comments. 

Food And Exercise


Run Data

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day 6

I decided that I did not have the energy to go for a long run this morning.  My training schedule has a  long run scheduled for Saturday or Sunday - this gives me the flexibility when I am home or, if I am traveling with the band, the opportunity to decide which weekend day will be better for long run.   I also need at least 1 day where my body can recover from 6 days of running and weight training.

I am looking for some quick vegetarian lunch options when I do not have dinner leftovers in the refrigerator.   I have been making avocado sandwiches and other vegetarian sandwiches but would like an easy hot lunch option.  Feel free to leave any recipes or ideas in the comments!

Food And Exercise


Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 5

I am 5 days into my challenge and I am feeling stronger each day with tons of energy.   I've had no meat cravings and the strange thing is after having my juice and eggs in the morning I really have no appetite for eating a big lunch.  I have been forcing my self to eat something in the afternoon to keep my body fueled until dinner time.

I had a really good workout in the gym today and focused on shoulders, triceps and abdominals.   My legs were still a little sore from the 5 mile run I did yesterday so I decided to wait another day before putting more miles on them.   I think it is wise to gradually add miles to get back to 25 miles a week so I do not suffer a injury trying to get there.

Next week is my birthday and my wife and I went out to a nice dinner to celebrate.   We to try decided Eli Kirshtein's new restaurant the Luminary located in the Krog Street Market.   We have been a fan of Eli since he worked at Eno and we followed him on Top Chef Season 6.  The meal was absolutely amazing and I highly recommend checking out the restaurant if you live in Atlanta.  The restaurant was a really good choice considering both my wife and I are not eating meat these days.  There were some nice vegetarian dishes on the menu as well as some great fish options.  I had some oysters and octopus from the raw bar to start and for my appetizer I had some gnocchi that was cooked perfectly.   My main course dish was monkfish with squid and beans.   The meal ended up putting me over my goal calorie count for the day but I am okay with that.

I am looking forward to trying to knock out a 8 mile run this weekend and connecting my hear rate monitor to my Garmin watch.   I want to start analyzing my breathing during these longer runs and focus on relaxing and getting into a zone.

Food And Exercise


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 4

This was another running day for me and it was not looking good outside.   It had started to rain and the temperature was around 39 degrees.  I had not run a long outside run since December so I was really looking forward to going out for a 5 mile jog.  I decided I was going to bundle up in my cold weather gear including my Nike Vapor Jacket and brave the elements.   I got a little winded on the hills of my 5 mile run but I was able to complete it in 46:58 and average a 9:24 pace.  I am glad I toughed out the elements and pushed my self to finish the miles.   I think for my next long run I am going to connect my heart rate monitor to my Garmin Forerunner 15.   I have been reading that you need to keep your heart rate down if you want to run longer distances.  It may meaning running a slower pace at first but the trick is to control your heart rate so you will become less fatigued.   I need to do some more reading on this over the weekend.

As I mentioned in my first post of this challenge this is going to permanent lifestyle change so I have to be realistic about what I can do on daily basis.  Today my children were about to mutiny if I did not take them to a certain restaurant for dinner.   I knew if I did this I would be limited in my food choices so some days you just have to roll with the punches.   I ended up having a salad, shrimp fajitas, black beans and rice with a small glass of beer.   Amazingly my calorie count for the day did not exceed my normal limits.   It was a good lesson not to beat my self up because I am putting the work in and eating healthy the rest of the day.

Food And Exercise


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 3

I can really notice a difference with not eating meat and poultry for several weeks.   I think having a large juice every morning also plays a major role in how I am feeling.   I seem to have a lot more energy these days and do not hit a afternoon wall of tiredness.

Today is another gym day but I got in earlier enough to add my cardio today.  One of my trainers (La'Mere Cornelius) had showed me that by running 400 meter sprints and taking breaks after each one I could get better results from 30 minutes of cardio.  The routine is to run a 400 meter lap at a fast pace like 7.0 or higher on a treadmill.  After you complete the first lap you can walk around 4.0 for 60 seconds.   Once you complete the 2nd lap you then only get to walk for 45 seconds.   On completion of the 3rd lap you get a 30 second walk break.  After the next lap you go back to a 60 second break and repeat the same break schedule for 30 minutes.

After completing the sprints I went into a back and bicep workout.   I have been doing my morning workouts after I have my Vitamix juice and I have plenty of energy to get me through the workout.

My calorie intake has been consistent for most of the week so I think I will try to keep eating the sam types of foods.

Food And Exercise Diary


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 2

I have decided to eliminate dairy from most of my diet to go along with the plant based foods that I am eating.  I used to drink 2% milk latte's in the morning but recently switch to a caffe americano with a little heavy cream to cut back on dairy.  This morning I tried to drink my morning caffe americano with almond milk mixed with water and I can easily say that it was horrible.

With the caffe americano tasting bad with almond milk I decided to steam the almond milk and turn the drink into an almond milk latte.   It tastes so much better this way and I think I will just have to deal with the consequences of this decision.   It has more calories this way but I need to have my morning espresso and I will just have to see how this works out in my total numbers for the day.

Today was supposed to be a 5mile run day outside but I had to switch to a treadmill run in the evening.   I was only able to get in 3.37 before my legs started feeling like jello from the previous day leg workout.

I feel like I am making good decisions that I can follow through with the rest of my life.

Food And Exercise


Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 1

Today is the official first day of my 8 week challenge to myself.  I would have started posting a week ago but I had to work out some glitches with My Fitness Pal and Garmin Connect.  However, I think I finally have all the issues resolved.

I started my day with my apple cider vinegar and water and then made a Vitamix juice made with carrots, cucumbers, ginger, orange Juice, Apple and Water - the recipe is below.

Today was my gym day today and I focused on chest and legs.  All the exercise were done as supersets (2 at a time) - Below is my workout log from My Fitness Pal.  All exercise are in the order that I executed them.  I was supposed to fit in a 30 minute sprint run but ran out of time so no cardio for today.

Everyday I will list my diary from My Fitness Pal so you can see what I ate and what kind of exercises i did.   It will also include my calorie intake and what I burned from cardio.   I will list my weight training but My Fitness Pal does not calculate calories burned during weight training so that will not count towards my net calorie number.

Feeling great so far.  Anyone out there have a good breakfast smoothie recipe?  If so, share in the comments.

Exercise And Food Diary


Juice #2 Ingredients And Nutritional Facts

2.00 Carrots 
1.00 Cucumber
3.00 tsp, Ginger
4.00 oz, Orange Juice
1.00 Red Apple
8.00 oz, Tap Water