Category: Health and Wellness

Hard changes – Diet, Exercise, Fitness Week 1 Day 4 Thoughts.

Hard changes – Diet, Exercise, Fitness Week 1 Day 4 Thoughts.

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Sept 27, 2017. 250 pounds on a 5'9" frame.
Sept 27, 2017. 250 pounds on a 5’9″ frame.

The hard changes for working towards a better physical life have been made. I’m trying to move forward and not be this shell of an obese person anymore. It’s going to take persistence, and effort on my part… and I’m 100% okay with that. I had a spark, I knew something needed to change, so I’m doing it. The below started as a Facebook post where one of my fencing instructors made a statement that kinda wowed me. If you’re into it, and wanna make the change, understand that it’s gonna feel impossible, but you’re worth it. To somebody.

“Most people cannot do what you’re doing right now, my man.” – Tora Taka – regarding my new fitness routine.

This galled at me over night, because I’m not special. I’m just a guy who has gotten fed up with the circumstances regarding his current weight, and as such, I made the conscious decision to make the changes necessary to stop being the me whose image I hate when I peer into the mirror.

Yeah, it’s stupid hard.

Yes, it is hard. It’s hard to wake up a little earlier, because, trust me, I’d rather sleep an extra half-hour to an hour. It’s hard to go to bed a little earlier to accommodate. Because I’d rather watch a night baseball game. It’s hard to limit my intake on portions – because I have the inability to feel full and have a constant voracious hunger (THANKS SIDE EFFECTS). It’s hard to make the decision to start the run, or hit play on the HIIT workouts. It’s hard to make the decision to not quit midrun because my lungs are burning, and my heart is protesting that I’m not sitting on a couch.

All this is hard, but it’s hard because it’s contra to what I’ve allowed myself to be accustomed to. As a society, we’ve allowed ourselves to be glutenous. We’ve reached a point where most of us ride a desk when it comes to our jobs. And we’ve reached a point where convenience gives us food that is neither healthy nor truly satisfying deep down.

But y’know, I feel better already, just a week in. Just moving because I can makes me feel better. At the risk of channeling Nike a bit too hard, if I ‘Just Do It’ I feel better all day.

Nike swoosh says just do it.
Nike brand. Obviously their Trademark. I feel that it is used here within the fair use doctrine.

Channel JFK

But all this seems to confirm Tora’s point. That most people can’t do it. They can’t break free of the chains that keeps them with bad nutrition or bad exercise habits. As a society, we have become lazy. I am sure that there are many aspects behind it. I can’t give any reasons why this would be. With hard work, it is possible to move outside this routine. It won’t be easy, far from it. However, we, as Americans, are the people of Jack Kennedy. As Kennedy said in the “Address at Rice University on the Nation’s Space Effort” delivered on September 12, 1962:

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”

You can succeed at physical fitness and having a healthier life. Just change “we go to the Moon” to “I will make myself healthier” and then realize it is going to be hard. And it is going measure the very best of you. If you’re willing to take the plunge, come on friends, lets do it.

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Suicide Prevention PSA – Please Seek Help

Suicide Prevention PSA – Please Seek Help

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For music fans of a certain age, the last few months have been disastrous. It’s obviously old news by now that Soundgarden front-man Chris Cornell hanged himself in May. On June 19, 2017, Chester Bennington of the rock outfit Linkin Park went out the same way.  For each day they represent one of the over 117 people who took their own life that day, or about 1 suicide every 12 minutes. Of these 117, approximately 22 each day are veterans. The last numbers available per this New York Times article, 42,773 people committed suicide in 2014, and was a continuing upward trend. 

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Dinner Dice – A solution for “Nothing sounds good”

Dinner Dice – A solution for “Nothing sounds good”

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Depression combined with Anxiety is a living hell. When both flair up at once, you can forget about getting anything accomplished. This includes basic self-care, like eating. There are times when everyone feels tired, and nothing sounds good. And sometimes there is just a level of apathy to make nothing seem desirable. Seeing a dear friend struggle one day, a fix was necessary. I put a pen to paper, and drafted the concept of Dinner Dice.

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Food Plan 3/19 – 3/25

Food Plan 3/19 – 3/25

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Sunday, Tuesday:
Breakfast:
Cafe Mocha Protein Shake (6 ounces chilled coffee, scoop of protein powder, 6 ice cupes)
Toasted english muffin with light butter

Snack 1:
1 Hard boiled egg

Lunch:
Roast beef on Wheat (1 slice of bread, 1/2 tomato, 1 lettuce leaf, 1 Tbsp of Mayo)
Tangerine
4 ounces of OJ or Apple Juice

Snack 2:
2 cheese sticks.

Dinner:
Herb Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Honeydew,. Cantalope, Other Mellon (3/4 cup)

Meatless Monday and Friday (lenten fast)
Breakfast
Chocolate Banana Protein Shake
1 banana, medium
1 1/2 servings chocolate protein powder
8 fluid ounces soy milk, plain, non fat
6 Ice Cubes
Blend.

Snack 1
Bell Pepper and Baby carrots with Hummus
1 red bell pepper, medium (cored and sliced)
4 baby carrots
2 tablespoons hummus (purchased or fresh)

Lunch
Goat Cheese Salad
2 cups mixed salad greens
4 cherry tomatoes
1 ounce soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 whole wheat crackers
1 ounce dried apricot halves

Mix, add vinegar and toss. Crackers on the side for crunch

Snack 2
1/2 cup of canned fruit cocktail (in juice not syrup)
1/4 cup of cottage cheese

Dinner

Eggplant Parmesan
Steamed Broccoli
Spaghetti (or spaghetti squash) with Tomato Sauce

Wednesday Thursday:
Breakfast
Strawberry Chocolate Protein Shake (1 cup strawberry, 1.5 scoops protien powder, 1 cup of soy milk, 8 ice cubes)

Snack 1:
1 Hard boiled egg

Lunch:
Roast beef on Wheat (1 slice of bread, 1/2 tomato, 1 lettuce leaf, 1 Tbsp of Mayo)
Tangerine
4 ounces of OJ or Apple Juice

Snack 2:
2 cheese sticks.

Dinner:
Szechwan Chicken Stir-Fry
White Rice
1/2 cup pineapple chunks

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Menu Plan 1-9-2017 to 1-14-2017

Menu Plan 1-9-2017 to 1-14-2017

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Weekly meal plan coming at you (a couple days late, cause I have been super busy.)

Breakfast:

M/T/Th: Peanut Butter Chocolate and Strawberry shake

W/F: Cafe Mocha Protein Shake with Toasted English Muffin

Sat: Spinach and Mushroom Omelet with Goat Cheese

Lunch:

M/Th: Goat Cheese Salad

T/Sat: Turkey Sandwich with Broccoli Spears

W/F: Layered Black Bean Dip and Chips

Dinner:

M/Sat: Vegetarian Pad Thai

T: (dinner out with inlaws for Mother In Laws birthday)

W/Th: Greek Chicken, Marinated Tomatoes and Couscous

Fri: Mustard Glazed Tilapia

Snacks: (choose two per day)

Hard Boiled Eggs

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks x2

Chicken Salad and Pita

Turkey Lettuce Wrap with Baby Carrots and a Tablespoon of Ranch

Carrots with Hummus.

 

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Vegetarian Pad Thai – Low Calorie Low Carb Dinner

Vegetarian Pad Thai – Low Calorie Low Carb Dinner

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Vegetarian Pad Thai - Four Portions.
Vegetarian Pad Thai – Four Portions.

I found a great resource for the 21 Day Fix as a free companion cookbook at Days of Fitness. Sarah presents a Paleo Pad Thai dish in her cookbook.  My wife and I enjoyed the Pad Thai as prepared by her recipe. That said, we dedicated to doing a meatless Monday. I opted to try her recipe again, except as a vegetarian dish, with a few tweaks here and there. I do forget that my wife and I tend to enjoy different heat levels. Which my attempt at being nice by making dinner fell flat because I cooked it at a high level of heat. Oops.

Looking back, putting 2 Tablespoons of red pepper flakes in the sauce was way too much. I probably should have used 1. But, as it works out, I really enjoy this recipe, which is good, since it will be my supper the rest of the week.

If you’re doing 21 Day Fix portion containers, I figure this recipe as 1 Red, 2 Green and 1 Orange per serving.

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Meal Plan December 26 – December 29

Meal Plan December 26 – December 29

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Breakfasts

Tuesday and Thursday: Cafe Mocha  Protein Shake (1 Red container)

Wednesday and Friday: Chocolate Blueberry Protein Shake (1 Red, 1 Purple) on Wednesday w/ Almond Milk for 1 Yellow container

AM Snacks:

Tuesday: Hard Boiled Egg x2 (1 Red Container)

Wednesday: Turkey Red Pepper Wraps (1 Red, 1 Green)

Thursday: Apple and Peanut Butter (1 Purple)

Friday: Pumpkin Muffin with Maple Cream Cheese (1 Purple, 1/2 Blue)

Lunch:

Tuesday: Spinach Salad with chicken, Avocado and Feta Cheese (1 Green, 1 Red, 1 Blue)

Wednesday: Spinach Salad with chicken, Feta Cheese (1 Green, 1 Red, 1/2 Blue)

Thursday: Tuna Salad Sandwich (1 Red, 1 Green, 2 Yellow, 1/2 Tablespoon)

Friday: Chicken Tacos (1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Yellow)

PM Snacks:

Tuesday: Apple and Peanut Butter

Wednesday: Pumpkin Muffin with Maple Cream Cheese

Thursday: Turkey Red Pepper Wraps

Friday: Turkey Red Pepper Wraps

Dinners

Tuesday: Ground Turkey stuffed red peppers with brown rice (1 Red, 2 Green, 1 Yellow) Baked apple for dessert (1 Purple)

Wednesday: Chicken and Veggie Stirfry with Brown Rice (1 Red, 1 Gree, 1 Yellow)

Thursday: Paleo Pad Thai (1 Green, 1 Red, 1 Orange) and a Pumpkin Muffin w/ Maple Cream Cheese

Friday: slow cooker meatloaf (1 red, 1/2 yellow, 1/2 blue) with steamed broccoli (1 green)

 

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Meal Plan December 19 through December 24

Meal Plan December 19 through December 24

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Portion control, portion control, portion control. It is the bane of my existence and why I currently tip the scales at my current unsatisfactory weight. As such, it works much better for me if we only prepare and serve one serving of a meal. We also build a weekly menu, so that we can consolidate our shopping trips for the week.

I’m not doing a meal plan for Christmas Day, as Christmas Day is going to be spent with family at various brunches and the like, and as such I don’t know what food will be served. I will just do my best to eat reasonable portions instead of gorging myself on the feast food.

Breakfasts

Monday: Chocolate Protein Shake with Banana

Tuesday: Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake with Banana

Wednesday: Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake with Banana

Thursday: Chocolate Protein Shake with Banana

Friday: Chocolate Protein Shake with Banana

Saturday: Denver Omelet

 

AM Snack

Monday: Hard Boiled Egg

Tuesday: Tuna and Crackers

Wednesday:  Tuna and Crackers

Thursday:  Chicken Salad and Pita

Friday: Cheese Sticks

Saturday: Hard Boiled Egg

 

Lunch

Monday: Veggie Burger Open Face

Tuesday: Garlic Chicken and Spinach Wrap

Wednesday: Chicken Bruschetta Salad Wrap

Thursday:  Chicken Bruschetta Salad Wrap

Friday:  Garlic Chicken and Spinach Wrap

Saturday: Veggie Burger Open Face

 

PM Snack

Monday: Nachos

Tuesday: Cheese Sticks

Wednesday: Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Thursday: Cheese Sticks

Friday: Tuna and Crackers

Saturday: Cheese Stick

 

Dinner

Monday: Cajun Red Beans and Rice, Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms with Rosemary and a Blueberry Yogurt Parfait

Tuesday: Baked Italian Chicken, Squash Saute, Corn Bread, and Strawberries

Wednesday: Chicken Piccata, Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil, Strawberry Yogurt Delight

Thursday:  Greek Chicken, Marinated Tomatoes, Quick and Easy Couscous, Kiwi and Strawberry Dessert

Friday: Basil Chicken, Three Bean Salad, Quick and Easy Cousous, Blueberries with Whipped topping

Saturday: Baked Italian Chicken, Squash Saute, Corn Bread, and Strawberries

 

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Weight Loss Journey with T-25 Take 2

Weight Loss Journey with T-25 Take 2

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In April 2016, I finished the Focus T-25 High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) regiment. However, after finishing the program, I began to slack. In turn, I have ballooned back up to a weight I am not happy with. Therefore, my wife and I decided to restart the Focus T-25 program, and are taking our diet and exercise seriously.  We are also using the 21 Day Fix portion control system for our meal planning.

Focus T-25

I love the T-25 system. It is a 25 minute a day workout that offers the results of a 1 hour program. The program includes an Alpha, Beta, and Gamma evolution, with each taking approximately six weeks. I recommend this program for those who are thinking about starting HIIT programs. As you repeat the workouts for six weeks, once you understand the moves, you can put the music up louder and just crush the workouts.  However, for the first few times through the program, you are going to feel awkward, because it is like learning a dance routine.

My first time through the program, I took a header doing one of the maneuvers because I started moving too fast. This reminded me to move at a safe, in control pace.

Menu

Meal planning is the key to weight-loss.  I have an issue with portion control. Because of this, Sarah and I bought a set of 21 day fix measuring containers. These containers allow you to measure your portions of the different areas of the food pyramid, without requiring you to count calories.

After you calculate your caloric needs, you just check to see how many of each container (one for fruits, veggies, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, dressings and tablespoons) correspond to the caloric level. Then you build your meal plan around those containers.

My goal from here forward is to post my weekly meal plan with recipes, to hold myself accountable and to inspire others to join.

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