Tuesday, June 14, 2011

RevAbs Day 1

In the bag. This is a much easier routine than either Insanity or P90X. But this was just the "strength building" routine, we will see how the rest of the Ab focused stuff works out. I will admit, there were a few routines that had my abs pretty sore. Add in Mercy Abs, a 3 mile run, jiu-jitsu, and day 1 of a fast, and I'm actually pretty drained for one day =)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tofu as a Meat Substitute

Since starting the Engine 2 Diet, one of the things I have had to cope with is the loss of meat. It has been a very well anticipated event in our house when I grill up some rib eyes or bake some salmon. So, in trying to keep with the spirit of the diet, I've had to start trying the substitutes.

The Engine 2 Diet book recommends Tofu, but there isn't very much information on it. My first attempt at making Tofu steaks ended in total disaster, of this gross, gooey cheese like consistency, and a poor mixture to try to compensate for the taste with over spices. Not very good, and it left me and my wife trying to convince ourselves that "it wasn't bad".

We were lacking two vital pieces of information. First, if you drain the tofu (which is stored in water), freeze it, then thaw it, the texture completely changes to something more tolerable. It becomes more like meat and less like flan.

The second piece of information, tofu is just like a bland sponge. It will absorb ALL of the flavor you throw at it, unlike real meat. So the same ratios of flavoring and spices you would add to a steak will overwhelm you with tofu. Tofu will absorb the flavor of foods around it extremely well, so go sparingly on the soy sauce, Worcester sauce, and spices (or in our case, Engine 2 friendly substitutes). My later adventures have proven much more successful. Plus, any left overs can be broken up into crumbles and mixed in with black beans, brown rice, and veggies to make an excellent meal the next night for wraps or burritos.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Status Update

So an update. I finished Insanity. Actually, I had to finish a week early due to a pretty bad neck injury I suffered in jiu-jitsu, but I'll allow it ;). again, I didn't follow the diet, so I didn't see the weight loss, but damned if a six pack isn't peeking out like crazy. I'm just about back to the physical level I was at last year. I have also decided to start RevAbs, so when that arrives, I'll be jumping into it for 90 days to really focus on that mid section. In the mean time I have just been running my daily 5K's while my neck heals.

In response to to the lack of weight loss and after watching Forks over Knives I have started on the Engine 2 Diet, which is a plant based, whole foods diet. I have been on it for a full week, and my energy has sky rocketed. The best thing about it is the food. While I didn't think plant based recipes could be this good (except the shakes I have been notorious for making), some of these are actually really good. The best ones I have had so far are a french toast recipe, and a black beans and rice recipe that I modified into a taco recipe. Since starting it, I've already dropped 3 pounds. Not bad for just a week.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Getting Ready to Try the Engine 2 Diet

2 weeks away from finishing Insanity. Very proud of myself, the first time I have actually made it through the grueling Month 2.

This week I went to go see Forks over Knives. It basically validated a lot of what I have been saying for a long time. The eye opener for me is that even fish can bad. So I am going to give the Engine 2 Diet a try. While I won't totally swear off meat, I will try to live primarily this diet. This ought to be interesting.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Insanity: One month complete!!!

Thats right, I've hit the 1 month mark, and am actually 1 week into Month 2. My conditioning has improved drastically. Previously I wasn't able to make it through the Max Interval workouts, but I'm hanging in there. Maybe its not easy, but I am still sticking with it =)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Insanity: Day 2

Just started another round of Insanity. Day 2 brings a lot of soreness in the back and glutes. But I stuck with it, hit play, and did Plyometric Cardio Circuit, followed by a 3 mile run. Once finished, I treated myself to some skillet baked tilapia, sweet corn soup, and coconut water. Now, rest for a few hours and try to make it to jiu-jitsu.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rorion Gracie, training a baby to drink coconut juice. A nutritious drink if you follow the Gracie Diet.


Rorion Gracie "training" a baby to drink watermelon juice and banana smoothies

I got a big kick out of this video. Rorion Gracie responds to the question "How do you "train" a baby to like watermelon juice and a banana smoothie.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Chia Seeds

My good friend Jeanie put up a video about how to prepare Chia Seeds. Chia Seeds are a great source of nutrition, and great for weight loss. Check it out.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

P90X Exercise Calendar

Still a work in progress, but check out my Exercise Calendar Widget. Pick either P90x or Insanity, set your start date, the day in the program to offset from, and click Copy. It will create an entire Outlook or Google Calendar with your entire program mapped out for you.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Started Shakeology

It actually a lot tastier than I expected. I like the green berry more than the chocolate, and have been using the recipes provided. I'll talk more on it when I have spent more time with it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Getting Ready to Fast

I fast pretty regularly. I would say, about once a month or so. Now, by fasting, I mean a juice fast, which is to abstain from eating solid foods, and only have fresh fruit and vegetable juices and water. With the Gracie diet, I know there are plenty of juice combinations I can follow. If I'm not being too strict with the fast, I can follow the recipes from the Juicing Bible. If your curious about the proper way to do a fast, and how to come off of a fast, then i recommend reading Juice Fasting and Detoxification. Keep in mind that this book does not contain any recipes, it is strictly a guideline book.

So, to kick off the fast I have planned for this week, I intend to do something a little different. I will use Shakeology for my fast. So, for one of the juice concoctions I will follow the Shakeology recipes. I will also kick it off with a salt water flush. The mixture I use for this is 1 quart (thats 4 cups), and 1 teaspoon of sea salt (not table salt, as this contains iodide). The site linked said use 2 teaspoons, so try both and see which ones work for you.

From experience, I already know that the first day I won't feel a thing. By Day 2 I get "hyper-focus" as everything gets really clear, and by the end of Day 2 I get really bad headaches, and by Day 3 all I can think about is food. After Day 3, its easy sailing. But those are my results, and your mileage may vary.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Interview with Ryron Gracie about the Gracie Diet

We recently had Ryron Gracie do a seminar for us at our Jiu-Jitsu academy. Since I am a big proponent about the Gracie Diet, I used that as an opportunity to ask him about its history, what its central ideas area, and what was it like being a kid growing up with it.


More information about the Gracie Diet, including the book written by Rorion Gracie that can get you started with the theories behind it, some recipes, and whats safe to order when your out and about at restaurants, can be found on the Gracie Diet website.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Juice Bags, What Are They, and Where Do You Get Them?

One of the dietary practices I have assimilated into my routine is juicing. Not shooting steroids and becoming some meat head, but rather the process of extracting juicing from raw fruits and vegetables and consuming those in place of meals. In some cases I will do this as a fast, and do nothing but juice for a week or more, but for the most part I just replace a meal out of each day with it.

While I will save the topic of which juicers to consider buying, and believe me, I have and use a lot of juicers, from the Breville Juice Fountain, to the Omega Juicer, and on the low end the Juiceman Jr. This discussion is around juice bags.

Juice bags are basically serve as a filter for manual juicing of fruits, by either squeezing by hand, running through a blender, or using an old fashion citrus juicer. Once done, you run the sludge through a juice bag, filtering out the pulp and just getting the nutrient rich juice in its place. You can get an idea of the process by watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCd_H8xn7VA

This process works very well when juicing watermelon, grapes, oranges, lemons and limes.

So the next question is, which juice bags are the best. I have a wide range of bags, from the nylon nets, to hemp fiber bags. You can even substitute a juice bag for the kind of bag they use in home made beer making. Each one has its advantages. For citrus, I prefer the hemp fiber bags available from Vermont Fiddleheads. They do make smaller bags if the 12x12 is too expensive for you. I also use the nylon bags for watermelons and grapes, which is available also from Vermont Fiddleheads, as well as the Gracie Diet Store. If your a jiu-jitsu person, the Gracie Store also offers discounts on the bags if you buy their other products, such as gi's or tshirt's.

Plenty of good recipes come with these types of juices. Any citrus juice needs to be done alone since it is acidic. If you juice grapes, you can mix with acai and you get a really nice, wine tasting type shake. With watermelons, you can mix with bananas and acai for one of my all time favorites mixes. My wife is pretty fond of drinking the watermelons juices straight with meals.

Keep in mind, its better to drink the juices right away, do not juice then store them in the fridge, as they lose potency pretty quickly, and spoil really fast since there are no preservatives in them. But you wouldn't want preservatives anyway since you want maximum potency of nutrients.

P90X: Week 5 Day 1

Starting off on Month 2 with Chest, shoulders, and triceps. This is a much more difficult routine than I remembered it being. By the end of month 1 I was breezing through Chest and Back, and Arms and Shoulders. Must be because different muscles are being worked.

With that, I will give a good tip. If your struggling, lighten the weight, or lower your reps. If its push-ups, consider using your knees. By the end of this workout, I had to shift to the using the knees, and had to drop the weight, especially when it got to the pours for shoulders. Just don't give up!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So, I had some extra Tilapia. I needed a couple of recipes for seasoning, so I tried these out:

  • paprika,
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • melt some butter
  • squeeze some lemon juice
  • baste over the filet
  • sprinkle on a small amount of brown sugar, salt, black pepper
Neither of these work on the diet, since lemon juice is a Group D item, and doesn't mix with anything, but it came out great. If you want it Gracie diet, drop the paprika, lemon juice, and sugar, and eat with rice which is a starch.

Cantaloupe Shake

Started off this morning with a cantaloupe shake. Had some cantaloupes sitting around that are in desperate need of eating, so I picked the riper one and made myself a shake.

  • 1 whole cantaloupe
  • granola
  • acai
  • honey
Cut the cantaloupe into pieces, and run through a juicer. My preference here is to use the Breville Juice Fountain. While the Omega Juicer will give a better juice yield, with melons it has the tendency to clog, so I can get the job done faster with the Breville. Put the juice into a blender, take about a cup of granola. Put in 2 packets of acai puree. For this shake I like to use the Sambazon Smoothie packs just because its easy to use and since I can clear out the local grocery stores supply of this, its easy to find. Put in a small amount of honey, just enough to sweeten the taste. If I had to guess, I would estimate I use about 1/4 cup of honey. Then liquefy in the blender.

This is great because everything in this recipe is a Group C food, except the granola, which is Group B, so it fits in the Gracie Diet. There isn't a similar recipe in the P90X meal plan, but thats OK. This is just a get up and go recipe for the early morning.

Of course, the alternative is you can eat the cantaloupe whole. There isn't really a compelling reason to juice it, except that for some odd reason, I just don't like cantaloupe is a solid form. I don't know why, I can eat watermelon whole, I just prefer to juice cantaloupe.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Turkey Tacos 2

Not my usual recipe for this, but I was out of my usual ingredients so this did in a pinch, they came out pretty good too.

  • 1/4 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 green chili pepper
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 1/4 cup of egg white
  • turkey breast, chopped
  • Corn tortillas
Cut up the peppers, onion. I used a food processor. Mix with egg whites and chopped turkey. Coat pan or skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Put into skillet or stove top in pan. I used an electric skillet, and set to 350 degrees. Cook until egg whites turn solid, mixing with a spatula throughout to scramble the eggs. Put the corn tortillas in a microwave for 15-30 seconds, making sure to cover with either a tortilla towel or with paper towels. Makes 3 tacos.

The original idea came from the P90x Nutrition guide by modifying the Mushroom Omelet by removing the cheese and replacing with turkey breast. This fits the Gracie Diet since all the items are Group A items, which mix together, except the corn tortillas, which is a Group B item. So its the best of both worlds, following the P90x meal plan, and keeping on the Gracie Diet.

P90X: Week 4, Day 2

Did Core Synergistics. No additional exercise today, but after my run yesterday and the good weather, I'm itching to get back out there...

One Way to Know if Your Eating Wrong

I am a follower of the Gracie Diet. So one of the things that I noticed upon taking up the lifestyle is how I feel after a meal when I follow the diet vs when I don't. When I break the diet, I get a very tired feeling after eating. I don't want to move, and I feel "lazy" or "sluggish". In cases like these, it is pretty evident that my body is wasting an enormous amount of energy in order to digest the food I just ate. When I follow the diet, I don't get that feeling, and am ready for physical activity almost immediately afterwords, although I still give myself "at least one hour" that we have always heard growing up. So, keep that in mind, you'll know if your eating wrong if you have the "food fatigue" after you eat.