Vegetables/ Vegetarian

Rants and Raves

I know I haven’t done a written post in a while, but that’s because I’ve been putting together some podcasts that I hope you all can listen to! First I want to talk about a few things that have been awesome lately... and then a couple rants I have- one being really important.

So- things I’m loving:

  • As I’ve said before, that my computer can read articles to me--but this time, the WAY it reads some words. My favorite is “Paleo”, which it reads “Pahh-lee-oh”.  Also, if anyones types “xoxo” it reads it as “Sockza”  Haha, explain that to me.  And just to let you know, I imagine you all in real life sounding like a computer robot since I have the computer speak your blog posts lol.
  • Brussell Sprouts.  Really! I love vegetables and they are a new way to incorporate more variety.
  • Full fat coconut milk: Check it out- here I mixed it with spaghetti squash and cinnamon... so bomb:

  • The fact that I still got some high-intensity workouts while I was traveling to Nashville last week. Also met up with my man JC there, who owns www.JCDfitness.com.

  • My swims the week before last--I swam over 15,000yds! Hoping to repeat that this week
  • I signed up for 2 races next month- The Gasparilla half marathon on March 4th and the Ocala HITS Half Ironman triathlon on March 25th!  I really need these to test my readiness for Boston so I’m really looking forward to it!  Not thrilled that I have to race against my coach though... but at least he’s not in my age group!
  • FEARLESS NUTRITION RADIO! The podcast I have started with a friend of mine.  We did our bios in the first episode and had an interview with expert Sean Croxton last week.  Pretty cool that we’ve been able to line up some VERY acclaimed and esteemed guests to interview!
  • I ate bacon.. no really!  For the first in my life and all on my own!  Here I made bacon wrapped chicken:

  • I went to Disney last weekend and rode the Rock n’ Roll coaster for the first time... fun picture:

  • New threads: Fly?
  • I downloaded Instagram

  • Joined Pintrest.. not a bad way to collect recipes and workouts I want to try

Now a couple rants!

  • First, I don’t know if any of you have listened to the podcasts!  We haven’t had many questions come on or any comments.  These take a lot to work and I really want to bring you guys a lot of benefit!  Please let me know if you have any questions that we can answer and guests you’d like to see.  I’ve got nutritionists, pro athletes, and health gurus lined up and I really want to keep this up!
  • Next- I was watching the show “Fat Chef” on Food Network.  I love Food Network and I appreciate what they are doing but it just highlights again to me how many (I didn’t say all!) “Registered Dietitians” really have no idea what they are doing.  The nutritionist wanted to put a 340 pound woman on an 1,800 calorie diet. Clearly she had no idea about the actual laws of thermogenisis where that woman’s metabolism is actually going to be HIGHER than an average-weight person. Not to mention she’s probably burns twice as many calories as the average person as rest due to the fact of supporting and moving all that weight around and the calories needed to maintain it. The right way to do this is to lower calories below maintenance, but this is still going to be a significant amount of calories which will slowly be tapered down as the woman’s weight decreases proportionately.  Sorry, but that just drives me crazy, same with the Biggest Loser, that these “Celebrity dietitians” don’t know things such as this.  Sorry.

Ok, if you read one, read this one.  My dad sent me an email last week asking if the changes I had made in my life lately were truly benefitting me.  And he was asking completely earnestly.  I took this back to my nutritionist as she has been helping me with a lot of things- prioritizing nutrition, sleep, and all that etc. Basically, she called me out real hard.  I had to be honest with myself and my dad and to her!  Have I done any of the plan that I’ve time, money, and focus on doing?  NO!  Not really.  Yeah, I’ve changed my diet for the better, but what good is that if I am not sleeping enough and not making the lifestyle changes that will allow this better, healthier paleo diet to actually work!

How can I expect to increase my testosterone, beat the iron deficiency that has caused me to become anemic, and to release my fears and comforts with foods if I don’t take the first steps to get me there? So basically, I need to harden the fuck up and step it up.  If I can focus so hard on the other things in my life like working out and eating, why can’t I put the remaining piece of the puzzle into place? I am committing to do (I’m sure you’re laughing and saying “gee Chuck, you’ve only said that a MILLION times!”) but now, the harsh reality that my nutritionist has brought to light has got me focused.

Thank you all for reading.  Now go listen to my podcast!

Questions:

  1. What questions do you have for the podcast?  What guests would you like Max and I to have on the show?  We really can get some “famous” people on there!
  2. Do you have any tasty recipes or ideas using coconut milk?
  3. What are you ranting and raving about this week

Changes and Challenges

I had another triathlon this weekend... but since my past 2 posts have pretty much all been about triathlons, I'll keep this recap short, ha.  This race was at the country's "Number 1 Beach" at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida, about an hour south of Tampa.  It was gorgeous, although I would definitely want more waves if I was going to spend very long there.  But the sand and water were beautiful... you could actually see the bottom! For the race, I finished 3rd in my age group and was generally pleased with the results, although not elated.  This was a train-through race, meaning the only taper I did was a short workout on the day before, which in itself was still tough considering I'd run 9.5 miles the day before, a 30 mile bike ride, and 1800m swim.

This beach is on the Gulf of Mexico so the water was extremely warm, which doesn't really make for fast swimming.  It was also pretty choppy considering there weren't really many waves.  My swim split was awful so we won't even get into it lol.

The bike was ok- I average right about 21 mph.  Also had a fun little crash where the chick next to me didn't seem to want to move over during a turn and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid smashing into a car.  Couple scrapes but nothing remotely serious.

The run (to my surprise) was totally along the beach.  Ha, ok the beach is pretty and all, but damn.  The sand is hard pack, meaning its pretty firm and not hard to run on, but still not nearly as easy to run on as pavement.  I was able to hunt down a lot of people who were ahead of me from the swim and bike and ended up with the 6th fastest overall run split.  My average pace was about 6:38 min/mile which I was ok with later on once I found out how I did comparatively.

This was also my first race since I had been trying out a Paleo lifestyle/diet.

Now, I know some people may have issue with this: “you’re cutting out an entire food group”, “all fat is bad for you”, “saturated fat causes heart disease”, “cholesterol clogs your arteries”, ”you need grains!”, “you won’t get all your vitamins and minerals.”

While I am not a paleo hardcore advocate, I have done plenty of research, consulted with many people and experts, and will never push this way of eating on anyone else.  I can’t even say I’ll eat like this for the rest of my life- that would be absurd.  However, to all the critical statements above, I have plenty of evidence and research to refute:

While my diet will be lower in carbs, it will be higher in fats which are burnt as a fuel source.  I am also still including carbs in the means of fruits, squashes, and sweet potatoes… I could probably eat butternut squash fries or sweet potato fries every night and not get sick of it

Next, fat is not bad for you!  What is important here is where the fat comes from—all fat that is “created” is bad, i.e. trans-fats.  What is also important is your Omega 6 to Omega 3 balance.  Ideally, these should 1:1 or 2:1 but our diet has most people eating about 20:1 or much much more.  The fat should also be pure and come from grass-fed sources, not from grain-fed animals like is found in most commercial meats.  Remember, “you are what you eat eats”

It has also been proven that saturated fat does not cause heart disease.  It can be exacerbated, however, from things like processed carbohydrates and excess sugars.  I just heard of a study that “showed that saturated fat corroborates heart disease.”  However, this study looked at people eating Egg McMuffins with hashbrowns: White, processed English muffins, pasteurized commercial cheese, trans-fatty margarine spread, and potatoes made in vegetable oil.  I think we have a lot more at play here… plus, the saturated fat would have to come from egg, which is relatively not that high in saturated fat.

Speaking of eggs, I won’t get started on how many articles show that egg yolks don’t raise cholesterol.

Finally, I’m getting tons of vitamins and minerals from the fruit, vegetables, nuts, squashes, sweet potatoes, organic dairy (Most paleo diets leave out dairy, but I am still including it right now—but in organic and raw versions where I can find it), and grass-fed meats.  In fact, I’m probably getting more vitamins now since so many vitamins are fat soluble and my diet now actually has that fat to absorb it!

This is a tough one for me though—the adding of fat.  Since ‘”fat” is what spurred my eating disorder so many years ago, it’s still a tough bump for me to get over.  I am hoping as I eat this way and hopefully see only positive outcomes, that I can change my mindset forever.

Many people also think that paleo just means going low carb because it makes you leaner or lose weight or whatever.  This is what you will see in published studies on “what is the best diet” etc.  In fact, the reason for moving these grains—and most importantly wheat—are for the negative effects the reap on your body.  They have an impact in your digestive tract and cause many issues which I will go into in another post.—I’ve written enough as it is haha.

So, there you have.  I’ll let you know how I progress, but don’t think I won’t still have some awesome recipes!  Here are some of the meals I’ve been making lately as well a bonus recipe video at the end!

What do you think of the paleo diet—are you for or against it?

Would eating this way really be any different, from a societal standpoint than if someone followed a vegetarian diet?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvb8Ecl5A54]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvb8Ecl5A54&feature=youtu.be

9 Days

9 days and I’m gone from Cincinnati… I really can’t believe, where did the time go?  As you can tell from my lack of blogging, the responsibilities of my job have been piling up big time since even though I’m moving to Tampa, I still have to have everything done here before I leave.

Speaking of Tampa, I was there last weekend to meet my new work team and find a place.  Both were successful and the weather was great.  My apartment is right on the edge of downtown and I’ll be able to walk to hockey games like I can here!  Then the football stadium isn’t too far… but the baseball stadium is actually all the way in St. Petersburg.  I actually drove out there to catch a game on Saturday, but they had part of the stadium closed off and the ticket prices were ridiculous… so I split.

I got some great workouts while I was there too!  Although, I still really don’t like running outside that much if I haven’t had a good warm up first.  Friday I did a 4-miler outside then about 300m worth of sprints in the mini hotel pool… ah yes, swimming outside!  Then I met my team, toured some apartments, and tried out the AWESOME gym that is on the ground floor of my new apartment building!  It’s got treadmills that I like, but also a ton of functional workout equipment—like a massive stair case in the middle of the gym, a rope to climb, TRX equipment, and an area outside with monkey bars, sledge hammers, and tractor tires!  This gym won’t let me have average workouts so I’m definitely going to be stepping my game up!

This past week I finally got a good training week and got 40+ miles of running.  Unfortunately, since I was determined to get that 40, it meant 23 miles over the weekend.

  • Saturday was a 10 mile run, 30 minutes elliptical, 1:20 on the bike trainer, then a 2-mile transition run which felt awesome!
  • Sunday was tough thanks to Saturday, but I got an 11 mile run, 60 minute spin class, quick 550m swim and core work

Then, after some recovery elliptical and biking, guess who worked this morning before work?  Me!  I had a great lift and followed it up with 1100m swim; the pool was in long course format today too so that was cool.  After work, I went back for more cardio and did a 40 minute ride, 20 minutes of elliptical and a 3.3 mile run.  I was pretty tired from the lack of sleep the night before, plus the first workout of the day and my legs just weren't feeling so hot.  Still store from the weekend lol.

I was needing some motivation after a tough 2 days last week so… I went ahead and signed up for a half ironman near Tampa for my first weekend living there!  Haha.  It will be on June 12th so I need all my training to be seriously on point these next few weeks.

Now in other news, thanks to Tropical Traditions for sending me some of the coconut cream concentrate to try!

This stuff is awesome- its got a great coconut flavor, but is thicker, like an ice cream topping.  Here are 2 recipes I made with it:

Peanut butter crispy chicken with coconut finish:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 egg white
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Coconut cream to taste

Mix the peanut butter and milk until they are smooth.  Then add in the egg white and whisk thoroughly in the bowl.  Add in you chicken breast (I let mine soak overnight) and then top with the panko bread crumbs.  Before putting it in the oven, I drizzled some of the coconut cream on it.  Bake at 400* for 22 minutes.  Then drizzle a little more coconut cream on it.

Amazing!

So now you have some of this leftover peanut butter batter right?  Coat some sweet potatoes with it and bake them as fries!  Best. Sweet potato. Fries. Ever.  I kid you not.  I’ve had these like 4 times now since I invented the recipe.

Go make these. Now.

Another use for the coconut cream was doing sweet potato fries with it instead of the coconut oil.  This made for fries that weren’t quite as crispy, but amazingly flavor.  I highly recommend!

Finally, here are some other fun eats I’ve cooked up lately, and a couple shots of the club level at the Reds stadium.  My CEO took me to a game last week—the seats we sick! (There I go with the "blogger exclamation points"...)

I’ve been thinking lately about going paleo.  Now, can I give up granola... unlikely.  Lol.  But I see some of the merits in the lifestyle.  What I don’t know is if giving up certain food types would really be a good idea for me with my eating disorder past, but it would help me overcome my fear of fats… (Which are GOOD for you!)  I’ve been talking to another young triathlete lately (Armi) and he has given a lot of nutritional and motivational input.  This kid is probably the most mature and intelligent 16 year old I’ve ever met.  Check out his blog.  If you have any diet or training questions, please ask either of us!

Be a superhero... my goal for the week.

  1. Who is your superhero/your inspiration?
  2. Have you ever tried a new way of eating that seriously impacted your life and how did it make you feel?
Thank yall!

The Athletes Plate

Hey guys!  If you get a chance, go check my friend Jason's blog at Cook Train Eat Race where I have designed a menu this week edition of the Athlete's plate--a weekly post that Jason does highlighting healthy recipes and meal plans for athletes.  This week, he graciously asked me to design the menu and your guys should head over and check it out, as well as his blog!  The menu I created is actually entirely vegetarian as well...  I am FAR from vegetarian, but as Jason is, I thought I would respect him and make a versatile menu that can be adjusted as the chef would like! Let me know you if you have any questions!

Spin, stride, stroke, stretch... and my big announcement

A couple great days can make up for a rough week.  This past week I took way more days off than I had planned...1 because I needed to, but the rest we a failure in willpower undisciplined poor justification.  Getting more sleep would have combatted this, but that goes back to the last of discipline. It’s funny how I can be so disciplined in some aspects of my life and so not in others.

But anyways, Saturday and Sunday made up for this week!  Saturday I had a great workout:  It started with a 9.5 mile run worth of a hard intervals in 1:02:00 that went like this:

15 minute increasing speed warm up

6 minutes at 6:15 pace (9.6 mph)

1 minute recovery at 8.5 mph

5 minutes

4 minutes- 2 min at 6:15, 2 min at 6:10

3 minutes

3 minutes

Finish out rest of time as fast as possible

After this was 30 minutes elliptical intervals, 30 minute bike intervals, and a 2050m swim. Phew!

I was afraid I’d be too sore, but today, after 4 hours sleep (go figure) I met some buddies at hit up a long ride.  A few more miles would have been nice, but some of the guys wanted to make it to the Reds game. The wind was WICKED out today! This provided some great resistance and speed work though.  After the ride, I went straight into a run.  Wow- that wind was brutal; literally it almost knocked me over a few times.  The worst part was I finished :01 over the goal pace I wanted... Running with the wind I was hitting 6:20 pace miles easy, but against it I was at like 7:40. Came out to a 7:00 min/mile pace overall.  Damnit lol.  Finally, after burpees and push ups in the middle of the street, I shot over to the pool and banged out an awesome workout there.  Done and done!  Here’s what today’s brick looked like:

50 mile ride

7.5 mile run

2,600m swim

STRETCH

While the run off the bike was hard, it made me feel good about where I am with my training.  Going to crank it up big time this week and a half then prep for Wildflower!

I also realized that I can do what I put my mind to... and it is NOT dependent on my eating disordered compulsive tendencies.  These will seem really weird, but way to often they rule my life. To me, unless I do specific things, my workouts or my body won’t be right the next day. For example:

  • Chopping my vegetables up a certain number of times
  • Taking a specific number of steps
  • Stretching and foam rolling in an exact order
  • Saying my prayers in an exact way every night
  • Eating my food beginning in an exact order
  • Wearing certain clothes- or if I skip a workout while wearing certain workout clothes, not wearing that combo again

But wait, let's get rational: how can IN ANY WAY the order I foam roll and the specific number of times have any effect on how I will look the next day and whether or not I will work out? IT CAN’T!  That’s ridiculous and impossible.  I know this, yet its still a battle everyday.  However, this weekend is putting me in the right direction: that crap doesn’t matter- be real, live each day differently, and live life without worry.  My dad gave me an amazing talk the other night and left me with a crazy quote:

“Anxiety is just another form of atheism”

That hit me deep.  What is there to worry about when God has a plan for us?  Quit arguing it and live the way he has planned for us.  That is my goal this week- to live anxiety free and embrace God’s plan every day. I hope you can too.

----------------------------

In the tough week that was this past week, I did get the chance to spend some time with friends. Thursday was a gorgeous day, and I literally just wanted to embrace life and friends.  There was a free concert at the zoo, and I literally got off the treadmill and decided I needed to be outside with people who were fun. Here were some shots of the fun lol.

I made an awesome new recipe last night- avocado potato puree!  I mixed 1 baked potato, 1/2 avocado, 2 tbsp almond milk, 1 Laughing cow, and seasonings.  Put these all in the Magic Bullet and whipped into a delicious, creamy, thick puree!

I would have taken a picture, but it looked a little gross so I thought I’d spare you even though it tasted amazing haha.  Tonight, after a long day, I wanted pizza. It tried at first to make my own crust, but it came out too small for me.  However, it made like an awesome flatbread, so I’m going to make a sandwich out of it tomorrow:

And now, my big announcement:

I’M MOVING TO TAMPA!!

Permanently! (For a little while anyways)  As I’ve mentioned before, I am in a Leadership Development Program in my company and for the past 2 years I’ve been rotating to a different department every 6 months.  Hence, why I am currently in Cincinnati working for 6 months.  I spent the previous 18 months in Virginia Beach.  Well, as the program comes to a close, I have been offered a permanent position and promotion working in Tampa!  I can’t wait- and talk about a great triathlon opportunity!  That being said, I LOVE Cincinnati and am very glad that I still have a few months here.

That’s all guys

  1. Have you done anything this week that totally made up for something that wasn't as good earlier in the week--like an amazing meal or experience?
  2. Try and put your life in God's hands this week and truly live his will and plan!