Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Treats, Diet Wreakers

Posted by Picasa
My Christmas gifts from my husband, you can see I am thrilled! In case you cannot see everything, it is two small bags of Doritos, two Jo's Salt Caramels and a book called My Horizontal Life, A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Chandler.

Oh what fun! Smut and junk food!

I will most likely end up saving it all for vacation, our real gift to each other. We go to Mexico every February for a week on the beach. While folks here at home are dealing with wind, rain and cold weather, I am wondering which of my 12 bikini's to wear in the 85 degree sun and what to drink as I lay on my chaise lounge on the beach.

The point of this is really the Doritos though. Some people eat a bag of chips every day. Every...Single....Day.

I eat a bag after every competition and I have two at Christmas. Five bags a year, tops.

In case you haven't looked at the nutritional facts (or lack of) on the bag, let me show you right here why you shouldn't be eating these "snacks"

1 3/4 ounce bag of Cool Ranch Doritos

260 Calories
13 grams fat
320 mg Sodium
31 grams Carbohydrate
2 grams Sugars
3 grams Fiber
3 grams Protein

This is practically a meal in itself, a very, very bad meal. I will put it into perspective for you.

Each of my meals ranges from 200 to 350 calories total.

Each of my meals (other than post training) has 20 to 25 grams carbohydrates total.

Might as well suck on a spoonful of mayonnaise with all the fat in these beauties.

If you are really serious about losing body fat, you should not be eating things like this.  Don't close your eyes and mind and pretend that one little bag won't hurt, it certainly will.

If you are at a place where you can afford it, like I am when I am at 4% bodyfat, then it's not a problem. If your bodyfat is over 20% (women) and 15% (men), get your hands outta the bag for good!

Oh and our vacation spot? Hacienda Eden, on the Pacific Coast. This will be our 15th year there, room #4! It is quiet, secluded, has no discos, few tourists, and great food surrounds us.

I am looking forward to walking down the road to Marta's, on the small cove in the neighboring town of Majahua where we will sit in plastic chairs with our feet in the sand and eat fresh lobster as we watch the fishermen.

The Doritos? I will probably eat them in the plane on the way down.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Post Exercise Eating Part II

Posted by PicasaExcuse the funny face, I wear a mouth guard when I lift.

You know, the kind football players wear? (sorta) I know, most people think that's overkill, but when my dentist looked at my teeth a couple years ago he said I was clenching my teeth and cracking them, along with causing the gums to recede, only on the eye teeth! That was the give away, the gums are only affected on the eye teeth.

SO, he made a custom made guard for me. It fits on the upper teeth only, it's not a pretty sight.

"R" took this picture a couple weeks ago. She is very patient with me.

So, what to eat after training? I am going to discuss what to eat when trying to gain lean mass. If you are trying to lose weight, it's  not the right ratio for you. The concept is the same, but oh that fat loss is a whole other world!


You need high glycemic load carbohydrates , so they can quickly fill your empty stores. A smaller amount of lower glycemic carbs are also good, to provide a longer, steady release into the blood.

Glucose is good for the quick high glycemic carbs. What is glucose?

It is the sugar in starchy foods such as potatoes, rice or grains.

Fructose is good for the slow steady carbs. What is fructose?

It is the sugar in fruit and fruit juices.


You need amino acids for resynthesis of protein that may have been damaged during exercise. In an intense 1 hour workout, it is possible to use 30 grams of muscle protein for fuel.

Protein, especially sources high in branched chain amino acids should be taken in with your carbs.

The ratio should be 4 to 1 ( carbs to protein).

Ideally, a liquid form is best, as it is absorbed more readily and it begins the re hydration process.

You can buy a recovery drink, you can make your own, or you can eat whole food. It's not critical for the average fitness enthusiast, just make sure you don't wait to refuel!

I personally aim for about 40 grams glucose, 10 grams fructose and 20 grams protein. You will find many thoughts about this, people have lots of opinions. I aim for this ratio because I try to ingest whole food instead of liquid as I need the food to satisfy my hunger. Liquid just doesn't do it for me.

What you should notice is that I am taking in about double the amount of carbs that I normally would at a meal.

There is a recovery drink that does this already:

Pacific Health Endurox R4

It's great tasting, I like the tangy orange. It's not cheap though. If you need the specific ratio and are not prepared to make it yourself, this is great.

This is not to be taken if you are not training really intensely though, you will gain weight! If your training is less intense, you can cut the servings or just calculate it yourself. Endurox R4 was developed for an endurance athlete, so if you haven't really busted your butt at the gym, its probably a bit too much for you.

One serving of Endorox R4 is:

270 calories
52 grams carbs
13 grams protein

But, I can eat this:

As soon as I am done, I fill up my water bottle with a homemade mixture (L- glutamine, beta-alanine, amino acids, L- leucine).

I get home then have 1 cup egg whites with 3/4 cup brown rice mixed in, and a half a grapefruit (or some fruit).

Or, 3/4 of a bagel, 1 Tablespoon low sugar jam, and 1 cup of microwaved egg whites

Or, oatmeal with a small amount of fruit and the egg whites.

Or, my homemade oat/egg white waffles.....all in one.

There are many choices, just take the time to figure out the carbs and protein and feed your body!

Be very careful with dried fruit, for instance, 1/4 cup of raisins is not an unusual amount to add to some oatmeal, yet look at the nutritional breakdown:

130 calories
31 grams carbs
29 grams sugars

So if you have one serving of oatmeal and 1/4 raisins, you are getting way too many calories and carbs, double the numbers above and that's what you have...opt for a heaping teaspoon of the raisins at most.

There are many theories about post training feeding, most people will agree that this meal "doesn't count" meaning don't worry too much about the higher calories and carbs as your body really needs it. I chose to be a bit more conservative, I increase but I don't go overboard.

When I am dieting for a competition, I change it completely, no fruit, no dairy, no bread, very little fat, very little sugar.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post Exercise Eating Part I

Posted by PicasaWhoa Nelly!

One look here and you are thinking "Damn...she got big!"

Yes I did thank you very much, and that was and still is my goal. It's all a cycle, just like life itself. There is a starting point, changes, backslides, moving forward, nothing is constant.

In the sport of figure, you have to get very, very lean. You also need to sport some pretty impressive muscle. You cannot stay on a diet all the time or you start to look haggard, you lose muscle and you look old and tired.

You may also be interested in doing this even if you don't compete.

So life goes in cycles. Gain and lose, gain and lose.

You bulk up part of the year. You don't have to get fat, in fact, that's not a good idea at all, but with muscle gain comes some fat gain, they sorta go hand in hand, but you can control how much of each if you eat properly.

Eating post exercise is critical because your body is better prepared to receive and store carbohydrate that at any other time during the day. I shudder when I hear women (mostly) talk about how they exercise on an empty stomach, then they don't eat anything for hours, just to make sure they have "burned off all those extra calories".

What they have done is ensure they will look like helpless, skinny, emaciated waifs for a long, long time. Yuck!

Timing is critical. At no other time during the day is your body as receptive to nutrient intake as it is immediately after training. Research shows that the restocking if the muscles' carbohydrate stores is two to three times as rapid immediately after exercise as it is a few hours later.

In the same way, other research shows that the repair of muscles damaged during exercise is more effective if protein is consumed immediately after exercise.

Tomorrow, exactly what and how much to take in?
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

After the Holiday

It's Monday and it feels good to get back to my routine. I am a creature of habit, I thrive on structure.

David and Cooper have two weeks off, one down, one to go. Last week I had half of Thursday and all of Friday off. This week I am off Thursday and Friday.

The holidays mess with my schedule so they mess with my head and my body. I stick to my training schedule when I can, meaning if I am at home, and the gym doesn't have special hours, I am on schedule. I could sleep in as late as I like on my days off, but I won't, I leave the alarm just as it always is (only I turn off David's side).

I know that sticking to a schedule makes me and others more successful, studies prove it. If you just decide to go to the gym 'whenever", that "whenever" may never come.  It makes it even that much easier to decide to stay up late and party, since you don't "have" to be at the gym at a certain time, and then it all snowballs.

Same with your food. Try to stick to your scheduled meals. Kim taught me to fill up on my scheduled meal, then if I really wanted something I shouldn't be eating, I am less likely to eat very much of it.

So this morning, I was at the gym at 5:00am when they opened, I hit the shoulders hard and threw in some extra cardio, I am jumping rope everyday this week, I am too jiggly around the middle to feel good. 10 minutes in the morning and 10 when I get home.

I ran up and down my 300 stairs just before lunch. Since I am at a University, usually there are lots of students hanging around the area I run, and a few always watch with dismay as I run up and down, over and over, huffing and puffing and sometimes singing to my music a little too loudly I think,  but it is winter break and no one is here, it's very very quiet.

I only had two observers this day. One apparently homeless man and one man in a wheelchair. I wondered what was going through their heads? Perhaps the homeless man was thinking that if he had enough to eat for a few days in a row, he may have energy and then he might be interested in running stairs with me. And the man in the wheelchair? He may have been wishing he was just able to walk and marveling at the thought of actually running up the stairs.

I felt very fortunate as I finished my stairs, fortunate that I have more than enough to eat, and I have my health. I will remember this as I choose my food and decide how to treat my body every moment of the day.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Surprising Hereos

Posted by PicasaCooper- at my mother and father in laws house on Christmas evening.

We had a good day, Cooper was waiting patiently for round two of prime rib, he was in heaven!

Me? I enjoy it, but I feel a little apprehensive, I work hard all year long and eating a lot of fat or fried foods is not a good deal for my body, but sometimes, it's good for the soul.

I know it's not healthy for me to separate myself from the family so much, we eat different meals so many times, I do need to get in sync with them on occasion. The last two days were just that occasion.

It is important to remember that there are many "signs' of eating disorders, and one is removing yourself from family events, or gatherings with friends if it involves regular food.

Bodybuilders and Figure competitors  are fairly notorious for their eating disorders.

I always joke that "I don't have an eating disorder, I have disordered eating", but if you aren't careful, it's no longer a joke.

Now, if you are prepping for a competition, so you are on the 12 week span of "the diet", that's OK. If you aren't prepping, and just "worried about getting fat", maybe you need to think about this.

Keep that in mind, it's an important thing to remember. Don't fall into the trap.

A few regular meals may make you feel bloated or lethargic, but think of the time you are spending with the people around you. Choose the healthier items on the table, limit the garbage, you can do it.

We had two surprise visitors on Christmas evening. There is a young, strapping man who lives across the street from my in-laws, and he stopped by with a bag full of warm, just baked bread!

Solomon and his family bake bread at home and it smelled heavenly, he had several varieties including our favorite bollios for sandwiches. (And they were wonderful too!)

He had heard about us from David's father, but we had never met. We chatted a bit about weight training and he said goodbye and walked home, across the street.

Moments later the doorbell rang. It was Solomon's wife, Alicia. She wanted to meet the family.

Alicia was very exited to meet me because she had seen my competition pictures, but found it hard to believe someone who worked full time, had a child and husband could still look the way I do.

We talked about her newest challenge, she has entered a "biggest loser" challenge. I am not sure if it is a local or regional challenge, but it will be exciting either way.

I hope she keeps me posted, I can tell she will be quite successful!

We talked a bit about what aspect is the most difficult (eating right gets you where you want to be, that's the hardest part) and I gave her my card, told her to email if she had any questions.

The next day Alicia posted a comment on my blog, saying "You are an inspiration to me. I have seen you as a real person, now I know you really exist"

Alicia probably doesn't realize what an inspiration she was to me today. I am feeling a bit heavy, a bit jiggly, in fact, although I said I wouldn't exercise, I felt the need to do some track intervals when I returned home on Sunday.

We are all so fortunate to have people who aspire to be; and then people who are here to inspire. Remember, cherish the people who ask for help, who reach out, who are bold enough to ask the questions.

I gain the most inspiration from people who have an enthusiasm and drive that I see in myself, those who are not afraid to ask for help or advise and seek those who can help make them what they strive to become. These are my heroes.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010


Posted by PicasaOctober harvest in my front yard.

This is one of the wonderful things about California. I was awakened by my husband, the sun was up, time to go pick grapes, ugh...

The wonderful part? See what I am wearing? Tank top and shorts. In October. Nice.

We make wine, and instead of a lovely manicured front lawn for others, I have a wonderful lawn and garden in the back, and grapevines in the front.

We don't have a big front yard, only 50 vines, so "harvest" doesn't take long, as you can see, I have my coffee and it isn't too strenuous.

I guess I could at least brush my hair first....

Here is David with some particularly beautiful clusters, aren't they nice?

David's hobby of wine making is a passion for him, just as weight training is a passion for me.

They are very different though. I think my son phrased it best:

"Dad, your  hobby is a lot easier than Mom's. She has to diet and lift heavy weights all the time, and all you have to do is sit around and drink wine and eat cheese and sausage."

Wine making is a great deal of work. Those folks who think it is glamorous have absolutely no idea. I guess if you inherit a winery and you employ a wine maker and a whole crew, so all you do is reap the rewards, it is glamorous.

For the rest of us, it's hard work.

Until you get to the drinking part, that isn't so rough actually.

I think the toughest part is the fact that our two hobbies couldn't be more polar. If you think about it, there really is no way I can drink wine and get up everyday at 4 am to lift weights, so I end up not drinking very much (meaning, I will go a long time without drinking). Sometimes I go months (when prepping for a competition) and other times it is days. With the holidays upon us, I am not too concerned and have enjoyed myself quite a bit!

I understand that our winemaker (David) seems to believe that the 2010 harvest will be especially good.  The wines are already showing well, with a lushness and spice that will reward us later.

Stop by anytime, the tasting room is always open!
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I am enjoying the holidays, this year it is so relaxing for me. Usually I play hostess to the entire family on Christmas Eve, but almost everyone went their own way this year!

I am celebrating the time off with David and Cooper, that's it! We are not religious, so we just enjoy the time together, nothing formal or structured.

Christmas Eve I made what Cooper requested : "Prime" prime rib from Shaubs Meats in Stanford (meaning it was really prime, not just the cut but the grade), Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, peas and gravy. No dessert, it's all about the meat and potatoes. I had a cocktail before and wine during dinner.

We had a little break at Enoteca La Storia in Los Gatos. We are enjoying some wine and snacks. They have wonderful wines by the glass and great Italian delights to nibble on.

Christmas and the following day are about the only two days I do not go to the gym or exercise. It's not that I am making a concerted effort to skip it, I would go to the gym if they were open!

I will get up and have coffee and breakfast, and my son will open his gifts, then off to the in-laws we go and stay the night. I won't return home until late Sunday afternoon, most likely too tired to go to the gym.

Monday I will wake up bright and early and hit it all over again!

There is no need to feel guilty, we should all enjoy the time with friends and family and have some good food.

A lot of people struggle with skipping workouts and the holidays in general, so they don't enjoy themselves. I still do, I just don't go "hog wild". At least, not for long.

It is important to remember that while we may have a specific goal of weight or fat loss, we all have lives and interests outside of our fitness world. We need to remember to enjoy life!

So, we gain a couple pounds. Unless you are an Olympic level athlete, get over it! You will be fine in a few weeks.

If you skip a few workouts, it's OK! Just get back into the gym as soon as you can. Forgive and forget!

If you are feeling like you have failed in some way or another, remember that we all fail at times. I read this on another blog recently and thought it was a good reminder (the Internet spreads things like a sexually transmitted disease you know).

You've failed many times, although you may not remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn't you? Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.

R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.
English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books.

Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.

Don't worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.

So enjoy the day, then feel good that you had the opportunity to share it. Get back into the gym and then bust your butt.
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Friday, December 24, 2010


Posted by PicasaI love butts. I happen to be one of the "genetically gifted" , I have a beautiful, full round butt all the time, even when I diet. And when I purposely gain weight, it gets even rounder.

Although I was "gifted" with a great butt, that doesn't mean it will remain looking great with no effort. I train my glutes once a week, for a full hour. I work them like the big muscle they are. People laugh at me, most of them have no idea that they could actually work their glutes for that long.

Let them laugh all they want, I don't have a flat butt, ever! I see heads turn when I walk by, and sometimes after I walk by, I quickly turn right around, look them in the eye and smile. Caught in the act! ha ha

SC (my previous trainer) actually gave me a 675 page book called:

Advanced Techniques in Glutei Maximi Strengthening, The Secret to Top Speed Sprinting, Back and Knee Injury Prevention and a Better Butt by Bret Contreras.

I have two videos here, the first is a serious one, 4 minutes long and it is Will Brink telling about the importance of "butt" training and eating properly to get that round butt. If you aren't feeling serious and want to see some awesome butts, at least take a look at the belly dancers in the second video. You will be amazed at what a well trained butt can do!

Make sure your speakers are on and email subscribers will need to navigate directly to the blog to see them.

Booty Building Facts by Will Brink:

The Way Your Back End is:

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Locker Room talk

Posted by PicasaI was at the gym this morning and wandered down to the far end of the locker room so I could weigh myself.

I sat down on the leather bench (yes, they just remodeled and they have huge leather benches in the locker room!), and took off my shoes.

There were four other women there, all regulars, and fit gals ranging from mid fifties to mid sixties. These are no slouches either, they either spin or swim every single day.

They all greeted me with smiles and hello's, asked what I had been up to (it's a big locker room and I am usually at the opposite end).

I told them I was on a weight gain goal, trying to get big! They all laughed and said what fun that must be and they wish they could do that.

I had to explain it's not as fun as it sounds, your head gets in the way. They thought you could just eat whatever you wanted and that was how you got big. I explained the right way. Lean meats, fish, brown rice, oatmeal, beans. No sugars, no fats, no candies, limited bread and pasta.

What do you mean "your head gets in the way?" one asked..I looked at her and said "Do I look fat to you?"

"No!" she said with a crazy look on her face.

"Exactly!" I said. "To get lean and look good for a competition, you gotta get big first, and diet later. When you start gaining weight, just as you need to so you can gain muscle, you start thinking you look fat when you are not even close to fat."

 One said "Well, you do look really muscular now"

"Yahoo"! I shouted.

They asked about weights , what should they lift to gain muscle and get big? "Lift really, really heavy" I told them.

"Low reps right?" one asked.

"Yes" I said, "Heavy weight, low reps" I didn't bother telling her that the reps are low because if you are lifting heavy enough, you cannot physically lift the weight very many times, it's just a fact.

I walked away, feeling good.

The last thing I heard as I walked out was "OK grils! Remember this, we can do it too! Heavy weight, low reps! Heavy weights, low reps!"

Go get 'em girls! I know you can do it too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Turkey Oatmeal Muffins

Posted by PicasaMy version of "prison loaf"  Actually, it's not mine at all, but a recipe from Jamie Eason and she calls this "Turkey Oatmeal muffins".

You are wondering what on earth would even make me want to create this dish?

My sister and I were driving down to visit my father this past weekend and I knew I would need some quick and easy meals. I needed something I could eat in between the "normal" meals, something that would provide all my nutritional needs, was fast and no mess.

Enter the muffins.

They are basically turkey meatballs with all of the complex carbs right in them, so you don't have pasta, you can eat them plain, on salad, or as I did, heated with mustard.

Here is the recipe and nutritional breakdown:

Chicken or Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
1/2 tsp. ground cumin1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
2 tsp. dry yellow mustard
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. McCormick’s Chipotle Pepper Spice (spicy, but key to the recipe)
1 tsp. salt1 cup quick cooking oats
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tbsp of garlic powder)
1 small onion, finely chopped (I get the pre chopped version or even the frozen - thawed)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (bell peppers will work too)
3 egg whites
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. ground extra lean chicken or turkey breast (I use 3 packages)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
In a large bowl, add cumin, thyme, yellow mustard, black pepper, McCormick’s Chipotle Pepper Spice, salt, oats, garlic, onions and celery. Mix until well combined.  Next add the ground chicken and egg whites and mix with your hands until evenly distributed.  Make racquetball size portions and place in muffin tins, sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake for 40 minutes. 

Yields about18 muffins
Nutrition: 1 muffin
78 calories
2 g fat
4 g carbs
11 g protein
Servings are usually 2 for women and 4 for men.

Raw ingredients above, just before I mixed them up. Doesn't look too bad does it?

Would I make these again? Actually yes I would. Were they great and tasty? Not really. They were a great item to take while visiting someone though, it was a quick warm in the microwave, I didn't go hungry and warm food always satisfies me more than cold.

I think it can easily be changed to be a bit more tasty, changing spices, adding some vegetables. How does this compare to prison loaf? Not sure, but it keeps me in line!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Prison Loaf

I just read an article by Tovin Lapan called "Shawshank revulsion: Loaf used as punishment in jail"

It's about a form of punishment reserved only for the worst prisoners, and they are fed this loaf and apparently break down and turn into compliant pussycats after a few days on it.

What I found so interesting, is that it sounds quite similar to food I eat, voluntarily. I am wondering about the fact that I am eating the same foods as prisoners, yet I can go for months, and not break. It must be the fact that I am choosing to eat it. Or maybe it's because I am not in prison? Who knows....

I don't have enough room to post the entire article here, but just so you can get the "flavor" of it, here you go:

On Christmas Day, the inmates at Santa Cruz County Jail will get a welcome respite from their regularly scheduled, nutritious but mostly unexciting high school cafeteria-style meals -- glazed ham with sweet potatoes and ice cream for dessert.

If an inmate has been behaving poorly, however, while all his incarcerated compatriots dine on one of the few special meals of the year, he will instead be forced to feast on "the loaf."

Otherwise known as the disciplinary diet loaf, prison loaf and management loaf, when all else fails in disciplining an inmate -- be it loss of visits, free time or other privileges -- the deputies turn to this bland log of meat and vegetables to get the disruptive inmate to follow the rules.

It only happens once or twice a year, according to officials, but where other corrective measures fail, the loaf is typically successful.

"Usually, they only last a couple days on the loaf before they agree to comply with directions and are given normal meals again," said Tim Sanford, the jail's food service manager for 15 years.

The loaf -- by most accounts, a highly effective measure in getting inmates to follow rules -- is the only example of food being used as discipline in the correctional system, and has been challenged under the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment in several U.S. states.

The loaf looks like it is constructed from layers of particle board, and little kernels of corn and slivers of carrot jut out from the insides when its is bisected. It does not taste bad, but rather is so dry and lacking in flavor as to be at best unappetizing and at worst better used mixed with milk to make a nice Spackle. It is served with two slices of wheat bread and, instead of the typical serving of milk, a cup of water.



2 1/2 oz. nonfat dry milk
4 1/2 oz. raw grated potato
4 1/2 oz. raw carrots, chopped or grated fine
1 1/2 oz. tomato juice or puree
4 1/2 oz. raw cabbage, chopped fine
7 oz. lean ground beef, turkey or rehydrated, canned or frozen Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
2 1/2 fl. oz. oil
1 1/2 oz. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. raw onion, chopped
1 egg
6 oz. dry red beans, precooked before baking (or 16 oz. canned or cooked red kidney beans) 4 tsp. chili powder
Shape into a loaf and bake at 350-375 degrees for 50-70 minutes.

Tomorrow: the recipe I am eating that is similar. Turkey Oatmeal muffins, a recipe from Jamie Eason.

There is a lot more to the article, such facts as the states which have banned the loaf! You can find it here.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

127 and holding

Posted by PicasaIt's Friday, I am heading to the gym for cardio after work. It's also one week before Christmas...

I say "holding" only to make sure I have the right mindset, you see, I am trying to gain muscle, but it will be way too easy to gain a lot of fat in the next couple weeks , so I tell myself to "hold".

It's easy to let go and say "it's the holidays", I mean there are parties, celebrations, wine and champagne tastings, and all sorts of good things to eat. Even today at work a co-worker wanted me to try the fudge he made, I was trying to be polite, I didn't want it, if I am going to eat calories, it wont be fudge, it will be something good (I am not really a fudge fan). So he gave me a homemade biscotti instead and said it was healthier....right....

So while the average Joe will definitely gain weight over the holiday season, this average "Kristy" doesn't plan to...

I will maintain where I am, I will stay focused or I will only get frustrated with  myself, I don't want to deal with a set back. I have worked hard to gain this much weight and still look good. I am 7 pounds over competition weight, and it looks like a pretty solid seven pounds to me, a little fat here and there but that is to be expected. I can get rid of it easily when I start my diet.

I will enjoy some great food, and have a good time. But I will keep my goal in mind, which right now is "127 and holding"

So, each time I am presented with some goodies, I will say to myself "127 and holding, 127 and holding" and some treats I will bypass, some I will not. I am sure I may gain a little more fat than I would like, but this way I will gain less than I could...

Till January, then it's "get bigger" a little bit longer...these legs still need some work!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pasture Fed Meat

Posted by PicasaI am reading two books right now, The Paleo Diet Solution by Robb Wolf and The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain, PhD (author of The Paleo Diet).

These two books hold much interest for me, not that I necessarily want to go on a paleo diet, but because I want to learn as much as possible about the effects of different foods on my body.

I am thinking of incorporating some of the philosophy and thought I would be ready by now, but things just are not moving along as quickly as I had anticipated, mainly because I have too much going on and haven't finished reading them yet!

I did find the information regarding free range or pasture fed meats quite interesting so decided to look into it further. I have always enjoyed meats from Prather Ranch, they are at the Campbell Farmers market and San Francisco Ferry Plaza market.

I know pasture fed is better, although more expensive. I don't mind, I figure I should treat my body like the prized possession it is, and be kind, only giving it the good things. I mean, I pump premium gas into my car, why should I pump regular food into my body? It's worth a hell of a lot more than my BMW and costs more to repair!

I poked around the Internet and found an article on Trusted.MD, the author is Vreni Gurd, and he has several interesting articles on the subject. I have an excerpt of it here, I think it does a good job of explaining why we should all eat pasture raised meats instead of feed lot.

It may be a no brainer that organic is better than conventional when it comes to meat, poultry, eggs and dairy, but why is pasture-fed important? 
Conventional meat and poultry are fed conventional food, that usually being grain (such as GMO soy), as carbohydrates are just as effective at fattening animals as humans. The pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers in the grain are then stored as toxins in the fat of the animals.

Because conventionally raised animals and poultry are often kept in very confined quarters day and night, and are not given space to roam, they do not get the exercise needed to keep them healthy.  Between the poor quality food, the lack of exercise and the close quarters between animals, sickness is very common and spreads like wildfire through the barns.

Consequently, antibiotics and other drugs are used on an ongoing basis in an attempt to keep the animals healthy. In the United States, recombinant bovine somatrotropin (rbst) under the drug name "Prosilac" is used in dairy cattle in order to increase milk production.  This drug often results in very large, infected udders and consequently pus gets into the milk.  Prosilac is banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the EU and in Japan.

In meat cattle, five growth promoting hormones are used in Canada and the US, three of which occur naturally (estradiol, testosterone and progesterone) and two of which are synthetic (zeranol and trenbolone acetate).  These hormones were banned in the Europe in 1989.  For a fun look at the world of factory farming, see the short videos, The Meatrix, and The Meatrix Revolting.

Certified organic meat, poultry, dairy and eggs have been fed certified organic food, and are not medicated.  This immediately eliminates the risk of consuming the consolidated toxins found in the fat of the animals, and ingesting the residues of the antibiotics and steroid hormones that become a part of conventional meats, poultry, dairy and eggs. But "certified organic" does not mean that the animals were allowed to exercise, nor does it tell you what the animals were fed.

Ask any five-year old what a cow is supposed to eat, and they will reply "grass", not grain. Ruminants get digestive distress on grain as their digestive systems are not meant to handle it, and they don't get the nutrition they need from grain. Look for "free-range" poultry, eggs, meat or dairy, or "pasture-fed" meats. Pasture-fed poultry and ruminants are healthier, happier, and have far more omega 3 and less omega 6 in their  meat, dairy and eggs, which improves our omega 3/6 balance as well.

So, look for certified organic, free-range meat, poultry, dairy and eggs, and you will know the animals were more humanely treated, and the food products are more healthy

Full article: Conventional vs. organic vs. free-range meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy | Trusted.MD Network
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Saturday, December 18, 2010


I look for motivation every where. And, as I always say, the mind is the strongest muscle, so I know that I need to get my head around whatever I am trying to do. I need to push forward, never relent, and never stop, no matter what.

We can talk ourselves into something just as easy as we can talk ourselves out of something. You have probably seen many of these before, but maybe you never thought about them. It's easy just to glance at something and not really contemplate what it may mean, or how it may change you.


The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.
`Vince Lombardi


Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
`Theodore Roosevelt


Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can't be done.
`Bo Bennett


Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
`Wilma Rudolph


The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential...these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.


Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
`John Quincy Adams


Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom...mastering yourself is true power.
`Tao Te Ching


When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
`Helen Keller
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Kabocha Squash

Posted by PicasaOne of my new favorites, Kabocha squash!  I brought it home, it was dark green, knobby, scarred up and squat, my husband thought it looked like it was garbage.

I tried to explain how delicious it would be and explained that it is that wonderful, creamy textured squash that they use when you get tempura. He laughed and said "well of course it's good, it's breaded in panko and deep fried!"

That would not be the case in this house I am afraid!

Kabocha is commonly called Japanese pumpkin, especially in Australia and New Zealand. In Thailand, it is called Fak Thong and is also called kabocha squash in North America. In Japan, the word kabocha may refer to either this squash or to the Western-style pumpkin.Some consider it an aphrodisiac.

Today many of the kabocha in the market are of the type called Kuri kabocha, which was created based on Seiyo kabocha (buttercup squash). It's popular for its strong yet sweet flavor and moist, fluffy texture, which is like chestnuts. It's found in the market under such brand names as Miyako, Ebisu, Kurokawa, Akazukin, etc.

Kabocha is hard, has knobbly-looking skin, is shaped like a squatty pumpkin, and has a dull finished deep green skin with some celadon-to-white stripes and an intense yellow-orange color on the inside. In many respects it is similar to the Buttercup squash, but without the characteristic cup on the blossom end. It is a member of the species Cucurbita maxima, along with the Hubbard and Buttercup squashes.

An average kabocha weighs 2-3 pounds but can weigh as much as 8 pounds.

It has an exceptional naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash. It is similar in texture and flavor to a pumpkin and a sweet potato combined. Some can taste like Russet potatoes.

I cut mine into wedges and roasted it in a 400 oven for about 30 minutes, until it was very tender when pricked with a knife.

You can eat the skin if you like, it's a little too much for me, so I cut it out of the tough skin after it has cooled a bit, it only takes a few minutes.

So what makes this squash so special besides its flavor and texture? The nutrient content! Check this out:

3/4 cup (85 grams)

30 calories
7 grams carbs
3 grams sugars
1 gram fiber
1 gram protein

It is also very high in vitamins A and C

So if you are in competition prep, and shooting for a great deal of fat loss, the sugars in this would not be a good idea, but if you are not, then this is a super good food, the mouth feel of a starch with the carbs of a vegetable!

I found an amazing looking recipe for Sweet and Spicy Kabocha from a food blog called JustHungry, which I plan to make in a couple weeks. I think it will go great with chicken....
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Thursday, December 16, 2010


Posted by PicasaI got this book as a Christmas gift last year, I haven't finished reading it yet, there is a lot of information!

I like the way it is laid out, he has many pictures (mostly of himself naturally), talks you through the exercises and then has a section that covers each muscle group, so I can quickly flip through and pick out some things to incorporate into my written plan when I need to write it up every month.

It's important to vary your exercises, not only to keep the body guessing and work all the different muscles, but to keep from getting bored!

Something as simple as hand grip can make a difference, or the number of reps.

Here is my binder, I keep all my training logs here and can go back and see what I was doing (they don't all fit, I have all those on excel). I also record weight here too.

It's big, I carry it everywhere in the gym, but it has my Gymboss, mouthguard, cut up tube socks for kettlebell snatches, lifting straps, and some business cards...

In the last week I have tried two new things out of Arnolds book, and I am feeling both quite a bit.

For biceps, he talks about using an "arm blaster", he says it isolates the biceps and is a great tool, but rare in gyms. Well, guess what we have hanging on the wall at Courtside Club? An arm blaster! Here is Arnold using one:

The other trick for side delts is something called "Burns" after performing each set of lateral raises: Take very heavy dummbells and hold them out with totally straight arms about 10 inches from your thighs for as long as possible- but at least 30 seconds.

My biceps and shoulders were crying for days!
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