Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fighter Diet (Pauline Nordin)

Posted by PicasaI like to read Pauline Nordin's blog, she has a site called Fighter Diet

She seems very straight forward, certainly doesn't sugar coat anything, my kinda gal!

So many times people will come up to me and ask me how to "get rid of this", or "lose some weight",  or "get nice arms like yours".

I know they are well intentioned, and they want to know what to do, but it just isn't that easy! It certainly isn't a hallway conversation either! I have people who ask me what I eat. Now do I say "chicken, fish, rice and vegetable" which is only partially the truth, or do I say: "Everything is pre-cooked, weighed or measured into containers the day before. It is labeled and timed as to when it will be consumed. It is lean proteins, whole grains, complex carbohydrates, vegetables. I avoid sugar, fat, alcohol, fried foods, packaged things, most store bought items"?

I don't think they really want to know all that, but that is what it takes. 

So, a little about Pauline: First, her philosophy:

I fully believe in the theory that there is no absolutely true, perfect and flawless diet and workout concepts which work for everyone. I believe there are many roads that lead to the goal, you just need to choose a path you feel passionate about. 

Passion is of utmost importance. Why? Because you will need to stick to and be loyal to whatever you decide to go for in order to succeed. It´s like that with almost all desires in life, so nothing new under the sun.

I will never state that I have scientific proof or research backup on many theories of mine. I don´t lie so it´s pretty easy to say it´s only my very own philosophy. 

I don´t really care if something I believe in is bullet proof or makes perfect sense, as long as it works and it makes me happy I´m cool and content!

My passion lies in perfecting my physique and keep on building a strong mind with a superhero´s discipline, dedication, patience and willpower. I aim to keep on doing that and hopefully in my pursuit I will inspire people to follow.

In general, I am inclined to extremes, to ultimates, to fanatic strategies. it fascinates me, keeps me on the edge. And that´s where I love to be.

If you like feeling comfortable and not doing more than average and are happy with settling for average results, well, don´t read my rambles, I assume it will just annoy you.

All I want is to inspire, to stay inconvenient and always ask for more.

If this sounds like something you enjoy too: welcome to Fighter Diet.

Sounds TOTALLY like something I would enjoy!

So just the other day she posted this. You can see she is very black and white. I have always considered myself "black and white" , but reading this, I think I may have a little gray in my life too now.

I try to say this same thing in my blog, but I think she does a really great job right here, so why try to recreate it?

Everyone wants to be lean all the time, but very few succeed. The reasons to failure are several but it’s a mix between laziness, inconsistency, lack of insight and lack of true desire for it.

There is a huge difference between dreaming about something and actually doing it.

Getting shredded takes a lot of work, discipline and dedication, but since the getting shredded-project usually ends with a wedding, a show or a photo shoot, your pride is at stake and you need to follow through or everyone including yourself will call you a pussy.

If getting ready for a show took the soul out of you and turned you into a worn out dish cloth, then don’t even think about maintaining peak condition chronically. It’s a lot more demanding because you don’t have a deadline. Well, you do, the deadline is when you are no longer walking on earth!

Staying contest ready or super lean without turning to stupid performance enhancing drugs means:

you need to do cardio even though you cannot stand it.

you need to stop feeling deprived because you “are not allowed” to eat this or that.

you need to work on your mental toughness daily.

you need to train more than you want some times to burn calories.

you need to stay consistent with your food intake.

you need to get enough rest in order to recover.

you cannot afford getting drunk because it sets you back too far.

you cannot rely on caffeine because your body will get used to it and you need more and more, thus you will whip your adrenal glands to failure.

you cannot rely on motivation to take you through workouts because you won’t always be motivated.

you will feel lethargic and tired occasionally because you are burning more calories than your body gets from food.

You will feel awesome when you try on clothes in stores but you might drag the stairs at the shopping mall because your leg workouts are killing your energy.

your six pack won’t always feel like a treat to own daily.

You will need to dig deeper for motivation and inspiration more often than others.
Is it really worth it? yeah if you are that kind of person who loves and thrives off discipline and living on the edge energy wise. I do. It makes me creative.

It makes me feel alive. It makes me alert, hungry for life. And that’s why I love it. I hope you do too. If not, don’t try this at home;-).
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good Eats Post Competition

Posted by PicasaYes these are small suckling pigs in an oven. Did I tell you I was craving some good food?
David took this picture last time we were at Chez Panisse following my last competition, it was July 14, on Bastille Day.  I love this restaurant, real food, prepared with care, and always something intriguing on the menu, like the little piggies above!
I always have a list of things I want to indulge in after my competition, and the funny thing is that often I will only eat half of what's on the list.
What I am craving and will have in my bag backstage:
Two bananas. They are high in sugar and carbs, I haven't had a banana, or much fruit to speak of since August!
Doritos. I eat them only on Christmas morning and the night of a competition- go figure (no pun intended).
Dark chocolate covered caramels with salt on top. From Peet's Coffee... wicked I tell you!
Peanut M and M's.
Snickers bar.
Peanut Butter and rice cakes.
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich.
Sparkling wine.
My homemade fig pop tarts.
Then I will get in my car, and drive home where David will have REAL Champagne for me and a cheeseburger. Then some red wine and a long, hot, steamy shower.
We will laugh and have too much wine and go to bed happy and tired.
I will sleep in, probably until 6:00 am and get up and have a big cup of hot, black coffee and a piece of my fig pop tart along with a big spoonful of peanut butter, or two.
When David wakes he will make "David's Famous Ramos Fizz" and I will make eggs Benedict with fried potatoes.
Lunch I am not so sure yet, Cooper has a lacrosse game at 2:30 so that means it will be something at home. I would really like a  Nicoise salad drizzled with olive oil, whole eggs on it and anchovies. I hope my garden still has tomatoes. And a nice crusty pieces of bread to soak up the juices.
I am sure I will see my friends and neighbors, Mark and Virginia for even more sparkling wine, they usually stop by after a competition. If not, we will just walk over to their house!

I would also like a tuna fish sandwhich  on sliced sourdough with sweet pickle relish and lots of romaine lettuce. Odd, but that sounds good right now.
Dinner will be a juicy skirt steak, aioli, steamed new potatoes and an artichoke, cooked at home, along with some red wine.
The where do we go from there?

We are craving lobster rolls and the most fantastic onion rings from the Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City, California.  Cooper may try their fish and chips this time, I might have some lobster bisque before my lobster roll.

I have been dying to go to The Counter for a cheeseburger.  I went there and walked inside and LOOKED once, but I couldn't eat at the time. Cooper went with his friends and said it was one of the best burgers he has ever had. I am a cheeseburger freak!

I would like to have a salad Lyonnaise  with french fries at the Left Bank in Santana Row, David will have the steak tartare.
I think some al pastor tacos in downtown San Jose sound good, there are so many great taqueria's I am not sure where I will go.
I plan to make a torta cubana, one of my favorite sandwiches, but it is terribly fattening and calorie laden so I rarely make it. It has chorizo, ham, melted cheese, avocado, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and mayonnaise, all on a grilled roll.
I am looking forward to a bowl of pasta with Parmesan cheese. I am not sure if I will make a ragu or a broccoli rabe with anchovies and garlic, both might be in order!

That gets us to Saturday when David, Cooper and I will make the pilgrimage to the Ferry Plaza Market in San Francisco. We will go to Mijita's and have fish taco's and red wine for breakfast.
We will shop at the huge farmers market and buy clams and mussels and some fish from Hog Island Oyster Company and I will make bouillabaisse with rouille for dinner.
Then we have reservations for lunch at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, their food is fabulous. Here I am enjoying dessert there after my last competition in July.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fig Pop Tarts

Posted by PicasaI am really thinking about food, and I get to eat whatever I want in a week. This is really a big part of the fun, you never know how much you appreciate the "little things" till you cannot have them.

Many people may think I am a freak, 7 days from a competition and I am standing in the kitchen making a giant homemade pop tart! 

It really isn't a pop tart, it is called a fig-berry pastry tart.

The dough is butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt and flour.I made it the weekend prior and put it in the freezer.

Inside is a mess of figs from my tree, blueberries, orange juice, and brown sugar.

Here it is before it was cooked down so it could be spread on the bottom layer of the dough.

Then I rolled out another layer, pricked it all over and laid it on top and sealed the edges to make the giant pop tart!

A powdered sugar, butter, lemon juice glaze went on top, and now it is cooling. Then it will be cut into small square and sealed in an airtight container, waiting for ME! I promised Maegan Swain that she could try some too.
I have just one tiny concern, and that is the fact that it smells heavenly, and I just had three teenage boys and my husband file past on their way to a Sharks game, wondering when it will be done.
I will be in bed asleep when they get home, I said they could try it, but please remember it is a post competition treat for me. They would never intentionally eat it all, but when something is so good you cannot help yourself.....

I have a small can of Sofia sparkling wine in the fridge, it comes with a sippy straw. My girlfriend and I sometimes drink them and chat as we have pedicures. I plan to crack that little can open right after my competition, and drink it and eat a piece of this tart...
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Korean Bath House

Posted by PicasaIt's that time again, time for a body scrub. I always have one before a competition as the spray tan will adhere more evenly, with better tone and a smoother overall look. The ultimate exfoliation!
Here is the front door of the Lawrence Health Center in Santa Clara.  I made an appointment with Sue, she is very strong and knows me.
I am having the "full body care" which is one hour and 10 minutes, a scrub and a massage. I got there early enough to soak a bit first.
I walked through the doors, left my shoes in the cubby, found my locker and took off my clothes.  I slipped into the thin robe they gave me and wandered through more swinging doors to the bathroom.
I then walked through the large rest area, and many of the workers were sitting on the huge, heated marble resting platform, chatting, laughing and folding small towels.
One woman looks up, smiles and shouts "You have a ticket?!" It was Sue. I smiled and handed her my ticket showing what services I paid for.  She said "It's been a long time!" I told her it has only been less than three months.

She asks how my tournament was, I tell her I came in 2nd, she said "that's pretty good I guess" "when is your next one?", I tell her it is Saturday.
I walked back into the communal bathing area and took off my robe and put that into another cubby and went to shower. There are three western standing shower stalls, and 9 seated scrubbing areas, with hand held shower heads.
I then went into the warm jacuzzi, to soak a bit, it felt good. I decided to take a very short steam bath, it isn't a good idea now, I want to hold onto all my water, but this steam is amazing, not to be missed.
The steam room walls and ceiling are covered with big river rocks. The seating areas are wide and large enough to lay down lengthwise and sideways, anyway!
The room has a fantastic aroma, they have a huge tray of wormwood over the steam vent, it is not very steamy yet, but soon it starts pouring out, so much steam I can barely see my hand in front of my face. The water is dripping off my body in rivers, better get out!
I go to the cold pool, and pour icy cold water all over myself and then Sue pops her head over the divider and shouts for me. Sue, as all of the ladies there do, wears a black lace bra and panties, it's the uniform.

She splashes hot water on the linoleum covered massage table, and motions me to lay down. I am completely naked and she dons bright green mitts and starts scrubbing all over with a rough substance.
First my back, then the right side, then the front, then the left side. She scrubs everywhere, my stomach, neck, between my toes,  every inch of my body is being scrubbed and all of the dried, dead skin is being removed.
She scrubs for 30 minutes, and in between throws buckets of hot water all over me to wash away the skin. It stings, she has removed so much skin that just water touching parts of it makes me tingle.

Next, she puts a strong smelling soap on her mitts and scrubs me all over yet again. Not as long, only to clean away all the skin.
She props me up, and using a  hand held shower, washes me all over and hands me a small towel to dry off. Back onto the table I go and now she  stars rubbing copious amounts of baby oil all over my body, I am slippery like a seal, she has to place a towel under me to stop me from sliding off the table.
Now, steaming hot towels are placed all over and she starts a mini facial. My hair is up and she alternates hot towels with cool rowels, washes my face and gently scrubs it. A cool potion is painted all over, then a light muslin gauze is set over and more potion painted on, it is cool and refreshing. 
The massage starts, she is rough, and pity the body part that Sue decides is tight or has a knot. Today, she seems to think it is my poor feet, calves and glutes. Thanks goodness! Someone who will massage my poor glutes!
She pushes, squeezes, even pounds with her fists.  Hot towels are applied, they feel so good, more kneading and pounding.
She removes the gauze from my face, gently washes it again and now washes my hair, taking her time, lather and rinse, lather and rinse.

She stands me up again, hands me the shower handle and I rinse off, she gives me a towel and with her signature slap on my behind, tells me "You will do great at your tournament Saturday!"
I walk to my robe, get a tip for her and then off to lay on the heated marble slap and rest or a while. I listen to the chatter of all the women in the baths, scrubbing each other, laughing, not a care in the world.

I love the Korean bath house, yet it always holds just a bit of sadness for me. I brought my mother here for her 70th birthday, we laughed and joked that we had to lie about her age because she was over the age limit for the baths.

I remember as we both lay on the massage tables, she was being "slapped" as part of the massage, and she had a look of horror on her face, until I was slapped too! Then we both broke out in laughter.
Maybe that's why I love this place so much. I have my mother with me each time I go.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week Prior to Competition Diet

Posted by PicasaThe final week prior to a competition, you make sure that you eliminate all the extra sodium so you don't retain water.

That means that I can no longer have protein shakes, they are loaded with sodium. I cannot eat egg whites either, they have lots of sodium too.

So when I get up at 4:00 am, I usually have a thick, delicious chocolate meal replacement shake, but no more for the next week. 

And I need to eat protein for breakfast and right before bed, and I usually have microwaved egg whites, plain right now, but when I am not within a month of a competition I will put on salsa, ketchup, hot sauce, all sorts of things. 

What's a girl to do?

Ground chicken breast.

Yup,  I will get up at 4:00 am and start eating chicken. I will also need a carb so I will have cream of rice. I may mix them together too, like some homemade baby food.

And when I get home from training, meal 2 will be ground chicken breast, and cream of rice again.

Right before bed? Ground chicken breast.

It is very important to read labels when you buy your food, including chicken.  Many companies are notorious for adding a sodium solution to "plump" up their meats, so they weigh more and they are charging you for salt water. 

You may think you are doing everything right, but in reality, you may be buying garbage just because it may be less expensive, and it is pumped full of a 14% solution of sodium.....and you will swell like a balloon. 

Read the labels. A 4 ounce serving of chicken breast should not have more than 70 to 75 mg of sodium in it, that is the naturally occurring amount. They are also required to state on the package if there is a sodium solution used, it could actually be a heath concern for some individuals. The label is very, very tiny though.

If you buy your meat at a butcher counter, they have all the data in the back, they can tell you, make them check. 

Here I have my ground chicken breast all cooked and weighed out. I have packages ranging from 2 ounces to 4 ounces each. My week will vary, I will have higher protein and lower carbs through Wednesday, then I raise the carbs and lower the protein, to shuttle all the carbs into the muscles. I am not so keen on the meals where I get only 2 ounces of protein, it's like a garnish to tell you the truth!

Friday night will be a big meal, steak, baked potato, cheesecake so I look full and healthy the next day.  I will surely write about that meal, I get to make my own (famous) cheesecake, and enjoy it Friday night and Saturday morning for breakfast too.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm Ready!

Posted by PicasaI went to see SC this morning (Friday) to have bodyfat checked. I am one week away from my competition.

When you get to this point, you just cannot see yourself as you really look to others, and I don't have a trainer, or a nutritionist, or a coach, or anyone else to help me, only David who says everyday "You look great!".

Thanks hon, but I need a little more detail....

SC last checked bodyfat on September 9, and I was at 6.9%, neither one of us was too happy about it.

I walked in, he was eating oatmeal on the couch in a different office, then he followed me into his office. "Kristy- you're  walking around in bootie shorts!"...."No" I said, "they are underwear"... I was wearing my favorite Nike compression shorts, blue this time with a great orange waistband.

He checked the 9 sites, it gives you a really good average, in fact it comes within tenths to the hydrostatic testing when done correctly. 

Here are the results: 

Tricep          0
Bicep           0
Subscapular  3
Supralliac     0
Pectoral       0
Abdominal    2
Kidney         2
Quadricep    3
Calf            1
Lower Glute 9

Weight: 122 pounds    Fat: 2.7%    Lean Mass: 118.70 pounds

Where was I 16 days ago on September 9?

Weight: 123.6 pounds  Fat 6.9%     Lean Mass: 116.80 pounds

I am quite excited that I weigh 122, at my last competition in July I was at 120, and bodyfat was at 3.93%. This means I have added lean body mass
So what did I do do drop all of this fat so quickly? I started carb cycling and adding more cardio. My carb cycling consists of eliminating starches at dinner for three nights, then adding them back in the fourth (3 ounces). 
I then increased cardio from 30 minutes to 50 minutes every night.

I have continued lifting and lifting as heavy as always, I don't reduce calories much from my typical diet, the most drastic change is a reduction of starches by 1 ounce at every meal for a couple weeks at a time. My biggest change is in the macro-nutrients ratios, so I usually don't have the fatigue that many people do from lack of calories.

What does this all mean now? It means I need to now start on my one week pre competition changes, adding more carbs back in to fill out, and a little more fat so I don't start looking stringy. 
I will also start circuit training now, and moving away from my usual heavy lifting, I want to keep all the muscles full and round looking.

I will lose more weight, you cannot just halt it instantly. I will still do cardio, but cut it way down.

I need to tighten up more, I feel like my skin is not tight enough, of course, being 49 might have a little to do with it! Once the creatine continues to leave my body, and I dehydrate closer to show time, I should look tight enough, or at least as tight as I will ever get!

Oh, this also meant for dinner I had this:

4 ounces Filet Mignon, 3 ounces red potato, mushrooms and green beans...all covered with pepper and lemon (about all I can use right now). It was wonderful, only missing a glass of red wine!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Sign of Change

Posted by PicasaThis is my wonderful fig tree in the backyard. David and I planted this when it was very tiny, almost 18 years ago. It was the very first thing we planted in our barren yard when we bought our home.
You may have noticed that it appears to be growing sideways,  in fact, it is. It hasn't always grown like this, but this summer, as it was loaded with fruit it started listing and leaning and it is almost on the lawn at this point.

Figs are one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat. They contain 250 mg of calcium per 100 grams, compared to whole milk with only 188 mg!

As a token of honor, figs were used as a training food by the early Olympic athletes, and figs were also presented as laurels to the winners as the first Olympic medals.
The Romans regarded Bacchus as the god who introduced the fig to mankind. This made the tree sacred, and all images of the god were often crowned with fig leaves. The first figs of the season were offered to Bacchus, and at festivals in his honor, devout females wore garlands of dried figs.
Pliny, the Roman writer (52-113 AD) said, “Figs are restorative. They increase the strength of young people, preserve the elderly in better health and make them look younger with fewer wrinkles.”
The Persian King Xerxes, after his defeat by the Greeks at Salamis in 480 B.C., had figs from Attica served him at every meal to remind him that he did not possess the land where this fruit grew.

Figs are mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, as well as the Odyssey; by Aristophanes, Herodotus and Cato; and the fig is reported to have been the favorite fruit of Cleopatra, with the asp that ended her life being brought to her in a basket of figs.

It is very sad to me, I have climbed this tree, used the leaves to cook many dishes, gathered figs twice a year and savored the wonderful sweet fruit.

We have enjoyed the stunning scarab beetles that eat the rotting fruit and will dive bomb us, and the hundreds of crows that will sit menacingly atop the tree, eating all the uppermost ripe fruit. It will be gone by winter.

It has made me contemplate change and life. Things don't always turn out the way we want, or they take a "turn".
I don't want to lose my fig tree, but it now gives me an opportunity to plant a new one, placed in the correct setting according to everything else in the yard, and ensure it will thrive.
It has made me realize that I too can make changes, and I will thrive. I have felt change simmering for a long, long time now.I mean that I think I need to take some serious time off from competing.

I mention it now and again and everyone says "oh, it's just because you are close to your competition" or you will change your mind afterward" maybe yes, and maybe no.
I would actually like to see just how big and muscular I can get. I mean serious big. Now that would be a big change. I am a tiny woman, with wide shoulders, If I could get everything else "big", it could be rather frightening!
I will decide with the fig tree, when it decides to leave me, I will make my decision. Until then, I am hanging in there, maybe a little sideways like my tree, but I am there .

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Milk the best recovery drink

Posted by PicasaThose ads you see where they say "Milk, it does a body good" are right. It is one of the best drinks for athletes available.

Milk is inexpensive compared to any sports drink or meal replacement and in fact, out performs them all around. 

This is my son, Cooper. He likes chocolate milk. He is 16 and plays lacrosse, running around all the time, so this is the perfect snack for him. Even though the chocolate milk tastes exactly the same when it comes in the large 1/2 gallon container, for some reason he likes these little ones, and that's OK because he drinks them and that is all I care about.

I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, on September 8 titled "Milk might top sports drinks for athletes' muscle recovery" and it supports everything I have been telling him, and others about the benefits of milk.

According to  researchers, there is scientific support regarding the benefits of milk for athletes. It has carbohydrates, electrolytes, calcium and vitamin D. It also contains the two best proteins for rebuilding muscles: casein and whey

People pay big money for powdered casein and whey. 

Milk provides the building blocks for what you need to build new muscles. Sports drinks mainly replace lost carbohydrates and electrolytes, and don't usually have the necessary nutrients for muscles to regenerate themselves.

There really is no need to spend the big bucks on fancy protein meal replacement drinks for pre and post training, go for a 16 ounce glass of milk.

I would recommend low fat or non fat for most people, but for those trying to add mass, or active teenagers, you can feel confident they can use the added fats and calories from whole milk.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Acme Spelt Bread

Posted by PicasaThis is something that I have been looking forward to eating! I don't eat much bread, it's generally not the thing one would want to eat when maintaining a lean  physique.

 I do make exception for this, and a few others like it. I am sure there are several bakeries around that make something like this, but you cannot find it in the grocery store. It's not the same as Ezekiel bread or any other whole grain bread, at least not one that I have found.

This is from Acme Bakery, and I bought it Saturday when we were in Berkeley. You can get it at the Berkeley bakery or their branch in the Ferry Plaza Market in San Francisco, the place I go every Saturday morning after a competition, to eat fish tacos and red wine for breakfast, it's sort of a tradition.

Acme makes a different one everyday few days. This one happens to be spelt. You can see the seeds and nuts in it. It comes in a square loaf about 6 by 6 inches, and is so dense, it is almost like a brick. My favorite is the rye.

These breads are heavy, dense, loaded with whole grain and chewy. The exact opposite of wonder bread.

I cannot have this now, but in 14 days or so I can, so I bought a loaf, David cut it in 1/2 inch thick slices, and wrapped each individually and popped them in the freezer.

After my competition, I will be looking forward to ONE slice of this, toasted, topped with a small amount of chunky peanut butter and low sugar jam. That will be my carb after I train that morning, I will have it with scrambled egg whites and salsa on the side.

If you eat bread, this is the kind you want to try to get to like, the soft, light stuff has no nutritional value, it's empty calories, and lots of them. 
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Halibut for Dinner (different)

Posted by PicasaI never seem to get enough fish...I love it year round. I thoroughly enjoyed this halibut and everything about this is totally appropriate for a pre-competition diet!
This is 6 ounces (uncooked weight) of fresh halibut that I have patted dry then sprinkled with smokey Spanish paprika and black pepper. Pat onto the flesh to make sure it adheres.

I heat a cast iron skillet over very high heat until very hot, spray with olive oil cooking spray then sear on each side 2 minutes, then lower heat and cook 1 minute longer on each side. It will be moist and just barely cooked though.
I topped it with a wonderful puree of bar-b-qued tomatillos.

Take a large bag of tomatillos, remove the papery husks then rinse with cool water. Bar-B-Que them until they are blistered and hot, some may start to split, take them off as soon as they do this. You can alternatively roast them in a hot skillet indoors, or broil them.
Place them in a blender with a small amount of water (about 1/2 cup for a pound of tomatillos), blend until nicely pureed.
This makes a great salsa with no added salt.  The salsa went over the fish, then a nice pop of fresh cilantro leaves. Yes tomatillos have some calories and carbs, they are a vegetable after all, but I used 2 Tbsps, it was like having a little extra vegetable.
I also have  roasted golden beets. Scrub beets to remove all debris, place in a small baking dish and add about a half cup water, cover with foil. Bake in a 400 degree oven until very soft when pierced with a knife, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on size and freshness.
When the beets are done, remove the skins with a paring knife, they will pull off easily, as long as you do not use the red beets, your fingers won't get stained.

Cut the beets into quarters or even more pieces if large, place in a bowl and add black pepper and red wine vinegar, about 3 Tbsps for a pound of beets. Allow them to macerate for at least a half hour or as long as you like.
Par boiled green beans, plain.

I squeeze lemon all over everything, it goes great with all of the flavors.
Do you notice I have no starch? Yes, this is true.
It's my way of "carb cycling" and it's not even close to what most people have heard of.
I think carbs are good for you. I do not believe that extremely low carb diets are healthy for many reasons.
The first reason is I don't think that any diet that is so restrictive that you cannot maintain it, or something very close to it year round is  ever going to be successful. My definition of success is not a weight loss that is regained, it is a change in body composition forever.
If you cut carbs extremely low, you cannot or will not sustain it long, most people just won't do it. Most people will also feel extremely deprived and will binge and not stay on the diet.
Also, carbs make your body function properly, you need them for brain function and for energy.  Your muscles look full when you have eaten carbs, your body looks healthy.
Without them you look thin, emaciated, tired, not a look I can recall ever striving for.

However,  there are times when I need to lose some bodyfat and by a certain time, so that's when I will manipulate my carbs.
First, I never ever cut them really low, it doesn't work for me. I have met people who swear by it, but I have not yet met anyone who can live with it very long.

I maintain a clean, healthy diet year round. I of course will go though periods of eating completely unhealthy things a couple weeks after a competition, then it's back to a balanced diet, all the time.
I will not deprive myself in the off season, but I will make the right choices most of the time. I aim for 90% compliance.

I feel that eating right year round ensures I never gain a tremendous amount of weight like many competitors do, I don't have to struggle to lose it, and my "pre-competition diet" is really not much different than my "off-season diet", I just cut out some higher fat, higher sugar items and limit portions a bit more.
I eat carbs (starches) at every meal except my final meal immediately prior to bed. At that meal I have some vegetable, which has a very small amount of carbs, but not much.
When I am close to competition time, I eliminate those carbs (it is usually one cup of spinach). And then, I will cycle just a little in and out in my 5th meal (dinner).
So tonight, no carbs at dinner. It's ok, I won't be exercising, I don't need the energy. I will do this three nights, then the fourth, have carbs for dinner again (3 ounces rice or potato). Then three nights no carbs with dinner, and add them again on the fourth.

If I am stuck and not losing weight, and I have made sure I am eating the correct protein and vegetables, and am doing extra cardio, I may reduce my starches at other meals for a few days also, no more than one ounce though. If I do this, is it typically no longer than 2 weeks.
This very small change makes a difference, but I will never suffer, I will never look gaunt, I will remain full and healthy looking.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Lessons in a Bag

Posted by PicasaMy gym has a shop they refer to as the "pro shop".  They call it a pro shop because it is a tennis club and they sell tennis wear and equipment, but it seems more like a boutique to me.

They have clothing for men and women, sandals for kids, swimwear, jewelery and sunglasses, even hankey pankey underwear in case you forgot yours!

I don't know how to play tennis nor do I even attempt to, I am there for the weights.

There was a beautiful blue dress staring me in the face every morning as I walked by into the locker room, but I am there at opening, and the pro shop is not open yet.

The last few weeks I have been going to the gym twice a day, weights in the morning, cardio at night, and the shop is open when I get there after work. I happened to veer into the shop the other day and had them haul the pretty blue dress off the form in the window, it was mine!

Fits beautifully and looks like it was made just for me. Thank goodness they only had it in blue. 

They carry Lululemon at the pro shop, it is a line of men's and women's active wear, in fact I wear Lululemon bra tops, love the flow Y and the hot class bras.

They put everything they sell into Lululemon bags, they are great bags that can be used for quite some time. I have only seen them in red, but my dress was placed into a black bag, the one you see above.

I like these bags, they have many wonderful, inspiration sayings printed all over to keep you motivated.

Sort of like In and Out Burger, did you know they have biblical references on their paper utensils and bags? But I am not religious, so I don't read their bags, but I will eat their burgers....

Some of my favorites on this bag:

"Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain." 

"Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself." 

"Children are the orgasms of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them."

"Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocrity is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life."

"Successful people replace the words 'wish', 'should' and 'try' with 'I WILL'."

"Friends are more important than money."

"The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought." 

My dress? It is a Grace V dress by Zobha in Moroccan blue . I suggest, that everyone go buy a dress, just for a little motivation.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bodybuilding, Wine and Food (Compromise)

Posted by Picasa I have been thinking of competing in the INBA, the International Natural Bodybuilding Association. I thought it could be interesting to compete where I knew the playing field was even (it is drug tested).

I heard that they posed completely differently and the criteria was also different so I had to go check it out for myself, before I entered a competition. 

Unfortunately the show was in Fairfield, about an hour and a half away. I planned to go by myself, with the top down and listen to music and think about things as I drove. I don't get a lot of time alone, and I do like to be alone, it's peaceful.

David was feeling a little sorry for me I think, he didn't believe I wanted to make that drive all by myself, but I really didn't mind, it was my deal, I wasn't going to drag anyone else along for my research project!

Then we worked out a deal! We would head over to the show and then on the way home, drive through Berkeley instead of the way we came, and we could stop and David could eat lunch at Provence Day, an annual event held by Kermit Lynch Wine Shop and Cafe Fanny.

Everyone would be happy today.

We arrived at the competition about 15 minutes after it started, It had to have been the smallest one I had ever attended, I was in the second row! I could see up close and personal, and if anyone missed a spot shaving, I could easily point it out.

This was actually the very first competition I had ever attended as a spectator. I have always participated and never watched from the audience. I never realized how hard those bodybuilders work to hit those poses.

I found that I was a bit confused by the many different categories that the INBA has for women, there was bodybuilding,  Classic Figure, Ms. Figure, Sports Model, Divas and Fitness. Whew! That's an awful lot. I had difficulty discerning what they were looking for in some as there were so many cross overs too.

It was good to see, the posing is much more relaxed, they put more personality into the event I think, I just couldn't quite tell who belonged in which category though. 

It's almost like the start of the "Bikini" category with the NPC and how some gals could be in Bikini or Figure, the judges were not always quite clear on it.  I think they are getting it dialed in now though, the Bikini look is definitely softer, rounder, higher body fat, not ripped. You can easily tell a Figure gal from a Bikini gal now.

After the show we bombed down I-80 to Berkeley where Kerimit Lynch had the parking lot closed down, tents up, communal tables everywhere  with red checkered tablecloths and a great live band.

The sun was shining, a rare occasion for Berkeley and I sat in the sun and soaked it up.  

The were serving bouillabaisse, a heady shellfish stew with mussels, clams, calamari, white fish, fish broth and rouille. Served with garlicky toasted baguette, it was a meal I would have enjoyed; however, it's not in the plans right now, I have a competition in 14 days. I brought my own lunch, salad and vegetables with steak and beans, all in a big bowl.

They were pouring french wines too, David enjoyed a white then a red, I stuck with spring water.

Then back in the car to drive home, the top was down and the sun was still shining.

I have added Bouillabaisse with Rouille to my "Good Eats" list that I will be posting soon, I make a mean one, in fact, it is the same recipe that Chef Christopher Lee used at Kermit Lynch, it's from my Chez Panisse cookbook.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Eat Less, Move More

Posted by PicasaDon't these look stunning?  I went into this little shop, just to look and smell everything, I walked out and didn't buy a thing. It's not always that easy for me though, it's the deep, dark, rich, gooey chocolate that gets me every time.

I have had a few requests for diets lately, along with the usual, "how do I lose weight?", "what should I do?"

My answer is always the same. Eat less, move more. It's really quite simple.

You need to reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories everyday to lose one pound in a week. That really shouldn't be difficult. If you drink alcohol, drink less. If you drink soda, switch to sugar free. If you eat dessert everyday, stop.

Crackers, bread, butter, cream in your coffee, any and all snacks (packaged) are not your friend when you are trying to lose a bit of the jiggly stuff.

Then, if you start moving a little bit, that only doubles the calorie reduction! So if you start going for a walk every night after dinner AND reducing your daily calories by 500, you will lose even more weight!

Just think what will happen if you go to the gym and actually break a sweat, every single day?!

Start small, make easy changes that you can live with. Switch to no calorie sweeteners, eliminate soda and sugary drinks, use non fat milk, savor a piece of bread and not a loaf of bread, eat a portion of pasta and include vegetables and protein, instead of eating a bowl of pasta as a meal on its own. Use reduced calorie mayonnaise, or replace it with non-fat yogurt. Use low sugar ketchup. Avoid sugary jams, they have low sugar or even no sugar ones that taste fantastic.

Soon, you will really be able to enjoy the special treat you select at the bakery like the ones in my picture above, at least once in a while.   If you want to visit this bakery, it is in Santa Cruz, in the shopping center where The Cellar Door restaurant is located....
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Butternut Squash and Turkey Soup

This soup was very nice, creamy (yet no cream), spicy and very healthy.

It is from the Precision Nutrition Cookbook by Dr. John Berardi.

I love soup. I usually tend to make the broth based soups because I just cannot eat the cream, so having one with a creamy texture is great!

This is one I would make again, and it was easy to do.  This serves 8 ( a big guy gets double)

Soup Base:

1 Tbsp coconut oil
5 cups butternut squash (skin removed, roughly chopped)
1 cup roughly chopped onion
1 Tbsp grated or minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup water

Soup Garnish:

1 lb, 10 ounces ground turkey
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
Olive Oil cooking spray
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Soup base:
Preheat large pot on medium high heat, add coconut oil and squash, saute until lightly browned. Add onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg and 2 Tbsp of broth; saute for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Add remaining vegetable broth and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until squash is soft (approximately 30 minutes). Prepare garnish while soup base is cooking. Let soup cool a few minutes. Puree in blender or food processor until smooth and pour back into pot.

Soup Garnish:

Season turkey with salt, pepper and cumin. Preheat large non-stick frying pan on medium heat and lightly coat with spray. Saute turkey until lightly browned and completely cooked, breaking up meat into small crumbles. Add cooked turkey and cilantro to soup base. Reheat and serve immediately or portion soup into storage containers. To maintain tenderness of meat, avoid bring soup to a boil after meat has been added.

I make one batch, and do not add the garnish. I divide the base into 8 servings (7 containers and 1 small pot), and then mike the turkey and cilantro together, and divide that equally between the 8 containers. I have one bowl for dinner and other 7 go in the freezer for later.

Calories 219.8
fat 9.8 grams
carbs 14.3 grams
sugar 2.6 grams
protein 18.8 grams

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Thursday, September 16, 2010


Posted by PicasaI experienced a wonderful massage on Wednesday. 

Recently I wrote about how blue I was feeling, it was nothing I had ever experienced before, a helplessness and hopelessness that I couldn't shake.

I attributed it to  "the diet" and "the preparation" that I was going through for this next competition. It is extremely stressful, not only on the body but on the mind.

The emotional roller coaster is incredible. Add to the fact that my job has been an animal all it's own lately, I was feeling like I couldn't handle the simplest things in life.

I am near the end of my preparation, I have 16 days left. That means no more going to the gym two times a day, staying three or more hours on weekends, dieting down to 4% bodyfat, depriving myself of wonderfully healthy (but no-no right now) foods such as fresh fruit.

I will be taking a break for several months, returning to a normal life with my family. They are looking forward to it more than I am.

Several people reached out and offered kind words, advise, just said hi.   Some said nothing, although I am sure they wanted to. It's like a death in the family, sometimes you just don't know what to say....

"R" was very concerned, she wanted me back to my same old self. She knew I wasn't feeling good about life in general.

"R" gave me a 90 minute massage with her massage therapist, Bridget Eding. I just happened to have the day off Wednesday, and it was all arranged for 10:00.

I used to be the massage "queen", if I could pick anything to pamper myself it was a massage. David and I used to go to the Claremont Resort in Berkeley a couple times a year and have massages, stay the night and lay by the pool.
I then started going to Burke Williams in Santana Row and always requested the same massage therapist, when he was leaving Burke Williams we made arrangements for him to come directly to my home, that lasted quite some time.

But, as I always say, we make choices in life and I chose to stop getting massages. The sport of Figure is an expensive one, and with this added expense, something had to go. I still have the Korean Scrub and massage before each competition, but that is almost a mandatory step to ensure the tan stays on evenly.

So, I feel that I have experienced many massages over the last several years, and I know what feels good to my body.

I am now rethinking my choice and am delighted that as an adult, I have the power to change my mind and make a new choice whenever I so desire!

I can actually say that I have never felt so instantly comfortable with a person as I did with Bridget. She was warm, genuine, not rushed, and honestly interested in what I had to say.

I started off immediately telling her that I had an odd request, she smiled and sounded game.  I explained that I brought my camera and I needed her to take a picture of me. She didn't bat an eye, she laughed, said sure and wanted to know how I would pose.

The massage was just what I needed, she said that she finds using more 'trigger point" massage instead of "kneading" works well with dense tissue such as mine, so if you got a lot of muscle, she will get in there! 

And she did, I had knots in my hammies that I didn't know were there (until she found them) and my right side spinal erector was out of balance...we both seemed to feel it at the same time, a good sign that both parties are involved in the massage.

My back and traps were still tight for those 315 pound lifts on Saturday with SC, and they were quite deserving of the treatment they received.

My massage was deep, worked out the tightness, yet oh so very relaxing at the same time.

I will be visiting Bridget again, I am sure of that.  I may just decide that another "necessary step" before any Figure competition is to get a massage! Before and after.

The kindness and concern that "R" showed will never be forgotten, and it just reminds me once again, that out of every negative experience comes a positive one. Had I never gone through this, I never would have discovered Bridget.

And, it also makes me glad to have such wonderful friends in my life.

Look Bridget up, I highly recommend her.  

Bridget Eding  Just B. Massage
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