Saturday, April 30, 2011

Food Guidelines Updated

The U.D. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have gone back to basics and are making changes, it's about time!

I read this article on April 13 in the newspaper, it is by Jennifer Gish.

Here are a few of their "discoveries", ones most of us health conscious folks have known for ages.

Watch your portion sizes. Drink skim or 1 percent milk. The number of calories you consume and the number you burn should be balanced. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And you've got to cut back on your sodium.

Here are some of the highlights: Don't blame the shaker. It's not just canned soup and frozen meals. Sodium -- which the guidelines say you should limit to less than 2,300 milligrams a day or 1,500 milligrams a day if you're 51 or older, black or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease -- is found in unexpected places, like your morning toast. 

According to the USDA's report on the guidelines, the highest individual source of sodium in the American diet is yeast breads (7 percent), followed by chicken and chicken mixed dishes and pizza. But don't toss out that loaf of whole wheat yet (even though Ingoldsby says whole wheat bread contains slightly more sodium than white). It's more about how much bread we eat than the bread's sodium content. The key to reducing your sodium intake, Ingoldsby says, is by eating fewer processed foods, which tend to be sodium-rich. It can be as simple as shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store rather than the center aisles, where many of the processed products are sold. 

Two and a half cups? You can do it. It's never any trouble when it's ice cream. The guidelines say to eat more fruits and vegetables. Research says taking in at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and fruits (five servings) a day has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

The guidelines say to avoid oversized portions. They're not just talking about polishing off a pint of ice cream in one sitting. Our society has a case of portion distortion. You may know that the bottle of Pepsi you drank with lunch was 2.5 servings, but did you realize you poured a triple serving of Special K into your cereal bowl that morning? One serving of the cereal is just 1 cup. Dump it into a measuring cup for a while until you get used to what it looks like in your bowl. (Your cupped hand is a quick way to measure 1/2 cup. A fistful is roughly a cup, Ingoldsby says.) 

Fortunately, most people need two servings of grains in the morning, so either double the cereal or eat a piece of toast, too. And if you're afraid your properly portioned meals aren't enough to fuel you through the day, consider what you're eating. A balanced diet -- with all of the needed fiber, protein and nutrients -- will make you feel full, Ingoldsby says.
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Friday, April 29, 2011

I want to be a Bodybuilder Part 4

Yes, folks, the long awaited part 4!

It isn't quite as good as the last ones, I honestly thought that he would actually be on stage in part 4, but I guess that leaves us waiting for the next one.

The fellow who did this (or the gal) does know what they are talking about though, except that most people don't take the nuts away at the end....but I suppose it depends on your own physique!

I have included the others (parts 1, 2 and 3) in case you haven''t seen those, I suggest going in the correct order and not backward!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again!

I'm baaaaaaaaack!

Back in the saddle again! Yesterday was my first day training after 4 weeks and god did it feel good! Shoulder day, an hour in the morning with a new program, and at lunch run up 125 stairs, and down 125 stairs, then jump rope 100 times. 3 sets.

Actually, I got so excited that I did my 350 stairs and my 300 jump ropes on Monday and Tuesday at lunch too...I couldn't wait.

The picture above was taken just a couple days ago, I guess that taking a month off weight training didn't hurt me too much huh? I think it was more of an emotional distress than anything really. My delts will pop again soon, very, very soon!

My shoulder and ab workout Wednesday:

Barbell Military Press SS w Leg raise 4x10 70 lbs
Arnold Press SS w crunches 4x10 27.5 lbs
Front DB Raise 4x10 17.5 lbs
Lateral Raise/ Burns 4x10 17.5/35 lbs
Leaning Lat Raise 4x10 17.5 lbs
Seated Bent Over Raise/ twist 4x10 12.5 lbs
Butt Floss 4x10 25 lbs
Poliquins Twist 5x10 BW
Combo 3 x 4 x 3 25 lbs

It felt so good to lift again that I found myself dancing in the weight room, dancing to this song on the video below and I didn't give a damn who saw me! Actually, when people saw me they smiled, I think they were as happy to see me lifting again as I was to BE lifting!

Isn't life wonderful!?

Steven Tylers look doesn't do anything for me, in fact it is obvious the only weight he has ever lifted was attached to a bottle of something....but he says it all and it's just how I feel. Turn up your speakers and feel it with me!

Email subscribers will need to navigate directly to the blog to see the video below.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sushi for my 50th

I went out to dinner with friends on Friday, we had an absolute blast! “R” and her husband “J” wanted to take us out to celebrate my 50th, we were looking for something fun yet (somewhat) healthy, so it was sushi all around.

We went to Mizu, I would go back!

First, a few appetizers, this was yellowtail tartare with a cilantro jalapeno-cilantro–roe topping, stupendous! I could easily have a bowl of soup and this.

We also had grilled hamachi kama, yellowtail collar grilled to perfection served with Ponzu sauce. It was good but difficult to share.

The men had beers and the women had a nice, big bottle of J Brut (sparkling wine) to wash it all down.

Next was miso soup and salad, then we ordered the sushi/ sashimi boat - this is for two people but we all shared it.

I immediately snagged one of the deep fried shrimp heads.

Yup, just the head and it’s contents, including the little black eyeballs. Suck it all out, the taste is crispy, briny, sweet, and hot, all at once. It was wonderful!

The boat was soon empty, and I almost licked my plate.

Sashimi is a fantastic diet choice; sushi can get you into a little trouble as it is easy to eat too much rice. The killers are the rolls, like the ones on our boat. They usually come with fat laden mayonnaise toppings, but it was a great treat!

Thanks "R".....see you at the gym!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gym Talk

Posted by PicasaSunday morning at the gym, it was Easter so extra quiet at opening. I did my usual 60 minutes on the stairmill then walked over to talk to Alan, my shoe connection.

Alan sources products for Nike, so he travels to the store in Washington regularly and gets my shoes at his cost. Cooper and I both need some new Nike Free Runs, well, actually neither one of us needs them, we want new colors.

I asked Alan if he had heard I broke my rib, and he says in his Scottish accent:

"Brilliant!, That's a painful one, how did you manage that!?"

I explained and he told me to take Osteocam and Ostera to make the bone heal faster. Too bad I didn't talk to him about it a month ago!

I decided to throw in an extra 30 minutes on the elliptical, I did that on Saturday too, just because I know my time on these dreaded pieces of machinery are coming to a close.

If you are a person who thinks long bouts on a cardio machine is the way to a hot body, I have news for you, you are wrong! Cardio is to be used in conjunction with proper training, and no one worth their salt will tell you that cardio is proper training- it's "in addition to" training!

Look at the people who spend hours every day on those machines, especially the ones who do nothing else, they look awful!

I will describe a conversation and it is a bit odd, I am not sure how it got where it did, but it was awfully funny and made me laugh out loud.

Bob and Mike (attorney and race car/wine importer respectively) were chatting about church and I got off my elliptical and walked over to them and asked if they were going later (knowing full well they were not). We then talked about what our plans were for the day.

I told them I was going to dinner at Jerome's, it would be a late night so I wouldn't be at the gym in the morning, no way I would be able to get up at 4:00am.

Mike asked what was late? I told him we were to arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 so dinner would surely be after that, how much after is the question.

Mike replied:

"Wow, eating dinner that late, I wouldn't want to be standing next to you on the stairmill in the morning. There's no room in those shorts for farts!"

(I am thinking huh????)

Bob pipes in "Those aren't shorts she's wearing, she has on underwear!"

Mike looked at me in shock. It was true, but I have been wearing the darn things for ages and he never noticed, now they will all know. I mean, they say UNDER ARMOUR all over the waist band, are they blind? (see picture above).

The funny thing is, women ask me all the time where I got my shorts, I tell them "Under Armour mesh boy shorts underwear" my favorites. Thin, cool, low on the hips, extra short rise, perfect for me, and they come in cool colors too.

I walked back to my machine, my head was thrown back and I was holding my sides to contain my belly laugh. I could feel both of them staring at my "shorts" as I walked away.

Fun times in the gym!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation

I receive emails from elitefts every week, I love the site. Not only do I enjoy the information, I like the funny stories and I buy equipment from them.

Every Christmas they publish an ebook and all proceeds are given to charity. This year, it was called "Empowerment, 28 Lessons for Empowering Strength in Work, Training and Life."

It was, and is, an exceptional read.

It contains stories from lifters from all walks of life and experiences, stories from their hearts that tell of triumph, defeat, struggles, victories. I cried many times, I laughed out loud a lot.

Here are a couple experts that hit home for me:

....The point to all this is that you can accomplish anything that is clearly laid out for you. The only problem is that you usually need to be the one to lay it out and few of us really do. About three in 100 people write down what they want to accomplish. I'll let you guess how many in the 100 actually accomplish it.
`Adam Driggers

...Think about what you want to do to improve the world, the gym or wherever you are. Find your team and work together to improve things around you. Sometimes the issues are as simple as how to get a bigger bench, but sometimes your team has to help you fight a near death experience. Either way, if you go it alone, you will struggle. Lean on your team, allow your team to lean on you and work together to make your dreams and goals a reality. If you want to be part of my team, email me anytime. I would be honored to be on your team.
`Todd Hamer
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

3 1/2 weeks no diet!

I broke my rib 3 ½ weeks ago, so what happened to me? Did I fall apart?

Well, maybe I did emotionally for a bit, but that didn’t last too long.

I immediately fell off the diet wagon, I was 5 or 6 weeks out from a competition, and looking pretty darn ripped, I wasn’t sure if I could try to compete. My doctor said “no, you cannot lift weights or exercise” so I came to the realization fairly soon that I couldn’t try and for my own mental health, I shouldn’t even let myself believe I could.

I then went back on my diet, but my regular off season diet, not a pre-competition diet. In other words, I stuck to a fairly healthy food plan with an occasional treat.

Those treats became more and more frequent, friends heard about the injury and all wanted to eat, drink, go out, and celebrate. I obliged, it was fun!

After a week the doctor said I could walk, so I started out on the treadmill, 60 minutes a day. When my rib wasn’t as painful, after about two weeks I moved to the stairmill, that’s the best cardio workout for me, sweat would drip from my body as I trudged up those stairs day after day, for 60 minutes every morning.

Once in a while someone would stop by and ask why I was up there, how come I wasn’t lifting? Word started to spread, I got very sympathetic looks every day, they knew I hated cardio and missed my weights.

All in all, how do I look after almost 4 weeks of no diet and no weight training? Pretty darn good actually!

I can really see the softness from the back now, although my shoulders are fairly non existent, you can still see the "tree" of my back, and as soon as I start in training, especially with the pull ups, my back will respond.

The glute area is looking way too soft  in my opinion, probably the worst I have ever seen on me!

Shoulders? My pride and joy have all but disappeared. Although I still look great, I am definitely not competition ready!

But I start lifting again on Wednesday, and Wednesday is shoulder day! Those puppies will be screaming for forgiveness on Thursday and Friday, and will come bouncing back to life soon.

So I will toss the suit in the closet for another week and a half, and see how I look after a week of training!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cosentino's is now Lunardi's

I am in heaven once again! A few months ago my independent grocery store, Cosentino's closed, it was a very sad occasion for me and many others. I had shopped there for 30 years, and I knew so many of the staff, I felt at home there.

I never found another store I liked, Cosentinos started as a produce store, so they specialized in that. It was also Italian, so they understood the need for so many things such as good rices, pastas, beans, spices and "funky" meat parts.

We heard that Lunardi's would be taking them over, that is also and independent but much larger, I think they have 7 stores. I was intrigued but have never liked the Lunardi's in Los Gatos near my home, it always felt cold and aloof to me. Their prices seemed higher too. I don't mind paying for quality, but I don't want to pay a lot more for the same quality I could get at Cosentino's.

My mom always shopped at Lunardi's, I used to when I lived in downtown Los Gatos, my friend "R" swears by it, so maybe I am wrong, or maybe I am just being stubborn because I am losing "my store"

Well, I am pleased to say I love the new Lunardi's!

I went in today, the lot was absolutely packed!

I forgot it was Easter weekend, I am going to Jerome's so didn't plan any special dinner, but apparently everyone else in town did! 

They open at 7:00 am, even earlier than the other Lunardi's.  The first thing I noticed was it was very light and bright, so it appeared cleaner. Then I swung around to the produce section, there was the produce manager smiling right at me! He walked over and thanked me for coming back, I told him "thank YOU for coming back!" We both laughed.

He said Mr. Lunardi has been very good to the employee's, all of them came back (in produce) except one guy and he retired. He said that they could have had their seniority stripped to reduce pay, but that didn't happen. He said Mr. Lunardi is in the store everyday, checking out things, walking around. I asked if that was his stretch limo outside, and he said yes. He added that Mr. Lunardi is listening to him, listening to suggestions. He was happy.

I told him I noticed mushrooms were much more expensive (I eat a few pounds a week) and he said "Yes, It's a different mushroom program"...but he added: "If you find there is anything you need or want that isn't here, just let me know, I will get it." I know he will too.

I found a traffic jam in a few isles there, the produce guys all laughed when I said it was the wooden boxes that were in the way "There is some old guy who insists on those boxes and will tell you it's not the boxes in the way" ha ha

I saw an older man, in a suit slowly walking around the pasta section, so I went up to him and said "Excuse me, are you Mr. Lunardi?"

"Yes, what is your name?"
"Cristina! Hello" (in an Italian accent)

I thanked him for opening the store and for keeping all the staff. He smiled, then told me all about how he was remodeling and would have even more foods to choose from, especially an expanded produce and deli section.

I went to the butcher counter, I saw familiar faces! George came over to ask if I needed help, and asked how bodybuilding was going. I told him I had a broken rib...I asked if any of the sausage was Badalamente sausage, they are a very old Italian sausage making family in San Jose, their store is tiny, over in Willow Glen, it is the best. The Lunardi's in Los Gatos sells their sausage.

George wasn't sure, he went to check and another butcher shouted over "what do you need? What's the question?" I asked again, he went over and pointed to it, then George gently shoved him and said "She's mine, I'm helping her!"

We all laughed, I got my answer and didn't want any sausage, just wanted to know. I bought some Humboldt Farms grass fed ground beef, the most expensive they had, but grass fed tastes better and is better for you. I asked if it was from one animal or mixed, only one he said. They get the whole thing and piece it out. That's good, less chance of some sick contamination.

Marc the bagger waved and shouted "Hello!" Then as I was checking out with a man who must be from Lunardi's, another checker, Mimi shouts "Kristy! Hi! How are you?!"

You may laugh and think I am odd for being so attached, but I do love food, I love the interactions I have had with the people. I am a "quality, not quantity" person, and I think that is evident on what I eat and how I look.

People who want quantity tend to get heavy, they gain weight. People who like quality eat better foods, less of it and appreciate the things that can sometimes only be enjoyed in small amounts.

With all this talk in the last few weeks of food, you will see I haven't gained weight, in fact my weight is the same. I believe my body composition has changed, more fat, less muscle, but I was 5 weeks out from a competition when I was injured, and pretty darn ripped at the time.

I will post pictures tomorrow, you will be quite surprised I think.

l got home and was heaving the cases of water out of the car and realized it was like weight lifting, and it didn't hurt! I started to get excited, I will be lifting again soon, Wednesday I think. I have to write up a starter program this weekend. I feel like I am 9 years old again and it's the week before Christmas, I wonder if I will be able to sleep?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ramen, UFC and Dinner


Cooper and I went out to dinner, David had a meeting. We went to Ramen Halu , a great noodle place located in a strip mall, across from Garden City Restaurant on Saratoga Avenue. 

Halu has actually been written about by ramen lovers from all over the world! We start with Okara salad, a small plate of iceberg lettuce topped with a scoop of white curd, it is the by product of tofu making from San Jose Tofu. Mixed in is some edamame, soy sauce and garlic. It is delicious.

Cooper then has a bowl of Halu, their signature ramen with a deep, rich broth. I have tsukmen with whole wheat noodles. It is a plate of noodles, mushrooms, bamboo, green onions, spinach and a slice of pork, all artfully laid out next to a bowl of delicate broth. You put the ingredients you want into the broth and eat it with your chopsticks. I always skip the pork and sneak in my 4 ounces of cubed chicken to add instead.

Tonight Cooper was telling me about the upcoming  UFC 129 on April 30, Cooper's 17th birthday. It will be George St. Pierre vs Jake Shields.

Having dinner with your teenage son is fun and interesting. At that age, they are men and what do men like? (well besides that)- food and fighting.

Cooper knows all about GSP, heck I even know all about GSP. But I didn't know anything about the guy Shields that he is fighting, seems this will be his first UFC and he has gone straight to the top? Interesting, he must be good! I think we definitely need this one on pay per view!

One reason that Cooper is so into fighting is that he has been taking private kickboxing lessons every week for the last couple years from a former world champion, Jerome Turcan.

Who is Jerome?

Here we are at a party, my goal is to have arms as big as Jerome's soon! Here is a bit about him.

WHBA founder and CEO, Jerome Turcan, began his fighting career in 1983 in Avignon, France. Competing in kickboxing, savate, and boxing, he acquired two World Championships, K-1 Vice-Champion, European Champion, and seven French National Championship titles. He retired from professional competition in 2002 with a career record of 65-14-2, with 37 wins by knockout. He has trained 3 World Champions, 4 European Champions, and 14 French Champions. Jerome has promoted over a dozen events throughout France and Europe. He is currently instructing at the world renowned American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose California.
David was talking with Jerome on Tuesday, and David mentioned my broken rib. Jerome got a smile on his face "Kristy is injured? That means no diet! Come to dinner Sunday!" (He knows all about the diets and the competitions).

Jerome comes by and has wine with David, he's a fun guy.  Usually I am on a diet though, so he is looking forward to feeding me.

So, dinner it will be, maybe I can get a few fighting lessons in before-hand? I think my ribs will soon be fine, I am ready to come out fighting!

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salmon Poached in Herb Broth

David asked if I would make “the salmon in the broth”…I knew what he meant, I love the dish. You really cannot eat anything that is as tasty and healthy as this in the springtime, a perfect lunch or dinner.  This was the dinner we had after my birthday lunch at Chez Panisse, even Cooper loved it.

This recipe can be altered to fit a pre competition (not less than 6 weeks out for me) or a dieter, or a non dieter, just by not adding the olive oil.

Don’t let this recipe scare you, in fact, I have made this with almost completely different ingredients and it has been wonderful. I have used chervil instead of tarragon, shallots instead of green onions,  fava beans instead of peas, because I believe that cooking is an art, not a science and you shouldn’t worry about measurements or specific ingredients too much!

This is salmon that is poached in an herb broth, served with spring vegetables such as sweet peas, favas or asparagus (I use all!)

For 3

½ bunch tarragon (1 tablespoon chopped and set aside)
½ bunch chives (1 tablespoon chopped and set aside)
1 ½ cups water
½ cup white wine
½ cup parsley leaves
2 medium green onions, white and light green parts cut into thirds
1 celery rib, cut into thirds
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 large thyme sprig
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 ½ by ½ inch strip lemon zest
Kosher salt
3 6 ounce skinless center-cut salmon fillets
½ cup fresh shelled peas (or frozen)
½ cup blanched asparagus, cut into ½ inch pieces
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a medium saucepan, combine the unchopped tarragon and chives with the water, wine, parsley leaves, green onions, celery, garlic, thyme, coriander seeds, peppercorns, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the broth for 20 minutes.

 Strain the vegetable-herb broth into a very large skillet; discard the solids. 

Bring the vegetable-herb broth to a simmer. Season the salmon with salt and carefully add the fillets to the skillet, skinned side up. Bring the broth back to a simmer. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to moderately low.

Cook the salmon for 3 minutes, then turn the fillets and add the fresh peas. Cover and cook until the peas and asparagus (or favas) are bright green and the salmon is barely cooked through, about 4 minutes.  (Yes I have an extra piece of salmon, it was a funny shaped piece and it was removed very quickly and eaten as a snack!)

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salmon to shallow bowls and scatter the vegetables on top. Whisk the olive oil into the broth. Pour the broth over the salmon, sprinkle with the chopped tarragon and chives and serve. 

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Strength and Determination

I read an article recently that really made me consider how we, as individuals treat our lives, our futures, out present moments. Our attitude determines our lives, simple as that.

It was by John Crumpacker,  a Chronicle Staff Writer  from The San Francisco Chronicle (California) on April 13, 2011

If you have ever been injured, this should help you to realize our own limitations, power and internal strength. I would love to meet Erica, and although I probably won't, I will carry her spirit and her strength in my soul forever.

America's best female triple jumper is not jumping these days. She's scooting.
The smile on Erica McLain's face and her upbeat outlook belie the gruesome injury she sustained March 7 while training at Stanford, her alma mater. Listening to her recount the specifics of the ghastly mishap is cringe-inducing.
"I felt like a wounded animal," she said.

With her right leg bent at the knee and resting on the padded seat of her scooter, she explained how a potentially majestic jump turned all wrong in a hurry when on the second of the jump's three phases her right foot landed partially on the runway and partially in the sand, causing a severe roll-over of the foot.

"I was having the practice of my life," the 2008 Olympian said. "I hit on the edge, with part of my heel on the track and my toes in the sand, and it made my ankle almost flip over 180 degrees so the sole of my shoe was face-up."
That was just the start, however.

"My shin bones, the tibia and fibula, popped out of the skin," McLain said with disarming calm. "It was pretty gruesome. There was a tendon on the inside of my foot that had to be reattached. It's incredibly rare. There's very little documentation on it. There are about 600 a year of this kind of open dislocation."

Incredibly, no bones were broken when McLain crashed and landed in agony in the sand pit, her wails attracting the ministrations of coaches and trainers. Emergency medical care arrived in short order.

"Fire trucks, ambulance, all the trainers came out," she said. "It took them 40 minutes to get me out of the pit. They put some morphine into me, and they had to call a doctor to get approval for more morphine."

From the sand pit at Cobb Track and Angell Field, McLain was rushed to the trauma unit at nearby Stanford Hospital, where she spent five days and endured two surgeries to clean the sand from her wound and reset her tibia and fibula.

McLain said she considers herself lucky that she didn't break any bones: "Phenomenal. It will help my recovery."

Weeks after that awful day, McLain was still unable to walk on her own. Her lower right leg was encased in a boot, and she also had crutches to get around in addition to her nifty black scooter with the basket on the front.

At the Stanford Invitational track meet two weeks ago, McLain helped out at the very pit where her accident occurred. She posted jumpers' marks on the results board after their jumps.

"I'm so lucky to have gone to Stanford, where the medical staff is still taking care of me," she said. "I'm so thankful. I have a good support system. I was five days in the hospital and I was never alone. Lots of balloons and stuffed animals."

Although one doctor who treated the 25-year-old athlete told her she would never triple jump again "I stopped working with him because I'm not going to deal with that kind of negativity," she said, another doctor who looked at her medical history of overcoming injuries said it's possible she could return to competition.

"I think I'd bet on her," said Stanford track coach Edrick Floreal, who was there that day and rushed to his athlete's aid. "It was more gruesome being there than imagining it. She's a tough kid. She really wants to come back. She has the whole year to get back."

McLain, in fact, wants to write an inspiring story of her comeback, just in time for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Prior to her injury, she was the best woman triple jumper in the country, with a personal best of 47 feet, 1/4 inch, the No. 5 mark in U.S. history and not far from the American record of 47-5 by Tiombe Hurd from 2004.

"It's going to be on me and my willpower," McLain said. "I think the rehab is going to be more painful than the injury itself. Rehabbing without morphine is going to be tough. I was on track to break the American record this year, and I'm not going to let this stop me. It's just going to be a new story, a story of a miraculous recovery on the way to the Olympic Games."

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Sunday Outing

It is always so amazing to me how drastically life changes when I am not in competition mode. I realize how much time and energy I spend on the sole pursuit of my goal.

And what is the goal? It is to have the best physique, as determined by the 12 or so judges (mostly male) sitting in the orchestra pit of the auditorium, looking up at me as I pose next to other women. And what is the best physique? Well, I am really not sure, they seem to change their minds, and honestly, sometimes no one can really understand what they are awarding, often the winner isn’t who the other competitors would choose.

And to attain this physique? You cannot eat a damn thing that anyone else wants to, for three months. Basically life is gray and monotonous, it doesn’t have to be awful, but it certainly isn’t exciting.

Since I have finally accepted the fact that I won’t be competing in the near future, especially since just picking up my cat hurt my side, I have settled down into my normal life, back to enjoying simple things that many people take for granted, yet I often avoided, only because my sights were on the goal.

This past week at work has been only what I can call horrendous, no one was injured, no one died, but it has been extremely stressful, and it won’t get much better for a few weeks. Saturday was a very long day, we had 10,000 people descend on us and we had technical issues and I was supposed to maintain a sense of semblance, continue business and ensure I did what I was there to do, in the absence of a working computer system. Right.

David and Cooper stopped by about noon, they took one look at me and asked if I had eaten anything and advised me to drink water, my lips were dry and cracked, I hadn’t done either, I was way too busy.

I got home late Saturday and had a cocktail, then some sparkling wine and some wine with dinner. I set my alarm to get to the gym when they opened at 6am, I couldn’t go the day before as I had to be at work at 7am to get set up.

I awoke Saturday night at 1am with a pounding headache, I am sure it was due to lack of water, and drinking alcohol, I am not used to it and certainly not used to drinking several glasses. I was still awake at 3am. I decided to turn off the alarm, a very odd thing for me to do.

 I awoke at 6:30am and went to the gym; I walked my usual 60 minutes on the stair mill, chatting every now and again with folks. Then a long shower and an even longer steam and then home to eat.

David and I decided to wander down to the farmers market, we bought meat at Prather Ranch, they have fantastic organic pork, and incredible ground beef that is ground from one animal, so it’s not mixed together with huge vats of other beef, no chance on e-coli, and I love their meat. Even Cooper specifically asks for their ground beef, it tastes better than any he has ever had.

We picked up herbs, mizuna, fingerlings, jams from Frog Hollow Farm, mini kabocha, a plate of enchiladas for Coopers breakfast.

I asked David if we could go to Opa in Los Gatos, I still crave that Greek salad I have been dreaming about for weeks. As we drove in the sunshine, with the top down I told him I am not feeling well, emotionally, I am really bothered. I think it is work, but I am not sure. Do you ever experience that? You know something is nagging at you, eating away at you, yet you cannot put your finger on it. I think it is the stresses of my job; I need to somehow get past this.

We got into Opa, it was noisy and packed. On Sundays they have all you can drink mimosas for $12.99. The last thing on earth I want is vats of cheap sparkling wine and even cheaper orange juice, but you could see so many people were having a fabulous time with theirs!

We had a glass of sauvignon blanc and ordered the flaming cheese and pita, it is great. Then I ordered my favorite dish (not on the menu, but they do it anyway), seafood skewers (prawns and scallops grilled) on a Greek salad, dressing on the side. David decided to order the same.

This dish is completely healthy and a great dish for anyone watching their weight and concerned with eating lots of vegetables and lean protein. Only use a small amount of dressing, or as David did, none.

Another glass of wine and we paid the bill and wandered down the street. We were standing in front of Fleur de Cocoa, I had to go in.

We had a cup of coffee and a mini croissant. I picked out several chocolates to take home, three of each.

As I settled in the car, I realized that for a couple hours I had forgotten everything, I laughed, I ate, I joked, and David and I had fun talking with the rather drunk large group of people next to us. We drove home, in the warm sunshine, with the top down and the wind blowing in my hair, I rejoiced in the beautiful green of my town. 

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Morning Motvation

Are you a lion or a gazelle?

I have always loved this saying, and in fact have pretty much lived my life by it. I used to have it framed, on the wall in my office, when I was a bank manager, over 17 years ago.

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it won't survive. Every morning, a lion wakes up, and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn't matter if you're the lion or the gazelle. When the sun comes up, you'd better be moving.

`Maurice Greene, 5 time world champion 100 meter sprinter