Sunday Update: May 10, 2015

Life, FTW

 

So, how’s it going?  That’s awesome.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there (Hi Mom!).  And for those managing to not murder their dick bag off spring, congrats and keep up the good work!  Also to those moms out there that are managing and working on improving themselves to the best they feel they should be, while having to care for another human (not just their significant other, you know who you are), keep kicking ass.

It’s never easy to get yourself into a routine and stick with it.  There are days where you finally feel like you have found your niche, and you are into a routine that works for you and yours.  You have finally gotten used to things, and have regimented it to a science.  You wake up at a certain time, no longer feeling sluggish.  You prep meals, get the kids to school/daycare, hit the gym or exercise program you love, work, pick up the kids, and get dinner made, help with their homework, cleaning done, and the day is over.  All is well.

Then something comes along and throws a wrench into the mix.  Your whole routine is destroyed, and your journey from flabby to fabby is gone.  You feel like it won’t happen, and say “Fuck it!” and revert back.

Wait..what?  You’re going to let a little thing like life get in the way of your well being?  That’s a horrible way of looking at life.  If that’s how you approach every situation, then quit now.

My job has changed in a direction that I had not foreseen, and currently I am able to get the gym and do any kind of fitness one day a week.  IF I’m lucky.  I am constantly traveling, which makes keeping a decent diet hard.  It’s easier than most people think, but time consuming and a pain in the ass.

The fact that I haven’t gained back most of the weight is awesome.  That’s because, although I haven’t eaten the cleanest while in transit, I also haven’t gorged and consumed 5000 calories.  I still consumed roughly the right amount for me, but with a lack of mobility, that can make it hard.

I know it has been a few weeks since my last update, as being on the road happens.  The key is to remember to get back on the horse and work.  Straight up giving up on your goals just means that we are right, and you’re stupid.  Life happens, and you have to remember to no let that stop you.

Anyways, the results.

Last measurements:

  • Weight: 306.6 lbs
  • Chest: 122.6 cm
  • Right Arm: 45.7 cm
  • Left Arm: 45.7 cm
  • 2″ Above Navel: 120.7 cm
  • Navel: 126.4 cm
  • 2″ Below Navel: 120.0 cm
  • Hips (widest point): 115.6 cm
  • Right Thigh: 68.6 cm
  • Left Thigh: 68.6 cm

This week:

  • Weight: 309.2 lbs
  • Chest: 128.3 cm
  • Right Arm: 47 cm
  • Left Arm: 47 cm
  • 2″ Above Navel: 122.6 cm
  • Navel: 124.5 cm
  • 2″ Below Navel: 121.9 cm
  • Hips (widest point): 116.8 cm
  • Right Thigh: 66 cm
  • Left Thigh: 66 cm

So there are some things that I ended improving on.  Not much though.  My arms have gotten a touch bigger, but I attribute that to my weight training.  The rest is all a matter of getting back on track when things slow down with work.  When that happens I have no idea.  But as I said before, this thing takes time.  If you want an overnight change, go get lipo and stop demanding things.

The week that was, in internet land – Volume 8

We’re gonna be back on the posting train this week folks. Life is un-fucking itself a little bit for us.

What the dadbod is really all about – Paul Carter
Ooh dis is gud. Really good. I’m surprised he doesn’t have more nasty comments at the bottom.

Does Light Load Training Build Muscle in Experienced Lifters? – Brad Schoenfeld
tl;dr Yes. Don’t be stupid if you can help it.

The Sport Psychology of Goal-Setting – Michael Israetel
Goals are important. How you set them in a big way determines if you are going to achieve them or not.

5 Strategies for Overcoming Binge Eating – Tara Senic
Good tips for those of us who struggle with not occasionally eating ALL THE THINGS.

Good Fiber, Bad Fiber – How The Different Types Affect You – Joe Leech
I had no idea, to be honest. Good info.

The awesomeness that is sous vide for pre-preparing weekly meals

I just wanted to let y’all know about the wonderfulness that is having a sous vide for preparing your meals.

I eat a lot of chicken (and broccoli). I’m also really busy with work and crap (who isn’t), which means that my available time is fairly limited for preparing meals etc. I personally tend to eat the same thing for lunch + dinner each day, because I don’t mind monotony, it makes it super easy to track my calories, and it means that I can just reach into the fridge and have a meal ready in about 5 minutes, including heat-up time in the microwave.

What I do is buy my chicken breasts in bulk from Costco. I then bag about 4-5 breasts per bag into large ziploc freezer bags (as much as I can fit in a single layer without too much overlap), and put a bit of flavour (light [less oil, more flavour stuff] sundried tomato + oregano salad dressing is my current favourite) in with them, then use the Archimedes principle to seal the bags.

Cook the chicken at @ 145-150F, for 3+ hours, and you can easily pull apart the meat so you now have pulled chicken. While the meat is not cooked to well-done, my research tells me that it is fully pasteurized at this point so you don’t have to worry about salmonella or other fun bacteria in your food.

Once they are cooked, I remove the liquid that comes off the chicken in the bags and reduce it in a pan, and mix it back in with the pulled meat to add more flavour. You can also add more flavour things at this point – I quite like adding a bit of pesto into the mix.

I find when cooking from frozen, it is necessary to remove air from the bags again about 45-60 minutes after the meat first goes in. Not entirely sure why so much more air comes off frozen meat, but there it is.

I cook 2-3 bags per batch (usually Sundays), which gives me most of a week of raw protein for meals. This takes about the same amount of time and effort as cooking off the meat in the oven then slicing it – probably less, even though I’m fast with a knife. Sous vide has the other advantage of making it pretty much impossible to overcook your meat – no more dry and boring chicken.

When I did one of my last batches, I ended up leaving the bags in the sous vide over night, and the only change was that the meat was completely broken down, so I have something closer to chicken pate rather than pulled. Not my favourite texture ever, but it’s still pretty good. I find for boneless skinless breasts, 3-4 hours is pretty much ideal.

You can use the sous vide to do lots more stuff, but this is what I use it for the most. It also does fantastic ribs, pork shoulder, fish, and pretty much any other meat you want. It isn’t a cheap appliance, but definitely worth the money in my mind, and there are cheaper ways to build yourself a sous vide if you want to put in the effort. I’ll cover that in another post.

Side note: my trick for making broccoli much more palatable: lay it out on a sheet pan, sprinkle a bit of olive oil over, add some salt + garlic, roast @ 400 for ~40 minutes in a conventional oven. I also do this in ~6lb batches to cover me for the week.

Quinoa & Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Because Healthy CAN Be Delicious

 

Well holy crap for a lack of posts on my part.  I do apologize for that, but it has been a busy start to my season with work.  I was only able to make it into a gym for the first time in 2 weeks yesterday.  Which, I have to add, felt fantastic.

Anywho, this one might seem like it is a little on the difficult side, but it’s actually pretty easy to pull off, and people will think you’re a fucking magician.

Let’s start with the chicken:

  • 3 4-oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • My Spice Rub

*If you can’t do this, you’re hopeless and should off yourself now*

  1. Season the chicken with just enough of the spice mix to give it a decent coating.  You’ll notice if it’s too much, trust me.
  2. Bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, or until fully cooked.  This is very key, as Salmonella is not anything I wish on any one you.  I’ve gotten it, and although it is an awesome way to lose 30 pounds in 3 days, it WILL kill most of you.  So make sure your chicken is fully cooked.  If you have a calibrated meat thermometer, the chicken should come to at least 165F on the inside..
  3. Remove from oven, and cool.

Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Pinch of Salt
  1.  Put water and salt in a pot.  You can substitute the water for broth, it’s entirely up to you.
  2. Bring to a boil and add quinoa.  Let simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  3. Cover and let sit.  The cooking process will continue while this is going on.  Stir occasionally.

Bruschetta Mix & Stuffing:

  • 3 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Fine Diced
  • 6 Fresh Basil Leaves, Fine Chopped.  You can sub 2 TBSP of dried basil if you can’t get fresh.
  • 3 TBSP Parmesan Cheese (The real stuff, not that sand like shit.  That’s not really cheese)
  • 1 TBSP White Wine Vinegar.  You Can Sub Balsamic Vinegar If Desired
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Pinch Each of Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 Yellow Peppers
  1. Dice all of the chicken breasts when cooled.  Mix with quinoa and set aside.
  2. Combine all bruschetta mix in a bowl. (Yep, that easy)
  3. Mix bruschetta with quinoa mixture.
  4.  Half the peppers from top to bottom (stem side is the top).  Clean out the core and seeds.
  5.  Stuff with quinoa mix.  You will probably have left over, which is fine.  It makes a great lunch, hot or cold!
  6. Bake in 350F oven for 15 minutes.
  • Total Fat: 11.5 g
  • Total Carbs: 29.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
  • Protein: 18.5 g

It seems like a lot of work when reading it, but it’s actually quite easy.  And high in protein.  Give it a try.  The quinoa stuffing mix can be eaten by itself and doesn’t have to be stuffed into anything.

The week that was, in internet land – Volume 7

Well, it’s been a decent week off. I finally hit my second weight goal, and am taking a well-deserved full diet break.

I think I’m going to go to weekly posting, possibly fridays from here on out. More often if something pisses me off enough that I feel it necessary to write about it.

Anyways, here’s more awesome from the interwebs.

Hypertrophy and Strength regarding frequency, volume, and intensity – Paul Carter
A really long way of saying “don’t be stupid when it comes to training”

Can exercise really defeat depression? – Camille DePutter
It CAN help. But it can be a lot of work when you’re down.

Can I Be Overweight and Still Healthy? – Dick Talens
Overweight, yes. Obese, no.

Dr. Oz, Weight loss, and the ordinary miracle – James Fell
Oz is a quack. Also, more motivation.

Lack Of Sleep And Hormone Havoc: What You Can Do About It – Dr. Brooke Kalanick Larson
More about sleep. Didn’t we say that it’s important?

5 Tips For Training In Crowded Gyms – Lawrence Judd
Some good tips in here. Sometimes you can’t “just do the program.”

The Caloric Deficit Cheat Sheet – James Fell
Talks about “post-starvation hyperphagia,” which is scientist speak for runaway piehole shovelling. This realistically covers pretty much everything you need to know about fat loss.