Saturday, May 28, 2011

When Last is First

I work in a school, so this time of year, things are a bit busy as we come to the end of another school year.  I know I promised my first giveaway in my last post, and it is coming, but something happened to me today that preempted my first CspinHealthy giveaway.

If you follow the blog, you know that my main source of exercise is Crossfit.  So I stroll into Crossfit Carmel for the hopper workout this morning and I'm the first there.  That means, I get to pick one random workout from a deck of cards.  No matter what I pick, we do it.  No pressure there.  I pick the mother of all workouts.  The granddaddy of them all.  The creme de le creme; the mack daddy; the marathon mind bender of all Crossfit workouts............

MURPH!  If you are not familiar with Crossfit, hero workouts are named for fallen soldiers who have served our country.  Very fitting for the Memorial Day weekend.

This workout is the following:
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run

If you just keeled over and passed out, you are not alone.  Now.....I've been at this Crossfit stuff coming up on one year this summer.  I've radically changed the way I approach my fitness and my dietary habits.  I've made the best gains I've ever made with any combination of exercise and eating ever.  That being said, MURPH, just the idea of MURPH, put this image in my head....
I've not quit much in my life, but I must share with you the following:  I have literally been S.C.A.R.E.D. of this workout for months.  I used to tell myself that if it were ever posted ahead of time, I wouldn't go, and if it were pulled from the hopper deck, I'd find a way to leave the gym.  It gave me anxiety mainly b/c of the pull ups let alone the high volume of other stuff.  In plain words, it's a crazy workout.  That was almost a year ago.  

But today, on this Memorial Day Weekend, this WOD (Workout of the Day) just seemed fitting.  

My goal alongside guys and gals half my size, some training for a full Ironman?  
And be proud.

My strategy?  
Pace myself
Piece things together in smaller reps
Think positive thoughts
Visualize how good it will feel to just......finish.

I've learned a lot over the past year about my health, fitness, and my ego.  It's not about what the person next to me is doing.  It's not about what that guy over there looks like.  It's my body.  My life.  My health.  It's about me.  And so........

69 minutes and  49 seconds later, over half an hour AFTER the first two guys finished, 13 minutes after the second to last person finished, I was the last one done, but.....I did it.

And I was proud.  

Sometimes, last can feel like first.  
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Ten years ago, I loved my Diet Coke.  I still drank regular pop (er, soda if you are not from the Midwest), and I never worried about how much water I consumed.  Enter:  Weight Watchers.  I was 279 lbs. and rapidly declining health-wise at too early an age.  Weight Watchers told me to drink at least 72 ounces of water per day, so I did whatever they said and just got used to running to the bathroom at first.  I lost 79 lbs. on Weight Watchers, but I did not know about what healthy food was then.  (I talk about that here.)  Yet, I knew about the importance of water.  I started carrying a water bottle with me wherever I went.  It just became a habit.  Now, a water bottle is as important to me as a good coffee mug.  

I think I've found the water companion for me:

The Lifefactory water bottle.

Read up on their cool story.  Started by two pediatricians, there's a whole line of kid/baby products.  All environmentally friendly.

No leaching issues from plastic.  It's glass!  I think it just tastes better than from a plastic bottle, which is the main reason I bought it.  The only issue I have is that the largest bottles are only 22 oz. versus my old 32 oz. Nalgene plastic bottle, but it's a small price to pay. 

I used to try to drink at least 72 oz. of water per day simply because Weight Watchers told me to do so 9 years ago.  However, the amount of water one should consume is a frequently debated topic.  Some say to only drink when thirsty.  Some say 8 cups per day.  Others say to drink your body weight in ounces.  My conclusion:  Drink until my "you know what" is clear!  Seems to be a good indicator that I'm hydrated.  

Oh.....and I always make sure I drink filtered water!
Here is a great resource about water I came across from my studies to become a Holistic Health Coach. 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eat Your View

Spring has finally sprung in Indiana.  However, if you hold your breath, blink, or wait a second it may snow tomorrow.  We are realistic around here.  Either way, this morning marked the first weekend for our local farmer's market.  There are two farmer's markets within 4 square miles of our home.  The Carmel Market is much more developed than the Westfield Market, however both provide great local foods. 

This morning we went to the Carmel Market.  We usually try to buy as locally as we can.  We get our veggies from a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share and our meat from a reliable local farmer where we can actually go out and see how the animals are raised.  At the farmer's market, getting to meet the folks who make their food is a great way to not only take control of your nutrition, but it helps support local businesses.  Here's some more good information about local food.  

And here's even more.....

My favorite Saturday morning farmer's market indulgence:  a sausage sandwich from Nading Farm!!!  Heaven on a fresh biscuit!

New location for the Carmel Market......

The kids enjoying breakfast.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Round Mound of Rebound Does Crossfit

Last June I was lethargic, down about my health and fitness, disappointed for allowing myself to get so far off track.  

I had run half marathons, lost considerable weight before (79 lbs.), belonged to gyms, hired personal trainers, and felt like I had done it all.  Then a good friend told me, "You should try Crossfit."  

So I did and I could not be happier with my progress.

So I stumbled upon the news that former NBA legend Charles Barkley was taking up Crossfit.  At first, I thought this was on par with the likes of Chad Ochocinco trying out bullriding.  

But it was no joke........

And so here is Barkley, The Round Mound of Rebound himself, getting after it at Crossfit North Atlanta.  Watch below as he shares that he is up 100 POUNDS since retiring from the NBA.  This guy has said some wacky stuff in his time, but he was a childhood favorite of mine and I have to say......I'm pulling for him.  Good for Chuck for being 48 years young and setting such a lofty bar for himself.  I sure hope this is more than a gimmick.  

Despite what you think of him, Barkley was quite an athlete in his day.  

Well.....maybe not here........


Saturday, May 14, 2011

I (Hate) Need to Stretch(ing)

Top 5 Reasons I Hate Stretching
5.  It hurts.
4.  It's boring.
3.  I hold my breath for some reason and then it hurts more.
2.  I get impatient.
1.  All of the above

Top 5 Reasons I Need to Stretch More
5.  It's good for me.
4.  I want to get stronger.
3.  I've always had tight hamstrings.
2.  I want to avoid injury.
1.  I want to be a better athlete for as long as I can.

Top 5 Things I Intend on Doing for 30 Days
5.  Roll out my scapula to increase shoulder mobility
4.  Stretch my hamstrings
3.  Breathe
2.  Make time
1.  Focus

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pain Free and Good Sleep

I've had two major issues in the past few months that have been bothering me.  Both issues have impacted my sleep.  

1.  I have had bad joint pain in my hands all day long.  During the night my arms would fall asleep from my elbows to my fingertips.  I'm talking about that tingling/pins and needles kind of feeling causing me to wake up several times per day.  Walking up in the middle of the night stinks.  

2.  I lacked energy.  It was like that 5 Hour Energy commercial where at 2 p.m. I was toast.  Perhaps it was related to my arm/hands issue at night.  I eat well.  I think I eat exceptionally well most days of the week.  I go to Crossfit 4-5 days/week as my means of exercise.  I could not understand why this was the case, but I figured it was what I was eating and when I was eating.  

So I thought about going to the doctor but I did not want to treat myself with drugs if I could do something more natural.  So I've changed only two things in my life and both have to do with what I put in my body.

1.  I switched my fish oil intake from capsules to a high quality liquid format.  I started taking two full tablespoons per day.  Fish oil is a great way to get your Omega 3 intake in you easily and serves as a great natural anti-inflammatory.  

2.  If you read my post a couple of weeks ago, you know I started juicing regularly including mostly vegetable juices with some fruit.  Wow!  I noticed instant energy from raw juicing.  I can not say enough about this and grow more and more intrigued by the raw juicing scene.  I usually throw in cucumber, romaine lettuce, broccoli, or any other green I can get my hands on.  I'll typically add an apple or pineapple and have thrown in some fresh ginger for some kick at times.  Carrots are good but are high glycemic, so I am careful not to add too much.  I'm trying to work my way up to an all day juicing cleanse to help my digestion, but I'd like to learn about more recipes first.  Aside from that, it's easy to blow through a lot of veggies and that adds up.   

Here's some good information on the benefits of juicing

Here's some information on the benefits of fish oil

It's nice to finally get good quality sleep

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day and the Night Before

I get pretty excited about a few things in life:  live music, a new gadget, watching my kids laugh, and great food.  Last night, my wife and I celebrated 16 years of marriage in my home town of Cincinnati, Ohio.  While I was looking forward to reporting on some colorful foods to post, I......we came up a bit disappointed.  We dined at a newer local restaurant, Poco a Poco,  a Latin tapas-style restaurant right on Hyde Park Square.  We ordered tamales, sopas, and clams as appetizers thinking the night was off to a great start, but when the waiter came back to report no Lamb Ribs available at 6:30 p.m., I became concerned.  Settling in on the chicken dish while Heather ordered the carne asada, the food was decent, but not the draw dropping succulent fare we were going for.  I guess that's what we get for having expectations, huh?!  

We topped off the night off at Awakenings Coffee and Wine Bar with a wine tasting mingling with a local barista who looked like a cross between Jerry Garcia and Captain Lou Albano and plays in three local bands.  He was hangin' with his buddy who hosts a radical left wing political radio show (uh.....once per week).  Fascinating to say the least.  Colorful?  That's a matter of perspective.


It's Mother's Day.  We dined at the historic Cincinnati Natural History Museum at Union Terminal.  I used to call this place The Hall of Justice Growing up.  As an adult, I can appreciate the uniqueness of this historic building.

Union Terminal at night

The Hall of Justice from The Superfriends!

The ceiling inside Union Terminal.  More colorful than The Hall of Justice I bet.

Here's today's colorful food......  

The aftermath of a breakfast buffet.

Back on track tomorrow.......

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

More Colorful Food and Such

If you missed my post from yesterday, I have a new plan.

Here's today's breakfast.

scrambled eggs w/smoked salmon, onions, bell peppers, light english muffin (toasted of course), sliced tomato, and fresh fruit

Here's some more information on what colorful eating can do for you.....

I'm visiting my mother this weekend in Cincinnati for Mother's Day as well as going out for our 16th wedding anniversary (free babysitting!!!).  We are excited to go to a new restaurant on a side of town I love to visit.  I can't make any healthy promisses as I hear this place has their own infused tequila!!  But..... I always plan on making full reports on solid food no matter where and what it is!

Stay tuned.....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Color Your Plate Healthy

My wife has been creating a photo food journal, and it had me thinking this morning as I made my breakfast.  (She's got a pretty cool blog too.)

It got me thinking about the wealth of information I've been learning from my Health and Nutrition Coaching Program through The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  No one way of one combination of one diet......just have a sound dietary lifestyle made of whole foods that are good for you.  Sounds easy, right?!

Well.....between my wife's photo food journaling and the health coaching stuff, it hit me this morning as I made my breakfast. 

A NEW GOAL:  Make a point to prepare as many dishes as possible that are as colorful as possible.  No counting points.  No formulas to come up with blocks.  Not much thinking.  All diets have their places, however they rarely offer people life-long/sustainable dietary habits and some can get stale.  While many state reasons why the CAN'T do something dietarily, this seems like a good way to get nutrients in your diet w/little to no thinking.    

Why?  More color=more nutrients=healthier living=feeling good.  
Here's some information regarding this.

My breakfast:  Oatmeal with fresh strawberries, apple, and dried blueberries.

If you are interested in more information about Health Coaching, feel free to drop me an email at

I'm also offering free health histories while I am still in training.  This is an hour devoted to talking about your own health and wellness.  We can do this face to face, via Skype, or by phone.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Grocery Store Wars

  Check out this great video I noticed from an old high school friend's Facebook post.  Kudos to you Dave, master chef and man of cool musical tastes and talents for posting.

Sometimes, food awareness can be just silly, plain fun.

Not so long ago, in a grocery store far, far, away..........

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I'm Juicing!

I'd like to introduce you to the newest addition to my family...........

I've thought about getting a juicer for some time now.  This coming from someone who despises V8!  I think it's nasty.  But as I heard more and more about juicing, I became intrigued about what it could do for my health.  My biggest concerns were:

Juicing takes the fiber and other nutrients out of the food
Juicing takes time
Juicing can be expensive

So when a friend and colleague of mine from my Health and Nutrition Coaching Program shared her juicing experiences with me, I became sold.  I researched a few different kinds of juicers and concluded that the Hurom Slow Juicer would join the Spinner family.  Here's a few reasons why I chose this one:

1.  It's a slow juicer and retains the micronutrients of the foods for a longer period of time.
2.  It's very simple to clean up.
3.  It's quiet.
4.  It's quick.  

So why juice?  Why not get the nutrients from the whole food itself?  Why break it down?  For me, it was about something new and creative with food.  Making enough veggies day in and day out....eating them raw day in and day out can be boring (for me).  Juicing is creative and fun not to mention simple.  And with the slow juicer, the nutrients stay in intact longer.    Food should be fun and enjoyable.  

Juicing also helps clean up the digestive tract.  For me, and I'll spare you the details, this has always been an issue in the morning, so I am experimenting with juicing more in the mornings to help curb this issue.  I also struggle with some pretty annoying joint pain in my forearms and hands especially at night and juicing can have a great medicinal function as well.  

So that's me.  Here's a great demonstration about the Hurom Slow Juicer, my newest baby....

Here's a look at the difference between the Hurom and a standard juicer

If you are interested in juicing or learning more, you should check out Kristen's Raw:  Living Foods, Longer Life.  There is a wealth of information there.  Below are two videos with Kristen as she explains the pros and cons of a few juicers.  

Here Kristen raves about the Hurom Slow Juicer

So I'll keep you posted as I learn to perfect recipes and the routines of juicing into my life.  


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