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My Book Reading

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly  (completed)

Lou Reed: A Life by Anthony DeCurtis

   (in progress)

Killing Floor by Lee Child   (completed)

   (1997, Reacher's first appearance)

Sticky Fingers - The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan

(done)

The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone (Dey St. Books, just completed, full review just published)


Double Agent Celery: MI5's Crooked Hero by Carolinda Witt (pen-and-sword books)

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (1980, the book that started the franchise, just completerd)

The Take by Christopher Reich (Mulholland Books)


Podcast Favorites

Kara Swisher's Recode Decode this week is an interesting conversation with Tina Brown. Using the publication of her new Vanity Fair Diaries as a starting point, they examine Brown's publishing career, notably her wonderful runs with Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Then they dive into the internet age, how it's changing the publishing world, Brown's start-up of The Daily Beast, followed by venting about Facebook today. Swisher puts together the best intervierw/talk with Brown I've heard since her book was published. Brown was consistently creating some of the best magazines in the world, at a time when that mattered.

Rich Roll's podcast is one I've discovered recently, and I'm working to catch up. Here are two don't-miss episodes:

http://www.richroll.com/podcast/bryan-fogel/

http://www.richroll.com/podcast/lance-armstrong/

Fogel is the star of, the producer of, the man behind Icarus. If you've not watched this documentary, exclusively streaming on Netflix, get to it! Of all the interviews I've read and heard with Fogel, Roll brings out the most interesting perspective. It's a fabulous listening experience.

 

Lance Armstrong needs no introduction. I don't care whether you admire or dislike him, his wealth of experience and new perspective on many matters is worth listening to. Me, I think he's one of the finest athletes ever.

Thursday
Jul282016

175# breakfast!

An hour after weighing 176 pounds, with a couple of cups of coffee in me, I stepped onto the scale again. Took off my gym shorts and t-shirt, and voila, 175# Magic!

Here's what I just had for breakfast. This is typical, other than most of the time I don't add both bacon and sausage to my eggs. I had two pieces of bacon left in the fridge, and one sausage - they spoke to me.

A half tablespoon of coconut oil. Scissor the bacon into little pieces. When half done, cut up the sausage and add it to the pan. Continue cooking.

Next comes a good helping of vegetables - about one cup. Then a big handful of spinach. Stir and heat until the spinach cooks down.

Add five scrambled eggs to the mix. A bit of salt and pepper. Cook until just done, but not hard or browned. 

Be gentle with your scrambled eggs; they're not in the pan to be punished!

Repeat daily. I'll have another meal today of vegetables and spinach and a hamburger patty; that'll be mid-afternoon. Between now and then I'll workout, so my post-workout shake will have protein-BCAA-15 grams of carb powder (CarboLyze today)-creatine.

Tonight's meal, at work at another gym, will be protein-fat only.

Thursday
Jul282016

Next Level Ketogenic Dieting

Hmmm, I thought my bodyweight would be under 175# this morning. It’s steady for the second consecutive day at 176#. Not that I’m complaining. This merely displays the weird ups-and-downs of the human body. I was tight with my eating yesterday, resisted all mental/emotional urges to eat last night, and the damn number didn’t change!

Vegetables and four eggs for breakfast yesterday. My late morning meal was a hamburger patty and more vegetables. Early afternoon was another big burger patty, spinach and a tiny, guilt-inducing 1/8 cup of white rice! This exercise taught me I gotta be cautious about becoming too nutso about my food, ‘cause I did feel I was possibly doing something wrong by eating that little bit of rice. With yesterday being a non-weight training day (two 5-minute interval cardio sessions only), I had no 16 grams of carbs in a post-workout shake, so I thought the rice would be fine. Intellectually I know it was good, but my brain tells me otherwise, that the tablespoon of rice might throw me out of ketosis! Hardly likely when they are my only non-vegetable carbs, but I have to watch that little voice and not let it take control.

Dinner was more vegetables, but this time with a nice chicken breast cut up into the pan.

Everything prepared with a half tablespoon of coconut oil. I had one tablespoon of MCT oil in a cup of coffee early in the afternoon. My vegetable mixture this week has some sausage and plenty of kalamata olives mixed in, so there is fat in the vegetables. But no added carbs.

I’m resisting using MyFitnessPal right now. The time it takes is excruciating for me, and I’m eating the same things over and over. My plan is working, so until and unless I get stuck, my version of a modified strict ketogenic diet is good with me. Hardcore keto diets include a greater proportion of fat than I’m doing, or at least more fat calories overall. I just cannot bring myself to consume 70% of my calories in fat. 

Strength remains good. Two days ago at CrossFit I spent an hour doing strict pullups, prowler pushes, strict overhead presses, and more pullups, with a 26# kettlebell strapped to myself. My strict press is only down 10#, which isn’t bad considering at this point my bodyweight is a solid 20# lower. If my sciatic nerve wasn’t jacked up I’d test my back squat and deadlift, but right now they are a physical impossibility.

Just so you know I screw up my diet plans on occasion, let me tell you about last weekend. A bit of planned wine drinking took place over two days; nothing extensive, but I had my half of two bottles. A restaurant brunch meal included a couple pieces of Texas toast, and some roasted potatoes. Topping it off Sunday evening was strawberry shortcake with plenty of vanilla ice cream (here’s how weird my mind is: for many years I’ve added protein powder to my ice cream. I think it’s some type of compensation for indulging in sugar! Yeah, I did it to my shortcake, dumped protein powder (chocolate), right into the bowl). I almost think there was some other non-keto meal in the mix, but now I don’t remember. So for a day or two my bodyweight was stuck a pound up, then it adjusted. 

But that wine tasted good!

I’m going to stick to this 175-176# level for a week or so, then kick into the next phase of my ketogenic diet. With the assistance of Patrick Arnold, one of the most intelligent chemists and nutritional people I’ve ever been aware of, I’m hoping to dive under 170#, remaining tight and muscular and strong. 

How will I do this? Using two of his products, KetoCanNa and KetoShield.

KetoCanNa are, simply put, exogenous ketones. Containing beta-hydroxyburate (BHB) salts, it used before and after workouts my blood ketone levels will be raised, endurance should be increased, provide caloric energy (yet cannot be stored as fat), and always accelerating ketosis, easing metabolic transition during ketogenic transitioning. OK, those are Arnold’s words. Simply put, using KetoCanNa around my workouts means I’ll have more energy and strength without adding any carbs to my shakes and throwing me out of ketosis. More bodyfat burned with no keto-interruptions.

Here’s how Patrick Arnold describes KetoShield: 

“KetoShield reduces glucose levels in the blood. It does this in two ways - by promoting glucose excretion in the urine and by blocking its absorption in the intestines. Once ingested, carbohydrates are broken down to glucose by the digestive system. Too much glucose can lead to high levels of insulin and result in the storage of body fat. KetoShield, when taken with a meal, controls glucose levels in the blood which stabilizes insulin levels for optimal fat burning. For those attempting to achieve ketosis thru a ketogenic diet, Ketoshield may shorten the time it takes for the body to start burning fat and making ketones. KetoShield may also be helpful to those not restricted to low carb diets but hoping to limit carbohydrate impact.”

In other words, if I “accidentally” eat or drink carbs I shouldn’t have, or even in the event of a large meal, taking some KetoShield will help shuttle those carbs away from fat-storage, without interrupting the ketogenic mechanism taking place in my body.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to get into a pancake-eating contest, then take some KetoShield and think all is well! But it does provide some support, a way to maximize my efforts. (www.ketosports.com and www.prototypenutrition.com)

I’ll of course keep you posted. My plan is to begin using them next week. Oh, did I mention my abs are coming in nicely?

Saturday
Jul232016

Fat Coffee Break

This morning I weighed in at a solid 176 pounds. Day four of ketogenic diet is complete, and I feel great.

Last night's CrossFit Green Bay workout was a monster of metabolic work, in high heat and humidity and sunshine (I'm the guy who rolls the AirDyne out of the building into the sun). Rowed 3000 meters, pushed a prowler six runs, then cycled on the AirDyne until the middle of the pack returned from their three mile run. 50 minutes of hard exercise for me, and my only carbs yesterday were 15 grams of vegetables, maybe, and 15 grams of CarboLyze in my post-workout shake. Understand, there are some carbs in the whey protein, of course, but nonetheless, my carbs for the day were under 40. I didn't bonk, never ran out of gas, and considering I anticipated perhaps feeling dizzy and wonky and fuzzy by now from no glycogen and probably few or no ketones yet, I'm happy. I fully anticipated getting hammered flat by the workout last night, but it was all good.

I've had breakfast today (three pieces of bacon, four scrambled eggs, a tablespoon of coconut oil). My next meal was a 1/3 pound hamburger patty and 1 cup of mixed vegetables, with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. All this took place at work, at the gym. Today is an off-day from weight-training, so I did two 5-minute interval sessions (four 20 second max effort pushed each 5 minutes). That'll be the working out for today, other than dog walking (I know, doesn't count, but I have clients who try to convince me walking their dog is part of their exercise life. I laugh).

Here's a little snack I'm enjoying. I mixed a big cup of left-over-from-this-morning coffee in the blender with two tablespoons of MCT Oil from Bulletproof, a tablespoon of Kerry Gold butter (it's the best, if you're unfamiliar with it. Irish grass-fed milk cows. and this packet of Protein Coffee from Scitec Nutrition. Blend for five seconds, and wham, a beautiful froth develops on a delicious, absolutely wonderful cup of fat coffee!

Unlike traditional Bulletproof Coffee, the Scitec product gives me 27 grams of whey protein, 3 grams of fat, accompanied by only 2 grams of carbs (sugar, basically the cocoa powder flavoring the mixture). My two tablespoons of MCT oil have 28 grams of saturated fat. Twelve more grams of delicious fat arrive with the butter.

So this big cup of coffee contains 27 grams of protein, 43 grams of fat, and virtually no carbs, only 2. In my world, two grams of carbs is pretty damn insignificant.

And it's flavorful and easy and will keep me from diving into the fridge for a couple of hours. I'm confident I'll see 175# on the scale tomorrow morning! 

@teamscitec, @bulletproofexec, @pbnutrition, @kerrygoldUSA

Wednesday
Jul202016

Let's Go Keto!

OK, I'm embarking on a new chapter in my continuing nutritional "let's see what happens" plan. Beginning today, I'm searching for ketosis - the almighty ketogenic diet!

That's right, no more white rice or potatoes surrounding my workouts. No more Build or CarboLyze in my post-workout shakes. In fact, no carbs whatsoever other than sauteed vegetables. If you don't know by now what my vegetable mixture looks like, shame on you. Do a search of the site.

I've experience with ketogenic diets, know that I move into ketosis rather easily, and function pretty well in ketosis. Beginning in the late '70s, I lived on a ketogenic diet for a few weeks the first time, lost a bunch of body fat, and felt pretty good. Back then I didn't know what the hell I was doing and lived on hamburger and eggs. No vegetables. Wasn't aware at all of the benefits of healthy fat, so other than what I got in my eggs and meat...

Since then I've learned a great deal, read a lot, played with ketosis a few more times.

But here's the big difference:  CrossFit! Yeah, all those metabolic workouts. Clearly (at least to me), a ketogenic diet in a world including two or three CrossFit workouts each week, in addition to my more traditional gym sessions, is going to be very interesting. Can I sustain, will I bonk, how will my head feel, will my strength plummet, will I get spacy and wander around CrossFit Green Bay during a workout? (yeah, that would go over big).

I'll keep you posted. My bodyweight this morning was 178.5. Today all I've eaten is fat and protein and some vegetables. 

Today I ended up with 29 grams of carbohydrates, 105 grams of fat and 163 grams of protein. 

Didn't work out much today - some interval cardio on a stationary bike, and some hamstring and leg press work on machines. Nothing too big. Rode my bike to the gym and back but that's only 15-20 minutes easy cycling each way. Just life, not workout.

Today’s food was vegetables, eggs, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, protein powder, bacon (yay, bacon is back in my life!), tuna, guacamole, ground beef. In varying combinations.

I'm wondering what I'd look like and how I'd feel under 170 pounds. Let's find out together!

Oh, and I have a couple of secret weapons for my ketogenic diet. I'll unveil them in a few days. Let's just say a super-smart chemist-nutrition expert has a couple of new products I've added to my plan.

Wednesday
Jul202016

Successful Food Planning - Short Trip

Last week I was traveling through Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the northern lower peninsula, living in my vehicle for three nights. About 25 hours of driving ensued, along with several hours of sitting. Exercise consisted of two workouts in gyms, some light walking in flat Boyne City and hilly Petoskey, and a couple of trips from my parked vehicle into Walmart in the middle of each night to use the bathroom!

In other words, to maintain my bodyweight, not to get instant-fat, I had to plan. With two days of no workouts possible, and all that driving, coupled with the non-food choices available to me much of the time (other than Marquette and Petoskey and Midland), I needed to be smart and proactive. Nothing could be left to chance, and I never could trust myself to be driving along in the night, hungry and tired, seeing a bit lit Wendy's sign rolling into view. No temptations!

To steal from the great Hunter S. Thompson, "when the going gets tough, the weird turn pro!"  Before I left I created two big meal shakes in the blender - the usual line-up of protein powder, strawberries, blueberries, kale, almonds, coconut flakes. In a frying pan I cooked four hamburger patties. When they were done, in the same pan I sauteed a hell of a lot of broccoli - asparagus - red pepper - mushrooms - kale - broccoli slaw - kalmata olives - sundried tomatoes. A big pan full. I made white rice. In meal-sized containers I put nearly two cups of vegetables, and one burger patty. Blam, four more meals ready to go.

Yes, I ate them cold, in the Element, parked wherever I was when I got hungry. With rice and fruit when I felt like it.

I added to my stash three Best Bar Evers, and four of the new protein bars Costco sells that are basically imitation Quest bars. Same nutritional profile, almost the same great flavor. Not quite, but for less than a buck each, a case found itself into my shopping cart a couple of weeks ago.

Oh yeah, I also washed and trimmed a couple of pounds of strawberries, and a bunch of blueberries. They came along for the ride, too.

All this went into a full-sized cooler with a bag of ice. There, no temptations caused by neon roadside advertisements, trying to lure me in. No crackers were eaten, no chips were wolfed down, no candy. Yeah, a couple of White Monsters were downed, but one can only drink so much coffee while behind the wheel that long!

Coffee, fortunately, is available everywhere. And I took a case of bottles of water, selling for unbelievably little money at Costco.

Other than one meal from the natural foods co-op in Petoskey, and lunch out with my father at Bob Evans, this was my food for the trip. After each workout I enjoyed a shake with Progenex More Muscle protein - Carbolyze - BCAA - creatine, but that's merely standard procedure for me. One night with my dad I enjoyed a glass of wine; that was the only alcohol. 

Four days, hours behind the wheel, an absence of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, two non-workout days, and I didn't gain an ounce of bodyweight.

No excuses! If I can do this, so can you. Don't sabotage your goals, throw away your workouts, by using travel as an excuse to mindlessly over-eat.