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90 day Natural Fitness Challenge: Day 12 Garlic knees & serial killers

Garlic Knees

Me pretending i didn't want to go to yoga this morning...

Due to scheduling difficulties [watching too many movies at the Film Festival] it has been nearly impossible for me to make it to Palm Desert for Bikram classes this past week.  So I was pumped to be able to go this morning, and even better got to take my friend Justin’s class for the first time!

Excitement unfortunately wasn’t enough to propel me through the 90 minute class; I hit a total wall before we even got to tree pose (there was still A LOT of class left, and zero energy in my tank).  Rough class.

My knees smelled like garlic–you spend a lot of time looking at and smelling your knees in yoga–and I was tempted to lick them for energy.

Today’s class reminded me how critical a regular yoga practice is if you want to make any kind of progress with flexibility and strength.  When I used to do Bikram regularly I found that it took about 3 classes every week to maintain whatever level I was at…and four or more classes per week to progress…

One or two classes a week (while sometimes that’s all I can do) can be frustrating.

I’ll be back in the heated room tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.  The super chill aspect to Bikram is that it doesn’t actually matter how “good” you do–the point IS to struggle–so it’s all good regardless.

Plus I got a “that’s a pretty good camel Ken” from Justin.  So there’s that.

Eating Is Confusing

My intention is to get back to a daily accounting of exactly what I eat.  Not because I haven’t been eating good, but because I need it as a tool to see what is working for me and what’s not.

Since ending my strictly 100% raw foods for 60 days thing I have not had ANY refined sugars, commercial meat or dairy, white processed flour, or any kind of fake foods (low-fat, non-fat, GMO, artificial sugars, fake meats, etc.).

What I have been eating is my citrus and green smoothie every day, fresh fruit, raw snacks like LARA bars, raw chocolate energy shakes, cold-pressed oils, hummus with blue corn chips, pasta made with brown rice that I toss with my raw pestos and tomato sauces, quinoa with lentils and roasted veggies, etc.

All that is fine & well.  My cravings are at bay.  My diet is pretty damn clean.  But…I don’t feel nearly as light and energetic as I did when I was 100% raw.

Another Raw Push & Beyond

not my girlfriend

Because my girlfriend is a gluten-free vegetarian and because we only have two nights a week we can eat together, I cook meals we can share on those nights.  The other nights I eat whatever is around when I get home from work.  Her diet works very well for her, but I suspect it isn’t what is best for me despite it’s being so healthy…

Like me, she eats a lot of greens and fresh fruits during the day (we both like that now and don’t feel the need any longer for traditional breakfasts and lunches) and then at night she eats a lot of grains, potatoes, grilled veggies, corn tortillas, legumes, and organic cheeses.  I love the way those foods taste, but they make me feel very soft.

When I was eating raw I had an intuitive flash that I didn’t want to be a vegetarian (many report the opposite epiphany).  My intuition tells me that the diet which fits my body best is almost all raw fruits and veggies, a little bit of raw nuts, seeds & raw goat cheese, with a serving of beef or fish a couple times a week. [I am now so picky about the meat/eggs/and dairy that I eat that it is difficult to find…]

Soon I will be setting aside two weeks to eat 100% raw beegan again, and during that time I will be seriously upping the number of yoga classes I attend.

After those two weeks are up I will be trying the above version of a high-raw diet vs. the one I do now that has a lot of vegetarian cooked foods…

If you are wondering why I don’t just eat 100% raw all the time and leave it at that, my simple answer is that I don’t want to.  I like to cook.  I like beans and rice.  I like melted cheese.  I just don’t need as much of it anymore and when I do eat those foods now, somewhere in the back of my head is an unshakable craving for an orange or a peach.  Often, after a cooked dinner, I immediately begin to imagine how good my morning green drink is going to be…

Tonight’s Movie…


Very excited about the film I will be seeing tonight at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  It’s part of a trilogy about a serial killer, the series is called Red Riding. Tonight I will see film one: Red Riding 1974.

Day 12 Food & Exercise log:

  1. Quart of water on waking
  2. A coconut water before Bikram
  3. Another quart of water during Bikram
  4. A tropical tango smoothie after class (coconut water, coconut, papaya, pineapple, strawberry)
  5. Freshly made hummus from the health food store deli.  I add cold-pressed olive oil and roasted garlic…and eat it with “Sesame Blues” chips.
  6. Drank some water while I cut my Annie’s hair (I insist on being called Pedro while I cut hair).
  7. Will have a green drink (grapefruit/orange/spinach) before I go to the Film Fest.
  8. Will ride my bike to the theater and during the movie I will have a raw energy bar called ‘matcha’ from earthling organics..they taste like coconut graham crackers!
  9. I have a huge pot of veggies [brocc,leaks, garlic, red/blue/and yellow fingerling potatoes, carrots, asparagus, red onion, brussel sprouts] marinating in wine, olive oil, and herbs in the fridge.  I will oven roast them when I get home and we will have a huge veggie feast with some organic red wine from Trader Joe’s.
  10. Tomorrow is another Bikram class!


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90 day natural fitness challenge: DAY ONE! Hiking hungover…

“Ringing” in the New Year by drinking, is at best strange, and at worst just stupid.

I was the guy dispensing the booze all last night, so I didn’t actually start drinking until after the party goers left the bar.  And when I say “left” I mean grownups crying, cussing, and falling down on the way back to their cars or cabs…

Some highlights of my New Years Eve:

  • A retarded crackhead couple (I’m not being funny–I’m serious) who snuck into the party just a few minutes before the ball dropped.  Just in time for free bubbly and to have me take their photo with the woman’s camera phone–A picture I would kill to have!
  • There was also a couple who reminded me of Sigfried & Roy–except they were straight.  Picture a trailer park version of Fabio making out with a female version of Fabio who has enormous breasts.  Which Fabio kinda has anyways…

  • A woman in her seventies kept beckoning me over with her finger (not bending me over…beckoning…) and she would say things to me like, “You have the most beautiful eyes, can I stick a star on your face?”  Wasn’t long before I had two or three big silver plastic stars stuck on my forehead and cheeks.  There is probably some old guy writing a blog right now about how there was an idiot bartender at his New Year’s party that was trying to look like Paul Stanley from KISS.

  • The piano player got so drunk from steady bourbon shots that at one point he just started screaming into the microphone “SUCK! SUCK! SUCK!…SLUTS! SLUTS! SLUTS!”
  • One of the guys who played a bartender on “The Love Boat” was at my bar!  Not Isaac, the white one.  He ended up becoming an actual bartender.  How weird is that…kinda like the “I play a Doctor on TV” thing.

So after all that, I had a couple shots of tequila myself, and they knocked me on my ASS!  Damn my tolerance has lowered dramatically since I stopped being a drunk.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Today is day one of my 90 day natural fitness challenge!

Despite being slightly hungover, I accomplished my daily goal of doing some kind of intense exercise each & every day.  Now I only have 89 days left to go!

So I will be doing at least a brief post every day where I will share what I ate, and what kind of intense exercise I did that day.

Once a month I’ll post pics, my weight, some measurements and other stats.  The core of my regimen is going to be Bikram yoga and a diet high in raw foods (I’m shooting for somewhere around 2/3 of my diet being raw).

If you are curious, you can read more about the challenge here.

I am hoping this spreads and that many of you will want to join me.  There aren’t a lot of rules, and it’s  OK that you didn’t start right on January 1st.   It’s meant to be personal, and customized to help each of us accomplish whatever we feel we need to.

For me, it’s getting ACTIVE as a person and rebuilding my body, which has become a shipwreck from years of not using it and even worse abusing it.

So far there are four of us who have started as of today:

  1. Me.
  2. My brother Mike.
  3. My Aunt Carrie.
  4. And Annie!

In the next few days I will begin writing about each of them and what their goals are and what approach they are taking to get there.  Each of them have also agreed to let me post their “before & after” pics as well as interesting stats at the 30, 60, and 90 day markers!

If this seems like it might be the right time for you to join in, please check out this page which has links for you to get in touch with me!!!

DAY ONE

I wanted to start the year strong by spending the day outside and hiking through some breathtaking desert-scape!  Annie and I spent three hours hiking in the famous Indian Canyons.

The first 90 minutes we pushed really hard (we were nearly trail running much of the way), and it was mostly up.  My heart was tearing through my chest and my ass & thighs were really working it.  Great hard core sweaty workout.  Annie started overheating and taking her clothes off…

Then she passed out in a dry riverbed despite my warning her of the very real dangers of flash floods!

I let her sleep for about 15 minutes (she was up early this morning and already had done a 90 min Bikram yoga class!) and we slowed it down on the way back down so we could enjoy the views…

Today:

  1. Quart of water
  2. 2/3 of a pineapple & a banana
  3. Rigorous hike
  4. Ate 2 LARA bars while hiking and drank another quart of water.
  5. Fabulous Dinner at ACE hotel:  Spicy re-fried beans, Cojita cream corn salad, Chilaquiles (they have the best I have EVER had), plenty of hot sauce & a cold Negro Modelo!
  6. My fave raw dessert, Earth Cafe’s cherry cheesecake, which I buy by the slice at the health food store and keep in my fridge for nights like this!
  7. Goal is to finish off a third quart of water before I go to sleep later…

Tomorrow is yoga at Bikram Yoga Palm Desert & a trip to the farmers market!!!


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60 day raw food log: day 15 This is really working! Lost 13 lbs in only 2 weeks!

So I’m now 241 lbs. I may post before & after pics soon, or I might just do it at the 30 days milestone?  My face looks way thinner already and I feel much lighter in general. And that’s with virtually NO…

EXERCISE:

So far. I am feeling the urge to get back to Bikram yoga.

When I do my quick little bike commute to the restaurant where I tend bar, I remember how amazing it was when I used to go on long mountain bike rides on the Central Coast of California or take a spring Sunday to ride from Brooklyn into the city and lazily circumnavigate Manhattan (the reward was always a stop @ the Whole Food’s at Columbus Circle for picnic supplies to be gorged on in Central Park followed closely by a nap on the grass).

FOOD CRAVINGS:

I still battle with intermittent yet powerful cooked food cravings.  Last night I was dying every time I took a pizza or garlic bread to a customer…

But you know what?  I feel tremendous. And how crazy is it to lose so much weight, so healthily, and so fast?  Thirteen pounds in just two weeks!?!


THIS IS NOT A DIET:

I really need to drive home an important point for anyone reading this wondering if they are capable of going raw–I AM NOT STARVING MYSELF.  I AM NOT EVEN DIETING. Seriously.  I eat as much and as often as I want.

Eating raw is qualitative not quantitative. That’s a funny expression I coined so that I would sound like I really know what I’m talking about.  It just means that eating and thinking this way (raw), has ZIP to do with dieting. Zero calorie watching.  Zero hesitation if you want seconds or thirds. Your free to focus instead only on what you are eating.

FREE TO THINK & CREATE:

And you know what? After the initial misery while cleansing (for me it was terrible headaches and anger), and after the evangelical weird high most new raw-fooders go through where they get sorta preachy & annoying (while still being extremely lovable by virtue of their infectious radiant charisma) , you are all freed-up to think and plan and enjoy exploring areas of life other than food.

For me that’s been learning what a blog (noun) is, and how to blog (verb).

I also dug up the grave that some screenplays I started but never finished were buried in. I had to re-introduce myself to a dormant creative ghost who shared in secret with me (don’t worry ghosts don’t read blogs, they read blaaahhhgggs) that it still wants to be fueled by alcohol and occasional cocaine parties.

But that would be a different kind of blog…

What I ate so far today:

  • Watermelon Juice from Nature’s Cafe (they are on Twitter now!)sweet livin walnuts
  • “Sweet Livin’ Walnuts” from Aimee’salso bought these at Nature’s Cafe. Sweet & salty…sorta like almond praline meets cinnamon toast crunch cereal? For me the Stevia leaves an aftertaste…that’s my one complaint..I really prefer raw honey as a sweetener.
  • Big Salad w/ avocado, sprouts, tomato, kalamatas, olive oil, lemon juice…
  • My first self-prepared “gourmet” raw meal: I made cashew “mayonnaise” in the blender, bought a surprisingly good raw dehydrated rye “bread”, and topped it with a thick layer of the mayo, olives, and half an avo, so that I had this ridiculously flavorful open faced sandwich that had deli overtures.
DSCN1417

sorry the pic is fuzzy, the sandwich moved!