Friday, February 27, 2015

Enjoying Life and My Kids

I have been a way for a while, busy at work, busy with the family, coaching baseball and working on myself. I also found I did not have much to say. Even now as I sit here typing I am looking for a topic to write about.

In my last blog entry I wrote about a new kind of peace and the same thought holds true. I have thrown myself into my kid’s future and have worked on how I can make their lives better and set them up for their future. I have always thought this way before but now I am acting on my thoughts.

The thing is, it’s a good feeling to be doing this and I am excited about their futures. I have two wonderful kids and even though my wife and I are experiencing all the normal bumps in the road you get with young adults it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

My daughter has recently started working with a swing coach, she has a natural smooth as silk swing with a golf club and having a professional that understands the correct way to develop a young person is really going to open up her ability. I am so excited to be able to provide this experience for my daughter and possibly expose her to what golf can bring not only physically but mentally will be fun to watch.

Maggie had back surgery just this past summer and she now is ready to pursue this gift she has been given. It is exciting for my wife and I to see her be a part of something and build her confidence.

It’s funny how you can raise two kids the exact same way and have two totally different products standing before you. My son will try anything and is not afraid to compete, they both hate to fail but one will be less likely to participate than the other.

I guess what I am saying is that I have always enjoyed being a father but right now I may be enjoying it more than ever and that is a good feeling.


As far as my workouts are concerned they continue, now I have a new partner in the garage. My son has decided its time to work out and has begun getting up with me at 6:00 am each morning. I have created a bit of a hybrid for the both of us. It fits around the baseball schedule and will help him with speed and strength and not leave him tired for the weekend tournament schedule. I am once again enjoying the company each morning and sharing additional time with him. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A New Kind of Peace

The last few days my family has been away visiting family for the holiday as I stayed home to meet work obligations. During this time I have realized more than ever what my family means to me.

I was always one that could handle my alone time preferring to live by myself in my 20’s rather than having a roommate. Long bike rides and workouts by myself were the norm and countless hours drawing, painting or driving were a place I found peace and time to reflect.

Because of my chosen profession I work many holidays and my wife will often head off somewhere to have that family time and give our children the memories all children need to have of their grandparents, uncles, aunts and other relatives. 

This week, five days, were the longest five days I have ever experienced. The house was empty, other than my dog Cooper and I and we both missed having the family with us. Cooper went through the usual withdraw that he experiences, not eating for the first day or so and then the sleeping by the door waiting for them to return.

Me, I was just flat out bored, two nights in a row I contemplated going to bed at 8:30 pm. This for me is way out of character, early for me is usually 11:00 and average bed time is midnight. Even my motivation to get up in the morning was lacking and my workouts were uninspired. I push myself to accomplish many of the things I do for them and not having them here with me has stalled that drive.

They will return tomorrow afternoon sometime and the house will once again be loud and full of emotion and laughter and I have grown to enjoy all of it. Something I never thought would happen. I am a long way away from my former search for peace but this is a new kind of peace and I have grown to love it. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving thanks 4 years later

I have been doing some sort of Beachbody Fitness program for four years now and have been a Beachbody coach for a little less than that. Addressing my health was life changing for me at that time. I had let myself go focusing only on earning a living and supporting my family all the while slowly killing myself a little bit more each day. Today I am stronger than ever and I will say wiser as well because I am in better health I am more alert and I enjoy each day that much more.

The benefits to all of the workouts I have been doing is that I am more active and more present in mine and my family’s life and this past year I needed to be more than ever.  My daughter had the courage to have a life changing surgery and showed me what true strength is. Both of my kids moved into different schools and are learning to adjust to the new style of learning. And lastly my wife continues to be a non- stopping whirlwind of everything to everyone. She is the one person I know that over promises to people and then over delivers on those promises. I do not know how she does it but I am proud of her.

This is my little note giving thanks for what I have and what is yet to come in all of our lives. I have finally zeroed in on my Primal nutrition program and I am back on track with a program I enjoy which allows me the time I need in the morning to still to get off to work on time. This time next year things could be completely different for many if not all of us but I will still be plugging away in my garage trying to slow the aging process down.


Happy Thanksgiving, 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Self Imposed Obstacles

Life has a way of giving you just enough to make it hard but at the same time not so much it drives you over the line into insanity. At least that is the way things have been going lately for me. I have been inconsistent at best with my nutrition and my workouts over the last few months just kind of bouncing around with no direction or set goals in mind and for me this is not a safe path. I need my own self imposed direction placed upon myself to keep me pushing forward otherwise a few months go by and I feel like I have nothing to show for it.

Although I feel like I have accomplished so much personally and professionally over these past moths I feel as though I have neglected myself and I need to refocus my energy on myself again. Monday I will start P90X3 again and focus on it as if it were the first fitness program I have ever done.

It may be some form of undiagnosed disorder but I need to reorganize the garage (my gym) this weekend and clean the place up so I feel motivated and comfortable out there each morning. There is nothing like working out and being distracted about what needs to be done when you should be focusing on wheat you should be doing. Once I get that done I will be ready to attack each day.

When it comes to eating I have pretty much gotten myself under control when it comes to proper food intake and portion sizes. My biggest problem is that sometimes I do not enough during a long day at work. I have also grown into the habit of prepping my meals out a few days so I have clean options that I can grab and go with. This makes the odds of eating junk a lot less likely.

I know this will be the right thing for me because lately I have been feeling run down and a bit tired. When I am working out hard every day I have much more energy. I have completed my usual October of late night Baseball Playoff viewing causing a lack of sleep streak which always coincides with my having to complete the budgets for the next year at work. Now I can break away from the mental stress I subject myself to each year and apply my efforts back into my workout.

I have tracked all of my workouts over the past few years with a heart rate monitor which I was able to see the pattern I had created for myself and helped me to understand why my body was performing the way has been. Not trying to make excuses but really to better understand how my mind and body works so I may be able to better myself in every way.

This leads to one of my favorite quotes ever.

“Excuses are a list of self imposed obstacles that prevent you from having a better life.


Life gets in the way. When you are driven to a goal you must make detours to get to your final destination. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fruit: When To Eat It & When To Avoid It

I love fruit and eat it everyday but am now learning there are specific times we should eat in relation to how we digest it. When you eat fruit, it enters the stomach and digestive juices as alkaline and the food begins to spoil and does not digest properly. This is why it's important to eat fruit in an order that supports digestion. 

Here are some simple tips on how to eat fruit and digest food efficiently. 

SAY YES TO FRUIT 

Eat fruit on an EMPTY stomach. First thing in the morning is best as you absorb all the vitamins. This way, you will avoid digestive problems. 

Give yourself at least 30 minutes after eating fruit before you eat something else. 

Eat fruit 3 times a day. In-between meals is best, so I recommend eating fruit 30 minutes before you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

SAY NO TO FRUIT

DO NOT eat fruit with other foods. Our body uses different enzymes to digest fruit and it needs to process the nutrients and the fiber separately. 

DO NOT eat fruit before you go to bed or after a meal. Sugars will keep you up and ruin the digestion process. 

DO NOT eat fruit right before drinking cold beverages. If you drink COLD water after you eat, it solidifies any oily food you've consumed and slows down digestion. After you eat, it's best to have a warm drink. 
 
BOTTOM LINE 

FRUIT is a natural DETOXIFICATION tool and provides us with natural healthy sugar, so when eaten the right way it will cleanse your body of toxins and help the digestive system. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Looking for a Fresh Start.

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here and to be honest I have been struggling to get back into a routine. I have bounced around with my nutrition and have not had a consistent workout routine for a few months now. I have started a few programs and stopped and for this I am taking some abuse from some of my friends for constantly changing and not sticking to one thing. 

The good thing is I have held still on my weight and I feel good. I have been working out with my son's baseball team doing some coaching so I am getting a good workout twice a week. 

For me working out needs to be fun as well as provide me with some sort of fulfillment and accomplishment. For some reason I was not getting that for a while. I thought that a body building program would help me get the results I was looking for but that only helped me to pack on pounds, I then thought lets do just all cardio but that is just not me and all that does besides boar me to death is make me fell fatigued.

Although I love to lift weights, right now I think that body weight workouts are best for me right now so I created a hybrid from my favorite workout programs and I went ahead and started that this past Monday.  Using P90X2 and P90X3 for the first month I am getting myself back into some core work as well as some basic flexibility and resistance. The second month I plan on doing one week of each phase of the P90X3 program with a final week of the recovery week. I will follow up with a final month of Focus T25 in a somewhat same style of the way I will do P90X3.

See for yourself what I am talking about.

Monday               X2 Core
Tuesday               X3 The Challenge
Wednesday        X2 Mobility and Recovery
Thursday             X2 Total Body and X2 Ab  Ripper
Friday                    X3 Yoga
Saturday              X3 MMX
Sunday                 X1 Ab Ripper


That will be my next month of workouts, I feel it will keep me interested and allow me to get myself moving back in the right direction. I will post the next phase here when I get to that point. If you are interested or have any comments or opinions please leave a message below. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Can You Build Muscle And Lose Weight At The Same Time?

Some people say you can not do both but with the experimenting I have been doing I think it is possible and I plan to try. 

I have settled into a cardio routine for the next six months, Les Mills Combat followed by Focus T25. I have been mixing in a leg day on Thursdays. I want to drop the weight but I will attempt to keep as much muscle as I can at the same time, maybe even build some. 

Many people that are into bodybuilding like to spend half the year bulking and the other half cutting, or losing weight to build definition to show the muscle they built while bulking. I am not in favor of this process. If you eat correctly you can still build muscle while dropping weight, the process just takes a little longer but you are working toward a goal that to me is worth the effort.

Combat this time around is much more enjoyable than the first time I did it, why I am not totally sure but I know my approach has been much more relaxed and I am focusing on the moves more than just blowing through a cardio workout. I am not a fan of jumping around as a means of getting in shape and the last time because of this way of thinking I would sometimes work on the heavy bag during this workout to make it feel like I was hitting something with a purpose. This time I am buying into the program and I am starting to see what it can do for me.

My leg day which was today, Thursday is the only adjustment I have made to the designed program. I did this because I have always used cycling and baseball, I was a catcher, as my leg workouts. Other than getting on a squat machine as a kid in high school and college and pumping out a few reps of the stack of weights attached to the machine I never really worked legs. So I decided maybe now would be the time to lose some of my backside and large thighs and see if it is at all possible to change my body composition and elongate my muscles a bit. I will do ten weeks of this program, extending it a week to make the additional leg day work for me.

I hope to move into T25 after this and continue the cardio reduction process. My body has been reacting strangely as of late and it seems that when I attempt any kind of lifting program I am just packing on the pounds. I have friends who would die for this ability where I am dealing with it like it is some sort of disease I am trying to avoid.

How will I lose weight and build muscle at the same time? Impossible you say, you have to create a calorie deficit to lose weight and add calories to build muscle. Primal eating will allow me to reach my goal. I will eat at a deficit but I will also be eating protein and healthy fats. Cutting back the carbs and sugars and of course the processed foods, or junk.


That’s the plan, wish me luck. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Where Have I Been?

I have been off the blogosphere for over a month as I had a few different life things going on. I am back now and I will try to share with you what I have been doing and how I have gotten o where I am now.

I returned to a Primal Nutrition plan, or should I say lifestyle because every time I move away from eating this way I realize that it is the best way for my body to function,  After about two months of eating 80-85% Primal I had dropped 18 pounds and I was finding my way toward my goals.

I was doing the newest Beachbody program PIYO which I recommend everyone buy because it is a wonderful program and a peaceful way to start your day. If you don’t like yoga you need to reconsider what you are doing and give this a try. When I had completed PIYO I wanted to incorporate some heavy weight training into my life because that is the Primal Mantra, Eat like a Caveman and Lift Heavy Things.

My body always seemed to enjoy heavy lifting and I seem to pack on muscle pretty easily compared to some of the people I speak with so many of the bodybuilding programs really do not appeal to me because I am not looking to get bigger just healthier.

A friend of mine was looking for someone to test a new program and I thought I would give it a try. It was resistance training five days per week and in HIIT workout during the training week as well. It was put together very well with a lot of thought and focus on building strength. After one week on the program with the nutrition and supplements I gain seven pounds and although I know the majority of the weight was water weight it was alarming to me that it happened that fast and I threw in the towel.

So as of this past Monday I started Les Miles Combat in the hope that the cardio and my Primal eating will get me back into the previous routine I had of reducing the inches once again. I plan of beginning to run once again as well and I will continue to mix in a leg resistance workout once per week.

That gets me caught up on where my fitness and nutrition is, throw in my kids starting back to school and a renovation of the golf course at the country club I manage and I have had a pretty busy last month.


So I am back again and doing what I need to do, sometimes it’s not easy and sometimes you try things that don’t work for you but you have to try to see what will happen and find the right system for your body. I will keep doing just that until I hit all of my goals. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

What Difference Can Being Present Make?

This post really hit me tonight, this is a pet peeve of mine but as I read it I realized I do some of these as well. We all need to work on being better in every aspect of our lives. 

POSTED BY: MARK SISSON

An old friend who is in town recently shared with me, “I look back on life and can’t believe the amount of time and energy I’ve put into events that never even happened.” His observation, which I think more of us identify with than we’d care to admit, was testament to the massive power of self-talk and the endless tributaries it sweeps us down. “What about this?” “How would that work?” “What if x, y or z happen?” The infamous tides of when, where, how, and if drag us through the currents of hypothetical conversations, speculative planning, strategizing retorts and other means of conjectured insanity – most of which lead to total dead ends, blatant non-occurrences. Over time, many of us realize, as my friend did, that we’ve spent enormous amounts of effort and anguish living for these non-starters. Likewise, it may be the external obsessions as much as the emotional rabbit holes that snatch us away – the lure of gadgets and overworking among many others. In a culture where the mundane is viewed as undesirable, we’re convinced we need all manner of distractions just to tolerate much of everyday life, and so we absorb and increasingly apply the practice of checking out. Whatever the source of our diversion, what are the real implications of this mental absence? On the flip side, what’s possible when we can operate more fully in the moment?
Distraction of various sorts can be a self-sabotaging undercurrent for all of our endeavors. In fact, it’s entirely possible to live an entire life that almost continuously hovers in some parallel plane, directed by the same old narratives, typical roles and emotional agenda regardless of what’s in front of our faces. We take up residence in this plane when we decide what’s in our heads is more real than what’s happening in the moment. The more distraction we identify with, the more we come to inhabit the deliberately imposed or internally playing static – and the less we take in of the actual events, people and settings around us. There’s the real tragedy, I think, (and the rather obvious evolutionary cautionary tale). We can lament the effort wasted on our inner shadow boxing or useless habits, but the sadder part is what we’ve missed as a result – all that’s been and gone while we were wrestling with the conditional and trivial.
To imagine an opposite scenario, I’ve heard it said that being present for all the tasks of our lives allows us to make a meditation of everything. Folding laundry can simply be folding laundry. (Wow – there’s a concept.) Apply the idea to the broader, (arguably) more significant dimensions of life and well-being, and we’re looking at some interesting possibilities. What can being more present in your workouts offer? What are the results of being fully in the moment while eating? What about being more present for your sleep routine (a seeming contradiction, I know)? What can “being there” mean for personal relationships?
Is Your Exercise About Engagement?
In extreme endeavors, such as serious surfing or competitive sports, presence is obviously crucial. It’s part of the discipline, in fact. When we have our “heads in the game” we’re really moving with the flow, that time bending force of pure, enjoyable focus. How many of us get this on a regular basis? How often are we one of the grim, sweaty faces slogging it out on a piece of gym equipment? I fully get that some days it’s enough to just get the job done, but how often do we honestly end up bringing this mindset to our physical activity? There’s a difference between “working out” to put in your time and participating with full mental engagement. (Which would you rather do and keep up over a lifetime?) If we have to put ourselves in zone out mode to fulfill our workout goals, are we shortchanging ourselves?
Endurance athletes who obviously do the same activity for extended periods collect their mental tricks – homing in on the aspects of their environments, gauging progress by the details of the route, etc. Yet, it’s not an out of body experience either. There’s even a new area of exercise science research that affirms the importance of mindfulness and acceptance (PDF), suggesting the practices can take us farther (literally and figuratively) than denial and distraction. Being fully conscious of the body’s sensations (however unpleasant) and emotionally assimilating the stress, burn or even pain can boost resilience and performance. Even if we’re not operating in the athletic arena but just trying to build personal Grok-worthy fitness, what can we do to get into the “heart” of our activity and fully back in our bodies. Trust me, replaying the day’s stress to get your mind off your exertion won’t get you far. The same goes for using anger as fuel. Instead of using a workout to “process,” we’re better off being with the immediate process (activity) itself. Reaching for music, I think, can be a unique exception and is often less a true distraction than an added layer or additional energy source playing parallel to the rhythm of physical motion.
Present Eating: Take a Seat.
Eating is unfortunately one of the most mindless things we do in our culture. Mindless snacking fodder inhabits whole rows of grocery stores. We’re often expected (or believe we’re expected) to scarf down lunch at our desks. We eat while we’re driving, while we’re watching T.V., while we’re holding meetings, while we’re doing laundry, loading the dishwasher. None of these scenarios hold much comparison to the simple or celebratory social practices that traditional peoples are known to apply to eating.
The discrepancy suggests an issue with time and attention as well as our relationship with food itself. Yes, it’s ultimately fuel to burn, and not every day can be a Norman Rockwell moment. That said, how we think about food impacts how our bodies processes it. How we enjoy it influences the satiety we experience. How healthy can our relationship to food be when the majority of eating happens while we have our nose in a phone or our mind on making the next exit? (No wonder we make the eating choices we do.) There’s something to stopping the car and sitting at the park to enjoy your lunch even if it’s just a hard-boiled egg and some cut vegetables. Go off automaton mode long enough to look at that tea you’re drinking. Ask yourself if the tiff with your spouse earlier in the day is at work in how much or what you reach for throughout the day. When you slow down and differentiate hunger from emotion, you can better appreciate the food you eat. Yet, it’s also about valuing yourself and the act of your own nourishment.
Being There – for Yourself and Others
Experts frequently bemoan the lack of communication and emotional skills in the younger, tech-dependent generation. Yet, how many of us would recognize our own behavior let alone feel good about it if we were flies on our own walls? How much do we let external distractions and personal moods influence our exchanges (or lack thereof) with those we love? Do our partners or children give up trying to get our attention as we respond to one more work email? Do we really hear what a friend is trying to tell us about her day as we decide a phone conversation is the perfect time to multitask as many household chores as we can? Do we stay in touch with what our physical bodies and emotional intuitions need from us at a given moment, or are we too hell-bent on powering through our days that we end up suffering the effects of chronic stress? Do we approach bedtime with a similar “zone out” mentality of consuming entertainment until our brains give out?
Being more present and fully accounted for to ourselves and others lends a different rhythm to life – one much more natural to the human operating system. My experience is that it unexpectedly slows down time. Less gets lost in the shuffle. There’s an intricate link between mindfulness and compassion for good reason. In fact, it can be rather shocking what we attune ourselves to and wonder how we got along without it – how our kids or other loved ones could’ve gotten along without it. We get to re-familiarize ourselves with the softness of our toddler’s hair, the contours of our partners face, the subtle hints our teenager drops about his/her interests and life questions these days as well as the shifts in ourselves – our own needs and evolving interests. (Ever feel the need to just catch up with yourself?) In being present, we stop simply responding. We turn off the auto-pilot. Instead, we open up space for interaction and observation that too often gets closed down in the thick of modern hubbub and mental chatter. It’s the space where intuition operates and intimacy flourishes – two of the most essential human instincts. Being present, in fact, puts us squarely in the immediate moment but accesses something of ourselves that’s evolutionarily fundamental. When we think about living with ancestral wisdom, being with the immediate moment taps us into one our most powerful Primal patterns.
Thanks for reading today, everyone. What does being present mean for your Primal journey? When/where have you noticed it working most in your life? Have a great end to the week.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

PIYO and Primal

This past Monday I started PIYO, this is a mix of Yoga and Palettes with Beachbody Trainer Chalene Johnson. So far this has been a great experience. The program has been fast paced but fluid and it is just what I need to cure all the aches and pains I have had recently. Apparently my big old body needed some nursing and recovery and in yoga I have always found recovery.

I have continued my Primal nutrition plan and continue to drop pounds, at a slower pace but still making progress. I am developing new ways to cook to my needs and I not only enjoy the new flavors but my tastes buds are adjusting to this style of eating as well. Sugar is no longer something I crave and my pizza cravings are also down to only weekly instead of daily.

I have set new goals for the remainder of the year and I guess I should share them with you for my own accountability sake.

Goals One; Weigh in at 225 by March 2015, this was my college weight. 

Goal Two; Complete the Ironman 70.3 Florida Triathlon in June 2016 at age 50

Goal Three; Maintain healthy lifestyle and pass on good habits to my kids.

I will spend the next 60 days focusing on PIYO with the hope of being 20 pounds lighter, I will take 16 but looking for 20. From there I will complete Alpha, Beta and Gamma phases of Focus T25 and after that it will be on to P90X3.


For now that’s my plan and I am sticking to it. Wish me luck, 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

15 Pounds in 30 Days

I have been eating clean for a month now staying 90% Primal and feel great. I am down 15 pounds during this time and did this without any kind of workouts, only some baseball with my son’s team.

My body feels pretty well rested after this time off so this week I returned back to my workout routine and there are a few things I am noticing. The longer I stayed away from my workouts the more I wanted to sleep being the biggest one. I just felt lazy this last ten days and I really did not enjoy this feeling at all. I never would have thought that I would be someone that enjoys getting up early and getting o with the day but I guess with old age comes a need to accomplish things.

The reason for the break was multi-part, I was worn out and needed it, My daughter had surgery and I needed to be available to her and I often have a hard time being motivated in the summer. The kids are home so the family schedule loosens up a bit, less rushing out of the house in the morning so I slack. There you go I said it, everyone does it and I am no different. Bottom line is I am back and ready to work hard and meet my newest goals, my daughter is doing great! She is getting better each day and is excited about what lies ahead for her and life is moving forward for all of us.

Now that I am two days back into a program I am sore, but it’s a good feeling I do not mind it at all. In fact I feel like I could have done more and then I would be even sorer than I am. I have learned from past mistakes not to overdo it when returning from a break because when you do you end up on the shelf doing nothing because of the pain you inflict on yourself.

I gained two pounds in two days of workouts? Is it water weight being stored from all the muscle damage I did to myself and does this mean that when we weigh ourselves during a program should we take those two pounds into consideration?  And when you lose weight during a rest week is it really just that water weight wringing out of our body?

I will increase my food intake, let me rephrase that I will need to increase my food intake now that I am working out again and I will continue to eat Primal. At the beginning of this upcoming month I will begin to drink a Vegan Chocolate Shakeology shake each morning in place of the regular Chocolate Shakeology I have been drinking so I will consume less natural sugar and continue to decrease my sugar intake. I am burning between 400-600 calories in a half hour with my workouts, a hybrid of Focus T25, P90X3, Body Beast and Les Miles Combat so I will need to feed my body so I can maintain my level of intensity each morning. I will also be running a few times a week, training for an upcoming 5K in September.


With two months of summer for us here in Florida I am looking to transform myself before those from the north return, it’s always fun to hear how different you look when you have put the work in. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Primal Adaptation "Ketosis"

I am feeling great on my Primal nutrition path and I am enjoying new ways of cooking so far. I have always been one to experiment with ways of cooking so this has been fun so far. This past weekend I made some Primal Brownies. After three weeks of not eating sugar these were especially sweet to me but my wife and daughter did not feel the same as I and decided to make a tray of regular brownies to clean the taste out of their mouths. The best part about that was I never eat one of theirs.

The hardest part of it all is the fact that my family although they support me in my efforts they have changed nothing in their everyday routine so a pan of brownies or a half eaten pizza on the oven is an obstacle I regularly have to navigate my way around and avoid the temptation of taking that easy snack “because it’s there” My daughter also fancies herself a baker so trays of cupcakes are another trap that seems to pop up on random days. So far I have been clean and as long as I tell myself that one slip will cause an avalanche of destruction I am good.

I am also keeping a journal and tracking my thoughts as I move further into this way of living and it is working for me. Having people that have experienced the issues I am dealing with helps a great deal. I have found that this works in many different ways. As a Beachbody Coach I offer Accountability Groups to the people that purchase a fitness program. Having like minded people to share the experience makes it that much easier to push onward and succeed.


Last night I made a second attempt at my gluten free pizza dough using cauliflower, eggs and cheese and then topping with traditional sauce and healthy pizza toppings such as chicken, spinach, olives and onions.  The outcome was much more popular that my brownies and this one I will be making again soon I am sure.  This weekend I will dive into some Primal Slow Cooking recipes and see where that takes us. I am sure these will be popular with the family because of the taste and juiciness that slow cooking offers. 

I believe I am now getting close to having my body function in a Ketosis state and the weight is starting to come off easier. I am looking forward to seeing where this takes me and what I will be able to accomplish with the new smaller me.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Getting Caught Up and Back on Track

It’s been a while since I have written anything. Its been a busy world here in south west Florida for the past month with everything going on personally and professionally and I never seem to have time to sit down and put my thoughts to paper. I miss it because it allows me to look at myself and reflect on what I am doing and where my next goals are coming from.

My daughter is progressing very well and she is thrilled with her new look, height and basically her body. I am not as excited as she is because it seems like she has grown up over night. I am happy for her in every way but I am not looking forward to her going to high school this year and the slew of boys that will now notice her and her new look, height and body.

With that said I will restart my Focus T25 program on Monday with my wife, Kathy by my side. I may add in some P90X3 on some days as a second workout just to have additional resistance. I also plan on completing the Couch to 5K program at night to prepare e for the 5K I signed up for in September. So I am getting back on the fitness train and I can say I have missed my workouts.

I decided before my daughter’s surgery back in mid June that I would begin eating Primal as close to 100 percent as I could and I have accomplished that goal. I will have completed the 21 Day program this coming Sunday having lost ten pounds maybe twelve so that is yet to be determined with three days to go.  This puts me in a great frame of mind to get started with my workouts. If I can drop 10-12 pounds without working out what will I accomplish when eating correctly and working out each day? Is that a goal I feel working its way into my head? Maybe 15-18 pounds in the next 21 days?


This is not impossible since I lost 16 pounds the last time I ate this way and did P90X. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Putting A Smile On My Face!

Tonight as I drove home from the hospital all I could think about was how much I love my daughter. I have always looked at her as my little girl until this week and now all I see is this beautiful young lady that possesses the brains and determination to do anything she puts her mind to.

Maggie is my first child and will always be my first everything. The first time I ever saw her I almost fainted. Since she was a c-section baby my wife and I had a divider between my wife’s upper torso and myself sitting next to her, on the other side was the doctor, Kathy’s lower torso and the surgery that was going on. When I heard the cry of the baby I told Kathy I wanted to stand and look over at the baby. We did not find out beforehand if it was a boy or a girl so I was very curious. I stood to see a baby with a head covered in red which looked like blood. I was instantly panic struck, what is wrong I thought? At which time the doctor said “we have a beautiful, healthy little redheaded girl!” As the blood rushed back into my head I realized that what I thought was blood was actually hair so I sat back down before I fell down. This was my introduction to fatherhood and life with my daughter.

Now when I say Maggie is a redhead, I mean she is not an average redhead. When she was younger her hair was like fire and keeping a low profile with a child that looked like Maggie was not an option. For Maggie it was just life and she has handled it with grace. 

Her hair was like fire and so is her personality. She was always on the go from day one. She inherited the night owl personality I had developed over years of being a bartender so I spent the first few months of her life playing with her when I would come home from work after a late evening at the country club I was managing at the time. We would play and have our time together as mama would get her sleep after a long day of tending to Maggie’s needs.

As Maggie grew up she displayed the smarts and stubbornness she had inherited from both of her parents and everything always had to be a certain way, the way she liked it, the Maggie way. The funny thing was that my wife and I noticed that she was usually correct in the way she wanted things so the two of us would laugh and shake our heads and give her the benefit of the doubt when she had a request for something.

This is where we come to this past week. Maggie wanted this surgery, she prepared herself for it over the past several months and when it was time to step up and do it she was ready and present. It is hard for us as parents to watch her struggle in pain but she just keeps pushing each day and I have a new kind of love for someone that I never thought I could love any more than I already did. I guess its respect in some ways that adds the new dynamic but it’s also a new kind of beauty I see in her. I have always been attracted to strong personalities; if you know my wife you may understand that statement a little more than others. I now see in Maggie what I have always seen in my wife a strong, now taller, (1 inch) young lady that makes me smile when I look at her.

Tonight as I left the hospital I could not say a word, I could only smile at her. I am not the kind of guy that walks around with a smile on my face but tonight I walked all the way to my car and drove all the way home with a smile on my face.


Thank you God for this gift and for keeping her safe. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Primal as a Source of Sanity.

With all the craziness that would be taking place around the family with Maggie’s surgery I realized that I would not have the time or the energy to workout. With that thought in mind I decided to get back on the Primal Nutrition plan and keep my eating as clean as I possibly could during this time and continue to keep it that way going forward.

I started last Friday and eased myself into it, eliminating all grains and sugar as well as legumes and by Monday I was ready to go full force. It has basically been over a week now and I think it has been a perfect start for me. It was a little difficult spending a night in the hospital trying to find the best food options but if you set your mind with the correct approach it is very achievable.

The best part is twofold; when you eat this way you can eat as much as you want because you are eating whole real food. Staying away from processed food is the key. When you eat this way your body is storing all the good fats and protein so if you need to go without food for an extended period of time your body is becoming fat dependent and moving away from being sugar dependent, so limiting your carbs is important. Actually a one day per week intermittent fasting is recommended. I usually try to do this on Mondays or Thursdays paired with a yoga workout so I am limiting my calorie burn. If you decide to give this a try you will find that you have more energy after 8-10 days of eating like this, at least I always have.

More and more Endurance Athletes, such as marathon runners, triathletes and swimmers have began eating this way to help prevent the bonking reaction they would otherwise experience fueling off of sugar.  Many of these athletes would carb load the night before a race to prevent bonking from happening. When you eat like this there is no need to carb load. I could never understand why people would eat differently the night before a race? It just never made sense to me.

An effect of eating this way is that the body begins to shed body fat. When I last ate this way consistently I dropped 16 pounds in 21 days and felt much better. So far this week I am down 3.5 pounds and with all the stress I have been puts through I feel pretty well rested thanks to what I have eaten.

I may continue without my workouts for an additional week just to see where it takes me before resuming my them
. I will most likely continue on with my Focus T25 workouts, and mix in some Les Mills Combat and P90X3 as additional sessions.


If you have any questions or are interested in how to start eating this way contact me at rob@homeplatefitness.com

Friday, June 20, 2014

Man vs. Women, Brave vs. Toughness!

Women just put men to shame, I say this because this week I saw something that just convinced me of it and I do not think my mind could ever be changed to thinking differently.

Almost a decade and a half ago I watched my wife experience child birth and after seeing her body change and then have to experience a cesarean (c-section) birth with my daughter I figured we may be one and done. But a few years later she was ready to do it again and could not wait to “experience” it all over. She was told from the beginning that if you have a c-section the first time you most likely will have to have it again with the next and that didn’t even make her flinch.

Could you imagine a man going through child birth? I personally could not do it. I would wager to guess that if it were up to men to populate this world there would be a lot fewer of us running around.

As an athlete growing up I was a pretty competitive athlete and I never seemed to walk away from a challenge. I thought the harder something was the more I would enjoy succeeding at it. My first love was baseball and I was a catcher. The equipment used by a catcher is referred to as the tools of ignorance because you are either as tough as nails or ignorant to want to squat down in front of a guy that is going to throw a hard baseball at you at speeds of 80-100 mile per hour and oh by the way sometimes is curves, slides or knuckles in mid air as its coming at you. Years later I am finding out that I must have been ignorant because compared to what I have experienced lately I was not tough at all.

This past week if you read my last Blog post you know my daughter had corrective surgery for scoliosis. Maggie had a severe curvature of her spine and the doctor recommended she have this procedure. We first noticed the issue when she was about seven or eight years old and my wife made a visit to a specialist north of our home here in Florida.  We went through the process of a back brace for Maggie while she slept for a few years but the issue continued.

We were told that the age of fourteen was the best time to do this so the plan was the summer of her fourteenth birthday she would have this operation done. As the time approached and we made more and more visits to the doctor the reality and the intensity of that reality increased. I could feel myself growing uneasy with concern for my daughter and what she was about to experience.

As we sat in the office with the doctor and he explained how the procedure would be done and then went into the percentages of what could happen I began to worry in particular about the 2% chance of never walking again? When you hear that, you forget about the 98% chance of everything being fine and cannot help but to focus on that 2% and worry. But Maggie never wavered.

During that last week before the operation it really began to hit her and at about this time my wife being the wonderful protective mom she is offered to cancel the operation if she did not want to follow through with it. Maggie once again with all the maturity and conviction of someone, anyone that has ever set a goal said “I am doing this” and that was it.

The day came and at 4:00am we woke and headed to the hospital. After some time registering in and prepping with the nurses it was time to head to the waiting room for the next seven and a half hours. After about six of those hours the doctor came out and told us everything went wonderfully.

That, I was told was the hard part. For me the hard part had just kicked in. No parent wants to see their kid in pain but this was different. When we got to the room, finally, Maggie was a trouper. She was visibly uncomfortable but with all the pain medication she was flying high. Keeping her sense of humor about her with all the sarcasm a fourteen year old could muster she provided us with continuous comedy as she barked out her needs and demands.  Within 24 hours of her operation she stood from her bed as if unimpressed with herself. Within 48 hours she was sitting up in a lounge chair and in less than three days of having her back opened and two rods and nineteen screws placed into her spine she was walking around the hospital floor with ease.

So you want to talk about who is braver, a little girl or a full grown man? Who can handle pain, a female or a male?

I give!

I cannot compete in my own household on either level with the women I live with.

I seem to gain more and more respect for the other sex with every year I grow older. After years of being educated by my wife I am learning from my daughter how to carry oneself with confidence and pride as well the belief that things will work out.  To say that Maggie impressed me this week would be an understatement. She almost seemed to know what she had to do and focused on completing the task at hand even as those around her did not understand what was going on. The nurses told her what was going on with her body and she pushed through any pain and the frustration of the drugs in her system to reach her personal goal.

I was a bouncer for a number of years in a night club in New Jersey and I would like to offer this little bit of advice, the next time someone challenges you and your Machismo just tell them to deal with your woman because they seem to handle everything better than we do.

 I wrote this more as a journal entry for myself to keep as a remembrance of this week because this was the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a father or as a man.  I thank God everything worked out for the best and I am thankful to the doctors and nurses at the hospital for the wonderful treatment Maggie and all of our family has received this past week.  


Monday, June 16, 2014

Maggie, The Apple of My Eye!

Life is getting in the way lately but I am not complaining. For instance I am sitting here at work and can hardly focus on anything because tomorrow my baby girl will have scoliosis correction surgery. There is a much longer medical term for this but I can’t spell it and you can’t pronounce it so I figure why bother.

She is now fourteen years old and braver than I was at her age. This girl amazes me with how calm and focused she is. I am scared to death and she is determined as hell.

Last week, my wife gave her an opportunity to cancel the operation when she finally made mention of her fears and she said “no I want it done”. It is amazing how kids can be so brave and when they should be leaning on their parents for support their parents are secretly leaning on them for the same help. 

It will be a long stressful five hour waiting period tomorrow I am sure but in the end with God’s help I feel confident that all will work out for the best.

My daughter as is my son is everything to me. She is so much like me that it annoys me, but then again she is so very different than I am that I am in awe of her greatness. We have the same sense of humor which absolutely disgusts my wife some days and helps us to relate to each other on a different level other times as we try to out do each other. Basically, she gets me and what else could a father want than to be understood by his daughter.

Most days I can do nothing but shake my head as I watch her grow into a beautiful young lady. I am sure this will be another thing that will keep me awake at night. If my sister thought she had it hard with me looking over her shoulder I can imagine my baby girl will also have a more difficult time of it with any boy that dares to step foot into my house.

Maggie is as smart as a whip and loving, she gets that from her mother, but she is also carefree, confident and above all caring of others at the same time. I cannot wait to see her beautiful smiling face after this is all over with tomorrow and then watch her take on high school over the next four years.

I ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days. 

On a different subject; I decided to go back to being 100% Primal, and made my adjustments over the weekend to starting today. I feel at my best when I am eating this way and decided it was time to buckle down and get to business. I have become so much healthier over the past few years with Beachbody fitness programs being my primary vehicle toward a better lifestyle. I am stronger and feel much better but nutrition was something I never really totally committed to.

When I did the 21 Day Primal Blueprint in June of 2012 during my transition from my old job to my current job I lost 16 pounds in that twenty-one day period and I should have never stopped.  I spent the weekend putting things in place and I am looking forward to committing and making the next set of changes in my journey.


The goal is to be in better shape at 50 years old than I was when I was 30 years old and sadly I do not think it will be all that hard to accomplish. Maybe I should make that goal 20? Maybe I will. That’s what goal setting is all about. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Big Guy Doing Yoga?

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. You hear this all the time, well at least I do being a Beachbody Coach. I am not trying to sell you anything here I just offer my advice from my experiences while I have been changing the way I live my life. Over the last few years I have done a number of different fitness programs with the goal of being healthy and extending my life. I let myself go as many of us do while not paying attention the most important thing, the vessel which I live in...my body.

All dring this time I have experienced different relationships with yoga. When I started P90X for the first time I seriously considered it a FOUR letter word. I dreaded yoga each week as I struggled and felt uncomfortable trying to contort myself into knots and breathe while doing so. I soon found a shorter version of 45 minutes to replace the 90 minute version and suddenly it was not so bad.

After a year of fighting with it I finally gave in and accepted that I was actually getting stronger from yoga, so here I was thinking I will never be as flexible as this one or the other guy that puts his foot behind his head but it was actually helping me in my other workouts. Once I found value in it everything else kind of started happening for me.

As I have done more yoga I have gotten my flexibility back and I am now stronger than ever with better balance than I ever had all due to my yoga workouts. So yea I am the big guy that does yoga and I do not look like I am very flexible but yoga isn’t just for the thin and flexible. Anyone who’s open to it can benefit from it. It can adapt to any and every body. 

We're conditioned to think that exercise needs to be fast and hard to be worthwhile. This mindset has infiltrated yoga to the extent that the faster-paced vinyasa styles have become the mainstay. However, one of the best things you can do for your body is slowdown. Slower forms of yoga improve flexibility and strength while balancing the nervous system; plus, they flush the chemicals released by stress that cause inflammation and weight gain. If you’re just beginning, look for “gentle” classes. If you’re lucky enough to live near a studio offering Yoga for Bigger Bodies or something similar, take advantage of that!

The most important disposition you can have to keep yourself free from injury and gain all the mental benefits of yoga is to listen to your body when moving into and out of every pose. Every single body on the planet is unique. Not all postures will work for every body. Plus, there's no requirement for teacher training's to cover the special needs of larger bodies. Listen inward just as much as you listen to the teacher.

If you are like me or a bigger person keep in mind that if you’re in a room full of smaller people, you're doing a lot more work than them. For example, in arm balances, I’m lifting at least 75 pounds more than most other people in the room. Don’t give yourself a hard time for respecting the needs and limitations of your body. That’s the real work of yoga.

When I first started I purchased a strap and a block. I had no idea why and no idea how to use them. Now my block is one of the most used items in my gym. I have become so much more flexible that I need the block to hold poses and what it has done is it continues to help increase my flexibility. You can always use straps to make your arms longer or blocks to bring the floor up to you. In lunges, if your hands don’t reach the floor, use blocks. When the trainer guides everyone into a bind and your hands don’t reach each other, grab hold of your shirt or pants to find the twist or stretch. In any situation you encounter, don’t hold back from being creative. Determine the intention behind the posture: is it to build strength or to stretch a certain set of muscles? Figure out a way to make it happen.

Yoga should leave you feeling refreshed and renewed, ready to face the world with clarity and compassion, or at least a little more tolerance and patience. My staff at work can tell the difference in my on yoga days, I am calm and carefree, I have noticed this difference in myself as well.

Yoga is first and foremost a mental practice. The postures provide an opportunity to practice staying present with our physical experience, observing and accepting ourselves in this moment exactly as we are. In the last two years I have been doing my yoga in the darkness with only the television on to provide a little light. This has allowed me to focus on each move and relax.

The process gives us the chance to exert control over our thoughts. For some of us, myself included, the hardest part can be letting go of the constant stream of negativity and self-badgering that wrecks us, taking away our confidence and any sense of ease.

Friday, May 23, 2014

First Week of T25 with My Wife!

On Monday May 19th my wife and I started our first round of T25 together. I had done the first two phases of this program and enjoyed them which is unusual because I am not a cardio junkie. Today was day five of our journey and I have to say it is going very well. My wife has started a few different programs during the course of my journey only to leave me after she became frustrated with herself and/or her inability to press forward. I am very hopeful today because she has had very minimal complaining so far.

Focus T25 is a 25 minute per day workout program that will challenge you as much as you want to challenge yourself. After five days of pushing myself my hip flexors are feeling the progress and I am looking forward to the improvements I/we will make going forward.


I wear a Garmin Heart Rate monitor during all my workouts and T25 shows to be an excellent example of at HIIT workout. HIIT workouts, (high intensity interval training) workouts take your heart rate up and down as you intensify your workouts and rest between bursts of increased activity. For me personally this has shown to be the most effective style of training form me as I seem to burn calories faster and longer after my workouts have been completed. I have mentioned these workouts before as well as Tabata workouts in previous posts on this blog so if you are interested search Tabata or HIIT in the upper left corner.

As far as nutrition goes I have been eating very clean this week so I am expecting that additional payoff when I do my check up on Tuesday morning. I have eaten about 80% Primal this week mostly salads, seeds, nuts and lots of protein, I will need to increase my fat intake this next week and continue to avoid the grains and sugar as well as I did this week.

I actually do not measure myself until after the first week of a program; don’t ask me why I just have always done it this way. I guess I need that first week to squeeze that extra water weight from my body so I am not starting at an inflated number…I am joking of course but I just have always done things this way.


I have really been inspired by my wife’s efforts, there were a few days when I did not think she was going to make it into our garage in the early morning that she was there and ready to go. This makes me want to push that much harder for myself and for her benefit. I need her around in the future so today we need to insure the plan has a chance.   

As always if you have any questions leave a message below or email me at rob@homeplatefitness.com  You can also shop at my store at the above link Shop! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

One Step at a Time

I read this and thought about the will of one person and the desire she had to finish not because of herself but for all the people that came to her mind. It may be an individual sport but it takes the support of all to compete even when you are alone.

Here is the link to the actual article with pictures.

One Step at a Time
By Jessica Van Orden

I arrived in Cozumel on Thursday, Nov. 28, a week after learning I would have no roommate and be racing an Ironman with zero support on site. The flight, shuttle and ferry went smoothly, so I was in good spirits. Friday arrived and I was excited to pick up my bike. It had been two weeks since I’d seen her.
This is about where my luck ended for the weekend. When I picked up my bike, the rear tubular would not hold any air. After inspection by three mechanics, it seemed the valve had separated from the tire and needed to be replaced. Knowing nothing about tubulars and not speaking Spanish, this quickly became a major problem. I spent that afternoon frustrated, looking for a solution. At 5 p.m., I found a third mechanic that was able to replace the tire for a reasonable price. But to add to my problems, I discovered my phone was not charging. Being alone in Mexico became extremely lonely and only very minor, brief communication was possible the rest of the trip.

Saturday morning came and for the second time the practice swim was canceled due to the rough waters. This added to my nervousness. I headed out on a practice ride finally and got caught in another downpour. I returned to the hotel drenched from head to toe. My bag check time was in two hours, so I wrung out my things and packed my bike and run bags. I left my bike shoes in the sun in hopes of drying them slightly before they had to sit in a plastic bag overnight. At 3 p.m., I grabbed the bus to transition, got marked and planned where to eat my early dinner.