Friday, June 8, 2012

Liking what I see.


     Liking what I see. For a short while I struggled staying on top of my healthy lifestyle. I would like to say that I have returned. Hopefully for the best. I have been continuing to look for new things to do with my exercise, new things to eat, and new ways to have my garden. I am getting there. The most important thing to remember is that if you do stumble it is not the end of the world. When you realize that you are not on the right path just pull yourself up and keep going.  If you 

Exercise and Martial Arts

     I hope that I have hit upon a great exercise for hand strengthening. Three weeks ago I started using 8 lb. medicine balls to help strengthen my hands. I have come up with some exercises that seem to work.
     Using the medicine balls I do a combination of the following exercises.
  • Punches - middle punch aiming at the sternum area of the body.  
  • Blocks - these are taken from karate, I mostly am doing upper blocks but have done middle and lower blocks.
  • Kata (patterned movements) - I use some of the kata that I have learned most notably Kihon Kata Ichi . This one has a combination of easy to do punches and blocks.
Typically these techniques take less then ten minutes and as of right now my arms really feel the effects, to the point of barely being able to hang on to the medicine balls. I perform these exercises virtually everyday (with few exceptions). The exercise is not really designed for bulk but rather toning the arms. 

     I am adding a hand strength chart to my favorite likes to the right side of this posting. Every Friday I do test to determine my grip strength.  I do three tests and take the average of the tests and that is what my grip strength is.

Cooking and Eating Healthy

     Wow this week has been the week for new beginnings. Even though I love the taste of nice prepackaged yogurts that you can buy at the store I have decided to take a different path. I grew up on a home made yogurt that would traditionally come from Finland. My dad has long since lost that culture and cannot find any more. What he has been doing is making yogurt from buttermilk. I decided to take on this venture myself. I found that it was rather easy. I have mad two batches this week and love it.
     Making this yogurt is simple and any one can do it. You only need three "ingredients" 

  1. Milk  (scald the milk up to 185 degrees then cool to 90-100 degrees)
  2. Buttermilk
  3. warmth
     I have been making mine in large quantities because I have a fair amount every morning for breakfast. I pour about 3 cups into a 5 qt. glass mixing bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of buttermilk. Mix together. I cover the bowl with a lid, though a plate would work fine too. Now I want to put it in a warm place, but not hot. The bacteria that creates the yogurt does well in a temperature between 90 - 100 degrees. I turn on the oven light, not the oven itself. I find that by having on the light only provides just the right amount of warmth. Let the yogurt sit in the oven overnight and in the morning you have yogurt. Take it out of the oven and eat it warm or chill it for a cool meal.
     You can also add sweeteners and fruit to it. I like to do 1/2 cup of oatmeal (raw), 1/2 cup of chia (pre-soaked), and yogurt. When I have fruit around I also enjoy adding things like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and even bananas. Use you imagination. I would like to caution  you when using honey as a sweetener. It works well and really adds to the flavor. Whatever you do do not put honey in until you are ready to eat it. Honey is a natural anti-bacterial substance. Put it in too early and the honey actually starts to destroy the bacteria that was used to create the yogurt. I did this once and I only had liquid with no thickness.
     When you make this yogurt to do not have to follow these exact quantities in the above recipe. You will get use to working without the need to measure as time goes on. For smaller quantities just use a 1 qt canning jar with a lid. Add milk, then add two tablespoons of buttermilk.  
     I also forgot to mention that when you want to make more just take a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt and add it to another jar of milk and heat. It will keep itself going providing you do not let it get too old.


Gardening

     I cannot say that gardening has been on the top of my mind lately. I have been over-run buy my spinach and kale. I hope to be taming it tomorrow.
     I will also be dropping in a few tomato plants and other seeds this coming weekend. Yes I have a little late start on some of my plants but I will recover.



Saturday, June 2, 2012

It has been a long two weeks since I posted last.


     Welcome back to my page. It has been a  long two weeks since I posted last. That is very unfortunate. In my mind I have concocted several excuses why I have not written for awhile. The reality is that I need to confront the excuses and just say that I have been lazy lately. Wanting to write but lacking the motivation to do so. Worst yet, I have fallen off the wagon with my diet. I think that is what is dragging me down lately. When you let this snowball to get too big is makes recovery difficult and seeming nearly impossible. What I need to do is take this horse by the reigns and get back on the track to success.
     Enough dwelling on the past. I cannot change the past but I can decide to take other paths in my future. There have been positives lately and I just want to highlight just a few seeing that this posting is not going to follow my normal pattern.
     My garden decided to get away from me and is producing kale and spinach faster than I can keep up with. I am looking forward to freezing some this weekend for consumption during the non growing season. Broccoli and cauliflower are making a great comeback and looks like they could provide a plentiful crop. Now to get the rest of the garden growing that good.
     I am also in the process of building a aquaponics system that could allow me to grow several vegetables even in the heart of the Wisconsin winter. More information will follow concerning this within a week or two.
     My exercise is one thing that has remained solid. I have been getting up at 4:00 A.M. and hitting the gym at work. I have been putting in a great hour of exercise every morning. I have seen much improvement. Morning time seems to be the best motivation time for me, since I am a big time morning person. I also took and passed my advancement test for martial arts. I am now right at the halfway mark to becoming a black belt in karate.
     One of the most difficult things that I have had to deal with these last couple of weeks is my diet. More junk in then I really want. I have not made bread lately and the other eating in my opinion has been terrible. This coming week however is the week to reinvent my diet. Not only getting it back on track but my goal is to step it up to the next level. I will get back to baking my bread, but I also have been learning how to make my own yogurt. I am really excited about this.
     This is just a brief message about where I have been lately. Not good but am making the transition back and look to be better then ever. Have a great day and I will see you all soon.




Exercise and Martial Arts




Cooking and Eating Healthy



Gardening




Friday, May 18, 2012

This seems to be a much better pace for me

     This seems to be a much better pace for me. I have sometime to think about what I want to write instead of just  spewing words from my brain hoping that they come out right. Hope everyone that is reading enjoys and learns something from what I am writing,

Exercise and Martial Arts


     Last Friday evening I managed to injure my right leg. I guess that is what comes with the practice of karate. I got smacked with the heel of my opponent just above the knee. Swelling set in fairly quickly and my leg was very sore. Unfortunately I did not listen to the pain in my leg and immediately, Saturday morning managed to get in most of a lower body workout. The problem lies in the fact that my muscles were not performing the way that they should and I really tweaked something in my knee. Still as of today my leg is quite sore and is just finally becoming comfortable to walk on all day. Though I cannot sit for very long because my leg will stiffen up sum and get very restless.
     As of Monday I have suspended my leg exercises with the exception of biking. This low impact exercise has been working well for me. I also have not taken any time off from karate, though I am taking it easy with the kicks and other hard impact techniques. I will not let myself miss this testing day to slip by me. I missed last month and am really wanting to get this test out of the way. Then I figure I have until this fall or winter before I test again.
     My upper body training is progressing very nicely however. I have increased some of my weights and am doing great. I am excited to see the progress that I am making. I will be adding one other exercise to my list. However it will not be one that I can track on the workout log, though I might be able to post results on the log.
     One of the goals that I have set for myself is to increase my hand strength. Early last month I purchase two 8  lb. medicine balls. I will be using them while performing my karate moves. Not only will this strengthen my arms and upper body, it should also be a great way to increase my hand strength. With persistent work I believe that I will see a significant increase in the strength of my grip.

Cooking and Eating Healthy


     It is always good to smell fresh baked bread. In this house I am managing to be known for my bread making skills. I am managing to bake two loaves every 2 to 3 days. We eat a lot of bread. My latest creation is a whole wheat honey bread. This is not a difficult recipe in fact I get my recipe from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book. It is a very simple recipe and I would encourage everyone to try their hand at making some bread.
     There are many ways to prepare the bread. Some people use automatic bread makers which I suppose is great for those in a real big hurry. Others are a little more traditional but they do use a electric mixer to mix the ingredients and to kneed the dough. I choose to prepare my dough with a wooden spoon and my hands. I find that I have better results by doing it this way.
     By doing it by hand allows my to make adjustments to how I am preparing the dough because I know how it should feel. I can notice things like wetness or dryness and its elasticity. These things cannot be accurately measured when done by a mixer. Also, I have noticed that when letting the bread rise I get better results. I find that dough prepared by hand rises better and has a better texture when baked.


Gardening


Cauliflower foreground, broccoli background.
Kale, rabbit chewed but making a come back.

Spinach, loved by rabbits too, but coming back 

Current whole garden, changes coming.


     As promised, pictures of this years garden. I managed to get a real early start on my garden this year. Planted what is pictured above on the last Sunday of winter. Yes, it managed to survive the frosts that we had after they started growing. That was due to some old windows I had in the shed that I laid over the beds. Glad I covered them.
     One of the biggest issues this year have been the many rabbits that have invaded my garden. Almost everything shown above is chewed off by rabbits. I asked people what humane method could be used to keep the rabbits out of my garden, and the answer that I got was, ask Aarica Ann from www.Myediblegardens.com. Low and behold Aarica Ann responded with a very simple answer, blood meal. I had never heard of this and was really interested in trying it out. 
     What makes blood meal so appealing is that the smell keeps rabbits out of the garden. Fortunately my nose does not work so well and it does not keep me out of the garden. Secondly, the blood meal has a high nitrogen content and makes a great fertilizer. I put this stuff on the garden last Tuesday and I have not even seen a rabbit since. Just in the last few days I have noticed that my kale is getting new leaves and so is my spinach. Blood meal, check it out and have a great week.



Friday, May 11, 2012

I have been running off schedule all week on this blog


     I have been running off schedule all week on this blog. Because of that I have decided to only do this once a week, for now. I just have very little time to write. I do want to continue to do this blog because it is a motivator for me to continue on with the things that I really like to do. Please stick with me and I hope that I can provide useful ideas that can be used by those of you reading this. Once again thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Exercise and Martial Arts


     My New Workout Log is listed to the right of this posting. That contains a history of my workouts that I have been doing. As you can see I have transformed my workouts from the very simple to slightly more complex. I am currently doing my upper body and lower body on a alternating day rotation. I also limit myself to 5 sets of each different weight exercise. This helps control how long I need for a quality workout. I am getting up at 4 A.M. and leaving for the exercise room at the hospital where I am employed. I arrive there right at about 4:30 A.M. From there I continue to do a 1 hour workout. At this time I am cramped for time but do complete this entire routine with in that hour. Soon I feel that my work schedule is going to slightly change which then would allow me to have a hour and a half to do a workout and maybe even add a little more to each day.
     Lastly, I do allow for one day sometimes two for resting. At this time I find that weekends work well for resting. Weekends around here seem hard for me to be motivated to exercise so I choose to rest on those days. I hope soon that I can find it within me to exercise on the weekends.

Cooking and Healthy Eating


     I have been experimenting with some different combinations of food. I got some of my ideas from reading various sources and have come up with a  couple great concoctions of my own. The first one involves my yogurt that I eat many days for breakfast. It is yogurt, oatmeal, chia, and fresh fruit. This is how I prepare it. I make it a container that is large enough to hold it all.

      2 - 6 oz. yogurts (flavored works well)
      1/2 cup  uncooked oatmeal
      1/2 cup  chia seeds (pre-soaked)
      complimentary fresh fruit of your choice.

This makes a great fast and easy breakfast that fills me up and is very healthy.

     The other thing I like to do is make a nut mix. This I eat shortly after I workout due to its high protein content. So far what I do is a 3 nut mix, but I hope to expand this soon to possible incorporate other nuts. I will work on those combination later so that it fits my taste well. My protein snack is as follows,

      1/4 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts
      1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (I like the lightly salted kind)
      1 o.z of shelled peanuts

The quantities listed about are representative to 1 serving of each nut. I put these all in a 1 pint canning jar with a plastic lid on it then rotate the jar on its side to mix the nuts together. Makes a great snack.


Gardening


     My garden is coming along great. I have started to pick some of my spinach and kale already. I am having some problems with animals eating my cauliflower and broccoli. I will somehow find a way to end this trend too. The only other problem is keeping the creeping charlie out of my garden. It seems to be invading with great force this year. For now I will keep picking it continuously. 
     I am also going to get my tomatoes and pepper plants in soon. They are growing great on my porch but need to be relocated to bigger containers. I am sill debating putting them in the ground or pots. I like the idea of pots because they can be easily moved. I hope to boarder the edges of my yard with tomato and pepper plants. If I can get these successfully in pots then that frees up valuable garden space for other vegetables that I would like to grow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I just wanted to make a statement concerning my blogging.


I just wanted to make a statement concerning my blogging. May is a new month and I hope to get off to a great start. As I have stated before I intend on posting three times a week. I hope to have content concerning the headings that are listed below. I have decided to add one more heading and that will be gardening. In order to provide useful and accurate information I may choose to skip a topic from time to time or even skip a day posting all together. I will be making my links available via Twitter and Google+. I might even someday expand this link posting into Facebook, but I will be holding off on that one for now.

Also with my new surge in providing quality posting I want to add video to my blogging. This I am still figuring out the best way to provide the best quality video and information. I will be hopefully adding this format soon. Oh and sorry about the bland text laden posting. More color and pictures will follow on following postings.

Exercise and Martial Arts


I have made some changes to my exercise routine. You will see a link to the right of this posting for my workout log. In the past I did mostly biking, pull-ups and sit-ups for my workout. Now I have changed the routine to work my legs and lower body one day, the upper body and arms the other. I will rotate every other day and will be working breaks into my week, most likely on the weekends. However the weekends will not be totally silent. I will be working to hone my karate every day of the week. Speaking of karate I will be testing for my next belt on May 28th. This will be the half way point to achieving my black belt. 

Cooking and Healthy Eating


After being on vacation for the last two weeks I need to work on be working on getting back to my diet. I would have to say that vacations are hard in keeping to healthy eating. Next time I hope to be better prepared, then maybe I will be successful. I did leave the bad food behind and have gotten on with the program again. My wife has stalked my refrigerator with lettuce, spinach, and a fairly large collection of fruits. I have assorted nuts and seeds in the pantry so I think that I am ready.


Gardening

I have managed to keep my garden from freezing during this unusual spring weather. I will be posting more pictures soon. At this time I do have a large assortment of tomato and pepper plants. I would love to grow them as hanging plants but am yet trying to discover the best way of going about it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Since the first week of spring my broccoli, cauliflower, kale and spinach has been growing in my garden. I noticed that the rabbits are just as interested in the kale as I am but I will get them out of there.

I hope that this weekend is good for gardening. I would like to finish planting it now that it is May. I plan on planting carrots, radishes, beans and possibly peas. I also would like to get the tomatoes and peppers into pots or to plant them in the ground this weekend.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

April has not been a good writing month for me

Well everyone, April has not been a good writing month for me. Great for the workouts. Great for eating healthy and my gardening. Just not for writing. So here is what I am proposing. I will be taking a couple of weeks off and to regroup and come up with ways of insuring I can be posting like I want to. So I am going to call April a wash and look forward to May. Another big reason is that I will be without plentiful internet connection for a couple of weeks. Should be around here and there when possible but will be very limited in the online scene. I just am looking for some relaxing and much needed downtime. Enjoy April and I will see you again in May.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Proteins Does the Body Good

Exercise and Martial Arts


I really do not have too much to report on the exercise level today. I have been putting considerable time into researching my protein intake. I am continuing to use two 8 lb medicine balls for hand strength training. I am also using them at the same time to build and tone muscles in the upper body. I have been doing karate punches and blocks using these balls. This helps by making me exaggerate my movements and really pay attention to my form. At this time my fingers seem to be loosing strength but I feel that this is due to the rebuilding and tiring of the muscles. Soon however this should be turning around and I should be seeing positive gains.

Cooking and Healthy Eating


     Despite my best efforts I have continued to loose weight, which in most situations would be viewed as a plus. However in my cases not so. A year and a half ago I was reigning in at a solid 202 lbs. Since then I have managed to get down to 182 lbs average. Ten of those pounds came off since January. Why? I changed the way I eat. The problem that I face now is loosing too much weight. So what am I doing wrong?

     I seemed to be doing everything right. I eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds. I could not find anything that I was lacking, until I looked at my diet closer. What I found is that there was a lacking in my protein intake. Since I have a high activity level I find that I am burning off more fat than I am "building" muscle. In order not to wither away one must consume the proper amount of protein to allow muscle growth.

     Searching for some formula that I could use to calculate what I needed to consume in terms of protein. I feel that I did find that. Through a web search I was able to find a formula from the AHA that can be used to calculate needed protein. The formula is as follows.

Weight in pounds / 2.2 = conversion from pounds to kg

kg * .8  though 1.8 = grams / kg of protien

     The range of .8 though 1.8 is used and adjusted according your activity level. .8 is used by someone that has a fairly inactive life style. 1.8 is used for those that are highly active such as one who is a body builder or someone who pushes themselves at that leave of workouts.

     For a example I can calculate my protein needs using this formula as listed below.

182 lbs / 2.2 = 82.73 kg

82.73 kg x 1.8 = 148.91 g of protein.

     I will be using this formula and following closely my protein intake. Over the next few months I will be following this formula to see how much growth I obtain.


     Thank you for stopping by and seeing what I have here. Please feel free to leave comments and to follow me if so desired.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Today is a wonderful day.

Today is a wonderful day.

Exercise and Martial Arts


Today I added a "New Workout Log" to my links to the right of this posting. I have decided to do away with the old style that I had been using. The reason for this change is I hope that everyone can follow my workouts much easier. One of the benefits of the old spreadsheet was that I felt that it was easy to follow the progress each day. I think though that the new sheets are better at displaying how my workouts are set up. As you will see each exercise is listed on the left side of the sheet and across the sheet is the number of set that I perform each day. At the right side of the graph is a total of reps that are done for each day.

Another thing that I have managed to do is to start working on my hand strength. I purchased two 8 pound medicine balls. These are designed to allow for strengthening of my grip. I will be using them to perform may kata for my karate training. These take the place of the traditional jars that are used in strength training in Japan.    I will use them to practice punches and blocks also. This allows not only to strengthen my grip but also my arm strength. By using kata I feel that the different movements will use muscles in ways that they would normally not be used. Possibly even uses muscles that I have not normally been targeting for my workouts.

Cooking and Healthy Eating


I have been well on track with my eating habits. In fact last week I was able to reach a weight that I have not see for many years. Now one has to understand that I am not trying to loose weight. In fact I believe that it would be better if I gained a little more weight. At this point though I am pushing very hard not to compromise my eating habits that I have been forming over the last couple of months.

Along with the chia seeds that I have been eating along with fruit and yogurt I have been adding more protein and calories to my diet. I managed to fit in more things like whole grain bread with peanut butter. I also eat several fruits that are not part of my breakfast diet. I eat healthy portions of oranges, apples and bananas. Most evenings I also squeeze in a large bowl or two of cereals. Not the sugary types that I use to eat buy more of the plain cereals. Eating 4 to 5 times daily still is not allowing me to gain weight and instead I am loosing weight. I have also noticed that my muscles are getting much more toned and I feel that I am getting in the best shape of my life. With that said, since muscle weighs more than the fat I am realizing that the fat is coming off faster than what would be expected. This I am attributing sole to my diet.


News


I am putting the final plans on creating videos for my blog. I still am not sure how much this is going to affect my writing. I have thought of just doing videos for my blog and forget the writing. On the other hand I feel that might be a mistake. I would like have both side by side. Some readers will want to read the blog and watch the videos. Others will skim the text and only pick out what they feel is important to them. Yet others might just focus on the videos and forget the text.

My plans for the videos are to do short ones that are maybe two to five minutes long. That way they can be categorized according to different topic instead of making people watch them all the way through to find the information that they want.

Any feed back concerning anything discussed on today's posting is welcome. Your input is welcome in my developing a blog that best fits your needs. Have a wonderful week and until next time take care and enjoy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

This week has been extremely busy sorry that I have not been here like I want to. Some one has to pay the bills though. Now if someone is willing to pay me to write and exercise that is a different story.

Exercise and Martial Arts


This week has been amazing for my workouts. I have started a new format for doing my pull-ups. I do both overhand and underhand pull-ups. The difference is that I have started using a pyramid for my reps. That means  can be see below.

Rep 1    10 pull-ups
Rep 2      9 pull-ups
Rep 3      8 pull-ups
Rep 4      7 pull-ups
Rep 5      6 pull-ups
Rep 6      5 pull-ups
Rep 7      4 pull-ups
Rep 8      3 pull-ups
Rep 9      2 pull-ups
Rep 10    1 pull-up

I base this on 10 reps with 30 seconds to 1 minute in between each rep. There are some variations however.Currently I cannot do all 10 reps. My first rep is as many as I can do. So lets say my first rep is 8. Then I proceed from 8 on down. That is until I can do a full ten reps.  For example.

Rep 1      8 pull-ups
Rep 2      7 pull-ups
Rep 3      6 pull-ups
Rep 4      5 pull-ups
Rep 5      4 pull-ups
Rep 6      3 pull-ups
Rep 7      2 pull-ups
Rep 8      1 pull-up

Let's just say that I get to rep 6 and can do 4 reps there. I will continue to do 8 reps total but just adds a few more pull-ups to the routine. As demonstrated below.


Rep 1      8 pull-ups
Rep 2      7 pull-ups
Rep 3      6 pull-ups
Rep 4      5 pull-ups
Rep 5      4 pull-ups
Rep 6      4 pull-ups
Rep 7      3 pull-ups
Rep 8      2 pull-ups

When I can do a full ten reps I will be doing a total of 55 pull-ups. But where Do I go from there? I continue to do 10 reps just add 1 more pull-up to each rep.


Rep 1    11 pull-ups
Rep 2    10 pull-ups
Rep 3      9 pull-ups
Rep 4      8 pull-ups
Rep 5      7 pull-ups
Rep 6      6 pull-ups
Rep 7      5 pull-ups
Rep 8      4 pull-ups
Rep 9      3 pull-ups
Rep 10    2 pull-up

Using this method of training today I did 33 overhand pull-ups and 40 underhand pull-ups for a total of 73 pull-ups. WOW! Never had that strength before. The other variable that I use is that my pull-up bar is not fixed. I swings on a chain and that adds a whole new variable to the workout, movement. They are much harder to do an a swinging bar. Try this method of doing your reps. You will find that you can do more than you thought you could. I think that I will also start using this method for my push-ups too. They seem to be lacking lately.

Cooking and Eating Healthy


My eating has been going great. I am loosing weight rapidly and I am not a person who needs to loose weight. In the last two weeks I have gone from 186 lbs to 181 lbs. This can be attributed to my exercise, but mostly due to the change of my eating habits.

Everyday I have start the day with chia seeds and fruit or yogurt. I have a sandwich for lunch usually peanut butter on whole grain bread. I have managed to add tuna and egg salad some days. This is going great. I am noticeably adding muscle but continue to loose weight. That means that I am loosing more fat weight than I am gaining from muscle weight.

For any one that is wondering I do eat healthy meals. Typically I eat 4 to 5 times a day. The meals are not small either. So I am adding a lot of calories. I also diversify with fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins. I hope to soon post a example of a days worth of eating for me.

I hope everyone enjoys this blog. Sorry for the long time off  but I needed it. Hope to be back regularly for now. Healthy eating everyone.



Friday, March 23, 2012

Sorry about the lack of postings this week. Been rough week with work and the home front. Hope to be back soon and will let you know. Hopefully Monday.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Exercise and Martial Arts


Will be heading off to karate class in just a little bit.  There are several students that will be attending a tournament in Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday. I opted not to go this time but am looking forward to a time when I can go. What needs to be done is sparing just to ensure that everyone is ready of competing. Hope they all do well.

I have maintained a great work out schedule this week. I have also inspired others to take up some different exercise routines that the never thought of. One of the things that some of the guys at work are doing is using my pull-up bar.

This bar is not a fixed bar but rather handing from a chain. I challenge you to try it someday. You will find that it is more difficult to perform these exercises because of the movement of the bar. In fact I am able to do twice as many pull-ups on a fixed bar than a swinging one.

Also when doing pull-ups ensure that you keep your feet off of the ground and straighten your arms all of the way when at the bottom of the pull-up. This really works the arms. If you cannot do pull-ups with out touching the floor that is OK too. Either lower the bar so that you can push off of the ground or have a friend spot you until you can do at least one. In the army boot camp we would have to do I think twenty pull-ups before every meal. Those who struggled to do them had assistance form the person behind them in line. While hanging form the bar the assisting person would approach from behind and place their hands on the waist of the person on the bar. Then he would help lift that individual until all pull-ups were done.

Have problems with exercises, find a partner to train with. They can help you with the difficult exercises and motivate you when you need the motivation. Have a great weekend. Train safely and hard.


Cooking and Healthy Eating


So what is all the hype about kale? Why is it suppose to be good for you? I have plans of planting kale in my garden this year. I must know that I am making a wise decision because I will be planting a considerable amount that will last me for quite awhile. Since it will take up considerable space then I had better be sure.

I am finding that I should be considering to plant kale soon. This plant grows the best in cool weather. So far this spring we find ourselves, here in Wisconsin with warmer than usual temperatures. I think that it will be fine plant this weekend, unless the weather decides to change into something too wet and cold. I think that the ground is too warm for there to be any danger of it freezing.

So what about kale? What are the benefits of eating it? I have visited many sites that talk about kale and have found interesting information. One of the sites that I have visited is http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/kale.html. Here they talk about kale being packed with many vitamins including

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
It is also packed with iron and anti-oxidants that help to fight cancer. It has proteins and other great nutrients. I highly recommend growing or at least buying fresh organic kale to add to your diner plate. 

Which kale is the best? That is to be determined by the consumers palette. I understand that the sweeter kale is the Scottish kale. That looks like what will be heading into my garden.

I hope you all take the time and consider kale when planning your meals and when planting your gardens. Find out what are the best growing conditions and grow some. While it is growing take the time to investigate several different recipes for preparing it. The best and most nutritious thing to do is eat it raw. Find good recipes and enjoy. Hopefully over time I can come up with ideas for preparing it that will be good tasting.   

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We have made it half way through the work week and I hope everyone's energy is running high.

Exercise and Martial Arts


Even though this has been a very stressful and busy week I have maintained for the most part my exercise routine. Looking back on the log sheet that I have been keeping I realize that I have been skipping my push-ups. I usually do those in the evening. That makes it more difficult because once I am at home my body goes into a relaxation mode and I forget about the exercising. I am really struggling to break free from this thought process.

I want to briefly discuss developing upper body strength, specifically arm strength. As you probably have noticed, I utilize a few techniques. They are triceps push downs, push-ups, and pull-ups both overhand and underhand. I want to focus on pull-ups. Most people are use to doing pull-ups on a nice level solid bar. I want to challenge you to change that way of thinking. I have constructed a pull-up bar that I use at work. This consists of hanging a bar form a chain. Mine uses and chain hoist that I can adjust to the proper height to better fit the user. I am considering modifying my design to have a chain attached to both ends of the bar. That will still allow for movement in the bar but not have the chain getting in the way of my face. Try using a bar that moves and you will realize that it takes far more strength to accomplish the pull-ups and that you can not do as many as you would with a solid, stationary bar. Maybe even less than half of what you were doing. This movement allows for the use of various other muscles that normally would not be used. That give the arms a much better workout. Give this a try and let me know how it works for you.

Remember that by exercising you not only strengthen the body but also the mind. It is a great stress reliever for the day. Whether you work out in the morning, through out the day, or even at the end of the day, working out helps relieve the stress from the day. I spread my workouts throughout the day. I feel that I am releasing stress at just the right times of the day to help keep my mind focused on the task at hand. Have a great day and keep the workouts energized.


Cooking and Healthy Eating


I have been talking now about some of the super foods that are out there that give us a lot of vitamins and mineral. Hopefully some of you are progressing toward the fruits and vegetables. This will help provide the energy that is needed to make it through the day. Also by eating these types of foods you need less other supplements that are packed with vitamins and minerals but also packed with binders which is used in the pill making process.  How good are those binders anyway? Can we do with out them? Yes.

I want to move onto another topic. This is especially important for those whose are not meat eaters, protein. How are we going to get enough protein in our diet. One way is to eat meat. Meat is high in protein. What I do not like about meat is that there is a considerable amount of time wasted in preparing it. Smells good and tastes great but with our busy lives are there quicker alternatives?

For some time now I have been wanting to find foods that are high in protein that are easy for me to take to work. I don't have a lot of time to prepare it and do not have the facilities to cook a good steak for lunch. I have I high energy workout around noon everyday and would like to have a high protein meal shortly after that workout. I have been scouring the internet looking for solutions to this issue. Here is what I am finding.

Now I am not going to list every food that I have found on every website, but rather highlight some of them that I find most important.
  • From http://www.livestrong.com I feel that the best of these foods are nuts and seeds. Things like peanuts, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds are to on my list. Eating the seeds whole is great, also as with peanuts, just take a spoonful of natural peanut butter and eat it off of a spoon that. I like to do that and I find that my kids are doing that also. Great for everyone.
  • Also from http://www.livestrong.com I am glad to see that sprouts are listed. Things like soybean and wheat sprouts are very healthy and have considerable protein.
  • I have also visited another site that has another one that I am currently working into my diet, kale. I am getting this information off of the http://www.365daysofkale.com website. I have known that this packs a great amount of protein and I have also heard that some body builders use kale as their source of protein, but I have not officially been able to confirm that fact.
So I am suggesting that you add these high protein items to your diet. These will work in conjunction with the fruits and vegetables that you are currently eating. These things will help rid your body of the toxins that we consume in our food as they have been commercially processed.

Oh and one last thing, please remember to eat your chia seeds. During my first week eating them, along with fruit, I lost 3 pounds and I am not a person that needs to loose weight.


Monday, March 12, 2012

I would like to apologize for not posting last Friday. There was so much going on that I did not have a chance to finish the posting. My goal is to provide a meaningful posting 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I will attempt to keep this schedule the best I can.

Exercise and Martial Arts


I have been working hard at achieving my exercise goals. I still have trouble with working out on the weekends. The bad part is I have convinced myself that I need the weekends for resting. I will be striving to overcome this attitude. Negative attitudes eventually tear down progress.

I have been logging my progress on my Daily Workout Log just to the right of this posting. I am looking forward to running soon and the weather seems to be co-operating with that idea. Now I just need to get off of my lazy but and do it.






Cooking and Healthy Eating


This week has been great. I have begun the process of watching what I put onto my body. Last week I went shopping and purchased chia seed, various fruits and vegetables. My breakfasts this last week was a mix of blueberries, strawberries and grapes topped with two gravy ladles of soaked chia seeds. That has proven to be a wonderful blend of flavors.

For lunches I managed to have tomato bisque that I made using a recipe off of http://www.blytheraw.com/. I made so minor changes to the recipe to accommodate my ingredients. I look forward to making it again. As a note I did have the tomato bisque everyday this week except Wednesday, that was when food was provided at work.

Now just to look back at the chia seeds for a minute. They are slightly different then what I was expecting. I believe that I was well prepared for them. Did my research and followed the preparation of the seeds as I had learned. Even with all of that said I found its consistency interesting.

To prepare the chia seeds, I added 1/4 cup of chia seeds to 2 cups of water. They were allowed to soak overnight, which came out to about 12 hours. I find that as the week goes on the mixture gets thicker and thicker. This does not appear to be a issue.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A new format for this blog is in order.

I am introducing a new order for this blog. I am finding that there are two different groups of people who like my postings. I have my exercise/martial arts and my cooking/healthy eating groups. So what I am proposing is to Create two different areas of the same posting. Format will be as follows.

Exercise and Martial Arts


Cooking and Healthy Eating


News


I have also struggled to keep posting everyday. With my full time job that can be a challenge. I want to put in more information concerning both topics and make sure a quality job is done. That means I plan on posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. This will give me the time I need to research each topic and make sure there are good photos included. I also plan on, though not instantly, adding video. 

I hope to start this new format on Friday. Please check in Friday evening. I will be posting a link via Google+ and Twitter. Hope to see you all.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My life is turning healthier!

My life is turning healthier! This is a very exciting point for me to be at. I have just been to the store to purchase healthy foods that I will be taking with me for my lunches this week. I think that will be the healthiest week for me in a long time. I have purchased a variety of fruits and vegetables. They will be used for a couple of types of meals that I am learning to make.

Today I will be making Tomato Bisque. This is from a recipe that was found at http://www.blytheraw.com/. The other thing that I will be focusing on is adding Chia seeds to my diet. They are very healthy and are part of the seven super foods that are also outlined at http://www.blytheraw.com/. This is my first time with Chia seeds so I will not be eating any before tomorrow morning because the need to soak the seeds which I will let sit for 12 to 14 hours. They will be a great addition to the fruit that I will have for breakfast.

The other thing that I have been doing is increasing my exercise routines. I am doing such a variety of exercises that work on my entire body. I have been focusing on sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups (both over and underhand). I have also enjoyed much success with my biking. My focus on exercise can be seen by viewing "Daily Workout Routine" located to the right of this posting.

I started this blog in December of 2011. I have hit a few interesting milestones since then. During the month of February I had 103 visitor so bringing my all time total up to 280 visitors since my blog started. The other thing that I find exciting is that I had 20 visitors just yesterday, which is my all time high for a single day. I want to thank everyone that is reading and hope that you continue and that you encourage others to visit this site.

Take care until we meet again and keep smiling.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This has been a incredible journey!

This weeks healthy eating.
This has been a incredible journey! I would have never expected to get this far in such a short time. As of today I have had this blog since December 18th, 2011. What is incredible is that since my start I managed to have this blog read 251 times. With just one day left before the end of February I have had 97 readers this month. I feel that it would be great to reach 100 readers this month.

I feel that I have had a great day. At work I was striving to use the stairs as much as possible. I also was able to fulfill my exercise obligations. The only thing that was lacking was my pull-ups. The rest I have achieved with great success.

I also managed to go out this evening and do some grocery shopping for myself. I was able to buy a variety of fruits and vegetables for me to take to work with me for lunches. This is a big leap for me. I hope to get disciplined enough to be able to continue on with this plan. I am now looking for chia seeds. I can add them to so many things and there is some much benefit from eating them. I will be shopping for them online, or at least figuring out where to buy some locally.

That is all there is for now. Hope you enjoy and please keep coming back.

Monday, February 27, 2012

There is always so much learning to do.

There is always so much learning to do. But with each new thing learned I have the ability to improve myself. I have been continuing on with my hunger to exercise. I have added things but do so in moderation as to not injure myself. I have backed off on my biking  for now. I still do bike 30 minutes a day with the rare exception and weekends. Once I can bike outside I will hope to even do so on the weekends.

There is also the other exercises that I perform. I am doing sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups. This will help to improve my upper body strength that has always been on the weaker side. I have also started another exercise that I am not sure what it is called. Once I figure that out then I will add it to the list that i am doing. Just as a reminder my workout log is located on the right side of this posting. It is with other links that I feel are important

I have also been busy educating myself in the area of food. I am looking at introducing more raw foods into my diet. It will be difficult since I live with very diverse eaters in this house. I even have my wife who does not eat vegetables of any sort. That makes it hard to but not impossible for a raw diet. I will accomplish this but have to take it slowly.

I am also looking to limit my use of plastics in my everyday life. This is also a challenge but I am making some progress. I have started using more glass containers for storing leftovers and for taking food to work. The next thing I want to do is convince my wife to use the cloth bags when shopping to help eliminate excess garbage and harm to the planet.

This week I am planting my first seeds for my garden. This might seem early but must start the tomatoes and pepper plants. I hope to get a better start this year then I did last year. I am also hoping to add a few other things to my garden to help with my wanting to have a raw diet. What I need to do is figure out what I want to do for planting. I currently am using the raised bed method. It has worked well for me for the last couple of years. I will be searching out other space. I am considering using some type of planters.

Thank you for stopping by. I know that I have not been here as regularly as I want to. I will continue to post and let you know how things are going.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Busy week but still time for a workout.

Busy week but still time for a workout. I have managed to work non-stop at my "real" job all week. It was one thing after another. Through it all I found the time to workout. I rode the bike everyday. Not necessarily for a half hour each time but got on the bike everyday. Also this week I started doing regular sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups. Not doing too  many of each but am working into it. Little at a time will have big rewards in the future.
If you want to check out my workout log just use the link to the right side of this posting.

I also had a wonderful week online. I was involved in a great chat on twitter a #eathealthy. The topics are great. Last night the topic was technology and health. Discussion was focused on GMO. A few nights ago I even participated in a webinar with Beachbody. Looks real interesting.

As I said real busy week. Will be concluding the week with my Friday night karate class. That gives me a hour of workout. I do enjoy it.

Glad to have everyone here. Hope you enjoy the information. See you soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I have only one goal in life.

I have only one goal in life. That is to live a life of  honor. How can honor be defined. Honor mingles with respect for ones God, ones family, ones teacher ones friends and ones life. Honor speaks of good and always carries with it ones word.

How far must a person go to better himself? In the world of today we do not live in time of the need to prove oneself with fighting. Nor should we be living in a world where one person is more important than that of another. We are all different. We are all unique. Varying backgrounds gives a sense of "color to this world. I do not want to be judged because I thought that I was better or more valuable than another person. I want to be judged by how I respected members of the human race.

I strive to be the best person that I possibly can, both physically and mentally. I must train like I have never trained before. Why should one train to the extreme limits? Because then that person knows how much he can endure. How far he can be pushed and not fall. That is who I strive to be. I have do this with my biking. I know  what limits I can push myself to and continue to complete the task at hand.

What I strive to find is spoken about in many countries. A small example of what I strive for is Chi, Ki , and yes even Sisu. Please follow my workout log and watch me improve and become the best I can be.

This is just my thoughts for tonight. Enjoy!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

While I am taking a break from the workouts.

While I am taking a break from the workouts.  I am today continuing on with the idea of eating healthy. I should have taken my own advice and refrained from eating the lunch I made for the rest of the family. I had to eat it disregarding the fact that I have food allergies. Thus the reason for now working out today.


One thing that I managed to do today was continued creating my healthy eating habits. I made jello and divided it up into small canning jars. This eliminates the need to purchase jello in plastic containers or put homemade jello into plastic. This also allows for easy transport to work and easy for the kids to grab a container for eating.

I hope to expand on this as time goes on. I will be collecting more jars and creating more grab and go lunches in glass jars. This can be done for various food. I can put not only jello but also fruits and vegetables in jars. In my house I use 3 different sizes of canning jars that all use the same size lids. That way I do not have to have a large selection of lids. Lastly, the other use that I have come up with for the jars is to put my left over food from  meals. This works well. Not only is it safer to use the glass but also easily allows for me to see what is in the refrigerator. I hope that this information is useful and that you can learn form things that I have been experimenting with.

Thank you for stopping by. Eat healthy and exercise regularly.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Let us talk about something other than exercise.


Let us talk about something other than exercise. I did not get in any exercise today. Things sometimes happen that you do not have control of. But what can we control? We can control what we put into our bodies. There are many chemicals that are in our foods or in the food packaging that we should not be ingesting.

Plastics are just one of those things that are everywhere in our lives. How much affect they have on our health we may never know. What is interesting is that there is such a rise in diseases in the past decades. I cannot say that plastic is solely responsible but it definitely does not help.  The above picture is just the start to my attempt to getting rid of plastic. I hope to one day be completely plastic free.

I have been beginning to push for healthy eating. I for the first time participated in at #eathealthy chat on twitter last night. I also have been watching and following Blyhte Metz who is very knowledgeable in healthy lifestyles. I will one day get there. In fact today's video from http://www.blytheraw.com/ talks about plastics. Her shows are always informative.

Thank you everyone for stopping by my blog. Should be back to the exercise but look forward to adding fun food ideas and healthy eating information.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It has been a long day.

It has been a long day. This is not good. I have been using that excuse too much lately. Up at 4:00 a.m. this morning. Started work a hour early today. Yet through it all I made it to the exercise room at work for my biking. Yes! 11.00 miles. Not as good as yesterday? Nope better.

 I increase the resistance on the bike by one from 11 to 12. I know that I was not going to do that for another week or two but I felt that after the ride yesterday I needed more of a challenge. Much harder and must push harder to keep the RPM's up there. Was flying at about 103 RPM average.

The good news is that I am dusting off my tripod and video camera. Getting ready to enhance this blog with the posting of ...yes VIDEOS. Cannot wait! I hope to have some very soon. To start out they will be very simple. Possibly just showing an exercise or two that I do. As time goes on and my comfort level in front of the camera gets better I would like to make better and better videos. Please keep tuned in for them.

Back at it tomorrow. With my exercises. Will be keeping the bike at level 12 and pushing the legs. Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day everyone.

Happy Valentines Day everyone. This has been one busy day. Not much time to my self or much time to support my training.

I did however achieve another record today. I managed to bike for a half of an hour today and covered 11.60 miles. Now I understand that this was done in the gym with no wind resistance. I feel that it was a good ride anyway. I cannot wait for summer to show up. I am anxious to get a road bike and feel the wind on my face.

I will am extremely happy for the progress that I have made this year. With the added exercises I hope that I can keep pushing for success. I will be back at the bike tomorrow. I am also looking forward to also continue my push-ups and sit-ups.  Cannot wait.

Tomorrow also marks the halfway point in the week. I am excited. Yes tomorrow will be once again busy but that is what comes along with having a job. I also am excited to get the exercise. I will let you know tomorrow how the day is going. I also have exciting things to look forward to this week.  Please stay tuned.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I am feeling great!

I am feeling great! Had a wonderful workout this just a little while ago. It was not much more than a few sit-ups and push-ups but it was great! This is the second day for this additional workout and I feel good. Arms are feeling slightly weakened but I will survive.

If you do want to follow my progress with my workouts the please follow the link that is to the right of this posting. I will continue to update this link with my workout data so that all of you can follow my progress.

I have mad great progress lately and I feel good about this. Arms are sore and I am enjoying it. Hope to add my running again in the next few days. What I do what I want to do is take it slowly so that I do not overload myself so that I do not burn out. However I have a limited amount of time to fully implement my full routines. In April I will be traveling to Florida with my family. I want to be running before that. I could not do much better than running when at Disney World or even running on the beach along the Gulf coast. That would be great. I am stepping up my workouts to accomplish this goal. I want to be running before long. Please stay tuned for further updates.

As a side note. This picture was taken today. The temp was just under 30F. To be a warrior that has the ability to handle any thing that is thrown at them then this should be a normal part of life. Take care all.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I just noticed that I have been lacking postings.

I just noticed that I have been lacking postings. I would like to announce that I have started doing more for my workouts. Still have not taken to running or biking on the weekends...yet. However I have started with the sit-ups and push-ups. Today I set a timer for 10 minute and did as many push-ups that I could do in that time. I was able to push out 50. Then I did the same for sit-ups and there I was able to do 150. That is great. Now over time I will continue to use the 10 minute rule and keep increasing the numbers.

That also is the same theory that I use for biking. I set the biking time (stationary bike) for 30 minutes and crank out as many miles as I can in that time. Yesterday I was able to achieve my record since starting in January, 11.38 miles. That feels great to get to that point.

If you notice to the right of this post you will find some links there. These are links to pages that I have interest in. Also I have added a link to my workout spreadsheet that I will be tracking my workouts on. This will help me keep track of what I do and how my progress is. We will be able to look back at the history and see where I was and where I am. Hope you all like it.