Monday, August 31, 2009

home made eats

As promised, here are some things I've been cooking up in the kitchen...

I have this new habit... when I'm in a restaurant and I like what I'm eating, I'll go online and look up the recipe. Depending on how complicated the recipe is, I'll give it whirl. This is my attempt at the firecracker pork from Fuzio. It's a dish that begins with some pasta (wheat in my version) topped with a seasoned, slow-cooked pork, habanero cilantro pesto, and sour cream.

I had a bunch of leftover produce from the farmer's market, so I whipped up this concoction with cherry heirloom tomatoes (I literally had about 10 pieces, which is why you can't see them in the photo), spinach, and crimini mushrooms tossed in parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. I then took this mixture, wrapped it in phyllo dough and baked it.

This is the finished product. It's pretty yummy and reminds me of the spinach piadini from Starbucks. I've been having it for breakfast so that I can get my veggies bright and early. For you lumpia lovers, this is a decent substitute. (Okay. Nothing replaces the goodness of fried food. But this works in a healthy pinch.)

In college I developed this gift for making cheap food look good. After watching the silly film The Ramen Girl, I had this terrible craving for ramen. The only ramen joints I know are in San Francisco and Berkeley. Since I was too lazy to drive out there, I just went to the local grocery store and worked my ramen magic. Here is my makeshift ramen with shrimp, mushrooms, and spinach. (Apologies for the smoky finish. It was fresh off the stove when I took this photo.) It's not as yummy as the stuff in San Francisco and Berkeley, but it works in a pinch!

Run 800 meters

CrossFit One World WOD
Back Squat 5/5/5/5/5
Joanne's Final Weight: 115/125/135/145/155

Notes (to myself) about this workout: First off, I just want to say thanks to Bradass for helping me with today's WOD. (Yes. That's him in the photo wearing two pink ribbons.) Even BIGGER THANKS for finding my yoga strap. You totally rock. (Boo to Freddy for throwing it out in the first place!) It was a rest day and time trials are tomorrow. This is why I did the back squat WOD. I pr'd my last max by two pounds. The next time I do this I need to start at 125#-135#. At 155# I felt good and still didn't need a spotter. This tells me that I had way more weight in me. But time was running out and all I cared about was beating my last max, which I did. Next time I do this I'd like to reach the 160-170# range.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

bad girl!

A while back I had a doughnut craving. This is what happens when this fathlete has a doughnut craving... two stores and six doughnuts later. Apparently, chocolate French crullers are the hardest freakin' doughnut to find! When I finally found one, it was the LAST one! To add insult to injury, it wasn't even that good. Bleh. FYI - I didn't eat ALL these doughnuts. I gave the rest to my sister and her family. This is exactly why I'd be a failed paleo dieter. I'm trying to make some transitions. For example, I'm slowly transitioning into non dairy. I'm trying to fight the baked goods. The goods are winning, but I'm trying too fight the good fight...

A few weeks ago I mentioned a Time magazine article and the hoo-ha surrounding it. Big thanks to Margaret for sending me this article from the SF Chronicle. It's another rebuttal to Time.

Run 1.1 miles

CrossFit One World WOD
Rest day. Worked on overhead squats with my new wrist straps. Helped Settie and Eric with the "Death by Ten Meters" WOD. I ended the night with some pull-up work.

Notes (to myself) about this workout: This was a rest day, so I decided to take it light. I still suck at the overhead squats, but I can see how the straps are helpful. They're brand spankin' new and I give big thanks to Raz for ordering them for me. I learned the hard way that I need to wash then first because they have a funky "brand new" smell to them. It's like gross glue or something. Anyway...

Earlier this year I was hoping to get a kipping pull-up by the end of the calendar year. I may have to switch that to the end of the school year to buy me some time. It's a really tough movement for me and I hate them so much that I just don't work on them. I've decided to work on the kipping pull-up in three phases: the hang, the swing, the pull. Right now I'm at the hang. Hanging from the bar is just f--kin' uncomfortable. Settie timed how long I could hang for. My max was 28 seconds. It doesn't seem like a lot, but you're talkin' to a gal who could barely hold on for three seconds a few months ago. Once I can hang for a whole three 1-minute rounds (semi) comfortably, I'll move on to the swing. When I can get three sets of ten swings, I'll move on to the pull. From there, I'll work on the other kinks that go with the kipping pull-up. Again, it will take time. I swear I'm gonna get that damn b--ch!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

another passing

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that facebook is the source of all my current events. I just have a lot on my plate and am lazy. There. I admitted it. Late last night I was scrolling through FB when a friend posted the story about Ted Kennedy's death. So sad. Admittedly, I'm as fascinated by the Kennedy clan as I am with the Marcos and Aquino legacies of the Philippines. Seriously. When Cory passed, I spent the next few days glued to the internet scouting stories and archival video footage. A part of me mourned like I had never imagined a person could mourn for someone she didn't know. I think that mourning came as a harsh reminder for myself and activists all over the world who are concerned about Philippine politics. For better and for worse, I am proud of what Philippine history has to offer with respect to struggle, resistance, and the fight for basic human freedom. Cory's passing reminded me of this. However, there is so much more work to do. My dear friend Nerissa posted this photo on her FB. It was taken in 1983, shortly after her husband Ninoy Aquino was assassinated. As Nerissa describes, this photo illustrates Cory's eloquence, poise, and sadness at a time of tragic loss and when her country needed her the most. I'm most inspired by her address to the U.S. Congress. (You can find it in three parts here, here, and here.)

Now we have the passing of Ted Kennedy. Again, I don't believe in idolatry. But I do believe in paying proper respect. So here it is. My sincerest condolences to those who mourn the loss of "The Lion of the Senate."

Finally, my sincerest apologies for all the heavy stuff. In more fathlete news, here's a New York Times article about 101 salad ideas. Also, here's a story about the Whole Foods boycott. Interesting! Finally, CrossFit Santa Clara posted this site called This is Why You're Fat. Some of the food on there is just... um. just go look for yourself please. Thanks!

In a much lighter note, here's a clip that just cracks me up! Enjoy!

Run 1.1 miles
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete 10 rounds for time of:
3 deadlifts 165#
5 push-ups on parallette bar
7 GHD sit-ups

Joanne's Final Time - 14:54

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I actually liked this WOD. Coming in, I thought I would lift about 153#. However, Raz said that I had more in me, so we settled on 165#. It was a good weight. I could have pushed more, but then time becomes a factor. Plus, I still need to work on my deadlift form. Last week I think I did a poor deadlift WOD because my back was shot for a few days. Next time this WOD pops up, I think I'll push it to another 5#-10#. I did the push-ups on the parallette bars because I usually do this weird snake thing when the reps are too high. This bugs Jason K. to no end. Therefore, I've decided to take a few steps back in order to get the push-ups right. fathlete confession: I like GHD sit-ups. I just don't need to do a thousand of them. I was hoping to finish in 18-20 minutes. Eric estimated 15 minutes and he got it right. Wa-hoo!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

no joke

Obviously, I'm still in nostalgic mode. I showed you photos from 2006, 2007, and today, I bring you 2008. I was in the Philippines for three months conducting field research. This photo is of me with some of the country's most amazing scholars. We had dinner at a restaurant in Malate and chatted it up until the wee hours of the night. (If I recall correctly, we met at 7pm and I got hope at about 3am.) It was amazing!
I wish this advertisement was a joke. But it's not. In case you don't know what my research is about, this ad has something to do with it. I look at perceptions of skin color and beauty among Filipino communities. In particular, I examine women's beauty culture and such. This is why I have to spend my time scanning the net, flipping through magazines, and interviewing people about beauty and skin color matters. You can find more info here and here.

In other news, here's an article about obesity and brain function. My friend Loan also sent me this article about the police force in Bangladesh being given lessons on grooming and such. Enjoy!

TWO rounds of:
400 meter run
500 meter row

CrossFit One World WOD: "Death By Ten Meters"
Mark off ten meters (33'). Put a marker at each end. Set a one minute running clock. During the first minute, run one ten meter run. During second minute, run two ten meter runs. During third, do three runs. Continue until you can no longer finish the prescrbied amount of runs in any minute.

Joanne's Final Count - 12 rounds

And then...
1.1 mile run

Notes (to myself) about this workout: As usual, I was the lowest count posted on the board. I know. I know. I know I said that I would stop looking at the board. I try. I swear I try. But I can't help it. Speed running isn't my thing. I know it and I accept it. When I came in, I hoped to get at least 10 rounds, hopefully 12, maybe pushing it to 15. 12 was a gift and I'm satisfied.

I've been trying to keep up with my fried food challenge. As I mentioned before, I give myself a weekly cheat day. This just helps keep my sanity. Admittedly, my disgust for burpees has been working because even when I do cheat, it don't all out cheat. I'm finding that I eat fried food when I'm with company. Eating is a social thing for me, hence the fried food. (Okay. That made no sense.) Anyway... I did have some extra fried food and technically, I owe myself burpees. But I HATE burpees! So I decided to run 1.1 miles instead. It sounds lame. But after running in the warm-up, and then running for the WOD, I figured running an extra 1.1 miles was torture enough. It was. I think I'm even now.

For the record, I think eating is a daily issue. Right now, the buzz at the box has been gluten free, dairy free eating. I've looked up the information and and slowly assessing things. I do know I should try to stay off the dairy. My Asian genes are kicking in and well, I'm going to have to make friends with soy milk. I'm sure I'll have to cut down on the cheese too. Gluten free sounds appealing to me, but the transition is going to be hard. Again, I'm going to have to give this some thought.

Finally, for those of you who need CrossFit inspiration, I leave you with this... (insert a chuckle here)

Monday, August 24, 2009

inspiration needed

This photo was taken in 2006 when some friends and I organized a one day symposium called Beauty and Power in Filipino/American Communities. It was so much fun and a total honor to present with these lovely ladies! Seriously. Where else can I present academic research and wear a faux tiara while doing so?
This was taken at that same conference, only this was during the Q&A session. Yeah. This is my scholarly Nerd-lander pose.

I've been feeling a lot of anxiety about this last year of school. I'm in the thick of writing right now. It's not as fast as I'd like it to go, but it's going. I'm holding on to what my mentor continually tells me, "Art takes time." I like to believe that this dissertation is leading me to what I hope is my very own masterpiece.

The academic world is full of unknowns. Those unknowns usually come crashing down when you're at the stage that I'm at, which is the final writing stage. Up until now, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a university professor of some sort. I like to think I did everything right. I published my fair share of work. I've presented at conferences. I've mentored students. Hell, I've even been on TV for my research. I still believe in my heart of hearts that this is going to happen. However, these aspirations are constantly being put to the test. Lately, I've been constantly asking myself how bad I want it. It's resulted in a lot of tears, arguments, and anxieties. Though I know what my bottom line is and I know what I'm willing to sacrifice, it doesn't make the episodes of self-doubt easier.

Right now, a girl could use a little inspiration.

Don't laugh, but I picked up the latest issue of O Magazine. I love the "What I Know For Sure" column at the end of the magazine. In the September 2009 issue, Oprah writes:
The secret is alignment: when you know for sure that you're on course and doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing, fulfilling your soul's intention, your heart's desire, or whatever you choose to call it (they're all the same thing). When your life is on course with its purpose, you are your most powerful. And you may stumble, but you will not fall.

I hope she's right. I've been feeling like I've been stumbling a lot lately and it's been getting me down. I have too much riding on this dissertation and the upcoming job market. I'm scared. I'm frustrated. I'm afraid that I'm going to let other people down. This feeling sucks...

In not so sucky news, our friends at CrossFit Unlimited posted this helpful resource. It's a recipe calculator that's supposed to give you nutritional information for your favorite recipes. I haven't used it, but it looks like a nifty little thing. (Yeah. That's right. I wrote nifty.) Also, I think this article is bullshit, but some of you might find it interesting. Apparently, your fingers can tell if you are at risk for osteoarthritis. Read the article. You'll see what I'm talkin' about!

Run 400 meters
Freddy's crazy stretching session. (This included having to be in various compromising positions with my butt in the air, deep squats, and the like. If you were there, you would have wished you had a camera!)

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete seven rounds for time of:
Run 200m
7 deadlifts 63#
7 hang power cleans 63#
7 overhead lifts 63#

Joanne's Final Time - 20:40

Notes (to myself) about this workout: The goal was to finish this in under twenty minutes. I went a little over, but I was glad I came close. I was hoping I'd finish in 23-25 minutes with the weight I chose. This WOD was tough, but I really like progression WODs like this. In fact, I think we should have done this one before last week's squat cleans. That way, people would have gotten a better understanding of that WOD.

Don't let this WOD fool you. After the second round, I was aching. For the first three rounds, I was able to do the weight sequence without dropping the weight. For the rest of the rounds, I had to drop at some point. Here are some strategies I employed... I always dropped at the 6th rep because I knew I had to pick up the weight again. Since I had to do the movement, there was no use in doing an additional rep. For example, I would do six hang power cleans and then drop the weight to the floor. I would then catch my breath and when I picked up the weight, to do the overhead lifts, I'd count picking up the weight (because I had to power clean it anyway) as the seventh rep. Make sense? This is how I planned resting with the weight.

Okay. I don't hate the WOD as much as I let on. This was actually great practice and I'm looking forward to pushing more weight next time.

A very big THANK YOU goes to Miss Alison for helping me settle on the weight.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

such the nerd

These photos were taken in February 2007. I was invited to UC Santa Barbara's MultiCultural Center to launch Is Lighter Better? The people you see with me are my mentor/co-author Paul Spickard and the team of his former students who helped put the project together. Dang! This feels like it was taken a lifetime ago. I remember this being a tough time. First off, I was injured (hence the big bandage on my knee). The more overarching issue in my life at that time was that I had just broken up with my then partner. In retrospect, it wasn't a long or significant relationship. But at the time, it hurt. I realize that I'm not good at the relationship thing because I'm not sure what a healthy relationship actually feels like. More often than not, my faith runs thin. I do know that a relationship takes some effort and patience, things that I'm more than willing to give, but elements that I have yet to reap the benefits of. I will say that a bad relationship (romantic or otherwise) can take a negative toll on my body. Hence why I'm having a hard time recognizing the person in these photos.

I'm not sure why I'm feeling nostalgic these days. Right now I'm re-tooling one of the book chapters and man, this current version is day and night different from what's in the book. Then again, I'm a day and night different person now than when I wrote the book, so I'm hoping this is a good thing. Oooh! I'm also proud to announce that I've just been invited to present my current research at a conference in April. The panel is loosely based on this anthology. The story of how I got invited to this shin-dig is not that long, but totally nerdy. If you agree to spring for coffee, I'm more than happy to share it.

In non-nostalgic news, did you know that there is such a thing as a "putpocket?" Check out this story. How great would it be to feel my luck changing. I'd love to encounter a putpocket. I could always use some extra surprise cash! Maybe then I won't need that sugar daddy for those oly lifting shoes. ha ha!

Run 800 meters
Running side to side
Knee/leg stretches
Even MORE stretching

Two rounds of:
10 shoulder rolls
5 d-ball slams 8#

Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete 30 reps for time of:
Squat clean and jerk 73#

Joanne's Final Time - 11:35

Notes (to myself) about this workout: This is the first time I've taken a class with Cheryl T. aka Girl Crush. I like that her warm-ups are well thought out and the class was timed well. Not that other coaches don't do that. It's that Girl Crush seemed very deliberate in how her warm-up was structured.

I was hoping I could push the weight to 83#, but I settled on 73# because it just felt the best. I could go heavier, but on a WOD like this it's important to just just maintain form. I love the weightlifting, but finding that balance between heavy and sticking form is tough. I always choose form over heavy weight.

I think I started out okay, but my last 10 reps were tough. I could do the clean well, but I would forget to squat, so I'd have to clean, front squat, and then push press. This happened about 2-4 times. In retrospect, the weight I did was fine. My strategy was to do this in sets of 5. The other time I've ever done this WOD I did 63# and it took me over 15 minutes to finish. (I totally remember this WOD and it was painful. This was because I did a weight that I wasn't ready for.) This means I've gotten stronger and faster. It's hard to remember this when I'm too busy paying attention to other people's times.

I need to learn patience. I need to learn that someone else's weight or workout is not my own. I just need to focus on my WOD and no one else's. Having said that, I've decided that I will not look at the board from here on out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

sugar daddy needed

*Note: Photos stolen from here.
Let's get something straight. It's not that I really need a sugar daddy. It's that I'm poor as f--k and it would be nice to indulge in things that I believe are necessities... such as a pair of custom made Risto weightlifting shoes (size 9/9.5 U.S. women's please). Oh how I long to own a pair that are deep purple and black with "j-ro" embroidered on the back of the heel. My imagination runs wild at the thought of inhaling that new leather smell on my new shoes (just like the little girl in the photo). I toss and turn at night over visions of me addressing the bar for the uber deadlift I'm about to do in my brand new kicks.... I'm not asking for Manolo Blahniks or fancy jewelry from Tiffany & Co. Just a nice pair of weightlifting shoes that were tailor-made just for me. Is that too much for a gal to ask for? (Well, I'd like the shoes and a weekly deep tissue massage and a few other things...)

I could earn more money. But with the budget crisis these days, I'm just happy to have a job. (For the record, it's embarrassing what the UC system calls a "salary" to its teaching assistants. It feels like it's barely above minimum wage!) Technically, my call for a sugar daddy has nothing to do with frivolous desires. Rather, I need a sugar daddy for my CrossFit needs. Aside from the weightlifting shoes, I sometimes need new workout pants. Some skins would be nice too. Anyone know where I can find this kind man? (Note: The catch is I'm not willing to do anything obscene for my CrossFit needs. I'm just leaning on the hope that this sugar daddy will fulfill my heart's desires out of the sheer kindness. ha ha!)

FYI: I'm flexible. I'm totally open to a sugar mama too. ha ha!

For now, I just have to focus on the dissertation and hope that someone hires me to teach at their university!

Row until Ron and Rebecca come back from their 800 meter run
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Deadlifts (153# for 21 reps; 143# for the rest of the WOD)
Kettlebell Swings 35#

Joanne's Final Time - 12:57

Notes (to myself) about this workout: First off, I'd like to announce that I'm a total idiot. For yesterday's WOD, the rep scheme was 15/12/9 and I stupidly did 21/15/9, Don't ask me where I got that from. Bleh. fathlete confession: Even I have my idiot days!

I missed this WOD last week and really wanted to do it. On a rest day, I like to focus on skills, so the deadlift and kettlebell WOD seemed to be a good one. I was hoping to push some weight, but I didn't. I wanted to do 163# on the deadlift, but as you can see, I had to drop my usual 153# weight. In retrospect, I really should have stuck it out to the end and just slowed down. I also wanted to try the 44# kettlebell, but it looked like there was only one, and that had Ron's name on it. There was no way I was going to do 53#.

Other than that, I felt really good about tonight's WOD.

...but if i had those Risto weightlifting shoes I'm sure I would have kicked ass for sure!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

all grown up

A few days ago, Freddy posted this photo of our very own Lara sporting some very stylish leggings. I had the pleasure of spending some time with her this weekend (over some mediocre tacos and frozen yogurt; for the record, Pinkberry is totally overrated. Stick with So Frais folks!). She showed me this photo of hers and viola! It appeared on the One World site. Since she showed me her photo, I thought I would be cheating by ratting out who the mysterious One Worlder is. To be fair, I did announce that the little gal in the photo was the creator of the "Ass and Abs" WOD. It took me over 30 minutes to finish. I don't ever want to do it again.

Ah the good old days (April 2007) when five ladies of One World were asked to design a WOD and give a photo for the day's post. There are five signature WODs that were created by the One World CrossFit ladies of the moment: Lara, Jolie, Caroline, Stef and me. My WOD was inspired by the film 300 and my love of running. I think it's time the box did us again. Yes. I'd love the honor of saying that a whole bunch of hotties did me today. ha ha! (I'd like the chance to modify my signature WOD by replacing the D-ball slams with pull-ups.) Or maybe we can have another ladies week and other ladies such as Cheryl, Jamie, Rita, and the twins Mary and Maria can design a WOD. Those are some ladies I'd love to do at the box;)

This was the photo for Lara's WOD. In case any of you ever wanted to know what is the most looked at page on this blog, it's usually any page that features Lara. Seriously. That hottie has some major cyberstalkers. And I'm talking the international kind. Lara has fans in Germany, France, and other parts of the world. These people love to gaze at her hot abs. (Yeah cyberstalkers, I'm on to you and your Lara stalking ways!) All I can say is that cute little girl in the leggings definitely grew up to be one lovely lady!

In non Lara news, my dear friend Judy Chong, who runs Fitness Spark, posted this controversial article from Time magazine that talks about why exercise will not make you lose weight. Judy's rebuttal is here. (I hope you can access it even if you're not on facebook. If not, let me know and I'll email you the article.) Another rebuttal to the article is here. Though I haven't been able to give the articles a thorough read, I figure it's worth sharing the info. Enjoy!

Two rounds of:
Row 500 meters
Run 400 meters
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete 21/15/9 reps for time of:
Overhead squats 58#

Joanne's Final Time - 13:22

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Someone needs to explain something to me... On the website, it says that the WOD was 15/12/9 reps but I'm pretty sure I did 21/15/9 reps of this WOD. Am I crazy or what?!

How I broke up the OH squat reps:

This was a hard WOD. It's a rare occasion when I can say that I'm proud of my performance. Tonight is one of those nights. For as much as I love squats, the overhead squat isn't my thing. In fact, any overhead movement isn't my thing yet. This is because I don't do this movement very often. I just need to work on technique. The most I've done on an overhead squat is 53#, so to do 58# for 45 reps was a gift. My sense is that I really need to work on form because I know I can actually lift more than 58#. With better form and focus, I know I have another 10-15# for that many reps in me.

For the burpees, my focus was to do a solid push-up. Though I could feel myself do the snake thing, I think I did better than usual on the burpees.

To address my overhead squat issue, I've asked Raz to order me a set of wrist straps. I'm also working on stretching my forearms better. Finally, I'm considering doing a modified overhead squat challenge. Let's see what I've got time for.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Here are photos from the five max rep back squat WOD (again). I've posted photos of everyone else, but failed to post mine, so here it goes. fathlete confession: Yes. I am well aware of the fact that I sweat. Even when the WOD requires no sweating, I'll figure out a way to sweat anyway. I'm also aware of the fact that I sweat in weird places. Don't hate. It's just a gift I happen to have.

Lori took these photos of me so that I could see my form. Thanks a bunch, lady! The first photo shows my form from behind. I can get pretty low, breaking the ninety degree mark. The other photo shows me lifting a heavier weight. Eric is in both photos as my spotter. I forget how much I'm lifting here - maybe in the 140-ish range. I like the back squat, but I can always work on that form!

In other news... I found an article about trees that smell like cookies. Dang. Any way I can get one of these in my backyard? Also, here is this story on men, women, and stress weight gain. I thought it was interesting. If "money matters tonight," (kudos if you know what Prince song I'm talking about) here's an article about where the rich and single live. Finally, if you love your sushi and want an Obama roll, check this out. Enjoy!

fish game

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete 100 pull-ups for time.

Joanne's Final Time - 7:45

Notes (to myself) about this workout: This is probably one of my slowest times because I wanted to make sure my movements were solid. They were. I still do them jumping style and I still can't stand them. I tried to strategize by doing 15 per minute for the first four minutes and then doing 10 per minute for the rest of the time. I did okay. For me, it was about movement. I still need to figure out how to hang better. Maybe I'll start using the bands to gain strength. Hmph.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

food notes

My friend Shirl asked me to do this way back and I've just been lazy. I can't say that I'll be more diligent, but I can say that I'll try. I get a lot of questions about food and such. As a single gal who tries to cook and survive by her lonesome (well, not really I have my friends and family around), cooking semi-healthy for one (or a few if anyone would like to come over for a meal sometime. Seriously. I'm a decent cook!) can be challenging.

I'm not picky, but I definitely have my preferences. For example, I don't like canned food. For me, canned food is typhoon survival food. I'll eat it if I have to, but other than that, I don't really like to. fathlete confession: My only exceptions to this are spam (you realize this is an island thing, right?), kidney, pinto, and garbanzo beans because I'm too lazy to cook them, tomatoes because some recipes call for them and these smoked oysters that I can sometimes find when I have the craving.

I have a penchant for breads, but I really need to learn to cut down because with the diabetes, the carbs get to my head and sometimes knock me out. It's a rare occasion for me to ask for pasta. If I knew better recipes, I'd make more stews and soups. I love noodles, and meat/rice. However, I'm finding that in my old age, those carb heavy foods really need to be offset with veggies. If not, I just feel clogged.

Anyway... Shirl asked a long time ago to share my weekly menu, so here's my crack at it. I try to be disciplined and each week I prep one breakfast-like dish, one snack, and two lunch/dinner entrees. I also always have a supply of green salad (and its accessories because unless someone else made it, I really don't like green salad. Go figure.) and two different kinds of fruit. Sometimes I'll have cheese on hand as well. Last week here is a little of what I prepared:

Green salad, gorgonzola, and figs with homemade dressing. I saw that Trader Joe's had figs and I wanted to pick up a basket. You can eat figs plain, but I like it to help give green salad that extra zing. In fact, I'm notorious for adding fruit (such as apples, pears, or white nectarines) to green salad. The dressing was a simple mixture of garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and spices. The next time I make it I'm going to have to tone down the garlic and mix the vinegar with some other acid like lemon.

Cuban avocado salad with homemade dressing. (I found the recipe here.) I had a ton of avocado that I wanted to use up and I remember a while back having this salad at a Cuban restaurant. When I had it at the restaurant, they only served it with avocado and onion. I prefer to add the greens for that extra something. I fudged with the recipe by using less oil and more lime juice.

Shrimp and couscous. I concocted this one in my head. Again, Trader Joe's has this couscous medley that I like because it has the feel/taste of pasta but with more fiber. I simply mixed it with parmesan cheese, mini heirloom tomatoes, olive oil, and spices. This packs well if you're taking it to go (which is what I do a lot).

Last week I didn't have the time to cook a second meal, so I bought some BBQ pork from the grocery store and ate it with these lo carb tortillas. They were fine in a pinch. Next time I'm making my own BBQ, though.

I'm terrible at recipes. Typically, what I do is I'll take a recipe and follow the general directions and then add my own twist depending on my mood or what happens to be in the pantry. When cooking, I just need a general idea of taste and ingredients and I just go. Also, I sometimes invent things. For example, I love Filipino fruit salad. Thing is, it's too sweet and is made largely with canned fruit (it's a colonial thing. I'll explain this to you over coffee if you like). Recently, I created a "cream" to eat with fresh fruit that I made out of cottage cheese, half and half, and sweetner. It's been a big hit so far and it satisfies my Filipino fruit salad craving in a more healthy way. I also like to taste things and either dig for the recipes online or replicate it myself. Another thing I do is just stare at the pantry and piece together meals on the fly. Apparently, I get this from my mom.

Anyway... I'll try to share more food stuff. I'm still trying to figure out healthy eating. I'm not always good at it, but I'm more than happy to share the journey with you. If any of you would like to share your favorite recipes and tips, please do so!

Finally, on the 100 burpee rule... I've decided to continue doing it, but I'm allowing myself one cheat day a week. This is largely due to social functions as opposed to my lack of will power. Well, that's the story I'm sticking to. fathlete note to self: garlic curly fries from Pluto's are yummy, but I could do without them. They are hardly worth 100 burpees.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

i must

I'm sure you can figure out the rest of the title. This is Settie showing some old throwback moves from some crazy exercise contraption from long long ago in a land far far away. Kudos if you can guess what it is without clicking on the link I posted! Speaking of crazy exercise machines, check out this article, "Most ridiculous exercise equipment of all time." My friend Margaret posted it on facebook. It made me laugh. Surprisingly, there are worse things than the thighmaster. (Oops! Gave it away!)

Run 800 meters (twice)
Run 400 meters

CrossFit One World WOD
Run 400m for time four times. Rest two minutes between efforts.
(Note: They were doing work on the tracks, so Jerry L.* and I had to wait for them to finish working before doing our runs. I think we averaged about 5 minutes between runs.)

Joanne's Final Time - 2:00*/2:14/2:11/2:16

Notes (to myself) about this workout: So what if I was the slowest person in the box tonight (again). I PR'd my 400 meter run by 9 seconds! Wa-hoo! The sweet bread that Settie brought was yummy. I missed everyone else that didn't show up tonight. Oh well. I totally get why you all missed the WOD. Other than that, I have nothing nice to say about 400 meter runs.

*Neener neener neener. Ha ha Jerry L. I bet you didn't know I knew about YOUR blog!


I write this out of pure guilt. I bailed on the WOD last night because I wanted to go to the Edition shin-dig in San Francisco. Swanky accessories. Pretty people in their pretty clothing. Free alcohol with no food in sight. To hang out with my friends that I haven't seen in ages was worth missing the WOD for (I could live without all the other stuff). Maraming salamat to Margaret, Dorothy, and Joon for the fabulous company last night.

Sigh. To go shopping. I wish I was a girly girl. I wish I could balance on girly girl shoes. I wish I could fit into girly girl clothes. I wish I could walk down the street and feel all eyes on me like a girly girl does. Sigh.

I hate shopping.
I hate feeling poor.
I hate feeling like I'm not a girly girl.
Hmph. Maybe I should have kept my date with the deadlifts and kettlebells instead. Bleh. Back to the writing...

P.S. Padma Lakshmi rocks. I love a gal who admits to gaining weight for her job and doesn't bat an eyelash about the scar on her arm. Also, I love people who have to eat for a living and still manage to stay fit just so that they can eat MORE. Check out the article here.

P.P.S. I haven't touched fried food since I enforced the 100 burpee rule. Be proud of me. So far, I said no to the Vietnamese imperial rolls and the jalapeno poppers. I skipped on the french fries that would have gone nicely with the caramel sundae that I shared with Margaret (Salt balances sweet things. Shut up. It's a Filipino thing. No judging). And I didn't bat an eyelash to do so. Heh!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

get low

This is my girl Lori working on her back squat. She's come a long way and her form is amazing. I'm so proud of this woman!

Run 1.1 miles

CrossFit One World WOD
Rest day skills day:
ring dips (with black rubber band)
push-ups (on bars)
hanging on bar for pull-ups

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I sweat way too much. It's embarrassing.

I still need work on the ring dips. I figured that I needed to use the black band to get some leverage. The blue ones were too thick. I just need more practice, that's all. From here on out, I'm going to do push-ups on the bars because they help stabilize me better and I don't do that snake thing I usually do when on the floor. Finally, I'm hanging better, but I still have a long way to go on the pull-ups. Bleh.

Monday, August 10, 2009


This silly photo was taken when we did the back squat WOD last week. I don't know what possessed me to think I could back squat John W. at the end of class. Luckily he made sure I didn't fall flat on my ass (because if I did, I'm sure I would have broken his foot or something). This was the "laugh off that dumb idea" photo op. ha ha.

Tonight I give major KUDOS to John W. In a conversation tonight, he gave me the most BRILLIANT idea! (Alex C., stop laughing!) Apparently, John W. has a penchant for soda and doughnuts. In order to help curb these habits, he makes a deal with himself. He's more than welcome to have all the soda and doughnuts he wants. Thing is, soda costs 100 burpees and doughnuts cost 200 burpees. Yeah. I hate burpees. If the distance between me and doughnut was 200 burpees, you could keep that chocolate French cruller all to yourself, thank you.

This thing that John does has got the fathlete wheels churning. I think I'll do the same thing, but with fried food. I'm more than welcome to have ALL the fried food I want. It's just going to have to cost me 100 burpees. I'm going to enforce this rule for the rest of this month. This should be interesting. I certainly hope it works because I'm sure that my disdain for burpees outweighs my love of fried food. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I've been out of commission for a few days because I took a trip to LA to visit family and friends, and to provide moral support for my nephew Theo, who was competing in a hockey tournament (actually, it was more like a scouting fest for youth hockey). fathlete confession: I'm so not a die hard CrossFitter. Did I bother looking up all the CrossFit places in the El Segundo area? Nope. I did, however, bring workout clothes because I was hoping to sneak in a run. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I guess I'm more fathlete than CrossFitter. Tear.

Eating this weekend was awful. My cousin doesn't get to eat a lot of Filipino food, and I think I OD'd on the stuff we brought to her. I learned the hard way that my tolerance for meat and rice isn't what it used to be. We got to LA late on Thursday and by Friday night, I needed some salad. I think I ate salad for most of our stay there. The body just needed to regulate (if you know what I mean). fathlete confession: For those of you who have access to my facebook account, please don't let the photos fool you. I don't really eat all those cupcakes. I'd be dead by now if I did. I just think cupcakes are pretty and I like taking photos with them and of them. Really.

Now that I'm back in the bay, I'm trying to commit to better eating habits (hence why I think the burpee rule is GENIUS!). I bought some amazing ingredients for salad (including gorgonzola cheese, figs, mini heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and home made dressing). fathlete confession: I hate salad. In order for me to eat a salad, someone else has to make it. To cope, I try to think of interesting things to put in the salad so I won't think of it as a salad. I also make my own dressing because I'm not keen on most store bought dressings.

Anyway, I'll try to share more food adventures with you. Right now, this week's menu consists of cottage cheese and fruit with sprinklings of almonds for breakfast; hummus and eggs for snacks; couscous/veggie medley with shrimp for lunch/dinner; hearty salad; and I'm trying to concoct my second lunch/dinner meal. I just haven't decided what it would be. Ahem. If any of you want to talk food/cooking or are interested in doing a food exchange with me, let me know. I'm not the greatest cook, but I'm pretty decent.

THREE rounds of:
Run 200 meters
10 squats
10 jumping pull-ups
10 overhead squats with dowel

CrossFit One World WOD: Lizzie
Complete 12/9/6/3 reps for time of:
Power cleans 90#
Ring dips (modified jumping ring dips 2 for 1)

Joanne's Final Time - 10:21

And then... 75 GHD sit-ups

Notes (to myself) about this workout: When I saw this WOD posted, I thought I'd lift in the 80# range. My one rep max on the power clean is 93# and that was a bit of a struggle. In fact, with anything using a shrug, 93# is my achilles heel. I prepped with 85# and I thought I hit my weight. Freddy made me add 5# more. Surprisingly, I could do 90# fine. I think I just need practice. If I could afford it, I'd totally do one of Angela's private sessions. I'm at the point where I need it. Bleh. I hate being a poor grad student!

I'm glad that Freddy let me do the jumping ring dips instead of the box/bar dips. I definitely need to work on my upper body strength. It's such a weakness of mine and I have to start taking it seriously. I tried using the band modification, but I just couldn't steady it out. I think I'll work on it after the WODs.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

gym shooter

Did you all hear about this news story? In Pennsylvania, a guy opened fire at a gym, killing three women and then killing himself. Apparently, he wrote about it in a blog that he kept. Some scary stuff!

In lighter and brighter news, Laura Ling and Euna Lee are back home. I'm happy that Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the first presidential duo I ever voted for are still awesome. Yea.

Row a slow 500 meters

CrossFit One World WOD
You have one hour to establish your max weight attempt at five reps of back squat. This means you do five reps without dropping or reracking the bar at the highest possible weight you can. Take your time getting there. Rest at least three to five minutes between attempts. If you only get four reps, it is not your best 5RM (you will not believe how many people don't get that.....)

Joanne's Max Weight - 153#
What the weight progression looked like: 53/73/103/123/133/138/143/148/153 (note: I did five reps at each weight, making it a total of 45 heavy back squats)

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I'm a fan of the back squat. As Eric and Jason K. (kudos!) mentioned, by body is naturally made for this kind of lifting. Coming in, I told myself that if I could break 150#, I'd be happy. My stretch goal was 160#. To hit 153# was a total gift. Toward the end I could feel my form breaking and my back wasn't as upright as I would have like it to be. That's why I stopped. I think with some extra training and a focus on my core and lumbar curve, I could have hit more weight. I felt like I had at least another 10#-15# in me. Oh well. That's what next time is for. Eric suggested that for the next time, after I do some warm-up reps, I should go heavy from the get-go. I think this is sound advice and I will try to start my actual weight somewhere in the 130# range.

Right now, some KUDOS are in order. Tonight was just one of those great nights where everyone really pushed their limits and it was so great to watch.
First off, there's Jerry L. who is pictured here with one of the coaches of the night, Eric G. (Kudos for staying late to help us out, Eric!) I don't know what Jerry L. ended at. But I will say that with any WOD, he's 100% heart. Jerry L. is one of those rare CrossFitters who I feel truly competes with himself and no one else. It doesn't seem like he's driven to beat other people's times and weights. For him, it's about his WOD and his results. This is one of the many reasons why it's so great to share the floor with him Kudos, Jerry L.!

I also wanted to pay my respects to Lori and Settie for their performances tonight. I was SO PROUD to watch Lori reach a 105# 5RM. She was so afraid to hit 93#, but she had so much in her. It was amazing! Of course, Settie did great as well. Right when we thought she was done at 98#, she pulled through and hit 100#. Then, she did 105# for two reps. Amazing work ladies!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

preach it to the car!

I need to stop thinking that the world runs on the same thought processes that I do. Something like this is just a crazy reminder of that. I don't even know where to begin with this. To the members of the peanut gallery: Please feel free to comment. Maybe it will help me make sense of this photo. ha ha!

Slow 400 meter run

CrossFit One World WOD: Time Trials v2.0
Complete each of the following tasks. You may complete them in any order. You may rest as long as you want between attempts, but you must finish all six tasks within one hour.

Row 500m for time - 1:59
100 push-ups for time - 6:04
Run 400m for time - 2:20
100 pull-ups for time - 6:46
100 Abmat sit-ups (unanchored) for time - 5:37
100 squats for time 4:03

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Time trials suck. Period. I wasn't quite feeling it tonight. The key to time trials is that you really have to treat it like you're trying to qualify for the Olympics or something. Tonight my head just wasn't in the game. My previous time trials are here. Basically, I was slower tonight in almost all areas. Sucks!

I will say that time trials are also relative because as your technique gets better and changes, you might go slower because it's a technique issue. I'm not trying to say that this is the reason why I was slow tonight. I'm just saying that I need to work on technique - especially with push-ups and pull-ups. I'm beyond weak in those areas. I really should have stuck to my guns and did the push-ups on a box or bars to keep a tight core. When I'm doing 100 of those I revert to my snake-like technique and as an exercise, it's just useless because it's all arms and shoulders. I need to adjust to build my core.

For the pull-ups, my timer ma-le-functioned (that's my Guam-speak, folks). I ended up doing the first 30 with no timer, so the time you see is a guess-timation. See? My head just wasn't in the game.

Finally, listed above was the order we did them in. I need to tweak that next time because I think I should do the run first. Hmph...

Time trials are done. Yea.

Monday, August 03, 2009

AirDrives Fit

For those of you who remember, I ranted and raved about the AirDrives headphones here. I'm still head over heels about my headphones and highly recommend them. (Note: They have a one year warranty, which is great. According to my sister, hers and my nephew's went ca-put. I'm not sure what that's about because I put mine through some serious abuse and they're fine. I think if you're still under warranty, the company will replace or repair them. Something like that. Please contact them directly for further details.)

Seriously. CrossFitters and all other athletes (fathletes and otherwise), you need to get a pair of these! They rock!

Anyway... while surfing through the AirDrives site, I discovered that they just released a new model of the headphones I love so much. The new ones are called the AirDrives Fit. They're less expensive than their original product and it looks like it loops around the entire ear by simply securing the chord. For more info about their products, check it out here. I haven't seen or used the new ones, but if they're anything like the old ones, I'm sure you'll like them. If any of you have used the new model, could you please hit me up and let me know what you think? Thanks!

"A brief synopsis as to why Corazon Aquino is historically significant: a lecture while running 1.1 miles"

fathlete confession: I nearly died of heart failure when Jerry L. told me that he had never heard of Corazon Aquino. He thought GMA was the first female Philippine president (inserting evil thoughts about GMA here). FOR SHAME!

(another) fathlete confession: The previous confession was almost as shameful as spotting a gathering of Jerry L., Christian, and Christopher with no pork in sight. A group of Filipinos and no lechon?! FOR SHAME!! Note: The lack of pork has been forgiven since Jerry L. decided to assume the "this is how Filipinos squat" position. Nice prep for tomorrow's time trials, bro!

CrossFit One World WOD
Row 2k

Joanne's Final Time - 10:40 something? I forget. all I remember was that I was slow.

Notes (to myself) about this workout: It's a rest day, so I decided to take it light. The long rows are great practice. I now know that I'm weak and if I want to do a good row, I should pull harder. (Is it me? Or does that just sound so naughty!)

**FYI I am in no way paid or compensated for sharing my opinion about the AirDrives or any of the products I feature in “fierce products.” These are just things that I personally like. However, if you are from AirDrives and you want to shoot a gal some stuff to try out, I’d have absolutely no objections to that. I promise to share an honest opinion about it!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

more to love

Last night I caved in and watched More to Love online. (Sadly, I'm reminded of why canceling my cable was such a good decision.) I like the idea of the show, but it's still the plus-sized version of The Bachelor, with a little added tackiness. For example, the contestants are labeled with their name, height, and weight. I know I'm fat, but if I agreed to be on such a show, do you really have to show my stats to prove I'm fat? Can't you just see that I'm fat?! Ridiculous!

And then there's the idea of calling plus sized women real women. I get what they mean, but at the same time, all women are real women (yes, even the ones I can't stand!). Get it right.

In reading some of the online commentary, I agree. I have no desire to watch a bunch of women cry about being lonely and frustrated because they're constantly judged because of their size. You're on TV for f--k's sake, make a statement! Be bold! Kick ass! Don't screw this up with over-whining because who knows when we'll ever be able to go on TV again?!

At the same time, I sympathize with the tears. Regardless of how bold and awesome you know you are (regardless of your size), a positive plus size body image is hard work. It's an unfortunate symptom of our society that coerces women of all sizes, shapes, and colors to hate themselves. fathlete confession: I completely apologize for the unfair projections here. For my doctoral research I've been reading up on appearance and social value. At one point, did you know that there was such a thing as an ugly law? Yes. An ugly law. Enforced here in San Francisco. As in you could get arrested for being ugly! It's depressing stuff (aaaand it's kinda funny he he heeh! If you have a sense of humor it's kinda funny.). No matter how strong and confident you are, every woman has her weakness. For as much as I can't stand the tears, I definitely relate.

A few years ago I urged my sister to watch Real Women Have Curves. It's one of my favorite movies and I've been known to pop this in my DVD player on a Saturday night or two. When she finally got around to watching it, she told me that she didn't like watching the film. Shocked, I asked why. She said it was because it was too painful. It brought up too many issues from the way we grew up that she would have preferred to forget. fathlete confession: I still don't know what she means by this because growing up, she was the favorite. She was the pretty girl in the 'hood that everyone liked. I'm not kidding. In fact, I distinctly recall one of our cousins telling me he felt sorry for me because I was this fat, ugly kid who could never measure up to her sister. Seriously. Cousins are mean!

I guess this is how I feel about this show. Again, I like the idea of the show. I like seeing women who are over size two and a guy who genuinely likes a woman with meat on her bones. Unfortunately for me, to watch these women share their anxieties about their size in relation to the dating and romance department just hits too close to home. For example, in this first episode, several women shared their stories about going out with friends and feeling invisible, or feeling like the out-of-place fatty. Granted, Walter Kirn's piece on this issue does warm my heart. Yes, I believe whole-heartedly in everything I wrote here. Unfortunately, it doesn't take away moments where I feel invisible or that I just don't measure up. I love people. But I do try to limit nights like this because there's only so much invisibility I can take. Watching the show reminds me of those anxieties. These days, I'll only feed myself things that are good for me.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. But I'll end with this quote that a dear friend shared with me recently:
“Man will always be attracted to the woman who reflects the deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience - or to fake - a sense of self esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer - because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement, not the possession of a brainless slut.”

~ Ayn Rand
The romantic in me leans on the hope that there's some truth to this. The cynic in me says to stop holding my breath...