Thursday, October 29, 2009


Halloween is around the corner and unfortunately, I have no plans. Serves me right, though. I have way too much on my plate and it might be a good idea for me to stay in and get some work done. Besides, I have no desire to conjure up some crazy outfit. Granted, I'm the queen of last minute Halloween costumes on a budget. This year, I have no creative juices in sight. In case you were looking for some ideas, check out what the Zen Capitalist has to say. (Note: Check out the comments section because I posted my costume suggestions!)

For shits and giggles, here is what last year's costume was: In case you need a hint as to what I dressed up as, this should help you:
A while back, Rudy, one of my academic bros used to live in the bay area. For my b-day, Rudy, Margaret, and I threw an 80s party. Here are the costumes we came up with:
If you're wondering who I came dressed up as, check this out:

How else was I supposed to live out my Janet dreams?!

Row 1000 meters
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Deadlift three reps on the minute. Add 20# every minute. Guys start weight is 205#. Girls start weight is 145#. Go up 20# every minute. We will set up a bar at 145#, 165#,185#, 205#, 225#, 245#, 265#, 285#, 305#. After 305#, we will add 10# every attempt. Spend a lot of time warming up, this will be fun!

Joanne's Final Time - 145/165/185/205/225

Notes (to myself) about this workout: At 225#, my lifts looked ugly. My third lift barely counted. Actually, I didn't count it at all because I didn't think it was up to par. As far as I know, my max single rep deadlift is 230#. That's with no coaching. It's been a while since I've done the deadlift, so I'm not sure what my max is now. Three reps in a minute sucks because there's no time to be patient. Yeah. This is yet another thing I have to work on.

Kudos to Bobbi and Lori who braved the WOD with me. You ladies did awesome. Also, the guys rocked it out! Jerry L., Chris T., Caleb and Eric who tapped out at 465# were all amazing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I just wanted to give a shout out to Miss Jamie P. So far she's the only one who has been consistent with the muscle up challenge. (The female who does 30 muscle ups in a certain time will win $700.) I know she's done 30 of them, but they haven't been timed. I know you can do it Jamie! Now go get that cash! (...and feel free to buy me a cupcake with that cash!)

BIG KUDOS to my girl Margaret F. She sent me this article about Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser. I'm not a big Jillian fan. Her tough love is a little abrasive for me. However, I do like what she has to say in the article. I like that she points out that a skinny body and a healthy body are two different things. (But I am disturbed that she assumes that all obsese people are doomed for disease. I disagree because weight is relative and there are people who are considered obsese who are actually healthy. You can refer to BFB for more info.) What I love most about the article is that Jillian admits that she hates working out. Pretty funny considering her career is based her her making other people work out. It's refreshing to know that the queen of exercise needs some motivation too.

Run 2.2 miles (Note: My time was 23:26. This is part of my half marathon training.)
Row until the 800 meter runners come back.
Stretching and prep for the WOD.

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete five rounds for time of:
Do five back thrusters on the east side of the gym. (A back thruster is a thruster done with the bar behind the neck.) Lunge step to the roll-up door. Do ten kettlebell swings just outside the roll-up door. Bear crawl back to where you started the lunge steps (by the black pull-up bars).

My back thrusters were 63# and my KB swings were 35#.

Joanne's Final Time - 14:18

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I was really happy with today's 2.2 mile run. It was the fastest time I've ever had for that distance. I ran nonstop and averaged under 12 minutes per mile. Woot!

Overall, I liked this WOD. I would have liked to do a heavier thruster weight (rx'd was 95#). However, I'm not good at transitioning from the up position back to the shoulder position. This is why I kept it light. Overall, it was great until round five. My leg started cramping up during the lunges. I paused to massage the cramps out and made it to the end. However, the cramps hit me soon after the WOD was over. They were the kind of cramps that wouldn't stop stinging. I was dying! I just laid on the floor because there's not much you can do when something like that happens. Big thanks to Eric and Jamie for their help today.

While suffering, I realized that I hadn't had much to drink all day long. The weather has been cooler and I guess I've taken hydration for granted. Also, the water fountain at the gym has been out of sync for some time now and I've been lazy about going back for water. (Actually, I just find it a waste of time because five minutes at the water fountain will get you about four ounces of water. Bleh.) Unfortunately, I had to pay it back big time!

For the record, I'm officially upset at the One World contradictions. I sort of understand taking away the candy machines to inspire healthier snacking. (I didn't mind either way because I don't use the vending machines.) However, to provide more beer than water is just uncalled for. (Apologies. It's the post-leg cramps talking.) I urge my One World family to PLEASE get the water fountain fixed. The water pressure is so low that unless you plan on making out with the fountain (which is both gross and unsanitary), it's hard to get any H2O out of it. End bitchy rant.

Monday, October 26, 2009


fathlete confession: Lately I've been obsessed with a few things....

1) The new Journey: Live In Manila DVD. I finally got to see it from beginning to end this weekend. Woot! Truth be told, I love Arnel Pineda. However, I love Deen Castronovo almost as much. A drummer with pipes? Who doesn't love that?! For the record, John Taylor will always be my first love. I know he's old, but I'd still be willing to carry his love child.

2) Catching up on Burn Notice. Thank heaven for TV on DVD! I would declare my love for Jeffrey Donovan, but he's a little skinny for my taste. (I can't love someone I want to feed a burger to.) I adore Gabrielle Anwar and am infatuated with the Michael and Fiona bizarre love thing on the show. However, I want to feed her a burger too.

3) Monggo beans.

4) Mark's Daily Apple.

With respect to MDA, I've decided to go primal or semi-primal. Out of all the CrossFit-approved diets, I think I like primal the best. It's going to be a challenge, but I think I'm up for it. For me, it's not about losing weight, it's about transitioning to better eating and getting off the diabetes meds. I think I can do it. It will take time and discipline, but I know I can do it. I'm focusing on adding things to my diet as opposed to taking things away. For example, I'm trying to make sure I eat fruits and veggies at every meal. I'm trying to make small changes, one step at a time. Like today, I wasn't 100% primal, but I think I did a good job. The agreement I'm making with myself is that I'm only going to be positive. No beating myself up if I'm not a "good" girl. I'll let you know how it works.

Of the many things I love about MDA, it's the articles he writes. I think he's very realistic about what he recommends and I like the topics he brings up. For example, I love this one on Diet and Depression. He says that excessive sugar can take a toll on one's mood. I get it. (Personally, the sugary sweetness of a red velvet cupcake makes me happy, so I'm not sure if I 100% agree. ha ha!) Take a look at it if you have the chance. Wanna know what made me laugh? This comment:
About a year ago, when I was vegan, I was often either depressed, over anxious, or just plain grouchy. Ever since I added meat back to my diet (in large amounts, about a pound of meat and sometimes up to 6 eggs a day plus I eat %65 animal fat and fish fat, 25% protein and 10% carbs) and eat around 50 carbs a day, from veggies and fruit, with the occasional 88% dark chocolate, my mood is generally on the lighter side. I find that I’m just happier and more likely to joke with people and not take the hard things so hard. I once took antidepressants, but now I’m sure I’ll never need them again, funny how that just sorted itself out when I went back to the true original human diet. I love it!

If you know me, my meat-loving ways, and my theories on vegans, you'd find this funny to. Laugh all you want. hahahaha!

Run 800 meters

CrossFit One World WOD

Skills Day: Pull-ups with the band.

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I meant to do "Angie" today. But then in dawned on me.... Why the hell would I do "Angie" on a rest day?! I'm glad I did the skills stuff. My hands are ugly, but I at least know how to develop my strength for the pull-up. It was different using the band. I used the band a long time ago and it didn't do anything for me. Now, the technique is different and I'm looking forward to more practice.

a sound relief

Hello All! A while ago, I wrote this post about donating to the flood victims in the Philippines. Though the news coverage has died and many of you have moved on, relief efforts are still needed. Everyone is doing everything they can - from the various organizations in the bay area collecting money and food donations, to everyday folks like you and me donating money and spreading the word, even the folks at Heroes Martial Arts hosted a charity event. (I noticed the announcement on the One World Jiu-Jitsu Academy website. I don't know you, but yea to Heroes!)

Anyway.... I wanted to point your attention to a project that my dear friend Erick Fabian organized. It's called A Sound Relief: In Aid To The Victims Of Typhoon Ondoy. Here's a little about the project:

Dear friends, former classmates, relatives, family friends, fellow zinesters, artists, musicians, church friends, and online acquaintances:

Greetings and Peace!

I am writing this message as if it was addressed only to you. If I had the strength and time, I would have addressed you all individually. Apologies.

I am Erick A. Fabian Sr., one among millions of social-networking entities, right now a practically unknown musician playing in an electronic rock band called CERUMENTRIC. I have also written in and published several independent zines, among them TicTiger! Zine, and have drawn comix on the side. I am 31 years old, a father and a husband, a freelance web designer, content writer and digital sound designer/editor by trade, an illustrator and musician by vocation. But that is not what I'm writing you for. Some of you reading this have probably known me as that strange kid from Olongapo City, and have seen me grow up, some of you I went to high school or college with, and some of you were former town-mates. I am appealing to all of you now in the name of compassion, for the less well-off.

Most of you have probably seen on TV, read or heard about Typhoon Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng ravaging the Philippines and flooding practically 80% of Metro Manila and surrounding areas. Millions were displaced from their homes, and many lost their lives.

On September 28, 2009, two days after the Ondoy onslaught, a group of Internet-based musicians in Facebook discussed the idea of creating a digital music compilation album, of which the benefits will go to the relief fund to help out those affected by Typhoon Ondoy. Here is the origin of the thread.

To our elder readers, this digital album is the equivalent of the 'various artists' records or what we call in the Philippines as 'selections' that you used to buy in your younger days. :) These days, digital downloading is fast becoming the most popular way to buy music.

It was decided by common consensus that all participating bands and artists will donate a song each to this project. We didn't expect much from this endeavour; after all, most of us were unknown musicians. We do not earn anything from our music. We had to work in other trades just to be able to pursue our desire to realize our musical dreams.

But we do not want to feel helpless about helping out those whose homes were taken away by the flood; we believe that we had something to give from what is our passion: our music. As if heaven-sent, Siva Chandran of VOIZE, a premier entertainment and lifestyle website in Asia, and well-known talent manager Ms. Lizza Guerrero Nakpil helped out by calling out to other bands in the Philippines and across the globe to contribute songs to this cause. Their assistance to this project is priceless.

After several deliberations, discussions and email exchanges, we launched A SOUND RELIEF: IN AID TO THE VICTIMS OF TYPHOON ONDOY Vol.1, last October 15 in

It features 25 artists and bands from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the United States.

So here's my point (whew!): You can listen to the whole compilation before you decide to buy it. If you want to buy a song, you can download any one of the 25 songs in high-quality format for a minimum of US$1. If you want to purchase the whole album, you'll get all 25 songs for a sweet deal of US$10. All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine National Red Cross, who will use the money to help those who are still in relief centers. PayPal, MasterCard, VISA, and American Express is accepted.

We are appealing to you to help us musicians HELP the flood victims. We are not going to profit from this benefit compilation (well, maybe free promotion, but nothing else.).

Many organizations ask for donations as well, but here, we're asking you to buy and support music that will benefit the flood victims. You have something to keep for doing an act of charity. It's your choice. :)

The genres in this album are very diverse: RnB, pop, electronica, dance, hiphop, rock, metal, instrumental, practically every genre is represented. It makes for an unusual listening experience. All the acts featured worked hard to contribute their songs to this compilation out of a desire to help those in need.

Now is your chance to help out as well. According to recent estimates, the relief operations will not be over for several months until next year. Many families will be spending Christmas and New Year without a home, and some will find it hard to celebrate, having lost a family member to the flood.

Please help us uplift their spirits and give them hope.

Thank you very much.

At your service,

Erick A. Fabian Sr. and all the musicians, artists, photographers and discussion group members who helped out in this music compilation.
PS: There will be a follow-up compilation to be released this November 2009, featuring more bands and music from all over Asia and the world. Wait for it! :D

Erick and his wife Miam are dear friends of mine. When I lived overseas, their friendship made the trip a lot less lonely. I'll never forget the laughter and generosity. I urge each and everyone of you to at least check out the site. If you're a music lover, do purchase a song or the entire album ($10 for 25 songs is a total steal!). Every little bit helps the flood victims.

Below is a photo taken at a music festival with Erick and Miam. Oh how I miss these two and their adorable son Sil!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

whip it!

I'd like to send some positive vibes to my girl Dorothy. She'll be trying out to be an official B.A.D. Girl today. I am so proud of this woman! She picked up skating just this summer and is now working toward her dream of being a B.A.D. girl. The best of luck and I know you're gonna rock it! As a tribute to Miss D, I give you the trailer for Whip It. Enjoy!

Row 500 meters

CrossFit One World WOD
A little clean and jerk, a little running, a little catching up with friends...

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I've been out of commission for what feels like forever. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling the lifting, so I did some running. Even that wasn't lifting my spirits. I think I was just plain dehydrated. Bleh... Oh well. Tomorrow will be better!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I'm so busy that my body can't handle it. Bleh. Physically, I'm fine. However, I'm congested and I sound like death. Seriously. I've been trying to rest, but my mind has been working overtime. Luckily, the box is closed so it makes for a great excuse to not workout and to just get rest. I'm back in commission tomorrow.

I'd like to give a BIG shout out to the folks at CrossFit Unlimted for posting this deliciously uncomplex carbohydrated tribute to the fabulousness of red velvet cheesecake. I love that the folks at Unlimited can make sugar such a family affair. I've never visited, but they've made numerous trips to One World and all I have to say is that I've never met a "U" that didn't rock. For that, this red velvet's for "U!"

Speaking of cake, yesterday was my sister-in-law's birthday. Happy Birthday Ate Faye! This red velvet's also for you!

Right now, I'd like to give Claire R., who is my sister-in-law's BFF a big shout out! Miss Claire is running the Nike Women's Marathon right now in San Francisco as I type. This is her first marathon and I just wanted to send her some cramp-free, blister-free, chafing-free, chocolate-filled, completely hydrated, ice bathalicious vibes as she conquers the 26.2 miles of San Francisco terrain. Go Claire! Woot!

This photo was taken during my brother and sister-in-law's wedding. Yeah. Claire rocks the dance floor!

Talking to Claire about marathon training brought me back to what started this blog - training for the Maui marathon back in 2005. That year I also did the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco. It's true. If you've trained for and ran a marathon, it grants you official entry to the marathon club. As a member of the club, you have exclusive knowledge of things like Body Glide, bleeding nipples, and breaking through the wall. It also reminds me that in marathoning, training is essential. The race is the gift. A few weeks ago, I wrote this rant about training.

Admittedly, I felt bad after I wrote it. I don't want anyone to think that I'm crying bitter hell to those who don't formally train for whatever sport or event they're training for. In fact, I write this out of pure love. I just feel that it's dangerous to not take training (especially for endurance sports) seriously. Distance and endurance sports are no joke. In fact, two people died at the San Jose Half marathon this year. I'm not saying these people died because of improper training. I'm saying that endurance sports need to be taken seriously because the consequences can be fatal. I also think it's arrogant and irresponsible to think that CrossFit alone can grant you access to other sports without respecting the training those other sports require. That's right. ARROGANT and IRRESPONSIBLE. In fact, I think this arrogance and irresponsibility is in part, what caused the whole Greyskull debacle.

Think I'm the only one who feels that doing a full on marathon with zero marathon training is ridiculous? Please read this article from Mark's Daily Apple. Like me, Mark cites Lance Armstrong and his training. Sorry CrossFitters. Most of you are barely the equivalent of Lance's right big toe on a good day. That you would think CrossFit could carry you through 26.2 miles in a healthy manner is just plain stupid. If Lance has enough sense to marathon train, you should too!

For the record, consistent CrossFitting makes you a better CrossFitter. If you're engaged in other sports, CrossFit helps to supplement whatever you're already doing to make you better for your respective sports. CrossFit does not replace the training you have to do for your respective sports. For example, I'm sure the people at CrossFit Endurance would never tell you to drop your distance training for your marathons, ultra-marathons, triathlons, etc. The people at CrossFit Football would never tell you to drop your football training. I would never tell my nephew to drop his hockey training for CrossFit. With that, why would anyone run 26.2 miles or cycle 100 miles without proper endurance training just to see if CrossFit really works?! For the record, CrossFit really does work. You don't need to drive your body to this kind of insanity to figure that one out.

CrossFit is a great supplement to balance out your strength and avoid injuries, especially for endurance sports. I can't begin to tell you how much better my marathon experience would have been if I had been CrossFitting in 2005. It would have cut the soreness and the injuries exponentially. My knees would have been in better health and I'm sure my speed would have increased. To think that a workout system whose philosophy is to do short, intense workouts that last no more than half an hour, can get your through 5-7 hours of running or 5 days of cycling is again, irresponsible and arrogant.

With that, I officially declare that if any of you dare to share your irresponsible and arrogant plans with me, I reserve the right to address you as STUPID ARROGANT PANTY ASSHOLE SCHMUCK. (SAPAS for short.) Yes. All caps with that biting tone that feels like fangs dipping into the tender part of your neck. I will also take the liberty of posting unflattering photos of you for my SAPAS Wall of Shame. Stop using CrossFit as a poor excuse to dodge some serious endurance training. Do not use CrossFit as an excuse in the event you fail at said sport. I'm not making this declaration to be jerk. I do this out of love.

Respect the sports you participate in.

Respect the body, mind, and spirit that will be there for you to help push you through these challenges.

Respect the people who love you enough to not want to drag your tired, weak, unprepared body out of the mud just because your arrogance wanted to see if this CrossFit stuff really works.

I beg you all to respect yourselves.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I just wanted to give some kudos to some people that I absolutely adore. First off is Jerry L. He and some friends just launched a website called The Zen Capitalist. It's a site that gives financial advice to those of you who are trying to balance your social and financial lives. Jerry also received his CrossFit Level 1 certification earlier this month. Congrats! You're on your way to becoming one of those cool CrossFit coaches. In fact, I'm going to call it right now.... In the next few years, I think Jerry is going to be on the CrossFit HQ team. You've got the potential... now go do it!

My next batch of kudos goes to Miss Settie. If there's anything you'll know about this woman, it's that she has a lot of fight in her. She really pushes her limits and it's always an honor to watch her work through the WOD. She did an amazing job today with The Bear. I was especially impressed because she's been out of commission for a while, so to come back to The Bear was no easy task. I'm proud of you, Settie!

Finally, kudos goes to Tom (who is not pictured). I know he struggles with CrossFit. All I have to say that is everyone struggles with CrossFit. My advice is to just stick with it. Be brave enough to f--k up. And work those hips!

Here's some random news.... There's been this huge hub-bub about this Ralph Lauren ad where the model is photoshopped so much that her head is bigger than her hips. Whaaat?! Speak on it, peanut gallery! Also, Marie Claire now has a plus-size columnist named Ashley Falcon. (Thanks to Margaret F. for sending me the link.) I really like what Falcon has to say in this column. Enjoy!

Finally, Sunday was a very sad day for me. My favorite show Drop Dead Diva just wrapped up its first season. Sigh. How long am I going to have to wait for season two?! Argggh! Here's a teaser for the finale for you:

Row 500 meters
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD: The Bear Complex
A sequence of The Bear Complex is:
Power clean
Front squat
Push press
Back squat
Push press

You will perform seven sequences in a row to constitute one round. You may rest at any point during a sequence except when the bar touches the ground. The bar is touch and go when it is on the ground. Perform five rounds. Rest as needed between attempts. You are shooting for max weight in last round.

Joanne's Final Weight - 53/63/68/73/78

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I PR'd my last bear by 5#. That's all I can ask for. Damn you Freddy for throwing off my mojo! I had to do the 78# set twice. On the fifth rep, I forgot to do the back squat before doing the push press because I was focusing on Freddy's coaching (I was having trouble with that transition). Frustrated, I dropped the weight, took a rest, and started all over. I'm okay now....

Monday, October 12, 2009

no chubbies?

In case you haven't figured it out, I'm a cupcake fan. I just think they're pretty. Don't make me throw them at you, though...

I found this on the CrossFit Unlimited site. For the record, I'd hate to add to the discussion on The Anti-Gym. Any gym that preys on the vanity and insecurity of people is absolutely insane. According to this article, here are some things to look forward to at the Anti-Gym:

Anti-Gym's motto is "Have Sex With the Lights On." ...A roster keeps track of how people are doing at Anti-Gym: Dean's List, Jimmy Dean's Sausage List and the Fatso List. If you slack off in a drill, your entire group is punished. The men's and women's locker rooms lead to a coed shower area. And then there's the Ravish Room, a private room with a hot tub and sauna and shower that, with a secret code, only admits men with 11 percent body fat and women with 16 percent body fat.

I don't even know where to begin with this one. While I'm as vain as the next person, I have absolutely no desire to pay money to a gym that would dare put me on the "Fatso List." The Aniti-Gym motto is "have sex with the lights on." Puh-lease. Like I need permission from my gym to do that! As for the hot tub, I have one at my house. Anyone is invited - body fat and all. Call it my stubborn-ness. Or my strong opinions. Or my high sense of self. But you have to be a bona fide asshole to pay another asshole to make you feel like shit. Apparently, the owner is known to throw cupcakes at you if you're not hauling ass during his workouts. (Scoffs.) What a freakin' waste of cupcakes!

On to other news... Courtesy of Big Fat Blog, here's a study about overweight people having a longer life expectancy. (Ha! Eat that Anti-Gym!) Aaaand if you're one of those people who likes to post-WOD hydrate with a beer, here's an article for you. Enjoy!

Finally, I'd like to announce that in my last series of blood tests, my hemoglobin A1C was at my lowest ever - 5.8. Woot! When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was at 10.0 - way over the normal limit. In fact, this indicated that I may have had diabetes for about ten years before they caught it. Since then, I've maintained my numbers in the mid to high 6 range, but my doctors would ideally like me to be in the low 6, high 5 range. I finally did it. Yea!

In truth, I'm surprised because my cupcake consumption these past few months has been a little embarrassing. When the doc asked how I did it, I said, "CrossFit." It was the only thing I could think of. However, I will say that making small changes to my eating helped too. I stopped thinking about all the food I could not have and focused more on adding good stuff like salad and fruit to each meal. I also stopped using Splenda. I don't know if this makes a difference, but I switched to plain old bitter lattes. Finally, I cut down on milk because my Asian genes are kicking in and my lactose tolerance is wearing thin. It's weird because it's just milk I have an issue with. I'm totally fine with cheese (in small amounts) and ice cream. Hmph.

In case you're wondering, my weight has stayed completely the same. Granted, my body composition is different that it was over a year ago, but weight-wise, the scales haven't moved. I'd like to care. But I won't for now.

My cholesterol levels are great too. My HDLs are 51 (ideal range is over 49) and my LDLs are 88 (normal range is 120s, but diabetics need to be under 100). Yeah. That's why I get to do thing with the lights on!

Jump ropes and burpees

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete three rounds for time of:
1 minute of kettlebell swings for max reps 35#
1 minute rest
1 minute of rowing for max calories
1 minute rest
1 minute of burpees for max reps
1 minute rest
1 minute of jumping pull-ups for max reps
1 minute rest
Your score is total reps and calories for all three rounds.

Here was my breakdown:
Kettlebell swings: 26/23/20 = 69
Row: 17/14/14 = 45
Burpees: 13/12/12 = 37
Jumping Pull-ups: 19/19/18 = 56

Joanne's Final Count: 207

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Admittedly, this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The minute rest goes by really fast, but it gives you the chance to re-group and aim for some kind of consistency. (That is, if you remember your previous counts, which I did not. ha ha!) I was hoping to break 200, so 207 was a complete gift.

For the warm-up, we did some jump roping. I managed to either maintain 45 skips or stay within 40-45 skips in 30 seconds. It's not a lot considering most people could squeeze 60 reps or so. However, seeing that I'm really weak on the ropes, I was actually happy with how I held up. I'm finding that I jump twice for each rotation. I need to fix that because the extra jump is wasted energy. Bleh.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

in defense of filipino food

During a recent visit, my dear friend Gladys and I talked extensively about food. She's been scouting Mark's Daily Apple and has decided to transition to a primal (or semi-primal) diet for her and her family. The issue we both tackle with respect to such diets is How do we maintain our love for Filipino food? while on such a diet? After lengthy discussions, we both agreed that if we cut out the rice and breads, Filipino food is actually very good for those going primal. It just takes some minor adjustments. While here, Gladys and I had dinner at Tribu Grill in Union City. Below are some of the yummies we ordered...

fathlete confession: We started chowing down before I took these photos. Therefore, I had to jimmy-rig the plates to look uneaten. Sorry... Sizzling Bangus Belly (or Sizzling Milkfish). Served on a sizzling platter, this is grilled fish topped with onions and garlic. It's also boneless. The fish fat is supposed to be good for you.
Tilapia with ginger and lemon sauce with mango and tomato salad. This was yummy and very clean tasting. Personally, I liked it better than the bangus because I liked the balance between the fish and the salad. Also, the tilapia was so juicy and flaky! Yummy!
Eggplant Salad. The veggies were a little hard to settle on. Oftentimes, veggies in Filipino cuisine is not vegetarian friendly. Warning: Our "veggie" dishes still contain meat for flavoring. Always ask for clarification because in our culture, vegetarian food still allows for seafood. Vegetarians, you have been warned. Gladys and I both love eggplant, so we settled on this dish. It was yummy, but oilier than I had wanted it. When the menu stated it was grilled eggplant, I was thinking it would be fire grilled then peeled (like how my mom does it). Nonetheless, it was a good dish. Gladys and I did opt for rice, but we ate minimal amounts. I can usually do without rice in Filipino food as long as I have a clean veggie dish to make up for it. Again, the eggplant didn't do the job because it was a little oily.

A few weekends ago, my dear gal pal Dorothy and I met for Sunday lunch at The Intramuros. It's much more upscale than the Filipino restaurants in Union City. In fact, it reminds me of the schmancy places in Manila. The food was pretty good. Here are some of our dishes...
Callos. This is a tomato-based stew consisting of beef tripe, sausage, garbanzo beans, etc. When cooked right, it's one of my favorite dishes. In fact, I think my mom makes some of the best callos around. I liked this version, but wished it was a little more soupy. Again, sans rice, it's quite primal friendly.
Laing. Ah, this is one of those veggie dishes that are deceiving. It's taro leaves that have been cooked for hours (so you don't get that itchy throat thing) in coconut milk. It's seasoned with ginger and shrimp. It's heavy, so I tend to eat it in small portions. But it's very good and the greens are good for you. In fact, taro leaves are a staple in a lot of Polynesian food as well.
Sizzling Bangus. This is another variation of sizzling milkfish. I really liked their take on this dish because it was very clean tasting and the fish was boneless. In fact, it reminded me of kelaguen, a popular dish on Guam, but without the coconut. Fish and lemon are one of my favorite combinations!
Bibingka Souffle. This is not primal at all because it's a dessert. But for those of you who have had bibingka, this was a fantastic take on a traditional dessert. I loved that they incorporated the salted egg and cheese on the side. (If you have never had Filipino food, you can shut your judgmental asses up about the ways we include salted egg and cheese in our desserts. Seriously. You can.)

Tomatoes and Salted Egg. I made this dish myself. If you recall earlier, I mentioned that I can go without the rice as long as I have a clean veggie on the side. This is something that I make routinely. It's a simple mixture of tomatoes (heirloom if it's in season), red onions, and salted egg. If I can find green mango or mango that's not sweet, I'll throw that in too. The salted egg isn't uber salty and serves as a flavoring agent. This side dish is great for those meat heavy dishes such as the fish dishes. It also helps cut your rice intake.

Okay. There you have it. My spiel on the goodness of Filipino food. I will confess that I know a number of Filipinos who get a kick out of "tricking" non-Filipinos into eating things like blood, intestines, and unborn duck egg. Admittedly, I think it's funny. But I'm not one of those people. I love Filipino food and I'm also more than happy to introduce the cuisine to others. It should be noted that if you're going to try out Filipino food, I'm your girl. I won't lead you to the funky stuff (um, unless you want me to).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

CFit buzz

I love cupcakes. In particular, I love eating cupcakes while sporting pigtails. You should all love me for that too! Note: I happen to be sporting a green tea cupcake from Love at First Bite. If you know what's good for you, you'd run over and grab a cupcake there too. On to less delicious matters...

Freddy posted this article a few days ago. Basically, John Sheaffer aka Johnny Pain owner of Greyskull Elite Strength & Conditioning (formerly CrossFit Greyskull) withdrew their CrossFit affiliation and this post explains why. In part, Sheaffer explains (in his opinion) the rapid growth of CrossFit has equated to the decline in the quality of how CrossFitters coach, train, develop strength, etc. In truth, I completely understand where Sheaffer is coming from. It's hard to not get frustrated when you see how much CrossFit has changed (oftentimes not for the better). Yes, I'm glad someone said something. Lots of people have chimed in and here's my take on it. It begins with my:

fathlete confession: I'm positive that according to Sheaffer, I'm an embarrassment to the CrossFit community. To those who find me an embarrassment, I say f--k you and there's more of me than there are of you. With that, you can kiss my beautiful island ass.... In all seriousness, I understand that for many, CrossFit is about "forging elite fitness." Everyone has their opinions on what that is. For me, it's about the everyday struggle of getting myself to the gym and working through the WOD. There's a lot that I'm still terrible at. I admit this. I'm fine with this. But I've come a long way since last year when I re-committed myself to the system. For me, CrossFit is about the everyday. It's about getting through the WOD in hopes that I did better than before. For me, CrossFit is not just about my body. It's about my spirit. A lot of people forget this.

Here are some points that Sheaffer addresses:

Decline in the quality of CrossFit affiliates: Not all affiliates are created equally. It is true that with something as hot as CrossFit, there are those who jump on the bandwagon with no regard to the quality of their box. This is bound to happen in any industry. Apparently, it happens to be noticeable in CrossFit. Personally, I wouldn't know anything about this because I believe I attend one of the best affiliates around. I haven't visited anyone else's box. I will say that I've met some amazing trainers from other affiliates such as CrossFit Unlimited and CrossFit Santa Clara. These are people who embody the essence of what is great about CrossFit.

I agree that it's completely moronic to allow an affiliate to open when all you've done is the Level 1 certification. However, I think it was easy to open an affiliate when CrossFit was smaller because there was a lot of passion in the community. Unless you had that passion, no one really thought about opening an affiliate unless they knew they could live up to CrossFit standards. Now, things are different.

fathlete solution: CrossFit is growing and now needs to change things accordingly. I don't mind that doing a Level 1 cert allows you to be a trainer. Someone has to start somewhere. However, there should be some type of internship program that focuses on teaching CrossFit that one should go through in order to run an affiliate. This is where the CrossFit community becomes important. The internship program can be held with the support of other affiliates. I'm thinking of people who trained/coached at One World are now running successful affiliates and programs (such as Austin at Unlimited, Will B. who runs the program in Dublin, Mia in Fresno, etc.).

Decline in programming: I have nothing to say about this because I think the programming at One World is amazing. (Yes. Even when Chong does the programming.) I also see nothing wrong with the programming on the main site. If there are problems, it's that trainers/coaches are not scaling the movements according to the demands of the athlete. Again, education plays a part in this.

CrossFit arrogance: Arrogant CrossFitters came into CrossFit already arrogant. I don't think the system made them that way. It's the same if you're an asshole. You're just born with it. Seriously. If you're one of those idiots who wear the "Fit as F--K" shirts because you're declaring something as opposed to wearing it as a goal, then you're just a dumbass who has no life. Sadly, there are a lot of you arrogant f--kers out there. Clearly, I don't associate with you.

Strength training: I think CrossFit is about balance. A person cannot live on strength alone. I completely disagree with the article in this respect.

Information on nutrition: As a self proclaimed fathlete, I probably shouldn't say anything about this... But I will anyway. I do think it's wrong for people to live on 8 blocks a day on the zone while doing CrossFit. I agree with Sheaffer in that some of the nutrition advice isn't quite sound. In fact, I remember watching a fellow One Worlder living on 10 blocks a day while doing intense CrossFit training. I always thought it wasn't enough food for her. However, someone on the HQ team said it would be good for her. This is where I started to question some of the nutrition standards. Now, I think CrossFit has gotten better and CrossFitters have gotten more savvy about nutrition. In particular, I think Robb Wolf is interesting. I also think Mark's Daily Apple gives some great advice. In particular, I like that Mark thinks red wine and dark chocolate are okay;)

Personally, I'm a cherry picker when it comes to eating. I like Robb Wolf and Mark's Daily Apple in conjunction with the principles of Clean Eating and Intuitive Eating. For me, eating is a lifestyle. My focus is on health, sanity, and enjoyment - not unhealthy obsession. I'm always trying to work on my eating habits. This is what works for me. To each her own...

And that's my fathlete spiel on the CrossFit buzz. I hope you're all having a great weekend!

Greeting all the cool kids that I haven't seen in AGES! (Yup. That includes you Alex, Raz, and John W.)

CrossFit One World WOD
Run 5K

Joanne's Final Time -37:35

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I've never run a true 5K for time. I've always run it with other people using the interval 4:1 method because everyone thinks running the 5K is daunting. It is. But daunting and impossible are different things. The first time I ran a 5k at One World, I ran it with Settie and Shannon. We finished in about 43 minutes. The last time I ran it was with Lori. I think we clocked in at 34 minutes, but Lori did admit she wasn't sure about the timer. Looking back, I think we did it more along the lines of 40+ minutes because my interval timer read that we ran eight 5-minute intervals plus the round we were currently on. So much for timer ma-le-functions.

I was aiming to run under 40 minutes, which would make my mile pace about 13 minutes. I reached my goal of (1) running without walking or stopping and (2) finishing under 40 minutes, making my mile pace well under 13 minutes. The last time I ran a half marathon, my mile pace was around 14+ minutes (using the 4:1 run/walk pace). I think I'm going to do the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon next year, but I'm trying to build a 4:1 run/slow run pace. fathlete confession: These strategies do not have to make sense to you.

Right now, I just wanted to say that it was a good run and I'm looking forward to setting my training calendar. Training starts in late October and consists of three running days per week, one of them being a long run day. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Aaaaand this is the post where I confess my love for Journey simply because I adore lead singer Arnel Pineda. This past Monday they were on Oprah, where the theme was "Don't Stop Believing." In the interview, they mention a few key things: Journey just released a concert DVD called Live In Manila. It's available now at Wal-Mart. More importantly, sometime next year a documentary about Arnel Pineda will be released called Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey. It's going to be directed by Ramona Diaz, who directed Imelda: Power. Myth. Illusion. and Spirits Rising. Ramona Diaz is a totally badass filmmaker. Back to Journey.... fathlete confession: Arnel's singing makes me cry. In a good way. My heart swells with pride at the sight of him sitting next to Oprah!

Okay. I will not further indulge in my obsession. Instead, I'll just share some you tube videos. Enjoy!

Don't Stop Believing Part 1

Don't Stop Believing Part 2

Eric's crazy running, sprawls, jumping jacks, burpee, warm-up.

CrossFit One World WOD: Tabata Something Else
A tabata round is 20 seconds of work and ten seconds of rest. You will perform 32 total rounds where the first eight rounds are pull-ups, the next eight are push-ups, the next eight are Abmat sit-ups, and the last eight are squats. Your final score is total reps for all 32 rounds.

Joanne's Final Score - 300 (like the movie!)

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I don't know that the breakdown was by exercise. I do know that I'm going to pay for this WOD tomorrow morning. My butt hurts from all those damn squats! Don't ask me how I got 300 reps. I wish I knew, but I don't.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

love story

I ran into an old friend on Saturday. I'll call him Sam. I know Sam because his ex-partner was my sister's boss . Sam is a very friendly, outgoing, guy who at the time was making a killing as a salesman for computer parts. His then partner (who I will refer to as) Denise was the kind of boss who inspired you to want to work hard. My sister loved working with Denise. I always thought Sam and Denise made a great couple.

A few years ago Denise found out she had cancer and didn't have that much longer to live. Seeing that his time with Denise was limited, Sam eventually left his high-powered job to spend whatever time he could with Denise. After a three year battle, Denise passed away. I always felt horrible about this. Even more, I always wondered how Sam was doing.

On Saturday I was working in San Francisco when I saw Sam. He was shopping with a woman who seemed to be his girlfriend. I wanted to say hello. But I didn't want to remind Sam of Denise's passing. After all, it was through Denise that I even know him. After thinking it over, I realized that I may never see Sam ever again and that it would be a shame to not say hello.

Sam greeted me with a warm hug and we caught up a little bit. I asked how he was doing and he said that the past year or so has been rough without Denise. He said, "She was truly the love of my life." I nearly died hearing him say this. He then explained that before she passed, Denise signed him up for a dating service. Two months after her passing, Sam started getting the emails, all of which he ignored. In fact, he was angry that Denise would ever do such a thing. In the correspondence, Denise made it clear that she wanted Sam to move on. She didn't want him to feel empty for the rest of his life. Though they shared a great love, she wanted to make sure his love (even for someone else) would keep moving forward. At the new year, Sam finally responded to the dating service. He eventually met a lovely woman (the one he was with that day) and they've been together ever since.

Sam's story was so beautiful that it made me cry. I just had to share it with all of you. Admittedly, I'm equal parts romantic and cynic, which makes for a confusingly bitter person. I'm working on the bitter cynic part. Okay. Instead of ending on such a sour note, I'd like to send well wishes to Sam and his new love...

Run 800 meters
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Front Squat 3/3/3/3/3

Joanne's Final Weight - 83/103/113/123/128x2

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Getting to work out has been tough these days. Between teaching, writing, working, applications, my life is one crazy mess. I was glad to FINALLY make it in today. I was even more happy to do some lifting with Jason K. (kudos!). Unfortunately, the front squat is my least favorite squat. However, I'm really happy with today's performance. Here's why....

The last two sets were rough. At 123# my first lift was good, the second was faltering, and the last one was a major struggle. At 128# my first lift was really challenging. The second lift was really off and Jason told me to re-set. I was surprised that I was able to do so. My final lift failed. However, I was glad because I really stuck it out at 128#. I took my time, got stuck in the middle, and just battled with it. If I completed the third lift, it would have been even sweeter. Regardless, I am really happy!

After a lot of thought, I'm seriously considering buying some weightlifting shoes. I've been plateau-ing on the weight and I think it's because of stabilization and practice issues. A lot of people have been telling me it's also best to start lifting with shoes. Here is what I'm thinking of: I actually think these may be Tia's shoes. I'd like them to be full leather (like the photo), black with deep purple and purple stitching. I'd like to heels to read "sassy j-ro." A friend suggested "sexy j-ro," but I didn't want to be presumptuous. ha ha. Any thoughts?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

for Miss Girl Crush

I just wanted to give a special shout out to Cheryl T., Miss Girl Crush. She ran the San Jose Rock & Roll Half Marathon today (along with One Worlders Jen S. and Anna P.; my friend Davidson also ran the event. Kudos!). Girl Crush is a paleo eater, so trying to convince her to have some celebration cupcakes was a bit challenging. She did, however, mention that she might have a celebration halo-halo. With that, this halo-halo is for you, Girl Crush! I hope this deliciousness makes you weak in the knees! (Ahem. I was referring to the photo of the halo-halo - not the fabulousness that runs this blog! ha ha!)

For those of you who don't know, halo-halo is a Filipino dessert made of candied beans, fruits, coconut gel, ube, leche flan, pinipig, shave ice, evaporated milk, ice cream, etc. Translated, halo-halo means mix-mix because you have to mix all the elements of the dessert together and then eat it. Admittedly, I'm the queen of clean halo-halo mixing. It's an art that I happen to excel in! While living in the Philippines last year, I lived on halo-halo. It was how I coped with the heat. Pictured here is one of my favorite halo-halo. It comes from a restaurant called The Aristrocrat. It's currently a chain restaurant in the Philippines. However, it holds a special place in my heart because my parents' wedding reception was held at the original Aristocrat restaurant way back in 1965.

All the running talk has gotten me craving for a little running. I'm seriously thinking of doing the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon in San Francisco in February. I've always wanted to do another half marathon in San Francisco and this one seems to be a cool, low key event. If you want more information about some half and full marathons happening in California, click here. Running is a great way to explore new places. If there are any takers out there for February, please let me know. Training starts soon.

That brings me to my next topic: training. I'm one of those people who has to face the fact that I'm not a natural athlete. In the realm of all things physical, there is nothing I can take for granted. If I'm going to run a half marathon, I can't assume that CrossFit will take me to the 13.1 miles. I know it can't. CrossFit is an amazing exercise system. But it doesn't make me invincible. For me, running requires gear, nutrition, training, and respect for the course. When I ran a half marathon last year, I supplemented that training with CrossFit. CrossFitting helped me avoid injuries I endured previously when I ran a full marathon. Granted, I respect invincible CrossFitters that can walk into any sport and rock it. I'm modest enough to know that I'm not that talented. (Yes. This makes me jealous too. ha ha!)

A while back, I wrote this entry about a woman I know who signed up for a marathon (26.2 miles) but didn't run more than five miles before the race. I still don't know how she did, but I hope the course bit her in the ass. I firmly believe you have to respect the sports you decide to commit to. Nothing, not even CrossFit can make you invincible because at some point, karma will catch up to you. Case in point: Lance Armstrong. It would be too easy for Lance to jump from cycling to running. It would be too easy to think that he can transition with very little training. However, I respect that Lance put himself on a training schedule. All the Tour de France accolades are not going to help him with the marathon. He still has to train. He still understands what it is to respect a sport. What I love even more about Lance's bout with the marathon is that during his second time around, he admits the importance of marathon training. Lance knows that being a world class athlete doesn't make you invincible. Even world class athletes need a plan!

Prep for the clean.

CrossFit One World WOD
Work on cleans. I started with the 33# bar and ended with cleaning 83#, and had a few failed attempts at 88#.

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Today we weren't really trying to get our max cleans. Instead, we were focusing on technique. This was fine because I really needed For some reason, I couldn't lift anything heavier than 83#. My feeble attempts at 88# resulted in failure. Like with many things in CrossFit, I just need more practice. I'm also seriously thinking of buying some weightlifting shoes. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?

One final thought about cleans (and other weightlifting moves).... It SUCKS to have boobs if you're doing some of these movements. On my failed 88# attempts, I ended up hitting the weight on my chest. On another attempt, the bar got caught on my bra. (I'm not even going to try to explain this one.) When you experience 88# of metal and rubber slamming against your boobs, you can tell me how great the recovery was. If anyone in the peanut gallery has any friendly advice about boobs, that would be greatly appreciated. (Um, I'd love it even more if you kept the boob advice clean. Thanks! Yes. Puns intended.) Just so you know, "CrossFit women don't have boobs" is not acceptable advice (Jason K.!).