Sunday, January 31, 2010

not giving up

...but I did a bad thing. I semi-binged this morning. I've been having a hard time with the challenge lately. I feel like my senses have been thrown off. I don't know what food I like and don't like anymore. Things came to a head on Friday night when I went to my friend's birthday party at Esperpento. fathlete confession: When the waitress served my artichokes to the wrong side of the table and everyone kept picking at them before they got to me, I couldn't help but think: Get your grubby hands off my artichokes and stick to your paella, you carb-eating, non-paleo heathens!

Don't get me wrong. I had a great time and the food was fabulous! (I stuck to grilled mushrooms, grilled artichokes, garlic chicken and grilled seafood.) However, when the bday cupcakes came around, I didn't have any. Not a single one. Not a single bite. This is nothing to be proud of. I felt bad because (1) my food senses were so off that I wasn't sure if I loved or hated chocolate anymore (2) my dear friend Margaret made these cupcakes (chocolate pound cake with chocolate ganache and topped with a piece of white chocolate) and I missed out on having a taste of her masterpiece (3) I wasn't sure if I wanted to bite into one of those delightful treats or throw it across the room declaring: cupcakes are the devil's work! Since then, I haven't stopped thinking about the cupcakes - not because I want a bite, but because I'm developing an even WORSE relationship with food! Hence this morning's binge which consisted of: 3 vegetarian samosas, 4 pieces of karioka (fried mochi), and 1 bibingka (Filipino rice cake) with salted egg. This is how off my senses are. NONE of these items are on my "I can't wait til this f--kin' challenge is over!" list!

Lately, eating has become a moral dilemma. This past week I felt guilty about putting a freakin' banana in my pancake batter! ONE BANANA between 16 pancakes (which I shared)! Though I've had small cheats, they were never real, bona fide cheats. Ahem. A bite of dark chocolate to hold me down is not a real cheat. Three pieces of plantains during Mel's bday dinner is not a real cheat. The small piece of lumpia over lunch with my sister is not a real cheat.

I went running this morning with Lori and explained my dilemma. I told her I was going to engage in a real cheat after the run. And I did. It wasn't exactly the stuff I was craving. But it did the job (for now). Looking back, I should have followed my spider senses and took Friday night off. That way, this morning's binge would have never happened.

Even more than the cheat, the cornerstone of my frustration is weight loss itself. I'm at constant war with my body and it's not getting any better. The first two weeks I was doing okay. These last two weeks (I started a week early) I've only dropped a pound per week. I'm down about 7.5 pounds total. It's respectable. I'm not complaining. I'd rather be down than up. It's just that I've been good and I was expecting better results. 7.5 pounds later, my friend asked if I was down a pant size. I said no. I know I need to be patient. It's just that I had hoped that my body would be different. In the past, I've lost twenty pounds and was still the same pant size. My body is weird like that. I can loose pounds and stay the same clothing size. I can loose very little weight, stay the same pant size, but loose inches in weird places. Right now, my waist and my bra band size are two inches down. I never know which numbers to pay attention to. These days I feel like regardless of what I pay attention to, I'm at the shorter end of the stick.

Technically, there are two weeks left in the challenge. Thing is, this wasn't a five week escapade for me. I need to figure things out...

CrossFit One World WOD
Run 5K

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Lori and I planned on running this race. However, I completely blanked and realized that it was happening next week. We're not quite ready, so we're not doing this race. We're still going to do a 5K, but we have to find another one. There's always one around, so no biggie. Right now, I like doing a weekly, no-pressure run.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I am sad to announce that one of my favorite shows, Ugly Betty, is going to be cancelled. They are currently in their fourth and final season. Tears.

Today's Small Victories
1) I finally made it to that butcher shop in San Leandro. Bought me some rib eye and chicken breast. I am now a cooking machine!
2) I was seriously thinking about going to in-n-out to buy a double double protein style... but then I remembered the salmon waiting for me at home... but I could have the salmon for dinner... I then missed the exit for in-n-out. I took this as a sign from God that the burger and I weren't meant to be. The salmon was delicious!
3) I am learning to love my new iron skillet. If you've never cooked with one, do it. It will change your life. I swear it will!

Run 400 meters
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Bench Press 3/3/3/3/3
I did all sets at 85#

Overhead Squat 3/3/3
As usual, I read the board wrong. For this, I did three sets of three at 65#; one set at 75#; one set at 80#.

Four rounds for time of 10 push-up & dip parallette bar pass throughs/50 jump rope rotations for time. (Modified)
Joanne's Final Time - 11:20

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I was really glad with my strength today. I PR'd on both of them. Thursday programming is awesome - especially when we have the time and focus to do it. I still don't know what my max is on the OH squat. Eric thinks my 3-rep max is about 95#, which makes my 1-rep max over 100#. I've never really worked on them for maxes, so the next few weeks should be exciting.

I sucked at the conditioning part. I can barely do the pass throughs modified on the box. Body weight stuff just isn't my thing. Yeah. more stuff to work on!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

not so taco

The other weekend, my dear friend Fritzie was visiting me. Being on the challenge and entertaining your friends can be a little tricky. I don't think it's ethical for me to make Fritzie eat paleo for a weekend. Therefore, cooking needs to satisfy both of our sensibilities. Hence, the photo. That weekend I was craving tacos. I made taco meat the way I always do, but instead of eating them in a tortilla (which I made for Fritzie), I had mine over a bed of sunchokes, topped with lettuce, salsa, and other fresh goods. It was delicious. Oh yeah. I had my meal with a side of watermelon radish. Yummy!

Switching to paleo/primal is an adjustment because you're altering your regular eating habits. For me, the biggest challenge is not having rice, tortillas, and other processed carbs. There's not a lot one can do to replace them. You just have to figure out how to go without them. I met a nutritionist at the MDA seminar last month and she said that it's pointless to try to "trick" your body into "thinking" it's eating rice or noodles by buying the "fake" versions of these things. You simply have to adjust your sensibilities. My approach is trying to train myself to think differently. I like eating a taco with an actual tortilla. It's nothing like eating it with sunchokes. However, it's a compromise that works. For me, the star of the taco is the meat. Eaten this way, I haven't lost my star. Make sense? Moving on, here are some articles you might be interested in:

Gluten: What You Don't Know Might Kill You
Why Soy is Bad for You
17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

Today's Small Victories
1) Today was a teaching day. I managed to stay primal.
2) I had lunch with my sister at Toppings. I LOVE their java rice. There was a pile of that stuff on my plate. But I didn't have any. Nothing. Not even a single bite!
3) I'm definitely getting better at going primal with Filipino food. Woot!

Run 800 meters

CrossFit One World WOD
For 20 minutes, row for one minute and rest for one minute. Try to reach 2500 meters. For every 5 meters under 2500 meters, do one burpee.

Joanne's Final Count - 2466 meters; 7 burpees

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Since Atsushi did 3016 meters (the men's rx was 3000), he shared his excess meters, making it so that I only had to do 6 burpees instead of 7. Thanks Sushi. You're the best! Just for that, I promise I won't post that photo where it looks like you're humping a newspaper box. ha ha!

Can I just give myself a great big pat on my back?! I did awesome today! Looking at the board, I thought for sure I'd be at least in the 30 burpee range. I HATE burpees, so I told myself that I would aim for 250 meters per round. To my surprise, I didn't hit below the 250 meter mark until about round five. By the time we finished, I knew I'd only have to do about 10 burpees. Having to do only 7 (technically 6) was a total gift.

I think I'm getting better at the row and am getting the hang of pulling harder, not faster. My row still needs work, but I'm so happy about my results tonight. Yea!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

discounts. dance. pancakes.

It's not that I hate Whole Foods. I don't shop there because (1) it's overpriced (2) there isn't one locally (3) it's overpriced. I don't mind paying a little bit for food. With the challenge, I'm learning the value of investing in quality food. But I'm not into Whole Foods. Here's a perfect reason why. They just launched an incentive program for their employees. To help Whole Foods cut healthcare costs, they're offering higher discounts to employees who are within an appropriate BMI range, have good blood and cholesterol levels, and don't smoke. Everyone gets the standard 20% off, while the "healthy" employees get up to 30% off... and this is why fat is the last legal form of discrimination. (Argue with me all you want about this. I assure you that I'll come with guns fully loaded!)

I'm not sure if you remember, but a few years ago the 'net was buzzin' over this youtube video of Filipino prisoners dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Inmates at the prison in Cebu learned dance routines for their daily exercise. It's an amazing video because it showcases about 1500 inmates! Apparently, Michael Jackson himself got a kick out of this. For the "This is It" DVD, the choreographer decided to visit the prison and teach the inmates one of Jackson's last routines as a special feature. It took two days for them to coordinate the video. That's freakin' amazing! Here's the story (and the video).

For those of you wanting to have pancakes and still eat primal, here is an idea for you. Lara posted a recipe for paleo pancakes on the LBN site. I decided to do a version of my own. fathlete confession: It's not that I don't know how to follow recipes. I just like to play. When I saw the original recipe, I wondered if it would be too gritty or nutty for my liking. That's why I modified according to my tropical sensibilites. The pancakes turned out pretty good. I've made two batches so far and this is what they look like:
j-ro's pancakes
1 c. vanilla protein powder (something low carb)
1 c. coconut powder (I posted info about that here)
1 c. almond meal (any will do, but I like the one from Berkeley Bowl the best)
6 eggs
1-2 bananas (I used 1, but if you want more sweetness, then go for two)
1/2 c. coconut milk
vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste
Directions: Mix all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend the eggs, bananas, coconut milk and vanilla extract and whip them into the dry ingredients. If you like a thinner batter, add more coconut milk. When cooking the pancakes, the heat should be on medium low. Be sure to coat the pan with a tiny touch of coconut oil or butter in between each pancake. Like Lara, I recommend using an egg pan because the pancakes are more consistent that way. It makes about 16-18 pancakes. Enjoy!

fathlete confession: I'm not sure how primal or paleo protein powder is. However, since MDA sells his own brand of protein powder, I figure it can't be that bad. Also, some paleo-primal folks are against bananas. I chose them for their natural sweetness and their texture in helping bind the dry ingredients. Since I used only one, I figured it was fine. The bananas make it so that you don't need any sweetener.

Today's Small Victories
1) I did better in the WOD that I thought I would.
2) I finally figured out what was going on with my shoes.

Row 500 meters
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Deadlift 3/3/3
Joanne's Weight: 185/205/225

Complete as many rounds as you can in 12 minutes of 7 pull-ups/15 box jumps/3 short shuttle runs
Joanne's Final Count - 5 rounds + 1 pull-up

Notes (to myself) about this workout: My last deadlift was ugly. I'm having issues with grip. I can't wait for my shoes to get here. I think it will take a few more weeks. Right now, they're back in Columbia where they are getting altered. I liked the training portion. But I really need to get serious about pull-ups. Yes. I say that a lot. I'm sure I'll come around and actually do it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

watermelon radish

Recently, I watched an episode of Iron Chef, where White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford teamed up with Bobby Flay to challenge Emeril and Mario. (Yeah. First names because we're cool like that.) The challenge was to create a meal focusing on the ingredients from the White House garden. fathlete confession: I was completely envious at the gorgeous variety of produce from the garden. The chefs mentioned that in less than a year, over a thousand pounds of produce has been picked. In DC, there are educational programs where local school kids pick from the garden and learn to cook with their delicious finds. When I become rich and famous, I'd like a garden just like that. Yes, I'd invite anyone to help my family and I eat the goods from mother nature!

One of the things I fell in love with was the watermelon radish. The contrast between the limey green and magenta caught my eye and aroused my taste buds. I wondered if this radish was available locally. A few days later, I found watermelon radish at the farmers' market. I nearly died! Look at it. It's so pretty!

On the show, Bobby Flay pickled the radish. As a child, my favorite thing to eat was pickled daikon. They used to sell the stuff all over the place on Guam - grocery stores, the ice cream truck, the mall... Inspired by the show and my childhood, I decided to create my own pickled radish. Here's the end result: I simply washed and sliced the radish (no peeling). Then, I soaked it in 1 part regular vinegar, 1 part seasoned rice vinegar, and a helping of red pepper flakes. This was pure awesomeness! Eaten raw, the radish is bitter and peppery. Soaking it in vinegar cuts that. I loved how the radish stayed crisp, even after sitting for a few days. Most importantly, it was definitely like the stuff back home. The radish goes great with heavier, oily dishes because the vinegar helps to cut the fat. Personally, I ate it alone as a snack or for breakfast to add a veggie and lighten up the bacon.

Small Victories
1) I showed up!
2) Over the weekend I managed to be "good" even though I went to several social events where there was an abundance of dessert offerings.

Run 400 meters
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Back Squat 5/3/1/1/1
95#x5 / 165#x5 (PR) / 175#x3 (w/ spot) / 165#x3 (w/ spot) / 170 / 180 / 185 (fail)

Press 5/3/1/1/1

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
I completely forgot how the max reps go. For some reason, I kept thinking that we had to hit our max at the 5 rep, the 3 rep and then figure out our 1 rep max. This is why my weights are so screw-y and I didn't hit a PR. You'd think that after almost a month I'd be acclimated to the strength training. Unfortunately, nope. I'm not.

I just figured out the secret to the OH press. With that, I knew that I wouldn't be able to hit more than 75#. Tonight felt off. I felt like I should be lifting more. This adjustment isn't quite as smooth for me. Bleh!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the spice of life

In case I haven't mentioned this, I live with two guys who let me take over the kitchen and never complain about it. This is why I *heart* my roomies so!

Recently, I decided to take over a series of unused drawers in the kitchen and turn them into "spice drawers." fathlete confession: I was too cheap to make a bona fide spice rack. Therefore, the drawers just made sense. When I get the money, I'm going to buy more "uniform" spice jars, making my drawer even prettier than it is now. Cool, huh?

Anyway... here's a tip on spices.... It seems that MDA is a proponent of spices. Yea! Thing is, spices can add up - especially if you buy them at regular grocery stores. I found a local gem right here in Union City. It's called Spice House and is located at 29266 Union City Blvd. (across the street from Kaiser). The phone number is: (510) 489-6857. It's actually an Indian grocery store. However, it has an AMAZING spice collection that is really cheap. I left there spending about $8 and brought home five different items: coconut powder (technically not a spice, but you can use it for paleo pancakes; will post that soon), tea masala (which gives ordinary coffee or hot cocoa a great kick), dill weed (I bought 2 oz. for 99 cents; my roomie bout 1/2 oz of the stuff at the grocery store for $7), ground cinnamon, and cinnamon sticks. They have a ton of other spices, usually hard to find ones at that. You can buy them in jars or in plastic bags. However, they won't have things like basil or tarragon. Though not paleo, it also has an amazing selection of beans (for the vegetarians out there). FYI - It's a spice house, which means it's going to smell like a spice house. 'Nuff said.

Today's Small Victories
1) I'm accentuating the positive today. Unfortunately, I received some disturbing news about a teaching experience. But I'm going to brush it off my shoulders. I believe in my teaching and I believe I'm a good teacher. I take my job seriously and love what I do. That is that.

2) Though I have a slight ankle sprain, I'm not sweating it. I'm a pro at ankle sprains. I'm getting through this.

3) This was my first day back in school. I managed to stick to the meal plan. Woot! Ahem. You realize how many AWESOME places Berkeley has to eat? It's tough, but I'm sticking to my plan. 'Nuff said

Row 500 meters
Dynamic stretching

CrossFit One World WOD: The Filthy Fifty
Complete the following for time:
50 box jumps 12"
50jumping pull-ups
50 kettlebell swings 20#
50 walking lunge steps
50 knees to elbows
50 push presses 33#
50 back extensions
50 wall balls 8#
50 burpees
50 double unders

Joanne's Final Time - 40 some odd minutes minus the jump roping

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Clumsy me decided I would be #3. First, BJJ Tom broke his foot. Then, Fookie dislocated his shoulder. Tonight I have a slight ankle sprain on my left foot. Like I said, no big deal. I'm happy I get to read tonight:D

I hate this WOD. There's nothing good about this WOD. By the time I hit the push presses, I felt like I was out of my body and just wanted to get out! I think lady fate felt the same way because as I struggled to finish the burpees (I love you 7:15-ers! Shannon, Roya, Jerry L., Jen S., Caleb and David - YOU ROCK! Though I still hate you for making me finish the burpees, you still rock. I love you. And hate you. But I still love you. Sorry. Injuries make me schizophrenic.), I realized that I really didn't want to do the jump ropes. Since it was the last thing and I did all the other stuff, I walked over to get my rope and tripped. My ankle turned in and blam. I was done. Luckily, everyone was great and I'm recovering fine. I'll be back in a few days. Woot!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LBN survival guide: assess and re-assess

Here's another dish I made during the holidays. Green beans in shallots, balsamic vinegar, and butter. You can find the recipe here. They were so yummy! Thing is, I stupidly made them the day before. When they made it to the dinner table, they looked dead - like they came from a can (not as lively as the photo). To keep the looking peppy and fresh, be sure to cook and serve immediately.

Here's the last of my LBN Survival Guide. I hope the advice helps!
The Fathlete's Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

At the end of the challenge, assess and re-assess. Ask yourself: What did you learn? How will you go forward? The challenge is not an easy process. With anything in life, it’s important to: stay grounded, be humble, and focus on the next step. Even if you feel like you’re falling behind, remember to aspire to always go forward.

Today's Small Victories
1) I'm feeling good!

Row 1000 meters
Extensive stretching and prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD: Deadlift/Burpee
Complete five rounds for time of:
5 deadlifts 155#
10 burpees.

Joanne's Final Time - 9:13 or 9:31 (something like that)

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I blanked out on my time so that's as best as I could remember. For some reason I wasn't feeling the deadlift tonight. Actually, the deadlift is one of those movements I feel like I should be better at but I'm not. Bleh. I was hoping to push it to 165#, but I knew I wouldn't finish in a reasonable time. Again, the search function on this blog is weird because it says that the last time I did this WOD was 2008. I'm sure I did this at least once last year. Anyway, last time I did this in 2008, I did about 140# and finished in 14 minutes. Given that, I think I did awesome today! Also, I did a full push-up (sort of. My burpees should be called floppies. Just sayin'.) for the burpee. I still need to work on those suckers!

Monday, January 18, 2010

LBN survival guide: reward yourself

I just saw Avatar this weekend. I'm a nerd. I loved it. My head is spinning and I don't know what to do. I can't wait to get the chance to teach this film. The students are gonna flip!
The Fathlete's Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

Reward yourself. You gotta get something for this, right? How about a massage at the end of the challenge? Some new clothing to go with your new body? A mini-vacation to Tahoe? Perhaps some private training sessions? Reward your hard work. That way, you have something to look forward to. I recommend that you not reward yourself with food. Save the fried chicken and waffles for a cheat meal, not a reward. (Do you really want to reward good eating with bad eating? Doesn’t make sense, does it?!) Like your goals, your reward should be meaningful. They should also celebrate your accomplishments – not revert you back to your unhealthy eating habits.

Today's Small Victories
1) I am still negotiating my feelings about the cheat. I'm surprised that I haven't been hit by a wave of guilt. Then again, my cheats are hardly worth mentioning. This weekend I loosened up a little bit. On Friday I had a piece of lumpia from a Thai restaurant. It was literally the size of my middle finger. On Saturday night I had buffalo wings because it was the closest thing to paleo I could get at restaurant X. (Sorry. Salad wasn't cutting it - especially since it was only served with fried chicken! Um, not that buffalo wings were any better but...) On Sunday night I shared a dessert with five other people. Two scoops of coconut sorbet with two pieces of banana lumpia between six people is hardly worth the guilt. Today I had a coconut milk from Fantasia. I'm done with cheating. Yes. This is victory.

Some slow rowing.
Shoulder rotations (much to Freddy's dismay)
Air squats

CrossFit One World WOD
Back Squat
10x45# / 8x95# / 6x135# / 5x155# / 5x155# / 5x160#

Shoulder Press
8x45# / 5x55# / 5x60# / 3x65#

Cardio: Tabata dumbbell power cleans for total reps. Rest 1 minute. Tabata row for total calories. Rest 1 minute. Tabata dumbbell jerk for total reps. Rest 1 minute. Tabata row for total calories.

Joanne's Final Count - 51/42/61/42 15# dumbell

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I'm still trying to get the hang of the strength portion of the WOD. I'm almost there. I've decided that I would aim for a PR every other week. That means next week I'm aiming for 165# 5 rep back squat and a 65# - 70# shoulder press. By the way, I FINALLY got the hang of a shoulder press. All this time I was doing it wrong. Bleh.

The tabata WOD was great. Next time I'm jumping to 18# (if we have it) or 20#. I think I had good form, so I'm a total happy camper. Yea!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

LBN survival guide: forgive yourself

I think mushrooms are the greatest things on earth. I could easily give up rice in exchange for mushrooms. These were made over the holidays. Simply take about three pounds of mushrooms (I used four different kinds: button, crimini, oyster, and shitake) and toss them in a packet of ranch dressing and olive oil. From there, I stuck them in the turbo broiler for about 10 minutes to roast. Since the turbo is small, I had to do this in four different batches. These things were yummy and didn't last very long at the table.

My stats this week are as follows... I lost 2.6 pounds and another inch off my waist, for a grand total of 5.6 pounds and 2 inches off my waist. This week I had 40 vegetable servings, 15 fruit servings, and 5 hours of exercise. I faltered a little toward the end of the week by having one piece of lumpia. It's still within my cheat range so I won't cry about it. I also had a little more dark chocolate than I had anticipated. I need to handle the sweet cravings with fruit. However, winter fruits just aren't as yummy as summer ones. Oh well....

The Fathlete’s Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

Forgive yourself. Sometimes you break and have a cheat meal or snack. It’s okay. You’re human. I promise that even paleo and primal’s best advocates get weak in the knees when in the vicinity of The Cheesecake Factory. (Anyone who doesn’t is a heathen in my book. Just sayin’!) If they break, so can you. It doesn’t make you a horrible person. It just means that you’re human. Ideally, your good/bad ratio should be 80/20. That’s right. You get a 20% cheat. Remember, cheat. Do not gorge! Please remember that a cheat meal, cheat snack, or cheat day is meant to help you keep your sanity and stay on the nutrition path. Take note of how those foods make you feel. I’ll bet that your taste buds have adapted a little bit and those foods just aren’t as heavenly as you thought they once were. Remember that feeling the next time you think you want to bathe in a vat of chocolate chip cookie dough!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

LBN survival guide: think differently

This is an AMAZING rendition of a classic. I bought it off of itunes and I'm in love with this song again!

Here are two articles of interest. The Triumph of the Size 12s talks about model Crystal Renn, her book Hungry, and how "normal" is the new overweight. Fashion Magazine to Salute Large-Size Women talks about an upcoming issue of V, that is going to feature larger models on their fashion spread. The photos are amazing! fathlete confession: I've always wanted to know what it was like to be a model. My sister once asked me if I was interested in getting into plus size modeling. I thought she was crazy! But I still fantasize about it....
The Fathlete’s Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

Think differently. Stop focusing on all the food you CANNOT have. Spend less time fixating on the cupcakes, rice, pasta, tempura, ice cream, brownies, cookies, bread, lumpia, and other goods that are forbidden. Instead, think of all the crazy delicious things you CAN have. Hello, coconut milk smoothies! Hello chocolate-hazelnut cake! (Yes. You read that right. Robb Wolf has a recipe for it on his blog!) Hello banana-almond ice cream! Think about all the good stuff you’re going to eat and how good that stuff is going to make your body feel.
I’m a die-hard island girl. A Filipina born and raised on Guam, I love Filipino and Chamorro food. I WILL NOT let it go. I firmly believe that the heart of every culture’s cuisine has paleo/primal sensibilities. Living overseas taught me this. Other countries eat paleo/primal without even trying because veggies and fruit are so abundant (and cheap). Though meat is not central, it is definitely eaten as much as it is available and is present in most meals. (Note: If you’re a vegetarian, please stay away from Guam and the Philippines. Such atrocities do not exist there!) With the right tweaking, most ethnic foods can fall within the paleo/primal parameters. Simply put, I just replace rice and other processed carbs with a vegetable source. It’s easier than I thought! If need be, I’ll eat taro and yam. In my head, they’re acceptable and way healthier than rice.

Today's Small Victories
1) I managed to stay paleo while ordering Chinese!

Row 500 meters
Stretching and prep for WOD.

CrossFit One World WOD
Bench Press 3/3/3/3/3

Overhead Squat 3/3/3

Four rounds for time of:
3 power cleans 63#
6 push or split jerks 63#
9 push-ups

Joanne's Final Time - 5:40

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I'm spent. Period. It wasn't until after the WOD that I realized you're supposed to flop for the clapping push-ups. I hated them so I resorted to regular push-ups. I'm still spent. Bleh.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

LBN survival guide: keep an open mind

I love this performance. I need to listen to this song everyday!

The Fathlete’s Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

Keep an open mind. Obviously, the stuff you’ve been doing isn't working. So try something new. You don’t have to like it. Should you decide that "this shit sucks!" make sure your declaration is an informed one. Try a new kind of workout. Eat something new. Have a paleo/primal cooking party or potluck. Meet your friends at the local farmer’s market and make an outing of it. Open the minds of people around you. Feed them the stuff you’re eating. You’d be surprised at how well they respond. I know this because at family gatherings, my family knows that I will bring one to three vegetable dishes (um, along with deep-fried shrimp patties). In a meat-and-rice family, the veggies are always appreciated and always eaten with delight! The challenge is supposed to inspire a lifestyle change. The people you love are a part of your life. They are allowed to grow, indulge, and experience that change with you.

Today's Small Victories
1) I spent the morning at my sister's house waiting for an important package. The cookie-cake was still there. So was the sourdough bread. It was easier to stay away knowing that it was the same stuff from two days ago. Ew.

2) I listened to my body when she told me that she was still feeling under from last night's deadlifts. I went light on today's WOD.

Steady 1000 meter row
Two sets of:
10 push-ups
10 Eric's ab exercise

CrossFit One World WOD
2.2 mile walk

Joanne's Final Time - N/A

Notes (to myself) about this workout: My back is still wrecked from last night's deadlifts. Some people can walk in and do the heavy lifting as a warm-up. I'm just not one of those people. On double lifting days I now know that I have to get in there early and warm up. It's just too dangerous for me not to.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LBN survival guide: do your homework

The person who does these videos is a GENIUS! Many thanks to John W. for sending this over. I can't possibly think of why I would remind anyone of the chick in the video. ha ha!

Freddy posted this video. I think it's PURE AWESOMENESS! It's like CrossFit meets my love for all things 80s! It's a fathlete's fantasy made real. Yet another reason why I *heart* Sweden. xoxo!

The Fathlete’s Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

Do your homework. Read a little something or watch a little something on most days that will help you gain a better understanding of good health. This will ensure that health is constantly on your mind. Ultimately, the problem isn’t you. The food system in this country (and most industrialized nations) is pretty crazy! Seriously. Do we really need fast food? Do fast food chains really need to offer “super size” options? Does the girl at Starbucks really have to ask if I want a pastry with my coffee? Does Krispy Kreme really need to give me a fresh, hot-off-the-belt doughnut for FREE?! (Do I really need to be at these places to begin with?!) Does finding fresh produce really have to feel like I’m in the Sahara on a mad scavenger hunt for bottled water?! NO! The more you know about the food industry and its priority in making money (and not making you healthy), the easier it is to make better food choices. After arming myself with some knowledge, I decided that I've had enough. Eating is a political act. I would like to make my voice is loud and clear.
I recommend watching: Food Inc., Supersize Me, and any other well-done food documentary. I recommend reading anything that Michael Pollan has written. I’m also a fan of Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint. I hear good things about The Vegetarian Myth. If that doesn’t work, visit websites by Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson. Yes, even visit MY website! I’m not a health expert, but I’m smart, sassy and funny as all hell!

Today's Small Victories
1) Is it me or am I totally rockin' it out in the kitchen?! Yeah!

CrossFit One World WOD
Deadlift 75% of your one rep max 5(reps) x 3 (sets).
My lift sequence: 95x10 / 135x8 / 165x6 / 195x5 (this last sequence repeated three times)
We were supposed to do a max rep in pull-ups. I did them with the blue band and assistance from Roya. I got in 10 reps. I suck at pull-ups! With the band I can't get near the bar, let alone over it! Bleh!

Complete five rounds for time of 5 handstand push-ups (modified)/15 knees to elbows/200m run
Joanne's Final Time - 12:00

Some post-WOD ab work.

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I'm spent and I need to do more pull-up work. Kudos to me for getting 12 in a row on the knees-to-elbows. Woot!

Monday, January 11, 2010

bday greetings!

Happy Birthday to my nephew, Theo! He turns the big 1-7 today. Woot! It seems like it was just yesterday when he was a little baby. Here's a video of him from this weekend. His team was down 5-2 when he made this penalty shot. His team ended up winning 6-5. Enjoy!

The Fathlete’s Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

Have a plan! Stick to it as best as you can. For example, if you’re going out to a restaurant with friends, go online and check out the menu so that you know what to order in advance. Believe me, no one notices what you order. (That is, unless you’re a vegan. or and asshole. or both. just kidding. but not really. cheeky grin.) In social gatherings, it’s not a matter of what you eat. It’s the kind of company you are.

Planning means that you’ll have to figure out what you’re going to eat for the day or for the week. Prep accordingly. I pick two days out of the week where I’m going to cook 1-3 major meals that will last me. (I get bored with food very quickly.) Pack more lunches and cook more. If you're going to a social gathering where there won't be a lot of paleo options, it's a good idea to bring at least one dish you know you can eat. Again, people always appreciate a healthy dish.

Today's Small Victories
1) I survived the Filipino buffet (sort of). I bypassed the rice, lumpia, pancit and the desserts. I did great until I realized that kare-kare has peanuts! This is my first non-primal meal since Jan 2nd. I'm not sweating it. The peanut content is hardly worth mentioning. Things could have been worse. I could be a tray of lumpia fatter!

2) Today is my nephew's birthday. I was stuck at their house alone for about twenty minutes with a HUGE Mrs. Fields cookie-cake, a pot of hot rice, and an abundant supply of bread and butter. Amazingly, I didn't touch any of these delights. Instead, I ate the salad that I packed and had a little cheese (I still do dairy. MDA says it's okay.) while waiting patiently for my sister and her family to some home. Again, this could have been a disaster. I could have eaten a cookie sandwich stuffed with rice, dipped in sourdough bread, and butter. Um, did I mention this happened after today's WOD when I was famished?! Monuments should be erected in my honor for exercising such self control!

CrossFit One World WOD
Back Squat 5/5/5
135/155/160 (5#PR!)

Press 5/5/5
50/60/60 (I did a 70# attempt, but failed)


Complete 30 wall balls for time (12#). Rest 1 minute. Repeat for a total of four attempts.

Joanne's Final Time - 1:33/1:40/2:00/2:06

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I agree with the twins... wall balls are not for the vertically challenged! I usually do 14#, but Freddy really wanted us to hit the 10' mark. That's why I dropped down to 12#. I like to think I hit most of the reps at the mark. I'm not sure. It was hard to tell because there was a rope in my way and I wasn't directly under a grey box. The key to wall balls is having a good breathing rhythm. Tonight I just felt a little off and I think my rest time was too long. I need to push next time. I also need to avoid working out next to Louie and Andy.

My press was off today. Again, I'm not into the heavy lifting as a warm-up, but I'll hang in there as best as I can.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

hot damn!

I went to the Nike Store in SF and found a slew of workout shirts I wanted to get. This one is on my wish list. It's very very ME.

With the photos taken care of, the challenge has officially commenced. The prizes have been officially announced. Can I just say that I would LOVE to win it just for the chance to go to the Robb Wolf seminar?! Sigh. If I had $200 I'd totally sign up in a heartbeat. Alas, no go. I guess this means I'm going to have to work this challenge, doesn't it?

Anyway.... The photos weren't as bad as I was anticipating. Um, it also helps when you don't have to actually look at the photos. I've started going primal on January 2nd. My numbers from 1/02-1/09/2010 are as follows... I've lost 3 pounds and 1 inch off my waist. I have eaten 16 fruit servings, 40 vegetable servings, zero fried foods, 2/3 of a cupcake, and four hours of exercise in seven days. Admittedly, I feel good. I haven't gotten the headaches, the shakes or weird carb withdrawal symptoms that people sometimes get. (When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I cut carbs COMPLETELY for about three days and I was a total mess.) It's not as bad as I thought. My only weak spot is when I smell desserts or fresh bread. Then I get weak in the knees. My coping strategy is to just bite the bullet and work through the craving. Also, carbs conk me out and if I just remember that, then I'm okay with not having them. My other strategy is to have a small piece of dark chocolate. That works every time.

Finally, I ran three miles today with Lori. Yea!
The Fathlete’s Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

Build your arsenal of tools to help you develop your plan of attack. The challenge is not easy, but (like many things in life) it can be incredibly fun with the right tools! I recommend:

a) Food journal. If there’s anything that has proven weight loss success, it’s keeping a food journal! Being accountable for what you eat makes you think twice. Do you really want to write down that you had eight cupcakes in one sitting?

b) A scale, a digital camera, or other measuring instruments. I start each day by weighing and measuring myself as a way for me to connect to my health goals. Actual poundage doesn’t mean much, but measuring does. You can use myo tape to measure yourself. You can also take weekly photos of yourself.

c) Kitchen utensils. I personally love santoku knives, paring knives, a hot pot, a turbo broiler, a reliable set of pots and pans, green bags, and a magic bullet. Pretty plates, silverware, and glasses help too.

d) Stuff to pack your food with. I swear by zip loc containers and a byo bag. A re-usable ice block helps too!

e) Wall calendar. (No. I do not own stock in their company.)

f) Cool workout gear. Nike is my personal favorite. If I could afford it, I would love lululemon too!

g) Anything that will get you eating better and hitting the gym. If you have some personal favorites, let a sister know, will ya?!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

LBN survival guide: build your support system

Freddy posted a photo of brussels sprouts today. This is my version of them made with browned butter, garlic, and sage. Per Freddy's recommendation, I'll definitely try to brown them to a crisp and make them with olive oil. I made these for Christmas lunch and dinner. They were easy to make and people really liked them. It's definitely going to be on the potluck rotation list!

On to the survival guide.... I should note that yes, it is a little weird for me to have a survival guide considering I'm still working on my goals and such. In truth, I'm writing it as a reminder to myself about the things I need to do. With that, I see no contradictions.

The Fathlete's Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge

Build your support system. Tell everyone you know about the challenge. Ask for their support and encouragement. Also, ask them to hold off on giving you cupcakes and other items of delicousness until after the challenge. Your support system will mean the world to you when you’ve just discovered that Starbucks now sells red velvet cupcakes. Your support system will tell you that you are better than that fatty, preservative-laden, probably-looks-better-than-it-tastes cupcake. This will give you the strength to just walk away! Ahem. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything….
Building your support system also means giving support back. Don’t just take the love. Share it too! Besides, your support system may be part of the challenge. They may want to join you in the challenge. They may want to help you cook or go grocery shopping with you. They may have been on a similar journey and have a plethora of advice to share. That’s what support is for. Seek it and take advantage of it!
Today's Small Victories

Run 800 meters
Warm-up weight sets

CrossFit One World WOD
Bench Press 5/5/5/5/5

Overhead Squat 5/5/5

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Today's originally posted WOD was INSANE! I appreciate how ambitious the WODs have been this week. But by day #4, my body was a little wrecked. In my head, I knew I'd do the strength portion but not the ropes.

I needed a less intense technique-driven day like today. I didn't do a lot of heavy lifting, but my body needs the rest.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

LBN survival guide: determine your goals

Terrible 80s video. AMAZING song to have on your ipod!

MDA just did a post called It's a Journey, Not a Race. I recommend that you read it if you need some inspiration for the upcoming challenge.

Big thanks to Alex C. for leading me to Xplore CrossFit's site. They have a few entries of interest:
Food is Fuel, Not Your Friend (um, but I can love food just the same, right?)
I Shouldn't Have to Tell You (this is paleo in a nutshell)
If I Were a Caveman (more paleo info)

Naturally, I'd like to add to the mix of tips and tricks to conquering the challenge. With that, I present to you my first installment of The Fathlete's Guide to Surviving the Look Better Naked Challenge.

Congratulations for taking on the challenge! Take the time to pat yourself on the back. Getting started is the hardest thing to do. Know that taking this first step is an act of bravery. This makes you a true badass! Here's my first tip:

Determine your goals. Long term. Short term. Make them meaningful. Ahem. Looking hot for someone else’s husband or wife in hopes to break up their marriage is not a meaningful goal. However, wanting to keep up with your kids when they’re running around at the park is meaningful. Hoping your success will inspire the rest of your family to get healthy is meaningful. Wanting to fit into your skinny jeans is meaningful enough. Know the difference and determine your goals accordingly. Ideally, you should have long-term and short-term goals. For example, one of my long-term goals is to say good-bye to at least one of my diabetes medications. My short-term goal is to loose fifteen pounds. Create an inspiration board. Engage in a ritual that will force you to look at your inspiration board everyday. (For me, I weigh and measure myself every morning and record it on my calendar. This helps me touch base with the challenge.) This will remind you of why you’re doing this and what is ultimately important to you.

Today's Small Victories
1) I again, said NO to the red velvet cake that was calling my name at my brother's house.
2) I did the freakin' burpees!

Row 1000 meters
Three sets of five burpee box jumps

CrossFit One World WOD: Death By Burpee
Complete as many burpees as possible in 20 minutes.

Joanne's Final Count - 127

Notes (to myself) about this workout: My goal was to do 120 burpees. To do this, I had to do 5-7 burpees per minute. I did 7 burpees for the first 7 rounds. I then did 6 burpees for the rest of the rounds. At round 14, I was ready to go down to 5 burpees per minute, but Shannon and Eric really pushed me to do 6. I kept wanting to drop to 5 reps but before I knew it, I was in the last minute. Admittedly, I'm not sure if what I do could be construed as a bona fide burpee. I think they're more like floppies. But I'll take it.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

on cheating

This was the lovely omelet I ate at Venus. It was delicious! fathlete confession: I think I figured out the secret to the fluffiness of their omelette. I rock! They make a killer morning glory muffin, but at this visit, I opted out because I was gearing up for the challenge. I'm not saying that I'll never have their muffin. Right now I'm training myself to negotiate when I can have a "sweet" and what makes that "sweet" worth it. Though the challenge hasn't started, I've been in challenge mode since Jan 2nd. So far, so good. I've been eating in and eating well. I'm satisfied and feel good. Things are going better than I had anticipated.

However, I do think about what I'm going to have for my cheat meal. I want mention (again) that having a cheat meal is fine. (Just don't overdo it!) In fact, if you follow the 80/20 rule, you should be good. MDA did some posts on the 80/20 rule here and here. From what I gather, a "cheat" is meant to keep you sane and on track. I don't think it's a good idea to eat three gallons of ice cream and a tray of lumpia on a cheat day. But it is a good idea to have a little of this for pleasure's sake. Also, it's best to avoid a junk food overload for your "cheat." Not convinced? Read this. In short, a "cheat" is fine, but please avoid the "gorge."

Today's Small Victories
1) I said NO to the red velvet cupcake at Starbucks. (Insert me doing my victory dance.)
2) I survived those damn sprints.
3) I hit a 5# PR in the deadlift.

CrossFit One World WOD
1/1/1/1/1 Deadlift
Final Weight: 195/215/235/255 (PR!)

Stretching for sprints.

8 x 100m sprint. Rest 1 minute between efforts.
Joanne's Final Time (in seconds)- 24/23/25/24/26/25/26/22

Notes (to myself) about this workout: My deadlift PR was ugly, but I did it without a belt. Woot! I still don't like the idea of doing max lifts as "warm-ups" but I'm hanging in there. Sprints really suck. I'm going to totally forget that I consistently came in last and was consistently spanked by at least 10 seconds. Instead, I'm going to bitch and moan about how big tonight's 7:15 class was. WTF Freddy?! Did you have to give out the ingredients to the 7:15 secret sauce?! Now everyone's gonna start showing up. Boo!

aaaand back to the lovin'! KUDOS to Miss Shannon for hitting a 285# deadlift. You rock, Shannon and I *heart* you so!

Monday, January 04, 2010

arm yourself!

In lieu of yesterday's nutrition seminar, I wanted to direct you to MDA's post on recommended reading, movie viewing, etc. For people who are newbies to the paleo or primal lifestyle, this should give you some great information. Hopefully, it will make your journey to the challenge more manageable. Also, if you are looking for an online food journal, check out Fit Day. I've never used it, but MDA recommends it (with some precautions).

Truth be told, I'm a teacher. I believe in arming yourself with knowledge so that you know what you're getting in to. Yesterday I noticed a lot of people having issues with letting go of the carbs such as noodles, pasta, rice, bread, etc. These feelings are natural. In fact, I feel the same exact way. However, if you arm yourself with the proper knowledge and listen to the arguments about letting go of grains, it will help you better understand how and why making such food choices are important. My advice to those of you on the challenge is this: take things one day at a time. I left yesterday feeling like we were expected to go completely cold turkey on the no grains (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.) thing. With that, I wanted to remind everyone that this challenge is a stepping stone to better health. It's about learning good eating habits and heading towards consistency. The prizes are just a bonus. This challenge is about you and your lifestyle. Learn as you will.

Today's Small Victories
1) I went to Ole's Waffle House in Alameda to visit friends for brunch. Yes. I went to a "legendary" waffle house and didn't have a waffle. Instead, I opted for an omelet and fruit. I did okay and thought my meal was delicious! But it was tough not having the "legendary" waffles with butter and warm syrup that everyone else had. Sigh.

2) I've been rockin' out my food journal.

3) I added two pages to my inspiration corner.

CrossFit One World WOD
5/5/5 back squat
Final weight: 95/135/155

5/5/5 press
Final weight: 45/55/65

Dynamic stretching

Complete 21/15/9 reps for time of calorie row and thruster 58#

Joanne's Final Time - 10:44

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Oh captain, my captain. I'm sure I do not like heavy lifting as a warm-up. However, Freddy is experimenting with some new programming. Though I don't agree with it, I'm sticking with my captain (until he really pisses me off. ha ha!). I knew my 5 rep max on the back squat was 155#, so I made sure I hit that. It was challenging because I felt cold. It was also hard to not hit a new PR. Two major lifts in 25 minutes really sucks. I don't do presses very much, so I have no idea what my 5 rep max is. 45# felt fine. 55# was challenging. 65# made me feel like that was it. I felt like I had more in me, but time was scarce and I still felt cold. Bleh.

The metcon was tough. The thrusters were crazy. Initially, I wanted to do 63#, but Freddy said he wanted us to finish in 10-12 minutes. With that, I knew I had to scale down just a tad bit. I was happy with my time, but man, I kept sucking air! On a good note, I think my row was better than it usually is. Yea!

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Happy New Year! A new year brings new hopes, new dreams, new inspirations, and new goals. I've never done this before, but this is my inspiration corner. It's like a vision board. When I've done this in the past, I didn't take it so seriously. My corner isn't done yet, but I think it's off to a great start. My resolutions are simple:

1) Focus and keep my eyes on the prize. Finish the dissertation and get ready for the next phase of my life - even if it means I'm in school for another year. Everything I do now is preparing me to be Professor Joanne Rondilla.

2) Be open to love. Share love. Give love. Accept love. This isn't just in the romantic sense. In the past few days, I've learned the importance of something as simple as a compliment. Or letting a friend know that you're there for them. This is the year of love. The more I love me, the more I love those around me. It's better that way. It's less dramatic that way.

3) Be brave.

4) Get healthy.

5) Indulge in "me" time.

Today I went to the nutrition seminar for the Look Better Naked Challenge. The gist of the seminar is encased in this:
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
I could go on and on as to why this rule of eating is important. However, I recommend you read In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto or Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan. Mark Sisson's The Primal Blueprint. These guys say it way better than I do.

Some things you need to know about the eating rule:
1) Peanuts and cashews do not count as nuts.
2) Calories count for something. You're aiming for 10-12 calories per 1 pound of body weight. e.g. If you're 130#, you're aiming to consume 1300-1560 calories per day. Don't ask why because I don't know the science behind the advice.
3) Dairy is not part of the list. Neither are legumes (beans) or corn.
4) You're allowed a cheat meal or cheat day. Ideally, you are allotted a 20% cheat. Note that the cheat is to help you stay on track and not push you off course. Freddy recommends that since the challenge is five weeks, you forget about the cheat day and just follow the eating rules. Personally, I disagree. I don't like the idea of a cheat DAY, but a small cheat like a mini cupcake or hot cocoa is just fine. (But that's just me.)

For those of you who are interested in doing your own Look Better Naked Challenge, here are the guidelines (as I understand them):

1) Take a "before" photo in shorts (for men) or shorts and sports bra (for women). The photo will be a full body including the face. This is because physical changes are prevalent in the face. (Note: I agree and will take a full on photo because of this.) The photo shoot will be set up in the back room and you can choose to have a male or female photographer.

For those of you One Worlders who want to know when you can take your photo, the shoot happens this Friday 7pm, Saturday 10am and Sunday at 11am. Please refer to the site for more info.

2) When you take your photo, the challenge starts. You can choose the lifestyle plan you prefer. Today's seminar focused on quality food and the principles from the eating rule listed above.

3) Though not required, it's recommended that you keep a food journal. I recommend this one. Freddy recommends that you check out the site and post your food intake to comments. Personally, I think this is going to be a major tool in being successful at the challenge. Whatever your method, write down what you eat!

4) At the end of the challenge, take your "after" photo. You must wear the same outfit you did in the "before" photo. Voting will happen in the back room. Only challenge participants will be allowed to vote. You will rank your top three men and women based on how much their bodies have changed over the course of the challenge. The top three men and women will be recognized. However, only the #1 man and #1 woman will split the pot. The other folks will get prizes of some sort.

For the challenge, I'm going primal because I like Mark Sisson's recipes. Plus, he allows limited amounts of legumes, dairy, dark chocolate, and red wine. That's an eating plan after my heart. I started the challenge yesterday and I strayed once only because I promised Angela we'd do cupcakes. I'm also keeping a strict food log. For now, I'm satisfied. Feeling good. Looking forward to getting on with the challenge!

Those of you at home can do your own challenge. Good luck! I wish you the very best!