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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

One foot in New Mexico... One foot in Texas... But still a Million Miles Away!

Gotta tell ya.... I'm really torn.... I've been in and out of Santa Fe for the last 18 months and frankly, it's kind of a Love-Hate Relationship.... as it seems to be with all relationships I've ever had in my life.

I love a lot of things about Santa Fe and one of the things I love most is my comfy little Condo in my comfy little Condo compound....

Another thing I really love is the way the culture here really encourages being and eating healthy.

Cast iron skilled grilled pork loin chops with spring mix and accessories is one of my go-to meals.

If you're gonna be depressed, you might as well be....

And speaking of being Beautifully Depressed, my relationship with Texas is Love - Hate also.  I mean it's where I gotta go to make the money, but FUCK - it's hot down dere!

Despite the temps, I been doing the yo-yo on SWA back and forth between ABQ and HOU....

I guess you can take the Boy out of Texas but......

Absolutely the BEST BEER I have ever had in my entire life is the creamy, velvety hammer of a beer know as GOYA at Duel Brewing.

Literally, 1 - 10 oz is about all this Texas Boy can take and still drive home.

1 minute meal - Peel 4 oz of Chicken Breast from an Albertson's roasted chicken and nuke it for 45 secs, throw some fresh basil, mango slices, spicy guac and organic tomato slice on a paper plate and Home Boy gotta great meal!

Yeah - People have claimed I'm a Nomad without a home.... maybe so.

But Life is Good wherever I am.....

And that's Good Enough for Me!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Going on a Praxis - Metal Tear Lately

Another Warm-up / Strength Focus / Short Intense WOD cycle at Praxis.

I was in a class of all ladies and as you can see -

I got Smoked!

I don't care - I'd much rather work out with women than men anyday.

Much more motivating.

Speaking of motivating - I've had my iHeart station dialed in on Black Label Society for the past 3 days and it's been cueing up one helluva a concert of Metal!

That is a Double Espresso Mocha with whipped cream at Clafouti's

Told the waitress I wanted the most massive meat and protein plate they had and this is what she brought me.

That'll do Pig....

That'll do.

I spend a lot more than 5 minutes alone but think they're talking about something else which I can also totally relate to cause people have really been pissing me off a lot lately.

Well - that's not really my name but if you insist....

Hello Me!

Gonna dance a bit at El Farol's at the Canyon Road Blues Jam.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Workout - Food - Music - Repeat.... Squats, a She Beast, Post Workout Meal, Living Life Like a Berserker

Got a very rare 8-1/2 hours of sleep last night - got up had my standard 2 cups of float a horse shoe coffee dessert - Coffee - 1 tsp brown turbinado sugar - 1 tsp sweetened condensed milk - 1 drizzle of Hazel nut flavored Vanilla Extract - Sprinkle of Cinnamon..... 

If that don't wake you up and jolt your heart to a 130 beat then you're probably beyond help.

Threw together my workout gear, threw on my bike gear and jumped on the Red Mule - my tried, true and Tour Tested Trek 3700 - and motored, I mean, pedaled up Agua Fria as fast as lights, laws and life would allow me.

Rolled up to Praxis 5 minutes late as usual - but Hell after a 20 minute Ride at 25 mph on a Bike on Agua Fria - I had already saw my Life flash before my eyes several times, was warmed up and ready for anything the Workout had to offer.

As usual, the Warmup was tougher than most non-Crossfit workouts.

I had a short consult with the Praxis trainer for this class, Andrew, and explained I was 7 weeks (surgery was April 4th) post - Left Knee Total Knee Replacement and had not done a real squat workout for over 6 months.  

I took it easy working up to 155# for 5 reps which I realize isn't much, but again, given that my left knee is no longer a left knee but a chrome moly upper joint and a high density polypropylene cup bottom with a poly cup on the back of the knee cap, I wanted to make sure I took it slowly and let the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the left knee prosthesis tell me what was what.  

I'm real big on Visualization and use it in my workouts by visualizing the "Mind-Muscle" connections beginning with the synapses / electrical impulses from the brain traveling the neural network to the specific muscles being engaged and then using knowledge of anatomy and my own body's feedback, to actually visualize or "see" the muscles, ligaments and tendons working in / around a specific joint.  

It's how I kept my 30 year arthritic left knee together as long as I did prior to my Total Knee Replacement (TKR) and it's how I recovered so quickly from the surgery, walking without crutches the day of surgery and doing full 2 full Rx CrossFit workouts with my sister in Eufaula Alabama 5 weeks after my TKR.

During the last 2 sets of squats - at 135# and 155# - I had my mind really locked in on my left knee for any bio feedback and what I "saw" and felt inside / around the left knee prosthetic, was that the outside quad muscle was under stress and I could feel a strain on the attachment of that quad at the top outside of the knee joint.  

I have been monitoring the development of this muscle group post-TKR surgery and see that it is still lagging the right side (normal knee) significantly.  What this means is that this muscle / tendon connection at this point, just above the prosthetic joint, is still developing and needs to continue to develop and hypertrophy to support the new, artificial knee.  In my next squat workout, I'll increase the weight slightly to a high of 175# or 185# and compare how it feels to how it felt this time.

That is the "Mind - Muscle" connection approach with a dose of biofeedback to control / adjust the current workouts and plan future workouts.

In my pre-TKR surgery consult with my Knee Replacement Surgeon, Dr. Gregory Stocks of the Fondren Orthopedic Group in Houston Tx, we talked about what was reasonable in terms of squat weight with the New Knee.  We agreed that the max I should ever do is 225# so I will be working up to that and then just do reps with that weight.  

I'll be 54 on July 4th and frankly, I just don't need to be squatting more than that.  I can work the leg, hip and back muscles just fine at that squat weight and can build the quads and hamstrings with other ancillary exercises such as Overhead Squats, Lunges and Front Squats with much lighter weight.

Back to the Workout.... I was watching one of the She-Beasts knocking out a set of heavy squats and I turned to Andrew and said....

"They oughta take a picture of that and put it on the cover of Women's Day.... ain't nothing much better than a strong woman doing a heavy set of squats".

True That.

And then the Top Cat knocked out a 7:06 on the Rx Fran 21-15-9 of 95# Men /65# Women Thrusters and Burpees.

I think there's a word for that and in my vocabulary it's WOW!

I huffed, puffed, bitched, cussed, sweated and slobbered to a 12:33 Rx..... WTF?

With the workout done and on the ride back up the hill on Agua Fria, my Black Label Society Radio station on iHeart Radio cued up one of my favorite Rob Zombie offerings with one of my favorite hook lines of all time....

"I don't try anything..... I just do it.....  Wanna Try Me?"

My Philosophy is that the Workout is only 25% of the Whole Fitness / Lifestyle Optimization Picture.... 

The remaining 75% is 25% diet and nutrition..... 25% Sleep and Recuperation..... 25% Schedule, Stress Management and Lifestyle Management.

Let's work on the 2nd 25% right now.

Smoking Hot Cast Iron Skillet - 

A huge patty of my amped up ground beef consisting of:

Trader Joe's All Natural 96% Lean Ground Beef
Seasoned with Salt and Pepper and a mix of Garam Masala, Hot Madras Curry Powder, Allspice and Cumin
Then "moistened" with a wet mix of a seasoned, beaten egg, Honey Mustard, Sriracha, Worcestershire, Soy Sauce,  Tabasco, EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar
Fortified with seasoned and diced sweet onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, carrot sticks.
It's a Meal in a Patty!

A square of TJ's Tomato-Olive Focaccia Bread - Yeah I know it's not Paleo but I've found if I throw a few simple carbs in the mix, I sleep a little better and have a helluva lot more energy for the workouts.

Call it a customized Paleo.

Anyway, put a good grill on the Focaccia bread on both sides and please don't kill the Ground Meat twice - 2 minutes on each side will get it to Medium in the Middle - that's where you want it Meat Lovers!

Now back to the rest of the Symphony - A nice Spring Mix salad with tomato, radish and carrot sticks and some sweet onion on the side with some sliced fresh Japs, tomato and fresh basil waiting on the burg.....

Oh yeah - we gonna build something Mighty and Special for this Post-Workout Meal!

Flop that beautifully browned, veggie filled patty and throw a couple of pieces of turkey bacon in the skillet....

Cause everything's better with bacon!

Generously coat the Focaccia with my favorite sweet - hot combo..... Honey Mustard and Sriracha!

Finish the salad with fresh blueberries and a drizzle of EVOO and Balsamic and a sprinkle of S and P.

Let's Build this Beast....

Tomato and Jalapenos on one slice of bread.....

Patty and Bacon on the other slice of bread....

Mango slices coated with chili powder and cayenne and fresh basil with a drizzle of EVOO waiting on the side.

That's a Bad Looking Burg and we ain't even put it together yet!

Now that Sports Fans is a High Protein, Low Fat, Pretty Good Carb Hot - Sweet - Savory - Juicy - Crunchy Body Builder!

Do Try This at Home!

You know - you gotta be a little fucking crazy to do some of these CrossFit style Workouts - 

And I love the whole concept and history of the Viking Berserkers - 

I sure wish Zakk Wylde would've made a video for this one...

Cause he kinda looks like a Berserker!

Between that workout and that meal.....

I'm feeling a little Viking Berserker myself.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Semi-Homemade Ravioli and Meat Sauce Outback Guglielmo style

You know - I watch all these cooking shows and they make such a big deal out of making everything from scratch - and I'm all for that - but frankly there's only so much time in the day and I don't and won't spend it all day cooking.

And I don't have to - because I've tasted enough "shortcut" components to know that I can amp a few things up with my own fresh ingredients and make it better than restaurant quality anyway.

So I was hankering for some Pasta and Marinara / Meat Sauce..... I know I know - not Paleo but I've been on a Strength - Growth Cycle lately and need a few extra carbs to fill the gap between where I am and where I wannabe.

So I went to Trader Joe's and picked up a few of my favorites:

- Super Lean Ground Beef
- Beef Bolognese Ravioli
- Organic Tomato Basil Marinara

I fortified the Lean Ground Beef with a generous helping of Salt - Pepper - Cayenne - Garam Masala - Hot Madras Curry Powder - Allspice - Cumin, my wet mix of 1 seasoned and beaten egg (sounds like me on an average day), Honey Mustard, Sriracha, Worcestershire, Soy Sauce, Tabasco, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and a generous portion of seasoned and diced Sweet Onions, Red Bell Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper and Carrot sticks.

And here's the rest of the components of an incredible Italian meal.

Did 5 minutes on the Beef Bolognese Ravioli in Boiling Water then threw the Rav's in a collander and hit 'em with some EVOO and dusted lightly with S&P and Italian Seasoning and a good helping of fresh julienned Basil and plated the first portion.

I took half the Onion - Pepper - Carrot diced mix and sauted it in a 2 quart pot with some EVOO and added 4 slices of diced Turkey bacon and a 6 oz portion of the lean ground beef mix and a generous dusting of Italian Seasoning and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

While that was going on, I sliced off a square of the Focaccia bread and split it down the middle and browned it crispy on both sides in a hot cast iron skillet.

Plated the Ravioli, coated it with the double meat amped up Marinara and a coat of shredded smoked Gouda, sided with Grilled Artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, a dollop of the Spinach-Kale-Greek Yogurt dip and the Focaccia  toast.

Let me tell ya what Sport Fans or Food Fans or Whatever, I might not have Devoured the Day but I damned sure devoured that Ravioli, Meat Sauce and Focaccia bread.

In the End Analysis, 2 of My Priorities in Life is to Be a Good Man that Eats Good.

I think I got the second one covered..... still working on the first one.

Friday, June 24, 2016

3 Wonderful Meals and a Life Cycle

Got up this morning, had my 2 cups of dessert coffee - Very Strong Coffee - Brown Turbinado Sugar, teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk, splash of Hazelnut Vanilla Extract and a sprinkle of Cinnamon - and did some work and needed a quick, light, nutritious meal to get me ready for a morning Praxis workout.

Boiled Egg and a small avocado with a dusting of salt and pepper.

30 seconds to a protein - good carb - good fat precedent to a workout.

A Shower and a Ride to Praxis that was smoking fast - 16:30 from my condo to Praxis on Richards place - 1/2 mile past Siler between Agua Fria and Cerillos. 

Was flying down Agua Fria at 25 - 27 mph - only 1 red light at Siler - 19 mph avg for 5 miles. 

Fastest ride there ever. 

May not sound like much but riding down Agua Fria ain't like a ride on the Rail Trail.  I was dodging Construction Zone signs, pot holes, big cracks and sometimes cars in the bike lane upshifting and downshifting to maintain a high cadence and a pace with the traffic.  

It is fun.... and dangerous..... which makes it fun.

Incredible Shoulder Busting Workout at Praxis this morning.

Warmup was a Turkish getup - KB press - KB swing combo with a 40# Kettlebell.

Strength portion was barbell ovhd presses - I peaked at 135# for 2 reps. 

Workout was a crazy 3 sets of 15-9-6 of the following:

Strict handstand push-ups

Got it done in 15:23. 

Left shoulder was grating bone to bone but it hasn't blown up yet and I am actually working on the theory that the muscles around the shoulder joint have atrophied because I haven't worked out much in the last 6 months. So I am pushing the upper body exercises hard to try to build the shoulder muscles back up. 

It's a working theory.  We'll see how it turns out.

And then a ride back up the hill to Clafouti's and quite possibly the best tasting and certainly most beautiful restaurant salad I've ever had...

the Salad Maison aka Chorizo salad.

Back to the condo and 4 hours of work and then the evening meal....

2 Hawaiian Honey Wheat Rolls split and browned in a cast iron skillet coated with honey mustard and sriracha mounted with crispy turkey bacon, Brie cheese, slice of boiled egg, tomato and avocado.

It's my new favorite quick and easy and incredibly delicious and satisfying meal.

So let's recap.....

Get up - Coffee - Shower - Eat - Bike - Workout - Bike - Eat - Work - Eat - Work - Shower - Dance - Sleep....


Sounds like a pretty good Circle of Life to Me Simba!