Still here.

I'm still around... and still more 'round' than I'd like to be.  I've been stuck on a plateau all week.  Doesn't help much that I haven't worked out at all this week.  Between life, kids, time, and the mental fog I posted about a week or so ago... it has been interesting, at best.

It is now 12:11 a.m on the 27th of February.  I'm about to crush an Insanity workout...

My Progress: 42.2 Pounds Lost in 45 Days!

Say what?? 
Looks like I have some catching up to do in the pounds lost department! Bring it! I'm ready (again)!

Wrong mentality

I started this blog to help motivate me... I haven't blogged about or really changed the weight loss tracker in a few days due to lack of positive results on the scale. Unfortunately, I've been seeing the opposite, a positive increase of numbers. I was hoping that would change before I updated the tracker.  I only wanted to show progress.  In reality, life is what it is and this blog is about my journey.  And right now, the journey is at best a plateau, but to be honest... I'm going the wrong direction.

Last night my friend Tom asked me what asymmetrical meant. I'm an intelligent guy and I know what it means however last night I drew a blank.  I just pawned it off as he caught me off guard and that he was asking me a 'trick' question. It was (sadly) a perfect reflection of the mental fog that I have been finding myself in. The last 50+ hours I just haven't had the desire to do much. Excuses were easy to come up with and not doing something was easier than doing it.

Why am I NOT losing weight? If only I knew the exact answer, the resolution would be known and I would be losing weight again.  I believe my weight gain is the result of a few things.

1. The other day I weighed a glass of water.
2. I got fixated on the numbers on the scale.
3. I was seeing so much success that I only expected more.
4. I got complacent.
5. Calories in vs calories out mentality took over. To few calories and to little water isn't a good thing.

I stepped on the scale this morning to see 214... Two Hundred Fourteen Pounds... I was there last week. I was also at 211.2.

When I first started this I was drinking 100+ ounces of water a day, usually around 16 ounces every hour to an hour and a half or so. Often, it was extremely easy to drink 120+ ounces in a single day.

That was then. This is now. I mentioned weighing a glass of water. Out of curiosity I wanted to see if indeed 16 ounces of water equaled a pound and of course it does. Then, mentally, I got fixated on not consuming a lot of water before, during or immediately after a workout as I didn't want to "gain" weight before stepping on the scale.  It sounds silly... as if I don't hydrate then my body won't function.  I needed (and need) to get beyond this. I need to remember that without water, nothing happens. It doesn't matter if you drink recovery drinks, juice, etc... the base for all of that is water.  Water is essential. And I need it in my system, regardless what it WEIGHS. Ounce for ounce, it is crucial that I get it.

I believe that my body is retaining more water than it was two weeks ago. And that it is due to the mental change that I went through. I'm glad to be addressing this issue now.  This blog is about the journey. And journeys have ups and downs. The hills weren't expected, but you know what? They happen. I need to accept that. Address that. And find a way to get on the other side as fast AND as healthily as I can.

The family and I went to Disneyland last night with some friends.  While there we ran into some other good friends and had a great time. After Disneyland I called it an early night and was in bed around 11 and woke up close to 7 a.m. Mentally, I felt great and that I got enough sleep. I came downstairs, and life hit me.

Morning BLAH!
I woke up thirsty. Very thirsty. First thought; "Can't drink. Drinking adds weight before I get on the scale." I went downstairs. I had to pick up a bunch of toys before I could do my workout.  I did that. Found the next Insanity DVD. Put that in. Then couldn't find the remote. 5 minutes later, found it. It was hiding in plain sight.

I hit play and the timer said 41 minutes.  Ugg... I didn't want 41 minutes of a workout. I just wanted water. I started the jog and felt like I was going to be fine. A minute into the workout and I wanted to hit STOP. I just left it playing and went and grabbed some water. Came back in and did another minute or two. But still was just going through the motions. After a few minutes I felt "I got this" and was encouraged.  Something is better than nothing mentality. So... I drug myself through it... for a while.  Then the Heismans started... and mentally I couldn't get my brain around which arm to put up when. It is a simple movement. I was done. I went through the motions. I tried to push myself and get myself back into it. Ten minutes later, I hit stop.

And now, I am writing this.

For me. Today will consist of getting the kitchen back together. Taking out the trash. Making sure that I CONSUME 120 ounces of water. Making sure that I DO juice at least three juices today. Making sure that I play with the kids, educate them and show them new things. I'm going to get back on the "fun" of this.  This mental fog wasn't there the first 35 days and it doesn't need to be there now. Nor ever again. Instead of trying to avoid it, I need to attack it head on and take care of this. I have almost always been an all or nothing person.  Instead of hiding behind the numbers on the scale and being "embarrassed" to show the results to the world, I need to remember I started this blog to help keep me in check. And that is what I'm doing.

My wife came downstairs as I was writing this and said; "Did you already do your workout?" I told her that I just didn't feel into it.  But I did do the first ten minutes of the Insanity dvd. I did it and am glad I did... at least I got my heart rate up for a while. My wife then gave me some words of encouragement.  She has done a marathon before.  She has worked out a lot in the past.  It was nice to hear her express her thoughts and her experiences.

Maybe when the kids go down for a nap this afternoon this "fog" will have lifted and I'll be motivated to "Bring it" as they say and do today's Insanity workout. For now. Breakfast needs to be made for the kids and I need to go drink more water. The little, small, silly things just got in the way. Mentally, I got this. I believe I do. I just need to implement it and not get hung up.

My Progress: 38 Pounds lost in 40 Days

Starvation Mode Possible?

Has anyone ever seen Disney Cars? The contests that I am in have around 40 to 50 days remaining. After weighing in this morning, I need to make sure I don't put myself in starvation mode.  I don't need my body to hoard calories.  I did two workouts in less than 24 hrs and it says I gained 2 lbs.  lol  Not really what I wanted to see. I feel like Lightening McQueen when he blew out his tires (when Chick Hicks and The King realize Lightening is vulnerable... all that progress looks to be lost). Let's just say I don't want "Chick Hicks" to win the Piston Cup. I'll fight on... keep working out, and in the end, I still plan on winning the weight loss contests that I entered.

On the bright side, I know that fewer calories IN than you have going OUT equals weight loss.  And I also know that plateaus can (and do) happen. With that said, I don't know how many calories not consumed "triggers" starvation mode or it if is different for each person.  Also, I don't know if it is based off of minimal calorie intake over a period of time. Most days MyFitnessPal says I am consuming between 1,300 and 2,000+ calories... depending on the 'juice' I make. With the daily Insanity workouts I am doing I should be losing daily as well.  I'm not terribly concerned.  I just want to make sure that all is well.  This is my first real day of seeing results other than I'd like.  So... it might all be fine.

So now... I'm looking online to make sure that I am consuming enough calories.

I'm headed to go find answers... if you have any insight, please feel free to leave comments below. Thanks!

Essential Amino Acids

According to nutritiondata.self.com wheatgrass is PACKED full of Amino acids and proteins! I just consumed 17 grams of wheatgrass! Photos of "My Wheatgrass Juice" and my little recipe are below.

Their Protein Quality / Amino Acid score gives wheatgrass a 76 and a 92 in the completeness score:


*PROTEIN QUALITY
Protein quality is dependent on having all the essential amino acids in the proper proportions. If one or more amino acid is not present in sufficient amounts, the protein in your diet is considered incomplete.

Each spoke on the Protein Quality graph represents one of the nine essential amino acids, and the graph shows how close the protein in your diet is to the optimal distribution of amino acids recommended by the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board.

An Amino Acid Score of 100 or higher indicates a complete or high-quality protein. If the Amino Acid Score is less than 100, a link is provided to complementary sources of protein. By combining complementary proteins, you may be able to increase the overall quality of the protein you consume.

Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/900675/2#ixzz2LWtk6zSf


*A Completeness Score between 0 and 100 is a relative indication of how complete the food is with respect to these nutrients. Although few (if any) individual foods provide all the essential nutrients, the Nutrient Balance Indicator and Completeness Score can help you construct meals that are nutritionally balanced and complete.

Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/900675/2#ixzz2LWtXqMLp

The images below are from the same website. I am showing what 4 grams of wheatgrass has in it. I put 17 grams on the scale and then I threw it in our vitamix! Why the vitamix instead of my "stuffed pepper" scheme that I blogged about earlier? Because I wanted to be sure to get ALL of the amino acids (if possible) or at least maximize it! Exactly what I did and ingredients for the juice... under the photos.


Okay... so what is inside?

My Wheatgrass Juice
17 grams of Wheatgrass
4 ouces of water
2 pears
2 Fuji apples
2 long stems of Red Seedless Grapes
Yield: about 28 ounces of "My Wheatgrasss Juice."

I first took 17 grams of wheatgrass and 4 ounces of water and put them in our vitamix to ensure that I wasn't going to waste any of this potent 'grass' via the high powered juicer. I know placing the wheatgrass inside the vitamix container would confine all of it in one place. I wanted to limit the water, as I had no idea what it would taste like.  I started the vitamix, went to 10 and then powered in on high for about 15 to 30 seconds.  Upon lifting the lid off, I was overwhelmed by the SMELL!  WoW!  This stuff is POTENT! I'm not going to lie, I was nervous!

I grabbed 2 LONG strands of red grapes, 2 pears and headed to the Breville! Upon loading up the juicer I started it. Mixed that juice with the wheatgrass 'juice' and gave it a good stir.  Yeah... NO!  The smell and the taste... (as I licked off the spoon) was still a LOT! I reached for 2 fuji apples.  Not any, but two COLD ones out of the fridge! Upon obtaining those I tossed them into the Breville too! Once the apples went through, I stirred together my little mixture.  The spoon test was "okay" at best. But not unbearable. Besides, I already had almost 30 ounces of juice.  I needed to consume it.

I did consume it all! Even the froth! It was okay. Next time, I'll add another apple.  Or maybe a jicama.  No. Probably an apple or more grapes.  I really think this flavor battle is going to be won by sweetness! Jicama juice has a sweetness to it, but not that powerful. Maybe a honeydew or a cantaloupe melon would go well with this.  Ahh... a papaya, maybe.  All of those are SWEET. Almost to sweet to be juiced on their own (in my opinion).

I made and drank this juice around 2:45 am... my wife calls me a mutant.  I had JUST finished up a 39 minute Insanity workout. And I wanted to get something in my system.  When I learned of how 'complete' wheatgrass is, it was an obvious choice.  I'll weigh myself in the morning and update all the the weight loss widget then.  
As of this morning (Wednesday Feb 20th):
I had lost 41.8 pounds in 38 days! 

A good turn daily.

The scouts say to do a good turn daily.  Well, it rained last night... a lot.  I looked out the window and saw a package on my neighbor's doorstep.  I knew he wasn't home so I went out and got it.  I followed up those actions with a text message, letting him know that I did so.

This morning he came over and picked up the package.  While talking to him he asked about how things were going, since I was standing there with a juice.  I told him all of the things I put in my juice this morning and he said something like.  With all that, what did you get, 10 ounces?  I was like, no way!  I got 48 ounces!  He was surprised!  He then told me about some juicers he saw on amazon. Some of them are on sale. I may not have known about this without him coming over.  Thanks Neighbor!

I had been looking at this one, the Omega J8006 Juicer for a while now (not as my primary juicer, but as a second one).  I almost bought it last week from Macy's but held off.  I'm really considering it. However, as I put in the post earlier, stuffing peppers...

is a great way to get all my delicate ingredients to go through the Breville juicer without wasting a lot of them. In time, I will probably get the Omega.  However, my wife doesn't want to lose the precious counter space.

I love the health benefits and the ability to get nutrients from all of these...
...and more without having to spend 50 minutes chomping them down. With that said, I also look forward to chewing food and having delicious recipes again.  Which is why I'm holding off on the Omega.  That precious counter space is going to get invaded as I'm already talking about getting a dehydrator and a spiralizer for making recipes that I've been finding.  However, I have no experience or knowledge on either one of these.  I don't know which is the best dehydrator to get... so, I'll be doing some research and looking online.

Does anyone of experience with these? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Feel free to leave comments below.

My Progress:
Approximately 146,300 calories exterminated in 38 Days!

2 People. 2 Stages. 2 Juices

My wife says I can consume anything because sometimes I just drink it.  I tell her, "In thirty seconds it will be gone and I'll get all the nutrients and vitamins from it. Then, I just won't make it again."

My wife is eating well and juicing from time to time to help her get more nutrients and vitamins in her body. Much better than just eating breads, processed foods, noodles, etc... This way she is getting a bit of both.

She started with a bowl of European Hot Cereal (oatmeal with figs and raisins) from Sprouts and then made a juice for later in the day:

My wife's juice this morning:
4 Fuji Apples
1 Stalk of Celery
1 large handful of Spinach
Yield: about 24 ounces

My juice this morning:
1 head of Romaine Lettuce
2 Bok Choy heads
1 Yellow pepper
1/4 a Jalapeno (stuffed inside the yellow pepper)
1 small handful of Parsley (also stuffed inside the yellow pepper)
5 Carrots
4 Stalks of Celery
5 Roma Tomatoes (I wish I had more... but this was all I had on hand).
4 leaves (with stems) of Lacinato Kale
1/2 a Lime
Yield: 48 ounces

Stats From MyFitnessPal:
Calories: 775
Carbs: 164
Fat: 6
Protein; 51
Fiber: 58
Calcium: 233

Our taste buds change over time.  Who knows how my juice would have tasted to me 40 days ago, but today, I'd give it a 6, maybe a 7.  Had I had another 2 or 3 tomatoes, I would probably give it an 8 or more. Tomatoes are awesome! My next juice will be a sweeter one. It will consist of pears, fuji apples, kale and possibly blueberries.


Tip:
A nice sweet treat is a few pears juiced with blueberries and a handful of spinach or kale.  You can swap out the pears for really good and sweet apples, like fuji, gala or pink lady.  I'd avoid the green apples... but that is my opinion.

I know apples have "sugar" in them and so do the other fruits that I mentioned.  Just remember the "sugar" in them isn't refined, bleached or stripped of nutrients.  It is a different kind of sugar than what is found in soda, candy, processed foods, etc... this is natural and it forces your body to break it down and then it (your body) is rewarded with nutrients and vitamins that it will not find in white sugar.

This morning was my first workout since Saturday as I pulled my leg muscle some when I fell skating with my wife on the 13th.  I have been taking it easy, as I didn't want to make it worse. The workout this morning was pure cardio and cardio abs from Insanity. I fully intend on doing another workout this afternoon when the kids are down for a nap... and call me crazy, but probably one more this evening when they go to sleep.  Why?  Well tit is said that there are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound. My days gone by are catching up to my pounds lost.  And I didn't workout for a few days... so, it is time to push myself!  Time to make sure I'm BURNING calories throughout the day and make sure my pounds lost keep in line with my 84 pounds lost in 84 days goal.

My Progress: 41.8 Pounds in 38 Days!

Goal Questions and a Cook Book



  • I was asked these questions by a beach body coach. This same coach asked me if she could post my story on her facebook page.  Pretty cool that she'd ask and do that.  Her page is: https://www.facebook.com/BeActive2 She posted it on Saturday.  I don't have a direct link to the post she did, but if you scroll down you'll see my Day 1 and Day 27 photos and you'll know you're there.

    Her questions:
    Are you starting to feel the difference in your life. More energy, sleeping better, happier, able to do more with the family?
    Is your weight loss journey to win the contest or to live healthier for you and your family? Maybe both?
  • My answers: 
    (Below my answer is a touch about a cool cookbook that I was introduced to a few years ago.  Having recipes that you can 'turn' to for anyone, is huge.  Especially since this world revolves around meals... literally.)
    I am feeling so great! I HAVE so MUCH energy! I feel like I'm 22 again! I'm able to play and jump around with my kids, like I am a kid! It is amazing!
    My weight loss journey was first for my own health... I wanted me back and for my knees to stop popping when I sat down and for me to be able to "fit" into normal clothing. I was tired of the 'poncho' look that fat clothes give guys. Most options are large shirts and sweat pants... I didn't like that. Then, when I found the contests, that financial incentive (the fees to enter) added motivation. When I received an email / message saying that people are reading my blog and watching this become a reality... that encouraged me even more! Way more than I ever expected.
    I'm doing this first and foremost for me. Then my wife and kids. Then the contests. But paying $50, $75, $100, $150 and $300 to enter these contests ($650 in all) has really motivated me!
    The $50 has a $600 payout (winner takes all).
    The $75 is for the team challenge. $10,000 ($2,000 each).
    The $100 has a $5,000 payout for first place.
    The $150 is a bump to get paid $300 upon successful completion.
    The $300 is a bump to get paid $1,000 upon completion.
    -The last two are personal challenges, not 'contests' for say.
    One is for lowering my BMI to a healthy BMI in a year and the other is for losing 10% of my body weight by July (which I've already done).

    There are 5 that I believe I will win. Financial motivation, is a motivator. There is a bit over $7,600 up for grabs. Then one other contest had no fee for entering but has a $50,000 payout. The downside is, the winner is totally decided by judges and their decision of who had the most impressive weight loss transformation. I'd love to win that too.... it is a World Wide pool of people... once again, the judges decide. Not overall weight loss. That is a factor, but they make the final decision.
    So... there you have it. 
    And I am SOOOOO HAPPY and so much more healthier! I can tell already!
    -----------------------
    The cookbook I mentioned:
    I am so glad that I am doing this!  I know that I am fitter and healthier than I was just a few weeks ago!  I look forward to sensible eating and to trying new recipes.  A long time ago my friends told me about the book the Happy Herbivore, as it was a way to step into better eating without actually diving in head first.  My wife enjoyed several recipes in that book and I am intrigued to find more recipes that will be tasty to both raw eaters and meat eaters alike.  The great thing about this book is the author has truly put the recipes through the ringer and had them tasted by "meat" eaters and raw food eaters.  She then rates them according to the results and feedback given.  This is a HUGE help especially when / if you are planning for 'mixed' company.

    Inspiration.

    My wife has decided to start her juice fast too! And... she signed up for a weight loss competition to help motivate her. She says she has motivation enough just seeing that I've lost over 40 pounds in 35 days! She realizes that I'm not slowing down and if she doesn't jump on board then I'll weigh less than her (as some "baby weight" is still there). She can't imagine her husband weighing less, so she started yesterday!

    I included a photo of me from this morning at the bottom of this post too.  It is Sunday, so it is a "rest" day, no workout today. Which means I'm avoiding the scale. However, take a look at the photo... I'm "shrinking" as someone put it.

    We were introduced to Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by our friend Mike. I was instantly motivated and have NEVER looked back!

    I went on the reboot with Joe community forum page and submitted my story there.  It is at the bottom of this post for your reading pleasure.

    I added a few things of my own, including links and information to the weight loss contests / challenges entered. Including ones that even you can join/sign up for. I did this as I was asked about the weight loss challenges / contests that I entered. I provide links and information to them at the end of this post.

    You said you entered challenges. Why five? Which ones did you do? Can anyone join them? Was there a fee? What is the payout / prize?

    I didn't know I would find five at first. I started searching online as I figured since my intentions were to smash the first contest, why not find some more during the same time period and win them too? These contest are set on percentage of weight lost. I figured a little added incentive to keep me focused, would do me great. Finding five, just added to that.

    The first one I found was on Facebook. A friend put it together. This particular one is closed (all the other ones have revolving cycles, so you can join one of the upcoming ones). There was a $50 fee. Winner takes all. 12 people signed up.

    The next one I found is on HealthyLoser

    The HealthyLoser contest fee was $100 with $8,000 given out to those who place. On their pre-registration page, please tell them that you heard about them here; on 84lbs84days.blogspot
    "All participants who lose at least 15% of their Body Weight will win Cash."
    Only 300 people are allowed in each group and then another one can start forming.


    From HealthyLoser:
    "There will be 4 Cash Prizes. All participants who lose at least 15% of their Body Weight will win Cash." They "share" the payouts between those who lose weight within percentage groups Cash Payout will be as follows... just click this link and it will take you to their details page. <-- Once again, if you don't mind, please tell them Johnathan Swart sent you (referred you).

    The third, fourth and fifth contests were actually introduced to me from fellow competitors from the facebook competition. They wanted me to be on their team as a teammate.

    HealthyWage
    They give each person a referral ID number if they share their site with others.
    My ID number is: 1011207644 

    Within healthywage they have:
    A TOTALLY free BMI challenge that pays you $100.00 for lowering your BMI to a healthy one.
    A team challenge "The Matchup" that pays $10,000 and...
    A 10% weight loss challenge that pays $150.

    I am not an affiliate with them. When you use my ID number they give me an "additional bonus" on top of any winnings that I receive for losing weight.

    "The BMI Challenge."
    Is completely free and pays you $100 if you get to a healthy weight after 1-year. To qualify for the BMI Challenge you have to start with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30."

    They have an option that will increase the payout from $100 to $1,000.
    "If you'd like to earn greater prizes and have additional motivation pay $300 to get paid $1000 for winning the BMI Challenge." Click here for details on their site... and then click "Challenges" and BMI Challenge.
    If you have weight to lose and do sign up, please use my referral  ID: 1011207644. I appreciate it!

    The 10% pays you $300.
    Lose 10% of your weight and get paid $300 for losing at least 10% of your weight verified. Get your ending weight verified at a local gym or a Dr. Office to get paid.
    If you have weight to lose and do sign up, please use my referral  ID: 1011207644. I appreciate it!

    The 5 membe
    team challenge.
    Has a $10,000 prize ($2,000 each) payout and a $75.00 entry fee. The team that loses the most weight wins! They cap the weight loss at 16.59%, it is called www.healthywage.com
    If you know 5 people that have weight to lose and you want to sign up, please use my referral  ID: 1011207644

    I am excited to lose this weight and excited that my wife is going to try a reboot too. In the end, even if I don't "win" I have already won! In less than 35 days I have dropped over 40 pounds! I intend on dropping 84 pounds overall! That alone will make me a winner! However, my intention is to WIN all of these!

    Oh... and I did one other contest. I did not mention it, as it is closed. It is from bodybuilding.com, there is no fee. They have a mean and a lean contest. The payout is $50,000 to each category. I did not mention it above as it is totally based on "transformation" in the eyes of the judges. They have a World wide pool of contestants and, as much as I'd love to win that one, I feel that whomever wins it will be at the sole discretion  of the judges.

    From JoeJuicer community:

    How did you learn about Reboot Your Life?


    My friend sent me a link... I watched it.

    What inspired you to do a Reboot?

    When Phil answered the question about if he felt full in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with a "Yes"; I turned to my wife and said; "If that big man can feel full off a juice, I can too!" <-- I used to easily pound an entire large pizza... without even thinking about it.

    How did the experience go for you?

    I am still doing it... I have lost 40.4 pounds in 34 days!  I have a goal to lose 84 pounds in 84 days and I am doing it! I started a blog to keep me motivated. www.84lbs84days.blogspot.com ~ About a week after I started it someone contacted me and said we found your blog and are watching your goal become a reality! <-- That inspired me even more than I ever expected! And now... I push myself even harder!

    How much weight did you lose (even if that wasn’t your goal!)?

    So far 40.4 pounds have been eliminated and I am determined to lost another 43.6 pounds!

    Did you have any notable health or physical improvements?


    My Doctor says that increased my good cholesterol by 30 points! My bad cholesterol came in at 66... the doctor gave me a range of 0 - 166 and said that I have NO risk for heart disease or any other heart problems. 

    I was obese. Diabetes is all over my family tree and low and behold, I was raised on primarily animal products and meat. Born in Montana... meat, pork, bacon, beef, turkey, mayo, butter, you name it... we ate it. However, my step day had his 10th stint put in his heart... That scared me. I wanted a change and was so glad that FSND was introduced to me!

    What was the toughest part about the Reboot experience?

    I was so inspired that I flipped the switch and BOOM! I just went to town and jumped in with both feet!

    What habits have you maintained and kept a part of your everyday life?

    I'm still juicing however, when I am done, I will be taking smaller bites and enjoying /  savoring my food more. No more stuffing myself to a pulp! I learned a few things that will help me keep myself thin and healthy!

    What is your lasting impression of the Reboot experience?

    It has changed my life!  I will never think of food the same!  I have learned so much about the power of vegetables, fruits and the nutritional and vitamin values! Vegetables and Fruits truly are miracles! Little miracles ready to transform peoples' lives... if they just take a bite!

    Day 1:

    Day 35:
    P.S. My wife and I finally took down the sleigh door hanger last night... our little one liked playing with it so we left it up.  It is now put away... yes, I know it is February. :-)


    My Progress: 40.4 Pounds in 35 DAYS!

    Cross Trainers

    After 3 weeks of doing Insanity workouts, three times a plateau has come and gone.  This morning was no exception, so it appeared. Upon stepping on the scales the Health o Meter said, 214.4 Wait? What? Yes.. 2.4 pounds heavier than yesterday. Hmmm... not good.  Was there enough water consumed yesterday? Is my body retaining water? Why no staggering loss was my first thought.

    Solution; go do a workout and see what happens.  After a 44 minute workout, a shower and morning business the scale read, 211.6!

    With that little victory the thought came to mind... the pounds lost soon might get passed up by the days gone by. For there to be an 84 pound loss in 84 days, these two need to keep up with each other, at the very minimum. Having the pounds lost stay ahead of the days gone by has been very nice. However, it is time to push myself a bit harder.

    For the last three weeks these Under Armour Performance Trainers have been getting me through the Insanity workouts. Honestly, they are built well and appear to be holding up fine. I'm looking for opinions... Does anyone have any experience with these shoes? Will they hold up for the remaining 30+ days of Insanity?

    Since the decision has been made to step it up and jumping ahead into the MAX Training part of Insanity about a week early. This invites muscle confusion and variation, so that my body burns even more calories. I'm also getting a bit bored of the DVDs. They are getting predictable.  And if my brain is telling me that now, my muscles may have already decided that.

    What cross trainers do you recommend? When I looked online I found that these Reebok Men's ZigActivate shoes have a 5 star rating from users. I haven't heard of them before. I also found these Sport Vibram Fivefinger shoes on amazon that look intriguing, but don't think they will have the best ankle support.  I only considered these because of this quote; "Performance Rubber Outsole - offers excellent grip, traction and protection for all cross training activities."

    When I do a basic search for men's cross trainers over 4,000 results come up! If you have any insight at all I'd love to hear your opinion /  recommendation. Especially as I heard that the last 30 days of Insanity is supposed to be A LOT more difficult and you burn more calories. I want to protect my feet and ankles as I'm jumping around doing these insane workouts. What I have may just work without a problem. Asking a community of people who may know might just save my feet.

    Do you have a favorite cross trainer or running shoe that you feel gives adequate support? If so, please leave the name in the comment and I'll check them out.

    My Progress: 40.4 Pounds LOST in 34 Days!

    40 pounds LOST in 33 Days!

    Aftecrushing another Insanity workout this morning it was followed by a shower, shave and time fomy exterminating calorie machine to eliminated more even more calories before stepping on the scale!

    Honestly, I was thinking the scale would have said a lower number on it, as the last few days have included a lot of physical activity.  However, it is what it is and I'm not complaining. I'm very happy with what I've accomplished... 40 pounds in 33 days! 

    The reason I thought the scale would say a lower amount is Wednesday morning started with an Insanity workout and then that night my wife and I went rollerblading (she went rollerskating) for about an hour as part of our date night.  Then we went and picked back up the wee ones.  The next morning I didn't eat as much as I probably should have as I got busy chasing kids and taking care of things. Had I juiced a little extra the night before I would have been fine.  Then, life just happened, as it did I kept thinking I'd have time to do another workout.  That never happened.  Eventually the time came to take the kids to a Valentines Day party and then my wife had a hair appointment.  While she got her hair done, the kids and I went to the park/playground. Then, we headed to Ra where my little man devoured a ton of shrimp and the little lady had that, pork gyoza and sushi... she loves it! <-- I had water, as I made a juice before we left.

    This was probably the most tempting and difficult night thus far.  Not only do I love sushi, but for some reason (maybe my lack of food that a.m. (I only had a pineapple juice before the valentines party)) I had HUGE cravings for sushi.  And me being the one that slices up, distributes and passes out the kids food, made it just THAT much more tempting.
    The breading was spicier than my little was used to so I cut all the breading off the shrimp and he was able to devour everything.  Afterwards we learned that we could have ordered it without any breading on it or "light" breading... The little man has had the "Ra"ckin shrimp at a different location multiple times.  This was our first time at this location.  I'm glad to know that we can get the breading lighter or none.  This also means that the shrimp is breaded on location.  That it isn't premade (frozen) and then heated up!  That is a plus! Making this meal a bit fresher!

    After dinner we went and played in and around different fountains and water spouts for an hour or more.  It was a great time.

    This ended up being one of the best Valentines we've had in a long time.  It started for us with the "date" night on the 13th. Going rollerskating / blading as just a couple, really was nice and then to follow it up with a great time with the kids. Including dinner, fun memories, playing in the fountain and just the cute things that kids say and do.  Our little man kept telling people "Happy Valentines Day!" to just about anyone he could and the little girl was happily dancing and smiling at anyone who would look at her.  It was a fun filled night and 
    The juice I had made consisted of:
    2 bartlett pears
    roma tomatoes
    1 sweet potato
    1 head of bok choy

    I didn't initially plan on the tomatoes, but I wanted to throw in something that had some protein.  And tomatoes do.
    Roughly 140,000 calories exterminated in 33 Days! 

    Tips. As promised.

    This is the 32nd day of my reboot /  juice fast! A lot has been learned since this journey started! And a lot of people have asked me questions. Some were asked here in the comments and some on MyFitnesspal that I turned into a blog post. I answer questions best as I can however, I'm not a doctor or a juice expert. I'm learning as I go.  I'm a daddy, a husband, a guy who grew up eating meat and animal products for probably 80% or more of his diet.  Why?  Well, that's just what we did. Between meats, milk, butter, cheese... all of these that we consumed were derived from animals in one way or another. I answer reader's question to the best of my ability. After seeing Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead... I made a change! (This plays on a laptop or pc for free, I've heard that it doesn't come up on mobile devices.)  My Doctor and wife are happy with my blood work / lab results since I've started! And my Day 27 pictures look great!

    Below you will find some Juicing and Cleaning Tips.  In an effort not to make this be insanely long, I've cherry picked a few tips and attempted to condense the bigger issues that have come up, like flying food (wasting it) in the Breville and how to clean juicer accessories (even if you don't own a Breville, all juicers have small areas that can be difficult to clean at times.  My "Q-tip" suggestion (with pictures) will hopefully make life easier for all who are doing a juice fast / cleanse.

    Juicing Tips:
    Something I realized... juicing doesn't have to be just hit and miss... or a mish mosh as I took a chance at early on. Juicing can be an art.  When cooking a "real meal" most people don't just toss ingredients in.  They either have a recipe or they taste as they go.  That is my new philosophy as I am juicing.  If I am trying something new, I am slowing down.  Adding the new ingredient.  Tasting it. And then I contemplate, what will complement this best.  I'd much rather take a few extra minutes and taste as I go then just toss in a bunch of ingredients and then have a horrible tasting juice that either gets choked down or tossed out.  I don't toss out juice... so if it is gross, I generally tell myself in thirty seconds it will be gone.  Well, that is what I used to do.  Now, I take my time and, like an artist... I create a juice. One that I will enjoy.

    Below I am going to show how to use (in my opinion) your vegetables and your juicer to maximize your juice potential. The Breville spins the vegetables around at a high rate of speed, which can blow delicate fruits and leaves of greens into the remnant catcher unless you find a way to smash them between heavier products.  My solution... stuff em!
     

    I used this stuffed pepper in the juice below. It was pretty good.
    5 roma tomatoes
    1 Full bok choy
    5 carrots
    1 orange pepper stuffed with as much spinach as possible. (Cut a whole in the bottom to allow access to pepper). <-- I leave the stem and seeds in.  If you want to remove them, make your hole in the top, not the bottom.

    Last night I was trying to take the bite out of the bitter flavor of two Indian Bitter Melons (my wife and I think this looks like a rat.  She coined the phrase; "rat juice" when she saw the look on my face upon first tasting it. "How's the rat juice?"  haha  That name has stuck.
    In an effort to sweeten up this juice, 7 braeburn apples were used. In one of them went a medium piece of ginger. Simply took a knife, hallowed out a small section of one of the apples and stuck the ginger in.

    Anytime you have something you're not sure if it will juice well or be blown around (parsley, cilantro, wheat grass, berries... if something else, that is going in your juice is dense enough that you can hallow out a bit of it and stuff in the ingredients, you'll maximize your juice potential.

    Yes, I know there are more efficient juicers out there.  The Norwalk is $2,400 and the Omegas between $200 to $400... both of those are efficient when it comes to juice quantity, but with raising two kids I am in high demand.  I don't have time to spend 20 to 30 minutes preparing a juice (slicing, chopping, stuffing, waiting...) just so I can squeeze out a few extra ounces.  I'd like to get all the juice, but I have to be practical too. The Brveville has a 3" food chute.  I can literally toss an entire apple, pear, cucumber, and tons of other fruits or vegetables in whole.  That alone, the saving of time, is the real winner for me.  Someday I may get an omega for the delicate fruits and for wheatgrass... but for now. I'm happy with speed, efficiency and creative ways I'm coming up with to maximize my juice getting potential.
    If you have a pineapple corer, in my opinion it is the best way to prepare a pineapple for juicing. The first time I ever juiced a pineapple I left the skin on and it didn't get separated as much as I'd like. Some friends told me they leave all the skin on.  Maybe I'll try it again.  For now, I core it and throw in the pineapple slices. The Livestrong website gives tips on how to juice it if you don't want to leave it on. It says that the skin contains "vitamin C and bromelain."

    I started using the Breville fountain plus juicer about a week and a half into my juice fast. Before that I used a Jack LaLanne juicer that my neighbor wasn't using (however, he is now).

    Cleaning:
    I did a post a few weeks ago about the oxo brush that I use. Since then, experience has taught me that the brush that came with the Breville is amazing at scrubbing the bladed and filter, but pretty pathetic for squeezing between the chute and the edge of the cover. I found that the oxo bottle brush that my wife had under the sink works the best. Amazon has several cleaning brushes, I prefer mine as the black pivoting point just below the brush head really allows flexibility when I am cleaning this, and the stainless steel water bottles that I blogged about before.  Those are exceptional for keeping the juice cold when we're out and about with the family.

    No matter what juicer you use the spout needs to be cleaned.  And for the Breville so does the screen and blade device... somehow food accumulates in the bottom of it.  These two spots can be hard to get to. My solution. Chopsticks and a piece of paper towel. Seriously, it works! Imagine it being a large Q-tip.
    This works perfectly! And only takes a quick moment to clean it out.

    Well, there you have it.  juicing and cleaning tips as of today... I'm sure I'll learn more as time goes on. And I'm happy to answer any questions you have as well.

    My Progress: 38.4 Pounds lost / exterminated!

    Food Log

    I received this question about my food diary on MyFitnessPal... I thought it was a good one and that others might be wondering the same thing.

    Q: "When I look at your diary I think wow that must cost a fortune, My hubbs is thinking about juicing. I know we cant put a price on health, but with all these kids I am trying to feed I worry about price often. Do you find it to be expensive?"


    A: Honestly, the food lasts a long time.  Also, think about the juicer you get. The more you pay up front for a really good one, the more 'juice' you'll squeeze out. Which means, more bang for your buck. For me, I have two kids... and I need the ability to make a juice fast.  I KNOW that I could be getting more juice out of my vegetables and fruits if I bought an omega or a norwalk, but I don't have that time to prep and the time to juice at that kind of slower pace.  The Breville is awesome!  And I am learning ways to juice more efficiently. I stuff things down inside yellow peppers to prevent them from flying around and little things like that.  The 3" diameter on the Breville is amazing!  I can drop an apple, a pear, a cucumber, a beat, a small jicama, etc... all straight down without having to slice them up.  The juicer will separate the fruit. When I drop grapes in, I do it with stem and all.  The stems go to the catcher and the juice flows out.  I'm really impressed with the Breville for it's speed and juicing capabilities.  However, I want to get an Omega too... that way the smaller, more delicate fruits and greens can be juiced without being 'lost' into the remnant catcher.

    I also look at it as, I'm not buying meat, processed food, frozen pre-made meals, or canned foods for myself.... so, I'm saving money, or at least switching where my cost is going. And in the end... I'm not sick, no Doctor visits, or meds.  That saves money.

    My mother has diabetes and she actually starting eating more fruits and vegetables a short time ago.  She doesn't have a Breville, she has a magic bullet (which is a lot cheaper if someone is on a budget) and just adds a lot of water to make her "juice." I personally love the juicer though.  She is getting A LOT more fiber than I am, as the bullet keeps everything together. She used to have to give herself insulin shots... she no longer does.

    Fruits and vegetables are powerful! Most people just don't know very much about their potential, their protein or their nutrient and vitamin values.  We are designed to eat meats, fruits and vegetables.  The problem is 'man' has gotten his hand so involved in the growth and production process of animals and now science uses chemicals, hormones, antibiotics and other things to raise and care for livestock before it hits the table that we don't consume animals the way our ancestors would have.  Instead, a steak eaten by someone today is polluted with all kinds of chemicals and added items that never were a factor 200, 300 years ago.  Which is why eating "meat" today, unless you pay more to find grass fed animals, is a crap shot... and potentially will land people in the hospital, a doctor's office or the cemetery a lot faster than before. Store bought meat just ins't as good as it once was. I feel that the 'cost' of fruits and vegetables is way cheaper than the alternative. And if you can find a place like the Red Tomatoes Farmers Market that I blogged about yesterday, you'll get A LOT more for even less money! It took me about two weeks to find them, now I am glad I did.  They are about a 30 minute drive away.  When I go, I'll be buying a lot for sure... but their prices are LOW enough that it is worth it.

    My Progress: 38.4 Pounds Lost in 31 Days!
    aka Roughly 134,400 calories EXTERMINATED!

    My Haul.

    After googling "farmers markets" in the area, I found them to be hit and miss... mostly miss, unless it is a Saturday.  Today is Tuesday. I'm not waiting til' Saturday.  I found this market / store in Rancho Cucamonga that reviewers were pretty happy about called Red Tomatoes Farmers Market (a little link to their site). I almost missed it as Google Maps had me go around back.

    I took my two little ones (Tip: Bring a jacket for the tykes, it is COLD in the produce section.). Upon walking in I found some organic and some normal food.  The prices and quality of the items... WoW! Three pounds of roma tomatoes; only $0.99! At that price 10.49 pounds of tomatoes went into the cart! Eggplants were 3 for a buck (not 3 lbs, but 3 entire eggplants). They offered bell peppers by the pound for $0.99 and had a HUGE variety of sizes.  Which is perfect for juicing!

    You'll find all kinds of produce, fruits, grains, nuts, sprouts, etc... some of which were completely new to me. I bought OPO Squash, Kohlrabi, Parsnip, Bitter Indian Mellon and Chinese Bitter Melon all for the first time today. Additionally, they have English Cucumbers for only $0.49, each!

    And my favorite find... JICAMAs! Not just any old Jicamas, but these babies had NO wax on them?  I had asked the produce department at Sprouts last week; "Is it possible to buy jicamas without this THICK nasty wax on them?" They said; "No. They are not native to here and they all come in that way to help preserve them. Kind of gross I know. Sorry."  Well, now I know where to get them.  I bought several of them! What to do with jicamas...? Well, the juice is way sweet!  And I've seen video of people using them as "rice" in their RAW Sushi. They simply grate them down and use it as the rice.

    I spent a touch over $20 for all of this...
    My first 'Juice' after getting home consisted of:
    **Slight disclosure: If you are new to juicing, I'd try this one after week one or so, as it might be bitter to taste buds that are still used to soda, candy, danishes, etc...**

    2 English Cucumbers
    5 Roma Tomatoes
    1/2 a "sweet lime" <-- Next time I'll only do 1/4 or an 1/8th
    1 Yellow Bell Pepper
    1 small handful of Parsley
    2 Purple potatoes
    1/4th inch of Ginger (possibly a little less)
    I tasted this as I went... as it was new to me.  All was well until I added the lime. The lime was very strong (darn organic limes).
    2 small Jicamas <-- See below as to why I added these (And yes, I would do it again.)
    1 Radishes <-- I won't add this again.

    I wanted to sweeten this up without making it fruity... as I was really craving a vegetable drink. Then I remembered the jicama!  This guy that I posted a link to his raw sushi the other day was raving about how sweet jicama juice is.  He suggested just drinking it. So... in went two jicamas! And this time, I just dropped them straight into the Breville! Since there wasn't any was on them to be removed!

    In the end this made over 40 ounces of juice... easily 2 meals worth. Some juicers might make more and others less. It all depends on what you are using.

    Just a little heads up... I've been juicing now with the Breville for about 22 of my last 30 days of juicing and the ONLY two things (imo) that are easy to clean is the food pusher and the pulp container. I will do a post either tonight or tomorrow with some useful tips for cleaning the juicer.  Why? Because this thing works, but can get annoying.  And if you don't know or don't pay attention food gets built up in some unusual places.

    My Progress: 37.8 Pounds Lost in 30 Days!
    a.ka. Roughly 132,300 Calories Exterminated!