Monday, November 21, 2011

Music you can use

The bloody beetroots. Yes, they always wear those masks. Yes, they kick that much ass.
Epic, as defined by Justice. Two guys, massive sounds and a beaming cross. Wow. Listen to it, Love it and then thank me later.

As promised, I'm back with some interesting tunes for you to crank out while cycling/running/starimaster-ing or lifting. Lately, I've been lifting in the gym...lifting - according to distance runners - is a bit of a misnomer seeing as how we lift the same weight of a prepubescent teen. Fact of the matter is distance running is an enuduro sport not requiring massive thighs such as track sprinters. Needless to say, my lifting sessions - if you can even call them that - are excruciatingly painful. This coming from a guy that hadn't lifted a weight since college!

Consequently, I feel like a member of the walking dead more times than not and even when I'm not lifting my legs feel like their lifting weights! Yikes! As a track cyclist and a pursuiter, lifting weights is a must for this sport. There's a whole genre why track cyclists are different from road cyclists but I'm not going to get into that bruhahahahahahahahah just yet!

Given my puny weight and my need to add more muscle, I've been hitting the gym 3 times a week and lifting as much weight as my scrony legs will hold. Heh. Any bigger? Nope. That's not what get the idea! Along the way though, I've been experimenting with vegan protein powders and lemme tell ya, there's A LOT left to be desired. I'm not ragging on any brand in particular but the stuff that's offered is hurting in taste. The quality is certainly there but the taste is so off putting I sometimes think about eating meat! (OUCH!).

I digress.

Getting back to the blog post, I have some tunes I'd like you all to try and figure out if you like. This is solely for those ass-whoppings you give yourself in the gym and not for anything else! I've been really into a form of trance called 'electro'. Specifically, french electro. Which leads me to question, what is it with the french? At first, not even the french liked the french! And now, I'm all qui qui! :-) But yea, put on the monitors and apologize to your neighbors for the eargasms you're about to hear....don't say I didn't warn ya!

Justice - Phantom Part 2
Favorite youtube comment: "The church stole the cross from Justice!"

Justice - Genesis
Favorite Youtube comment: "Chuck Norris can't even top this"

Sebastian - Greel (<--Another frenchie!)
Favorite Youtube comment: "This is what dubstep aspires to be like"

Bloody Beetroots - We are from Venice
Favorite Youtube comment: "So much winning..."

Bloody Beetroots x Benny Benassi - I am Drunk
Favorite Youtube comment: "Dirtier than my google search history!" <--Classic!

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's been some time hasn't it..

Yes, it's been quite - and I mean QUITE - a while since I've been back on the blogging trail, let alone thought about it. I suppose you're wondering why? Do I hate you all? Am I still Vegan? Have I regressed to pre-vegan fatty-ism? Is this even Alex typing this blog or his evil meat-eating twin? Or maybe you're wondering, will employment ever be the same again? What's with Occupy Cal? Will I step into the throne in Syria? No doubt, you've got the questions. Lucky for you though, I got the answers. At least, I hope I do.

Dearest readers, I apologize for my long overdue apology and post. I had some significant things happen in my life, traumatizing things, wonderful things and even delicious things. We've got a lot to catch you up on (refers to self in third person) so let's make haste. I'll take a moment so you can blend that vegan smoothie...don't worry, I'll wait.

Okay, glad you're back. In these past months, I have made some pretty cool discoveries. One of which being: I feel totally happy and in my element riding my bike. Needless to say, I've hung the running shoes and my aspirations of making the elite kenyan runners eat my dust a fantasy for now. Instead, I turn to riding my bike and riding my bike as hard as possible with my gimpy legs. There's a discipline in the sport called 'time trialing' which is basically: YOU + Bike + really cool helmet and clothing + painful legs = time trialing. There's no one else around you..just you, the elements and your heart pumping at 194 bpm. Yea, it's brutal and yet so justifying. There's a reason they call it the test of truth - there's no hiding behind anything, no 'saving until the last moment' just a competition of YOU vs. YOUR WILL.

When I think about the challenges that I have faced over the past few months, I realize much of it can be described as interpersonal battles between me and my will. Sometimes I win, sometimes my will wins - and that's just the way the cookie crumbles. In these past few months I yearned for alone time on my bike - eschewing from riding with groups and racing, I opted instead for time trialing because of the places I would go. Not physically but internally. Imagine for a moment that you're legs are on fire, that you're breathing is audible and you're eyes are bloodshot. You wonder in your head 'why, oh why the f*ck am I doing this!?' In all the times I have asked myself this question, the answer has been the same: "because this is what I'm about." Resiliency, humility and hunger for more have become my motto as of late.

In all of this, I have learned that the greatest highs I've felt have sprung from the deepest lows I've experienced. Finding the heart and will power to push the pedals harder has inspired me like none other. So much so, I took 4 weeks off the bike and have since been in the gym, killing the weights and cycling hard on weekends. I crave that point where pain meets unbearable because I know that if I hold out a bit longer, I'll be stronger in the end. As cliche as it sounds, I believe that's a lot like life (ESPECIALLY after college!). It's easy to be happy when times are good...but it's when times go wrong that we see the personal integrity of people. That we see the difference between folding and focusing.

So consider this blog my vow to you all to bring you along my journey. Where it leads, I have no clue...I just know that my feet are moving forward and my head is in a good place. To answer your biggest question, "No, I don't plan on running for the King of Syria." To answer your second question: "Yes, I'm still vegan...and yes I'm motherf*cking back!"

Next blog will delve more into what's gone on and the music that pulled me through. But for now, sit back, rejoice and meet me at the intersection of pleasure and pain. :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Post-Ride Meals

So you've all heard me harp about post-ride / post-run nutrition meals but I've been experimenting with some things and want to share with you all some findings that have helped me in the past weeks with recovery and replenishing fuel stores. Now, as a fair disclaimer, I must add that this information is based on MY EXPERIENCE and that listening to me doesn't mean you'll turn into some tall dark and handsome vegan guy with shaven legs and loves track racing. No, definitely not that. I'm also not saying that Obama wasn't born in America. Fact of the matter is, he was. Period. Get over it, 'birther' readers. What I am saying though, is that unlike most of my gibberish and rants, this particular post is backed with science. Anybody that knows me knows that the words 'Science' and 'Alex' don't belong in the same sentence but like Queen Latifah, "I'm breaking all the rules!" (one of her worst songs).

Okay so anyone doing endurance sports requiring prolonged use of your body and consequently, your cardiovascular system is getting beat the hell up. And when I mean 'prolonged' use, I'm not referring to the 20 min stair-master sesh you're putting in nor the CrossFit workout videos you've bought. Nope. I mean putting down efforts lasting over 1.5 hours of steady state effort or when you're through flogging yourself on interval days. When you have those days / workouts, your biggest concern is to replace glycogen with a mix of fast acting and slow-absorbing sugars...also known as simple (fast) and complex (slower) burning carbohydrates.

As a huge fruit eater, a lot of my sugar comes from fruits. However, the rate at which fruit is absorbed is much slower than, for example, a can of coke. Why? For starters, fruit has fructose, water and dietary fiber which cause a nice slow burn of sugar and not the see-saw effect one might get after downing 2 cans of coke in the morning only to face-plant onto your computer screen. Table sugar though is artificial and that means high spikes in insulin which, under normal circumstances, is NOT good for your kidney and ultimately, for YOU.

HOWEVER, in special circumstances (i.e. endurance athletes) combining fast and slow burning sugars to replace glycogen levels quickly after a demanding workout is perfectly valid. The keyword in that sentence is 'AFTER' which means you had to do something beforehand like, gee, I dunno, exercise for a long long time! So what is Alex doing post-ride / post-kick-ass-track-sesh to replace all that glycogen:

Alex's Cervelo Test Team Inspired Fruit Salad
Chop up the following into bite-size pieces:
1) 2 bananas
2) 2 cutie-oranges
3) 1 apple
4) Pineapple chunks (thanks to Ms. Denise for showing me how to even do this!)

Cut all that nonsense up and put in a large bowl. Then, cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the fruit salad.
So far so good right? Sounds like something I'd eat doesn't it. But there's one more trick here.
Then, on top of that lemon-flavored fruit salad, put a tablespoon of regular, table sugar. Yes, that same sugar that Dr. Weil is yelling at you for consuming! That sugar will get absorbed into your bloodstream faster than Godhafi can get outta Libya. Wait, that's slow. Check that. That sugar will get absorbed into your bloodstream faster than Lindsey Lohan can get thrown back into jail (again).

I like to make a big batch of that stuff, put it in the fridge and then munch on it when I get home from my bike rides or take it with me during races. Make it, try it, love it, live it, spread it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Injured. FML

Not much needs to be said about this one.
Short story: lifting and doing some one-legged squats at the gym and somewhere along the lines I tear some tendon in my right leg. Ouch.

What can I do:
1) Switch my car insurance to Geico (apparently, it's easy)
2) Walk up some stairs leading with my left foot
3) Cook some yummy post-ride receipes (which I dont do becuase....)

What can I NOT do:
1) Ride a bike. That means no dates with: Evelyn, Samantha, Madeline or Tera.
2) Run to try and cross the street when the blinking hand comes on.
3) Get into my car to go to work easily.

On the other hand, this added rest is probably good for my body in one sense. Good because rest is just as important as the training. But more's playoff basketball time and you know what that means! NO MEANS NO KOBE BRYANT! In my family, there are two types of people: those who like the lakers and those who do NOT like the lakers. Myself, along with 99.999% of the world fall in the latter category.

In other news, this post is dedicated to my pals at Momentum Bike Shop who have decided to hang up the cleats and close shop. It's a very sad thing to see happen and they were in my favorite part of town too (Kaimuki, HI). I owe a good bit of my running start to them as they sponsored me a million and a half years ago as a runner. Aloha my friends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Two Posts in a Row? Gasp!

Heh...Tera again saying Aloha to you all. Yes, yes...we see you!
My best thinking: Away from work, drinking coffee in a black t-shirt. Bam.
Doing my damn thang at Barnes and Nobles! Love RIDE magazine!
THESE are tan-lines. Look carefully at yours...see the difference?
I'm pretty decent with Ryu (black outfit) and Ken (regular Red Outfit). Not to mention M.Bison but I have to be in an evil mood to play as him...
Over the past few days, I've been getting in some solid solid base mileage in. So much so, my legs are absolutely shot to hell (and yet, I'm dumb enough to race the track tonite) and my laziness has risen to an all time high. In thinking about my overall laziness, I realized that laziness is different depending on where I am.

Take for example when I'm at Ala Moana Mall in Honolulu, HI. Typically, this is a shoppers paradise and ya know, IF I was a shopper, prada-wearing-LV-bag-toting-tourist then I'd probably be running around snapping photos and stuffing dollar bills in my fanny pack. Get that money, dollar dollar bills y'all. BUT, I'm not. And as such, 'lounging' for me is heading on over to borders, sitting my okole down and picking up some cycling magazines - mind you, I don't actually buy them, I just read em cover to cover! Don't lie..I know you do the same too! Don't even tell me for a moment that you don't do this! Sometimes...if I'm feeling especially jolly I'll buy the magazine but rare is that opportunity.

What's 'recovery' mean for me at home? Well, none other than being dressed for success! What you're seeing here is a photo of my shaven legs with Rapha bib shorts, DRESSED TO GO RIDING but instead on the bed playing Super Street Fighter Four (not to be confused with just regular "SF4") in crocs - turquoise ones at that. Ugly aint it? Yea, I hear ya. For that reason, they never leave the house. To be caught in public with those on is just deplorable! Let alone the internet! Oh wait....shit.

But seriously, I do try and get out on the bike every now and then and to prove the point, I can't help but post a picture of my horrendous tan-lines that have resulted from my enormous base mileage I threw down in the 808. Yea...those are rough aint it? Ms. Denise thinks I should just go riding in my armwarmers that way my tan lines even out but not in my book. I wear my tan-lines like how Nelly wears a band-aid under the right eye. Loud and proud.

In other relevant news, The Lakers lost (yess!!!!) and the OKC Thunder won (yessss!!!).
Finally, my helpful hint to you my fellow readers is to discover the group that has all but won me over and actually forced my hand to buy their music off of iTunes. Yes, this was so powerful, I felt compelled to spend my hard-earned on music rather than be the asian I am and download the thing!!!

The Bloody Beetroots
Songs: Warp 1.9, Cornelius, It's Better A DJ on 2 Turntables, Talkin' In My Sleep

WARNING: Heavy heavy heavy bass. Not for the fainthearted. This is not rap. This is not techno. This is not rock. This is electro. Loud, loud, loud sounding music that you want to turn the volume waaaaay up at home or do what I do: pound intervals on your bike listening to this amazingness.

Put simply: This group could probably cure all erectile dysfunction issues. Not like I got em! Ahem!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Introducing: TERA

Ms. Tera in the nude! Damn those Zipp 303s are s-s-s-s-s-s-s-moking hot.
How I mount her.
DA7900 with an SRM makes for a mean mean mean woman.
Mr. Morrissey himself, Vi Lu, wrenching Tera. Or as he says 'putting my hands all over her!"

Hello friends, foreigners, romans, greeks, belgie's and newcomers...

Yes, it has been a while hasn't it. And before you go stoning me to death with anti-weegan slurs and the like...please, please keep in mind I was finding myself. I chartered a plane, traveled to the Himalayas where I was united with Brad Pitt to go treking to Lhasa (Tibet) to re-enact scenes from Seven Years in Tibet. Along the way, I got into an argument with a man over a goat (long story, dont ask), ran away from a pack of hungry wolves and decided that once and for all...

Okay, I kid, I kid. I've been working, cycling (track racing!), lazy, taking-vacation-lazy (honest to pete, there is a distinction!) and eating like the fatty mcFatness I am and you have come to love and cherish. Along the way, I've visited some close friends, was called 'Junior' at one point and even got tanned. know I don't shy from flaunting my tan lines either but I'll spare you here.

Along my trials and tribulations with all things vegan and cycling, I decided to invest in a carbon fiber steed. A rig strong enough to hold the worldly demands of this vegan athlete and his never ending quest to ride his bike to the point his lungs burst out of his heart and my brain spontaneously combusts from all the lactic acid being pumped. And yes I just referred to myself in the third person. And yes I/we/he don't care.

As all my bikes have names, this one is no different. Let's take a quick refresher here and go over them for completeness shall we?
Evelyn - Cervelo S1. Named after my aunt.
Madeline - Scott TT rig.
Samanta - Track rig.

And now...for the first time...
TERA - Scott Addict R2.
So why Tera you ask? Heh. I'll let you figure that one out yourself but it shouldn't be too hard (not what she said).

I'm back like Reebok Shoes so don't worry.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Art & Grace of Losing

The very somber and quiet post-trophy-coaching-pep-talk.
The girls! Rach, Aiko, Katie, Kels, Dave, Rebecca, Sky, Lauren and 'Coach Alex'
REAL COACHES coach in vibram-five finger shoes!!!

For those followers of this blog, you know that this year is my first year coaching girls basketball for my buddhist church (Oakland Buddhist Church, AKA 'da OBC' or, the more politically correct: 'BCO'). The girls I coach are 11 year olds who have discovered the frustrations of the Angry Birds iPhone app, Justin Beiber (don't get me started), what 'Veganism' is and most recently, how to lose with grace and dignity.

Now, I'm not one to gloat and boast my, definitely not that type :-) But let it be known that in my first season coaching girls, my girls completely ran the tables! In our division, we played NINE GAMES AND WON ALL NINE GAMES. We were a perfect 9-0 heading into a tournament which was held in Berkeley this past weekend.

Game 1, we win, easy peezy. My girls are well-coached (thank you, thank you), well-balanced and well-versed in the battle arts known as women's hoops. As a result, we sail into the championship game against an opponent we have man-handled 3 out of 3 times. Little did we all know that going into our final game of the season, my newly 10-0 team would become a 10-1 team. And what a championship game it turned out to be. It went into overtime and for girls ball, overtime = sudden death (first to score = the winner). We ended up losing the game against this team by a free-throw. Game over. 14 to 13.

At which point, I saw my girls starting to tear up, and they came running to me apologizing. 'For what?!' I asked. But in reality, I knew they were apologizing not for their performance, but for losing the game. In my heart of hearts, I have been there. In fact, I have lost the game for my team twice and uttered the same words and cried into my dads arms. Those long faces full of sadness and disappointment. Ahh yes, it brought it all back to me. The other team rushed the court, the parents were up in arms for their kids and everyone was happy for them. My girls lined up to shake hands, faces dejected watching the on-going celebration that didn't stop. Few times have I ever felt so gutted; gutted because I too, had been exactly in their shoes. I too understand and can sympathize with their feelings.

Needless to say, we had a long team hug and the trophy celebration was a very somber one. Little did I realize that in all my teachings of basketball, my girls would turn around and teach me something about basketball and life. In order to win, one must lose. IN order to succeed one must know failure. Ask Michael Jordan and he'll tell you the same thing (google: Jordan quote failure). My girls played like all-stars and they stepped off the court as all-stars too. This post is dedicated to them and their effort, heart, ambition and desire.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back to Bike Racing...YET AGAIN

And so, here we are, days away from my first bike race since...since....gosh. It's been a while. I'd say May of last year? Sheeeeeesh! And why the long hiatus? Well, much like Will Hunting [movie: Good Will Hunting] I was 'finding myself'. Asking the deep questions, eating like a walrus doped up on steroids and trying my hand at triathlons with little success. I'll be tee-ing it up in Cantua Creek on Saturday in what looks to be a pretty rainy and overcast day; quite the departure from 'warmish-around78-degrees' that Hawaii is huh??

But rest assured the beat goes on. And not long after that I'll be doing a time trial and then learning the ropes of track cycling - where I honestly believe I have found my calling with respect to racing. One thing that is different from this year as opposed to last year is my approach towards racing my bike. Granted bike racing is serious business and as always, I'll be looking to attack, attack, attack and attack with the intention of challenging myself. Because I've found in my journey that I do much better psychology when it becomes me vs. me rather than me vs. the field; and hence, my love affair with the individual pursuit. I believe there's something to be said when it's athlete vs. athlete, will vs. will where there is no draft, no wheel-sucking or any shennanigans allowed. I'm all for this type of competition.

In other interesting news, I've been eating waaaaay too many bananas as of late and have switched to more strawberries much to my liking. In California, oranges, strawberries and apples seem to in season and that's great news for us weeeeeegans! I've also become a big fan of making my own pasta sauce; something that, until recently, I defaulted to Molto Mario's sauce from Whole Foods [check this out, very clean ingredients!]. Pretty simple stuff and I'll describe it here:
1) Heat lots of EVOO and garlic in a pot.
2) Add strained tomatoes (you can buy these at whole foods comes in a glass jar)
3) add salt to taste. Finito.
Easy as 1-2-3, literally!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


HOURS on the bike!

Breakfast of champs!

Wow, I've been gone a long time haven't I. Yes, I know I shouldn't take these 'leaves of absence'..yea I know I left you all stranded, hanging, and feeling like you are [soon to be] President Mubarak of Egypt. Well have no fear, after a nice break from my social life [i.e. blog] I'm back to being a person, finger in-tact. Ms. Denise thought it funny that I show a picture of my bleeding thumb but I thought it best not to. Frankly, I got grossed out just by looking at the cespool of my hemoglobin that was left to be mopped up using medical scrubs. Ugh..enough of that.

Anywho...I've been busy riding the biccicleta on the trackeez and on the roadeez. In short, I <3 the track. Did ya notice that? I just used a 'young persons' emoticon for 'love'. Oh yea. I'm up with the times...are you?! Track cycling is like the first time I ate at Cafe Gratitude and experienced what raw food could be [i.e. more than blended beverages and LaraBars...not that I have a problem mind you!]. I had so much fun I kept going back and back and back. Difference between track vs road bike: No brakes. Difference between track vs. road efforts: Races aint that you better make it count and pick your spots carefully. S*it happens in the blink of an eye on the track and normally that's all one needs to get away and STAY AWAY. Thus far, my favorite events that we work on during the Saturday morning nerd-newbie beginner sessions are: flying 200, INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT [oh yea...putting that V02 max to use!], the Kilo and the Team Pursuit. Essentially, I'm in favor of anything that pits athlete vs. athlete in an endurance event where there is no draft. I dig this. I dig this like the first time I laid eyes on vegan donuts. Like...DIG EM DIG EM.

I digress. Apologies. HOLY FRITES AND MAYONAISSE!!!! I just realized I have to show you what pics of breakfast look like! Okay so the above pics show how you make the ideal breakfast for weegan cyclists. If you follow the instructions of the previous blog, then this breakfast is a whopping 800 calories in one sitting! Love it! Best part: lots of sugar, carbs and fibre [and not that shit sugar Aunt Jemima be putting in her shit pancakes either!]. I argue this is exactly what the racer/competitive cyclist needs before a long training ride or serious effort. Easily digestible food that provides carbs, some protein and puts glycogen into the body. At my hungriest, I can only take down 2 bowls of this and I highly suggest you take down at least one each day. Hell, I've been doing that for so long, I forgot what 'regular' breakfast tastes like. Then again, I am a waskally weegan in the words of Elmer Fudd.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Routine: Mornings Part 1

One of my silly omnivore friends thought it would be best to keep a food diary and post what I eat for a given week. Most definitely, I will do this but I figured in the meantime, I can give you a rough sense of what my work-week looks like from a food/diet perspective - starting with the most important mealS of them all: upon-rising & breakfast. Let me preface this and say, if you're one of those atkins-dudes who is anti-carb, pro-eggs-bacon-sausage-smothered-in-gravy, you're going to want to look away and take the kids to another room...this could get ugly for ya!

During the night while you are peacefully getting some beauty rest, your body is actually re-charging itself, cleansing some blood and digesting the fatty meal you ate the night before. In short, your body is 'de-toxing' itself for however many hours you're at rest. Have you ever woken up feeling sluggish and tired despite having slept 8+ hours? One of the reasons could be what you ate the night before! If you ate [and look] like shit then your body needs more time to digest the meal and so during sleep, no 'de-toxing' is going on; instead, your body is digesting that gross cruelty-infused meal :-) hint hint.

But suppose you were cool enough to have a lady friend that cooks your vegan meals and you ate at a relatively early hour for full digestion. Then, your body would be in full detox mode whilst at rest. So when you get up some 6.5 hours later, you would have been detoxing for 6.5 hours and you - if you're like me - are probably thirsty for something. At this point, there's nothing in your stomach so let's give it something healthy. BAM! Jarrows Plant Protein shake with one multi-vitamin. BAM! That stops detoxing and gives it proteins from plants that are easily digested and converted to amino acids. That, ladies and gents, is what I consume first thing upon rising...well...that is AFTER I get all the crud outta my eyes!

Typically, I head out around 6 and am in San Francisco around 7am to hit the gym. And by gym, I don't mean weights...hehe...I still got pea-sized arms! I mean to spin the legs out. All I'm doing here is turning my legs for a few minutes to get the lactic acid out from yesterday [to make room for more lactic acid!]. Given the duration, I'm done and in the office by 8am, ready for a hearty breakfast.

Alex's Awesome Vegan Breakfast [not for the faint-hearted].
1/2 cup organic oatmeal cooked in WATER, NOT MILK OR SOYMILK.
1 handful of grapes
2 whole bananas
1-2 dollups of unsweetened plain coconut yogurt.
Nice drizzle of agave nectar to added sweetness.

The amount of fat in this meal is so marginally small it makes you wonder how you can possibly eat and devour all that goodness without feeling bad about ingesting 800 calories or so. To quote the movie Friday [staring film-greats such as Ice Cube and Chris Tucker], "damn, that taste is so good, make you wanna slap yo mama!"
Part 2 of this will include photos but for now, there's the general idea...

I highly recommend you try the oatmeal. you're gunna like the way you look, I guarantee it.
Thank you, Men's Warehouse.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

While we're at it: Superfoods

My superfood: oranges, spinach+banana shake.
This is the cacao fruit used to make chocolate. Those pellets are the actual cacao bean.

here's been a growth in number of people that come up to me asking for autographs, holding their children, posing for photos and asking about my wacky and wiley vegan ways. One common question is: "Alex, o great weegan, what does thou think about superfoods? Yay or Nay?" Personally, 'NAY' but let's think about why that's so.

Question 1) What the h*ll is a superfood and why should I give a flying f*ck about it?
In short, a superfood is a food that has an extremely high phytonutrient content [jam-packed with vitamins and minerals] that lead to 'remarkable' health benefits. Sound familiar? Probably because a Mr. David Wolfe popularized it. I got nothing against the Wolfe-man. Nice guy but to live on his diet requires an annual income > $100k; simply put, a vegan utopia where we prance around naked with grape leaves, drinking cacao-maca-goji-berrie-smoothies isn't feasible for most of us. The whole point of me posting results and going vegan was to show that people could make dramatic improvements to their lives via healthful eating which ANYONE can do. NOT EVERYONE has WholeFoods down the street and NOT EVERYONE likes the taste of goji berries - myself being one of them. So as far as practicality goes, I don't think superfoods are economical...YET.

Now, should you care about not getting them? Nah. Not really. You can attain solid and remarkable health benefits just by dropping fast food and all things that come in a can. Do that and you'll see 'remarkable' gains. Want more? Give up meat and dairy and REALLY watch the weight fall off! But I digress from the whole superfood argument.

Question 2) What are examples of superfoods?
Cacao [used to make chocolate. very bitter, very chocolate-ey. very yummy.] Goji berries [small, red berries that look like parrot shit and probably taste like it too]. Maca [a ground up incan root used in smoothies. has a mustardy mas].

Question 3) Where can I buy superfoods? My recommendation is Navitas Naturals. Not because they sponsor me [;-)] but because they got some high-quality stuff brewing over there. Good people, good ingredients and they even include a booklet for smoothie making. Not shabby huh. WholeFoods sells their stuff and if you're looking to get into superfoods, they got the medicine.

Question 4) What's my superfood?
Well, my superfoods are simply everyday foods that I eat. Bananas, apples, oranges, blueberries, oatmeal, avocado...those are my 'superfoods' despite their lackluster phytonutrient count. Truth is I did the superfood thing for a while and yea, my smoothies were that much more delicious but in the end, I wanted people to see what I was eating and think 'yea, I can do that too and not break the bank.' For that reason, I eschew from superfoods but that is my choice...doesn't have to be yours. My advice: Go buy some, try it, see if you like it and then come talk to me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Friday Night ER Trip

My second first queen. Allow me to introduce: Miss Samantha
She gets shy around camera's.
She's one cold-blooded woman!

My weekend was to see my first ever action on the velodrome. I was pumped to say the least as I'm looking to get into track cycling this year and for the next many years to come. I went and got the bike tuned up and began changing the pedals off the road bike to the track bike. And like the dumbass I hand slipped and got caught in the sprocket. In short, I sliced a piece of my thumb off to the point where tendon was exposed. Safe to say, I was shocked and frightened. Frightened at the site of my own blood and stunned at what happened. I quickly tell my dad and mom, Ms. Denise heads on down and we take a trip to the ER. Apparently, I'm not the only one that's made this mistake. 1.5 hours and FOUR stitches later, I was done and out at 7:30pm. To make it all better, we got vegan burritos from Whole Foods. Oh thank heaven for those. :-)

This was the first weekend I spent off the bike and it sucked a big one. On the other hand I watched black swan which was DISTURBING to say the least. Currenty, I'm typing with one hand and this hunt+peck thing is getting annoying. However, some good questions were brought up with respect to soy and my views on tofu which I'd like to answer.

Do I eat soy products? Yes.
How often? On Weekends mainly. This is NOT a staple food for me.
What about tofu? Again, on weekends mainly.
What do you think about it? I'm a simple guy that believes in stuff coming from nature as intended. Can I go out to the farm and pull a block of tofu off the vine? Nope. For that reason, I don't eat it as often as some people do. Do I think it's good for you? Yes and no [more on that later]. As a substitute for meat and all things cruel, yes, it does the trick. The obsession with protein is way overblown but I won't get into that right here.

Tofu and soy products are fine foods when TRANSITIONING to a vegan diet in my opinion. Soy hot dogs and tofu scrambles are great but should be enjoyed on weekends. Weekdays I stick to staple foods that can be found in nature. For example, I can go out and get cashews or avocados if I wanted. Catch my drift?

Some things about soy products to consider...
1) Tofu has iron AND copper in addition to being a quality source of amino acids [protein].
2) 4 ounces of tofu = 9.2 grams of protein. Not shabby.
3) Tofu contains Omega-3 fats in them. [good fat].
4) Tofu and soy are a very very common allergenic in people.
5) Like many vegan things with soy, oxalates are present which can cause health problems if TOO MUCH is consumed and in the bloodstream. Exercise moderation and you'll be home-free.
6) Soy can give you hips. FALSE. There is no 'feminizing' effect of soy. You don't see Japanese men walking around with coke-bottle-figures do you?

Trust me, these are false and numerous PhD-whizbang-gizmo-scientists have proven such. True, soy does contain estrogen in the form of isoflavones. However, NO EVIDENCE EXISTS WHERE MEN HAVE EATEN MODERATE AMOUNTS OF SOY PROTEIN EXPERIENCED FEMININE-EFFECTS.

So there. My stance: I like tofu scramble just like my next [vegan] guy but it's a treat for me at the end of the week. Stick to whole fruits, veggies and grains and you'll do fine eating the occassional soy-dog without fear of growing moobs [not a typo!].

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Amateur's Corner: Going Vegetarian

So, I have this friend that has taken the first step towards radiant health, ridiculous athletic ability, flawless everything, mental sharpness, fox-like-agility, eagle-like-vision and overall financial prosperity. Okay, I kid about most of those things - you knew that already though. Financial prosperity and flawless everything? Hardly. Everything else? Oh yea. ;-)

Anyways, he has decided to go vegetarian. And while not vegan [yet], it is an important first step. Simply put: how the heck does one do vegetarianism in a healthy way? First off, let me give a disclaimer. I'm no physician. I know a few and I haven't been impressed so far so maybe that's not saying much anyways. I'm no dietician - nope, I leave that job to Mike Ditka and his sales ads for NutriSlim systems. Having said all that, you can take this advice however you want to take it but what I'm going to share with you are some sound principles that I have discovered since going native / vegan.

To start, being vegetarianism does not meant kick-ass in everything. Trust me, I've met fat vegetarians and fat vegans alike. They are out there, trust me. And while I won't pass judgement on them, I will say that some foods - while vegetarian - are actually QUITE bad for you. Like what you ask? Coca-cola. This is entirely vegan and entirely unhealthy for you. Loads of sugar, loads of acid, loads of chemicals = no bueno. Doritos Nacho Cheese chips are vegetarian. Not only are the ingredients shit but they make your breath stink and your teeth turn orange. Who wants to smooch that? Simply put, just because one is vegan or vegetarian does NOT mean they are health nuts. Okay, still reading? Good. On to my founding principles of eating:

1) Keep it simple stupid. When you cook, keep the ingredient list short. The shorter the better in fact. This helps digestion and it eases cooking.
2) Ask yourself..."can I go out in nature and find this?". If the answer is no, then re-think why you're eating it. Favorite example: "sugar." Can I get "sugar" in nature? No. I have to refine it to make white sugar. Agave nectar? You betcha. Open the agave cactus, fill jar. Done.
3) Enough with the 'sugar is bad'. Too much sugar is bad. Okay, my response is the phrase "too much" implies something bad already. Too much of anything is not healthy and is a breach of moderation.
4) Eat lots of fruit. No joke. Eat fruit. I'll say it again, eat fruit. It's filling, sugar-ey and lots of carbs [your body needs this]. It's easily broken into glycogen [again, body needs this] and provides fuel for the brain. The trick is to eat good amounts [again, NOT OVERKILL].
5) Eat a variety of greens. Greens come in all sizes and shapes and not just romain or spinach. Find a green, boil it, steam it, sautee it, blend it, etc. Do what you need to do to get the greens in. I admit, I have trouble with this myself which is why Ms. Denise has to cook some of it for me but when I'm on my game, I feel very good when I'm full off greens.
6) Eat whole grains. This one just makes sense. Instead of empty calorie grains such as white bread or white rice, opt for the more healthful and tastier versions: whole grain bread, brown rice, etc. White rice is white because they have stripped the outside and polished it to make it white. Rice really is BROWN, NOT WHITE.
7) If you can stomach it, go gluten free. Why? Gluten is known to have inflammatory agents that increase the inflammation in the body. This especially sucks if you're active in athletics [cycling? running? you betcha]. Ask yourself this: "who needs more inflammation when life provides more than enough inflammation?!"

There you have it. 7 principles. 7 samurai. Wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Holidays 2k10

mama tellez labeled this one correctly: Silly Alex
Bobby and I. he has been my close friend for the past 20+ years!
We try one beer / week. This just happens to be Belgian (!) from Wevelgem (!!)..yep, just like the race, GHENT-WEVELGEM! gee whiz. Coincidence? You really think that's air you're breathing Neo? [The Matrix]
There were three wise people, and one vegan...
Hide and seek with William and his mum.

Sigh...another xmas come and gone. 2010 changed to 2011. The Golden State Warriors finally made it to the playoffs. heh. Okay, I kid about the last part...I don't remember when but I think historians have to go back to the late nineties to find when the warriors were a dominant team. I'm talking Tim Hardaway / Chris Mullen era AKA the 'golden years'. I even had the Tim Hardaway Nike shoe too. I equate his killer crossover to whenever I see a steak: JUST NASTY. He'd fake people out of their shoes!

Getting back to the point of this post - Holidays 2k10 - I rang in the new year with some cycling and put together a solid 20 min test. 319 watts to start the year with. Not bad. Not good. Kinda 'meh'. But that's okay because - brace yourselves for ANOTHER TELLEZ CHANGE - I bought a track bike!! I have named her "SAMANTHA", but you can call her "Ms. Sammy" for short! ;-) Yes, I plan to become a trackie in addition to a roadie. Check that. I plan on being primarily a trackie who also races roadie. In particular, the team and individual pursuit totally makes like the fire in my trousers [Ben Stiller, Along Came Polly]!

We celebrated the holiday in Tellez family fashion. Over-indulgence and over-cleaning are the words that pop into my head. We had something like 5 different types of carbohydrate and 6 different spreads! I know, you're thinking...NACHOS!...but no. It was like a shmorgasboard of food, most of which I couldn't partake in [pork tamales? No thank you]. Not to mention the cleaning...the cleaning, the cleaning, THE CLEANING that went along with it. Ugh. You. Cannot. Imagine. Suffice it to say I took the trash otu 3 times within a 30 minute period! And no, this
was not after one of my banana-gorge fests [smart ass] but after cleaning!

Enjoy the holiday pictures, promise to post some pictures of Samantha soon. She's a Felt Tk3, size 52. Whoaaaa shizzz.... :-p