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