Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 1 with Carbs and Ocean Avenue

So week 1 of extra carbs and the IIFYM diet and so far so good. I have a ton more strength in the gym, and seem to have the same weight fluctuations. This is probably due to my body not being able to process the carbs well due to being on a low carb diet for so long. I haven't been able to sleep well however and don't really know why. I  drink 1 cup of coffee each morning and that is it for stimulants. As for weight, I check it every night and morning. It's kind of amazing to me that I can go to bed at 248 and wake up at 245.8. Body's metabolism is a cool thing. The lowest weight I was this week was 245.6, and the highest being 250.0. The plan said that I would need 18 weeks to get down to my goal weight, so if I am doing well at the half way point, I'll continue, otherwise I may go back to a lower carb diet.

So Ocean Avenue. If you're friends with me on Facebook, I am sure you see a few people posting about having the most amazing opportunity and how things are happening etc etc. It sounds downright cult-ish. It's almost as bad as people who sell Advocare. Well I was approached with this "opportunity" and was told how amazing the products were etc. However they couldn't tell me how the products were because they haven't tried it. This was essentially silly to me. How could I endorse something that I didn't try? Well I guess money talks but that isn't me. I said that I would try the product for 30 days and use as directed and give the results of how it made me feel and give a review. Only then I would give the endorsement to sell and offer it to friends, family and other people. I am definitely a proponent the paleo lifestyle and eating real food, but sometimes supplements can help. So with that one of my good friends over the years, Justin Duran, agreed to give me full products of everything below for me to try. 

Today was day 1 and here is what I tried.


The whey beyond comes in a pouch. It has a sweet fruity flavor with only 1.5 grams of carbs. The downside is that it only has 13 grams of protein, which is HALF of the general protein powders that you buy at the stores. However the ingredients in this are organic which include the flavoring. The main schtick to this protein powder is that it is glutathione rejuvenating. Glutathione is the most essential antioxidant in the body and helps regulate your health and prevent disease. There is a lot of information out there as to what MIGHT raise glutathione levels and different nutrients, which includes whey protein. However it has to be UN-DENATURED, which this is. Denaturing protein is basically making it easier to absorb and process quicker in the body. Which is good for post workout, but if you use it as a snack or supplement, it can cause an insulin response and gas or bloating.

I tried this two ways so far, in some cottage cheese and with raw milk. In the cottage cheese was very good. I noticed the sweetness which comes from organic stevia and the flavor of berry. It turned it almost into a dessert for me. I did not like it in the milk. I didn't like the taste and it left lumps in it that I could not shake out in a regular shaker. I will try it with water to see if I get a different response tomorrow.


This stuff is pretty good. This one comes in a small tub with about 1.28 pounds and 30 servings. I am eating this right as I type this with a 1.5 cups of low fat cottage cheese and a few strawberries and I have to say that it is delicious. Again the draw back to this stuff is 1 scoop is only 13g of protein. So to get a decent serving of protein you have to mix it with milk, cottage cheese or take 2 to 3 scoops. This stuff is also gluten free and uses un-denatured protein. This one has a little longer list of ingredients and is directed as a smoothie mix. The flavor is called Vanilla bean smoothie mix. Lol so there ya go, it's more for smoothies. The container says this is targeted for Nutritional weight management for the whole family. The directions state to drink one smoothie a day as a meal supplement. This is great for diabetics. Also, If you drink it with milk this is a perfect SMALL meal. However for someone like myself who takes in 200+ grams of protein a day, this probably isn't cost effective, but a nice treat.


Summer wanted a small snack at night so I offered up some of this product. I blended it with 8 ounces of milk. I shook it up for 20 seconds and it came out smooth. Her take on it is that she believes that it would be a whole lot better with crushed ice and some fruit, however it did taste good and she was able to hold it down being pregnant and nauseous. It was very satisfying as a meal replacement.


This one proclaims to be a powerful anti-inflammatory which is natural and has zero side effects. The supplement is full of curcuminoids. A quick search on the google-tron and I found that curcuminoids do help with management of metabolic disorders (diabetes, rheumatoid arthiritis etc). I don't see anything wrong with this stuff. I will take it and probably won't have much to report on it in 30 days but it seems legit after looking at the research.


This is touted as a weight loss formula. The supplement includes Green Tea Extract, Raspberry Ketone, Panax ginseng root extract and chromium and zinc. All things that generally are touted as stimulant free fat burners except for the green tea as it has caffeine.  The main deal is that this is supposed to make you feel good and help regulate a few things in the body. The Chromium helps with the blood sugar regulation. The Panax Ginseng has several things that it could help with. Some studies show it has anti-depressant like qualities like the upping of serotonin levels and other awesome stuff. The green tea is a slow energy release that does get the body flowing because it essentially has caffeine in it. I only took one today and I'll explain why below, but I may have made a mistake in doing so, which I will also explain below. This stuff looks pretty good.


When I take a pre workout supplement and it isn't often. I want a jolt of energy that makes me feel like I can bench press 400 lbs 20 times, and that I can run 3 miles without even thinking about it. Well this stuff did not do this for me. I took it 1 hour before I did some tire sprints. I noticed a bit more energy but I was not jittery pumped or nothing. That is good I suppose because that's what it says it does. 6 hours of jittery-less energy. I noticed a stiff decline in energy 1 hour after my sprints. I am very stimulant sensitive so this was very odd to me. Around 5 hours I began to get a major headache. I then noticed this stuff has Tyrosine in it. UGH. I am very tyrosine sensitive. In the past I have tried to find the correct balance of tyrosine. I feel  great when I take it, but feel like trash afterward. If you aren't deficient in tyrosine, you can have an imbalance of tyrosine to serotonin. Many herbal medicine or functional doctors will recommend taking tyrosine in the morning and 5-htp at night. This is where the invigorate comes in. If that indeed does generate serotonin, then it should balance this just right. I was scared of  over stimulating myself today that I drank hardly any coffee this morning and I chose to hold back on the invigorate. I will try to do what the bottle says tomorrow and see how it effects me. If I get the same bad headache again, I will discontinue the use of the focus product and send it back to Justin.

Well there you have it, I was lucky enough to get to try this product line and I look forward to writing about it for the next thirty days, and to see how it helps or deters me from reaching my ultimate goal of 220 lbs. I do want to thank Justin again for allowing me to do this and if you want to know more about the product, I can direct you to his facebook page or telephone number.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Oh the internet + New Plan

Oh man. It's been a while since I've posted last. I have been blowing and going. I was doing a cyclical Keto (paleo style) Diet and just going as I can. My wife gives me compliments daily on how my muscles are starting to come into place and how I look great. Then Thanksgiving happened and instead of trying to stay on a diet, I let loose. I stayed as gluten free as possible and put on a few pounds which is perfectly fine. The problem occurred when I started reading.....

I follow several fitness Youtubers and just got into their videos. It's very interesting to look into the lives of people who do professional bodybuilding. You find out A) they are generally like you, and B) they work really friggin hard! Some of my favorites are Matt Ogus (flexforall2), Chris Jones (physiquesofgreatness), The Hodge Twins (twinmuscleworkout), Marc Lobliner (thetigerfitness) and my personal favorite Elliot Hulse (strengthcamp). What I generally see in the competive guys (chris jones and Matt Ogus among others) is that they all eat a TON and look amazing. So I went out on a mission, I wanted to see if doing a paleo diet could translate into a bodybuilding diet, and I ended up researching for several hours into the night.

First thing I saw was that bodybuilders absolutely shun the Paleo lifestyle. Generally based on misconception or crossfit nerd's elitist attitudes. OK I definitely get it. However when most would talk about it, it wasn't backed by anything other than "The paleo diet is baseless because there is not scientific research to completely drop food groups." Wait what? All of this, that I had read was completely baseless? This is what lead to more research.

I came across someone who is very popular in the bodybuilding community. His name is Alan Aragon. He is the Robb Wolf of that community. When people get into an argument about something, his work generally comes up. HE is a nutritional genius and his work has been cited in more fitness magazines, websites and blogs than just about any other person that I could find. He completely refutes the Paleo diet and also says it's unnecessary.

So have I been wrong to follow the paleo diet? Was I one of those naive people who just followed the first book I read? I don't think so, and here is why.

Since beginning the Paleo diet, I noticed changes in not only my body, but my mind and well being. My energy levels were up and I felt a whole hell of a lot better. Now I didn't follow the traditional Paleo diet to a T, and I dont think anyone has to if certain things don't bother them. For example if you do well on dairy, don't get acne or stomach issues, then by all means do dairy. I do raw milk and cheeses on the daily. If you do ok on other grains then by all means partake! I think the paleo diet is a great GUIDELINE for anyone trying to lose weight or to be healthy, but to be honest, for someone trying to bodybuild it may not be the best solution. 

So here is what I am going to try. I have been low carbing for almost a year and want to try something different. I am going to give myself a 30 day challenge of some sorts. I read that Alan Aragon has a simple macronutrient ratio and falls into the IIFYM group (if it fits into your macros). His post here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/553149-healthy-eating-101-improve-your-fat-loss-and-muscle-gain/ states that all you need is a simple macronutrient ratio, and if you follow this you can either lose or gain weight.

Here is the formula: Daily calories = Goal weight x (workout hours per week + 9.5)

For me this would be 220 x (2 +9.5)  = 2530 Cals a day  (I generally workout in the gym around 2-3 hours a week with lots of walking so I tapered this down a bit)

1. Eat 1 gram of protein per GOAL body weight. Mine is 220 LBS, so 220 grams of protein (880 cals)
2. Eat .5 grams of fat per GOAL body Mine is 220 LBS so 110 grams of fat  (990 cals) (There is a caveat that says if you're not losing weight you may want to dial down the fat as it could be hindering your weight loss according to your body. Not because fat makes you fat, but because your body may not be able to handle that.I think I will be fine as I was taking in sometimes 150-200 grams of fat)
f you find that this is too much and you gain weight (reminder: fat does NOT make you fat), aim for .3 to .4 grams of fat per pound of goal body weight. Listen to your body and you will see changes.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/553149-healthy-eating-101-improve-your-fat-loss-and-muscle-gain/#ixzz2DLcAfKFd
f you find that this is too much and you gain weight (reminder: fat does NOT make you fat), aim for .3 to .4 grams of fat per pound of goal body weight. Listen to your body and you will see changes.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/553149-healthy-eating-101-improve-your-fat-loss-and-muscle-gain/#ixzz2DLcAfKFd)
3. Eat the rest of your calories in Carbohydrates. 2530 - 1870 = 660 cals left (660/4) = 165 Grams of Carbohydrates

So if it's this simple I should be able to lean out. I am going to try this for the next 30 days and see how it goes. This does not mean I am completely out of the paleo realm and will go out and eat a loaf of white bread a day, followed by pasta and everything else. I am still going to follow those guidelines. I can honestly tell you Gluten messes with me. It makes me feel like crap, less energy and depresses me. It also messes with my stomach as well. SO, I will add more sweet potatoes, regular potatoes and even rice. I will post along as I go through this to see if my new found knowledge works for me.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Breaking Bad Happened

I know what you're thinking. Where the heck is all of the posts about food costs and cost per meal etc.  Well You see here is what happened:

My dad spawned a conversation with me. He said "Look watch epsiode 1 of this show called Breaking Bad. IF you don't like it then tell me to screw off and don't watch anymore." Well I took this challenge. Then I ended up marathoning each episode like I was on meth myself. This show is the best show on TV hands down and I watched 4 seasons of it in a week or so. Yes it is that good. So I slacked off of this but will have a new post tomorrow after the farmers market.

One thing I wanted to touch on today was my up coming blood work test. 6 months ago I was diagnosed with a fatty liver. Supposedly this is common with overweight people. I was 291 pounds so yeah it makes sense. I go to a normal doctor as of right now. I'd like to go to someone in the paleo network, but the closest one to me is 30 miles away. This seems a bit much just to go see a doctor, so instead I choose to stick to a corporate, pill pushing, do as I am told, doctor. The first one that I had tried to get me on anti-depressants again because I was upset one day. She has since left and this one takes the cake. I walked in and I had slightly high blood pressure. We are talking 140/90. It's not great but it isnt THAT bad if you're looking at things. I also had a bit of high cholesterol. Again not ridiculously high, just a bit high. She immediately tried to get me on blood pressure medicine and a statin. I told her about the risks and how I am too young to be taking these, and how the side effects outweigh the benefits. She flat out told me, and I am not even close to kidding when she said "You know that you could die if you do not take these." I laughed at her and said oh yeah sure. She then sent me to the ultrasound tech to get my liver looked at and it came back as a fatty liver. She told me I needed to lose 10 percent of my body weight (I was 280 then, I have far exceeded that) and I told her no problem, I'll follow my diet and iwll be fine. She kind of scoffed at me. So the date is coming August 22nd where I get my blood work done. I cannot wait to stick it to this lady. So that is operation blood work date. I'll be posting all of my numbers and see if I can't find my old numbers to compare. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

But I Can't Afford to Eat Healthy

Everyone in the paleo community can attest to this, they have heard someone come up with an excuse that they can't eat a healthy diet because they cannot afford to. It's one of the oldest excuses for eating the way they do, and it's not true. Now the Paleo diet does focus on better sources of meats and produce, but if you cannot afford to buy those things, it shouldn't deter you from eating better choices or even a fully paleofied diet.

What I am going to do for the next few blog post is post what I am eating and the average cost per person per meal, then compare that to the price of other things like fast food and other restaurants.

Tonight I made a fancy looking dinner for hardly any of the cost. I am just sad that no one took a picture of it lol. It was a dinner for my Mom before she went back to Lubbock. Here is how it breaks down.

2 packages of Thin sliced chicken breast $7 (approx)
1/3 of a can of parmesan cheese $1.30 (approx)
1 Spaghetti Squash $3.54
1 small bottle of pine nut less pesto $1.99
2 organic tomatoes $1.50
1/2 onion $.80
1 TBL of garlic powder $.08
1 TBL of onion powder $.08
Salt & pepper

Total:  $16.25
Servings: 5 
Cost per serving: $3.25

I made a paleo version of chicken parmesan with spaghetti squash tossed with the pesto and more parmesan cheese. This fed my mother, wife, my daughter and I, and left 1 serving to be eaten for breakfast or lunch (or a snack lol). This was a very nutrient dense versin of chicken parmesan and could've even been better had I added some sauteed squash and zuchinni which would've added .40 per serving.

Lets look at some other means of food.

Mcdonald's Big mac value meal: $4.37
Burger King Whopper Meal: $4.32

Now this is just two examples, but you could buy some less nutrient dense food for more price. You could even have saved more money by making a butter sauce for the spaghetti squash or a simple marinara sauce with a can or organic tomato sauce.

Tomorrow I will be cooking some paleo chocolate chili!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Be Careful When You Eat out!

Oh it's been nice, I took a couple of days off to rest a bit. I only did some walking yesterday and the day before. My back had been twinged so I gave it a rest. Today I am going to hit the gym  and do the dreaded leg day (dun dun dun)! My mother flew into town (her arms must be tired!) yesterday and so it has been nice having her around.

So naturally we went out to eat for dinner. We went to a cajun place so this meant LOTS of seafood. I decided on a parmesan encrusted flounder with steamed broccoli. In my mind, when you encrust something in parmesan, that's pretty much all you use. I know when I do it, I use the parmesan powder and grated cheese, just a foreshadow here. The usual comes out bread, and cornbread, I passed of course. I get my fish and it looks magnificent, a giant piece of fish covered in parmesan cheese. I start eating it and it was as awesome as it looked. I get just about done with it and notice what it's encrusted with. I look at it and it looks a batter of some sort. I thought to myself "no way there is flour on this, it says parmesan encrusted!" So I finish it and leave some of the coating. Well I ask the waiter and he comes back with "Oh it has parmesan cheese, italian bread crumbs, eggs and milk" DAMNIT. Well lesson learned! What you cook and have in your mind isn't always what a restaurant has in mind. It's better to be that annoying customer asking questions, than to be sorry about what you ate. Luckily this wasn't too bad of a thing and I just took it as a treat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 24 - Results are in!

Well today is weigh in and measurements day and I am pretty pleased with the results. Could they have been better? Of course, but did I live my life and still manage to lose weight and inches? Yep. My main goal of this whole challenge was to prove to everyone out there that you do not need a supplement to lose weight. You especially do not need the Advocare 24 day challenge gimmick either. When you get down to it, you still are eating better and you still are getting off of your ass. This will equal weight loss to anyone who is trying to lose weight. Now maybe it's a different story if you're in great shape and have hit a plateau, but anyone who is like me and trying to shed pounds, you don't need a damn thing.

So without further adieu here are my numbers:

Day 0 Numbers:

Chest (nipple line) 46 inches
Waist (above belly button, which i have no idea why they'd call it waist....) 43.5 inches
Thighs: 27 inches
 Arms: 16 inches
Hips (around the butt) 44 inches
Weight: 254.2

Day 24 numbers
Chest (nipple line): 45 inches (Loss of 1 inch)
Waist (above belly button, which i have no idea why they'd call it waist....) : 39.5 inches (Loss of 4 inches!!)
 Thighs: 26 inches (Same)
Arms: 16 inches (Same)
Hips (around the butt) 43 inches( loss of 1 inch)
Weight 246.4 (Loss of 7.8 pounds)

The weight loss wasn't very good. This is still the lightest that I have been since the 7th grade! However, there are a ton of attributing factors to this. For one, I deviated slightly on the diet a couple of times and this could've slowed me up a bit. Another thing is with weight training you can start to gain muscle over fat, and another factor could be that my body is slowing on the weight loss because well geez, I just dropped 40 LBs before this challenge. No excuses here, I like that number and am not discouraged by that at all. If anything it shows that you can live life 20% of the time and the 80% you work hard and you'll get to where you're going.

The waist measurement is absolutely correct. I couldn't believe this number. My wife has been telling me I am shrinking and I look great, heck I didn't believe her. One of my co-workers said I was melting the other day and I didn't believe him, but holy cow! 4 inches in the waist GONE. I had her re-measure 3 or 4 times because I didn't believe it myself and every time it was 39.5 inches.

As for the rest of the number, I wasn't too concerned about it. I am a genuine fat ass and most of my issues were in my stomach.  The other places look and feel better. You can definitely tell in my pictures that my back looks hell of a lot better and this is only 24 days. I will continue to progress until my ultimate goal of 220-230.

So what's next on this blog? Well I will keep going and focus on different aspects. So many questions about the paleo diet as I have been doing this. The first one I want to cover is food costs and how much each meal costs compared to others. I may also do a post on the 24 day challenge pack by Advocare that everyone is jumping on the band wagon about. I am also going to stop posting my food log. I have to admit, this made me bat Sh#@ crazy. I will also be working on my strength and workouts as I go along. Thanks for to everyone who supported me, I look forward to seeing what kind of body I can achieve!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 23 - Calories!

I have been eating  too little lately, so I tried to figure out a way to get some in today. My wife made me a different breakfast with the same things that I usually do, and added some cheese to it. It was not only delicious but upped my calories a little bit. For lunch, well I kind of failed at that point. Tried to eat as much as I could but just didn't have the time to do so.

So for dinner, I found this paleo type of sausage called Aidell's Andouille sausage. Here is what's in this sausage: INGREDIENTS: PORK, WATER, SALT, SPICES (INCLUDING RED,WHITE AND BLACK PEPPER), GARLIC, SUGAR, PAPRIKA, CELERY POWDER AND DEHYDRATED ONION. Winner!

So I made a whole bunch of vegetables and roasted it with the sausage. This turned out great! The only problem is, with 1 serving of this, I was only at 1700 calories again. So I did what anyone would do. Eat another serving 2 hours later. :) I rocked my calories today, as it was right around the mark it should.

This was day 2 without coffee. I have to admit, I am in a better mood, but today I wasn't as energized. I did have some energy from the Tea I drank, but other than that, I was a little flat. I still managed to get in a sprinting workout at the park, and took Natalie back to the same park at night. I ended up doing around 2.50 miles.

Tomorrow is weigh-in and measurement day and marks the end of the 24-day challenge. I feel like I did as well as I could have with the cheats and things that got in the way, and if I am in the 240s, I 'll be happy.

So what's after the 24 day challenge? Well  I don't really know fitness wise. I know my wife's birthday is coming up and I'll have family in town this weekend, so I may let loose just a little bit, but I am sticking to it. I will continue to blog about it and next week, I plan on starting a food cost series. My main question that I get is "Is this diet expensive?" Well I'll blog about it. I am going to take the total's from each meal and add that up and compare with things from restaurants and fast food places.

Here is my food log for the day:

Day 22 - Feeling Like A Million Bucks

Today (well yesterday) I felt like a million bucks. I started to notice a pattern when drinking coffee. The stuff would make me ragey and irritable. Everything seemed to piss me off. So cutting out coffee for 1 day and drinking tea for my caffeine made a world of difference. I had a ton of energy and felt like I could take on the world. I was also in a good mood which is different than the passed couple of days. The thing with this diet (and any sort of diet or lifestyle change) is that you have to find out what's right for you. My friend can drink 4 cups of coffee, and lay down at night to sleep perfectly fine, and not be ragey or jittery. I can drink two and feel like I have been cracked out on cocaine for a month. So for my caffeine intake I did a green tea in the morning, green tea extract after breakfast and then a black tea before workout. This seemed to work.

For my workout I went to the gym and did chest. I know, I skipped legs, but the end of the challenge is the middle of this week and after that's finish, I am going to try a different style of workout by putting legs in between my arm days as I am going to step it up a bit.

As I mentioned in the paragraph above this one, I went to the gym. I didn't make it until 5pm and it reminded my why I had quit going at that time. There is just too many damn people at the gym at this time. I could not get on anything I wanted, so my workout is completely different. Maybe this is a good thing, but I hate the gym at 5pm. Some of it is my inferiority complex to see all of these big ass dude throwing up weight like I used to, and some of it, is having to wait in line to do bench press. Stupid.

Anywho, here is what my workout looked like:

Incline dumbbells 3 sets of 10 with 70 lbs each arm
Pec Flies machine: 150 x 10, 190 x 6, 190 x5
Bench Press 135 x 8 135 x 8
Skull Crushers 10 x 70, 8 x 70, 6 x 70
tricep pushups 2 sets of 8

One thing I've noticed is my stamina isn't on par with my brain. In my mind I should be doing way more than this, but a lot of these sets were to failure. I think I need to up my carbs a bit to be more consistent in the 75-100 range, and also just effing eat more. I have been under 2000 calories for several days.

Yesterday's food was much better. I was able to get some more calories in by adding a little bit of cheese and avocado. I also felt that I had went overboard on carbs because of the sweet potato but didn't even make it close.

Today is day 23 and tomorrow is the finale. Should be interesting to see where he and I are at.