Monday, November 2, 2009

I Eat Cholesterol For Breakfast

As you all know, I'm quite passionate about this whole fitness/health/nutrition thing. So when someone is terribly misinformed and yet POSITIVE that his/her position is correct, I go to great lengths to show them the light. Not to rub it in their face, but to keep them from being stupid. Here's an email I literally just sent to a friend of mine, Sarah, who happens to be a bona fide rocket scientist. I'm not kidding. She works in the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Labratory as a guidance and control engineer. Literally. A rocket scientist. However, despite how much smarter than me she probably is, even she can be a bit misinformed on the falsities of cholesterol. Here's my email...

Subject: I drop knowledge so heavy it leaves the world unbalanced...

Here, we are, Miss H*****. Miss Rocket. On the brink of a revolution of the mind. You go right ahead and spout off about fancy rocket thrusters and flux capacitors and the evil Dr. Colossus. I have no doubts that you are more than knowledgeable in a plethora of fields, but unfortunately, you seem to have fallen into the trap that oh so many people do: you heard something a doctor said and ran with it all the way to Conviction Town.

Let me provide you with a brief example: a guy came in one day and was asking about CrossFit. Naturally, being the charmer that I am, I obliged and gave him the rundown of what we do around here i.e. a variety of functional movements executed at relative intensity (Olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodyweight movements, gymnastics movements, monostructural activities, etc). He seems intrigued - most likely because I'm so handsome. So then he says, "Well, I had shoulder surgery and my doctor says I can never lift overhead anymore." Color me vexed. So, I calmly engaged in the following exchange...

"Okay. Do you live in an apartment?"
"Do you have shelves?'
"Do you put things on them?"
"Then you lift things overhead everyday."

Jesse [Wood] had shoulder surgery roughly five years ago. He's been doing CrossFit and Olympic lifting for quite some time. His shoulders are stronger than ever. He recently almost jerked 300#. My point simply is this: you can't believe everything a doctor tells you. Yes, they are far more credible than me and Jesse and Christy and Travis and Liam and Jess and Homeless Dave and Bonita Applebum, but they're not always right. Alright, now that my absurdly long intro is finished, let's move on to Point 2...

Nils, Liam, and you all peppered me with light criticisms last night, essentially claiming that I gather most of my information from blogs, and blogs, naturally, aren't credible. However, what most of you failed to note is that I don't just pull information from blogs written by 13 year-olds who love Miley Cyrus more than gay people like parades. The blogs that I read and stand firmly by are written by doctors, scientists, and people who realize that diabetes and heart disease are worse than ever and there's gotta be something wrong... right? And you can't just blame fast food and laziness. Because thousands of active people who never touch fast food are struck down with heart attacks all the time. So what, pray tell, is going on, my dear? Let's find out!

Robb Wolf
>>Robb Wolf is in charge of CrossFit's Nutrition certification. He is a CrossFit trainer in Northen California and a former research biochemist. He helped Loren Cordain write The Paleo Diet, which is changing lives for the better all over the place. This post discusses our misconceptions about cholesterol and also cites several studies worth checking out. Robb isn't trying to sell some sort of diet. He makes plenty of money already. He endorses the Paleo Diet, but only because it has worked for him and his clients. Not only in improving their performance, but overall health as well. Feel free to sift through his site for a lot more information.

Whole Health Source
>>Stephan Guyenet is neurobiologist who writes this blog related to diet, nutrition, physiology, and a whole bunch of other crap. This link should direct you to all of the stuff he has written regarding cholesterol thus far.

Dr. Ron Rosedale
>>Unfortunately, I don't know a lot about this particular guy. But after some thorough research (Google), it appears he's a respected doctor dealing with nutrition and diet. I know that's vague at best, but I'm trying to give you as much info as possible without my own head exploding. Anyways, this video is an excerpt from an interview with him in regards the cholesterol myths.

The Cholesterol Myths
>>This is a book written by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov. Yes, his website is pretty awful, but he's based out of Europe - what do you expect? He's done buttloads of research to prove that cholesterol is not the true cause of heart disease. I just finished The Tipping Point and I am quite anxious to begin this book. I'm not telling you to go out and buy it, but if you're as thirsty for the truth as you seem, it might not be a bad idea. Or you could wait until I finish it, but that could take a while. I generally get my most reading done whilst pooping.

Alright, that's all I got. I hope this was in some way helpful. It may not change your mind about cholesterol, but perhaps it will shed some light on all the information regarding the subject. All I ask is that you don't take everything a guy in a white coat says as gospel. Yes, I know you wear a white coat at work in the lab and I am infinitely jealous because of it, but like En Vogue said, Free Your Mind.

Awwwww yeah, closing it on with an En Vogue reference! That's what I call a strong finish...


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I'm currently doing a Performance Menu cycle to improve my Olympic lifting and my overall strength. So far, it's going quite well. Since committing to the O-lifts, my snatch has increased by roughly 60# and my clean & jerk by about 40#. My technique in both is much better (although they still need a lot of work). My squat numbers have also improved significantly. Drew will tell you one simple thing about me: I'm obsessed with strength. Still, I don't care how much you curl or leg press. Tell me you can deadlift 500, snatch over your bodyweight, and squat like it's your religion, then you'll have my complete attention. I'm not bashing metcon workouts like Fran or Helen or Fight Gone Bad or Cindy. But if you can improve your strength drastically, metcon improvements will only be easier to come by.

"The only aspect of conditioning that really will never have a negative effect on any others is maximal strength development. Maximal strength development will have a positive effect on almost every component of fitness, except maybe flexibility." -Dave Tate

Still, no matter how many lifts I do in a day, a week, or month, I need to ensure that I am consuming enough (good, quality) calories to build muscle mass. I'm not trying to put on weight. I'm not trying to gain "mass". I want to be stronger. I want (need) to build more muscle. With that, weight and mass will come, but moving more weight is all that matters to me. I've finally realized that I need be eating significantly more food to put on muscle, aid in protein synthesis, and improve my recovery after hard workouts. I'm just as committed to eating as I am to lifting. Here's what I ate yesterday...

Meal 1: Bowl of beef chili with sliced chicken breast added
Meal 2: Three eggs and three strips of bacon covered in syrup, six capsules of fish oil
Meal 3: Two slices of roast beef, half a large yam covered in olive oil, post-workout shake (two scoops of whey protein, one banana, one scoop of iso-leucine, half can of coconut milk, whole milk), seven capsules of fish oil
Meal 4: Steak, asparagus, two glasses of chocolate milk, spoonful of peanut butter, five capsules of fish oil
Meal 5: Three strips of bacon, three slices of roast beef, chocolate milk, more fish oil

I have no idea how many calories this equates to, but needless to say, I was in pain after some of these meals. And that's what it's going to take for me to build muscle. This might not be the case for others, but since high school, I've probably only put on 17 pounds of muscle. Not nearly enough. Also, most of the choices above are still pretty healthy. The syrup was just a quick way to add more calories. All told, I took roughly 20 capsules of fish oil as well.

By no means am I bragging about how much I'm eating. Hell, I'm slightly disgusted with myself. But if it's going to help me get stronger, I'll do what I have to. Start taking a look at what you're eating everyday. Is it enough? Is it too much? Is it benefiting your workouts? Assess your diet, make changes, train hard, sleep well, get strong.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How Serious Are You?

Let me guess, you're in the gym almost every day of the week. You drag yourself out of bed or force yourself to go after work. You get in there and you're all business. You work twice as hard in the gym as you do on your TPS reports, which all have cover sheets now. You sweat, you bleed, you nearly puke almost every time you grab the pull-up bar, sprint down the street, or pick up that barbell. Everyday you push harder and strive to put in the best performance you can. You push yourself to the brink, chasing after that far-off horizon of elite performance you crave so desperately. And after your dilated pupils finally return to normal size, the blood drains from your lungs, and the battery acid seeps from your legs, what do you do? You waste it. You waste a perfect opportunity to really get the most out of your workout and improve your recovery. The better you recover, the better you'll do tomorrow.

Here's what I ate after my Wednesday morning session...

-flank steak
-two scoops of whey
-about a cup of whole milk
-some cheese

-half a sweet potatoe

-half can of coconut milk
-olive oil

-six capsules of fish oil
-10,000 IU of Vitamin D
-one scoop of iso-leucine powder
-one scoop of Perfect Food's Super Green Formula
-three branch chain amino acid pills

We all pretty much want the same thing: a faster Fran, a heavier deadlift, more pull-ups, and so on. We want these things for various reasons: to get in great shape, to look better for beach season, to prep for ski season, or maybe to compete in something. But really, how serious are you? Until you start taking your diet and recovery seriously, your goals will always be that far away, sitting on that unreachable horizon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Experts Are Stupid.

This is utterly astounding. I was genuinely enraged after watching this.

I really don't know where to begin. I'm almost too angry. Here were have a registered dietitian advocating the consumption of fast food. She's actually advising the American public to eat McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, and some strange wraps you find at the gas station.

Her main concern seems to be "calories, calories, calories" with absolutely no mention of food QUALITY. The whole purpose of this piece is to help the out-and-about person find good food choices while traveling and all she suggests is fast food. Are grocery stores just too inconvenient? For God's sake, pull over over and pick an apple off a tree.

And of course, like all doctors, dietitians, and nutritionists out there, she makes no mention of the three macronutrients that comprise food: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. She makes no mention of how bad carbs, like those found in fast food, affect one's insulin levels and destroy long-term health. Look, I get it: it's only a 90 second segment but have a clue at least.

Everyone out there is counting calories and buying "low fat" products. The result? America is the fattest, unhealthiest country in the world. Heart disease is our number one killer and diabetes is climbing the list every day.

All I'm saying is this: don't believe everything a doctor or a dietitian tells you. Chris Rock said it himself: "The money is in the medicine." NOTE: I am not telling you to believe everything Chris Rock says either. Just get out there and educate yourself. I'll do the best I can here, but you guys and girls need to be aware that not everything a "professional" tells you is necessarily the best thing for you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meals For Work

As some of you know, I work the night shift for some lame government agency. The only available option for purchasing food is a 24-hour McDonald's across the street. I refuse to do that to myself. So I usually need to prepare food beforehand so I can continue fueling through the misery of my job. Typically, I just cook some chicken breasts, bring in some fruit, and pack some almonds and cashews. Today, however, I had more time and put together a couple salads...

Since my roommates and I don't own a decent set of tupperware, I had to use two for all the food I prepped. In each salad, you'll find: baby spinach leaves, half an orangic orange pepper, half an organic avocado, a chicken breast, crushed bacon, and olive oil for dressing. I also packed some dried fruit, some berries and grapes, some organic apple slices, a cup of yogurt, some granola, and of course, almonds and cashews.


-dried mango & berries
-organic apple slices

-olive oil
-crunchy peanut butter

-I forgot to bring my fish oil

As you can see, there is a ton of carbs up there. Please bear in mind, I definitely won't eat all of what's posted. I just bring a lot of food into work to ensure I don't go hungry. My shift is ten hours long after all. Altogether, it took about 40 minutes or so to prepare all of this. And it's worth it if it keeps me from eating something off the wretched Dollar Menu. It's important that we eat well throughout the day, not just before and after workouts. Maintaining a good diet throughout the day not only leads to increased work capacity, but better overall long-term health.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pre/Post Workout Meals

I woke up at 5:30AM today to train our 6:30AM class. Luckily, I had already prepared some food the night prior for a quick and easy breakfast...

-one chicken breast
-two slices of roast beef
-two slices bacon
-slice of Swiss cheese



-three capsules of fish oil
-lots of water

You will notice a few things about this meal. I'm definitely missing out on fat. I had an avocado that I forgot to eat, but I did eat some almonds as I was training a few clients. Another thing significantly lacking is vegetables, something I could definitely eat more of. Classes ended at 8:30AM. I did my lifts and then some sprint work on the local track. At about 11AM, I had this post-workout meal...

-one chicken breast
-one salmon filet
-two pieces of bacon
-a protein shake (not pictured)

-half a sweet potatoe
-another shake (Perfect Food's Super Green Formula)

-olive oil on the sweet potato
-cashews (not pictured)

-three capsules of fish oil
-lots of water

This meal is similar to my breakfast, but with some obvious adjustments. First off, there's a lot more protein in this meal. Post-workout is the ideal time to consume more protein in hopes to gain weight/muscle. This is especially necessary for a hard gainer like myself. Once again, I forgot to eat my damn avocado. I'm also eating half a sweet potatoe post-workout. According to Robb Wolf, there is a 45-minute window immediately following a workout in which your insulin sensitivity is at it's highest. This is where you want to consume a majority of your daily carbs, especially those rich in nutrients - like sweet potatoes. I can elaborate on insulin sensitivity if anyone is interested, but I'll leave it alone for now. You'll also notice I had a shake of Perfect Food's Super Green Formula. It's designed for people who don't consume enough leafy/green vegetables. I do not recommend it for several reasons: 1) It tastes awful, literally awful 2) There's no excuse for not eating enough veggies and I admit this supplement is a bit of a cop-out, but I'm a busy man damn it. And finally, the last thing to take note of is that I have upped my fish oil intake to three capsules per meal. I'm essentially going for 12 per day. Why? Because we need at least 3g of essential fatty acids (EPA/DHA). This requires a lot of fish oil everday.

I hope everyone is starting to take their nutrition more seriously. With football season fast-approaching, it's going to be very hard to stay disciplined. Do you best and let's hope the Patriots fail miserably...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quick & Easy...

I'm doing my best to post on here more regularly. You're all also encouraged to do so. In fact, without your input I'm going to assume none of you are eating healthy. Hey, it's your life, but if you really want to crush a workout and maximize your performance and potential, food is the fuel to do so. If we work so hard every day at the gym, why can't we put in the same effort in the kitchen? Let's face it, we absolutely brutalize our bodies during workouts. Why not give them the sustenance they deserve? Here's a quick midday meal I had today...

-a handful of turkey
-two hard-boiled egg whites (with hot sauce for flavor)
-three strips of bacon
-a protein shake (not pictured)

-three strawberries
-handful of blueberries
-handful of cherries
-another shake (Perfect Food's Super Green Formula)

-half an avocado
-a lot of good fat in bacon

-two capsules of fish oil
-lots of water

I'm not strict weighing and measuring yet, but this meal is pretty well balanced. I actually plan on going through it piece by piece to see how it plays out. But this was a quick and easy meal that tasted delicious. And I like to think it's part of the reason I put up the best time on the board today. Get after it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Think Before You Eat

Sorry I haven't been posting on here more regularly. I've been a bit of a hypocrite recently and my diet has been quite awful. I'm more concerned with putting on some weight for my upcoming Oly competition in August, so food quality has suffered. Nevertheless, one can gain weight while eating healthy; it just requires diligence, dedication, self-sacrifice, and a host of other attributes I don't possess.

Anyway, I just wanted to put something up for you guys to all see the next time you're heading out to grab some fast food. Check this out.

I found this picture one day while perusing CrossFit Coronado's Nutrition Blog and it seriously disturbed me. Pretty sick, huh? While I fully endorse the Zone and controlling your fuel intake (Remember: Food = Fuel), it does you no good if you continue eating crap. Quality first. Before you buy or consume anything, ask yourself, "Is this something a caveman would eat?" That's usually a pretty good test. And no, I'm not talking about the guys from the Geico commercials... "I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa." My original post on diet can be found here. Any questions, just ask.

In the meantime, here is what the guys at CF Coronado had to say about it...

"This picture alone should convince you that eating real food is what you should be striving for. It is amazing the crap we pump into our bodies, especially our children's. I get fired up every month when my kids bring home the menu for their school's lunches. It is things like these chicken nuggets that they feed them and call it 'healthy' since it is breaded in whole wheat and low fat. Top it off with some chocolate milk (for strong bones and teeth) and some fruit cocktail (to help get your 5 servings a day) and you have a well balanced diet: Low fat and protein, high carbohydrate. Perfect balance for our growing children. The fact that so many of these kids are overweight is bad enough. But, there is the added bonus of ADD/ADHD, radical mood swings, the inability to pay attention in class, stomach issues etc..."

Again, that blog is a great resource I recommend to everyone. They post countless articles citing a variety of interesting studies regarding nutrition. A lot of things that make you go, "Hmmm..."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009




I’ve been taking this for about three weeks now, and let me just tell you, this stuff is amazing.  I’m not even sure of all the sciency effects (maybe Q or Drew can fill us in on that), but what I do know is that I’ve never slept as well in my life as I do while taking this stuff. 


It took a week or so to figure out the right time to take it (the directions are three pills, 30-60 minutes before bedtime).  At first I was taking it about an hour before I went to bed, and it was actually disrupting my sleep.  Now, for the past two weeks I’ve been taking it right before I go to sleep, and the effects are amazing – I sleep throughout the night and wake up feeling refreshed, not groggy at all.  This never happened before getting on ZMA. 


Now this may sound weird, and maybe it’s just me, but one “side effect,” if you will, is that I have some very vivid and whacked out dreams on this.  Is anybody else taking this?  If so, does this happen to them or is it just me?  Not that it’s a bad thing…





Lunch at work

I know eating at work is usually difficult, just because of the snack machines and the desire for some quick energy in the afternoon (which usually leads to something sugary). Find a grocery store nearby. They all have sald bars. It's cheap and easy.

Salad with broccoli, mushrooms, turkey, bacon, cheese, pepperoni, and some creamy caesar dressing. Side of almonds and some water. Apple for mid afternoon. All for $11. Not bad.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

post your meal ideas here

So here it is. Jelley's Diner. In honor of Jerry and Kelley's new found relationship, which has lasted through the entire engagement of Craig and Erin, and continues on strong.

This was LoveShack's idea, so he got to choose the name. I like it.

Here's the deal. You can post to this a couple different ways. You can email whatever you want me to post for meals at or you can send an email directly to this blog by drafting up an email the way you'd like the blog post to look, and sending it to

Here are the rules.
--no banter on here. the comments page on AOF is fine for that. let's not clutter this page with useless stuff.
--be as specific as you can with meal stuff, whether it's ingredients, amounts, etc.
--if you read a good article on nutrition, feel free to post it on here
--if you have questions, post them in the comments section either on here or on AOF. I'm working on getting something for the sidebar where we can have a "message board" of some kind, but I'm not sure if I can do it with this program. We'll see.