Walk a Little a Day

Hello everyone. Are you getting ready for the big weekend? Will you attend a BBQ? If you do, I hope you eat everything you enjoy. Go ahead, eat hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, have soda (diet of course), and have some mixed adult drinks if you like. Yes, that is correct. I said “DRINK UP”.

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Remember, I have a love-hate relationship with alcohol. I love how it makes my brain feel, but hate what it does to my body. Is that just me? When I do drink, I prefer liquor mixed with water, and some tiny chunks of frozen water.

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Today I want to talk to you about the power of walking half an hour a day at a 3mph pace. What did you think, that I was just going to give you the green light for “Labor Day Gluttony” and dipsomania?  I am a weight loss friend, coach, and homie, remember?

Time for some math. DON’T PANIC! This is simple math and does not involve variables and exponents. And you definitely do not have to solve for X.

If you walk for half an hour, at a 3 mph pace, you will burn about 150 calories. If you do that everyday for a year, you will burn, 150 x 365 days in a year = 54,750 calories burned. If you divide 54,750 calories by the 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat, you get 15.6 pounds. That is correct. If you changed nothing else in your life, and just started walking half an hour a day at 3 mph, or 1 and a half miles total, you would lose about 15 pounds in one year! Don’t forget, a year goes by pretty quick. It’s already going to be September.

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I know what you’re thinking. “Hector, I mean, Healthy Homeboy, I can’t walk EVERY DAY for 1 year. I need some time off, like weekends and stuff”. Ok, I will bargain with you. How about if you walk half an hour, for only 300 days out of the year? You will lose about 12 pounds! Sounds great to me.

Remember, there are 52 weekends in a year. If you don’t Move Your Ass, M.Y.A., on weekends, you will only be moving about 265 days out of the year. If you don’t move Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, which, by the way, is somehow now considered the weekend for folks, you will only be moving (365 minus the 156 days total of days in 3 day weekends in a year) = 209 days. Yes, if you only move 4 days a week, you will only move about 209 days out of the year. Throw in some holidays, sick days, hangovers, lazy days, must watch TV, and before you know it, you’re only moving about 150 days a year, which is less than HALF a year. The moral of the math is mueve tus nalgas todos los dias.  And yes, this blog can be in English, Spanish, or to really confuse the hell out of single language speakers, SPANGLEEEESH. I checked with Obama. He said because I served in the US Marines, and Marines protect his family, I can blog in two languages. But I think that El Presidente said it’s OK for me to blog in Spanish, occasionally, because the Latino Vote helped him successfully defend his title of El President. Sorry Mitt. (On a side note. Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico. I’m serious. Look it up. I mean Google it).

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Speaking of our Prez and the Spanish language. When I talked to “O”, that’s what I call our Presidente sometimes, I informed him that Malia, his daughter’s name is pronounced just like malilla in Spanish. Barack was a bit disappointed to find out that malilla in Spanish means: a person full of wickedness and malice. Yikes! We all make bad choices sometimes, even in naming our children.

In his disappointment, he blamed the daughter naming blunder on Michelle. He also said to me “I knew we should have named Malia, Lela instead”. I said “Oh hell no Mr. Prez! I know Lela is a popular name with English speakers, but Lela in Spanish means: stupid, ignorant and crazy.” So if your name is Lela, do not travel to Central and South America, Spain, and East L.A. People might look at you funny when you introduce yourself.

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Then the Prez got peeved and tried to get even. He said “What’s your mothers name Hector?” I said “Rosa”. He was like “Damn, that’s a nice name, and means rose in English. Nothing wrong there”. Then his Harvard education kicked in, in the name of defense of his family. He said “Do you know what your name, Hector, means in English” I said “Yes, it means bad motherfucker”. I said it with a smile. The Prez laughed and asked “Seriously bro, do you know what your name means in English”. I said and nodded side to side “No”. He said “Hector in English means to boss around or verbally bully someone”. I said “Damn Prez, you got me there. That’s a good one”. Then I said “Sounds like your name should have been Hector Obama, as much as you tell people what to do”. The Prez laughed and I proceeded to cut his lawn because he ordered me to. He is so damn bossy, except with Michelle.

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Then I trained Michelle. I had her do push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and all sorts of crazy stuff. She’s in pretty good shape.

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French Toast Recipe

Hello everyone. It is Friday, and Labor Day is right around the corner. Damn time flies.

I am a Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Coach. They are overlapping titles and duties. People often ask me what I eat to stay lean and strong. Everything? Seriously, I do eat everything, but not always. I try to live by the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy, clean, correct, or whatever you want to call “proper food consumption for your body and activity levels” 80% of the time, an your body will handle and dispose of the other 20%, without any harm to your body. I once told my weight loss walking group about the 80/20 rule and someone mumbled, as we walked, “most of us do 20/80. 20% of the time we eat right, and 80% of the time, not so much”. Very funny.

Ok, my brown rice scrambled with eggs recipe surprisingly has become popular. So today I will give you another recipe that is low carb, low calorie, made fast, cheap, healthy, and hopefully, for you, tasty.

Materials needed: 1 non-stick pan, some low carb bread (I use Pepperidge Farm Light Style Soft Wheat Bread. Each slice has only 45 calories and 8 carbs), a couple of regular eggs (I have no idea how many eggs are needed. I whip up a few, make my French Toast, scramble the left overs, and eat that too)., and regular butter.

Cup with monkey faces on it, full of coffee, is optional.

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Next, whip, whisk, beat, or whatever it is called, some eggs in a bowl. 3 eggs will make about 4 to 5 French Toast, me thinks. You know I am a man, I don’t measure much. So lazy and barbaric of me, I know.

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Next, lightly butter pan. (Pssst… wanna know a secret. I love butter, so I butter heavy.) I heat the pan to the following temperature: High enough to lightly brown French Toast.

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Next, soak both sides of low the carb bread in stirred, beaten, whisked, oh whatever, eggs, and put in pan.

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If you look closely, those are my Nike Frees at the bottom of the photo.

Now for the best part. Cook to a light crisp, put on a plate, and scarf it down like if you just walked and swam around the world, and ate nothing but rice cakes, and drank nothing but water.

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The above meal costs a grand total of less than 1 dollar, each piece of French Toast has about 100 calories, it takes less than 5 minutes to cook, and it has a good balance of protein and carbs. I don’t use syrup, but you can if tu quieres.

If you have cholesterol issues, you can use egg whites or just use the yolk for half the eggs. You can also use some butter substitute.

I have made my French Toast for children of family and friends, and I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t like my Pan Frances Tostado. It’s also healthier and cheaper than McDonald’s.

And all adults love to be cooked for, so when I make French Toast at home for friends and family, they love it too.

Psst…wanna know another little secret. I once ate 8 of my French Toast, and washed it down with 2 glasses of milk. I was so damn hungry. I know, I know, that’s like 1,000 calories all at once, and who knows how many eggs, but gluttony feels so good sometimes. Hey, I could have consumed worse things, like the the 8 pound Strasburger at National’s Stadium in Washington DC. It has 10,000 calories! That is not a type-o.

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The Strasburger is so big that the dude above cut out a piece, and it looks like the Strasburger didn’t even feel it. Only in America.

But below is the gluttony of all gluttony. That is Joey Chestnut. This past 4th of July, Joey won the hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s in New York by eating 69 hot dogs, and the buns! But wait, it gets more disgusting than that. He ate it all in 10 minutes!

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DO NOT TRY TO EAT 69 OF MY FRENCH TOAST!

 

Fun Weight-Loss Trivia

Happy hump-day to everyone!

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Let’s KISS today. Keep It Simple Silly. In the spirit of the back to school frenzy that is upon us, we will do weight loss trivia. Let’s test your knowledge.

1. Which is more important and effective for weight loss, diet or exercise?

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Absolutely, diet is WAY more important than exercise for weight loss. A person can exercise all they want, but if they are indulging in large meals, day in and day out, they will struggle to lose weight. If a person has no time to hit the gym, but can push away from the kitchen table, avoid second servings, and replace liquid calories with water, chances are they will lose weight. And of course, if a person exercises and reduces their calorie intake, they will lose weight faster than if they didn’t. Exercise sculpts the body, and food consumption determines how much of your sculpture will be revealed.

2. How many calories will a person burn if they walk 1 mile on flat ground, at 3 miles per hour, and they weigh 200 pounds?

A. 110

B. 200

C. 400

D. I have no idea

Don’t feel bad if you answered D. The answer is A, only 110 calories. Unfortunately, for the battle of the bulge, the body is very efficient at storing energy/fat, and it requires quite a bit of work to burn it off. If you walk 3 miles, you will burn about 300 to 350 calories. And to lose one pound, you have to create a deficit of 3500 calories. That equals about 35 miles of walking! No thanks. The good news is that if you exercise and cut back on food, I don’t like to say diet, you will lose weight.

3. If you want to lose weight, must you lift weights?

No, you do not have to lift weights, but it is highly recommended for men and women. Lifting weights, just 3 times per week, for about 20 minutes, will increase your metabolism, increase bone density, increase circulation, strengthen your heart, and strengthen not only muscles, but ligaments and tendons too. Weight training also works as an anti-depressant because it makes you feel good. Let thy exercise be thy medicine.

4. If you have a desk job, you know, cubicle warfare type stuff, do you need to make sure you move outside of work and during breaks to help weight loss?

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Absolutely!! A client of mine, who works in an office, recently brought this up to me. She said she tries to make a conscious effort to walk during breaks, and take the steps when she can. I believe she has lost 30 pounds over time. She also agrees with me that food is the most important factor in weight loss.

If you have a desk job, you must M.Y.A. Move your ass!! Or in Spanish M.T.U. Mueve Tus Nalgas.

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5. How many calories does a Super Big Gulp from 7-11 contain, if filled with regular soda, not diet?

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The 44 ounce Super Big Gulp, or type II diabetes encourager above, has an offensive 512, not necessary, empty calories. Damn! That means to burn it off you have to walk 5 miles! Holy boring treadmill batman! It gets worse. It also contains 128 grams of sugar. Sucking down a Super Big Gulp is like eating 150 plain chocolate M&M’s.

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My #1 rule for my weight-loss clients is to stop drinking sugar. Your body does not need liquid calories. Besides, these amounts of sugar, all at once, wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. Remember, companies who sell you and your children candy and sodas don’t care about your families well-being. They care about their pocket’s well-being, and their pocket are doing very well, unfortunately.

6. When a person loses weight, fat, are they losing fat cells, or are fat cells shrinking? The truth is fat cells shrink when we lose weight. The whole fat cell thing can get a bit complicated, but I want you, and more importantly parents, to understand the following: The amount of fat cells an adult has is determined in childhood and adolescence. If a child is overweight, he or she will more than likely have more fat cells as an adult, making weight gain easier and weight loss more of a challenge. Do not shoot the messenger, please. In a nutshell, it is better to have thin kids, and probably cheaper.

I am not a parent, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Seriously though, parents do occasionally ask me where the whole diet and weight loss thing fits with children.

As for food, let them eat as they please and as you see properly fit, as long as they are not overweight. How do you know if your child is overweight? Well parents, be honest with yourselves. If your child looks overweight to the naked eye, and not the scale, he or she probably is. It’s ok, no need to panic. Just educate yourself and cut back on some foods here and there, especially crappy foods. You are the parent, and you have the ultimate say so. If you’re still confused, contact me and I will gladly help.  Comprende?

I also believe that children should be allowed to be as physically active as possible. Vigorous exercise keeps fat cells in check, burns fat and energy, and helps physical development and motor skills. Plus, exercise makes kids tired, and who doesn’t want tired kids. By the way, the kids below do not look overweight. It took me about 2 seconds to arrive at that conclusion. For the most part, this is how kids should look physically.

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More on children. I have some friends who have 3 boys. I believe their ages are 6,  9, and 12, or somewhere in that range. Now these 3 little dudes have energy for days. I haven’t hung out with them in a while, but when I do, we play catch, soccer, throw the football around, and then the next day I am always sore. I play it off like I’m not though. You know, the whole tough guy with tattoos thing. I believe the youngest one has the most energy, probably because he is the smallest and has to move so much to keep up with his brothers and me when we play/exercise. One day, when his parents used me as a sort of baby sitter for their boys in their front yard, and they weren’t looking, I took out my new I phone and used my “x-ray heart app”. This app allows me to see what is in people’s hearts of all ages.

Some people have mean hearts, some have broken hearts, some have happy hearts, and some have peaceful hearts. But their 6-year-old, I will call him Dallas, because I don’t know if I can use his real name, doesn’t have a regular heart. I was shocked with what my x-ray app told me about the kids heart. It said “We have detected that this little dude has a large heart of gold. And it is encased in some out of this world, yet to be discovered energy source”. Oh yes, Dallas has energy to spare.

You will have to take my word on his energy levels, but I will give you proof that his heart is made of gold. One day, when Dallas was about 5, he came to my house with his mother, knocked on the door and handed me the following note that he had written.

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Excuse the reflection in the picture, I have his letter framed. Other than those kind words written by a child, I think my favorite part of the note is Dallas’s rendition of my hair, spiked. If you ask me, that is one heart of gold that kid has. Because Dallas knows I enjoy reading, he gave me one of his favorite books at the time too.

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So today, Wednesday, inspired by energetic Dallas, you have my permission to skip your workout, treat yourself to a great meal and even have a soda or milkshake. Yes, I said it, and I can’t believe I did. Your calorie splurge has a string attached though. While you are at your desk, and your boss isn’t looking, whip out pen and paper and write your best friend a letter. Tell them how much they mean to you. You have to write it out on actual paper, no email. People don’t frame emails. Kind hand written letters are much more touching than emails, because the effort of actual writing says as much as the actual kind words, trust me.

Have a great day. If the parents of Dallas allow, I will post a picture of him and his brothers so you can put a face to the story. If not, do like children and use your imagination.

The NFL and Beisbol

This is Adrian Peterson. He is arguably the NFL’s best running back right now.

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Peterson is 6″ 1′ and weighs around 220 pounds. I wonder if he is all  muscle? Uh… yeah.

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This is Ray Lewis. He played in the NFL for almost 2 decades as the starting middle line backer for the Baltimore Ravens. He was feared, and rightfully so.

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Ray Ray, don’t worry, I know him like that, is listed at 6″1′ and 240 pounds. I wonder if he’s all muscle? Uh… yeah.

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Below, that is Bo Jackson in the late 1980’s. He was so athletically gifted that he played football and baseball, professionally! Are you effing kidding me Bo! Most men can’t even hit an 80 mph baseball at the batting cages. Bo was a running back for the Oakland Raiders and played baseball for several teams. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 while playing football for Auburn. On a Monday Night Football game, in 1987, he rushed for 217 yards against the Seattle Seahawks. He was an All Star, in football and baseball! Bo was listed at 6′” 1′ 230 pounds. And yes, he was all muscle too. His athletic career was cut short in 1991 because of a hip injury he received playing football. Damn Bo! I told you to run out of bounds. (Did you hear that RGIII?)

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But what if you are built like one of the players above, and you are born in a country that doesn’t have American football as one of its major sports? Will your talent go to waste? What if you’re born in Cuba, where the national pastime is baseball, and you’re built like an NFL running back or line backer? Well, you play beisbol. And guess what? That player exists today. Ladies, gentlemen, children, pets that like to watch TV, and martians here on earth, I present to you Cuban born and raised, Yasiel Puig.

Yasiel Puig, Omir Santos, Jonathan Saphire

Yasiel is listed at 6″3 and 245 pounds. Damn! And yes, it is all muscle.

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In beisbol, there are 5 tools a player can have. One is hitting for power. That means, can you hit home-runs? The second is, can you hit for average? That basically means that you don’t strike out a lot, you make contact, and get on base. The third one in speed, or base running ability. This basically means “CAN YOU RUN YOUR ASS OFF, and fast?”. (By the way, you are born with speed. I don’t care how much a kid runs track or trains. You are born fast. Yes, you can train to improve speed a bit, but fast humans are born fast. Sorry if I shattered any dreams. Fast athletes who run track and excel do so because they are fast. Track did not make them fast. Got it?) The next tool is fielding. Can you track a baseball and make it land in your glove and then make a play? And the last tool is throwing ability. This means, can you throw a baseball far and fast? Guess which tools Yasiel possesses? Like Bo Jackson, all of them. He is the coveted 5 tool player. And that is why after watching Yasiel hit a few baseballs and run around the bases as a try out, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave the freshly defected from Cuba, Yasiel Puig Valdes, a 7 year 42 million dollar contract. The Dodgers saw Puig’s talent and body to match, and couldn’t pass him up.

If Puig looks lean to you in the picture below, it is because he is 245 pounds of muscular baseball player and not 245 pounds of coach potato spectator. Not all pounds are the same.

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Puig made his debut for the Dodgers on June 2nd of this year, and the rest is awesome history for the Dodger “GO BLUE” nation. At the time of his debut, the Dodgers were in last place in the NL West. Puig, and his reckless and electric style play, lit a fire under the asses of other Dodger players. In June, Puig batted .436. That means he got a hit about half the time he was up to bat. Crazy! In his first 5 games, he hit 4 home runs, and one was a grand-slam. For the month of June he won NL Rookie of the Month and NL Player of the month. The first time a player had won both awards at the same time, in their first month of professional play.

As of right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in first place of their division, and 20 games over .500. Yes, they have awesome pitching. And yes, other talented players like Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Hanley Ramirez, are on the Dodger roster. But collectively, the team wasn’t doing poo-poo until a young 22 year old, Cuban defector, with a body of an NFL running back, defected to Mexico, came to the U.S., signed with the Dodgers, and made his debut on June 2nd, 2013. With his exciting and hungry play, Puig reminded the Dodger players of what they were capable of. Witnessing Puig appreciate his physical gifts and playing baseball hard, everyday, made other players follow suit. He is the Cuban, Dodger clubhouse, spark plug.

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The impressive thing is that Yasiel is only 22 years old. Professional baseball players aren’t really supposed to understand the game and excel, until their mid to late 20’s. With Yasiel, you can’t stop insane athleticism and an even higher desire to win. The best part for me, is that I am a die hard, born in L.A., Dodger fan. World series anyone?

Is Gluten-Free for You?

Knock-knock. Who’s there? Your ex. Your ex who? Your exercise and weight loss coach. (That would be me).

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Knock-knock. Who’s there? Glue. Glue who? Gluten free diet.

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Someone recently asked about gluten-free products and their weight loss effectiveness. First, let me try to explain how the whole gluten-free revolution came about.

People were eating wheat, and some developed stomach issues so they went to the doctor. A brilliant doctor somewhere thought “Hmmm, instead of me just giving this patient of mine with inflammation in their small intestine medicine, maybe, just maybe, their stomach issues are related to something they eat and we should try to figure that out too”. Brilliant idea by the way.

Researchers focused on wheat. And what do you know, some people can’t digest gluten. Gluten is a protein in wheat. And not only can they not digest gluten, their small intestine gets inflamed in the process. They named the gluten causing problem “Celiac Disease”.

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Next, people eliminated all products that contain wheat because stomach aches effing suck. On a side note, if you have friends or acquaintances that cause stomach aches or emotional aches, eliminate their asses too. Back to the story. Some of these people lost weight because in the process of eliminating wheat and other products that could possibly contain wheat, they were eliminating many flour products and calories. Keep in mind, this was before gluten-free flour products were readily available like they are today. So once enough people lost weight because they eliminated gluten, the “gluten-free diet” for weight loss was born.

People did the new fad diet, and some lost weight. And where there is a new “niche market” consumer, there is new dinero to be made, and gluten-free became readily available. CHA-CHING! Most health food companies are in it for the dollars. “It’s all about the Benjamins baby!”

I many times have heard people refer to money as “Dead Presidents”. There is one problem with that reference. Although some presidents are the face of some of our American currency, Benjamin Franklin was not a U.S. President, but he is dead. He was a founding father, among other things. So from now on say “I’m trying to stack my founding fathers” or “It’s all about the founding fathers baby”.

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Here’s the problem with the gluten-free revolution. Some gluten-free products are made with saturated fats, sugar, white rice flour, and potato starch to make them taste good. That great taste comes at a price: Gluten free products that are full of carbs and calories. So an ill-informed person goes on a gluten-free diet and he or she does not lose weight because now they are consuming as many calories as before, or if not, more by consuming gluten-free products. Yikes!

Unless you are the true 1% of the population who has celiac disease, you do not have to eliminate wheat from your diet. When I ask people to eliminate flour products from their diet to aid in weight loss it’s because many people get their flour from burgers, pizza, cookies, bowls of pasta that an NFL lineman would have trouble finishing, and pastries. A slice of bread is not going to make someone eff-aye-tee. But most people can’t have just one slice of bread, just like I can’t have only one slice of pizza.

If you are not allergic to wheat, the next time someone tries to convince you that eliminating wheat completely from your diet is good for you, make this face.

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The above picture also works in other situations. I use it when I am bored. Or when I see adults driving that are obviously angry, white knuckling their steering wheel, I get their attention and make this face. Sometimes they get mad, but one time I made a lady laugh. Some people are ass tight, all business at all times. I am all monkey business. Making the face above lowers blood pressure too. I learned that at UOL.

I’m hungry, time to climb a tree, eat a banana, and take a nap.

Answering Some Low Carb Questions

Hello everyone, looks like my “Low Carb Diet” post was very popular. That means two things. One is that people are reading my blog, and I thank y’all. Did I just write y’all? Yes I did. Anyways, I thank y’all, because I know you’re busy with your careers and families, for finding time to read my blog.

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The second thing it means: people struggle with carbs. Remember, I am not suggesting that you not consume carbs. Humans need carbs for energy, but it is the over indulgence of carbs, especially the processed sugar and flour type, that wrecks our inch trimming dieting efforts. So today I will answer two questions from some readers regarding cutting back on carbs.

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The first question is from Suraya. Hello Suraya. Her question is “How do you resist carbs at parties and outings?” This is a tough one because what do we do at parties and outings? Well not everyone, but most of us, we drink alcohol. And what does consuming alcohol do? It raises insulin levels, insulin levels then plummet, and then we’re hungry, so we eat anything in site, but preferably carbs because the body instinctively knows carbs will bring your insulin levels back up. The human body does not like the feeling of low blood sugar levels.

Suraya, if possible, eat something at home, before you leave to attend your social function. I don’t care if it’s a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk, eat something. Eating before you go to a social function may seem counter productive, but it is not.

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First, because you have had something to eat, you won’t be driving to wherever it is you are going to, with food on your mind. This is to a dieter’s advantage. When dieting, you never want to let yourself get super-duper hungry. (On the hunger scale, super-duper hungry is a shade under ravenous.) And then when you arrive at your social function, you won’t be ready to eat everything and anything in sight like a high school football player after a game. The second thing eating at home before you leave to your social function does, is that it does not leave you at the mercy of eating whatever they serve at the social function like adult beverages, potato salad, chips, pizza, cookies, some pasta stuff, or whatever (all carbs, by the way).

If you eat at home before your social function or outing, you can then go to the social function, have some adult drinks if you like, eat something there, just enough to not offend the host but not enough to offend your waistline, and then, when the function is done or you’re bored with all the adult empty talk and gossip, you can take your healthy butt back home, and eat something that you want to eat, is not loaded with carbs and sugar, and will help you stay trim. Got that? This puts all the control of the type of foods you consume on you, and not on a social function, it’s host, and their budget and food preferences. (I once went to a social gathering hosted by cash strapped vegans. I left hungrier and weighing less than when I arrived.)

I follow my own advice too, not all of the time though, like divorced marriage counselors and foul-mouthed nuns.

My wife and I go to baseball games, carnivals, football games from Pop Warner to the pro level, to visit friends, and other social outings. I prefer outdoor social events with possible escape routes, or indoor gatherings where the people are familiar enough to not need an escape plan. Being in a room full of adult strangers with their customary nosy questions (y-a-w-n, like a bored old dog) is just not my thing. I know, the previous statement was TMI and so is the following. I wear briefs, oh well.

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Other than if we are going to a restaurant, I almost always have something to eat before I leave the house so I won’t be super-duper hungry when we arrive wherever it is we are going. Even if I just have a snack, an apple or something, it calms the hunger so that when I do arrive at the baseball stadium I won’t have a burger, fries, funnel cake, peanuts, and some harmless ice cream. I have learned that if I show up hungry anywhere, I will effing grub like a lion who hasn’t had a successful hunt in over a week! And so will you. It’s ok, we are human, and humans are designed to eat. We don’t run on batteries. If we did, chocolate covered ones would be my favorite. For now, I will settle for chocolate covered pretzels.

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Ok, on to the next “carb” question. This one comes from my good friend Darth Vargas. What up Darth? Darth says he struggles so much with cutting back on flour (bread), that only if I put him on a deserted island, with fishing poles, bait, and water, could he not eat flour for 100 days. (I added the fishing poles and bait part because I couldn’t leave Darth on an island without some crucial survival equipment.) Thanks for your honesty Darth. Oh yeah, he wants to know if I have any recommendations for stopping or curbing bread cravings because when he tries to cut flour out, he craves it even more.

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Yes, it is true that when you eliminate something from your diet that you obviously enjoy, you will crave it because in order to cut it out you actually have to think of not eating or drinking it. Just like when smokers quit, they have to think of NOT having that cigarette. And for many smokers and quitting smokers, just thinking of a nicotine stick makes them crave it. It makes sense. So if you are one of those folks that craves the foods and drinks you are trying to reduce or eliminate, like bread, ice cream, pizza, sodas, and alcohol, don’t feel bad, because everyone craves those foods and drinks too. And just like you, people especially crave them when they are trying to cut back on them. We are all in this together.

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Ok Darth, sounds like with a person like you, I would have to meet you and your cravings half way. Let’s say you were my client, and you came to me and said “Hector, I am working out and eating clean as best as I can, but this no flour thing is effing hard. What can I do?” I would charter a skydiving plane, fly us over some deserted island out by Fiji somewhere and push you out of the plane, with a parachute of course, and your backpack full of fishing gear, bait, and water. I would return to save you in 100 days and see if you stayed away from flour for the whole 100 days. I’m just keeeeding. I would only leave you there for 30 days.

Seriously though, I would have you make a list of all the flour products you consume, and I do mean ALL OF THEM, and then we would eliminate as many as possible, within reason.

Let’s say that here and there you have pizza and pasta. You know, that harmless “I only eat that once in a while” claim people love to make, including me. I would have you eliminate those “once in a while” flour foods that you know you can absolutely commit to eliminating, but I would allow you a certain amount of flour products per week or day. I would say “Darth, Monday is no flour day for you. You are going to work, be with your family, workout, and then eat healthy and clean, like I know you can, minus the flour. Then Tuesday you can have some bread for lunch or dinner. Preferably 2 pieces or so and not in the form of a big ass restaurant basket of bread. (But those damn restaurant breads are so good, aren’t they? Especially when they’re fresh out of the oven.) Wednesdays are no flour days again, just vegetables, clean carbs, and good healthy protein..” so on and so on. With someone like you, Darth, I would pick just certain days for you not to have flour products. That way, in the back of your mind you know you will have flour the next day, or on the weekend, or whatever. Pick your flour battles and cut back here and there on flour products you know you don’t have to consume, but do anyways.

Sounds like the crappy-carb curbing attack consists of some choices, and strong discipline within those choices. Where art thou, ever so elusive discipline? Oh yeah, the Shaolin Monks took it all.

 

 

 

 

Car Sticker Phenomenon

Hello everyone, and good Sunday to you, wherever you may be.

Cars stickers are pretty cool right?  And some are funny too, like the ones below.

funny car stickers

funny-bumper-stickers-10

funny

Ok, now that you have a smile on your face, let’s talk about some different stickers.

I live in Maryland, and education for the youf (youth) and beyond here is no effing joke. When I first visited Silver Spring, Maryland about 12 years ago, I remember being at a party, poker night or something, and looking around and realizing I was the only one in room without some type of college degree. And the room I was in was a room full of minorities, whatever that means nowadays.

My wife has a degree, her siblings have degrees, one has a Phd even. My wife’s good friends from grade school have degrees from top U.S. Universities, and the list goes on.

I am a personal trainer, and many, almost all of my clients have degrees. So one day I came home from work and asked my wife “Do you have any friends that don’t have college degrees here in MD?” She couldn’t think of any. So I googled “Most Educated cities in the USA” and Bethesda, Maryland popped up as #1. Bethesda is about 12 miles from my home. 26.8% of adult residents in Bethesda have a Master’s Degree. WTF! That is muy loco! For the math challenged that means that 1 out of four adult peeps in Bethesda went to school, received a bachelors and said “That’s not enough school for me. I think I will keep going.” On a side note, I once played Scrabble against some Bethesda residents, and I whipped them. I was so happy because my first language isn’t even English. Most people measure their knowledge by the number of degrees that decorate their office walls, but not me, that’s too expensive. Because I don’t have an office or degrees to decorate it with, I measure my cerebral abilities by how well I can play scrabble and trivial pursuit against the educated in an inebriated state. It is called the Healthy Homeboy SAT. Scrabble Ability Test.

And guess what educated parents do? They send their kids to the best schools. I think this is awesome because education does open the doors to many opportunities. And guess what the best grade schools and high schools are here in MD? They are private, and far from cheap. And I finally figured out what parents get besides highly educated and well socialized children, when their kids go to top private schools here in MD. They get car stickers! And in bunches.

Is it just me, or stickers telling the world, because of pride I guess, that a parent’s child goes to a private school are everywhere here in MD? I was in California a few months ago, and the private school sticker phenomenon has not reached the levels that it has here, but USC placards were everywhere. I was also in Florida a month ago, or so, and the high school stickers are less apparent there too.

The biggest “decorate my 60,000 dollar car or SUV with a high school sticker” offender in these parts is Good Counsel. I live only about 5 miles from Our Lady of Good Counsel, but even when I drive in other parts of town I don’t see as many Gonzaga or Saint Johns stickers as I see Good Counsel stickers. Go Falcons!

The sticker thing was brought to my attention by an 11-year-old boy I was mentoring about a year ago through the Big Brothers of America program. Let’s just say that he didn’t live in a great part of town. We hung out about once a week.

We were driving on the highway one day, and there, in front of us, was a beautiful Cadillac Escalade, with a large sticker on the rear windshield that screamed “Good Counsel Falcons”. Because 11 year old’s are very observant and even more inquisitive, the young boy asked “What is that sticker for?” I said “It’s a high school sticker for a private school that is by my house”. Of course, my answer didn’t satisfy his curiosity. “Why would they put a sticker of their high school on their car?” he asked. Good question by the way. I was stumped for a second and said “It’s a popular school, with a good high school football team and people are proud of that” I continued “It’s no different then when our parents put an El Salvador sticker on their car because they are proud of El Salvador”. Then he got me good when he said “But El Salvador is a country, that sticker is just for a high school”. And then he said something that every time I see a Good Counsel sticker, it reminds me of him. “Why doesn’t my school have stickers for cars?”

I had no answer. What was I supposed to say, that his public school isn’t good enough, rich enough, private enough, to have stickers? So I told him the truth. People love to tell people about who they are and what they are through material things like cars, and now stickers on those material things. Then I said “Stickers of expensive schools on cars are like tattoos in the hood.” It instantly made sense to him as he said “Oh, those stickers are like telling people where you’re from”. I said “Yes it is”. The difference is stickers aren’t permanent like tattoos are, and you don’t need lasers to remove them either.

For those of you not so well versed in tattoo deciphering, the tattoo below is for the symbol of LA, taken from the Dodgers logo.

PLACASOS

Let’s say wealthy parent form Bethesda, Maryland goes to a Los Angeles not so good part of town, you know, the hood. I am talking the real hood, like at the end of the movie “Training Day” hood. And the Bethesda highly educated parent, with children in private schools, sees several youf (youth) and young men, mostly minorities, walking around the hood with tattoos that display the street they live on, the neighborhood they live in, or the area code their phone corresponds to, tattooed all over their bodies. He might think, “That’s peculiar. Why do these young lads have the area codes 213 or 310 tattooed on their bodies? And why do they have LA, like the Dodger symbol, tattooed on their bodies too? It doesn’t make sense.” (The dude below had LA with 213 under it tattooed on his cabeza)

213_LA_TATTOO

And just like those neighborhood and area code tattoos from the hood might not make sense to a highly educated and affluent person with offspring in private school from anywhere in the U.S. of A., the private school sticker didn’t make sense to my Little bro from a not so good part of town.

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I don’t live in the hood anymore, but once in a while I will act hood-ish, and advertise my city pride with the same fervor as private school parents display their private school stickers. Above, that is I, me, or whatever is grammatically correct, showing of the sign for the city of my birth place, while standing next to Abe at a National’s game in Washington DC. I guess it is true “You can take the boy out tha hood, but you can’t take the hood out the Home Boy”.

Oh yeah, before I forget. There is a popular saying in the hood that says “It’s all good in tha hood.” Let me tell you, from personal experience, NO IT ISN’T.