2012 Oregon Warrior Dash Review

Well another year has gone by and I managed to finally get back to the Oregon Warrior Dash in North Plains, OR.  Unlike the last time I ran, I literally spent ZERO time preparing for Warrior Dash…and may have added another 40-50 pounds to my frame.   Continue reading

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Intermittent Fasting – The LeanGains Way

I had an appointment with my naturopath (Dr. White) on Tuesday (Jan 31st) to discuss how my treatment was going and how I was feeling. Since I started going to Oswego Progressive Medicine I have started feeling much better, initially in small increments due to the supplementation and no exercise prescription while my adrenal system healed and my thyroid calmed down. Continue reading

Crock Pot Adventures – Chicken Stuff

I was told that after yesterday’s post about crock pots that I HAD to post something else about them since I called it “Part 1”.  So without further delay…here’s something borderline useful. Continue reading

Fun With Crock Pots – Paleo Edition Pt. 1

With all the New Year’s Resolutions, Nutrition Challenge (both Paleo and Whole30), and general tends towards cooking better quality food I thought it might be nice to do a quick review of how-to (and how not-to) use your crock pot.

Warming up your crock pot

One of the first things you, my fellow Cave/Paleo/Primal/Whole30 people, will want to figure out is how to actually turn on the crock pot and get it hot.

You know…to cook stuff.  And junk.

I’ve tried several methods to heat up the pot most effectively, so I’ll list them in ascending order of success.

The Traditional Method – Prized for its space saving design and easy clean up

I suggest using more fuel...and someone elses crock pot.

The “Dirty South” Method – Relied upon by generations of Minnesota Swamp People

Tips & Tricks: Hairspray will eventually soak into even wet twigs to ease ignition

And finally…

The Core-Ekt Way – Normally avoided by most male species, this way is “technically” the more efficient method but by far the least enjoyable.

Ugh... I was at least hoping for sparks or something...

Catching your food

Being the good hunter-gatherers we are, we can’t just rely on store bough meat to sustain us.  No, we need to HUNT!!!

Sadly the natural game available in a Portland apartment complex is pretty sparse this time of year, but I wanted to try baiting the local fauna to see if I could get some takers.

PETA Bait

Its working so far!  Two worthy morsels of excessive feline girth have taken the bait…

Cat Al Dente

Yes my succulent prizes…just a little further into the pot….

Lost another one!

Drat!  I have no means of keeping them in the area once I move out from behind my cover of cabinet doors and trashcans…

What to do…what to do…  Come on Jesse…wrack your modern caveman brain!!!!

A perfect meld of caveman ingenuity and modern stupidity

Eureka!

Now….to wait on some poor, unsuspecting animal to happen by so I can spring my trap…

The Chicken-breasted Meatcicle

Its the elusive chicken-breasted meatcicle!  Just need to let it get a bit closer….

The sweet taste of upcoming carnage...and citrus glaze.

A little further…oh the anticipation of the kill!!!

Super-fast action shot blur....totally...

GOT YOU!!!  Jesse 1, Nature(ish) 0

Now comes the difficult part…subduing your catch while you spring your other traps around the apartment.

Chicken hold up

Stay in the pot...don't make me cut a bitch...

In the interest of time, I’ve rounded up a few more wild meatcicles and held them captive in my crock pot of doom for your dining amusement.  Behold…

Captive Chicken, Street Chicken

Next time on “Fun with Crock Pots”…

Next time we’ll go into some recipies for our freshly caught wild chicken-breasted meatcicles.  I’ll even teach you how to gather up great herbs and spices from around your apartment complex.*

 

 

*-  Minor breaking and entering may be required.  And a neighbor named “Herb”.

A New Year, A New Start

Well it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted something substantive, so I figured that at least getting the ball rolling with an update and some plans for the year was a good way to start.

First off, Happy New Year!  While, in the grand scheme of things, a randomly assigned calendar turn over means very little…it’s still fun to party!

2011 was a year full of ups and downs for me, but overall was one of the best years I’ve had in recent memory as far as life quality goes.

New Experiences

On the side of new experiences I had the chance to run a few 5k’s and an adventure/obstacle race!

In March I participated in the Portland Shamrock run, but only ran the 5k portion as opposed to the 10k or longer races.  Despite not having run anything longer a mile in a few years, I was surprised by how well I did.  Granted, I was nowhere near times I had in the 3 mile while in the Corps (pre-knee injury).

June brought the Tigard Balloon Festival’s Twilight Run.  This run was another 5k but my time was much slower (3-4 minutes slower) than my time at the Shamrock Run.  I, of course, blamed this on lack of adequate gym time and just being a lazy fat ass….which was probably 90% of it.  In retrospect, it was the aforementioned laziness and the adrenal fatigue rearing its ugly little head.

After the Twilight Run I took a little break from doing races and even skipped the Warrior Dash out in North Plains, OR which I had done in 2010.  Money was getting tight, school was taking its toll, and frankly…I wasn’t sure that my health would really hold up for much racing.

To make up for that (and laugh in the face of proper health care and good sense), I talked a few close friends into doing Race the Reaper (RtR) with me.  RtR was a 5.6 mile obstacle race out at the Flying M Ranch near Yamhill, OR.

The obstacles were more difficult than the average Warrior Dash obstacle (thank god) but I have to admit that they were (for the most part) rickety and poorly put together.  There were a few that frankly left me questioning the safety of the obstacle if more than 2 people happened to hop on it at the same time, but I think they’ll have the kinks worked out for this coming year.

Medically

Medically, the year was really up and down.

In the first month of the year I had just came off a pretty strict Paleo diet and had lost about 35 pounds.  At this time I was also slowly dropping off of my Crossfit gym attendance, going from 4-5 times a week down to 2-4 depending on the week and my schedule.

To combat this I decided to get my Crossfit Level 1 Certification after putting it off due to money and life concerns for several years. I had wanted to shift towards coaching and Crossfit had become a passion, so I figured it was the time to do it.  I’ll cover the cert itself later, but I came out of the experience with an increased interest in COACHING Crossfit…but my desire to workout myself still hadn’t returned.

At first I thought it was just due to feeling stagnant in my workouts and not enjoying programming that I thought was too metcon/cardio based, but as time went on I just lost the energy to actually go to the gym at all.  This quickly snowballed into me not even hitting the gym twice a week, despite wanting to take a more active role at the gym.

The wonderful coaches at the gym I was attending let me assistant coach a class or two a week and so I was maintaining for a while just working out before/after the class I helped with.  Occasionally I’d get in a heavy workout at Portland State after class, but it was hit or miss at best.

This went on for months while I continued to gain abdominal/midsection fat and continued to feel more and more depressed/drained by even the most mundane daily tasks.  At one point in September I started lifting heavy 3 days per week at PSU, and that seemed to help some but the gains were miniscule at best despite the amount of work I was putting in.

I eventually got off my fat ass and went to see a naturopathic doctor (N.D.) in Lake Oswego since the Veteran’s Administration doctor I see saw no issue with my weight gain and wanted to “solve” my depression with anti-depressants….because those totally address the cause and don’t just cover up the symptoms. (/sarcasm)

The N.D. diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue, borderline thyroid issues, and (eventually) low testosterone/DHEA levels.  We combated the adrenal fatigue by fixing my diet a bit (not that I listened much), stopping all my workouts, slowly eliminating caffeine after noon, and some aggressive supplementation.

The thyroid issues (which were my TSH levels shooting from 1 to nearly 6.3 in the span of 3 months, despite no increase in actual T3/T4 levels) corrected themselves through treating the adrenal fatigue, with my TSH levels dropping to 2.74 in the past month.  We’ll continue to monitor the levels over the next few months to make sure things are where they’re supposed to be.

Despite these things, the biggest hurdle was upping my testosterone levels.  Despite the aggressive supplementation, rest, and better diet…my testosterone levels were still incredibly low given my prior activity level and age but had still improved some.

Currently I’m working out again, 5-6 days a week at a VERY reduced volume.  Some days are limited to light lifting and walking on the treadmill only.  So far things are still looking like they’re headed a positive direction, so I’ll keep taking it slow until things are where they should be and then I can attack my weak areas.

School

As far as school went, the lack of energy and general feeling of “shitty-ness” tanked my grades a bit in the Fall quarter but I’ve bounced back 100%.  I’m a week into the Spring term now and already feel much better than I have in any other term so far, so I’m hoping this energy and motivation carries through all term long.

Fall term was a full term, 20 units worth of classes and only really 1-2 that I cared for.  Nonetheless its over with and I’ve moved on a term that I can actually be happy with.  Instead of a Mon-Fri schedule with 2-4 hours a day on campus I now go Mondays from 1200-2100, Wednesdays from 1200-1600, and Fridays from 1200-1400.  So Tuesdays and Thursdays I have the day off and Monday is the only really “rough” day I have.

Professionally

Professionally I’ve taken time off training as much as I would like to, but I hope to get back into the groove soon.  I need to recertify via the NSCA or some other personal trainer certification source so that I can get lower insurance so that I can either get hired on at a gym (ugh…hate working for big gyms).

As much as I would like to focus on writing or getting setup to open a gym, it’s just not in the cards until I finish this next term at school.  Well that and get a job so that when I apply for a loan it doesn’t look like I’ve been unemployed/underemployed for the past few years since returning to college.

As far as writing goes, it’s just not a viable method for me to make an income from at this point.  Whether I need to refocus my subject matter or simply pander to what the web wants, I’d need to stop doing it for fun and frankly I’m not sure I’m willing to lose the passion I have for it just yet.

So there you have it, a brief overview of last year!  It’s not very detailed but I wanted to get something down on “paper” while I work on my goals for 2012.

So far I have the following things planned:

  • The Shamrock Race in March (5k)
  • Finish the Winter Term at PSU to graduate
  • Spend more time traveling (go back to the CF Games, see more of Oregon/California, etc…)
  • Get back into shape (drop back down to 220 pounds, run a 21 minute 3 mile again, and do 20 pullups)
  • Blog more
  • Get my Nutrition Coach certification

Stayed tuned over the coming weeks as I finally start posting all the random things I wrote last year but never finished. 🙂