Saturday, March 28, 2009

:: Looking back ::

I'm kinda stumped that after 4 weeks of bootcamp that i haven't lost any significant weight. But I do feel a lot stronger though, and I totally kicked butt during the physical tests. I decided to do all my measurements today and see what those other non-weight measures look like. Maybe I'm just gaining muscle with the extra weight stuff I'm doing?

I'm liking how the numbers are looking. :) I think my new goal maybe should be to get my body fat percentage down to ideal instead, which would be around 25% ish for me.

:: Day 84- 3/28/09 - Summary ::

Activities: 5.0 mile morning run with Mikee
7am, 5.0 miles, 57:47 (11:30 min/mile), 648 cal, HRa 160 HRm 178

9am: 1 apple

Random snacks: apples, nuts, apricots, 1/2 of iris' banana nut wholegrain muffin

Main meal @ MIL
grass-fed burgers!!! YUM!!!

Autumn Succotash!!! Roasted Beet Salad!!!

I had my burger paleo style, no bun!


:: MJ Meal Plan 03/28 - 04/03 ::

Grass-fed Burgers @ MIL's
Autumn Succotash

Tri-Tip Blind Taste Test (grain fed TJ vs grass fed Miller Ranch)
Served atop salad

Seaweed Risotto
Pan-fried Chickpea Salad Recipe
Nori HandRolls

- eat out at merit -

Chopped Miso Salad

Spring Panzanella Recipe

All-day Spicy Stew (Sally Fallon's)

Friday, March 27, 2009

:: Day 83- 3/27/09 - Summary ::

Activities: Last bootcamp of Spring! :(
6am, 60 mins Slider workout, 530 cal, HRa 136 HRm 179

7am: Usual breakfast blend with extra extra kale

Random snacks: Papayas. They are going bad!!

Main meal @ Hanamaru with MIL
various sushi rolls at hanamaru
seaweed salad
miso soup

:: Fight Back Fridays

This is part of Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays. This post was written yesterday and documents my first-time journey with grass-fed pasture raised beef! Enjoy! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

:: Day 82- 3/26/09 - Summary ::

Activities: 4pm run, 3.0 miles
My fastest 3.0 miles ever! 31:00 (10:20 min/m), 406 cal, HRa 157 HRm 179

8am: 1 apple, leftover tasteless apple cake

Random snacks: 1 apple, some carrots, apricots, almonds

Main meal @ small group
it's dumpling night! I lost count but I had MANY!

:: First timer reports on grass fed beef experience ::

Ever since I embarked on the biggest loser journey last July, I have pretty much avoided meat like the plague. After reading various nutrition books, it just shocked me how doped up commercially available meat was and it saddened me to read reports of how inhumanely cows were being treated. So anyways, I went ahead and declared myself flexitarian, much to my husband's dismay. But being the supportive husband he was, he went along with it.

A few months down the road I did realize there were options available... just at a heftier price tag. I decided that this wasn't going to work in the long run - I did miss meat. So then I declared Saturday to be eat-meat-day. It involved going to the farmer's market or whole foods and picking up one cut of really good meat and enjoying it. The first endeavor was with buying a whole chicken from Hain Ranch at the saratoga's farmer market for about $20 ($5/lb) direct from a farmer and that night when we fired up the grill, it was the best frigging chicken I've ever tasted in my life. Seriously. Tender, juicy, lean and all things nice. That's when I decided, there has got to be a way. Even in this stinkin' economy.

After discovering various blogs like Tracy Reifkind's and Food Renegade's (and reading books by Michael Pollan), I was convicted to try out getting grass-fed beef direct from a ranch. I did my research and actually came across Miller Ranch through craigslist. I contacted Kim Miller and therein started a 20-email thread as I asked her all my silly first-timer questions about grass-fed beef...

What will I get in a cow?
How much of it goes to waste?
How much am I REALLY paying per lb?
Where will all this beef fit?
How do I share it with my friends? etc etc

She answered all my newbie questions, one by one, and with much patience I must add. And finally, she even offered me 1/4 of a steer just as a sample to get me started. That barrier was low enough for us and we jumped on the opportunity. We did also have a few friends that appreciated the chance to try out grass-fed beef direct from a ranch which helped. (Thanks Dyl, Slo, BW and LzFu!)

A week later, her husband arrived at our home and delivered a box of grass-fed meat in various cuts. We held a cow-share party that night and had friends come over to "buy" the beef. It was a challenge figuring out how to price everything fairly but I would say at the end, everyone was happy. (That's a whole other post altogether)

So far, I've made beef stew, sirloin tip steak, top sirloin steak and ground beef stir fry. I would like to share my reviews particularly on the steaks, because that's where I've read the most complaints. I will admit that I spent a considerably amount of time researching cooking tips, including what Kim sent me, because I was so afraid of messin' things up. (Cooking Grass-fed beef: 5 ways to nirvana)

Typical steak preparation:
1. Mini massage the steak with salt, pepper and evoo. Let it rest and come to room temperature.
2. Heat up the skillet on medium flame (I use les creuset) and when it's hot (a drop of water bubbles), cover generously with evoo.
3. Gently lower the steak onto the skillet and leave it
4. Flip over in a few minutes (i really should've timed it but i sorta guessed)
5. In another few minutes, remove from heat and resist the urge to poke, cut or test. (internal temperature was around 135)
6. Immediately tent it and let the beef cook for another 10 minutes.
7. Enjoy this deliciousness...

My analysis:
- When raw, it's extremely soft to the touch. And feels very... limber.
- It doesn't look like beef, it's a much lighter color. Done parts are a lighter brown and rarer parts are pink, not read. Almost like veal.
- It doesn't taste exactly like beef... i think it tastes better. Beefier.
- It's very juicy, but it's not fat juicy - just moisture juicy. I like that I don't need a lot of fat to distract me from its real taste.
- I believe after reading extensively about cooking grass feed beef, I've figured out how to make sure that they remain tender after cooking. Low heat, less time on heat, more time cooking under a tent.
- Buying direct from a ranch is definitely more cost effective in the grand scheme of things. Cheaper than whole foods or safeway and slightly higher than costco.
- It feels great knowing that not only am I not poisoning myself, Bessie was well-taken care of and enjoyed a long and fulfilling life. :)
- At first I considered the "innards" a waste of the money but now that I've been reading up more about organs, I'm tempted to actually try them out and get my money's worth. Just like the chinese do in asia!!! Nothing goes to waste!

When I'm done with this batch - I am so getting my next order in! I've also joined the Bay Area Meat CSA, where I hope I'll make new friends with the same passion.

========= Some Pics ==========

Raw top sirloin waiting to come to room temperature (Yes, literally zero fat marbling!)

Resisting the urge to poke my meat

10 mins after tenting... perfect medium rareness

Served on a bed of lettuce and drizzled with organic evoo


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

:: Day 81- 3/25/09 - Summary ::

Activities: 6am bootcamp, 50 mins, 510 cal, HRa 149 HRm 173

breakfast blend prepared by mikee

Random snacks at work:
leftover blend, carrots, apple

main meal @ home with phoebe and mikee
Lemon-scented Quinoa Salad topped with grass-fed sirloin tip steak


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

:: Day 80- 3/24/09 - Summary ::

Activities: 6pm KB @ home training
30 mins KB, 294 cal, HRa 154, HRm 167
{1 min double swings, 12 kg
1 min transitions, 12 kg
1 min double swings, 12 kg
1 min transitions, 12 kg
1 min rest}
5 min x 6 sets = 30 mins

8am: Morning blend

Random snack @ work
apple, apricots, almonds

Main meal @ home
Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake
Garden Salad
Leftover split pea soup


:: motivational quotes ::

My dear friend, Kat, sent this to me... here are some of my favorites

Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.
-Sarah Condor, runner

The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.
-Juma Ikangaa, winner of the 1989 New York City Marathon

The secret of discipline is motivation. When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.
-Sir Alexander Paterson

Having a goal is a state of happiness.
-E.J. Bartek

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
- Hannah More

Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you get neither.
-C.S. Lewis

You can't try to do things; you simply must do them.
-Ray Bradbury

If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you are right.
-Mary Kay Ash

Monday, March 23, 2009

:: Day 79- 3/23/09 - Summary ::

My credit card was charged for $125. This means I most likely got into the Nike Womens Marathon in October. First thought was.... "crap". Second thought was... still, "crap". Herein begins the summer of no life.

Activities: 1036 cal
6am bootcamp ladder workout, 47 mins, 495 cal, HRa 149 HRm 176
5pm 4.0 mile run, 43 mins, 541 cal, HRa 168, HRm 182

8am: Usual blend with kale and chard with dorothy and mikee

Snacks at work: Apple, 1/3 banana, 1 carrot, apricot seeds

Main meal @ home
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup


Sunday, March 22, 2009

:: Day 78- 3/22/09 - Summary ::

Activities: 3.0 mile run. Wow first run in 2 weeks. This is going to feel fantastic!
3.0 miles, 00:33:24, 424 cal, HRa 167 HRm 176. Fantastic - quite fast i might add.

Brunch at SIL's place
oh let's see... a couple bits of mikee's waffle, 1 sausage, 1.5 wedges of pineapple egg casserole, 1 fruit scone, lots of fruit, few bits of MIL's coffee cake

5pm snack at the mall
a few mussels, some focaccia

7pm snack @ home
small bowl of leftover squid ink pasta