Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kenpo Update

3 posts in a day?  Am I mad?

Well no, but since I am hairs breadth away from taking by Brown Belt test I'm sort of excited.

Then Chris remembered we were supposed to be doing bare handed sparring.

So...what I have to say about that is...


1) Chris' head is really hard and my left hand is swollen.  

2)  For the first time in 2 months I did not wear cup, mostly because I was in uniform practicing when he called and asked me to come to class early, so I leapt in my car and drove over.  

That was very nearly bad, like almost took a driving elbow in a crippling way bad.  

3) I am always amused when I follow behind Mike (another student) in sparring because it takes Chris a few minutes to adjust and remember that I am not 6.5' tall.  Particularly when he tries to hip-throw me, which is easy to do with Mike because... well his center of gravity is so high.

4) I will learn to not pause after successfully launching an attack or I will suffer for it. I.e the surprised "Hey that worked!" does not mean pause, it means press the advantage or I will catch an eagle beak in the solar plexus.

News update.

I realized I have been remiss in telling my followers that I have moved into a new space, with no roommates or other participants besides the dog.

It's basically a commercial space of maybe 2000 sqft, with a kitchen, 3/4 bath and the dojo; of which I provided pictures earlier.

I am also open a Kenpo studio, part time to teach Kenpo and hopefully deepen my understanding of the system through instruction.

You can view the rather basic site at BozemanKenpo.com and view the amazing art work my father has designed for me.

More news as it develops...

Damned Dog!

Trying to get through Kata practice is hard when dog takes "slide- shuffle step" part of Kata as "Let's play!"

There may have been some biting on her part, some swearing on my part, and kata ending abruptly with me chasing her around the dojo.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

30 day update

Today is my third cheat day and the 30th day since I started the 4HB program,

In that time I have lost 3.25 inches combined around my hips waist and chest and gained 1 inch on thighs and calves.  Arms have remained unchanged.  I suspect the growth around the legs are from the twice day walks the dog and I are now taking, since I don't have a yard to fling her into when I go to work.  That or all the box carrying involved in moving.

I have also lost 18.2 lbs, which averages to about .60 lbs a day or decrease of 6.4% of my body mass.

Noticeable physical effect include the drastic reduction in heartburn symptoms and other digestive complaints.  Also, I have jumped down two pants sizes and I am wearing jeans I haven't worn in over a year.

Mood:  Jubilent

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Progress on the Dojo

Steady progress has been made on the move and dojo prep.  There is a website in progress, verbage sketched out but not written, and lots of other work still to be done.

However, last night this:

Turned into this:

Okay, not a huge change, but progress is good.   Each mat package has six 2' x 2' pads in it and I was going to do a 16' x 24' pad... but 5 wide is nearly perfect for the space so I think I will go pick up another set and make it 25' x 30'.

Tonight I will go get the bits to corner mount the kicking bag.   This weekend Bob the punching dummy should make it over as well.

Still do do: get a plastic knife and gun as well as getting a beginner kicking pad.  And mirrors.  If I can figure out how to afford them.  Acrylic mirrors aren't as reflective apparently as well as being prone to warpage ala fun house mirrors, but they are a whole lot cheaper and tougher then large sheets of glass.  Worse yet they are special order, so I'd be ordering them unseen which I'm not keen on.  Maybe I'll do mirrored tiles mounted on MDF or OSB so it's flat, smooth and level.  In fact... a quick check shows I could do a 12' wide 8' high mirror tile build for the same cost as a single 4' x 8' acryllic mirror... hmmm...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Upping the ante for the 4HB.

So I have just scheduled a post to go live April fools day, which will not be a joke.

This post contains the "Before" picture taken this past Friday.  If I meet my goals I get to delete the post.

If I fail the picture becomes public, and I expect to be charged with crimes against humanity.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Random Thought...

I have 31 followers (according to Blogger.)


Does that mean I'm your leader?


Salmon salad with lentils served on baby spianch.  Not bad.  Pretty tasty.

A sweet redwine with it... not so much.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thoughts on supplementation

I don't like swallowing pills.

In fact I have an overactive gag-reflex, which is clearly psycho-somatic because when I just start thinking about swallowing pills I get nauseous.  But since I am the captain of this ship wreck of a body, I will not be deterred by such silly responses.

This, however, has historically meant I have developed all sorts of avoidance mechanism to not take daily vitamins, heart burn meds, etc.

No longer.

The 4HB plan doesn't require, but entourages you to use a combination of supplements to maximize fat loss.  The combination is called PAGG, and if you want the science and formulation behind it go read the book.  :P

In addition to the PAGG stack there is a supplements I want to take to help promote fat loss and general improve my health.

So here is the total supplement stack (not for the faint of heart.)

1. Centrum Silver - No I don't remember why I have a multi-vitamin aimed at people 50+ in age... there was reason... but it's the only  multi-vitamin  in the house at the moment.  I'll fix that soon.
2. Lysine - Essential Amino Acid for muscle build.  Am probably getting plenty of this with the amount of meat and legumes I eat.
3.  CitraCal - No fruits on the diet, I'd like to keep my vitamin C working, although I am eating a lot of baby spinach so I am probably fine.
4. CLA - Fatty acid linked to fat reduction and lean mass gain.
5. B-Complex: Plant Based.  So one side effect of the PAGG stack is it can lower your B vitamins, which means it is good to take a B supplement, as B vitamins are pretty much metabolically essential.  I picked this one because my reading suggested that plant based B-complex are more easily absorbed then mineral supplements.  This may be the worst mistake of my life as it tastes like (what I would imagine) a horse dropping condensed mightily down in into a pill form.  Couple this with my gag-reflex and it it damn hard to choke down.
6. Alpha Lipoic Acid - Anti-oxidant and Vitamin C & E scavenger, helps carbs get used by muscles for energy instead of stored in fat.
7.  Green Tea Extract - Anti-oxidant, and off-label side effect of inhibiting storage of carbs into fat cells and appears to increase cell death in fat cells (a major boon in my book since typical wight loss just leaves em deflated and waiting to be refilled.)
8. Garlic Extract (allicin) -Lowers blood pressure and inhibits fat regain.  I'm taking an "oderless" formulation, which is true to the extent that my breath does not smell like garlic.  Not so in other cases.  I'll leave you to use your imagination.
9. Policosanol - Purportedly lowers cholesterol, but was found within the test group using AGG alone to boost the weight loss effectiveness of the whole package.

That is a lot of pills...  but it gets worse some of them are taken several times a day ...  So it looks more like this:


I should note that Lunch and Snack are two separate meals with identical dosing, so one picture but two doses.  And on further review I don't need to be taking the Green Tea extract at night so there is one to many pills in the bed dose photo.

I take a total of 21 separate pills everyday, assuming I'm not eating a bunch of legumes every day (which... I generally am so throw 2-6 Beano into the mix)

That is a lot of dam pills for someone who hates swallowing pills.  I probably don't need the Lysine or Citracal if I am eating healthy (which I am) so really I only need ummm...19 pills a day?

So... what to do?  The good news is there are now companies making PAGG stack specific supplementation.  Even better ones that included B-complex so I can get rid of the damn Horsepills of doom.

It's designed so that you take 4 pills a day for the whole stack.  I probably don't need the Lysine or Citracal.  So that means my daily take would be multi-vitamin, 3 CLA, 4 PAGG (3 AGG + PAG)... and that's it.
From 19 pills to 8.  

The drawback is the cost is $92 a month + shipping ($82 + shipping on my first order) vs. about $76 for my locally sourced supply.  And I just called all the local vendors and none of them have ever heard of PAGG or the 4HB... so...

Or I can order a 2 month or 3 month supply both with free shipping and that brings the price down to $71 and $61 respectively for the first order.

So I can prepay for a three month supply, save $15 a month and swallow 286 fewer pills each month? 

Someone tell me why this is a bad thing?


As I was picking up the massive stack of bottles to put away post review I thought I would also give you photo showing the ridiculousness of the current supply.

I could reduce that to just 3 bottles...

Toddy Cold brew Coffee system

I love my coffee.

Anyone who knows me, knows this.

I have two roasters (liquified air and barrel roaster), two... no three french presses, an Aeropress, a hacked Espresso machine (got rid of the aerator at the bottom of the filter basket), and a Toddy Cold Brew system.

A what?

Ahh... young Padawan, you have never heard of cold brew system?  Sit at my feet and let me tell you about it.

We are all familiar with the various heat related methods of extracting coffee's delicious goodness from the beans, using a combination of heat and pressure to do so.  May of these methods make amazing coffee (aeropress) and some of them only make crappy coffee (I'm lookin at you residential filter basket brewers.)

But one takes 5 minutes to setup, provides a weeks worth of coffee, and reduces the acidity of the coffee by up to a 1/3 of hot extraction methods.

I speak, of course, of cold brewing.

There are many different cold brewers out, there some of them beautiful and expensive but the Toddy is a simple to setup, quick and inexpensive solution.

Basically:  Insert filter in bottom, insert cork, alternate coffee grounds and water til everything is in, cover (optional) and lets sit for ~24 hours.  Afterwards you pull the cork and drain into the provided glass carafe.  Said coffee extract keeps for a week in the fridge with no problems.  Well... mine seldom stays around that long...

You can either drink it iced with milk or water, or hot in the place of an espresso shot in a latte or americano.

One thing I have noticed it that cold extraction changes the flavor of certain coffees, which makes sense since some fats and flavorants extract at different temperatures.  For example a mellow Mexican I use for drip all the time is grassy and bitter with cold-extract and a Ethiopian which I cannot drink hot-extracted makes an amazing chocolaty cold brew.  In fact to test I hot brewed some of the Ethiopian and compared it to the cold-brewed batch which I made into an americano.  It was literally like drinking two completely different coffees.

So be warned, you favorites in one method may not be tasty in the other.

Progress update, post binge, and another revelation.

I've been using the Android app Jefit Pro * and it's companion website Jefit.com to track my progress.  I haven't even really begun to delve into either of their full potentials but they are handy for me to track weight, BF % (effectively useless at this point), and other measurements.

So I didn't see a sizable bump in weight post binge day, like I did last Saturday, and I actually lost about a pound between yesterday morning and today.

Also, even though I started this program on Monday Dec 27, I didn't take measurements until Tuesday Dec 28, so... in my head Tuesday has been my "weekly progress mark."   Which won't work in the long term as it could be discouraging. Sometimes your weight will fluctuate for several days after the free day.  So I am resetting it to Saturday mornings (before eating what I want.)

That said weekly stats so far:
12 days
9.4 lbs
 BF ~40%... but who knows.  The scale is now erroring... probably means I need more water.
~.79 lbs a day lost
4.5" lost combined from thighs, hip and waist.  Biceps and calves measurements unchanged.

Again to emphasize, this is with no change to my exercise plan.  I just finished building the ghetto kettle bell this morning, and other then lamenting the fact that I appear to have lost a 20 lbs weight somewhere in the garage and so will be doing 20 lbs reps instead of 40 lbs... haven't used it yet.

As has been the case every morning I am waking up hungry, and this morning had a lovely crab & egg scramble.  So eager for coffee I forgot my ice water.  Since I will be losing the services of the current smoothie maker I went out and bought a Ninja smoothie/blender thingee.  Comes with three travel mugs that you blend in as well as a more traditional blender carafe.  It is crazily powerful,  it destroys the ice, I expect it to try and murder me in my sleep.

I also have appeared to find the (so far) optimal breakfast shake mix.  9oz of ice, 2 scoops of whey chocolate protein powder, a small glug of sugar-free Torani Cinnamon-vanilla syrup, and 4-6 oz of coffee extract.  It was good enough that I wanted to have one for desert after dinner Friday.  So I did... sans coffee.

Also last night I had another epiphany.  Just as I was lying in bed drifting off I felt the slightest twinge of heartburn.  Not enough to make me got get some tums just a "you ate a lot of pot-stickers tonight" sorta slightly overfull reminder.

Which made me realize, this was only the second time I had heartburn in the last two weeks.  The reason why it matters is I have suffered from persistent heartburn for the last several years.  The doctor at one point had me taking Pepcid in the morning, which I never remembered to do because (until this program) I have never taken a regular pill regimen.  This led me instead to stash bottles of tums in all locations to stave off acute heartburn attacks.  There is one in the bathroom, at my office, in my glove-box, and probably small bottle in my coat.

But in the last two weeks I have taken exactly one tums, for a really minor flair up at work.  At $7.50 a bottle... I can see this saving me some money over a year's time.

It might also be to the fact that there is effectively no longer any dairy in my diet, as I might be lactose intolerant.  But, there won't be a real good way to test that until I lose all this weight unless I want to devote one of my cheat days to see if dairy kills me.  Although... cottage cheese appears to not effect me and I am eating that a couple times a week.

I suppose I should go check and see if I wrote about the Toddy coffee maker.... hmmm...

* I am not paid to endorse this product, but it got good reviews, and I'm so far pleased with it.  The website is free, and there is a free version of the app but the Pro version let me synchronize the app with the website.  Which was worth the $5 in my mind.  Graphs are pretty!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Random fact of the day..

Apparently when I feel strong or stirring emotion I feel an intense pressure, almost like heat in my Nasal Septum (the cartilaginous bit between the nostrils.)

I suppose, I don't normally notice because when I experience it under typical circumstances something else is happening to provoke the response.

In this case I was listening to music whilst reading documentation and realized that every time an emotionally charged song came on I had a very specific response.

So... that was weird.. and now I have a random trivia to share when people ask me something unique about me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


*typing with clattering teeth*

So one of the principles of the 4HB book is to use minimum effective doses of an action or food or whatever to increase the effectiveness of your goal.  This is in fact one of Tim's reoccurring themes in all his books I suspect.

For example, your drink a large glass of ice water in the morning for two reasons: firstly it hydrates after 8 hours of not drinking water and secondly it lowers your core body temperature you that your metabolism has to step it up and you basal metabolism rate increases.

He also has bit about ice packs, cold showers and baths filled with ice(!!!) and their effectiveness to help, but just focusing on the water at the moment...

I've been a good boy and been drinking 16 oz of cold water from the tap when I get up as I am getting ready for work.  But, given yesterdays revelation about how many eggs I am supposed to eat in the morning I thought I would see what volume of food a meal replacement shake is.

Found a Myplox shake pack with 42 g of protein, added 4oz of Toddy coffee concentrate (Note: now linked to Toddy mini review), some Vietnamese cinnamon, 8 oz of ice, about 12 oz of cold water and blended.

The resultant mixture was considerably more then the cup I've been drinking water out of so I should should check how much liquid the cup holds as I might be underdosing.  I slugged down enough till I could carry the full cup upstairs.

Ice cream headache.  Oh yeah it's plenty cold.

So I sat at my desk and worked away, drinking the shake mechanically (it was not bad but not OMG good.) but found that after a few minutes I was shivering uncontrollably.

Wait... what?

Well this is exactly the sorta of response I was supposed to be getting every morning from drinking water, but haven't been.  Which tells me that cold water from the tap may not be cold enough and that the shake may actually be faster since it kills three birds with one stone:  Coffee, Ice water, 30g+ of protein.