Thursday, December 18, 2014

Back to basics

The end of the year is upon us, holidays are really hard to get through, it's a great time to remember the family and friends that are no longer with us. Take that to re-motivate yourself if you need it! Remember that this is a long journey of life, not a short, quick trip, and eating well and exercising is how you get there. It's not easy!

I am still here still kicking and my weight has stalled. I have not eaten perfect, but I have been hitting the Crossfit at least four days a week, still making gains and going to cleanse out the system. I am going to keep on hitting it hard.

To help motivate us, my wife and I are starting to plan 2015 5k runs and other activities to help us push each other. It's fun to plan and look forward to warmer weather! I am hoping to better my times at the events, because I am getting competitive with myself which in turn challenges me to work harder and I end up fitter and healthier; bonus!

Time flies by so fast; don't wait! We have a saying on the wall at home: "today is another day to make yourself proud"; so do it! Also, don't forget to do for those who cannot! Sorry for the long delay between posts and thanks for all your support!

MTT CrossFit 2013 Thanksgiving day WOD

MTT CrossFit 2014 Thanksgiving day WOD - The family is growing and still not all of them

Snow fun! The winter is no excuse not to get out and have fun!
(First time Cross Country Skiing since grade school!)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Having fun and staying focused!

The world gets hectic - you have to get the kids to school and their activities, you're in school finishing your own homework, you have started a new way of eating to improve your health or maybe a new workout regime. Whatever your chaos includes, you need to have some fun or find ways to play to reward yourself for all the goals you hit and to release some stress in your life. This summer, I found motivation, accomplishment and fun when I ran six different 5k runs:

1. Wolf Run, Eagan, MN: my first trail run

2. Electric Run, St. Paul, MN: a nighttime fun run.
3. Warrior Dash, Afton, MN: an obstacle run at a ski resort.

2014            Brian and me              2013
4. Urban Wildlife Richfield, MN: a street run.
5. Rugged Maniac, Taylors Falls, MN: another obstacle run at a ski resort.

6.  Run@Work Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul MN: another street run.

My summer was packed with activities: bicycling trips, off road parks, riding a flow rider and so many other things. I still love doing crossfit a several times a week with all the crossfit family at MTT Crossfit. You can meet me there for the 5:30am class! 
I could not have imagined doing all these things just over a year ago at my starting weight. Just the runs alone have motivated me to do more and maybe some longer ones. I know to some people 5ks are nothing and others might not think of them as an idea for fun, but they are awesome! I have run with my family and friends, whom I would have only dreamed of doing it with before, and being there to cheer each other on is a blast! They are such great motivators, having my wife, my son and my brother all on different runs! My daughter hopes to join us next year when she will be older.

This journey has been so worth it and I know I have come far since April 2013. That being said, I also know I have so much farther to go to my ultimate goals. In your hectic daily life, don't forget to step back and enjoy all the moments along the way because it will fly by so fast before you know it. I did just that this year, and now that summer is over, it doesn't mean the fun has to stop!!

August 2012

August 2014

Do for those who cannot! Have some fun while doing it!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

FOOD and Updates!!!

It's been awhile since my last post, so I'm reconnecting with a fun blog post. I couldn't think of anything more fun than FOOD. I have been eating healthy for over a year now and I would like to share a few of my favorite recipes with you. 

First, a repeat from one of my first blog posts: 
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Photo: Cauliflower chicken fried rice.

Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe
1. Rice one head of cauliflower in a food processor
2. Cook for 5 minutes in the microwave (add nothing)
3. Drain the water that cooks out
4. Pre-cook and shred 3 chicken breasts 
5. Pre-cook mixed veggies, any variety you like
6. Mix all ingredients in a Wok
7. When mix is half-way cooked, add two eggs: 
       Make an opening in the middle of the pan, pushing the ingredients to the side. 
       Add the eggs in the middle. Let the eggs set-up a little bit, then mix all together. 
       When the egg consistency is how you like them and mixed in, you are done! 
8. Add Braggs liquid aminos (soy sauce replacement) while cooking to taste  


Second for the sweet tooth:
Homemade Chocolate
This recipe is so easy and it can be customized with many different variations. I've added things to it like dried fruit, cacao nibs or nuts to mix it up - all delicious! The recipe can also be doubled or tripled for sharing.

- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp honey (more or less, best quality you can find, can also use stevia or any other sweetener you want)
1. Melt oil
2. Combine all ingredients and mix until blended well
3. Chill in rfridgerator or freezer until solid
4. Enjoy! (Not all at once)

Another of my favorites is a side/meal: 
Brussel sprouts with apples, bacon and walnuts
This recipe can be modified, take out whatever you want. 

package of fresh brussel sprouts, washed and chopped (buy pre-chopped, no need to over-complicate)
1 green apple cored and cut in to small bite size pieces. 
2 Tbs olive oil
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces precooked 
1 cup of raw walnuts 

Combine all ingredients in a stove top pan and cook until brussel sprouts are tender and start to brown. (About 10 minutes on medium high heat.)


In May, I finally graduated college after going for 5 years!
Left: Kazia's graduation (May 2011); Right: My graduation (May 2014)
What a transformation!

So far this season, I have run two 5k races with more on the schedule for later this summer!
Wolf Run 5k
Trail run in Eagan, MN
Electric Run 5k
Evening fun run at the MN State Fairgrounds, St. Paul, MN

The journey continues - I am holding now at around 130 pounds down, but I feel stronger than I did in the last post. I have tweaked my back a couple of times so I have held back on the amount of weight I'm lifting, but not the intensity! I have been using the Moves app on my phone to track how many miles a day I walk and it's great. I love to beat my previous step counts per day. I also like to use the Map My Run app for when doing training runs and 5k's. I've been trying to get at least one 5k in around town per week to prepare for the next 5k race I have coming up in July. Before, I had to take breaks from jogging to walk and now I do not! I would like to get under a 30 minute 5k and my goal is to do it by the end of summer. 

Sorry for the long break between posts - it has been crazy busy! Please keep on following and sending me questions; they are great! I love to help anyone on there journey too! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

First Year Complete

I started this journey officially on April 8th with my wife when I started with my first 24 Day Challenge by Advocare and she started a nutrition plan. The Challenge kicked off my lifestyle change where in those first 24 days I lost 30lbs with my advisor Jennie's help. Before that, on April 6th, I started my first Crossfit class with one of my trainers Jo at Minnesota Top Team. One year ago, I never would have thought I would have ever come this far. I think realistically I would not have made it through my 24 day challenge, yet I did. I did not even know I would make it through my first week of Crossfit classes without giving up or passing out, yet I have made it a year thanks to trainers Jo and Jeff! I am sure I am not the only one that had these doubts. The last year has been amazing; has it been easy? Heck no! I have been tempted by many different foods; have I been a 100% perfect on my current eating plans? No, I am human.
      (Now)    I have a neck now    (Before)

My first 24 day challenge I was a 100% perfect and that got the ball rolling. I did a lot of research on different ways of eating when the AdvoCare eating plan plateaued for me. I started mixing up a lot of things up over the months. I added some cheese back, organic from grass-fed cows, and when that did not work well, I took it back out and did that with many things to see how I reacted to them. For instance, I still stay away from sweet potatoes and other certain carbs. I find it's okay if I really limit the carbs, but the sweet potatoes just have too many carbs. What does seem to work is sprouted bread (7 grams of carbs per serving) from Trader Joe's or rice bread (5 grams of carbs) from Whole Foods. I like to use these to make almond butter sandwiches every once in awhile. I have found different recipes for homemade coconut chocolate that are awesome too and healthy in moderation, but if you eat the whole batch, not so much.  Also raw nuts are great snack for me too, but can add up to a lot of carbs as well - look out. The key is not to feel deprived, but not to lose control. If you are eating a lot of good quality fats and other good quality foods that are low processed, you will not feel deprived. Without feeling deprived, you will not fail. You might have some issues, but you will succeed.

You also need a great support team as I have mentioned in other posts. When things get old and you get side tracked, you need them! I have my family and many other people that have helped keep me going on the journey when I was frustrated that the weight was not coming off as fast as I hoped it would. I needed those people to help get me going again after my surgery in December. You have to realize life happens and things do not always go perfectly. You will have setbacks, you will have life changing events that will hit you when you least expect it, like I did with my father dying and mother years before him. You have to pick yourself up when things get tough and do for those who cannot. I had to stop waiting for something to happen, I had to make it happen! This may be cliché,  but this is not a television show - this is real life; if you want to live a long, healthy life, just do it.
(Before)                                  (Now)

To keep me going, I have set a new goal: I would like to hit 150 down by the end of summer. I am currently getting close to 130 down and I can't wait to get past it.
My life has already changed in so many ways and it is getting better every day, for my wife and family too who are on this ride with me.  From trying on new clothes in smaller sizes to riding on rides with my daughter that I have not 'fit' in for years. I weigh less now than when I got married over 13 years ago! That is crazy to me and this has only been one year. I cannot imagine where this next year will take me and my family. The overall goal of getting healthier and more fit and feeling great is important for so many people - it can be done and it will change your life too.

There have been several 'experts' I have found doing research that I have would like to tell you about. I have listened to their podcasts - check them out (links below). They are inspirational too! I have contacted some of them and gotten real responses. They are willing to help you, and so am I. (Some of these experts promote their own products. I am not affiliated or sponsored by any of them.) Again, if you have any questions or someone to vent to, please contact me! More to come...

Gary Roberts, Crossfit Killing the fat man YouTube videos 
Jimmy Moore, Living la vida low carb, Website and podcasts
Abel James, The fat burning man podcast and website
Dave Asprey The Bulletproof Executive podcast and website
Andreas Eenfeldt, MD., The Diet Doctor podcast and website
Dietitian Cassie, website and real Dietitian 
Minnesota Top Team
Do for those who cannot!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


The holidays are over and spring is around the corner; it is a good time to reflect on the last year and grow into the year to come. Last year was a huge year for me and my family which really started in March with the sudden death of my father, who was a great man! With his death being such a tragedy and a tough thing to move on from, my wife and I were motivated to change our lives. At the time it was difficult, and still sometimes is, to maintain the motivation to be healthy. Through this, I have met so many new friends at my gym, Minnesota Top Team, through AdvoCare support groups, and helped motivate other people to change their lives too. His passing has become a bittersweet milestone.

The holidays were tough to get through, but we made it! I had hernia surgery and my workouts were really restricted; I could not lift more than fifteen pounds. My weight loss really suffered and eventually stalled. That was tough and got me down. A few weeks ago, my restrictions came off and I basically had to start over. I do miss trying for new weight lifting records; I know I will be able too soon, but it sucks standing by and watching everyone in my box do it. It was even worse when I watched from home. I am slowly getting back into my workout routine now and thankfully, without hurting myself. I received some great messages from friends and it really helped to pick me up again. I am starting to get back into "beast mode." I'd say I am at 50% and I can't wait to get back (without the fear of hurting myself) to set some new personal records.

Now, I need to move on and look forward to setting new goals. One goal I have is to go on a Segway tour this summer -- the weight limit is 250lbs to ride. I am currently down 120lbs and have just over 30lbs to make it to the Segway tour! Last week, I went to the Mall of America for a father-daughter date and fit on some amusement park rides that I could not before. It was such a proud moment!

It's been awhile since my last post, so I wanted you to know that I am still trucking along and not quite to the end of this adventure yet. More posts to come...