Friday, January 28, 2011

Baked Chicken Tenders and Veggies

This is a great Primal Meal that is delicious, nutritious, and easy to make. And, it is a great way to reward and replenish your body after a good ride or workout.

Buy a bunch of Chicken "tenders" when they are on sale. After washing, combine in glass or earthen baking ware with:

2-3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
4 oz Dry White Wine (substitute Red Wine Vinegar for variety)
2 Handfuls of Baby Carrots
2 Chopped Celery Stalks (big chunks)
2 Minced Cloves of Garlic
Sea Salt to taste
2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours - first hour covered, the second hour uncovered. Add extra wine if it looks dry.

When nearly done, saute whatever fresh vegetables you have available in fresh garlic and EVOO and serve together.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Deaf By Choice?

         Do you hear me? Do you care?
         My lips are moving and the sound's coming out
         The words are audible but I have my doubts
         That you realize what has been said
         You look at me as if you're in a daze
         It's like the feeling at the end of the page
         when you realize you don't know what you just read
         What are words for when no one listens anymore?
         What are words for when no one listens?
         What are words for when no one listens it's no use talkin' at all? 

         (Words by Missing Persons)  

Today, I want to vent about people who are deaf by choice. If you ride your bike on a shared trail - by bikers, joggers, pedestrians, and dog walkers - you can relate to these 80's lyrics. But, to update the song, the people are not listening because they really can't hear. They can't hear because, from my daily observation, over 90% of those hiking/jogging/dog-walking are deaf, deaf by choice, deaf to their surroundings. The mp3 sounds are blasting so loud their in ears, they simply cannot hear me shouting "passing left" and jump and shake in fearful astonishment as I whiz by on my bike.

Proper cycling etiquette requires that while passing, you do it on the left AND you warn those you are passing with a loud, audible warning, like "Bike Left".  This is very important, if you want to avoid a mishap. It is also common courtesy to let them know you are coming so you don't startle an unsuspecting person, nearly giving them a heart attack when you are right upon them.

But, how can I warn you if you are not listening? If you cannot hear me? In fact, it is not just me you can't hear, you can't hear anything around you! Not hearing your surroundings can be hazardous to your physical health.

But, it can be harmful to your mental health as well.

So, here is my primal point...

Fitness isn't just about diet and exercise and the body. It is about the mind and its health as well. Silence and meditation can nurture peace of mind. And while "silence is golden", it doesn't have to be the result of impaired hearing.

When did so many of us lose the ability to appreciate the sounds of nature? How can a person go for a walk on a trail along a stream and not want to enjoy the trickle of the water, the singing of the birds, the wisp of the wind through the trees? This is the Primal Theater of our ancestors and so many choose to block it out. Our ears and our minds evolved to be at home with it and with it we can find so much relaxation and peace.

My Primal Commute is often the highlight of my day. Not only am I working my body out in the open air, I am also in a sort of meditative music, no news, no talk radio. Free of that noise, I can think, solve problems, remember, forget.


Post log - I had an mp3 player once - I dropped it as I was crossing a major road and it was smashed by a passing truck. What a blessing!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Easy, Tasty Primal Meal

There are many Primal (Paleo/Evolutionary) Recipes in the Blogosphere. However, some can get a bit complicated. But, they don't have to be. Remember, our Paleolithic ancestors didn't have a state-of-the-art, designer kitchen. But, they had fire. So, my favorite form of Primal eating is grilled meat, fish, and/or veggies cooked on natural lump wood charcoal (NOT briquettes or gas).

Here's a great meal I had Friday night after a long, cold and windy, trek home from work on my cyclo-cross bike. It is a lightly seasoned T-Bone steak cooked over hot coals and a mix of fresh, delicious vegetables sauteed in garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Now, I did push the Primal envelope a bit by also including as my fruit, a nice glass of fermented Sangiovese berries from Tuscany!  ;-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Self-Generated Brrrrrrrrrrr Factor

It was 20 degrees F when I left for work on my bike this morning. But that number doesn't tell the whole story. Taking into account the self-generated wind a biker creates by moving through the air, the chill factor made it feel like 3 degrees F. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Here is a great chart you can use to determine your daily Chill Factor:

To be exact, you need to add/subtract the headwind/tailwind during your trip to get the actual chill factor. For example, if it is 20 degrees, you are averaging 15mph, and you have a 10mph headwind  (as I did today), then the wind to use is actually 25mph. If you have a 10mph tailwind, then use 5mph in the calculation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Primal Fitness, Primal Commuter

Are you ready for the news? I've lost over 100 pounds! That's right. You read correctly. But, I've never been 100 pounds over-weight. So, then, how could I have lost over 100 pounds? It's simple - I lost it during a period of 15 years. Or, as my wife puts it, "With all the weight you've gained and lost over the years, you've lost a whole person!" She's right. And, it got me thinking...

I'm sick and tired of dieting! I'm tired of losing weight...only to gain it back in the winter, or the following year, or in two years. But, always, it comes back. And, each time it comes back, and the older I get, the harder and the longer it takes to lose it again....and again.....and again.

I'm like Sysphus, slowly, painfully pushing that boulder up the mountain, only to lose it at the summit, losing it and all my progress, letting it roll back down to the valley, where I must resume pushing it back up the mountain, covering ground I've conquered countless times before.

STOP! That's it. I'm finished dieting. It's over. From this point on, I'm doing what many experts agree is the only way to lose weight and keep it off - stop dieting. That's because putting yourself in the mindset that "I'm on a diet" implies that someday, hopefully soon, I'll be OFF the diet. Eating one way today, but differently next week or next month. Ah, but there's the rub. Once you stop dieting, the eternal recurrence of the weight gain/loss cycle resets and rages on.

The solution is to change your mind and your lifestyle, permanently. Establish new eating habits and fitness routines that you will use for the rest of your life, not the rest of this month.

What's that? Easier said than done? Agreed. But you can stack the deck in your favor with knowledge and with an all encompassing framework and approach to health and wellness that makes it easier, almost second nature, to apply. The unifying viewpoint that pulls it all together is Primal Fitness.

Primal Fitness is a philosophy based on Anthropology, Biology, Genetics, History, Kinesiology, and Anatomy that at its very core states that our bodies, genetically speaking, are identical to our pre-historic, pre-agricultural ancestors. Biologically speaking, we are all cavemen! So, we need to work and feed our bodies like cavemen. Therefore, the more consistently we consume macro-nutrients (Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates) with the pre-agricultural period and the more we exercise our bodies in ways a Paleolithic man would have, the healthier and happier we'll be - in body and mind. We'll feel better, look leaner, think more clearly, sleep deeper, and be, overall, healthier.

One of the keys to Primal Fitness is to use your own body - your muscle structure and energy stores - to transport yourself from one location to another. Our biological ancestors did not have planes, trains, or automobiles to travel. Instead, they used their legs. And, so, I too use my legs to do my version of hunting and gathering (going to work): I commute on my bicycle. This keeps my body in motion, my mind alert, my senses out in the elements, my heart and lungs in great shape. Like my ancient, genetically identical ancestors, I am working my body on a daily basis in order to gain my sustenance.

 More to come in future posts.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2010 Tally

For 2010 my totals for bicycle commuting were:

5403 Miles
214 Days