Smoothie Recipe – The Staple

Joking about the version number. I’ve switched this up so many times that I’ve lost track.

I’ve been drinking this one (and slight variations) the last few weeks:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 scoop unflavored whey isolate
  • 1/2-1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2-1 cup strawberry, raspberry, blackberry mix
  • 1 cup steeped matcha green tea
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Sometimes kale.
  • Sometimes a tablespoon coconut oil.
  • Sometimes handful of almonds.
  • Sometimes some cucumber.
  • Sometimes some celery.
  • Sometimes some broccoli.
  • Sometimes some chia seeds.
  • Sometimes some carrot.

I’ve switched from taking the veggies raw to steaming most of them. Cooked/steamed veggies are a little easier to work with plus reduces the oxalate level.

Another winter, another season of inactivity. Luckily each winter (of inactivity) I never put everything back on. But… Here we go again.

I’ve updated my “YoYo Graph.”


Dolce Diet Living Lean Review Part 1

I’ve been meaning to do a write  up for a while. I had the book for over a month.

I’m going to separate the review in 2 parts. The first is a review of the food and recipes. The second is a review of the exercise program(s). I haven’t started or even looked at the exercise part yet.

I think it’s important to note my goals, where I am, etc. as the book is primarily noticed in the MMA community/niche. I do no fight training. I’m just a guy who used to be athletic, but fell off (especially the last 5 or so years). I had been yo-yo’ing weight loss the last 2 years, relying primarily on cardio (jogging) and calorie restriction. Ultimately meeting a yearly demise during each winter.

This year I put things together perfectly. I restricted calories a little (set to lose 1.5 pounds a week), and did cardio regularly. The biggest difference this year is that I ate a million times healthier than I had in previous years. Including sticking to and further evolving my healthy living checklist, with help from my smoothie/juice breakfasts. This winter, instead of getting lazy, I’ve joined a gym and will focus on strength training and tone down the cardio (and also bring my weight loss/calorie intake to maintenance). I’ve been feeling great and it hasn’t been hard or a grind in any way.

Where Dolce Diet / Living Lean came in is when I felt at a loss for healthy food recipes, ideas, and alternatives. I should note that I was already seeing great success with my plan and goal progress before the book arrived. I bought the book primarily for the food/recipes.


  • It uses healthy “whole” foods.
  • The recipes are relatively easy to follow.
  • There is a good variety of foods/ingredients.
  • The recipes taste good, and I have been sticking to them. My wife likes them too. A huge help is having a partner in healthy eating and lifestyle.
  • The recipes are filling, and I have noticed that I don’t have hunger cravings at all when sticking to the whole foods he advocates.
  • Overall it has built and is strengthening a discipline of both eating whole and cooking and preparing my own (and household too) meals. And I’ve started to improvise and search for more recipes now that I have a solid “base” to work off from.

Not so good:

  • Recipe’s vary wildly with serving sizes. Some can feed 6 people, others just 1.  But after a few times around I’ve halved or doubled recipes accordingly.
  • Recipes lack some details e.g. “can of diced tomatoes” (what size can??) and type of bread rather than simply “bread”
  • The pantry list isn’t complete as some recipes call for items not on the list. It would be nice to have a “some recipes include” list to be more prepared.
  • There aren’t many recipes total (see actual count and breakdown below). I fear getting tired of some.

Overall I think the book is worth it. It’s definitely gotten me excited to cook. And cook with whole ingredients and uber healthily. Previously, I very rarely cooked anything (if you don’t count peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese). The foods taste good, which means there is no sacrificing. When I was still jogging a lot, I really feel the foods gave me more usable energy. I was far less sluggish when running after introducing the foods into my diet. Also I’ve learned some things too, like cooking with grape seed, peanut, and coconut oils instead of olive oil because of their high smoke points.

Part II will come later as I am still in my first week of getting re-acclimated to weight lifting after years and years of not lifting. I need a few very light introduction weeks before I start lifting seriously. Judging by how sore I am right now, I think it’s a smart decision.

11/19/11:  As promised, here are some counts to the contents of the book:

  • The book is 163 pages, not including a couple pages of testimonials at the end.
  • The first 32 pages go into Dolce’s background, experiences, and the entire diet’s methodology.
  • There are 5 pages outlining a sample meal plan.
  • 3 pages of the diet basics and pantry lists.
  • 28 pages of recipes and snack ideas.
  • The remaining pages are devoted to workout principals, sample workout plans (lifting and cardio), and exercise movements.

As I mentioned earlier, I will detail the workout portion in another review. I haven’t started his workout plan yet, rather I’m sticking to my own for now.

As far as the diet part goes, here’s a breakdown:

  • There are 34 food recipes (not counting snack ideas and condiment recipes).
    • 5 breakfast
    • 11 lunch
    • 14 dinner
    • 2 snack
    • 2 juice
  • 6 condiment recipes (e.g. fresh berry syrup used on pancakes and french toast)
  • 5 snack ideas that I’m not including in recipes (e.g. toast smeared with avocado)

Categorized as exercise

Need to Switch Gears, 10k may have to wait

Following my last post, I ran an even newer personal best going 5.75 miles in 51 minutes. Again, this was the furthest I ever ran. Plus it was my fastest pace ever (8:52) for 3+ miles. Good, good, good.

I should also note that it was a very mild day. Low to mid 50s. No humidity. Perfect.

My last run wasn’t as good though. I only made it 5.5 miles in the same 51 minutes. Still not shabby, but… The sole reason it was slower (and what’s been haunting me the last 2 years also) is that I can’t figure out how to dress for the cold weather. It was low 40s. Too cold for just a long sleeve shirt (I think). I had a windbreaker jacket and pants (both supposedly breathable). But I sweat so much, that after 15-20 minutes, I started to feel the heat. And as it turned out, I gassed a little at the end of the run. Mind you when I first stepped out of the house, I was a little chilly.

That brings me to a decision to not fret over it. My outdoor running days are over for this season. I’m taking my cardio into the gym full time from now through the winter. I don’t want to spend money on more clothes. And I don’t have the patience to trial and error this thing out. Also, add in some chapped lips and uuumm errrr let me just hint uhhhh {minor case of what happened to Andy from the Office in the running episode} makes my decision easier and final. Aaaaand it’ll break me into a routine of going to the gym, which I wanted to do more during the winter month anyway. I CANNOT SLIP OFF TRACK THIS WINTER!

I know I could have made 10k (6.25 miles) this year, but it’ll have to wait until Spring.

Fitness Update – “I love it when a plan comes together”

I can’t believe it was a month ago I wrote that I hit a plateau running 3 miles. Where my time wasn’t improving. I decided then to switch gears and up the distance and follow the bridge to 10 k program. Well tonight I hit 2 milestones. First, I ran 5 miles. That’s the furthest ever for me. Second, I did it in 45 minutes (adding up the splits, and subtracting the 2 minutes of walking). 9 minute mile average, which is the best at any prolonged distance. Actually my first 2 miles were 8:30 each.

This week of b210k was 3 15 minute runs with a one minute break in between. I really think I could have run straight through, but stuck to the plan anyway.

Way, way, way back I longed for the day where I can run a considerable distance with easy effort. I’ve achieved this at shorter distances (and wrote about it before), but tonight was the longest distance I’ve had that feeling. It was pretty effortless the entire way, and I felt I could have gone much further.

I think I finally have everything in my healthy living checklist down completely. I had most of it down before, but struggled with a few items here and there and never had it down consistently over a long period of time as I have been maintaining  recently. The biggest changes recently is adding a ton more fruit and vegetables in my diet, and eating as whole/natural as possible. I’m completely buying into the theory of eating right for “clean and efficient burning fuel for the body.”

I even bought a book, Living Lean for some recipes which I’ve put some to the test already (I’m going to write a review soon). I think some of my previous downfalls were due to not having enough food options to rely on. Hopefully I can use the recipes in the book to avoid boredom and ruts and continue to eat uber healthy.

I will not sabotage this momentum this winter as I have the last 2. I know it. Though I’ll need to switch gears a little because I’m not running outside in the cold.

Training and Nutrition Update

I’ve hit a nice groove. My diet and nutritional intake has been the best since… well the best my entire life probably. Thinking back, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten enough fruits and vegetables on any consistent basis. With the help of my new fancy VitaMix blender, that’s changed. So besides getting leaner, I’m also getting healthier. The smoothies and juices I’ve been making are pretty good. I’ll have to post some of my better “recipes.” I don’t need to force myself to drink them, which means that the habit should easily become long-lasting. I’m doing it very smart and safe this time. I’m slam dunking my Healthy Living Checklist, which I’ve updated.

I guess it’s because I’m truly eating right, I’m really not feeling hungry at all. In previous years, the calorie restricting seemed much harder–probably because I was eating lean only (no veggies and fruits).

Thanks to the cooler weather we’ve been having. Thanks to eating right. Thanks to the fact that I’ve dropped 14 lbs since March. And thanks to me started this up again this year much earlier than previous years (hopefully I don’t have to “start” again next year!). Thanks to those things for helping me run some of my best runs ever. My last two 3 mile runs were 28:01 and 28:31. In previous years I didn’t get back to these times until September.

I have 12 more lbs to go for my goal, which I originally set for late September. At my rate, I should hit it by early August. We’ll see.

I have 22 more lbs to go for my stretch goal, which would bring me back to my college day’s weight. We’ll see. As mentioned in my previous post, after reaching my original goal, I’m going to stop weight loss mode completely for a while. Then focus on more athletic things like sprints, resistance training, etc.

To do:

  • Maintain what I’ve been doing and reach weight loss goal.
  • Incorporate sprinting and HIIT by Fall
  • Incorporate resistance training by Fall