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Breakfast of Champions

posted on June 27th, 2007 ·


Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Breakfast provides me the energy to start each day with purpose. I interchange my weight and cardiovascular training schedule everyday; if I lift weights in the morning, I’d do cardiovascular exercises in the afternoon, vice versa. Also, I, just like most of you, burn more calories during the day; therefore, I am not as strict with the amount of carbohydrates or fats that I consume in the morning. For example, I can have dried fruits (high in glycemic index), couple spoons of peanut butter, homemade jam, and other fruits without worrying about consuming too much sugar and fats.

Because of my love for breakfast, I have adopted the good habit of going to bed and waking up earlier in the morning. I am proud to say that I have become a morning person. Many of my friends think that waking up in the morning is one of the most difficult tasks. I often make the analogy that if they look forward to a savory breakfast meal, like a little kid who looks forward to a field trip, they’d be able to get up without any obstacles.

I wanted to make some homemade jam this morning. I put some blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries into a bowl and simply heat them up in the microwave for 45 seconds. The berries became soft from the heating process and I was able to crush them and spread the juice and residues onto a toasted whole grain bread. Alongside the toasted bread, I also cooked up some eggs. See, a healthy and flavorful breakfast does not cost a fortune and is not time consuming. Just try waking up a little earlier and make the effort to cook something for yourself, I guarantee your day would be much better without feeling guilty about gorging down the ham-n-bacon sandwich from the Mickey-D’s.

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Daily Exercise #14

posted on June 26th, 2007 ·

Microcycle: 1
Mesocycle: 1
Macr0cycle: 1

Cardiovascular Training:

Rowing: 6 minutes*

Stationary Bike: 6 minutes*

Elliptical: 10 minutes

* I alternated between rowing and stationary bike for two sets of three minutes per exercise in a set.

Total Time: 22 minutes

Weight Training:

Lower Body Workout

  • Squat (135 lbs.) & Whole body crunches: 4 x 10
  • Deadlift (135 lbs.) & Bicycle crunches: 4 x 10
  • One-leg Squat (30 lbs. dumbbells) & Push-ups: 3 x 10
  • Three-way calfs: 2 sets
  • Barbell curls (65 lbs.) & Hammer curls (15 lbs.): 2 x 10
  • Close-grip triceps (135 lbs.) & Diamond push-ups: 2 x 10
  • Abs

Total time: 40 minutes.

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Daily Exercise #13:

posted on June 25th, 2007 ·

Starting today, I am training myself with a new routine called “Periodized Workout”, which consists of four microcycles (3 to 10 days) in each mesocycles (4 weeks), and four mesocycles in each macrocycle (3 months). Each week, I am breaking my workout down to three days for each upper and lower body. You heard me, I am working out six days a week and anything less than that amount of exercise would be unacceptable. Here’s my first workout of the week:

  • Bench (135 lbs. ) & Push-ups: 4 x 10
  • Barbell Shoulder Press ( 95 lb.) & Pull-up: 4 x 10
  • Bend Over Row (135 lbs.) & Dips: 4 x 10
  • E-Z Bar Curls (75lbs.) & Lie-down curls (30 lbs.): 2 x 10
  • Rope Triceps (60 lbs.) & Backward Dips: 2 x 10 & 2 x 15 respectively
  • Abs

And my cardio was done by running with the kids at football practice.

Before I end my entry, I want to emphasize the each week, I’d be decreasing the repetitions of each exercise while increasing the weight for gaining strength. At the end of each week and the last week of each mesocycle, I’d implement workouts that are more functional and body weight oriented to promote muscular endurance.

Be your own guinea pig, get out of your comfort zone and try something new with me!

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Daily Workout #12

posted on June 22nd, 2007 ·

So I promised myself waking up at 6 a.m. in the morning and working off those empty calories that I consumed the night before from drinking Prisoner, an awesome red wine from Napa Valley, California.

  • Straight Leg Deadlift (145 lbs.) & Pull-ups: 4 x 10
  • Front Squat (135 lbs.) & Dip: 4 x 10
  • Bench Press: 135 lbs. 1 x 20
  • Dumbbell Side & Front Raise: 10 lbs, 2 x 10
  • Crazy 8’s: 65 lbs. - 55 - 45 - 35 - 25, 2 x 10
  • Behind the Head Triceps (45 lbs. plate) & Backward Dips: 2 x 15
  • Abs

*Doing cardio with my kids later at football practice.

And there will be no alcohol consumption today.

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Guinea Pig’s Bean Fest

posted on June 21st, 2007 ·


I like to keep my lunch simple and light. I made Texas Caviar today. The recipe can be found on nytimes. My co-workers and I like our food to be on the spicy side; therefore, I sprinkled extra paprika and cayenne pepper into this savory bean salad with a “bang”, like what Emeril would do when he throws the last pinch of his Essence at the end of his cooking show.

Got pretty buzzed after two glasses of wine at dinner and was not able to go to the gym. Shame on me and my low alcohol tolerance. Well, going to bed now and waking up at 6 a.m. to get rid of those empty calories.

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Chinese Muscle Meal with Daily Workout #11

posted on June 20th, 2007 ·



  • 1 serving of whole grain pasta
  • 1 handful of sliced cucumber
  • 1 handful of sliced carrots
  • 1 handful of yellow bean sprouts
  • 1 serving of chopped chicken breast
  • 1 serving of sesame dressing*
  • 1/2 handful of roasted peanuts

To make the the sesame dressing:

Take two tablespoons of sesame butter, which could be substitute by natural peanut butter if you can’t find an Asian supermarket nearby, then pour a couple tablespoons of water into the sesame butter and stir them together. You want to stir the dressing until it becomes gooey. You may have to add more water to the sesame butter, but little by little, to find the right consistency. After getting the right consistency, you may add 1/2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce, finely chopped garlic, and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar into the dressing. Finally, you pour the sesame butter dressing onto the spaghetti and other ingredients and stir them well. By the way, the dish should be served cold. So plan ahead and cook your noodles, yellow bean sprouts, and chicken a couple hours earlier.

  • Incline Bench (135 lbs.) & Body Weight Squat: 4 x 10
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 50-40-30-20-10 lbs, 10 reps for each weight without rest in between sets
  • Lat Pull Downs (100 lbs & 80 lbs) & Pull-ups: 4 x 10
  • Barbell Curls (65 lbs) & Dumbbell Curls (15 lbs): 2 x 10
  • Closed Grip Bench (135 lbs) & Backward Dip: 2 x 10
  • Abs
  • Cardio: ran 1.5 miles with the kids from football practice

Enjoy your Chinese and work hard!

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So Sloppy and Healthy

posted on June 19th, 2007 ·


Forks and knives can be overrated sometimes even when you want healthy dining. To satisfy my craving for finger foods and stay with a healthy diet, I played around with the traditional beef sloppy joe recipe and used ground turkey meat as the substitute. Inside the whole wheat pita bread, I also added pitted olives, plain non-fat yogurt as the dressing, chopped scallions, and hot sauce to kick up a notch, as Emeril would say on his show. On the side, I boiled some asparagus and placed a handful of alfalfa sprouts to have some crispy taste ( you may go ahead and jam that handful of alfalfa sprouts into the pita bread as to make the food sloppier if it is not already). What a great way to munch on a childhood favorite while staying healthy without adding the extra saturated fats and LDL (bad) cholesterol from red meat.

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Daily Exercise #10

posted on June 19th, 2007 ·

  1. Squat (135 lbs) & Push-ups: 4 x 10
  2. Barbell Lunges (95 lbs) & Pull-ups: 4 x 10
  3. Deadlift (135lbs) & Dips: 4 x 10
  4. E-Z Bar Curl (75, 65 lbs) & Hammer Curls (15 lbs dumbbells): 2 x 10
  5. Diamond Push-ups & Backward Dips: 2 x 15

Do your leg workout, that’s how you get stronger and better looking abdominal muscles!

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Going Greek

posted on June 15th, 2007 ·


You ever wonder why Europeans are generally in good physical shape even though they are not a bunch of gym rats like us, the Americans? Yet, we are still the fattest people in the world with heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and others chronicle diseases. Even though many of us have taken the step to eat healthier, but we generally settle for broiled broccoli, steamed carrots, and grilled chicken breast. I have gone through the same tedious menu just like everyone of you who is devoted to look pretty…yes, I said “pretty”. However, the more experience I get from cooking and reading about nutrition, the more flexible I get with my cuisine choice. I have started trying new recipes originating from different countries. Not only can I stay healthy with my diet, but I can also satisfy my appetite by creating more than just bland mixed of steamed vegetable and grilled white meats.

Recently, I have become very interested in Greek food, mostly consisted of olives, onions, feta cheese (creamy, salty, and full of flavor), tomatoes, sea food, and bread (gotta have my carbohydrates). The Grilled Shrimp Greek Salad i made, picture shown above, provides sufficient amount of healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil, proteins from feta cheese and shrimp, and healthy carbohydrates ( about 10 grams of fibers) from vegetables and whole-wheat pita bread. Now you may wonder why that I consume rich and somewhat fatty feta cheese even though I monitor my body fat percentage strictly. I must emphasize the importance of proportion that many of us neglect in our diet here, even when eating healthy. Remember the old saying, “everything in moderation”? Trust me, I have grown to hate the tedious and bland way of cooking the is advertised in all kinds of health magazines. If you take up the responsibility and know when to say no (especially to chocolate mousse) to excess of sweets and fats, then you will be in a good shape. Plus, diary product is good for bone structure strengthening and calcium production, especially when women go through their periods or reach menopause.

so relax a little bit, add some spice to your diet by eating natural foods with rich flavors. You will dine happily and still look pretty.

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Leafless Salad

posted on June 14th, 2007 ·


Sick of baby spinach and romaine lettuce as the base of your salad? I went on foodnetwork and looked up a unique salad recipe that would guarantee to satisfy your mid-day craving for something healthy, if you are committed to look good and feel healthy that is. Although the recipe says to use grilled chicken, I was in the mood for some fresh seafood; therefore I chose to poach a slice of tilapia, which has a somewhat bland taste. You may try to season the fish with sea salt, cracked black pepper, and lemon juice for more flavor. For the salad, besides the ingredients shown from the foodnetwork recipe, I also added sweet peas and chickpeas. One great thing about making salad is that you may apply your unlimited imagination and make the food more colorful and interesting. Give leafless salad a chance!

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