Wednesday, December 5, 2012

spreadsheets and working out

at the beginning of 2011 i started tracking the number of days that i worked out in a spreadsheet. i also held a strict regimen of recording my weight on sundays. i'd record my weight before eating lunch, usually before my shower, so that i could eliminate any weight variances that occur between the different hours of the day.

in 2012 i decided to keep the habit of tracking each workout, however the 1/week weigh-ins weren't doing me much good, so i decided to weigh-in when i felt like it, and record when i did. as far as 2012 is concerned, i've recorded 47 weigh-ins. unknowingly i've just about kept up with one weigh-in per week, as i compose this blog in the 49th week of the year.

so far i've worked out 119 days this year. today is the 340th day of the year.
that's 35% of the days. my goal of 3 workouts each 7 day week would equal 42% of the days.

i'm still shy of my goal, but i'm showing improvement as my 2011 workout count was 73 days, leaving me at a measly 20%

in january 2012 my average weight was 189 lbs. between late october and current day my average weight is 179 lbs. that's roughly a 10 pound loss in 11 months! i have never considered myself obese, fat, overweight, or any of the likes, however i have wanted to shed a few lbs off the gut for longer than i care to admit.

i've also changed my eating habits over the course of the last two years. eating too much is the worst. almost every meal i sit down to i tell myself not to over eat. i wish i could tell you that i've never failed, but that'd be the greatest lie ever told. yet, for each time i'm successful, my waistline has a small win. i have not put my eating habits on a spreadsheet like my workouts and weight. i used an iphone app to log calories for a month, and i now have a much better gage of daily caloric intake which has greatly helped.

i've cycled through different workouts this year. i get bored with any workout after 2-3 months. in the beginning of the year i was doing lots of running.  then i moved to kettlebell workouts. after that i started bike riding. it's been long enough since i ran that now i'm getting back into it. i guess i've found what works for me, my personal amount of required variation.

i love getting outside on a beautiful day, running or riding through the priceless streets of san francisco. i notice houses, people, shops, parks, dogs on walks, things that i wouldn't normally see if i weren't out just to be out and break a sweat. but not every day in san francisco is beautiful.

i mentioned kettlebells earlier, and i can't rave enough about the wonders of kettlebell workouts. i bought a 30 lbs kbell, which is pretty middle of the road regarding weight for someone of my size/age. there are unlimited workout moves and routines that work muscles that you never knew you had. i've read blogs, sites, watched youtube videos, and shared notes with friends to amass the kettlebell repertoire that i have today. according to this calculation, my personal kettlebell workout burns 456 calories in a 25min session, and always guarantees sore muscles the next morning.

the three things about kettlebells that make this workout a favorite of mine are: 1.) cheap to start, just gotta buy one kettlebell, which cost about $2 per pound 2.) always a new routine/move available 3.) doesn't take much space to store, or when working out.

as i think about 2013, and the things i'd like to accomplish in the upcoming new year this lifestyle of eating and exercising are up on the top of the list. i feel great and i look, well, less bad than i would if these things weren't a part of my life.

Monday, December 3, 2012

making my own drinks

making kombucha
i love drinking.

most people say that same sentence, but they imply that they love drinking alcohol. i love drinking far more than just booze. not only do i love drinking drinks, but i love making them. again, i'm talking more than alcoholic drinks here.

my latest drink is kombucha, a fermented tea. it takes 2 weeks to make, and is a very similar process to brewing beer. the first week 1 gallon of kombucha ferments in a jar as a result of the s.c.o.b.y. (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).  i enjoy drinking this carbonated beverage in the evening after dinner, it satisfies any sweet craving as well as any soda craving. i've described the flavor to others as healthy ginger ale flavored. technically there may be a fraction of a percent of alcohol in this drink, but any drink with <0.5% alcohol is considered non-alcoholic.

speaking of alcohol i've brewed a few batches of beer recently, and have a few more batches in the queue to brew. i've brewed 1 gallon batches, which yields about 10 bottles of beer. as i don't drink beer daily, this is plenty for me to enjoy once in a while. i also can appreciate the flavors in beers that i drink. i'm planning to brew a 7 gallon batch with my dad when i visit for the holidays. he's been brewing since the 80's.

my second most recently acquired drink to make is soymilk. a friend came back from taiwan with a soymilk maker, and made fresh soymilk for us. i was hooked, and started shopping around for a soymilk maker of my own. fill your soymilk maker with soybeans and water. the devices heats and blends for about 45 minutes resulting with a deliciously warm and fresh soymilk (the last step is to strain the gritty bean residue, if that's your preference). i was searching the appliances section of craigslist for coffee paraphernalia and the most recent post in the category was a 'used once soymilk maker'. some fella's girlfriend bought it, used it once, and it took up kitchen space for a year. i took it off his hands for $40 (originally $120) and have made my fair share of soymilk. it's delicious when hot before bed, or cold in the morning, and of course i put some in my coffee when the bitterness needs a bit of balance.

the drink that i've been making myself for the longest is the purple smoothie. this has been breakfast on and off for the last few years. there's lots of effort (and produce) that goes into a smoothie. but the smoothies are healthy, filling, and delicious. i make them in in batches of 6-8 bottles, so i've got breakfast for a week. when i go too long without one i can tell, and i quickly get back on the purple smoothie wagon.

the drink that i drink the most, have spent the most time and money on, and am currently the most obsessed with is coffee. i greatly dislike coffee snobs, and i greatly dislike seeing the signs of myself slowly becoming one. i subscribe to seattle coffee gear on youtube, i get 6oz of beans delivered every two weeks via tonx, i have more brewing equipment than i know what to do with, and could easily spend $3000 on more brewing equipment in 10 minutes if given the change (or the money really).  i keep a notebook in the same drawer as my scale, and take notes on beans, ratios, grinds, and even water temperatures. i have a quick reference chart on the back of a cupboard door with grind to water ratios so i know exactly how many grams of coffee to water i'll need for an 1:18 ratio cup of joe. needless to say, i love my coffee.

i'm not sure what the next drink is that i'll acquire in my drink making repertoire, but i do know that drinking is something i enjoy. drink making can be quite a process, as with beer and kombucha it takes at least two weeks in order to benefit from the fruits of your labor. our palette is so refined that any human can taste the differences and deliciousness of different drinks. i'm thankful for that ability, and take advantage of it whenever i'm able to.