Spring Cleaning in the Fall

Every year I attempt a spiritual/material/house spring cleaning in the fall.  I do not celebrate most holidays.  At least not in the same sense as every one else seems to.  I use them more as a moment to take a pause and to reflect.  Reflect on my goals – past, present, and future.  Reflect on my finances.  Reflect on past resolutions – what happened to that fitness I was all about at the beginning of the year.

I usually start on Thanksgiving and my reflections begin with cooking, a lot.  I tend to gain about 20 pounds this four day weekend.  Each day is focused on a theme – traditional, Italian, Mexican, and a random…probably will be German this year.  I cook the traditional but without the turkey – Cornish hens for me…I’m a single dude living by myself, turkeys are too big and provide too much, a Cornish hen – just perfect.  Some mashed potatoes (probably from out of a box because of utility purposes), some veggies of the green variety, a nice salad and a butternut squash soup.  (Grocery list pending.)

Italian Food Day – An attempt at a homemade Alfredo.  I have never done this before.  I’m already excited about it.  How messy could it be?  It’s just a bunch of cheese, right?  Some research on this will definitely need to be done.  Do Italians eat veggies?  Caprese salad?  That counts…

Mexican Food Day – Posole… I’ll need to start this on Italian Food Day, slow cook the meats and bones until the meats melt off.  I have to get some red chili.  And oregano…a ton of oregano.  Maybe make some chili rellenos – soooo good!!!

German Food Day – …..Brats.  Sauerkraut.  Goulash?  Is Goulash German?  I need to look into that.

Four days of cooking.  Four days of reflection.  Four days of meditation.

A Simple Breakfast Smoothie…

1 scoop protein powder(rice, pea, whey)
1 banana
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (almond, cashew, whole)
1 to 2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Throw all ingredients into a blender/ninja/Vitamix (whatever you have) and blitz away!

The protein powder and peanut butter provide a mix of proteins, depending on what kind of protein powder you are using.

The banana:

Amount Per 1 extra small (less than 6″ long) (81 g)100 grams1 small (6″ to 6-7/8″ long) (101 g)1 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long) (118 g)1 NLEA serving (126 g)1 large (8″ to 8-7/8″ long) (136 g)1 cup, sliced (150 g)1 extra large (9″ or longer) (152 g)1 cup, mashed (225 g)1 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long) (118 g)

Calories 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4 g 0%
Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 1 mg 0%
Potassium 422 mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 27 g 9%
Dietary fiber 3.1 g 12%
Sugar 14 g
Protein 1.3 g 2%
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 17%
Calcium 0% Iron 1%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 20%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium

The nutritional value of your milk will all depend on the kind of milk you use. Of course, you will want to purchase the best, but forgive yourself if you can only afford the cheap stuff.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, as well as an unusual amount of plant protein.

Amount Per 1 oz (28.4 g)100 grams1 oz (28.4 g)
Calories 138
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9 g 13%
Saturated fat 0.9 g 4%
Polyunsaturated fat 7 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.7 g
Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 5 mg 0%
Potassium 115 mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 12 g 4%
Dietary fiber 10 g 40%
Protein 4.7 g 9%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 17% Iron 12%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 23%

Don’t worry too much about the amount of fat in the chia seeds. As long as you’re not ingesting a cup of chia seeds at a time, the fat content is rather negligible. And it is a seed, the fat is digested easier by the body then say if the fat was coming from an animal source.

Don’t be afraid to experiment some…if you’re feeling like a treat add some chocolate syrup or cocoa powder (the powder probably being the most healthy if unsweetened.)



Nutritional Facts from a general google search.

4 a.m. Workout

I was tired this morning.  It was difficult to get out of bed.  Most definitely, today was a day to practice my “self-ass kicking” skills.  Sometimes I just have to yell at myself or let’s say, speak firmly in the most motivational way possible to get the hell out of bed.  I was groggy.  Today I began my one cup of coffee a day New Year goal.  I have yet to decide whether that’s really one cup, or if two shots of espresso in one cup are one cup…quandry.

Went on the elliptical for 15 minutes.  That wasn’t too bad.  I have this thing where I start off at 6.5 to 7.0 mph at the beginning, and with every song I’m listening to, I bump it up to the next 0.5 mph range.  I ended up in the 8.0 to 8.5 mph window.

Today was supposed to be a circuit day, however, I ended up doing mostly legs: squat press, leg extension, and curls compounded with walking lunges between sets.  I did a few sets of pec flyes at a relatively light weight with pushups between sets.  My left shoulder is still twinging a bit and I’m being cautious not to irritate more.

All in all, not a bad workout.

Weighed in at 157.