It’s Race Week

Race at Cowboys Stadium!This Saturday I’ll be in the stadium of the Dallas Cowboys doing the Spartan Sprint. I am so excited to be able to compete in the stadium of my all time favorite sports team!! This will be the shortest distance Spartan Race I’ve ever done, but I’m betting that the obstacles and bleachers will make up for the 3 mile distance, still providing a fun and challenging course. I am a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, and always have been. This race represents an opportunity to sweat, struggle and perform in the same arena as the Cowboys on Sundays. What a wild and awesome experience. My first ever stadium race and I hear they are a different animal. Without the necessity for long distance endurance, more explosive athletes may have a better day.  This week I’m getting prepared to race my best race, I have nutrition and training at the best they’ve been so far. I’ve been really honing in my training and improving the consistency. I know that after my races in May (posts and videos to come) that I will have to really continue to innovate, improve, and invest in my training. I want to be at a true elite level, not just paying the extra money to sign up for the elite heats, but really being at my best and competing at a level worthy of the title elite. I have a long way to go and mountains to climb on my journey to the pinnacle of my own performance. But this Saturday I’m going to enjoy how far I’ve come and the chance to Throw Up the X on the Jumbotron at JerryWorld. I’ll be capturing and creating content over the weekend to showcase this unique and exciting experience. Wish me luck!

Where Do I Stand in 2015? Two Years of Blogging

The finish line of the Spartan Super in Austin May 2014. My 2nd OCR race and first piece of 2014 Spartan Trifecta

The finish line of the Spartan Super in Austin May 2014. My 2nd OCR race and first piece of 2014 Spartan Trifecta

This post is essentially my previous list from 2013 of where I stood in all Renaissance pursuits I’m currently endeavoring towards. I’ve edited parts of the list but many are unchanged. I still remain undaunted, I know only my own actions and priorities can  make any of my goals fulfilled. Anything indicated with bold type face or an (*) indicates a revision from my previous list. I like to do this, and plan on doing it more frequently. It’s a way of self-accountability that I think is good for me to develop.

Every so often it’s good to take a step back, analyze progress (or stagnation), and make adjustments, and to publish updates on 2-year-old content!!!! Wow.

Here goes…

Learning Languages: 2015: Overall: Not that much progress outside of Spanish. Reminder to get to work and build it into my schedule!

Japanese: 2015: No real progress or time devoted to learning. 

– Read hiragana and katakana but writing needs work

-An ear for pronunciation

-Limited vocabulary

Spanish: 2015: Made some great progress, but only through personal interactions, a little sideline study and focus was observed briefly. 

-Decent pronunciation

-Kitchen Vocabulary

-Bad words

-Sounding out reading, but lack comprehension

French: 2015: No Progress made

-Conjugating regular verbs

-Ear for pronunciation/conversation

-Latent vocabulary & reading/writing from high-school.

[* ]Business(es): 2015: Basically in the same situation other than I’ve put myself in a position where starting a business is now on my daily to do list and I’m taking actions to bring it to fruition. *UPDATE: Now enrolled in Business Breakthrough Academy*

-I have some great start-up ideas swirling around.  I’m very confident in 3/10 of the ideas, and have taken action towards launch and lean launch.*

-Potential for a pop-up restaurant is high. I have a good network within the hospitality industry, and the market is prime for a great pop up.

-My dreams of film/TV production are still dreams, *but I’ve met some people who can bring them to fruition perhaps.

-Using apps and technology to automate income is similar to my start-up ideas; action has been taken towards realization: capturing ideas on paper. I’ve got one rock solid idea though, and about 8 mediocre ones.

-Developing a school would be a legacy project, and I’ve yet to build the requisite resources or fully master many teachable skills.

Health and Fitness: 2015: Definitely learned a great amount about my body and health/fitness in general

-The quest for the six-pack is ongoing. Starting to lean out and loose the last 5% body fat that it takes. (for progress shots see my Instagram)

-Personal trainer certification is a goal for the next 90 days. Studying between 4-10 hours a week.

-Healthy eating is becoming a passion. making better choices and structuring a diet based on nutritional benefit and balance is something I study between 5-10 hours a week.

-Yoga has helped me immensely since I started 4 years ago. I’m still not as flexible as I’m striving for, but quite an improvement. Always end my training sessions with yoga/stretching.

UPDATE*** Use foam rolling to recover faster, lacrosse balls for isolated muscle tension issues, and go to a specialist in acupressure and Eastern medicine techniques.

2015: So far completed 25/200 miles on a 12 person team relay, and a Battle Frog US Race.

Going hard to the finish line of a battlefrog race April 2015.

Going hard to the finish line of a battlefrog race April 2015.

Martial Arts:

-Reached a meager yellow belt in Judo at age 13, but have not practiced since.

-Starting from scratch in this field.

Music:

-Played trumpet for 2 years in junior high.

-Messed around with DJ/production software: Reason, Traktor.

Food:

-Started cooking at a young age— starting with eggs at age 8.

-Immersed in the hospitality industry my whole life up this point and presently.

-Apprenticed and worked under one of the best chefs in my city, and a crew of renowned sous-chefs, for a year and a half. The restaurant made #3 on a list of Best New Restaurants in Texas.

-Studying techniques, recipes, and ingredients from a wide variety of sources.

-Shifting focus recently to nutrient dense, and maximally healthy dishes/ingredients, while still maintaining flavor development.

-Achieved a good flow while cooking on the line, loved to improve this day in day out.

UPDATE: ** Food was my entire focus in 2014, and now has gone very far back burner. 2014 was a year of accolades and success in this area. Posts to come.

Love:

-I’ve been in love once, maybe twice.

-Quite a bit to do and accomplish in this area.

Travel:

-I have traveled internationally 3 times: United Kingdom (age 8), Mexico (age 18), and Japan (age 24). Within North America, I’ve seen a good deal of western Canada, parts of the southern United States and Texas …far from well traveled, but I’ve traveled enough to give me the “travel bug”.

-I have only lived abroad once, and that’s my current 4+year stint in Texas.

-I have traveled to Hollywood and Beverly Hills in 2015

-Took a road trip to Atlanta, Georgia in 2015

-Traveled through much of South Texas on a 200 mile relay race running with a team. 2015

Learning Wealth:

-Studying Napoleon Hill, Rhonda Byrne, Darren Hardy and others.

-Recently had the most money I’d ever had at one time.

-Make small donations monthly to 2 organizations through my job.

UPDATE**** Reading Jack Canfield’s Success Principles right now, The Entrepreneurs Solution, and enrolled Mel Abraham’s Business Breakthrough Academy and also in Brendon Burchard’s top 2% Course.

Driving:

-Driven some wonderful vehicles.

-Racing and drifting have not been attempted or learned.

-Drive often presently, so skill is improving.

Art:

-Appreciating art in all its forms more and more as I age.

-Haven’t created any art since high school art class, and that was hardly considerable.

Properties/Homes:

-Am in pursuit of my first property

Teaching/Helping/Giving Back:

-I’m acquiring more skills and knowledge in order to better teach people in the future.

-Set an example of good work ethic in jobs that I’ve had in my career, but working smarter is ongoing.

UPDATE****Volunteered at a Battle Frog race and helped many overcome the 12 foot wall obstacle.

Agriculture:

-I’ve planed 6* trees.

-I have an aloe plant

-Starting to grow Chia.

As you can see from this inventory, I’ve  still got a long way to go in almost everything. This doesn’t deter me, nor should it deter anybody who sets out to achieve anything. I’d rather take the time to assess where I am, so that I can always look back as I progress and reach benchmarks, (2015-as I just have). As opposed to saying “there’s too much work to be done” I say “here’s a way to measure my work against something. Everybody starts somewhere…

Started from the bottom…–Drake

Moving forward I’ll be writing and publishing detailed posts in each of these categories as I learn and experience new things, but also delve into what I’ve learned in the past in more detail.

Thanks for reading, and leave me any comments you have.

200 Mile Relay Race in South Texas…Why Not?

Suddenly I’m thrust into an unexpected challenge. A friend of mine contacted me on Tuesday, informing me that a teammate for the Texas Independence Relay had dropped out, would I care to take their place? I said yes with little hesitation, even though I’m arguably “out of shape” presently. I chose to accept because I need this. It is well within my capabilities, and the only thing separating me from rising to the challenge is utilizing my time now for proper preparation, and adopting a positive mind-set that accepts the challenge and believes I can accomplish it. This will be a good spark to ignite my training for the May/June Spartan Races I plan on doing.

 

This is also a really cool race: historic, and requiring strategy and advanced planning. The race goes from Gonzales, Texas to Houston.

Road Tripping To South Texas this weekend

Road Tripping To South Texas this weekend

Fortunately the team I’m a part of has everything worked out, all I have to do is prepare myself, my equipment/supplies, and show up to run. All totaled I’ll be doing 3 legs, spaced out pretty generously…totaling 16.65 miles. That will be a  new personal record for most miles in 24h, but there is a substantial break between my first and second legs. I plan on foam rolling after all my legs, with some good stretching and I should be good to go. Nutrition and hydration are also key. I plan on starting hydrating extra today (2 days out), and even more so the day before the race. I’m learning that hydration is a pre-preparation priority, and that hydration during a competition should be never from a depleted state–starting saturated with water from the prior 24h seems to have a very beneficial effect, and I find myself less thirsty, and performing better. For some performance hacks, I’ll be consuming pickle juice, coconut water, and various supplements. I plan on using: Shroom Tech Sport by Onnit Labs, it’s a great energy supplement that actually uses your bodies natural ATP production system rather than being an external energy boost, Beet Elite–a natural Nitric Oxide boosting supplement made from real beets, lastly to take before sleep ZMA–a mineral based mix of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6–helps the body during intense training to recover (click the link to find out more about ZMA).

 

In last-minute preparation I’ve been wearing my Training Mask, often even when sedentary

Wearing this mask as much as I can stand to get my lungs working even when "resting".

Wearing this mask as much as I can stand to get my lungs working even when “resting”.

. Warming up my lungs a few days out and working my diaphragm to hopefully enable me to get more oxygen during the race. Other than that, just made my final packing and shopping lists. A deep stretching and yoga session tonight will be the last step to prepare adequately for the short time frame I’ve had.

 

Follow along on Twitter, and Instagram @multitude27 to see Behind the Scenes.

 

 

Cheat Day Brunch

Sunday brunch. Cheat day. What can two great friends, and good cooks create? Can healthy foods taste so good they feel like they belong in the wallowing gluttony of a cheat meal? That’s what I wanted to find out.

“Everyone binges eventually on a diet, and it’s better to schedule it ahead of time to limit the damage.”—Tim Ferriss

“Your nutritionist might call it a strategic overfeed ‘cause they like to act all fancy, but colloquially, this is known as a cheat day.” —Romanello/Bornstein

cheatdaybrunchkara2

The table we dined at

This post is about decadence, and indulgence; a morning of structured cheating on my dietary program. But, I’ve also got a healthy recipe included. Yes, I aim to moderate and include healthy foods, even on cheat day. Recently I’ve begun eating in a more structured way, (intermittent fasting, eliminating certain foods, overall balance) and the inclusion of a cheat day is something I’m augmenting my diet with. The more structured and healthier I eat, the more I find myself able to resist overindulgence (a vice I’m slowly conquering), even when it’s allowed and condoned.

I chose to align the day that I can eat anything with my passion for food and cooking. I invited a fellow cook over to partake in a Sunday brunch. There’s something special about working with someone like minded in the kitchen. Not just like minded in a sense of ideas (although many align), but likeminded in attitude of professionalism, knowledge, improvement, and dedication to the craft. There’s only a handful of people like this that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting or working with in my career, so I thoroughly enjoy each and every opportunity to do so.

No menu was structured in advance. Other then knowing we’d be cooking bacon, it was basically a clean slate. Dishes were to be made using what I had on hand and a small purchase of some seasonal fruit, and eggs the night before. Bacon. What else? I’ve got fruit, I’ll make a parfait. How about a salad? Let’s do pancakes!? Given a choice between pancakes and waffles, I’d go waffles all the way, and so that’s what we did. Not your average waffles mind you, these were jam packed with nutrition and probably one of the healthiest waffle batters out there. Although it was cheat day and I could basically  have my way with food, I still don’t like or feel the need to blatantly aim for un-nutritious food.

Health Waffles:

Batter recipe as follows, this is also a good pancake batter. (Dietary restrictions could easily be adapted, some shown in parentheses):

Makes approximately 16 waffles (4”x4”)

Ingredients: (A side note: best when baking to have ingredients at room temperature to help the mixing process, so all of the milk, eggs, etc was at room temp)

1.5 Cups Buttermilk

1.5 Cups Whole Milk

4 Whole Large Eggs

4 TBSP Clarified Butter, Melted (could be coconut oil)

1.5 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

1.5 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour

2 TBSP Sugar (or Agave Nectar)

2 TBSP Baking Powder

4 TBSP Ground Flax Seed

4 TBSP Flaked Quinoa

1 TBSP Wheat Germ

2 TBSP Lemon Zest

Dash of Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

Procedure:

1. Measure and organize all ingredients.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl

3. Make batter by gradually adding eggs, dairy and remaining liquid ingredients and whisking/stirring until the mixture is uniform and no clumps remain.

4. Allow batter to rest for at least 30 minutes(we did this partly by accident, but attribute this to helping with the nice finished texture), room temperature is fine, but if longer then 30 minutes refrigerate.

5. Heat waffle iron, and cook waffles in batches. Holding in a low oven (around 190°F) until enough have been cooked to serve all guests. Batter can be kept for an additional day under refrigeration (or made ahead of time).

IMG_1322

Waffles with two syrups…left is the peach…right is the cherry.

To accompany the waffles we made two syrups. A white peach, bacon, maple syrup—with a little butter. And a fresh cherry syrup. Recipes for those are available upon request. We made copious amounts of applewood and maple smoked bacon. I added a sunny side up egg, for protein and even more of a brunch-ey feel. We also created a salad; baby kale, swiss chard, avocado, peccorino cheese, and a shallot vinaigrette. Lastly, I crafted a parfait. Bananas, pluots, some cherries from the syrup, organic vanilla yogurt, fresh mint, and home made granola (molasses, oats, chia seeds, flax, quinoa, dried cherries, Turkish apricots).

Baconfait

When I added bacon to my parfait

Board

This was part of the mise en place (post on this to come) for my parfait… notice the coffee…key.

Part way through the meal I decided to add bacon to my parfait (see photo) and it was awesome, I also added bacon to the salad and it was equally awesome. Bacon is awesome. Cheat day is awesome. Even when it’s on the healthier side.

This is more than likely going to happen again… anything you’d like to see me cook?

Love to hear what you think, and suggestions in the comments.