Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday January 31st, 2010 - Chipotle

The day started out good. I weighed in at 314.2. I've been bouncing around that number for the last week, so I know it's legitimate and not just some one day low. I definitely lost 5.8 pounds in January. My February goal is 305. Then I'll just have 5 or 6 more pounds to lose before my birthday on March 19. I want to have something that starts with a "2xx".

This morning I went to the gym determined to have a monstrous workout. I tried to shoot hoops, but I couldn't run around much because my left MCL (knee ligament) was hurting. After 20 minutes I deemed basketball useless and went onto the weights. Not spectacular, but complete and sufficient. Afterwards I decided to push myself a little harder so I went and rode the "oh Mama" trail on the virtual bike. A couple of times I was able to beat the "pace rider" by as much as 5.5 to 6 minutes on a 35 minute trail. Today I beat the pace rider by 15 seconds. Hey, i was just happy to survive the course. My biceps are sore so I must have worked them out good. I did increase almost all of my weights, so I'm not really surprised at the result.

Today was David Franks memorial service. I was sad that I couldn't be there (Baltimore), but I'm glad Ric read my eulogy as part of the service. Hopefully, I'll get an audio or video of the service. I'll miss David for a long time. Speaking of dead people, my late father's birthday is on Feb 7th. Instead of getting bummed out like I usually do, I'm going to celebrate with a fruit tart. He gave me a fruit tart for my birthday when we were in Positano Italy.

Tonight the family is having Chicken enchiladas so I will have a Chipotle burritos. I take a "Garden Chipotle Burger" and cut it up; place it on a tortilla with some salsa and jalapenos. Yummy! Did you know that "Chipotle" is actually the name of a ripe dried jalapeno. Usually, the farmers harvest the jalapenos when they are still green, but ripe jalapenos are red. So that's it. Everything "Chipotle" should have some dried jalapenos in it. If it doesn't, it's not Chipotle.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday January 30th, 2010 - Sleepy

I weighed myself this morning and I was 315. Tomorrow will be my official weigh in for January. I know I said I was going to be short last night and I wasn't. Tonight I am really tired and going to bed. I promise a good post tomorrow to make up for it. Good night.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday January 29th, 2010 - MCA Photo booth

Okay, usually when I'm this tired I intend to write a short blog and I just get my fingers moving and BOOM. I've written more than my mother-in-law cares to read. You know; Arkansas folk. Just kidding Patricia; maybe :-) This has got to be short; just bare with me.

This morning I weighed in at 314. Yahoo! I lost 6 pounds this month. Unless, I pig out right now because I'm really hungry and tired. Tonight I talked my wonderful gorgeous super hot momma wife into coming with me to an opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. I was working the idea box as usual. Here's the catchy part. I put my wife to work and tried to convince her it was date night. HA! We started at 5 and worked until 10:30pm. We have an exhibit that basically shows reality through painting of the back of their heads. SOOOooo, the museum thought it would be cool to have guests, members and non-members, come up and have pictures taken of the back of their heads. Wellllll, I was, as usual, the carnival guy talking to all the people that made it up to my floor (4th) and convincing them they had to be part of our mass exhibit. Cheri got stuck on the "privacy waiver" table. She worked as hard as I did. We had over two hundred people come through the photo booth. It was crazy for 5 hours. There were other volunteers, but they were laid back and Cheri and I did as much work as the photographers. I was sending them to the Idea Box by the dozen. I was a total clown. I had a blast, but the people trying to get all the people signed up and to the photographers were battling to keep up. The photo booth was a huge success and so was the opening. They had to have had more than 500 people come through. It was crazy. I have blisters on my blisters. I'm going to have a drink and watch a half hour of on-demand and hit the sack. I am not going to the gym tomorrow. No way.

Okay, one last thing, I promise. Today I took my mom who is confined to a wheel chair because she has late stage Parkinson's to the gym. I worked with her to stretch and increase her mobility without using weights and sending her to the hospital. She was awesome. We worked for 40 minutes and she said she hasn't felt that comfortable in ages. Afterwards, I played basketball for 20 minutes to get my metabolism kicked into gear and cop a real good sweat. It was a great day, but I am wiped. We will be publishing the hundreds of heads on Flick'r in a few days. I'll give you the address then. I talked people into being completely goofy. It was very very entertaining. However, in the last few hours people were coming from our cafe completely wrecked. So many drunk people in one place. Like I said; it was crazy. I don't think Cheri will fall for it next time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday January 28th, 2010 - I need a nap

I wanted to get to this post early because I'm about to fall asleep. I weighed 316 again this morning. I should be able to drop one more pound. I'm a stress eater and this month I've been sick and I lost a dear friend. Oh yeah, and I had a bipolar moment. I just got home from a 1 1/2 hour workout. I warmed up by shooting hoops for 45 minutes. Boy, that kicked on the sweat after burners. I was exhausted when I left the court. I really wanted to go home, but I stayed and went through an entire weight lifting workout (another 45 minutes). I started out slow and it was hard to lift my usual weights, but I pressed and it got easier. I actually added some weight to some of the sets like the stomach crunches. I'm now up to 150 pounds for 3 sets of 20. I thought that was pretty good. You always know when you worked hard enough because you feel like I do right now. Nap time.

I was talking to a rather big fellow at the gym. Actually, he looks like I did when I was 456. Anyway, he works really hard, but uses light weights. I think that's perfectly good for him because he's much older than me and he sweats like crazy. Nice guy, but he's really struggling with the weight loss. I tried to encourage him with my struggles and triumphs. I told him how nice it was to ride on the Bear Creek trail when it gets warmer. He didn't think there was a bike strong enough to carry him. Of course there is. I told him to go to my favorite Littleton bike shop. They are really good at finding the right bike for you. They will also beef it up for you by adding things like heavy duty inter tubes. If you're new to my blog, I typically ride my road bike 70 to 100 miles per week when its warm enough. I usually lose about four pounds during a typical ride from Morrison to Denver (34 miles round trip). And, that's with continuous fluids. I'll go through 4-5 bottles of water and still lose the water weight. Keep in mind that I'm at 6,800 feet in terribly dry hot weather during the Spring and Summer. Okay, I've come to the end of my rope. Time to find some nuts, eat a banana, and take a little nap.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday January 27th, 2010 - Watercolor

Today I tried to get myself to the gym to play an hour of basketball before I went to the museum, but I felt weird and laid down for 20 minutes; got up and then promptly threw up. I don't know why. I don't feel sick. The rest of the day was fine. The museum was slow today so I made a lady's face with watercolor. It actually turned out great. I didn't know I could do that. I tried to go to the gym before Obama's State of the Union, but the parking lot was full, so I didn't get to exercise today. I'll make up for it tomorrow.

I was just telling my friend that I have this weird thing about other people touching me. Occasionally my wife will rib my back for a few minutes, but that's all I can handle. Sex is a completely different subject. Well, maybe not. Can't talk about that here. Okay, just a bit. I love my sex life. I love my wife. Okay, that was kind of gross. So the big deal is that I scheduled a chiropractor for next week. And, I even scheduled a massage. You're thinking big deal. Well, I've never had a massage or a chiropractor appointment in my life. It's supposed to be healthy for your nervous system. I don't really have back problems, but I figured if my insurance will pay for it; why not? I'll let you know how my big adventure goes. Or, I'll tell you I ran out of the office screaming. Either way, it will probably be fun to read.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday January 26th, 2010 - Punishment

On Saturday the 23rd I weighed in at 316.4 (bloated) and I did a 20minute spin and lifted a full session of weights. On Sunday, I went in and played basketball for an hour before the football championships. On Monday, I worked in my office to get prepped for taxes. No exercise and I didn't weigh myself.

That brings us to today. I had a lot of work to do in the morning trying to coordinate some European screenings and exhibitions, but i did make it to the gym around lunch. I first did the spin thing for 15 minutes and then rode a full "Oh Mama" trail a full 5 minutes slower than my best. I was sweating like a dog. Wait. Dogs don't sweat. So, I was sweating like a football player. After I cooled down a bit I did a full session of weight training and went and played basketball to warm up at the end. It was a very full and exhausting 2 hours. This morning I weighed in at 316.0 and I had a good vegan day and my mental health is good. I will try to play some b-ball in the morning before the museum, but I may get tied up with estate business. Anyway, I may finish the month at 315. Considering the illness and my friend's death, it will be just fine. I can make up some lost time next month. Although, my late father's birthday is on the 7th and I get a little nutty sometimes.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday January 23rd, 2010 - Start Body Cleanse

On Friday I played basketball for an hour and started a seven day cleanse. Cheri and I have been "testing" a few different products to aid in cleaning out the digestive track. I'm not sure how ofter you can use a product, but I would like to cleanse once a quarter. The first product Cheri tried was a GNC 3 week cleanse. I liked that one because it prepared you for one week, then flushed during the second week, and, finally, reconstituted the enzymes and bacteria for proper digestion. She only had moderate success. She's trying a seven day flush from some product I bought at King Soopers. It seems to be working. Yesterday afternoon I started a seven day product from GNC that was the same brand as the three week. It has you doing four things at once. About three hours after I started, it began to work, but I had so many supplements and energizers in my system that I became antsy and agitated. It was probably because I took my "morning" dose in the afternoon and then followed it with the after dinner pills. This is not a diet drug, it's an herbal "organic" cleanse. We will have to see how it makes me feel.

This morning I weighed in at 316. That's okay considering I had some hard days with the cold and David's death. I made it to the gym around 10AM and the parking lot was full. I mean front, side, the back side and even overflowing to the middle school next door. I almost turned around, but then someone pulled out and I got a parking place. When I went in the weight center looked fine. I asked the counter guy where they were hiding all the people. I guess there was a volleyball tournament today and all of the exercise classes were running. I did a 20 minute spin to warm up, then stretched a bit and hit the weights. I feel as though I'm still making up for a weak week and the low protein diet. I'm back on everything. I'm trying to get as much protein as possible to reduce the muscle repair and soreness. I already feel a bit better.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday January 21st, 2010 - PROTEIN

As you may recall, I was real sore on Tuesday from Monday's workout. I wanted to go to the gym after working at the museum Wednesday, but I was still real sore. Even today I was still sore, but I went anyway. I figured I could at least shoot hoops for a while, but they were getting ready for girl's volleyball, so I went to lift weights. Normally, I would spin on he bike for 30 minutes before my weightlifting, but my legs were really still quite sore. So what changed? I was doing super heavy strenuous workouts and barely getting sore. I stopped drinking so many soy protein drinks/mixes. I am clearly not getting enough protein to support my workouts or should I say, I'm not digesting enough protein to repair my muscles. Tomorrow I will go back to four drinks a day and I will probably keep some protein bars in the car to eat right before the gym.

Other than being sore, I'm dong fine. I do feel bloated and I haven't been as diligent with my calories since David died. Okay, it was only two days, but still. Oh, one other note: My wife's friend at work, the "super vegan cook," sent home some vegan Italian Sausage. It was spicy and kind of dry, but it was also very good. I ate mine on a hot dog bun with mustard. It worked, but I wouldn't want the sausage everyday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday january 19th, 2010 - David Franks 1948-2010

Everything else seems pointless. Yes, I worked out yesterday to the point where I was too sore to go today. Enough said.

My very good close friend, David Franks, the famous poet from Baltimore, died last week. I just found out today. He was my dad's best friend. David and I have had monthly phone calls for many years. Our conversations often lasted one or more hours. We talked about everything. He missed my dad a lot. I think our conversations were his way of reconnecting with my dad. As it turns out, David was an important link for me to my dad as well. I am profoundly devastated.

I will miss our goodbyes. I would say goodnight and he would say "goodnight Mother @#%&#" Who's going to fill that void? I love you David. I hope you're hanging out with my dad.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday January 17th, 2010 - NFL Playoffs and beer

I hesitated weighing myself because i knew I had had too much salt on Saturday, but I did anyway and I was 317 this morning. I was expecting that. On Saturday, I had a horrible workout because I'm still feeling the residual head cold. Even though I was at the gym for 45 minutes, I won't even count it because everything I did was a best 80% of my normal routine. Today I didn't even bother.

What I did do this weekend was eat corn chips, drink beer, and watch the NFL playoffs. I loved every game especially the Jets beating our division rivals the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have won their last 11 games and they lost in their first playoff game this season. As Howard Cosell would say... "how sweet it is!"

My 317 scale was really a false weight because of the salty chips and beer. Once I flush all that crap out of my system I'll get a more realistic weigh in. Lots of water and a good strenuous workout should do the trick. I'll also have to avoid salty foods. I still have 14 days to lose the 4 pounds that I had to lose before this weekend. Wow, 14 days. I might be able to lose another 5 pounds. That would be awesome.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday January 15th, 2010 - Baby Rylan

I live with my wife's cousin Bobby and Bobby had a baby girl about ten weeks ago. Man, is that baby fun. Today, I got to babysit Rylan all day. We laughed, we cried (well, she did when she was tired and cranky), we napped, but mostly we played. I have this little singing dancing game I do with her and she lights up as soon as I say "are ya ready?!!" She giggles and talks the whole time. I love when she cuddles up to me and goes to sleep. I should probably put her in the crib, but it was my day, so I held her the whole time. I'm Uncle Chris to her. When I get a baby granddaughter they better hide my wallet because I spoil Rylan like crazy and she's just my practice granddaughter. I didn't write on my book and I didn't go to the gym. I just played and took about 40 photos of Rylan. I probably have 100 photos of her already. She makes me happy. Today was a great day.

AND, I scaled in at 314.2 today. 4.2 more for this month and I will be quite happy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday January 14th, 2010 - Bipolar disorder

I may have this in my bio or I may have mentioned it before, but I am bipolar. My dad was bipolar, my uncle was bipolar, my grandmother was bipolar, and most of her siblings were as well. The sad part is that one of my sons is bipolar. Notice the past tense? We have a lot of "was" bipolar in the family. Yes, many bipolars commit suicide.

There are many famous people who have or had bipolar disorder. Abraham Lincoln's deep bouts with depression were caused by bipolar disorder. Current stars like Mel Gibson, Richard Dreyfuss, and Jim Carey are bipolar. So was Vincent Van Gogh, Plato, Napoleon Bonaparte, Isaac Newton, and Mozart. Bipolar's tend to be bright artistic overachievers. But, with their intensity and passion for life, they also have to deal with bipolar episodes. Episodes are kind of like panic attacks, but they can last longer. It's not uncommon for someone to be in crisis for weeks or one real bad night. Many people know this disorder by it's old name, manic-depressive, but that's not completely accurate. I am what the doctors fear the most. I'm manic manic. I love the build up to a manic episode because I can get so much done. You become invincible. But, then there is the downside. You crash, but it's like watching someone else unravel because you lose your sense of control. I had a relatively minor episode last night. I could have been my cold or the medicine I've been taking or the lack of good sleep. Either way, I'm glad it was small and I'm glad that I feel fine now. Besides, I weighed in at 314.2 this morning!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday January 13th, 2010 - Still sick

Uhg. I'm still sick. I probably should spend a day in bed, but I just can't. I have ants in my pants. I just don't like idle time. I worked at the museum today, but it was slow so I created another "frame" project example. Actually, I spent 2 hours making the frame and about 10 minutes drawing the picture. It turned out pretty good. I'm always surprised when a drawing and concept work out perfectly.

I just couldn't make it to the gym today. My sinuses are a wreck. I weighed in at 314.8 this morning. I think I'm back into my daily groove because the boys are back in school. I didn't sleep well last night, but I did get to bed by 10pm and I got up at 6:20am. I ate a bowl of cereal and enjoyed a cup of coffee before I headed out to the museum. I had a late lunch and ate some of last night's vegetable mushu. If I can maintain myself at dinner, I might even see more of a loss tomorrow. Or, I could have been dehydrated this morning and then I might weigh more tomorrow. We'll see.

One change that could be a contributing factor is limited protein. I'm not on a reduced protein diet or anything. I just haven't had too much time to drink the soy protein mix. Could there be something to this? I don't know. It's worth a three day experiment? I absolutely need as much protein as I can get due to the strenuous workouts, but maybe I'll have to adjust my diet and eat more nuts and high protein vegan foods. Maybe three to four drink mixes was just too much soy. Whatever it is, I like that I am finally losing weight again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday January 12th 2010 - New Book

I'm still sick, but I refuse to give in. I weighed in at 317 this morning. Once again, I think I have turned to the corner or maybe it's because I don't want to lose to my friend. I will be THE BIGGEST LOSER! I hate that name by the way. There are a lot of people suffering with obesity and the title seems to infer that they are losers. I would have called it "Fat Ass." Hahaha, I crack myself up. Maybe the BIGGEST WINNERS or PULL THAT PORK OUT OF MY MOUTH! Sorry, it is kind of funny. Put me in a contest like that and I will be the BIGGEST guy who lost more weight than anyone else! Not as catchy. My vegan diet has been fine. No cravings. I should get a button on July 4th like the "one year sober" buttons.

I'm writing a new book called "A Boy and his Dad." It's loosely based on the adventures I had with my dad. Most people see him as a famous artist/filmmaker, but to me he was just fun. I'm considering starting a blog to follow my process on writing, publishing, and selling my book. I have a cheat. I know a ton of people in the art world and academic world. I don't think I'll have much trouble selling this book. I've already started writing and I should be able to complete one chapter a week. I could write more, but I do so much other stuff and writing through the night just isn't appealing to me right now. I'll let you know when I start the other blog. Don't worry, I'm still very dedicated to this blog and my fight with obesity book. I just love to write. What a freak huh?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday January 11th, 2010 - Getting Better

Over the weekend my fever and shortness of breath continued. We thought about the ER, but I wanted to wait to see my doctor today. I got in early and he said it's likely did I did have early bronchitis or pneumonia, but I was already on the appropriate medicines. He just added an Albuterol inhaler. Due to my exercise, my heart and lungs seem to be incredibly healthy. Even when I was having trouble breathing my blood oxygen levels were 97, which is above the normal 90-93. Five minutes after I used the inhaler, my lungs opened right up.

Dr. Goldstein gave me the green light for working out as long as I felt good. I felt great, so I went and shot hoops. I was a little sluggish, but still hitting net outside of the three point area. I had not worked out since Friday. I didn't feel all that great after an hour, but I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow. Even though I ate generously while I felt ill, I only weighed in at 319.6. I expected something like 322 so I was happy.

Despite my fever, I went out on date night with my wife on Saturday. We went to that great Sushi Den again and went to see a movie. We intended to see "Up in the Air," but the show was sold out, so we bought tickets to the late show and walked to a pub and had a beer. I forgot I was on antibiotics. You're not supposed to drink on antibiotics. Oh well. We got bored and walked back to the theater way too early for our show, so we ducked into this movie called "leap Year." Neither of us had heard of it and it ended up being such a funny and sweet movie that we just stayed. It had Amy Adams and I like her so it was cool. Ended up being a great date night until I took my temperature and found out that I was warm all night because I had a fever of 100.4. But, today is good and that's what matters. Time for dinner. Later.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday January 8th, 2010 - Steroids

Last night I got all caught up up on my health issues and forgot to write the vegan lasagna recipe. It's really easy and depends on the ingredients. I've always had trouble finding good vegan cheese, but a darling girl that works with Cheri is like my vegan goddess. If she says eat it, I do. I used regular lasagna noodles, but you should probably find some vegan whole wheat or something. Regular noodles prep faster and I was in a hurry.

So first, I laid down some noodles in a Pam sprayed dish and put a layer of my standard marinara sauce (or Newman's in a jar. Whatever you're up to do) and some vegan Italian sausage made from tofu. I think I used Tofurky. The sausage tends to be a bit dry, so I sautee slices in olive oil. I also added some thin slices of "Follow your heart" Vegan Gourmet mozzarella. Then, just four more layers of the same and you're good to go. Bake it on 350 until it looks done. Maybe 30 minutes. Be sure to broil the lasagna for just a few minutes before serving because it melts the cheese. Don't let it burn. That's just nasty.

So, the doctor put me on mega doses of steroids and antibiotics for my hand. At least for vegan's, this combo makes you have ants in your pants. Late this afternoon I hit the gym just to play basketball in the warmth of the indoor gym. There was a lot of people playing on the courts, so I joined a group of high school boys and played pick-up. They probably didn't think I was fast or that I could shoot. Surprised them! It was fun and almost exhausting. We got kicked off the court after about an hour for volleyball. I think it was the steroids or maybe just the thought of the steroids that made me crazy and I went and did the "Oh Mama" trail. I was just 48 seconds off of my record, but I was pounding like crazy. One of the guys I see at the gym teaches a spin class and he wants me to go because I rip on that bike. Now, he has some huge definition. I ate good today, but my wife says I could eat nothing and still gain weight on the steroids. We'll see. This month,I'm having a contest with my great friend from Reno and I want to win, but it is so hard to lose weight when you have already lost a ton. I'm going to give it the ol'college try.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday january 7th, 2010 - Vegan Lasagna

I went to the gym twice today. I may have over done it. I fell asleep in my doctor's waiting room. Hard sleep. The nurse literally had to poke me.

Sometimes it gets frustrating. I'm eating well. I pay attention to my vegan nutrition. I workout all the time. I feel great. Then my oncologist tells me I've lost another 6,000 platelets and my white cell count is unstable. Great. At some point we have to remove my spleen, but we are not there yet. He also notices the rash on my hand that has been spreading on a daily basis. I jokingly told my wife I have flesh eating bacteria. He did find that funny and made me promise to see my primary doctor before the weekend. So I went to see him today. He also didn't find the flesh eating bacteria funny. We think it is systemic so he put me on steroids and a very strong antibiotic. It is true that when you become vegan you flush out all the crap they feed cows and chickens. If you know anything about how we "grow" meat, you know that they have to feed them antibiotics and steroids to keep them alive in horrid living conditions. You eat all that crap and that's why antibiotics don't work as well and that's why you don't feel well. Don't think so? Try vegan for a month and then tell me differently.

So anyway, now the doctor has me on all the crap I was avoiding and I already feel like crap. My wife says it will make me bitchy (more bitchy) and give me nightmares. Great. On the bright side, I don't seem to have cancer yet. As I read this post over, I realize I may already be bitchy. Sleep. I need to sleep. Chow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday January 6th, 2010 - 175th post!

Opps. What happened to Tuesday? Yesterday, Tuesday, I went to the gym and did 10 miles on Oh Mama and a full set of weight lifting AND some basketball! Great calorie count. It was a good day. I weighed in at 320, but I was bloated again so we'll see.

Today, I got up early and played basketball before I went to the museum. I was going to go back after work, but I ran out of time. I was 319 this morning. Having trouble breaking 300. I'm really trying hard, but my body is fighting a good fight. With all the working out and good calorie control i just don't know how it's retaining weight. It won't win. I'm doing all the right things. Of course, my workouts continue to increase in frequency and intensity, so it is possible that I'm bulking up on muscle. My arms are a solid 19 inches now. I like the muscle, but really need to lose the stupid stupid fat. Tomorrow I find out what my current platelet count is. Last time it was 70,000. Still less than half of low normal.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday January 4th, 2010 - Sushi

Today was a good day. I got some good "beginning of the year" work done this morning and went to workout after lunch. I did an extra 5 miles on my favorite trail "Oh Mama" and I completed a full workout. I thought about shooting hoops, but I didn't have the time. Maybe tomorrow.

My diet was good today. I basically ate light during the day and drank several protein drinks and prepared a good Japanese dinner. I made some light mushroom soup and sushi. Some people think that sushi means raw fish, but sushi is really a style of preparing food with "sushi rice." It has more to do with sticky rice with rice vinegar wrapped in seaweed (I used Nori which is actually dried and pressed algae). The ingredients can be vegetable, cooked meat, cooked fish, or raw fish. It is typically served with wasabi and soy sauce as condiments. I like pickled ginger slices too, but I didn't have any tonight.

I made vegetable rolls, California Rolls, and California rolls without the crab or cream cheese. If you have the right tools, like "Makisu" (a Bamboo rolling mat), it is fairly easy to make once you get the hang of rolling the rice and ingredients.

To begin, I slided shiitake mushrooms and portabella mushrooms and sauteed them separately in olive oil. I also sliced long strands of cucumber and crab before I started. The sticky rice can be bought in the japanese section of the ethnic foods isle. Once you have everything ready you just lay out a piece of Nori and gently pat out a thin rice base leaving an inch or so empty on one end. Then you lay out your chosen ingredients and roll it like a thin burrito. You can use the rice vinegar to help pat down the rice and seal the end of the Nori sheet.

In the vegetable rolls I laid out the mushrooms and cucumber. In the California rolls I used cucumber, crab, avocados, and cream cheese. I made plenty so I mixed it up a bit, but I had plenty of vegan available. As usual, the family enjoyed the vegan versions as much as the other. Sushi is simple and light.

I also made some mushroom soup. It was so simple it's kind of silly to call it a recipe. I just took 6 cups of vegetable broth and added 1/2 of a cup of my left over Chardonnay from last night. I added just a little soy sauce and put the rest of the sauteed mushrooms in and then added some rice noodles just before it was served. It turned out great. We all used our chop sticks and had a great time eating a very healthy dinner.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 3rd, 2010 - Leek and Potato Soup

Today, I was actually sore from Saturday's workout so I didn't go to the gym. After chores and shopping, I watched the Broncos deliberately end their season. I'm sure I'm exaggerating, but they played like they just didn't care. Stupid poops.

The best part of the day was dinner. I made some Leek and Potato soup that rocked the house. Personally, I liked it better than the Lentil soup from a few days ago. I pureed this soup and added some vegan butter and soy milk and you would swear I used heavy cream. Smooth and full of vest! Here is how I made it...

Christopher's Vegan Leek and Potato soup:
To prepare, I thinly sliced three large rinsed leeks and separated the rings. I also chopped up 5 smallish red potatoes.

Then I heated some olive oil in a big pot and sauteed the Leeks for a few minutes and added the potatoes. I cooked them for about 5 minutes and added 1 1/2 cups of Chardonnay. Once I had them steaming pretty good, I added 6 cups of vegetable broth.

To that, I added 2 teaspoons of thyme, rosemary, and white pepper. I should have put my bay leaves and thyme twigs in a cheese cloth pouch, but I didn't and I had to pick them out before I pureed the soup. I also added some ground mint and fresh black pepper. I little dash of celery salt and some vegan butter (soy product). After I pureed the soup I folded in some soy milk and a bit more chardonnay.

I served it hot with some vegan buttered hot bread and salad. I added a plate of sliced Gouda cheese and some of those round crackers. I love Gouda and I did have a slice. Shame on me;-P Today was cold out so this soup really hit the spot. With this recipe I fed seven with just a bit left over for tomorrow's lunch.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 2, 2010 - Happy New Year!

Yesterday, my wife and I went to downtown Denver to the outdoor pedestrian mall called 16th Street Mall. Go figure. It was pretty cold and the wind was whistling through the skyscrapers. We window shopped and ducked into warm shops when we just got too cold. We went to a nice cafe and watch the people walk by. Soon it simply became too cold so we retreated to our car and made our way to a quaint little neighborhood in south Denver. We were looking for a place called Sushi Den. We thought it was going to be a typical sushi bar, but we were mistaken. Earlier, before 16th Street, we tried to find it, but walked past it several times. The name and address were barely noticeable on the front of the unassuming building. It was closed until dinner. When we arrived for an early dinner, we quickly found out how wrong we were. There was a valet and a door man. As soon as we entered we were warmly greeted by the maƮtre d and entered a beautiful lush five star restaurant. I indulged in a hot sake with grand marnier and a Thai calamari appetizer. It was New Year's Day so I allowed myself this squid exception. Our sushi dinners were luscious. I had the vegetarian rolls. They had asparagus, shitake mushrooms, thin slice of cucumber, and portabello mushroom rolled in sticky rice and seaweed. I'm going to try to make my own soon. I also had a few mango martini's. The best part was that the Greene Naftali Gallery in NYC paid the bill with a gift card. What a great way to start the new year!

Of course the gym was closed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but it was open today. I screamed through my favorite "Oh Mama" trail. Instead of watching my progress or time or speed, I watched my heart beat. I usually can only get it up to 130 or so, but today I pumped as hard as I could and averaged 136 and topped 148 for a few seconds. The end result was a victorious new record for the run. I beat my old mark by 30 seconds. I didn't think I would ever break that record, but I was wrong. Then I proceeded to do a full weight lifting session followed by 30 minutes of shooting hoops. When I got home it was a balmy 40 degrees, so I got my road bike out and circled our neighborhood five times. You have to understand we have some very serious inclines and declines. By now, my legs were fried and the temperature had already dropped to about 30 degrees and the little slush pools were freezing over. My road bike has smooth tires that are about one inch wide. They do not ride well even in the slightest puddle of slush or ice. However, riding the road bike today was magical. As I sliced through the frigged air, I became one with the bike. I loved it. I can't wait until it warms a bit and melts the ice off of the trails. One thing is for sure; my virtual bike training in the gym is being very effective. My diet today was great. Definitely a 4 out of 5... thus far. Again, a great way to start the new year.