DWF:A feta salad and some timing issues

TODAY’S WORKOUT

You’ll need a watch in todays workout which is a fun 10 v sits, 50 meter sprint, 20 squat, rest 1 minute affair. Aim for 5 rounds. Try and keep it sharp and punchy. Sprint the sprin.

We train in our car park so we do a 30m fast run, turn around with a 30m all out sprint back to our exercise mat!

The sprint is useful as it’s short enough to actually build a different pace than the normal shuffle jogs people fall into.

TODAY’S FOOD

Thanks to Leanne for this veggie Feta salad meal: Not far off a 3 block zone meal

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DWF: A Cajun chicken dinner and morning burpees

Well its Saturday, and day 2 out of this training block of 3 days.

Todays workout is 12 minutes of :

10 burpees, 5 dumbbell push press L, 5 dumbbell push press R

This is nastily crafted as yesterday you had the push up grind. Today you will really want to drive your hips on the push press and you’ll probably want more of a sprawl on the burpee.

Still, super compensation, aside, it was surprisingly yuk!

Enjoy.

sorry for the dirty forearm. Car park dirt

Todays Healthy Food Option

To add more variety to this blog, I’m inviting guests into share their favourite meals. First up is a Cajun chicken dish from Fresh Fitness foods.

Chicken –  P: 27.83 | C: 0.73 | F: 3 | Kcal: 141.24
Broccoli – [ P: 2.52 | C: 3.2 | F: 2.42 | Kcal: 35.66 
Rice – [ P: 2.8 | C: 26.5 | F: 0.75 | Kcal: 123.5 ]


Cajun Chicken Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 15g cajun seasoning
  • 5g honey

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together, making sure the chicken is completely coated. 
  3. Place the chicken onto a tray, place the tray into the preheated oven. 
  4. Cook the chicken for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked the whole way through leave to rest for 5-10 minutes then slice into thin 0.5cm slices.

Roasted Broccoli  Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • splash of olive oil

Method

  1. Take the florets off the broccoli, slice the bottom off the stalk, cut into 1/4’s lengthwise then slice into 1/2 – 1 inch cubes. 
  2. Mix all ingredients together then place onto a tray and cook in an oven for 15 minutes at 200c.

Zesty Rice Ingredients

  1. 100g white rice
  2. 300g water
  3. 2 limes, zested and juiced
  4. small bunch of coriander sliced.

Method

  1. Place the rice into a pan and pour over the water. 
  2. Bring up to the boil, leave to boil for 2-3 minutes then cover the pan with a lid and turn off the heat. 
  3. After 10 minutes, fluff up the rice with a fork and mix through the lime and coriander.

If you want to try Fresh Fitness Food go here https://www.freshfitnessfood.com/ then use the discounts GABDOU10 for 10% off and GABDOU for £50 off your first order.

Have a great weekend, stay active, eat healthily, see you tomorrow, and join the mailing list

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DWF: a morning in the gym and a pasta meal

Today, it looks like I’m in the gym in the morning, so I’ll probably do a basic deadlift, squat and press strength workout. Kate (my beloved) will either join me or go for a jog. Your choice, go to the gym, or go for a run ( or a mono structural cardio activity like a row, or a bike, or a Cross-trainer). btw, do go to the bottom of this post as there is a free kettlebell guide

The food I want to analyse is this spaghetti bolognese .

As a general point, when you decide to blend protein with other stuff ( be it a sauce or tomatoes or whatever), you’ll need to make judgement as how you divide the end product. So this is 255g of protein to be divided among 3 people( the zone block is 28g of beef , so Im slightly over allocating the required 84g to make 3 blocks). I’ve added a pepper, some garlic, some herbs, an onion, a glass of wine. I threw in a block of kidney beans (sorry, I had them, and I accidentally defrosted them). Ive not really counted in, but it is among 3 people. If I start obsessing about a pepper or onion, I think I’m screwed!

When I came to serve, i just divided it into 3 portions!

Here is the killer. Spaghetti is pure carb. To make 3 blocks I put in 36g of dried spaghetti, that I think gives me three blocks of carb.

Knowing how sparse this would be, Ive added some green beans ( and ignored the minimal carb content)

It was a nice meal, although kate demanded a sprinkle of cheese.

Back to the exercise component

I constantly use kettlebells in my morning workouts. This old guide I wrote years ago may be useful. Have it for free!!

Frozen vegetables

As I’m 60, it means I was brought up when freezers came in and changed our world.

However, even today, I hear people talk against using frozen vegetables. I use frozen vegetable extensively as they are cost effective, keep well and convenient. I ask my weight management clients to have stock in too!

I recently noticed a comment where someone suggested that the cheapie frozen veg available in the supermarkets that supply common folk like you and me, was inferior and to be avoided.

Just incase you have this doubt, check out “Mineral, fiber, and total phenolic retention in eight fruits and vegetables: a comparison of refrigerated and frozen storage” available here

What the report said was “Minerals, total phenolics, and fiber were analyzed in several fruit and vegetable commodities to evaluate the differences between fresh and frozen produce. Magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and copper were evaluated in corn, carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans, strawberries, and blueberries. Each commodity was harvested fresh and split into two batches. Half of each commodity was kept fresh, and the other half was frozen. The nutrient content was analyzed over three storage times per treatment. The retention of nutrients was highly dependent on the commodity, but the majority of the commodities showed no significant difference between fresh and frozen for all analytes (p ≤ 0.05)”

This report does imply that some vegetables are not as good as others as holding onto their frozen nutrients, but, when I get home in a rush, it’s great to reach into the freezer and know you have a portion of veg for the evening meal.

For those who want to dive into the exact difference between fresh food and frozen, I offer you Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. Part 1. Vitamins C and B and phenolic compounds is an interesting report

To be even handed , if you can go and live in a farm or you have a fantastic garden, it must be great to reach out of the kitchen window and pluck some veg. Thats very rare, and to be honest, I remember my mother “blanching” our garden veg back in the 70’s when that lovely chest freezer arrived.

Outside in the vegetable patch , you can stagger your vegetable crops a bit, but the reality is that you’ll get a glut at sometime. So the freezer is your number one call. As a reflection, we went blackberry picking recently and loved it. We went again, then one more time, and now we cannot face the prospect of another blackberry. We should have frozen those later batches.

As a novel experience, blackberry picking is great. After a while, thank god for freezing!

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DWF: chicken dinner and a strength day.

THE FOOD . A zone Chicken dinner.

Here we have 112g of roast chicken, (4 blocks) 150g of boiled potato (3 blocks) . I rubbed 2 blocks of butter onto the chicken ( kate loves her crispy skin) and put about 2 blocks of butter onto the vegetables. I boiled up a “mess” of courgettes, broccoli and cabbage, served with an ” as much as you can eat” mentality. Any diet that restricts non starchy carb should be avoided. As many veggies as you can get down I say!!

Use the veggie stock to make gravy (with the juice from the chicken)

The sneaky “bad” things I did were: 1) slung a glass of wine into the baking pan, to support the juice from the chicken and the trivet ( thats the bed of onion, celery and carrot) hoping that most of the alcohol had boiled away ( check if I”m delusional, by following this thread) and 2) stirred in 2 tea spoons of gravy powder which had a bit of carb in. I’ve ignored that as it minor and life is too short.

Delicious and filling!

Straight after diner, when the chicken is cold, rip it off the bone, with your hands. Put the trivet and the bones and any remainder gravy/juice into a pot to make a stock ( you’ll need this for tomorrows curry)

THE WORKOUT

Today, kate and I are off to the gym ( at the amazing Crossfit London) to do a strength workout 3 sets of 5’s of deadlift, squat and press.

If you are stuck at home can I suggest 3 sets of 10 kettlebell deadlift (holding whatever weight kettlebell you have), 3 sets of 10 goblet squats, ( with a weight you can cope with) and 3 sets of 10 dumbbell press. Do these with rest periods as a strength session, not a mad workout!

Not every workout should be a near death intense workout, you need to sprinkle in strength ( and you’ll see the odd run now and then)

If you want more hints and tips do join the mailing list. Ill be launching a free Zone course and I’ll email when it’s ready.

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To see if I have time to help you personally in an around the city and the East End of london, do drop me an email Andrew@andrewstemler.com

Introducing the Daily Food and Workout:DFW

Most days I’ll post a workout you can do with minimal equipment and no gym access. It be will be on a 3 day on, 1 days off rota

The “gym-less” workouts only assume you has access to 1) some dumbbells 2) a kettlebell 3) a skipping rope 4) a car park and some benches.

Obviously a full Crossfit or exercise regime requires more stuff and more variation, and ill encourage you to practice and train in weightlifting and gymnastics and other forms of cardio, but doing these workouts as bits of intensity (hard and fast) should help most people

So todays workout is

With a running clock set for 15 minutes as many rounds as possible of

20 lunges, 20 double under’s, 100m run.

Feel free to tweak everything: 10 lunges, 10 single skips, walk 50m for 7 minutes 10, or 12 minutes. If there is an exercise you cannot do or tweak, feel free to switch it with one you can do, or just leave it out and practice it later if you can.

If you are in chronic pain take it easy, feel free to limit the range of motion, feel free to rest if you must, but it’s simply about pushing you on a bit or a lot, depending on where you are

For food, ill be recommending the Zone diet . For now this is a TWO BLOCK snack, or “brunch” if you prefer.

This snack had 2 blocks of carb in the form of a slice of bread, 2 blocks of avocado (In the form of 2 (overly generous) teaspoons ) 42g of ham (as one block of protein) and 28g of cheese (as another block of protein).

I sneaked in a tea spoonful of chia seeds for extra fibre and a mini scrap of butter as an old habit

and ended up on toast like this

I’ll be explaining in great details how the zone block system works, but its intention is to ensure that each meal or snack has a balance of the main 3 macro nutrients: carbs protein and fat.

Ill be a launching a free ” how to zone course” some time in the next few months so do join my mailing list and ill tell you when you can get it

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Can you be fit and fat?

 The  answer to this  seemingly obvious question is  often confused by trying to define what  fat  and fit means.

Over the years the measurement of fat and indeed its distribution has raised some interesting  questions. I’m very aware of the muscular athletic awesome looking athlete who comes back from their annual medical having been told they are obese according to their BMI. These are people, who when their body fat is checked (using callipers or some sort of science fiction machine) are down into the enviable category! 

The next interesting “quickie” fat measure came when the discussion of abdominal obesity became fashionable the waist to hip ratio measurement was quick and easy and it certainly measured the tummy fat that showed.

Today, we should all be about visceral fat. But, It’s a hard thing to measure without a CT scan . The problem with visceral fat (the fat inside your visceral cavity, or around your organs) , is that skinny people can have visceral fat and that people with a big tummy don’t necessarily have visceral fat. It can sometimes be all subcutaneous!

Basically we have obvious fat and visceral fat.

Now we need to ask what is healthy or what is metabolically unhealthy According to Ortega (2012) .  If you crave the “metabolically unhealthy” crown, you must have one or more of these readings

  • high blood pressure (≥130/85 mmHg)
  • high blood triglycerides (≥150 mg/dL)
  • low HDL “good” cholesterol (<40 and 50 mg/dL in men and women, respectively)
  • high fasting blood sugar level (≥100 mg/dL)

Since the NHS actually started recording  the prevalence of obesity it was correlated with high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low good cholesterol and poor blood sugar. So it was quickly assumed that any overweight person would have these metabolically unhealthy markers. It wasn’t difficult to imagine the step to saying obesity causes them.

However, this is a great example that causation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.  Is it possible to be visibly overweight ( I know that’s terribly subjective, but work with me) but still have metabolically healthy readings ( good blood pressure, good  blood sugar).  


Ortega et al wrote ”The intriguing metabolically healthy but obese phenotype: cardiovascular prognosis and role of fitness ” 


They ran some tests using BMI and the 4 health markers and noted (i) metabolically healthy but obese individuals have a higher fitness level than their metabolically abnormal and obese peers; (ii) after accounting for fitness, metabolically healthy but obese phenotype is a benign condition, in terms of cardiovascular disease and mortality. this led to these conclusions (i) Higher fitness should be considered a characteristic of metabolically healthy but obese phenotype. (ii) Once fitness is accounted for, the metabolically healthy but obese phenotype is a benign condition, with a better prognosis for mortality and morbidity than metabolically abnormal obese individuals.

  • “Metabolically healthy” obese participants had a better baseline fitness level on the treadmill test compared with “metabolically abnormal” obese participants (adjusting for age, sex, examination year, smoking and alcohol consumption, and when using either BMI or body fat percentage to define obesity). The difference was the same for men and women.
  • “Metabolically abnormal” obese participants had significantly increased risk of dying from any cause during follow-up compared with “metabolically healthy” obese participants (adjusting for confounders and using either BMI or body fat percentage to define obesity).
  • When looking at cardiovascular disease outcomes, “metabolically abnormal” obese participants only had increased risk of a fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular disease event compared with “metabolically healthy” obese participants when using body fat percentage to define obesity. There was no difference in risk when using standard BMI definitions.
  • “Metabolically healthy” obese participants had no difference in risk of dying from any cause, or of fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular disease events compared with “metabolically healthy” normal-weight or fat participants.

On a narrow set of  health criteria and dubious “obesity’ assessments it’s quite possible to argue that you can be fat and fit!  However, over the years more concern has been raised about where your fat is . Research has indicated,visceral fat may be doing something  far more nasty. 

 “Visceral Fat Adipokine Secretion Is Associated With Systemic Inflammation in Obese Humans” 2007 concluded “that visceral fat is an important site for IL-6 secretion ( an inflammation causing thing) and provide a potential mechanistic link between visceral fat and systemic inflammation in people with abdominal obesity”. So there is an interesting line of experiments that indicate that visceral fat could be there, releasing nasty stuff.

The interesting thing is that you can be quite skinny and still have visceral fat and you can be obese and have no visceral fat. So based on some current evidence and where you fat is  you can be both  visibly fat and fit and skinny and ill!

(Update added 4th August 2020) However, it seems that science gallops on on! There are an increasing number of reports that suggest any sort of obesity is bad for your health. The above article looked at the narrow proposition that you can have “markers” of fitness and still be overweight. The clear answer is yes.

However there are other markers. Things like Adipokines, (which can be either pro or anti inflammatory ) It seems that the fatter you are, the more pro inflammatory they become. Which is bad.

So watch out for the next article in this series that will probably be “Can you be fat and healthy”