Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Paleo Challenge days 5 through 9

Day 9 of the Hwtc paleo challenge (see details on my blog on day 1) is almost over and I am still clean with the challenge one quarter of the way over.   At the end of week one my partner and I are in second place well within striking distance to take home the prize. Before the challenge I was a big sugar- holic but I never realized how much sugar I was eating and the sources of those sugars until the challenge.   Turns out that almost everything I eat from the store even organic food has sugar added (check out the ingredients of that container of organic _______).  

What I miss most in days 5 through 9 is cheese ( on my omelete, chicken sandwich, scrambled eggs etc). Does anyone have a recipe for a homemade paleo cheese substitute (no dairy at all in this challenge)?

What I miss second is cookies.

My beautiful wife found the recipe the kids made me Triple Almond Cookies.  Here is the recipe from Everyone Eats Right.  

Burpees and double infers fortime is my current fitness challenge. My energy is back and I feel better now more than ever.  My stomach is shrunk and I an craving less unnecessary food and only eat when I am hungry.  I get irritable when am getting hungry.   I am slimmer and making progress on the weight loss and I am almost to the magical elusive 190 lbs.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paleo Challenge Day 3 through 4

Day 3  and 4 of eating paleo only with no cheats.  

We did Crossfit Total Wednesday and I crushed my previous deadlift record and made the board with this place in the 0615.

Wednesday night and Thursday was hardest with the Trivium students bus trip to Washington D.C. for the March for Life. The trip leader brought chips and candy. But I came prepared with paleo trail mix,  paleo sweet potato chips,  banannas, salad, boiled eggs, fruit and spicy tuna cakes from Nom Nom paleo. The paleo sweet potato chips were key to survival when we got back on the bus after the March for Life because I was so famished and kids we eating and offering me chocolate and chips.   Key to success: come  prepared.

March for life with Trivium school

I traveled to the March for Life in Washington D.C. with Trivium school. 
The students are so enthusiastic. We started with mass at St Paul Cathedral in Worcester, MA where we got fueled up on the blood and body of Christ, plus a homily and blessing from Bishop Robert McManus.
36 students and six chaperones boarded bus number 3 of 3 buses from the Worcester Diocese for the 8 hour overnight bus ride to the nation's capital.
In the bus ride these kids were so awesome.  They were all well behaved.  I think it surprised the very friendly bus driver, Rick from Silver Fox bus lines, when the chaperones sat in the front and Rick asked aren't you going to sit with the kids in the dark. No, they are good kids.  So good in fact the first thing they did was lead and pray the rosary. 
Katie Forkey, student leader of The pro-life club displayed excellent leadership skills with her organization and care for the students. Katie says "As Christians and
Rational thinkers I believe every human life has dignity and that dignity should never be trespassed.   I hope that one day soon there will not have to be a March for Life and that every human life will be protected" . 
Grace Dennett, 9th grade says she is marching "because abortion is really sick and I can't believe people are not doing more to stop it in this country, one day I hope to be able to do more.  For now I think it is good to be able to tell my friends what I did this Thursday."
We had no problems during the ride down and arrived safely at 0530 at
the Basilica to the Immaculate Conception.
Adriana saw our friend Amanda Kenney who is at Franciscan University at Steubenville who sat with us for a beautiful pro-life mass.
Met and made friends on the March. My guess is 500000 people were there.  It seemed like more than 3 years ago and there was a notable difference in the youthful energy and hope of the crowd versus the years ago.  I also saw about 40 pro-abortion folks today but that is just a guess.
I also shook hands with U.S. Senator and 2012 Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum and his wife Karen.  Also I was impressed by the wounded of the men and women who testified that they were glad the Mom choose life even though they were conceived in rape.
Trivium School's Adriana, Fiona, and Helena in Front of Basilica to the Immaculate Conception at 0530
(in front) Trivium's Katherine, Fiona, Helena, and Adriana Smith and (in Back) Gary Lorencz on the March for Life
I got to shake U.S. Senator Rick Santorum's hand
Trivium's (in front) Gabe, Margaret Vise, Tim Ellie, and Gina
Trivium students on the March for Life Ellie, Katie, Gina, Marie, Isaac, Tim
More photos of Trivium on the March Elizabeth, Ellie, Gina, Isaac, Gabe (facing away), Elizabeth McGarry
Tim and Gabe
March for Life
Trivium students attended the Pro-Life mass at the Basilica for the Immaculate conception
Adriana (Trivium student) saw her friend Amanda who is a Freshman at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH at the Basilica in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Paleo Challenge Day 2

Day 2 is now complete and I have been 100% paleo for 2 days.
I learned how mindless I can be in my eating, as I caught myself reaching for the M&M dispenser on someone's desk.  I think that Paleo will help me to be more mindful.

I loved this recipe for Spicy Tomato Sauce: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/49252507164/virginia-is-for-hunter-gatherers-spicy-tomato which I found on my new favorite blog: Nomnom Paleo.  Jen made it with Sausage added.  Served on top of spaghetti squash, which we learned takes a long time to cook.

Today, I did our first performance workout and Benchmark improvement WOD as part of the challenge.  We get points for how we do against each other, and for how much we improve at the end of the challenge. 
9 min AMRAP
3 Box Jumps (20")
3 Shoulder to Overhead (75#)
3 Burpees

Then add 3 to each for round 2, 3, 4, etc doing 6 reps, 9 reps, 12 reps.... (you get the idea)
My score: 153 reps (5 rounds plus 18 reps)

I immediately rolled into workout two because my friend Catch needed me for the partner WOD.  Started strong but ran out of gas 3/4 of the way through (Sorry Partner).

I did a BOD POD this morning for our benchmark body fat%: 17.8
 Courtesy: Hanscom AFB Media Gallery

Lunch: Sausage Pepper and Onions

Breakfast: Fried egg and bacon
Protein drink immediately after working out.
Mid morning: 2 boiled eggs
Afternoon: Apple and Pear

Monday, January 19, 2015

Paleo Challenge - Day 1

Well, I did my first day ever of all Paleo.  Hanscom Warrior Training Center (HWTC Crossfit) (http://www.hanscomwarriortraining.org/) is doing a 33 day paleo challenge.  Here are the rules of our challenge if you are interested: http://www.hanscomwarriortraining.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/HWTC-Paleo-Challenge-2015-rulebook.docx.  Note, the rules of this challenge are more restrictive than some other Paleo and less restrictive than others.  I learned that Paleo means different things to different people. 

I was completely ignorant about paleo when I started this.  But I love competition, and I want to slim down, and my friends at HWTC Crossfit are doing it, so it all works out.   My family says I am crazy.  My wife, Jen agreed to help, but it is a lot of added work for her.   So I agreed to help her out as much as possible.  Here is my summary of Day 1.

Weighed-in 192lbs which is pretty good for me (I did a Paleo/Clean soft start last week so my body would no go into shock today).

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs with Pepper and Bacon.  Eggs were fried in coconut oil. Lesson learned, having Ghee or Coconut oil in the house were essential for success here.  I am used to using PAM.

Snack: Raw cashews, raw almonds, raisins and craisins.  Oops scratch the Craisins; thanks to The Paleo List, http://thepaleolist.com/2014/04/24/are-dried-cranberries-or-craisins-paleo/ I learned after putting them in that Craisins (Dried Cranberries made by Ocean Spray) have sugar in them.  Picked out the craisins.   Taking this snack with me to the supermarket was ESSENTIAL to success or else, I would not have made it to lunch. 

Colorful Paleo food from Hannaford's
Shopping adventure: To help Jen, I went shopping with her to pick out some foods to survive this Paleo adventure.  Boy did I learn a lot.  There is a lot of added sugar in a lot of products that are organic, no additives, etc.  Even my favorite Hormel Honey Ham lunch meat has added sugar.  Also, learned that even though most of my food came from the outside of the store, there was plenty of junk on the perimeter as well. 

Colorful Lunchtime Salad
After Hannafords, we went to Roots in Leominster http://www.rootsnaturalfoods.com/
to pick up Red Boat Fish Sauce, Ghee (Indian clarified butter from Grassfed cows) http://www.amazon.com/Grassfed-Organic-Ghee-7-8-Oz/dp/B0032RPLSY, Paleo Wraps, Unsweetened Almond Milk (I only found Almond Mill sweetened with Cane sugar or other less friendly additives at Hannaford's).  For this I spent another $50 on top of my Hannaford's grocery bill.  Came home so famished, that I could have slipped on my new paleo way.  Instead, I snacked on apple as I threw together this Salad with apples, chicken (good thing for precooked and frozen chicken strips, carrots, raisins, grapes, and paleo granola (tree nuts sweetened with honey).

NomNom Paleo's Tasty Spicy Tuna Cakes

This afternoon: I made some of NomNom Paleo's (Hat Tip) Tasty Spicy Tuna Cakes:  http://nomnompaleo.com/post/91332244628/spicy-tuna-cakes.  
Great recipe and great tasting.  Had 3 to get me through to dinner

Dinner - Sausage Peppers and Onions

Great first day.   

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Supreme Court to hear MA buffer law case tomorrow

The Worcester Catholic Free Press newspaper writes on the Worcester pro-lifers (Rod and Jean Murphy) who will be attending the buffer zone arguments at the US Supreme Court.  Also, more information about the plaintiffs from Boston, Worcester and Springfield and the case itself:

There is some useful info at the end of the article on how to read the transcript or listen to oral arguments on this buffer zone case at the Supreme Court.

Great book - The Ledge by Jim Davidson

I recently read the Ledge by Jim Davidson.  It is the true story of how Jim Davidson survives an 80 foot fall into a crevasse.  His partner, Mike Price, died from injuries sustained during the fall.  As a climber, I found the book technically interesting, but the best part of the book was how much it inspired me.   This book is a great read for climbers and non-climbers alike.   I highly recommend the book. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Judicial nomination Cornelia Nina Pillard

Here is a letter, I sent to my Senators today,

Honorable Senators,

I am writing to register my opinion against judicial nomination of Cornelia Nina Pillard.

Before you laugh in my face, because she is a nominee by President Obama, and she is a huge advocate of the same agenda you support, I ask you to consider the following.  How stupid is your party going to look supporting the nomination of a justice who:

- Opposes the use of ultrasound technology because it manufactures "deceptive images of fetus-as-autonomous-being that the anti-choice movement has popularized since the advent of amniocentesis."

- Argues that abortion is necessary to help "free women from historically routine conscription into maternity."

- Opposes the abortion-contraception mandate as "reinforce[ing] broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders."

Stop and think.  We are not all on vacation.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Climbers killed by Tehrik-e-Taliban at Nanga Parbat Pakistan

The story at this link starts out: Nine foreign climbers from the Ukraine and China were among 10 people killed by gunmen in a late-night attack in Pakistan’s mountainous northern region, the country’s Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said.

Link: http://www.newsmaxworld.com/Asia/pakistan-taliban-himalayas-attack/2013/06/23/id/511357

Read the Polish climbing team's account (contains some good pictures): http://www.explorersweb.com/everest_k2/news.php?url=nanga-parbat-massacre-polish-team-descri_137235774

Read about the differences between Taliban and Tehrik-e-Taliban here: http://www.explorersweb.com/everest_k2/news.php?url=nanga-parbat-massacre-who-is-tehrik-e-ta_137225075

Please pray for the end of violence in Pakistan. 

h/t to www.ClimbingForChrist.org for alerting me to this story. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Outdoor Climbing Season is here

Outdoor climbing season is here.  I am so excited.  I am in the best climbing shape of my life with the exception of a finger injury. 

I got my first climb in at Crow Hill on Boardwalk.  Want a way to spice up an old classic?  Try leading it in the rain with only 3 pieces.   Way to go Brett on that one.  

What routes, projects, and ideas do you all have in mind for this season?  Is there something I can do to help?

My list for this season:
Crow Hill:
-Cro Magnum
-Lead Thin Line

-Lead Moby Grape

A bunch of 5.9s and 5.10s

- Disneyland
- Ant Line
- Shockley's

WQPH needs you help - Transmitter issues

H/T to WQPH radio: http://wqphradio.org/transmitter-issues-prayers-needed/

WQPH has been experiencing some technical glitches with our radio transmitter that broadcasts 89.3 FM to the northern Worcester county area. The issues include intermittent loss of power, occasional static bursts, and a drop in signal quality and range.
We need the prayers and support of our listeners! We have been working around the clock to resolve these issues and are talking with the transmitter company to see if there are known issues. A new transmitter would cost the station $9,000.
As 89.3 FM WQPH is a station for our community, we need your support through prayer and financial means. Please visit our prayers page to see some suggested prayers that can be prayed to help the station. You can donate financially by clicking here.
We also want to remind our listeners that WQPH can be heard through the TuneIn application for smartphones or through the live stream functionality found through this website.
Thank you for the support and God Bless.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Efficiency vs. Change - 11 year old's perspective

When my daughter explained to me her system for knowing who's turn it was to empty which section of the dishwasher. What this turned into was an interesting discussion and lesson on efficiency vs. change. If you are into leadership, management, or are interested in encouraging change, then I encourage you to read on.

The scenario: My two oldest daughters switch back and forth between emptying top and bottom of the dishwasher. They sometimes forget and then argue over who has top and who has bottom. My oldest daughter was so proud to explain to me a system that they had devised to tell who had top and who had bottom.

The system:
The system they came up with was to use two double sided magnets that designated whose turn it was. I know this sounds trivial but pay attention to the complexity of the system they came up with. Each double sided magnet has a red side and a blue side (Red = Adriana, Blue = Briana). Each double sided magnet can stick either the blue side or the the red side to the hinges of a cabinet. They chose two cabinets, one containing glasses (representing the top side of the dishwasher) and one containing plates and bowls (representing the bottom of the dishwasher). When switching the magnets they actually carry one double sided magnet (blue side down) from the plates cabinet across the kitchen and physically switch it with the other magnet (red side down) stuck to the bowls cabinet, and then carry the magnet

The lessons:
I am amazed that my daughters could not see how they did not have to use two cabinets to determine whose turn it was, but rather just flip the magnet. In response to my suggestion, my daughter said, "Some people don't like change, so we we are going to keep it the way we have it."

Ways to institute change:
I asked my daughter to come up with ways we could encourage people to want to change and she came up with the following list.
1. Before you release the method, have a conference and discuss it and give people a heads up and discuss their opinions.
2. Discuss how this new method is going to work.
3. We could give people FREE instructions that tell people how to change.
4. Start doing it.
5. After a week, Take a vote on whether we want to keep it or not.
6. If it was at work, we could pay the people involved more so that they want to change.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pizza, Our Lady, and a Rosary with friends

When we said yes to hosting the missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe we received a good call from our friends the Legers asking if they could come over for a rosary. They even offered to bring food! Sure thing! No problem. But if you had told me before last week that we would have 21 people in our house doing the rosary, I would have been surprised.

But one thing after another, we had 7 families from 5 parishes coming to our home including 11 children. I ran a shuttle service to handle the 8 cars including our own because due to the snow we had parking for 6 cars. We ordered 6 cheese pizzas, thanks Chris, cut vegetables, and people brought deserts.

We prayed one rosary in front of the Missionary Image of Our Lady, and were also blessed with an increase in faith as we took time to learn more about the image. A good time was had by all!

A blessed visitation by the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to our household

Our Household was blessed this Friday to be hosts to a very special guest: the missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Two weeks ago I was asked if I would pick up the missionary image and move it down to Worcester and back to Fitchburg. No problem I said, my favorite gym is in Worcester and the time was convenient. I had no idea what I was saying yes to! I first started to get a sense of what I was getting into, when people started calling to ask if they could visit her, or to ask when I would be moving her around.

Wow! People were really interested in this, and for good reason too! Someone else has done a very good job blogging on the subject of the missionary image so I will point you to: http://knowyourcatholicfaith.blogspot.com/2011/02/little-known-facts-about-our-lady-of.html.

However, I will add to this page, that when our lady visited our house, it was a night of grace! Mary filled each one of our family members with grace and increased our faith. Thank you Mary for blessing our house.

For more information I recommend: http://2secondsfaster.com/2008/12/our-lady-of-guadalupe-the-tilma/

Saturday, January 29, 2011

March for Life 2011: "I'm Pro-Life Because.."

Brian Smith: I attended the March for Life 2011 in Washington, D.C. Here is a video where FRC asks some of the tens of thousands who marched in our nation's capital in support of life, why they are pro-life.

Tags: pro-life, Washington, D.C., March for Life, 2011,