Gingerbread Oatcakes

Gingerbread Oatcakes

Getting into the season by baking! These are so easy to make. Just whip up the ingredients, roll up into a log and slice into discs. I modified the Okarabars recipe and added lots of freshly grated ginger, 1tsp ground cloves, some apple and blackstrap molasses as the sweetener.

I have transitioned from HFLC to another carb-restricted diet which is the Zone. Doing 18 blocks for weight maintenance for training. If not training it would be less, but I am surprised at how it controls hunger when macros are perfectly balanced. It took about two weeks to adjust but am getting the hang of it. It allows a little more flexibility and is a great way to also save a little money as I can enjoy my tofu which is way cheaper than meat. Adding more cardio back into my schedule.


Miracle Mile

The 5k Runners
Last weekend I mustered enough motivation to do the UCSF Diabetes Center Miracle Mile & 5k Holiday Classic in Golden Gate Park. One mile events are rare, and I never actually did one, so I thought it would be fun to see what my time was. The rain had subsided enough for us to run on dry pavement on a nice downhill course. It was a small race with nice volunteers, and they had race officials calling out your splits every quarter mile. Of course my Garmin froze on me so this was helpful. I think I went out too fast but then found my pace. The shorter races are a little more taxing but it was over quickly and I finished in 6:27. I can use this as a baseline for my speedwork. Though it wasn't a PR, I had not been doing any speedwork, so that is a good number. I ran a 6:10 in my 5k last March, and my goal is 6:00 minute miles. I stayed at the finish line and cheered the kids that were finishing their race, probably for the first time with their families. So cute! The winner of the women's race was a cute 12 year old. The overall winner was a guy who ran 5:08, then he went on to get second in the 5k. They both had the same last name so they must be from the same fast family! To do the 5k, the runners ran back to the start line. I did not do the 5k because I ran to the event and had to run back. Right now my mileage is low and have been focusing on short intense efforts and strength training. The holidays and end of the year can be stressful but then I think about what others that have life-threatening illnesses have to deal with. It's time to count our blessings & be of service, take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.


SF Supermarket Street Sweep

Yesterday I participated in the SF Supermarket Street Sweep, a ride for the SFM Food Bank. The heavy rain was pretty much done by the time we started riding and only rained a little at the end. I had done the cargo in 2010, so this time I tried the speed race. My goal was to do at least the bare minimum and get all the items and get back quickly. You get extra points for going to stores farther away, so I battled the headwind to the Safeway on La Playa and got 6 bags of beans, then cruised by Lucky on Fulton and Masonic and got canned food and rice, then wiggled on to Market St and Dolores Whole Foods and got pasta. Went inside Safeway across the street by accident and doubled up on pasta before I realized I was supposed to go to Whole Foods. I was going for 60 points, but because I lost the receipt to Safeway at La Playa, it didn't count, so ended up with 30pts LOL. I only spent around 20 bucks and got some weekend miles in. I was really impressed by the cargo hauls. There are some crazy hills by the food bank. I'm happy to be a monthly supporter to help end hunger.


December Already!

The year has been going by so fast! I looked at my mileage logs and did not feel the need to "cram" this month with last minute mileage. Going to stick to my weight training and minimal mileage until 5k training starts. That is harder than it seems, because it's so easy to head out for an hour of 10 minute miles instead of breaking in new muscle. I'm halfway through my PT sessions at Fitness SF. The temps in the bay keep dropping a little each time we go in. Now it is around 54°F. Very therapeutic. Even though I was only in for 20 minutes, I couldn't feel my feet for several hours!

The weekend ride was a fun and mellow trip along the Bay Trail to Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline. This place used to be a landfill and is now a beautiful park with scenic trails and wildlife. Got to check out the Shoreline Drive Cycle Track in Alameda, and a post-ride coffee at Bicycle Coffee.



Swimming in the Bay

The temps are sliding down into the mid 50s but the euphoria of mild hypothermia is keeping our spirits high. Only a few more group swims with WWS left in 2015!

Thanksgiving Swim

Swimming at Crissy Field



This is what the Marin Tri 10k run looked like
Had a great well-earned recovery week. The extra hour of sleep in the morning helps! I started doing strength training with Gaby at Fitness SF which will get me through the winter. Time to focus on speedwork! I put a few things on my calendar but not going to plan it out too much and stay flexible. As time goes on I've learned to let my training evolve organically. Right now, my body wants to build itself up, not tear itself down. Earlier in the year I had thought I would be doing more ultra running but this is better for me. I will stick to my goal of getting faster and building lean muscles and getting injury proof rather than binge running. There will be a time and place for that later. The triathlon prep put me in a great place for what I am about to do.

The water temps in the bay are starting to drop under 60°F finally. Great therapy for sore muscles!


Marin Tri 2015 - Race Recap!

Marin County Tri - The Swim
Marin County Triathlon 2015

This race was great fun! I like immersing myself in this location every year: Camping it, swimming it, biking it and running it! It is nicely organized race with nice people for the non-profit Sustainable Sports Foundation and 100% of the net proceeds go toward charity. I finished in under 3 hours, improved my PR by 2 minutes, and in the top 20 females. It was a small field and even smaller for my age group. Don't you just love small local races? I did better on my transitions and a little better on the swim and run. The bike was about the same with two minutes slower than last year. Got 2nd AG! Overall felt strong throughout. The hardest part was the first bike climb out of the water with cold legs.

Time: 2:52:45
Swim: 28:17
T1: 3:01
Bike: 1:29:45
T2: 1:38
Run: 50:04

Setup: Rolled to the site fresh from bike camping at China Camp. It looked like it was going to rain but never did. I just set up my transition area with everything in plastic bags and got to know my neighbors, many first timers! Before the race I had a coffee with whey protein and coconut oil. I had carbs the day before, so it was all in the tank. Some friends from Water World Swim were there and was nice to see them. I ate a few spoons of coconut oil before getting in the water for instant heat. They had some hot water so I mixed hot water with cold water to make warm water and sipped that before getting in.

The Swim: The swim was warm, in the low 60s. Wore the sleeveless wetsuit. I had brought both the tinted goggles and untinted so I had options. It was overcast so went with untinted. The current was flooding so I got to the turnaround in 13 minutes. Kept a steady pace and was overtaken by the next wave on the way back.

T1: For my transition, I didn't overthink it. My mantra was "head to toe": Stripped head to toe, dried off head to toe, then put bike things on head to toe. I took the time to put on gloves and wool socks. It was chilly so wore the windbreaker.

The Bike: The first climb hurt, as all the blood was shunted out of the legs on the cool swim. Love this course! It's so scenic and fun with all the rolling hills. My other mantra was: "Stay in the moment". I thought about this the day before to relax and not stress. I tried not to coast and kept pushing uphill and cranking on the downhills. Had 3 scoops of UCAN chocolate with protein in a gel flask for my bike, and took huge sip at each of 3 loops. Polished off two bottles of water.

T2: Again, keep it simple. Head to toe everything off, then throw on a visor, glasses and shoes. I had a hand-carry bottle of water with a gel. I was really thirsty and didn't want to stop at aid stations. It had heated up by now and I was ready to throw the windbreaker away!

The Run: Warmup for the first mile to find my legs around 9:00/min pace and then locked on a comfortably hard pace which happened to be around 8:00/min per mile. Just focused on breathing, form and relaxed effort. Had the Gu Roctane Gel after the first loop, then kicked it to 6:00 min/mile pace on the last quarter mile into the finish.

I don't know what I would have done differently, as I felt I did my best that morning. If anything, I could always run a little faster! I looked at the clock and felt I did slightly better than last year, but not by much. This was fine as my main reason for doing this is to stay fit and healthy as I get older, so I had realistic expectations. It felt a little easier this year. I was able to stick with a healthy diet and workout routine for several months leading up to the race, which is why I do it. Didn't gain a lot of weight either, which is a first. The post race breakfast was delicious pancakes and frittatas! I ate, got dressed and as I was packing my bike heard my name being called. I wasn't expecting to get a placement! I ran over there and was almost late for my first triathlon podium pic! I picked up some prizes: a new thermal swim cap, lotion and gift certificates! Love this race and look forward to doing it again.


Countdown to Marin Tri - Just a week away!

November in San Francisco
Just a week a way from the Marin County Tri! I'm feeling ready! Here is what I did last week:


Solid HIIT and Plyo sessions, trail run and some good brick workouts. The HIIT sessions are almost an hour and include some short sprints. In the spin sessions, we often do tabatas. All workouts are 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs, maybe a little longer on the weekends. I got my bike back from bike shop at Mojo Bicycle Cafe and they did a great job tuning up my bike! It feels much safer and cleaner. The old shifters on the 6 year old Giant Avail 3 were problematic so they were upgraded. On Saturday rode the ESCAPE route after a 1 mile swim along the buoy line. I like the buoy line for training because passing the buoys is great motivation to keep a good pace going.

Did not go out for Halloween because on Sunday I got up early and helped with a fun swim event. Rested the rest of the day. This week is taper week, so no weight training. I will probably do a few more open water swims to get acclimated and practice tearing off my wetsuit. My weight maintenance went well. It fluctuates but is still under 130. Now I do carb days on the weekends, which means: eating normally and do not worry about it but try to eat more carbs and less fats. Monday through Friday is HFLC. This has helped me to stick with it, maintain weight and it is really easy. I tried "carb back loading" to test my upper carb limit but I noticed I was gaining weight with that and not muscle. Going back down to 50 grams of carbs per day from vegetables and little portions of fruit. 75g is the max. The timing is critical. I realized instead of wrapping foods in a low-carb tortilla that doesn't taste that great, the romaine lettuce actually tastes a lot better! Still eating meat for now after all the cancer scare reports. I consider myself in a low-risk category. I may eat less bacon and go back to high protein low-carb tofu because I am still a fan of organic non-gmo soy. Finding the right workout routine and nutritious diet and sticking with it all these months has helped me stay healthy and fit. Though I'm getting older, my metabolic age is in the 20s and I can get outside and do things I enjoy.

How Soy Can Kill You or Save Your Life


Countdown to Marin Tri - Winding down

Another good training week and some added recreation on the weekend walking around enjoying the city. Thursdays is probably the hardest cardio workout, with a challenging group fitness spin class and then progressive 10k run bricked after it. Other than that, just tried to do my best. My bike is at the shop for a full tune-up. I  hope to get it back soon.


It was nice to unwind a little this weekend and distract myself from the focus on training and diet and give myself a break. I went to Wharf Fest for lunch where they were having a chowder tasting of a dozen restaurants down at Fisherman's Wharf. This was a great opportunity to try all the chowders and vote for my favorite! Brick and Beam won the judges choice, and McCormick & Kuleto's won the people's choice. I agree those were good, but my favorite was Cioppino's and Blue Mermaid. I was craving sourdough for my carbs so went and grabbed a baguette to go with the chowder.

I enjoyed the SF Open Studios Art Exhibits and brought home a few affordable pieces. A seascape by Veerakeat and a print of my favorite swim spot by Lucia Gonnella. I love art and have to have it in my life in some shape or form to get my imagination and inspiration flowing. I don't know how artists survive nowadays with the lack of resources and space. It never seemed like a viable career option, and that worries me. If we don't do something the arts will disappear, then the city will be quite boring and soulless. We need more art to balance out all the tech, don't you think?

Favorite Swim Spot

Giclee print of painting by Lucia Gonnella


Countdown to Marin Tri - Staying on Track

Had a great week of training and even managed to donate red blood and platelets on Friday! Seeing some progress on the body comp! The combination of HFLC / Carb cycling diet and strength training is my ticket. This week I tried a little protein before the workout and banana protein shake after the workout with great results. Saved the carbiest foods for after workout and at night, no sugar, no refined grains, carbs are from veggies and little fruit portions. The night carbs is fuel for my next morning work-out, because I don't do carbs pre-workout, instead I do fats. The banana in the protein shake helps to get the good stuff into the muscles. At this point in training, I'm starting to add more small servings of fruit and squash for carbs to correspond with increased training volume and intensity.

The workouts:

HIIT / PLYO & RUNRUN 10kHIIT / PLYOSPIN / RUN BrickBlood DonationRestSWIM / Rest

The shake:
Hemp seeds blended with water = hemp milk
1 scoop Whey Factors
1/2 banana
1 cup of spinach

Pre-workout I add half a scoop of whey protein into my bonk-proof coffee. Just dissolve it in a little cold water first or it will clump.

The results:

Tanita BC-1000 Plus / Garmin Forerunner 310XT

I'm not sure how the blood donation affected the graph. I try to drink almost a gallon of water per day. The consumption of carbs significantly affects the graph, as well as long cardio sessions. I know partly what I'm seeing is glycogen and water weight getting pumped into my muscles. Tanita has some info on their website about this. Some people do not like looking at the scale every day, but it can be a powerful tool to see what is working and what is not. It helps if you weight yourself at the same time everyday. I weigh-in in the morning. I'm happy about how all this has helped me manage my weight for race day while still preserving strength and energy. I'll be racing a little leaner this year.

Happy Training!

My Metabolic Efficiency Journey


Countdown to Marin Tri - Swimming with Sharks

 Three weeks of real training left until Marin Tri! Here's a quick recap of what I did last week:

RESTRESTHIIT / PLYO, swimSWIMAthletic Conditioning 1 hr swimEZ Kayak

On Saturday we had a nice long swim along shore. It was too foggy to do Island to Island. We had great help with the incoming flood tide. Later on there was a shark sighting around Alcatraz, so it all worked out! Welcome to Sharktober!

The water has been clearer lately, probably due to lack of rain and runoff. This might be encouraging the sharks to explore our waters. It is a fact of open water swimming that you're swimming with wildlife, and at a certain point you just have to make the decision if you are going to let that interfere with your swimming habits. The only wildlife I usually ever see are the birds. The rest usually keep their distance from humans. The best thing is to go with a group or with a friend, and have a plan. I feel safe with my group, as we have experienced boat support. I also know that I am not the prey sharks are looking for, and the chances of encounters are rare. You just have to keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. To tell you the truth I'm more worried about getting hit by a car on my bike commute.

Still paying close attention to my diet. I'm experimenting with post-workout nutrition to see what works the best. Last week I did broccoli or chard and cheese omelettes with avocado, saving the carbiest foods for at night. Energy levels are great and I was finishing my strength workouts strong. No weight gain, but I'm fine with gaining muscle so I make sure to get enough calories to fuel the workout and will up the good carbs a bit. Whatever I do, I will monitor it and see how it affects things. This week I will try protein shakes with half a banana, spinach and hempmilk post-workout. I like supplementing with hemp because it is high in protein, iron, magnesium and zinc. Hemp oil is also good for Omega-3s.

It's pumpkin season, so here is a Japanese Pumpkin / Kabocha Squash Muffin recipe.

2 cups Kabocha Squash puree
2 eggs
1/4 c. hemp protein powder or your favorite protein powder
1/4 c coconut flour or preference
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
Sweetened to taste with whatever you like to use (I use liquid stevia)

Put all in food processor, wet ingredients then dry. Blend and pour into non-stick muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes. Great as a dinner muffin or top with cream cheese frosting for dessert! Here are the macros if made sugar free:

Calories: 74
Protein: 7g
Carbs (net): 4g
Fat: 3g

Health Benefits of Winter Squash


Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm

Went to the Hoes Down at Full Belly Farm for the third year in a row! I also went in 2008 with my company, Sustainable Technologies, when we had a methane digester demo. It's fun to go every year and visit the farm and see the changes. This year I noticed they had more solar panels and my company helped them with energy efficiency upgrades to their farm so we had a demonstration of solar pumps and energy efficiency. The other thing different this year is that I biked there! I took the Capitol Corridor Amtrak train to Davis and got my weekend cycling in. It's a 3 and a half hour ride to the farm through mostly quiet county roads. The other half of the route is on the 16 which is very busy with very little shoulder to ride on. By improving cycling conditions on this route in Yolo County would definitely encourage more cycling tourism through this area.

Going to Full Belly Farm is like a weekend retreat, with lots of activities and workshops or you can just kick back and chill and enjoy the music and food. If you haven't tried their almond butter, I highly recommend you do! It is pure and natural with no additives and NOT thinned out with Palm Fruit Oil. During the event they offer camping areas for you to stay the night. It really is worth the trip. This year it also rained briefly and was a bit windy. It did not stop the party though! The rain was welcome and no one seemed to mind.

Hoes Down 2015
Hoes Down 2014
Hoes Down 2013


September wrap up

Six weeks until Marin Tri! After 2 months of HIIT training 2-3x a week, I feel totally strong! Everything feels easier, including bike handling. I ran a 10k race and half marathon the past few days and did well even though my mileage is low. My running legs are well-developed but then the upper body is flab. So to balance it out In July I started the TRX again, then August and September the 1 hour HIIT & Plyo class at the gym. I  highly recommend Gaby's class at Fitness SF. I also recommend a local boot camp group Body by HYZ. John is a fun coach and participants are mostly members of GGTC and is donation based for KEEN SF. This put me in a much better spot for my tri training and now building up the endurance for 2 hours will be a piece of cake. I'm able to keep an 8 min per mile pace for my 10k and under 9:30 min per mile pace for the half marathon. The HIIT training is cardio and there are lots of fast runners in the class. I learned HIIT (complex circuits) is great for overall fitness, performance, weight loss and strength, but if you're looking to build big muscles for aesthetic purposes then a more traditional weight lifting program is needed. Also, I don't think I would combine that type of training with HIIT, but this is great for endurance athletes looking to build strength and power. It will make you sore. In the past I would taper off my strength training as race day gets closer, but this time I will keep it going and make my training strength focused. It is hard to get started with HIIT but if you stick with it becomes much easier. I found if I cut back on the cardio and add it in later after a couple weeks into it is better. Soon, you will have lots of energy and will be able to do more than you ever thought you could!

Here is the tentative triathlon training schedule:

Plus at least 50 miles a week bike commuting on road bike

I try to save my energy for the strength training session and if I'm going to do additional cardio to do it afterward or another day. For the spin brick I will combine it with a swim or a run after, then also throw in a mini-tri where I do all three. Friday will be flexible and depends on what happens on the other days! I am keeping a carb day on Saturday, and HFLC on the rest of the days (low carb around 50 grams net and sugar free) and carbiest foods at night. It is usually starchy carbs such as sweet potato or squash. This works for me and helps me with weight management and energy levels. I have type 2 diabetes in my family history so I can easily ignore the naysayers. Happy Training!

HIIT Training Exercises: These barbell complexes are really effective, especially combined with Plyo.


Hunger Challenge Wrap-up

The Hunger Challenge is over for me, I ran out of food. As the week progressed I realized I could eat a little more then on the last day I just went for broke. I was happy! I survived on chicken and cabbage. Oddly enough, my weight remained the same. I have been strength training to build muscle, so that could be a reason.

S Health

Technically there were a bunch of pantry items from the list left but I didn't eat them. I can see myself bartering these foods to others for things that I do want, and I know that happens. There is a lot of emotion that can get stirred up from food insecurity. It can be depressing, which is why I think it can be useful to do this challenge to see what I can learn from it and bring to the table.

What I learned:
  • I learned which stores have the best deals! I took notes while shopping. I even found a better place to get birdseed for my parakeets.
  • You can get more meals out of a whole chicken. I will take advantage of this. Homemade chicken broth is delicious.
  • Organic food costs a little more per pound but if I wanted that on my budget I had to eat less or choose from the Clean 15 list.
  • After looking at my nutritional profile I might have to find some pantry foods that would help me fill in the gaps or take a multivitamin. Calcium and iron are challenging even without the budgetary restrictions. It is better to get vitamins from whole food.
  • I was able to continue exercising. It helped keep me going.
  • On a tight budget the initial grocery and menu planning takes a lot of effort and hunting for the best deal. After that, I stopped thinking about food. There was not much to think about because I ate the same thing every day. It's hard to get variety into your diet and it's not very exciting, It's just about getting through the day and focusing on other things. After a while I might get creative and resourceful and try some new recipes.
  • It would be best to buy food with the whole month's grocery money rather than just one week. This would give me a little more room to add variety, spices and buy in bulk on some things which is less expensive in the long run.
  • Though I'm not wealthy I can definitely afford to share a Meal a Month. It is something I can do for my elderly neighbors that I see standing in line at the church around the block to get food.


Tour de Tahoe 2015

Tour de Tahoe
Bike Big Blue!
Tour de Tahoe was a really great destination ride! I had been looking forward to it all year. It was a bit hazy from wildfire season which was disturbing and kind of grayed everything out but the air quality was alright. Six hours of cycling around the lake. The climbs were very manageable with some fast descents. There were several areas of the road under construction but they were well marked. The ride had great support and aid stations. We had sandwiches for lunch and a post-ride taco party.  I had 3 shots of UCAN with me and grazed less at the aid stations. Though I have done longer distances, this felt like a great accomplishment. I enjoyed biking around a huge body of water at altitude with hundreds of other cyclists and spent the weekend at the lake.

At the state line they have a bunch of casinos, shopping & food. Down by the south lake there is kayaking, paddle-boarding and every kind of outdoor recreation you can imagine. Great place for a vacation, even if just for the weekend. I look forward to doing this again on a clear day when the lake is sparkling.

When I found out about the Valley Fire that weekend, I was shocked. Very saddening devastation. There are several ways to help.

Hunger Challenge Update

I'm in the middle of the SF Marin Food Bank Hunger Challenge and feeling better about it than the first few days. It is kind of a shock at first to slash your caloric intake by almost half and ration and measure smaller portions of food. I didn't know if I would be able to keep my exercise schedule up but so far so good. I even did HIIT yesterday.

Let's check-in to see how the nutrition profile looks:


1600 calories?! I don't think that is enough for me. I was hungry on the first 2 days but by Wednesday I was starting to get used to it. I found out that I had a little more chicken I could add to my lunch and I can double up on my chicken broth for the rest of the week! Also, I delayed eating my lunch that extra hour or two so I could get through the afternoon. I guess I should have looked at my inventory little more closely. I was so worried that I wouldn't have enough that I skimped out on the first few days. I also added a slice of melon as an afternoon snack, so that gives me a whopping 23 calories and vitamins A & C. For 5 days I don't feel the need to fill up on rice, beans and potatoes but after several weeks it might be different story. When we were little, sometimes that is all we had when our parents were between paychecks. The problem with the carbs or anything with sugars is it just makes me crave more carbs and I will get more hungry. Filling up on high fiber nutrient-dense vegetables is better. My iron levels are already borderline and this is not cutting it. I like my macros, though. I could use more fats. An avocado and some cheese would be good, or bacon. I'm missing my coconut oil and hemp oil and omega 3s. I also miss my giant green salads. I guess I would have to grow my own if I could. I could also make my own yogurt for a lot less.


I did find some recipes I could make with my ingredients, but I'm missing out on all the spices and herbs. If I had ginger, I would make steamed cabbage and chicken-stuffed cabbage rolls with grated carrot and peanut (peanut butter) sauce. Roasted cabbage steaks slathered in garlic sauce sound pretty good. How about a crunchy cole slaw with yogurt as the dressing? I found a recipe for Slow Cooker Cabbage "Pasta" in the Ketogenic Cookbook I could make also. Good thing I like cabbage! Another book I found helpful for this week was Wildly Affordable Organic Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy ad Save the Planet, all on $5 or less.


Eating on $4.50 a day - Hunger Challenge

I'm taking the SFM Food Bank Hunger Challenge for 5 days to help spread awareness about food insecurity during Hunger Action Month. By eating on $4.50 a day (value of food stamp benefits) plus the items in the pantry box list from the food bank, I am experiencing what it's like for someone who barely has enough to eat. I love food and do not take it for granted, but it's been a long time since I had to budget or ration my food. I come from a low income family and there were times when we did not have a lot to eat and used food stamps. In grade school we were often on the school lunch program, and even the school breakfast program, so I'm not just doing this for kicks. It's a serious issue.

My goal is to see if there is a way to eat healthy, nutritious and possibly organic meals on a tight budget and learn what I can along the way. I just tried to eat closely to the way I am used to eating which I found to be optimal for me, which is mostly vegetables and fat with some meat, no added sugar and very little carbs. I already base my diet around a produce box delivery from my CSA that I can customize. I had to do some research at different grocery stores and hunt down the deals. Safeway and Trader Joe's seemed to provide the most affordable options.

With my $22.50 budget I bought a 4lb chicken (Rocky), 1 cabbage (organic), 1 yogurt (organic), some peanut butter (organic valencia peanuts), butter (kerrygold) and a box of tea. The pantry box for an individual comes with onions, potatoes, carrots, oranges, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, white rice and 6 eggs. Let's say I'm on a low glycemic diet to manage diabetes, then half of this box is not good for me to eat unless I'm able to balance out the glycemic load with ample proteins and fats. So I will just keep the onions, carrots, strawberries, eggs and a little watermelon or cantaloupe. It would be nice to be able switch out the potatoes for sweet potatoes. Some of the items were seasonally available in my Farm Fresh to You CSA box, except the strawberries. They were also out of those delicious Yellow Doll watermelons.

I think the pantry box can be customized for special diets. In that case, I would swap out the fruit sugars for some celery, parsley, zucchini and leafy greens! I usually eat about 6 cups a day of vegetables, so it is really tough not to. With a tight budget, you don't get a lot of variety. I just planned to eat the same thing every day. Here is what I am eating:

Hot buttered tea. Yes, butter is my strategy to not get so hungry! I'm used to drinking coffee with butter and coconut oil, so this is the low-budget version.
Butter .20 cents a tablespoon / Tea 4 cents
3 cups max

Breakfast: This is intended to be a post-workout breakfast of plain yogurt and fruit. This is what I would normally eat after my workout, except I would add some protein powder. Sometimes I will have a veggie omelet. I skipped the first day and had an egg instead, which makes the portions larger for the other days.
.82 cents a serving and the strawberries came in the pantry box

Gotta have a snack! I can't be expected to do the Warrior Diet. Have a carrot and some peanut butter. This is what I would normally eat except celery instead and almond butter or nuts. I usually have 2 snacks but can't afford to with this plan.
12 cents a tablespoon, carrot from the pantry box.
4 T max per day, and I am going to eat it!

Lunch: I know it doesn't look exciting but it is really delicious! A cup of chicken soup that I made from the bones and leftovers of the roast chicken and a hard-boiled egg. I cooked the soup for 24 hours on the slow cooker and made sure to reincorporate the drippings from the pan that had most of the gelatin and add butter to that also. I used some onions, one carrot and a carrot top in the soup to add flavor. This is not something I would normally eat for lunch, maybe a snack. I usually have a huge salad with some fish.
Butter .20 cents a tablespoon, egg from the pantry box. The chicken is accounted for in dinner.

Dinner: 4oz Roasted Chicken, Cabbage (about 1 1/2 - 2 cups) and onions sauteed in chicken fat and drippings (rendered from the cooking). This is what I would normally have for dinner, except maybe fish or grass-fed beef and more variety in the vegetables. I managed to get seven 4oz servings from a 4lb chicken, plus all the soup! I have some extra to add to my soup for lunch.
Chicken 1.13 / Cabbage .52 cents, onions from the pantry box

Dessert: Watermelon popsicles or cantaloupe wedge. I try to limit my sugar and fruit carbs to 1/2 to 1/4 c servings. I usually have some cottage cheese with or without fruit or coconut cream as a dessert, depending on what I need that day.
pantry box

Total: $3.87 a day


Summer Training

Here is what the summer training looks like: some HIIT, Spinning, Pool drills, easy running on TM and trails, weekend rides and open water swims.


Cholesterol Results from HFLC

Keto Lettuce Cups
I was very pleased with my recent cholesterol results and had to share. At first I was afraid to leave the safety blanket of high carb eating because I was worried that I would just fade from low energy and my cholesterol would be wrecked. Well, the cholesterol wasn't wrecked and in fact I improved on some important points. I took the test about 2 months into the HFLC diet with a Home Access test kit and plugged the results into this calculator.

2015 Cholesterol:

-Total Cholesterol of 181 DESIRABLE
-HDL of 78 is OPTIMAL
-Triglyceride level of 43  NORMAL


-Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 2.32 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5) IDEAL
LDL/HDL ratio is: 1.218 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 2.0) IDEAL
-Triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 0.513 - (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) IDEAL

What happened is my HDL (good cholesterol) went up 21 points from normal to optimal, and the triglycerides went down 30 points! LDL is still in the optimal range, so no worries there. Ideal ratios all around!

Here are my cholesterol numbers from 2 years ago to compare. I think my diet from 2 years ago was fine for an active person. I had been working on adding good fats to my diet. It was just recently that I started to gain weight even though I was exercising alot so I thought of reducing the carbs and that worked. I think over time my body got used to burning carbs and became more sensitive to them. When you reduce carbs, adding in the good fat helps with energy and satiety.

2013 Cholesterol

-Total Cholesterol: 150  DESIRABLE
-HDL of 57  NORMAL
-Triglyceride level of 70  NORMAL


-Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 2.63 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5) IDEAL
LDL/HDL ratio is: 1.386 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 2.0) IDEAL
-Triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 1.228 - (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) IDEAL

Typical day of eating for this was: 

  • Post-run fruit smoothie with milk, yogurt & honey

  • Spinach salad with eggs, barley and chickpeas

  • Salmon pasta with cheese and veggies

  • Snacks: Oatcake with apple and peanut butter, almonds

I wasn't logging my food every day but would do a monthly spot-check on fitday. I was in a nice long plateau, but now things are happening I'm  logging and monitoring and will keep sharing what works.

I donated blood and platelets this month and I noticed it was a little easier than before. I didn't experience that extreme drop in blood sugar and felt fine. I just have to make sure as always that I'm getting enough iron because I deplete it with all the exercise. My fasting blood glucose is in the mid 70s.

I'm really happy about this and it keeps me motivated to continue on the path!


Comparison of HFLC to LFHC Diet

Here is an observation I made about how some calories are not the same as others for losing weight. I wanted to prove that I was losing weight because I was taking in less calories on a high fat low carb diet so I started keeping a food diary and logging it.

I was wrong.

I am taking in the same amount of calories and losing weight.

Let's just go with it. People can say what they want. I got a new scale and just started tracking body composition so this should be interesting.

Below is typical of what I was eating last year. As you can see it is close to the Zone, with plenty of carbs. I was actually trying to eat more carbs for more energy but falling short. This diet was fine. I had plenty of energy and could maintain my weight with this diet but not achieve weight loss. At this time I was doing P90X and lifting weights, so I thought I had to do protein shakes and builders bars. I did not restrict my calories because that never worked for me. The targets are at the top and then at the bottom is the actual consumption. As you can see, it has lots of sugar.


CaloriesProtein - 20%Carbs - 60%Fat - 20%Equivalent
1 scoop recovery drink1105200.51/2 drink
1/2 banana520.7130.21/2 fruit
French Toast32527.531.34.31 carb
TJ Go Raw Trek Mix21071614snack
Spinach salad with sprouted tofu and hempseeds, carrots and tomatoes42636.414.118.71 1/2 veg, 1 pro, 1 fat
Clif Builders Bar27020308snack
Turkey, broccoli, pasta36237.943.64.31 pro, 1 carb, 1 veg

chocolate (approx 1 oz)580.74.94delicious
TJ NF Greek yogurt 1/2 cup w honeydew901611.50.1dairy, fruit


Here is what I ate yesterday on HFLC. I even went out to eat and had dessert. I started counting net carbs, whereas before I didn't. I have been lifting weights with HIIT & Plyo sessions at the gym, some spinning and light cardio this week. On this diet, I HAVE been losing weight. I'm down 8 lbs since May. I just stepped on the scale after my run today and it said I'm down 10. I've had a few carb-up days here and there, but mostly my diet looks like this. I actually try to keep the net carbs below 40 and eat just enough protein.


Bonk Proof Coffee220

26coconut oil and butter
Vital Proteins Collagen36900BCAA
Heavy Whipping Cream60006
Salmon Fillet801601.5
2 cups spinach14210
1 T Hemp oil with ACV (for dressing)1200014Lunch
1/2 avocado16128.514.5
Cherry Tomatoes31270
Pate w Black Pepper1708214Iron-rich snack
Flax crackers (1/4 c serving)22080.817.2
Almond meal crackers (1/4 c serving)1606614
Bacon Cheeseburger with salad (no bun)56031547Dinner
3 pc Low Carb Bread with cream cheese and blueberries424131128dessert
(or breakfast)

It works out to about 75% fat, 15% protein and 10% carb, no sugar, and very little fruit. I will enjoy those on my occasional carb days. I lost an inch on my waistline since last month, even with the weekly and bi-weekly carb-up days. There are other benefits to this diet besides weight loss, which is why it is easy to stick with. I like being wrong sometimes!

My thought is when you first change your diet and use fat for energy, you will see a weight drop and then it will plateau again. Adjustments can continually be made as your body is always changing, especially if you are exercising and doing weight training. As you get older your body also changes and you have to listen to your body. What may work for a 25 year old male doesn't necessarily work for a middle age female.

And now for the food pics! Click on info for details:

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