Breakfast Smoothie

I’ve been absent from my blog for about a week and a half but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten my goals to live an active and healthy lifestyle.

Family and school have been keeping me busy but I’m still finding time to exercise and eat healthy. I’m still riding my bike to school and around town. And I’ve been finding new way to incorporate fruits and veggies into my meals.

I was watching an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown and I was inspired by the show that was all about how he lost weight by eating healthy. His morning smoothie sounded so good that I decided to make my own.

I bought some frozen fruits from Sam’s Club. The first bag is a mix of peaches, pineapple, mango and strawberries The second bag is a mix of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Equal parts of each put into the blender with a half cup of skim milk, a tblspn of fat free greek yogurt and a few squirts of natural Hawaiian Honey.

It is a delicious and nutritious breakfast full of vitamins and antioxidants and probably a lot of other healthy stuff. That has been my breakfast for two days in a row.

For lunch yesterday I had my favorite Spicy Garlic Veggies at school and when I came home I made a salad of mixed greens with sliced apples, baked chicken and papaya seed dressing.

I’ve been hiking on my days off, bicycling everyday and last night I went for a one hour walk/jog along the Ala Wai canal which took me an entire hour to complete.

Portabello Mushrooms! Why did it take me so long to discover these tasty little devils. I bought a pack of 8 big caps and today for lunch I sliced up two of them, sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper. OMG it was like eating a Ribeye steak. Those things are so good!

Needless to say I am experiencing a resurgence of energy and motivation.


Day 46: Apples and Almonds

This morning I bicycled to school.

I had a pair of granola bars between classes. (190 calories, 60 from fat).

I bicycled back home at about 1:30 PM for a total of two miles. I had a mandarin orange (35 calories) for a quick snack.

A few hours later, at about 3:30 I had a Fuji apple (100 calories) and a small sandwich, two thin slices of turkey on a single slice of whole wheat bread folded in half (150 calories).

At about 4:30 I drank a cup of skim milk (90 calories) and had a 1/4 cup of whole almonds, roasted and salted (170 calories).

I bicycled to school for my night class, a roundtrip of 4 miles.

8:00 pm I had another small turkey sandwich (150 calories) and a second cup of skim milk (90) calories.

I think I’m done for the day. It’s only 980 calories. Way below what I should have consumed today but it’s late at night and I’m not really hungry. What should I do? Maybe got eat some chips and cookies to boost my daily calorie count?

Apples and Almonds are a good snack. I’m going to make those my main snacks from now on. Skim Milk, 2 cups a day for strong bones. Veggies, I’m still working on those. And exercise, yeah that too.

Day 36: Climbing Stairs, Skipping Steps

I decided to climb the stairs today but with a little twist, skipping steps. So instead of the usual 134 steps to the top of the stairwell, I reached the top in only 66 steps. I could really feel the difference, not in my legs but in my chest. My heart was beating so hard and so fast that I had to take a short breather every two flights. After four trips up and down, I calculated that I had climbed 536 stairs in only 264 steps. In keeping with my desire to do a little more than before, I added a fifth trip to the the top. I was tired and sweaty and I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest but I managed to make it up one last time. It’s a great feeling when you realize that your body is capable of doing so much more than your brain believes is possible.

For breakfast this morning I had a bowl of oatmeal (100 calories). And for lunch I’m making myself a turkey sandwich with spinach and some dijon mustard on a whole wheat roll. Eating healthy is a lot easier when you have good foods in the house to keep you on track. I’m defrosting some chicken breasts and plan on making a nice salad for dinner.

I haven’t been focused so much on counting calories like before. Instead I’m just trying to stay focused on eating healthy, keeping my portions small and incorporating more vegetables and fruits into my meals.

As for exercise, I try to do something everyday whether it’s walking, riding my bike, climbing stairs or playing on the Wii. I just wish I had somebody to exercise with. I feel like putting up an ad on Craigslist for an exercise buddy. Sometimes I see guys running who are really fit and I want to ask if I can work out with them sometime.

Well for now, I’ll keep going it alone.

Day 35 – Part II: Healthy Shopping and Healthy Lunch

We’ve got mandarins, edamame, more turkey lunch meat, some Oats N Honey granola bars, whole wheat rolls for sandwiches, fuji apples, turkey wraps with lettuce and tomato, and way in the back are some mixed greens for salads.

I bicycled two miles this morning to the University and back. All of my little arons are finished for the day.

I also did my weights today.

Curls (20 lb curl bar): 3 sets of 20 reps

Upright Rows (20 lb curl bar): 3 sets of 20 reps

Close Grip Shoulder Press (10 lb dumbbell): 3 sets of 20 reps

We haven’t done any walking today. I think we’ll wait for this evening when the sun goes down. Yesterday we walked for two hours from noon until two and both got a nice sunburn.

For lunch today… Turkey wraps and Edamame!

Day 33: Fresh Squeezed OJ

I woke up early this morning and got my son ready for school. His winter break is over but I still have a few more days to go. The spring semester begins on Monday but my first class isn’t until Tuesday.

I had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast along with some freshly squeezed orange juice. I’ve just been hanging out at home with my daughter, watching TV and playing some Golf on the Wii Sports.

My legs are still sore from climbing the stairs the other day. My upper body is feeling better so I think I’ll do my weight lifting routine and go for a walk later this evening.

For lunch today I had a fried egg on wheat bread with some of the four year aged cheese I brought home from Beechers at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. The cheese is strong, I can’t eat it alone but on a sandwich it’s delicious.

Yesterday I did pretty good. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a Turkey sandwich with some Beechers cheese for lunch and Pansit (noodles with shrimp and vegetables) for dinner. No exercise yesterday due to the sore muscles but I’ve been watching what I eat.

Day 31: Wii Sports – Real Stairs – Night Walks

This morning I ate a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast (130 calories) and drank a cup of skim milk (90 calories).

I walked with my kids to our neighborhood Game Stop at Ala Moana and picked up the Wii Sports. My son and I took turns playing Golf, Baseball, Boxing, Tennis and Bowling. My favorite is the Golf and my son likes to play the Baseball. But it’s the Boxing that gives you the best workout. I could really feel it in my arms after going a few rounds.

For lunch today I had a Turkey Sandwich on Wheat Toast (300 calories) and a bag of Sun Chips (150 calories).

At about 2:00 this afternoon I decided to hit the stairs. I climbed up and down four times. 134 steps UP x 4 = 536 steps + 134 steps DOWN x 4 = a total of 1072 steps. It only takes about twenty minutes but it’s a good work out.

Tonight for dinner I made some chicken nachos that consisted of tortilla chips topped with pepper jack cheese and shredded chicken. I’m trying to watch what I eat but I’m not going to starve myself like before. I will eat when I’m hungry but will try to keep it healthy and watch my portion sizes.

Tonight I walked around Lunalilo Elementary School for an hour. I lost track of the number of laps but it was at least eight laps/two miles of walking. I just didn’t feel like running or jogging tonight but I’m sure to be picking up the pace in the next few days.

My chest, arms and shoulders are still sore from my weight lifting the other night. It’s great to be back and I’m happy to be moving forward in my weight loss goals.

Thanks to everyone for your comments of advice and encouragement.

Day 22: Home Sweet Home

I got in last night at about 10PM (Hawaii Time) and it feels so good to be home. My wife and kids picked me up at the airport.I missed them so much! Once we got home, I unpacked my suitcase and handed out the souvenirs, t shirts and toys that I collected on my trip to Seattle. The major attraction is the box of seafood I picked up from the Pike Place Market. A pound of Halibut fillets, a two pound Lobster Tail, a pound of Snow Crab legs, a big Dungeness Crab and a jar of Yearling Oysters. This is going to be one hell of a Christmas Dinner.

Now that I’m home, it’s back to work on my healthy lifestyle. First things first, climb up on the scale and see what kind of damage was done during my weeklong hiatus. To my pleasant surprise I actually maintained my weight of 240 pounds. I guess all of the walking canceled out all of the eating. So with no extensive harm done to my weight loss progress, I can pick up exactly where I left off. Push Ups!

It’s Christmas Eve and my wife is at work making double pay on this holiday while I sit home with the kids, playing Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Wii, watching Dora’s Fiesta on DVD and cleaning up the apartment as much as I can. At least we’ll have Christmas Day together, and the 30th/31st which is my sons 6th birthday followed by New Years Eve. I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and now I’m eating a mandarin orange as I sit and think about some the delicious foods I ate while I was away. A montage begins to play in my head…


Chicken Fried Steak


Shrimp, Crab, Oysters. YUM


Crab Cake Eggs Benedict


Mac n Cheese


I'm only human


Picnic Lunch


Spicy Chicken Stick

I didn’t take pictures of everything that went into my mouth. There was the cup of clam chowder from Lowell’s, a Maple Bar and Apple Fritter from Top Pot Doughnuts, Fish and Chips from Ivar’s, a double bacon cheese burger with onion rings from Johnny Rockets and several visits to Chipotle for a burrito and/or soft tacos, “I really love that place.”

It’s amazing that with all the food I consumed and the types of food I consumed that I didn’t put on an ounce of weight. Well maybe an ounce. I owe it all to the streets of Seattle which I walked up and down, back and forth, north to south for seven days strait. I know that city like the back of my hand. From Washington to Broad Street and from 1st Ave up to Broadway. I’ve seen it all and I did it all.


Day 12/13: Airports and Emergency Rooms

Last night I spent four hours in the emergency room at Queens Medical Center. Most of that time was spent in the waiting room while only the last hour was in the presence of doctors and nurses.

I was at school taking one of my final exams when my phone began ringing. Everyone turned and gave that same annoyed look that I’ve given others when their phone rings during a test. I quickly silenced the phone and then checked to see who it was. Why would my wife call me when she knows I’m taking a final?

I retreated to the hallway and called her back. The line was busy. I tried again and it was still busy. I waited a few seconds and tried again. It went strait to her voicemail. I must have called a half dozen more times before she finally answered. She was screaming in pain and said she couldn’t breathe.

“I think I’m having a heart attack.”

“Hang up and call 911!” I told her.

I packed my school bag in a haste, gave my half finished final exam to my professor. “I have an emergency, I’ll see you next semester.” I said. That means I wouldn’t be passing this class and would need yet another N or Incomplete, another chance at understanding deductive logic.

I’ve never pedaled so hard and so fast in my life. A million thoughts were going through my head as I bicycled through traffic, weaving in between cars and cautiously running as many red lights as I could without almost becoming roadkill. I tried to call my wife’s phone but there was no answer.

I called 911. “Police, Fire or Ambulance?” Ambulance! They asked for my location. I quickly explained that I was calling to see where my wife was being taken. The dispatch asked for the address. When I told them, they said the ambulance was still on scene. “I’m on my way.” I hung up the phone and began pedaling harder.

When I got to my street I could see the red lights flashing in the distance. My children were standing in front of our building with their Auntie who was lovingly nicknamed “Yaya” by my son when he was only two. I looked through the back window of the ambulance and saw my wife laying down, wearing an oxygen mask.

“Mommy is sick,” my son said.

The side door of the ambulance opened and a medic stuck his head out. “James, she’s doing okay. We’re going to Queens. Do you want to ride with us?” I stuck my head inside to see her and hold her hand.

“I’ll get the car and meet you there,” I said.

As the ambulance drove away I turned to my kids who looked sad and scared. I assured them that Mommy would be okay. They walked down the street with Yaya as I went up to the apartment to put away my bicycle. I changed my sweaty bicycling shirt to a nice, dry t shirt and went down to the garage to get the car. I have a suspended license but I didn’t care.

When I got to the emergency room at Queens, my wife was in the waiting room, sitting in a wheelchair. Her eyes were bloodshot, a blanket covered her lap and she gripped a small box of tissue. Her father Benito was sitting next to her but stood up and gave me his seat when he saw me.

I sat down with her and she began telling me her story. She was watching the five o’clock news, eating some of the pomelo that I had picked for her last week when all of a sudden she felt an extreme pain in her chest, her abdomen and her back. She said it felt like a sandwich, the pressure was coming from all sides. First she called Yaya, then her father, then me. The last number she called was 911. I told that if anything like this ever happens again, call 911 first!

We waited for about two hours before our turn finally came around. We filled out the necessary forms, got her fitted for a wristband and she gave some blood. I tried to break through the seriousness of the situation by making a few jokes and eventually I got her to smile and even laugh.

Once in an actual room, nurses began attending to her, giving her an EKG and a chest xray. Later the doctor came in and said everything looked fine. There was no heart attack. We were happy to hear that but then what was it? Gas? I’ve never heard of gas that severe. Was this just a medical mystery which would never be answered? Apparently so.

On the ride home we began talking. “This is a second chance,” she told me. “I want to make a change, I want to live long and be around for my kids.” We talked about exercising and eating healthy and making changes in our life for ourselves and for our children. We talked about the health of our parents and when we put it all together, it was a lot.

Her mother had a stroke, a brain aneurism and can no longer walk or talk or do anything. She has been bedridden for twelve years. Her grandfather and uncle both had fatal heart attacks in their 50’s. My wife has high blood pressure and takes medication to control it. Her mother had high blood pressure also but never took her medicine.

Obesity runs in my family. My mom had a gastric bypass nearly ten years ago which helped her lose over 200 pounds. My mom still has diabetes and sleep apnea. Both of my grandparents on my fathers side died of heart attacks. My uncle died of leukemia when he was twenty three. My oldest brother had two strokes a few years back and is now unable to walk or talk and he’s not even forty.  As for me, I have no health problems that I know of but it’s been years since I’ve seen a doctor.

So my wife and I have a new reason to get healthy and it’s not just to look good in our clothes. It’s to live a long life and to see our children grow up.

And now to the Airport aspect of this blog. I’m boarding a plane tonight to visit my father in Seattle. His health is not so good and I haven’t seen him in over ten years. I’ll be gone for a week and am not sure how much I’ll be able to blog or whether I’ll be able to blog at all.

But I will be back.

Day 10 – Tomato Parmesan, and Merry Christmas!

It’s been a long day of studying and test taking. I had lunch on campus. It was a vegetarian Tomato Basil Parmesan with Eggplant. It was alright but definitely not my favorite. I don’t think I would ever order it again. I did a few miles of bike riding but that’s about it.

I walked with the kids to Ala Moana so they could have their picture taken with Santa. The photo didn’t come out too good. It never does. When I take their picture with my camera they always smile and the photos look wonderful. But their Santa photo always look terrible and I regret paying $35 for a package of “deer in the headlight” photos.

Oh well. Here is one of those great photos of the kids at home in front of the Christmas tree.

Day 9 – Part II: Honolulu Marathon

Today was the 39th annual Honolulu Marathon, a 26.2 mile race from Ala Moana through Waikiki to Hawaii Kai and back towards Waikiki ending at Kapiolani Park. 22,615 people registered to run in the Marathon this year.

I can’t imagine running 26 miles, bicycling maybe but definitely not running. Although I hope that this time next year I’ll be in good enough shape to even consider participating in such a race.

The winner of the marathon was defending champion Nicholas Chelimo of Kenya who finished in 2 hours, 14 minutes and 55 seconds. I just want to say congratulations to everybody who participated in the Marathon but watch out cause I’m on my way.