Being Bruce -: November 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

65 Challenge - Day 6 11-29-11

Oh-oh, it rained this morning.

I'm a big fan of rain, and I love to walk in the rain in cities and don't mind it when I'm hiking. However, I don't choose to run/walk in the rain, so today I bagged the 5K run/walk.

Instead, I did a P90X stretch workout and then went to a class.

Watch the video to see what kind of class I went to.

I'm really grateful to Marty and John Kosmeh who introduced Marge and I to Team Beachbody. As Team Beachbody Coaches our health and fitness is our business and we get to help lots of other people, too! Love it!

If you'd like info about Coaching with us, go to to see what some other people like us (and like you?) say about being a Team BeachBody Coach. And then call me!

Monday, November 28, 2011

65 Challenge - Day 5 11-28-11

Well today was pretty funny, actually. After yesterday's successful 5K run/walk, I decided today it would be fun(?) to rig a video camera up to a golf cart (minus golf bag) and push it along in front of me while I ran/walked.

Well, the good news is I did it and now have a video of my run/walk.

The first not-so-good news is that running jarred the camera mount so it wouldn't stay steady. So I walked. Which played havoc with my time. Plus I just had to take some photos of the rig and then of course I had to post them to Facebook, like right off, so that all took more time as well.

The second issue then was my time. I went from  41 minutes 20 seconds yesterday to 50 minutes and 43 seconds today. (ooops).

The third sorta glitch is that the resultant video file is too large to upload to YouTube (it's almost 4GB in size). So I've got to figure out a way to convert it or something - and that of course even assumes anyone would care to watch it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

65 Challenge - Day 4 - 11-27-11

Hey, it was better! Today I was actually able to run again! And I had my best time yet!

I was concerned a little when I was getting ready to do my 5K this morning because yesterday my shins burned so much and my hamstrings were so tight I literally couldn't run more than a step. 

But today I maybe even half the distance. My time was 41:20, my best time yet by 30 seconds, so the pace was 13 minutes 30 seconds average per mile. (And yes, I know that's not to great, but remember, I'm not a runner and doing this as an extra challenge on top of my usual P90X workout. 

So I'm a happy camper. Looking forward tomorrow when I'll try to meet or beat  today's time. 

Here's a video summary:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

65 Challenge - Day 3 - 11-26-11

Today was the 3rd day of my preparation for the 65 Challenge. I'll come right out and fess up that my time was dismal. I took 56 minutes and 20 seconds to do today's 5K. That's just over an average 18 minutes per mile (ouch).

And "ouch" was what I said when I tried to start running today. Clearly I started this little Challenge without enough  preparation, I guess. Too much, too soon, too fast for a non-runner. This morning I had painful shins and extremely tight hamstrings from the past two days.

So I just walked the whole thing. I also paused along the way to take some photos with my iPhone and upload them, plus I confess I read a couple of email, too. So it wasn't that I was totally trying for time. I just wanted the movement over distance.

So I got that goal in, finished the 3rd day in a row and had a good time (if you don't count the shins).  My hamstrings were so tight (even after a decent warm up and lots of stretching) that the time was pretty bad, but I'll deal with that in the days to come.

Here's a short video (notice I've been working on improving the lighting) recapping  the day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

65 Challenge - Day Two 11-25-11

Today was Day 2 in my 65 Challenge.

After completing the P90X X Stretch workout, which is a  58 minute stretching routine, I got ready to run again.  I headed out and started running and immediately felt it in my shins. Now yesterday, after the first run, I cooled down, stretched for a good while, and then had a recovery drink to replace glycogen and rebuild muscle, but because I've not been a runner for (many) years, this new form of exercise took its toll.

After running for just 2.5 minutes I figured I'd better play it safe so I fast walked the rest of the way. My time was worse then yesterday, but I still finished the 3.1 mile (5K) course in under 50 minutes. Yesterday, when I ran about 1/3 of the way, my time was 41 minutes and 50 seconds (or a 13.46 minute average per mile). Today, with almost all fast walking, my time was 46 minutes and 31 seconds, which corresponds to an average 14.97 mile. So at least I'm (barely) under a 15 minute mile.

Now I know these numbers aren't very good, and likely (right?) I'll see some good improvement in the first week or so and then I'll hit a plateau. Since I'm only doing this for 20 days before the Challenge date on December 15th, I don't expect miracles, and I definitely don't intend to cut back on my morning P90X workouts or the twice weekly Zumba class I like a lot but haven't attended in 3 weeks due to travel and a cold!

I'm having a ball with this challenge and looking forward to how my numbers improve during the next few weeks. I'm also looking forward to my shins not aching. The good news is that my wind is ok, so the cardio I do with P90X and the Zumba classes obviously pays off.

Marge and I were laughing at how tight my hamstrings were this afternoon after the 5K this morning. That will improve, too.

Here's a short  video that basically covers the same info. Oh  yeah, and I'm still looking for a sponsor for running shoes - I'll trade daily mention in the blog post and video as well an ad in the blog including a live link.

I Was Dogging It - Part 4 - Summary of My Experience and Results with the 3-Day Shakeology Cleanse

So I made it through the 3-Days of the Shakeology Cleanse. Good timing to finish it the day before Thanksgiving, but even though it seemed a lot for us, we didn't really stuff ourselves in the 'traditional' Thanksgiving manner.  Sure was good.

So after the 3-Day cleanse my weight dropped 3.5 pounds and, interestingly, my blood pressure readings were significantly lower. I'm wondering if the latter was due to drinking green tea rather than coffee? Could be  because today (the day after Thanksgiving and after being off the cleanse for a day and drinking coffee again, I measured my usual stuff and my weight is still the same but my blood pressure up a bit - still healthy, but not as low as when I was on the cleanse and drinking green tea. As much as I love coffee, I may want to reconsider, I'm going to monitor this for a few several day cycles while back on my normal diet and will report.

I felt strong throughout the 3-day Shakeology Cleanse and had plenty of energy. I was able to exercise and laugh and get lots of work done. I did get a little hungry a few times but it was really just from habit and in my mind, I think. That I only lost a moderate amount of weight, given the lower number of calories, is a testament to the nutritional quality of Shakeology.

I also did a 5K run walk yesterday, and I'm not a runner (though I do walk a lot). I did it in 41:50 which isn't all that hot of course, but still ok for a non runner and note that all I had before the run (meaning since finishing the 3-Day Shakeology Cleanse) was a couple cups of coffee, and that part was fine, meaning I felt strong and had energy and good mood - what kept my time low was cardio conditioning and legs not used to running.

I also did several series of pull-ups and chin-ups, including some where I was holding my self up in a chin-up taking photos with the self-timer on my camera. That was fun.

So now I'm done with the 3-Day Shakeology Cleanse and can report that, for me it was healthy, easy to get through, certainly super simple in terms of diet planning, and it even gave me a nice extra lowering of blood pressure. A nice reset after recovering from a cold and it put me back in my 'good' weight and body fat range.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Commit to a 65 Challenge - How About You?

OK, here's what I'm committing to on my 65th birthday on December 15, 2011:
  • 65 pushups
  • 65 situps
  • 65 pullups
  • 65 chinups
  • 65 minutes of running/jogging/walking
(Note that I'm giving myself an out on  running for a full 65 minutes. That's what I'd like to do, but I'm not a runner and haven't been for 39 years. So I want to give myself a break if I have knee or back problem. I'll for sure be able to walk and may have to do a combo.)

In preparation for the running I started today doing a 5K I'd previously measured in our neighborhood. I finished it in 41 minutes and 50 seconds, roughly a 13.5 minute mile rate. I was able to run about one quarter of the way (the first half mile and then several shorter bits). I'll keep training daily on the 5K route (it starts just outside front door).

Each day I'm going to post my progress on the running part of this commitment. I'll also create a short YouTube video daily about how the overall training is going. 

So, my challenge is personal because I want to commit to health and fitness and by making it public I'm adding a huge accountability factor. This may be a silly idea (I don't think so) but I'm also going to plan on increasing each year - next  year it will be 66 pushups, 65 situps, etc.

I'd like to suggest that you consider this commitment as well. More than 2/3 of the adults in our country are overweight or obese, in fact the worst age demographic group is the one I'm a member of, the Baby Boomers - 73% of us are either overweight or obese. Let's reverse that trend, folks.

Here's a short video that covers the same info:

So who's going to join me in this for their birthday or their current age?

And if you're not a Baby Boomer (born between 1946 and 1964) how about you? If you're 21 and can't do 21 of each of the above exercises and run or at least fast walk for 21 minutes, I respectfully suggest you get working. It's good for you.

Oh yeah, and I realized this morning (when I decided to make this commitment) that I don't have decent running shoes (today I ran in some VERY old and worn New Balance cross trainers). So I thought it would also be interesting to test the concept of "social capital." So I'm looking for two sponsors, one for a new pair or running shoes and another for a good heart rate  monitor (I have a few models in mind).

Here's what I have in social capital. I have:
3208 Facebook friends
4551 Twitter followers
890 Google+ users who have me in their circles
990 LinkedIn connections
62 subscribers and 155 friends on my YouTube channel.

So each day when I do the update on my blog (, including the YouTube video in the blog post), I'll also post it in all of the above social media services.

If you'd like to sponsor either running shoes or a heart rate monitor, I'll include an ad for your business on my blog and mention you each day in the blog post and on the video. The only limitation (other than legal, good taste, and family-friendly companies) is that the sponsors can't be in competition with my business as a fitness and nutrition coach with Team Beachbody. Otherwise, this is blatant commercialism, I suppose, but I thought it would be interesting to try and a chance for a whole bunch of social media exposure for you. Sporting goods companies, running shoe companies, or fitness or running stores are certainly welcome and appropriate. The best way to contact me is by phone (910) 297-8753 or email at

I'm having fun with the idea of the challenge and the side concept of getting sponsors via so-called 'social capital' is another interesting factor, for me. I'll report on how that works for me, too, because I know lots of folks wonder about social media with sponsoring and ads and so forth. For sure, btw, I'll include active links to your company in the blog posts daily and in or next to your ad.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Was Dogging It - Part 3 - Still Going Strong

On the third day of the 3-day Shakeology Cleanse I'm happy to report all is well and I'm still going strong.

This morning I weighed 148.0 pounds and my body fat measured 14%, so I've lost 2.5 pounds in 2 days and gotten back to my "happy-range" (for now anyway) of 13-14% body fat and 146-148 pounds. Did the P90X X Stretch today as my legs and arms were really feeling it from the past two days hard workouts after a three week stint of taking it much easier.

During Day One I remarked that I didn't mind drinking green tea instead of my usual black coffee, but I'm really ready to get back to coffee tomorrow. I also feel a little hungry at times but then I'm ready for another shake or more fruit or it's time for the green salad and chicken dinner. Last night I had dinner much later than usual for me (8:30PM) because I spent much of the day at networking events and then led a 90 minute clinic on Sports Performance Mental Edge Training at TrySports in Wilmington, so I had a HUGE plate of greens with sliced red onion and cooked chicken breast, drizzled with EVOO.

So I'll finish the third day today and report tomorrow about the final numbers and how it worked out. I was looking for a diet reset after eating huge amounts of yoghurt and crunchy peanut butter in addition to my normal diet while getting over my cold (now thankfully gone), and the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse has definitely helped.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Was Dogging It - Part 2 - Now I'm Back!!

OK, I'm back and going strong!!

Today I worked out hard for the second day in a row from my 3-week slow down caused by travel and a lingering cold.Earlier this morning I did the P90X Chest & Back DVD and it felt great! It was hard, of course, it's supposed to be hard, but I really enjoyed the feeling of getting fully back in the groove.

I didn't totally stop exercising during the 3-week period but I just don't get a kick out of getting out of breath and pushing full out when I'm congested and coughing (not a pretty picture). So I stretched and went through the motions of some movement and flexibility exercises, but no where near my usual level.

I also didn't  let my diet slide to the gutter either - I didn't start drinking soda or gloming  on cookies or desserts. I did  however add probably a 1,000 extra calories a day in the form of low or no-fat yoghurt and  peanut butter - both healthy foods, but I was eating a LOT extra.

In addition to getting back in the exercise groove with P90X, I'm also now on my second day of the Shakeology Cleanse. Just for the record, I dropped a pound and a half and 1% body fat from yesterday (now 149 pounds and 14% body fat); and of course you and I both know that daily fluctuations don't mean much, but since I weigh myself and measure body  fat under the same conditions every morning the numbers are somewhat meaningful and of course the truth will show as the trend continues.

A couple people have asked me about the Shakeology Cleanse. Basically, this is what I have three times a day:

What  you're  looking at above is 16 ounces of water shaken (not stirred) with a full scoop of  Shakeology. Not only does  it taste really good, but it's loaded with
  • vitamins and minerals (more than I really need for the day) 
  • Phytonutrient Super-Greens such a Spirulina, Blue green algae, Oat and wheat grass and several others
  • an unmatched blend of Antioxidant Super-Fruits including Acai, Camu-Camu, Pomegranate, Bilberry, Blueberry, Goji, and a bunch more
  • Adaptogen herbs such as Maca, Astralagus, Ashwagandha, and still more
  • Pribiotoics and Prebiotics including Yacon, Flax, Chia, and Quinoa
  • Digestive enzymes 
  • And a whole raft of other digestive and healthy nutrients
  • With all that it also has 18 grams of protein and only 150 calories. And that's per serving!
In addition I'm have a couple of servings of fruit in the morning, two cups of green tea, and then for dinner a huge green salad with other vegetables, 4 ounces of cooked chicken, and 2 ounces of my favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

I'm not a careful calories counter because I keep my focus on just eating good foods. A rough estimate of my total caloric intake per day while I'm on this 3-day cleanse  is probably somewhere between 900 and 1,200 calories. That's not enough for long term, my normal caloric intake with my height and weight should be about 1900 or, with heavy workouts, maybe 2400-2500. So it's likely that three days of sticking to this cleanse diet will result in dropping about one to 1.5 pounds (3500 calories to the pound). However, the toxin-clearing benefits of the pri- and prebiotics and digestive enzymes have a good chance of getting my system reset after my lull and in great shape for resuming my normal healthy diet and heavy workout routine.

So that's a lot of detail, and I know most people wouldn't read this far or care about it if they did, but for those who really wonder why I'm doing it and what I'm putting into my body, that's it.

With my normal, healthy diet, of course, I have a serving of Shakeology for lunch or breakfast every day, though I usually blend it with skim milk, fruit, and chunky peanut butter.

This cleanse is gluten free, almost diary free (the protein in Shakeology is whey-based, but in a form that even many lactose intolerant people can enjoy it because of the careful separation of ingredients and inclusion of lactase, which breaks down the lactose similar to over the counter products for that purpose). It's not vegan, neither Shakeology nor the rest of my diet on this cleanse (which includes chicken), but overall this is about as healthy and strict a (safe) diet as I've ever been on.

Oh yeah, and I FEEL  GREAT!

(More tomorrow as I get into the third day of the Shakeology Cleanse and then the next day when I  report on the final numbers and my final impressions). Coincidentally that day happens to be Thanksgiving so I'll be eating more than usual, but you can still be sure I'll have Shakeology for one meal.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Was Dogging It - Part 1

OK, so I have a confession to make. I've been slacking for the past couple of weeks, three really.

Since the very end of October, when Marge and I went on a trip to the northeast, my workouts have been sub-par. While we were on the trip I picked up a pretty nasty cold that is just now making its final exit.

I worked out a bit each day, but mostly just stretching and moderate Kenpo X, nothing close to really bringing it in true P90X style.

In the three week period my weight didn't change too much - I gained about three pounds, which only made sense because I wasn't exercising much at all and ate more than usual. The good news is I didn't eat junk food, but because I tend to follow the "feed a cold" school of thought, I was consuming a lot of extra low fat yoghurt and peanut butter, both of which I include as part of my normal diet as protein sources. So I'm OK with gaining a few pounds - it makes perfect sense with less exercise and more food, even good food.

I am not happy, however, that my body fat, which for months has been 13-14% has gone up to 15%. So that will be my first goal, by increasing exercise and eating correctly, to get my weight where it's supposed to be (between 146 and 148 pounds, instead of this morning's 150.5 pounds) and definitely getting my body fat back down to 14% or lower.

Today was my first day feeling like I could really work out hard so I started with an hour of P90X Kenpo X. I also started on Day One of a program I've been meaning to try for a while.

I had heard about the Shakeology Cleanse before. It's not an official Beachbody program nor does the company recommend it, so let's start off with a disclaimer that I'm not medically qualified or a nutritionist. I'll just talk about my experience with this cleanse.

I've read of other coaches and trying this 3-day program and even found a graphic that describes it.

My intention is to stick with the 3-day Shakeology Cleanse today through Wednesday. I'll report here how it feels and report my daily results.

So today was the first day. I stuck with the diet exactly as it's outlined in the graphic.

One great thing about Shakeology is that because of its low glycemic index, I didn't feel hungry during the day. And because of the nutrients and superfoods, I had lots of energy - really it just felt normal for me, which means I expect to be high energy and notice it if I start to drag. Today I didn't drag.

I ordinarily like more variety in my meals, but since chocolate Shakeology, which is what I used, tastes like a yummy chocolate shake, even when mixed just with water, I have no objection. One note of slight change is that I mix a full scoop of Shakeology with 16 ounces of water, not 8 ounces and ice - otherwise I stuck with the cleanse just as described above.

It's evening now and I can certainly report I enjoyed my evening meal of greens, some onion, and cooked chicken, topped with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (my fav dressing) and a splash or two of hot sauce.

One thing I might mention in addition is that while I usually have 3-4 big cups of coffee a day, today I only had 2 cups of green tea and and didn't feel any energy drop - nor did I get a caffeine-withdrawal headache. So that's good data for me going forward. I probably won't become a strict tea drinker because I really like black coffee and coffee has helpful antioxidants, but now I know that I can do tea (with chocolate Shakeology anyway - chances are some of the ingredients like Maca, Chia, and some of the many superfood antioxidants in Shakeology take care of the energy need.

So, one day down, and all is good.

5 Ways to Fight Fattening Holiday Habits

My holiday healthy eating video: Followed by:
5 ways to fight fattening holiday habits
(blog post courtesy of Beachbody Challenge)

Ah, the holidays. Or as we those of us who are too fond of cookies and traditional big meals say, AHHHHHH! The holidays!

No one decides to gain 5-15 pounds between November and January. But when family recipes, busy schedules and friendly get-togethers put fat-filled temptations in your face at every turn, who can resist?

You can! With satisfying, delicious Shakeology. It’s your super power, giving you the strength to pass up the fluffiest mashed potatoes and the richest pumpkin pie. And that’s not the only way Shakeology makes your holidays happier. Here are five ways The Healthiest Meal of the Day® helps you stay on track during the most wonderful time of the year:

1) Shakeology helps curb cravings so you won’t overeat.
Want to ease up on the eggnog and back off the brownies? Drink Shakeology before a holiday event. The whey protein isolate in each creamy glass keeps your blood sugar steady and crushes junk food cravings. That buffet table can’t hurt you now—go ahead and stroll past it. You’ll find that resisting temptation will be easier and feels way more awesome than any candied yam tastes.

2) Shakeology boosts your energy just when you need it.
There are never enough hours in the day, but somehow time seems even scarcer in November and December. If you’re like me, you’ve got to run around from sunup to bedtime to get everything done. Thankfully, the vitamins, minerals and protein in Shakeology give you the stamina to keep going. Digestive enzymes in every serving speed up the body’s absorption of nutrients, too, so you can feel the benefits faster. And use any extra energy to prepare a healthy meal instead of grabbing the nearest Holiday Cheese Tray.

3) Guard against illness.
There’s something magical in the air—something viral, too: cold and flu germs making the rounds in the shopping malls and holiday parties. Happily, Shakeology provides a powerful cocktail of natural ingredients to help support immune system function: super-greens, super-fruits, adaptagen herbs, pre- and probiotics and digestive enzymes. I’m not saying Shakeology will make you completely impervious to the flu bug, but it could support your immune system when you  share hugs with sniffly loved ones. Come to think of it, maybe THEY could use some Shakeology.

4) Take the stress out of the season.
Let’s face it: the most wonderful time of the year comes with expectations that can cause anxiety. Shakeology’s got your antidote, with protein and amino acids to promote alertness and adaptogen herbs that can reduce feelings of stress and fatigue. So relax with a glass of Shakeology. It’s a healthier way to handle stress than over-indulging in holiday spirits and/or pecan pie.

5) Replace a fattening holiday tradition with a healthy one.  
Instead of piling on the calories with Christmas pudding, try Chocolate  Shakelogy Pudding:

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1 ripe avocado
1 large banana
1 cup almond milk
1tsp lemon

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth. Pour into 4 small individual dishes. Refrigerate for an hour. If the pudding ends up too thick, simply add a bit more almond milk. (Serves 1.) Optional: Garnish with some chopped pecans, chia seeds or walnuts.

Treat yourself right with this lean alternative to traditional eggnog, Berry Yule Log:

1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. almond extract
1⁄2 cup pitted black cherries
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology

Mix together in blender until smooth, serve chilled.