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February 26, 2011


Thanks guys,


I'm hoping for a great experience too. I know I blog about a lot more than just my workouts, but I think all those other factors impact fitness, health, etc. just as much, if not more.


So I just write about my day and how bodybuilding or fitness fit into it.


No training today. I'm flying to Dallas, TX in a little bit and I wanted a rest day anyway as I cut down to 4 days a week. I'll get back into the gym on Sunday on the ship. Weights will be limited, usually only going up to 50's for dumbbells but I can manage by being creative, by doing drop-sets, super-sets, slow reps, etc.


Well, better get myself ready to go.


I might be away from the internet unless it happens to be free on the ship if things have changed since I worked on ships years ago when we had to pay to use it.


If I am indeed away most of the time, I'll record my journal in a word processing file and upload the material later when I get back online.


Have a great weekend/week everyone!



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Saturday February 26, 2011


Today I left Portland in the afternoon for a flight I knew would only get me as far as Dallas, TX en route to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I picked a flight that would have me spend the night in Dallas so I could save money on motel/commuting so I prepared to sleep at the Dallas airport.


I arrived late in the evening by Dallas Airport standards because by 9PM they were shutting all the food places down! I managed to make to one place still open until 10PM and I closed it down, being the last one to leave as they swept around my feet closing up for the night.


I made a few phone calls, played around on my Blackberry and then attempted to find a place to curl up for the night. I wasn’t able to fall asleep on the chairs and thought security might bother me if I sprawled out on the floor but finally at 2:15am and unable to sleep I opted for the floor. I found a fairly quiet corner under and escalator. I had to be up by 5AM to catch my 6:10am flight in another terminal. I was pretty cold and the floor was hard so after an hour I was awake again, primarily awoken because I had to use the restroom. From there I stayed up.


Today I didn’t train, I simply commuted and slept briefly, more like napped. But onward to Florida….

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Sunday February 27, 2011


Today I arrived early in Ft. Lauderdale. I was able to nap for about an hour, probably less on the airplane during my commute. Though very short on sleep, I was pumped to be getting on a cruise ship for the first time in about 7 years! Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get on the ship. I hadn’t paid, my credit and debit cards were maxed out, I didn’t have any paperwork, simply an email with an e-ticket.


I showed up at the cruise ship terminal somewhat optimistic, but also concerned. As soon as I got there I saw The China Study author T. Colin Campbell and his wife. It was great to see them again after spending time with them months prior. Then I saw one of my favorite people, VegNews Magazine Publisher Joseph Connelly, and all was OK in the world. Soon it was my turn to go up to the counter to present my ID and Credit Card. I was certain there would be an issue as I figured they needed to hold X amount on my card for on-board expenses. Once on board your ID card which is linked to your credit or debit card is your method of payment on board.


To my surprise, I made it through all the registration and security checkpoints and before I knew it I was standing on the cruise ship’s upper deck out in the sun and phoned my mother informing her I had made it. I wanted to sleep so badly but I kept bumping into friends and fans. A friend and I went down to the dining room for lunch and there I saw one of my favorite vegan celebrities, 4-time NBA Champ John Salley. I had spent time with John in LA on 3 previous occasions. We had lunch together and it was awesome to get to know him more.


I never did get to catch up on sleep today because there was dinner after lunch and dancing after that. Known for dropping it like it’s hot and owning the dance floor, I felt obligated to deliver, so I did.


No training again today which was a bummer, but I was just too tired. I was certainly down to 4 days a week in the gym, which was a goal of mine and clearly I needed that extra rest.


Up later than planned, finally went to bed around midnight on 1-hour of sleep for nearly 2 full days. I didn’t train per se, but I did dance for hours and run up tons of flights of stairs so in a way, I still trained. If you’ve seen me dance, you know it’s a major cardio-fest. I bring it, for real.

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Monday February 28, 2011


Today I got off the ship in sunny Key West, FL and walked around on my own for a while. Then I got a text message from Derek who is on the forum and on the front of the www.veganbodybuilding.com website. He was asking if I had made it on the ship. I didn’t see him last night at any of the events. He told me he was hitting the gym while I was out on port exploring….so after a quick 2-hour walk about, I went back to the gym and met Derek and his wife Marcella for the first time in person. They were at the gym. I didn’t join them at the moment, but I did grab some food, met up with some young ladies from Colorado I had met dancing the night before, and the ladies and I went back out to Key West to explore for a few more hours.


The only specific thing I wanted to do on this entire cruise was to go to Ernest Hemingway’s house with my notepad and pen and pose for some photos, writing at his house he lived in when he wrote famous books. The ladies from Denver joined me on this trip and we spent a good couple of hours at Hemingway’s house and I got dozens of photos and left inspired, seeking my own sunny writing studio in the tropics, something I’ve wanted for years and will soon make a reality when I can afford to make that move and make it happen.


The three of us pal’d around and went to the Southernmost tip of the US, a place I had been ten years prior, and then walked back to the ship. On the way back we saw a baby chick separated from it’s mother hen. It was in the street so with my shirt off, I stopped traffic both ways and tried to catch the chick to get it out of the street. I chased it for minutes, constantly having to stop traffic and had people helping me. Eventually we got it out of the street and into a nearby indoor/outdoor restaurant where it’s mother was said to be nearby. At that point we had to get back to the ship to make it on time. I wonder what happened to that little guy, but I’m glad during the time it was wandering underneath moving cars and in the middle of the street, we were able to keep him/her for being harmed.

When I got back on the ship I did indeed meet up with Derek for a shoulder workout. I started and a few sets into it he arrived. We had few free weights to work with and lots of machines. I officially ended my 2+ months of consecutive workouts without using a machine or cable. Though I wish the streak were still intact, based on my situation spending a week on a ship, machines were my best option to continue to put stress on my muscles. Derek is ripped and strong and it was inspiring to workout with him.


After dumbbell lateral, front, rear delt and overhead presses we did many sets of machine over head presses using a wide grip and a neutral, more narrow grip.


When the brief workout was over, it was time for dinner. Again I had dinner with NBA Champion John Salley, along with other friends and new acquaintances and it was awesome!


I stayed up late again and wasn’t feeling very well. I was bummed because I really wanted to be 100% for the cruise, but the cold days eating at Food Not Bombs in Portland followed by the 1 hour of sleep over nearly 2 days and the stress and worry about whether I’d even get on the ship and the extreme temperature changes, time zone changes, etc. all caught up with me. I didn’t feel well and went to bed around midnight or 1AM.

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Tuesday, March 1


Today I slept in because we were at sea all day en route to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I slept in to catch up on rest and finally emerged from my room between 11AM and noon. Most people had been up since 730AM breakfast, but not me. I still didn’t feel well at all. But I worked out anyway. Derek and I worked out back in the afternoon.


Doing various machine rows, pull-downs and some dumbbell deadlifts and rows we hammered out back and took some pics along the way. Derek is always smiling, super enthusiastic, outgoing, ripped and strong with a very balanced physique and I was so pleased to be hanging out with him knowing he’s going to have a great role with VeganBodybuilding.com as we move forward.


On the eve of my birthday, I went out dancing even though I wasn’t feeling great and of course was out late again. I got a birthday kiss when the clock struck midnight from one of the various young ladies I was hanging out with all week. That turned into more than an hour of birthday kisses and other stuff I won’t mention in my blog, so I was up super late! I had to meet Joe from VegNews Magazine early the next morning because he was treating me to an excursion vacation in Jamaica for my birthday.


So I headed to bed for a solid 3 hours of sleep. I had a great birthday eve hanging out with John Salley, my Colorado girlfriends, other friends and though I was still not quite back to normal sleep or feeling 100%, I was pumped!

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Wednesday, March 2


Today is my birthday! I got up early and met with Joe from VegNews Magazine. We took a van up a mountain in Jamaica and then got dropped off at a river where get got some inner tubes and tubed down the river for 2.5 miles. We coasted along with our tour guides and 6 others who joined us and hit white water a few times. That was the most fun for me. I like the fast speeds in the water and the splashing around. I got tipped over by the tour guide who then sang me happy birthday. He also picked some native Jamaican apples which were totally awesome and kind of like an avocado. They were red and crunchy but had a seed inside that was round and hard like an avocado and the apple was shaped like a small avocado or pear too. It was really good.


We toured down the river and I fell in once again going off a small drop off, and that was great and made for some great photos which Joe has and I’ll likely get copies of soon.


I took a bunch of photos in the tropical mountains and then when we got back to the city Joe and I went to a vegan restaurant. There were multiple all vegan restaurants in the port town so we hit up The Healthy Way and the food was super awesome!


When we got back to the ship I trained chest with Derek. Birthday chest workout was in order and we hammered it. He outlifted me again as he has in all the workouts, but it was awesome and great to have such a cool training partner. I expect really big things from Derek’s career moving forward.


For my birthday at dinner I picked some of my favorite people to join me. Usually sitting with a few regulars and new people for each meal, I sat with Joe, Derek and Marcella and other good friends Kelley and Linda and some new friends I made during the cruise. They waiters brought out a cake and sang to me and it was cute, appreciated and fun.


I had another late night dancing and intimate hang out with one of my new friends. So my birthday was complete. I really don’t care much about birthdays and didn’t feel anything special that day aside from all the friendly people wishing me happy birthday, the free trips, etc. Other than that, I was just training, eating, and hanging out like usual.


For the chest workout is was mostly machine presses with various wide grips, narrow grips and then some incline dumbbell flys. Again, a solid workout with vegan bodybuilding’s rising star, Derek.

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Thursday, March 3


Today I awoke once again short on sleep from a late night on my birthday and only 3 hours sleep the night before, still not quite feeling 100%, but amp’d on being so pumped about life, I kept going strong. My friend Alex who was at my birthday party in LA the year before made it on this cruise. I had been hanging out with him all week, along with Joe, John, Derek, Colorado girls and many others.


We were in Grand Cayman today and for my birthday Alex had arranged for me to join him on a snorkeling excursion and to swim with stingrays. I was hesitant to go but he was enthusiastic about offering this gift for me. I wasn’t big on supporting the semi-captive stingray excursion but I went along with it to check it all out. I also was a bit concerned knowing a stingray is what killed Steve Irwin and we would be out in the ocean swimming around with the stingrays.


We took a bus to get to the destination where we then got on a boat and sailed out for half an hour until it tossed an anchor down and we jumped in the water for our stingray encounter. They swam all around me, bumping up against me, flapping around and freaked me out! Then I got settled a bit as I realized I wasn’t going to get stung and they wouldn’t attack and are quite peaceful. Sure I got whacked by a tail once and it really scared me for a second, but didn’t get stung of course, and it was fine. They rarely use their stingers, mainly when being attacked by a great white shark. So they peacefully swam all around me and the others who were also freaking out at first. Stingrays are pretty big, maybe 3-6 feet in diameter depending on the size and they at my feet, at my chest level and even kissed me on the face. Talk about up close and personal!


After the stingray visit we went snorkeling where I freaked out again as water was getting into my mask and mouth and I was afraid of bumping into coral reef and I couldn’t touch the bottom and was panicking a bit. I went out into the water on 3 occasions but spent more time on the boat then out snorkeling. It was still fun and I saw cool looking fish but deep ocean water isn’t really my thing. Rivers where I can easily get ashore are much more my thing.


Today I planned to train arms with Derek but I simply couldn’t swing it. I still ran lots of stairs like always, in fact I climbed many flights every day and never once used the elevator. With back to back nights of 3 hours of sleep I just needed to rest. So I focused on eating and resting so I could get more workouts in.


The food was amazing as usual, five course gourmet meals, and I went to a broadway show which is one of my favorite things in the world. In fact, I’m pumped to go on another cruise just for the broadway experience. I hung out with my lady friends and then went to bed hoping to sleep in.

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Friday March 4


Today the ship docked in Cozumel, Mexico, a city I really enjoyed visiting when I used to work on the cruise ships. But this time around, I was spent. Literally. I had spent all my money and couldn’t even get off the ship in case I had to pay for a tip here or there or some other expense. I was out of cash, and cards were maxed out and for the first time on the ship (aside from when I was a bit under the weather during the first few days), I was a bit bummed out. Reality set in that I was still broke and I couldn’t even handle simple financial tasks and wondered if I’d even be able to check my luggage when I get off the ship in a couple of days.


I slept in and napped a few different times while others got off the ship. I stuck to myself, internalizing my frustration. Then something really cool happened! My Blackberry which had been off since we were in the middle of the ocean started lighting up. As we docked in Mexico all my emails from the past few days came in. I had 114 emails, a dozen phone messages, likely from people saying happy birthday and one email changed everything. I had thought that I was on pace to have my worst sales month in my 6-year history with Vega. I knew with only a few days left my sales were at an all-time low. I also knew I had a bunch of pending orders and some things in the works. I had closed a big order from Hemingway’s house days prior when I still had internet access on my phone in the US, and I wasn’t really thinking much of it. But when I saw my email from Vega with our monthly sales commission report, I was amazed to see that I finished in the top 6 in the US, my highest finish in years, and had my highest commission earned in my 6-year history with the company! My commission was 7-times more than I expected and is greater than my book royalty check that covers 9 months of book sales which I’ll be getting in June. I couldn’t believe it and was so pumped!


AS it turns out, I had an amazing month, got props from our National Sales Manager and I turned my face into a giant smile and pumped my fist. I was so happy, I didn’t get off the ship, since I still didn’t have money and wouldn’t get that commission check until March 15th, but I did go down to the hot tub and sprawled out and stayed there for about an hour. I just relaxed knowing things would be alright now. I would be able to catch up a bit financially in various areas of life from small loans I owe to being able to pay off a credit card, to having a cushion when I travel, etc. It wasn’t a massive sum, but more money than I have seen in a while, so it felt really good.


I was still tired and had a lot of jobs to do on the ship. All week long I had been performing tasks, mostly taking photos, hanging up banners, etc. That is what gave me a major discount, ultimately getting a completely free cruise. I never did get charged and they gave me the trip for free because of all the work I did. I didn’t mention it earlier in my blog, but I had been doing tasks all week long. Since I still had some to do, again I missed a workout with Derek, though I was spending dinner with him nearly every night and still hung out. I was just short on sleep and still wanted to recover and rest before a final day at sea where I promised to workout, perhaps even twice.


More great food, more broadway shows, more good times with dancing, ladies, good friends, new friends, celebrities, etc. Then I went to bed.

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Saturday March 5


Today we spent all day at sea. I got up super early and again was short on sleep but it was the last day so I just pushed it. I think it was another night of 3 hours of sleep but this was my final chance to experience as much as I could of the ship with a full day sailing. After breakfast I hit up a calf workout with Derek before lunch. Then after lunch we hit a leg workout for quads and hamstrings. The machines were sufficient and it was a tough workout. From the leg extensions, curls and leg press, we pushed it hard, took some pics, did some posing and called it a week. The next day we would need to disembark the ship early in the morning so it was our final workout together on the ship.


On this final night, I had dinner with some of my favorite people, went to a few minutes of a theater performance, danced my face off at the farewell dance party and then continued to dance in the disco. I spent some time with the people I got the closest with, took lots of pics and was out until 3AM knowing I had to be up at 6:45AM.


This was not a good week for sleep, for proper training or feeling 100%, but it was an amazing week which I have fond memories of already.


I’ll miss the 5-course gourmet meals of all I can eat food. I’ll miss the celebrity friends, the fans, the new friends I made, the Caribbean weather, the ship life in general, but I’ve got some amazing things ahead to keep me distracted until I get back on the ship again next year. Rumor has it starting in 2012 there will be 2 vegan cruises! One to the Caribbean and one to Alaska leaving from Seattle. I’ll totally go on both if I keep these strong Vega sales up and with increased book sales and a new book out in 2012.


Photo Derek took of me after our leg workout. Arms were fresh so I hit it!



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Thanks for the compliments man! Now I have to live up to them . Killer arm shot. I'm super psyched from your book and am back keeping a workout notebook and diet spreadsheet, so thank you for re-instilling the good habits! Abs are feeling a little tender after the cruise so I need to be very careful, but I've got my plan all laid out so if I stay healthy I ought to be in great shape in a couple months!

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  • 2 weeks later...

March 18, 2011


I was so proud that I hadn't missed a single day updating my journal! Even throughout my travels I still updated my journal daily, without exception. Even when I was in the Caribbean away from the internet I wrote in a word processing file and later updated my journal. Now, 13 days after my last entry I even thought of recalling each of the past 13 years to stay consistent and update my journal for all those days....but then I realized that would be rather silly and not a good use of time.


There is no doubt about it, I love consistency, but I am also short on time and always on the go. Let's just say that over the past 2 weeks, I missed workouts for the first time in 7 months. That isn't what kept me away from journaling, in fact, I only missed a few workouts period, but with the long days and nights, and burning out and feeling run down, I just didn't get around to keeping things up to date.


After 7 months without a missed scheduled workout, I missed 3 or 4 over the past 2-3 weeks and even decided to take some rest time away from the gym. It's still pretty amazing for me to look back over a 7-month period and realize that with all the travel, the changing of the seasons, fighting off colds, headaches and fatigue, I never missed a scheduled workout. That was pretty hardcore and I'm super proud of that!


But after the little sleep I had during that entire week on the cruise ship, I missed some workouts in Florida and began to feel pretty run down. There was no opportunity to recover, as I jumped right into 12-15 hour days at a major trade show with the entire Vega corporate team. I still worked out 4 of 5 days but did so on fumes.


Still feeling run down I came to Santa Monica, CA to my old apartment I lived in last year. My roommate had a place for me to stay while I'm in town. I took a day off, then hit the gym the following day.


Before that workout I decided that I was going to take a whole week off from the gym to recover. But after a beach photo shoot with a Hollywood Actress I felt a little wimpy and hit the gym 2 nights ago.


I had completed the chest workout but wanted to do one final set of dips....so I did, and that is when something in my chest popped. At first it was pretty scary, it hurt to breathe deeply, to use the left side of my upper body, etc. But now two days later, I don't really even notice it. I'm still taking a full week or longer away from the gym.


I still only missed 3 or 4 workouts over nearly 8 months, but right now with my crazy schedule, it's time for a rest, even if just for 7-10 days to then come back better and stronger and well rested.


I had an amazing time on the vegan-themed cruise, as I wrote a bit about. I'm having an amazing time here in LA! I've been hanging out with a Hollywood Actress a little bit and she is super sweet. Lots of pics of us are on Facebook.


Here are a few of them:









I'm still out here in LA, still having an amazing time and will be hanging out with my buddy Brendan Brazier tomorrow.


Speaking of Brendan, pre-order his new book!




Sorry I missed 2 weeks of updates. I can sum it up in a post over the next couple of days....but the basic jist was getting off the cruise ship, spending a couple of days in South Florida, flying to LA, spending a week in Anaheim at a major Trade Show, and now in Santa Monica doing photo shoots and making amazing connections....and hanging out with a super hottie who is super sweet too!


Going to bed early. Resting my injured chest, injured abdominal muscles and recovering from short sleep I've had for weeks.


Night Night!



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Wow, she is cute.


Have you considering high intensity interval training for the days you're short on time? Some of the workouts I've done are as fast as four minutes.. only thing is that you still need to warm up. I know it's not something you'd normally do in your routine, but it could keep you feeling good even on busy days.

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March 19, 2011


Hey penpen,


Thanks. Yeah, I do some of those high intensity workouts sometimes when I travel. It's not getting the workouts in that is tough, it's finding time to journal about them at the end of the day....so my streak of consistent journaling ended and my streak of training ended when I missed about 4 workouts recently...but that is still only 4 workouts missed in 8 months which I'm proud of from a dedication standpoint. With crazy travel, cold and flu season, holidays, etc. I still managed. If I had a normal person's schedule, I wouldn't have even had to take some time off because I wouldn't have all the added stress that I have in my life in general. By nature, I have a ton of extra stress from flights, time zone changes, climate changes, anxiety, etc . Lots going on always.


Yes indeed, Hayley is not just cute, she's totally stunning. I was hoping to see her today but her photo shoot got canceled. I hung out with Brendan Brazier this afternoon in Venice which was cool.


Then I had a date of sorts...a woman I met last weekend who phoned me 3 times and clearly wanted to spend time with me. We went out to lunch and then she invited herself over and didn't stop talking for like 4 hours. It was driving me crazy. I couldn't even get a word in, she just kept going. I finally got her to go home. Phew!


I know I have been known to talk a lot, and sometimes I still do depending on the situation, but this was something pretty extreme....I don't want to experience it again....I won't be available to hang out next time. I just can't handle it.


No training today, still resting. Chest is feeling better. Still feeling run down. The past 3 weeks wiped me out.


I better get to bed now.


Peace out yo.


I have radio interviews Mon and Tue. I better get amp'd for them!

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It was rough but I'm looking to overcome it.


Staying away from the phone, being a little more careful with who I give my # to, etc. I rarely give out my # at all, but she was very forward and wanted to get it and call me to hang out.....I had only met her briefly, I didn't know she would suck the life out of me until I almost passed out from boredom in the middle of her relentless chatter.


Anyway, still not feeling 100% which is a total bummer. I don't really get it either. I didn't miss a workout for 7 months due to a cold or not feeling well, etc. but now it has been more than a week that I feel under the weather and I'm out in a warm sunny place, not in the cold. I was around some people who had colds themselves, that could have done it.


Still a bummer, but I'll bounce back.


No training all week. I should do some writing.


I'll work on that.

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