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Everything posted by Ravi

  1. Hey there, I would love to get people's perspectives on how they may have lost or gained weight/strength as the direct result of a major dietary change (going vegan, going raw, going frutarian, etc..). What was your dietary change? How much weight did you lose? How much muscle did you lose? How much strength did you lose? How long long did it take to gain back you weight/muscle/strength? Sometimes, we need to tear down before we build up. I have seen this in my own life (and am seeing it right now). I am curious about other people's experiences.
  2. the riding up here is unbelievable. In the cascades there are few passes with good roads where you can 15-18mile climbs in! (followed by 15-18 mile descents the seattle to portland ride is just about the most boring thing on the planet, pretty much flat and not much to look at...but it is cool to say you did it.
  3. I switched from doing a split routine (where I would train 1-2 muscle groups per workout) to a whole body routine a few months ago and have seen much greater gains. I also feel better workng out this way. Nagging injuries have also dissappeared. Overall energy is better. I am spending fewer days in the gym as well. I use to train 3 days in a row, with 1-2 days off. Day 1: chest/back. Day 2: lower body. Day 3: arms/shoulders. Take 1-2 days off and repeat. I saw decent gains at first, but eventually started getting several injuries that wouldnt go away. I now train my whole body, using mostly compound movements, in each workout, 3x a week. I totally stopped doing any isolation exercises (curls, tri press down, etc...). I stick to exercises like pull-ups, dips, deadlifts, squats, etc... Another thread on this topic here: viewtopic.php?t=4741
  4. i have a dream of doing the boston marathon....but you need to qualify for it...which means I would have to really do 2 marathons and not one! I also have this other goal of gaining lots of weight....so perhaps once gain my 25 pounds, I will consider running again...until then....I'll stick to casual jogging and yoga! no long runs for me anymore. Ravi
  5. FWIW, I stopped doing any isolation exercises (aside from seated calve raises and the pec deck for chest) in the gym for the past 2 months and have noticed much better gains, my injuries are starting to heal, and I seem to have more energy in the gym as well. I have stopped doing tri press, curls, shoulder raises, etc... I just focus on: deadlifts, squats, pull ups, dips, rows, pull over machine and a few other odds and end. I do this total body routine every workout, 2-3x a week (as opposed to a split routine focusing on a specific body part each day).
  6. you can try focusing on the opposite....instead of trying to lose weight, focusing on gaining a bit of muscle as the priority (for a few months if possible). Then try cutting (restrict calories and/or increase cardio) for a month or two. trying to lose weight by just cutting calories can be a losing proposition in the long term. alternatively......go raw for 30 days!
  7. I love upma too! I didn't like it so much when my mom made it a couple times a week when I was growing up...but having moved out many years ago....just cant seem to get enough!
  8. good progress! what's your height/weight and bf?
  9. My sister (a naturopathic doctor in Portland, OR-USA) recently wrote an article on how to stay healthy through the winter. Some tips that may be useful for this board. and of course...a vegan recipe! http://www.sethigherstandards.com/stay-well-through-the-winter/ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Stay Well Through Winter Natural Medicine for the Common Cold -by Padma Raman-Caplan, ND Winter is a wonderful time of year. There is so much to experience- playing in the great outdoors, enjoying a toasty evening inside, or celebrating the holiday season with friends and family. No one wants a cold to get in the way. Winter brings with it the start of cold and flu season in many parts of the world. There’s no cure for the common cold- once you have it, it will run its course. That said, we can minimize spread of the virus that causes the common cold and maximize our ability to cope with an infection if we get sick. There are simple things that we can do to help us all be as healthy as possible through the winter season. Prevention is the best medicine During winter we tend to stay indoors and that puts us in close contact with people who might be sick. You can prevent the spread of germs and re-infection by practicing good hygiene. Covering mouths while coughing and washing hands afterward, not sharing cups and utensils, and discarding tissues and other germ filled things in closed garbage containers- these are simple, common sense practices that are the first step to preventing colds and staying healthy through the winter. Children are especially good at picking up and passing germs to everyone and everything they touch, so it is important to help them to practice good hygiene, too. Dress for the season Cold weather may not cause a cold, but it does make it easier for you to get sick. A lot of body heat is lost from our heads in cold weather, so remember to wear a hat and scarf. Cold exposure causes immediate constriction of blood vessels. This constriction deprives the uncovered area of warm blood and germ-fighting immune cells. Exposing yourself to the cold may temporarily lower immunity and make you more susceptible to infection. Exposure to a cold draft can also cause congestion in the form of a runny nose, and a feeling of stuffiness in you ears, head, and sinuses. Keeping your head covered and staying warm can help to drain this congestion. If not tended to early, signs of congestion, like these, can predispose you to complications such as secondary infection by bacteria. Covering your head, ears, and neck by including a hat and scarf as part of your winter apparel is an easy way to prevent a head cold and its potential complications. Breath easy by minimizing smoke indoors Enjoy a cozy fire in your fireplace this winter, but try to minimize the amount of dust and smoke that enters your home from the hearth. To keep warm air inside, modern homes are well insulated against drafts. In the winter, this means that smoke and dust (and germs) stay in the air in a house all season long. Even in its mildest form, smoke can be an irritant to your breathing passages. Particulates in the air, cigarette smoke, second hand smoke, chimney smoke, and car exhaust, can make us more susceptible to catching a cold and it can worsen an existing infection. Smoke is especially harmful for children with asthma and allergies because these illness can be aggravated by both smoke and catching a cold. Minimize the dust and smoke brought into your house, vacuum and dust to reduce existing dust, and take advantage nice day during the winter by open windows and bringing fresh air into your home. Four Steps to Prevent Winter Back Pain In the winter everyone gets a new job- shoveling snow (at least in many parts of the world this is the case!). It can be backbreaking work. Minimize muscle strain and back pain while shoveling snow with these tips. Treat snow removal like any other heavy lifting. First, try to warm-up or stretch for a couple minutes before heading outside, especially if snow shoveling is your first activity of the day. Consider doing yoga or working with a massage therapist to help limber your body. Second, use healthy body mechanics- always bend from your knees not from your back. Third, if your health makes it difficult or dangerous for you to shovel snow yourself, prearrange for someone to help you with that task this winter. Fourth, if you feel like you have sprained a muscle, see a health care provider promptly to prevent it from getting worse. Consider seeing a massage therapist, chiropractor, or physical therapist for some hands-on treatment. Kitchen Pantry Pharmacy: Use medicinal foods as an easy and cost effective way to both prevent colds and support the healing process if you’re sick. Start by drinking plenty of warm beverages and eating hearty, warm foods, like Mushroom Barley Soup(see recipe). Many common foods and spices can be used as herbal medicines. For example, onion, garlic, horseradish, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, pepper, and basil all strengthen the immune system and are helpful for dealing with colds and flus. Look into the medicinal properties of some of your favorite foods or experiment with some of the medicinal foods listed below. Orange, red, yellow, and dark green fruits and vegetables are loaded with bioflavonoid, antioxidants and related molecules like vitamin C and beta-carotene. They increase immune function and can help to heal inflammation and irritation associated with colds. Try to use fresh seasonal produce. In the winter try produce like carrots, kale, cranberries and yams and in the summer eat foods like berries, watermelon, yellow peppers, and tomatoes. Mushrooms of all varieties promote immune function. They contain substances called “immune polysaccharides” which have demonstrated immune enhancing and also anticancer effects in research studies. Barley is a nutritious whole grain. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and immune polysaccharides. Traditional medicine systems have used barley as tonic for people who are tired or weak. A high fiber diet containing whole grains, like barley, can help normalize cholesterol, too. Horseradish, onions, and garlic contain sulfur compounds that function as antioxidants in our bodies. Antioxidants protect our bodies against damage due to oxidative stress caused by a viral infection. Horseradish is exceptionally good at clearing stuffy sinuses. Horseradish is used as a condiment and as an ingredient in Chinese-style mustard and wasabi. Onion and garlic improve immune function and improve blood flow. I know one family that drinks a hot tea made of garlic, honey, and ginger at the first sign of a cold. Ginger is a very useful kitchen pantry medicine. It promotes healthy digestion and appetite. Ginger is an excellent remedy for nausea during a cold and it is safe to use for nausea in pregnancy. Ginger can helps to dry up excess mucous and resolve boggy swelling. Try fresh ginger in food, or as a tea with hot water and honey. Mushroom Barley Soup A hearty stew that’s perfect for wintertime and filled with medicinal ingredients. It’s easy to put together and fast to make, especially if barley and veggies are prepared the day before. Enjoy! Ingredients: 2 cups whole barley (pearled barley may be substituted, though it has less nutrients than whole barley) 2-3 large carrots 1 medium bunch of celery 1 large onion 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed (optional) 1Tbsp fresh ginger, grated 1 small bunch parsley 1 medium bunch swiss chard (or lacinato kale) 1 pound ****ake mushroom (or other) 2 boxes of organic broth, 64oz total (may use vegetarian or not) 2 Tbsp olive oil or sesame oil Salt & Pepper Coconut milk, cream, or sour cream Supplies: Large sauce pan Large soup pot 4 storage containers Prepare the day before: 1. Soak barley overnight in 4 cups of water. Drain it in the morning store in a container. 2. Trim and slice the mushrooms store in container. 3. Cut out and save the center stem from the swiss chard. Chop the leaves store in container. 4. Chop onion, carrot, celery, swiss chard stem, and parsley and store in container. Cooking: 1. Cook the soaked barley with 5 cups fresh water a large sauce pan, cover and simmer until done (20min), barley will be chewy. 2. Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in the soup pot; add mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Sauté until brown and cooked through. Set mushrooms aside in a bowl along with any mushroom cooking liquid. 3. In the same empty soup pot, heat 1-2 Tbsp oil, add the chopped vegetables (not swiss chard), garlic, ginger, ½ tsp of salt, and a dash of pepper, sauté until the vegetables are half-cooked. Add swiss chard leaves and cook 3 more minutes. 4. Add the cooked barley, its cooking water, and the broth. Simmer until the vegetables are fully cooked (stir occasionally). Add salt to taste (reduce added salt if the broth contains salt). 5. Gently fold in the cooked mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serving suggestion: For the best flavor, serve each bowl of soup with a dollop of coconut milk, cream, or sour cream. Garnish with chopped scallion or chives. Change the flavor of the soup by adding 2 tsp of dry herb while cooking. Try sage, rosemary or cumin.
  10. Just watched Redemption...2004 video starring Jamie Foxx about Sam "Tookie" Williams. He was the crips gang founder that was put in jail on death row, turned his life around and was nominted for 2 nobel prized for his gang violence prevention work from inside jail. very inspiring.
  11. can't you make doing chin-ups a sport?
  12. I take a Vega (www.myvega.com) and it has a lot of greens/spirulina in it.
  13. actually....seattle has some amazing micro-brews and a couple nationally known beers. ever try "Red Hook"? mmmmm,mmmmm, good!
  14. I have started drinking a little bit of coffee on a near daily basis for the past few weeks. I have a 1 shot Americano OR 8 oz of drip in the morning. By Seattle standards, most pre-schoolers drink more coffee than that . I just really enjoy the taste and for me, a little goes a long way. I also find that it really does help my weight lifting workouts. At least it gives me a little more motivation to move! Who on the forum enjoys a nice shot-o-caffeine every now and then? What is your drink of choice?
  15. really simple recipe 1. buy a sweet potatoe 2. wash it 3. bake it in foil for 40 minutes or so on 400 degrees 4. put some salt and pepper on it and enjoy! sometimes I put some almond butter or olive oil on them...but not always. I forgot how good these things are! a great substitue for rice/pasta or any other gluten-rich stuff. Good to give your body a break from all the gluten every now and then.
  16. alwyn had a great quote on his blog that summed this total vs split thing quite nicely: http://alwyncosgrove.blogspot.com/2006/10/are-you-bodybuilder_13.html “Even at an elite level of athleticism, there are only 10% of people who need to stress over the details. Most people think they’re there when they’re not. You have to understand whether you’re a part of the 90% or the 10%.” -John Berardi" I've switched over to a total body routine in the past week (done 3 workouts this way) and have been AMAZED at how much better my body feels. I dont have a single ache or pain (I hurt my back/neck pretty badly a monthly ago). I am also sore again after every workout...a great feeling! (muscular soreness = good, bck/neck pain = bad)
  17. I just cant get anough of sivasana!!!
  18. let me just say that Brendan OUT-ATE Robert and I combined at dinner (i.e. the salad bar at Whole Foods)....pretty amazing....hey Robert...I though you were bulking?
  19. Ravi


    welcome suz! funny but I just ran across your website a couple days ago! there are lots of great vegan athletes (cyclists, triathletes, etc) on the forum. So even if you are not the lifting type....there still lots of great info and discussion to join in on.
  20. Hey Rob...if you are near the SpaceNeedle area at all u should hit me up....I live (literally) a block away right in downtown Seattle. There is a great Vegan Spot (Bamboo Garden) near there as well. I'll be in town over the weekend. Ravi
  21. I've done a bit more research on the topic and it turns that for the majority of people (like the 99% of us that aren't actually stepping on stage to compete)....a totalbody/performanced based workout plan is superior. Here's a write up from my blog on the matter: ************ http://www.sethigherstandards.com/training-for-performance-vs-asthetics/ Training for performance vs asthetics November 22nd, 2006 I’ve been a bit obsessed lately about improving my weight training program. I have thrown my split-routine out the window and am now focusing on a total body working centered around compoud movements. Specifically; squats, dumbell presses, dips, rows. I also do ab work and a few sets of biceps and triceps (just for the heck it). My total workouts are 20-24 sets and take about 1 hour. The past two workouts have really felt great. I don’t have any aches and pains, and my body maintains a good pump throughout the workout. I realize this is way to earlier to make any conclusions, but things are looking good. Thanks Jason for the recco to give this a try! If you are at all interested in weight training and fitness, subscribe to his blog. Ultimately, total body workouts are geared toward those interested in performance gains, whereas a split routine will favor a bodybuilder more concerned with asthetics. For a performance minded individual, there is less of a need to focus on isolation exercises (curls, tri press, calves, etc). The focus is instead on compound movements, and performing these more often (i.e. 3 days a week instead of 1-2 as would happen in a typical 3 day split routine). Cassandra talks about this subject, and references a great article on T Nation about the merits of each. Alwin also has an interesting perspective on the matter. Which method of training is right for you? I really think this quote on Alwyn’s blog sums it up: “Even at an elite level of athleticism, there are only 10% of people who need to stress over the details. Most people think they’re there when they’re not. You have to understand whether you’re a part of the 90% or the 10%.” -John Berardi For me, I was trying to train like a bodybuilder, when I lacked the basic platform of strength and mass to get any good from it. The result was injury and slow gains. We’ll see if my body responds better to a total body routine.
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