February | 2011 | True Fitness Blog

So this week my Jack LaLanne Juicer arrived – let the juicing begin.  If you have been following my blog a few weeks ago, I wrote about the diet I am trying to maintain for myself now that I have reached the venerated age of 40.  Part of that approach was incorporating a Jack LaLanne Juicer.

Now that hollowed day of LaLanne (may he rest in peace) has arrived.  I have been experimenting all weekend with every type of vegetable.  I’m sure eventually I will get to the actual recipe books that were supplied, but, like a child with a new toy, I couldn’t wait to read the directions and just ran to the CO-OP around the corner to buy every organic vegetable I could get my hands on that I thought might taste good.

I came back with kale, beats, ginger, grapefruit, carrots, celery, tomatoes, parsnips, spinach, apples, oranges, blueberries, and the list goes on.

So after deciding to not read the directions and spilling a bunch of beet juice (which caused some heartburn in the kitchen since we just had a new counter installed), my wife actually read the directions and filled me in on how the juicer really works.  Eventually I started to put together some rather tasty concoctions (don’t ask me for amounts…I’m still just winging it).  I am also sure that the recipes provided by Jack LaLanne will be much better but its fun to experiment.

Recipe 1

Kale

Beats

Celery

Ginger

Lemon (with peel)

Recipe 2

Carrots

Tomatoes

Celery

Lemon (with peel)

Ginger

Recipe 3

Grapefruit peeled

Handful of blueberries

Carrots

Recipe 4

Grapefruits peeled

Carrots

Celery

Kale

Ginger

So what does all this juicing do for me?  Other than being extremely healthy, I think it will take the place of my breakfast.  It’s hard to put anything too complicated together at 4:30AM (normal wake up call for me).  I am also looking into some fruit flavored protein powders to add in to the finished product to give me a more complete meal.  I highly recommend a juicer – it is fun & healthy, and is helping me to fight on after 40!!

The only issues I seem to have had as I continue to push myself physically over the years have been my knees.

Four years ago, I was getting ready to compete in the North East Triathlon I found a cyst on the back of my left knee.  At the time, I really didn’t give it much thought since I was getting my head together for the race.  Several days later, I finally went to the see my orthopedist.  I had the cyst drained but was told that a popliteal cyst is usually an indication that there is a meniscus tear.  So off I went to have an MRI, and sure enough there was a meniscus tear.

Now I had to make a choice, do I just try to rehab and deal with the pain or do I get surgery?  Well after five months of rehab work on my knee and having the cyst drained several times, I decided to get the surgery.  The irritation of the meniscus tear creates extra synovial fluid, and then a coating comes off your tendons and encapsulates the fluid forming a cyst.  Unfortunately, the cyst will continue to refill if the tear is not fixed.  The cyst really isn’t bothersome, as it stabilizes, but when it is growing, it’s very uncomfortable.

The surgery was a very short, outpatient orthoscopic procedure – I can’t even see the scar from the incision.  So after the surgery came the post rehab work.  I was walking within three days, riding a bike within ten days, and running within a month.  I firmly believe that if you go into a surgery strong, you should come out of it stronger and heal quicker.  The rest of my rehab consisted of hip planes with cuff weights and balance work to help with my proprioception.

I went on to continue several months later with my triathlons.  All’s well that ends well…right?  Not quite, this past September, I tore the meniscus in my right knee.  I had gotten away from my triathlon training to go back to my martial arts school Tai Yim Kung Fu (www.taiyimkungfu.com), which I have been going to off and on for over twenty years.  I was training hard and getting myself ready to start sparring again and decided to test the waters and spar with two guys in their 20’s.  Sparring went very well, but at the very end of the last round, I threw a roundhouse kick but didn’t turn my leg over properly and tore the meniscus in my right knee.

I have been rehabbing my knee and going to regular acupuncture treatments with Tom Cong from Mindful Healing Spa (www.mindfulhealingspa.com).  I am still training at my Kung Fu school, but I know I will eventually have to get the surgery.

The good news is my left knee is super strong after the surgery; the bad news is I need another surgery.  I am confident that my doctor will make might right knee strong again.  I guess this is what happens to those of us who just can’t slow down, but I wouldn’t change it for a second.

If you follow my tweets (search for jetttraining) you may have seen the Men’s Health article that I re-tweeted about staying fit after 40:

http://blogs.menshealth.com/meet-the-trainer/how-to-lose-fat-over-40/2010/09/18/

Well seeing as how I just turned 40, this is a question on my mind.

Here are some changes I am making in my life to keep myself healthy and fit and to battle father time.

My first change was to start lifting more.  As you get older, your testosterone starts to drop, and you can lose muscle mass and bone density (yes, men can get osteoporosis).  It is actually a full circle move for me; some of my first exercise pursuits revolved mainly around bodybuilding routines.  I am now sticking to a four day split routine, missing some days for my martial arts training.

Chest/Bi’s/Traps

Legs/Tri’s

Back

Shoulders (all single joint movements)

Another change in your body as you are getting on in years is a loss of flexibility.  With my continued pursuit of martial arts, I need to stay flexible so I am increasing the time I spend stretching after workouts.

I am also getting away from the Triathlon scene, as I continue to ramp up my martial arts training.  So to replace the cardio, I am trying to run or ride the elliptical twice a week.  As far as martial arts, I am shooting to step this up to four times a week.

Finally, I am revamping my diet to counteract the slowdown in metabolism that comes with age, as well.  In honor of Jack LaLanne, I have a juicer on the way and am currently researching multiple recipes (if you have any please post them in the comments section of this blog).  I think that the juicer will help me with a quick breakfast, which is a tough meal for me due to the fact that I usually get up at 4:30AM.  I am also going to prep my meals for the week on Sundays and have the same meal (lean meat, a low glycemic index starch, and a dark leafy green) three times a day for meals 2-4 (I have to thank my IT guy for some of these tips Nick Fitzsimmons www.X30.com).  And for dinner, I was going to try the juice thing or shake at night, but my wife, who enjoys cooking after work, has actually forbidden a change in that department.  So I’ll have a nice, healthy home cooked meal at night.   (How cool is my wife?!)  We usually try to avoid carbs for dinner since they’re hard to break down late at night.  And, as she points out, I get the bonus of spending time with the family (life’s always a balance, right?).

So there it is.  My plan to fight on after 40.  I will keep you posted as to my progress.

Have you ever had the dilemma of what to before an early morning workout?  How many calories will give you enough energy without making you sick during your workout?  Should you carb-load or do you need some protein?  It can be very difficult to eat early in the morning, and many times it may seem easier to eat nothing at all, but this actually can be counter productive and put the body in a catabolic state (breaking down muscle for energy).  So here are some are some quick tips for fast early morning meals.

First, and foremost, make sure that you are hydrated.  Drink water the night before and as soon as you get up.  I like to shoot for half my body weight in ounces per day.

As far as food, you need to have a combination of protein, so you can enter an anabolic state (building muscle) and carbohydrates for your energy/fuel.  Keep away from fats because they take too long to digest.  You also want to make sure that you are taking in complex carbohydrates.  Keep away from sugary foods like doughnuts, sodas, etc.

Make sure to watch the size of your pre-workout meal.  A large meal of 1000 to 1500 calories can take up to 3 to 4 hours to digest, and a meal of 600 calories can take up to 2 to 3 hours to digest.  For a quick early morning meal, go with a small meal of 200 to 300 calories, which will digest in 2 to 3 hours, and try to eat at least 30 minutes before your workout to give your body time to start digesting.

Here are some sample quick meal options:

½ a cup of trail mix

Slice of whole wheat bread with peanut or almond butter

Small bowl of a non-sugary cereal

Energy bar with good carbohydrate-protein ratio (try parrillo bars www.parrillo.com)

Healthy smoothie with protein

An energy gel with protein (try accelgel http://www.accelsport.com/product-info/Accel_Gel.html)

Apple and a scoop of almond butter

½ of a  Turkey Sandwich

1 hard-boiled egg with a slice of whole wheat toast

1 orange with a slice of cheese