Monday, July 30, 2012

Soaking up the City

My sister Alison talks about "soaking up the city (Chicago)" all the time.  She's always on the go.  From one thing to the next... she doesn't want to miss anything.  I spent just one weekend day with her recently and I was exhausted from all the fun.

I've decided to take a cue form her.  Sunday night my folks came for a quick visit to South Bend, so I wanted to try something unique to the city. 
We went to Cafe Navarre on North Michigan Street in a renovated bank building.  Let me tell you... it was really good!
My parents were celebrating their 40th anniversary this week.  I think they're having more fun now tha they ever have!  Talk about "soaking" up life... they've really gotten good at it! 
Gunthorp Farms free range "airline breast" grilled with garlic and herbs, vegetable risotto, and chicken demi
Cafe Navarre offers a $25 "restaurant week" menu every Sunday.  The chicken was really fresh.  The waitress made sure to mention it was locally raised... so my Coach Chris would be thrilled to know it was fresh and hormone-free. 

So ... thumbs up to Cafe Navarre.... and to soaking up South Bend.

Oh... and guess who we ran into on the way out? 

Coach Brey. 

So that was cool too!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Feeling Alive

There's something about working out outside that makes you feel alive.  Cheesy ... I know.  But it really does.  Coach Chris took the class out to the field near Primal today.  It's right behind The Cove.  I look gigantic in these pictures... but I'm working on losing those extra pounds. 

 Chris says you have to fix the machine before you can really get into the hard work.  I wonder what that feels like?  This already feels pretty tough.  He does this thing where you're half way through your workout and he says, "Ok... finish that set... then we'll start working out."  He thinks it's funny. 

My back is feeling stronger. 

Keep going.

Eventually I'll get this machine back in working order.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This is a game... I'm going to Win!

My sister called me today.  It was urgent. 

"Tom!  You have to do something right now," she said.

This must be big, Right?!

"Download the Jillian Michaels Podcast... the one where she's talking to Bob Harper," she said. 

What?  THAT was her must share news?

But I trust Alison.  So I quickly downloaded the podcast and listened to about 15 minutes worth on my way to work. 

It was just what I needed.

I'm going strong on my new Primal Workouts.  I know I'm getting stronger.  I feel way better too.  I'm not dropping a ton of weight.  But I know that will happen. 

Bob talked about his outlook on life.  "This is a game, and I'm going to win," he said.

Workouts.  Relationships.  Work. 

Think about what things would be like if you applied that philosophy to those areas of your life.

I'm going to try. 

I'll report back.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cooking With Chris and William

Do you have an oven mitt?
Nope. Sorry.

Nah.  Don't have that either.

Bowls for mixing?
Who are you kidding?

When I told Coach Chris I don't cook, I wasn't kidding.

But we improvised over the weekend as he and his son William came over to get me to grow up and take control of my own health!

It was Cooking 101 with Coach Chris!

William couldn't understand how an adult didn't know how to make an egg-white omelet.  Eating healthy is just part of his life. 

It hasn't been a big part of mine.  Especially lately. 

The egg-white omelet with pepper, onion, organic cheese and a little sea salt was pretty awesome.  We also made bison burgers which were fantastic.

Then there were the kale chips.  I wanted to like them.  I really did.  But I'm not there yet. 

I've been doing well since they left me to my own devices. 

The journey continues.

On Monday's Menu:
  • Chicken
  • Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday, June 28, 2012

You want me to eat what? My journey to feeling better takes me to the produce section.

Sure I've heard you health-minded folks talk about kale.  Did I think it would ever wind up in my shopping cart?  Heck no!  But I looked down at my basket today... and there it was.  Kale. 

I'm starting a new journey.  I'm not calling it a diet or a fitness plan.  I just want to feel "good" again.  Tight pants have a way of making a guy really crabby, and I think my co-workers and family members have started to notice my less than passionate disposition.  No energy.  Depressed.  Yeah... I'm feeling it all. 

I watch the replay of our newscast sometimes, and think ... who the heck is that guy... and how did his face get so big?

So it's time.

I debated about whether to blog about this.  If I put it out there, then what if I don't succeed?  What if I fail at this again?  But then I saw this today and I was inspired:

"What would happen if that simple blade of grass got to a place and said "what's the point? That same guy is going to be coming out here in a couple days to chop me down again" Keep growing. Keep growing for you. Stay engaged for the sake of others. You have the gift of coming back stronger again and again. Be sure to hydrate today, eat well, stay cool."

So I may get chopped down... but with this new outlook I feel like I WILL grow again. 

The quote was posted by my new coach, Christopher Neubauer.  He seems really fired up about transorming me.... about changing my life.  I found him through my sister-in-law who attended Chris's kettle-bell certification classes at Primal Fitness in South Bend

Chris is the reason for the kale in the shopping cart.  He took me grocery shopping today.  That's how I found my way to the produce section.  Gone were the 100-calorie packs, the low fat ice cream cups and forzen meals.  Instead I bought an actual chicken breast!  I know... big dea?!?  But for me it kind of is.  I'm still not sure what to do with it exactly... but I'm scheduled to learn that too.  And if I don't try now, I'm afraid those pants will never fit. 

My Primal Shopping Cart:
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Coconut Oil
  • Mixed Raw Nuts (I wanted the roasted ones)
  • Celery
  • A lime and a lemon
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Blueberries and Blackberries
  • Chicken Breast (a real one)
  • Some sort of dressing that's not Ranch or Honey Mustard
  • Ground Bison Meat (I'll let you know how that goes)
  • Zucchini
  • Eggs
  • Cheddar Cheese (Yeah I was surprised too)
  • Spinach .. and
  • KALE!

Monday, March 5, 2012

One tough kid: "Benefit for Bailey"

When Allison Hayes told me about a benefit for five-year-old Bailey Bennett in Buchanan Saturday, I pictured a couple dozen people rallying to raise money for a tough kid fighting cancer. 
I was blown away by how many people were there when I arrived Saturday night.  Clearly the community loves the Bennett family and clearly they've been moved by Bailey's struggle.

Perhaps the most moving moment of the night came when Megan, Bailey's Aunt who helped organize the event, announced the first song... Nickelback's "Rockstar."

"When he came out of surgery the first time, the doctor said Bailey was a rock star," Megan told the crowd.  She was afraid she'd get emotional making the announcement.  But she didn't have time  Just as soon as she put down the microphone, she was out in the crowd collecting money for the next raffle. 

The actual benefit may be over... but the family still needs your help:
Donations can be made to any TCU branch under Benefit for Bailey or Checks can be made to Benefit for Bailey and mailed to 1512 Michigan St. Niles, MI 49120

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bag-off! I challenge the best bagger in Michiana... and lose... terribly.

A local worker is going national in a competition that combines speed, accuracy and mental toughness.  Martin's Supermarket Employee Rob Mow is heading to The Super Bowl of Grocery-Bagging in Las Vegas.  

Professional Bagger Rob and I shake before the competition

In sports, and bagging groceries, they say practice makes perfect... so I challenged Rob to a friendly bag-off.

"You do know that your boss said if you lose to me, you don't get to go to Vegas," I told him before we shook hands.

"Ok," he said laughing.  Rob wasn't worried.  For good reason.  He finished in 30 seconds, then came over to help me bag the rest of my groceries. 

This guy's good.

He won the store competition, took home first place in the corporate bagging challenge and will compete at nationals in February at the National Grocers Association Best Bagger Contest in February.
Manager Maria is the Official Timer

Manager Maria Werder has already taken home the honor of second-runner up at a national competition.  She says Rob has talent you just can't teach.  "The natural ability just comes and it helps a lot.  He's got it," she says.

Werder says Rob has a great chance at bringing home the 2012 title.  "He's newly married, got a new family and stuff," she says.  "I'd just be so happy for him and for Martin's."

Rob has worked at Martin's for Seven Years.  He says he loves his job.

The top prize at nationals is $10,000.  "I'd use half for a down payment on a house," Rob says.  "And the other half to catch up on some bills."
"I'm very happy to have the support I've gotten," Rob says.  He hopes to bring the title and the prize home for his family.  "They're extremely proud of me."
If you don't think this is a serious competition...
check out this documentary!