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A retelling of my life in DC and all the stupid ass sh!t I get myself into...



Let the Good Cheese Roll pt. 7

This is a sum of all the last few emails that went out that I haven't shared with you guys. Week 11 is my last note.

Week 7
Welcome to week 7! We are half way to the finish date of this competition and as a group we’ve lost almost 80lbs!!
You know that cardio can get a little boring don’t you? Try group cardio to change things up. How about a Spinning class at your gym? Don’t want to go by yourself? Get an extra day pass at your gym and I’ll go with you. Spinning class not your thing? Try step class or a variety of classes at your gym, most of them are usually free!! How about hustling your sweetie into an after dinner walk instead of sitting around. Some time for just the two of you and it’s exercise as well! So it’s a little chilly outside, just grab a warm jacket and enjoy. Keep it up, only 7 weeks to go!

Did you know...
*Try to be careful about sugar in coffee and soda. It can add up quickly, and these drinks aren't filling. Watch for "hidden" sugar in processed foods like bread, ketchup, salad dressing, canned fruit, applesauce, peanut butter, and soups. And be careful with "fat-free" products. Sugar is often used to replace the flavor that is lost when the fat is removed. Fat-free does not mean calorie-free.
*Unless you are EXTREMELY excited to be following a very specific diet and exercise plan, do not try and change too much too fast. If you have been eating poorly and not exercising, both your body and your mind will have a lot of adjusting to do. All the sugar and fat were actually quite enjoyable, and sitting on the couch didn't feel too bad, either.. Right? If you try and change everything too quickly the odds are greater that you will feel bad, get discouraged, and give up. So be patient. A time will come when a healthy snack will taste as good as the junk food you felt bad about eating, and you will look forward to your regular exercise.

Healthy Recipe of the Week
An Apple-a-Day Pork Chops (courtesy of Cooking Light)

Ingredients
6 (4-ounce) boneless pork loin chops
Vegetable cooking spray
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 medium-size Red Delicious apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup currants
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup Marsala wine or apple cider
Garnishes: rosemary sprig and apple slices

Preparation
Coat both sides of pork chops evenly with cooking spray. Combine rosemary, salt, and pepper. Rub mixture evenly on both sides of pork; set aside. Cook apple, raisins, and currants in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup wine, stirring constantly, until most liquid is evaporated. Add remaining wine, and cook 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Cook pork chops in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until done. Top with apple mixture. Garnish, if desired.

Yield
6 servings

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 286(34% from fat); FAT 10.9g (sat 3.3g,mono 5g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 24.5g; CHOLESTEROL 68mg; CALCIUM 38mg; SODIUM 276mg; FIBER 1.4g; IRON 1.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23g


Week 8
With the upcoming changes in weather, colds & the flue are likely going to be getting the best of each of us sooner or later. The most difficult time to eat healthy, I find, is when I’m sick. There’s nothing wrong with a little comfort food if you are under the weather, just don’t over do it. You need more energy to fight off an invasion of cold and flue germs then you do to continue to stay healthy, just make sure you are taking in quality foods. A healthy mix of vegetables and lean proteins. Some won-ton soup won’t be the end of the world, but a dozen deep fried egg rolls probably will hurt you more in the long run then help you feel better while you are ill.
Congratulations, you’ve hung in there through 8 weeks!! I’m proud of you all!

Did you know...
*When you shouldn't exercise? If you wake up with, or develop a fever then don’t exercise. Running will NOT help you sweat it out! If your body can’t control your temperature at rest in the house then it sure won’t be able to cope on a run and you’ll end up feeling worse. If you have trouble breathing, If you feel nauseous or have stomach problems, or If you feel light headed or dizzy sit this one out. Don't over do it!
*Whenever you have the sniffles, take a nice walk. You should just walk, don’t run. If you run, your body will get all worked up and you'll feel even worse! Take a nice slow walk and enjoy the outdoors.

Healthy Recipe of the Week
Chicken Scallopini (courtesy of Cooking Light)

Ingredients
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
Cooking spray
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 teaspoons capers (optional if you hate capers!)
1 tablespoon butter

Preparation
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Brush chicken with juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in breadcrumbs. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove from pan; keep warm. Add broth and wine to pan, and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in capers and butter.

Yield
4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 1 tablespoon sauce)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 206(20% from fat); FAT 4.6g (sat 2.2g,mono 1.3g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 29.2g; CHOLESTEROL 76mg; CALCIUM 27mg; SODIUM 657mg; FIBER 0.6g; IRON 1.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.7g


Week 9
Need a helping hand watching your intake? Check out http://caloriecount.about.com. Free to use, provides grades for your eating habits, and can help you stay or get on track!! On an unrelated subject, please come do your weigh in early on Thursday and if you owe money from a previous week, please provide it. I know it’s not much fun being hounded by me, so please try to take care of both of these items in a timely manner. Thanks!
We are in the home stretch, only a few weeks to go… keep it up!

Did you know...
*That the weather is starting to look very delightful outside? Get out there and have some fun, burn a few calories while you are there!
*Getting into a good work out routine is hard… Staying in it is even harder!!

Healthy Recipe of the Week
Salmon Skewers with Lemon-Parsley Pesto (courtesy of Cooking Light)

Ingredients
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup capers, drained
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds skinless, boneless salmon fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
4 cups hot cooked orzo
Parsley sprigs (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional)

Preparation
Prepare grill. Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to herb mixture; process until smooth, scraping sides. Set aside. Thread fish evenly on each of 16 skewers. Brush fish with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Arrange skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 1 minute on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill, and keep warm. Combine orzo and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well. Place 1/2 cup orzo on each of 8 plates; arrange 2 skewers on each plate. Top each serving with about 1 tablespoon herb mixture. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges, if desired.

Yield
8 servings

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 407(28% from fat); FAT 12.7g (sat 2.6g,mono 5.5g,poly 3g); PROTEIN 29.2g; CHOLESTEROL 58mg; CALCIUM 87mg; SODIUM 398mg; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.3g


Week 10
Only two more weigh-ins to go, are you ready?!? The pot has gotten up over $80 for first place, who’s going to take it? This weeks weigh-in will proceed as usual, however, the following week will be proctored by Jasen Wyche. Please see him for all questions for the final weigh in.
Good luck every one going into these final two weeks!

Did you know...
*Certain problem spots are more difficult to tone then others. Make sure you are attacking them with more then one type of exercise for maximum results!
*The typical adult sticks to a diet for approximately six weeks. You'll increase your chances of sticking to a weight management program longer if you maintain a diary of everything you eat and work out consistently. Feel free to use a journal, or a note book, or http://caloriecount.about.com. I know it’s tedious, but it will help you analyze your nutritional intake.

Healthy Recipe of the Week
Pepper and Garlic-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks with Port Sauce (courtesy of Cooking Light)

Ingredients
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed (1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
1/4 cup port wine
1/4 cup canned beef broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preparation
Place peppercorns in a small zip-top plastic bag; seal. Crush peppercorns using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Combine peppercorns, salt, and garlic in a bowl; rub evenly over steaks. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan. Reduce heat; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan. Cover and keep warm. Add port and broth to pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Place 1 steak on each of 4 plates; drizzle each serving with 1 tablespoon sauce. Sprinkle each serving with 3/4 teaspoon thyme. Serve with long-grain and wild rice pilaf and steamed green beans.

Yield
4 servings

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 205(33% from fat); FAT 7.4g (sat 2.7g,mono 3g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 25.5g; CHOLESTEROL 76mg; CALCIUM 36mg; SODIUM 389mg; FIBER 0.4g; IRON 2.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 6g


Week 11
There is only one more week to go. Some people have dropped out, some have lost quite a bit of weight, some have remained rather dormant. What ever your goal was throughout this competition, I hope this has helped you achieve it. I’m proud of all of us and the combined 90 lbs that we’ve lost as an office!! Remember, just b/c the competition is over, that doesn’t mean you should get back on all the junk foods. Sure, we all cheat every once in a while. But over all, how is your eating? How is your fitness? How is your heart? Ever since day one, this contest has been designed to get you pointed in the correct direction. Whether or not you continue down the healthy path is entirely up to you.
Good luck & thank you to every one for making this competition great!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 12:50 PM, ,




Jeep Bug! - Update

So far, there's been some good and some bad. First things first, the tires are on, and they look mean! They aren't very loud on the highway, but then again if they were I'd have a hard time hearing them over the existing noise. The alignment was very necessary since it was sooooo far out of whack from the Jeep Jamboree. Mounting and balancing went smoothly, but then again a shop did it so I can't take any credit for that.
The heavy duty glove box is on, and it's very secure. The jeep being as small as it is, it's tough to find places to keep things safe in it. This was an excellent accessory. The hood lock that I initially ordered, pictured here, was a p.o.s. Seriously, I don't know what the concept behind it is, but that thing had to go back. The locking hood latches will be much much better choice once I install them.
The big problem, thus far, was the body lift kit. I don't know if this is indicative of the entire company or I just happened to get a bad kit, but that thing SUCKS! Seriously, the parts didn't fit. The bolts where the wrong size and wouldn't thread. However, we didn't figure that part out until we lifted the body off the frame. Grrrrrrrrrrr. So, imagine 4 hours of wrench time with ZERO gain. How frustrated would you be? We ended up putting the stock parts back on with no problem. If I try this again, I'll be going with either a Daystar body lift kit that another jeep I know didn't have any problems with or trying for a 2" budget boost suspension lift. Haven't decided yet.
So, what's next? That winch and the new hood locks have to come on next. Then we'll see about some armor. Warn has some nice pieces that bolt on using the existing mounting locations, maybe some lights or a new bumper. If the budget was unlimited, there's ton's I'd do. But for now, I have to take it one step at a time.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 3:33 PM, ,




Jeep Bug!

Ok, so I went to the Jeep Jamboree, you saw the pix a few days ago, and you also know that I had a KICK A$$ Time!! Now, I had fun, but I also realized just how much MORE capable my jeep can be with just a few minor modifications. Soooo.... I went a tad nuts on my shopping list:
I'll let you know how it's all coming together shortly.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:46 PM, ,




Jeep Jam!

This past weekend, I went on a Jeep Jamboree and had a killer time! I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. If you want to see ‘em all, just email me and ask for the link. But be warned, there’s over 200 pix!!Just a little Muddy after some trail. We decided to take a rest in this field for a min!

Matt's jeep doing a water crossing, although with that lift and those tires, really makes it look like just a puddle.

To a stock ride height jeep, aka me!, this is how deep the water actually is!

Matt's Jeep taking a rest on a tree after working a difficult hill climb.

A yellow 4 door JK that was with our group doing a water crossing. It really feels pretty eerie when you can feel the current of the water on your floor board.

Don't ask me how I did this one, but I hit a tree. Unfortunately, this tree didn't survive as it got chopped down a few minutes later.

Water crossing approaching what they call CJ-5 rock. And yes, it's as deep as it looks. Deeper if you go off the path a few feet to the right.

I know it looks like I made it up here, and I wish I could take credit for it, but after 3 tries, my street tires just didn't have the grip on this rock and I had to get winched up.

This was my exhaust at the end of the weekend. Clearly, it took quite the beating! It's since been cut off so that the engine can breath freely. But at the time, it sounded like a pissed off banshee or some sort of cheap chainsaw. Very sad, but I'm glad It's all fixed and sounding mean again!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:22 PM, ,




What’s the good word?

So, I haven’t really written much other then my weekly motivational emails with some tasty recipies in them for the past little while b/c I’ve been a combination of 2 parts busy, and 1 part lazy. I’ll give you one guess which part of that equation has changed for today? Anyways, where to begin…

We’ve been having issues with our neighbors at the new place. One to the left likes to play loud music late into the night or just so damn loud at other times that I can hear it clearly in the bathroom on the opposite side of the apt!! Now, I’m a fan of loud music and all that, but that’s just a bit much! Our neighbors above are no better. I’m found wondering, out of all the good folks in that must live in the building, how the hell have we managed to get sandwiched b/t two serious pains in the a$$’s? What are the odds? Well, I believe one of the people in question isn’t going to be renewing her lease. With her out of the picture, it’s my hope that things will be a little more peaceful.

I’m finally getting to use one of my birthday gifts this weekend by going to Jeep Jamboree. I think it’ll be a great time! 7 hours of trail riding/day and plenty of talkin' about jeeps with everyone! I just hope one of those new 4 door Wranglers isn’t in my trail group. YUK!!! I still can’t believe they make those things in 2wd?!? WTF?

The TV’s are providing quality entertainment. And as I’ve been sick for the past few days, they have clearly gotten plenty of use. I guess I have the flue or something that’s going around. It sucks, but the average is 3 colds/flue per year per person. So, I guess I’m payin my dues. I just hope I’m well in time to go this weekend… This’ll be my first trip anywhere this calendar year. How exciting! I hope the Jeep is up for it! I’ve already got my 3’ CB antenna ready to go!

The issues continue with the Audi. So far, there is a trial date set for June. I hope they really don’t intend to take it to court, but they’ve dragged it out this long, why not at this point, right? Hopefully, we’ll have a settlement sooner then later to go ahead and resolve this problem. All I have to say is, BE WARE OF AUDI OF ALEXANDRIA.

A & I have had some great dinner and happy hour outings recently, esp. a happy hour at Clyde’s that started at the first happy hour (630) and ended at the second happy hour (1ish) followed by a little Bond on the 'ol N64!! That’s right, we brought it back! We’ve been enjoying plenty of Outback take out…damn that’s good ranch!! Good times!

Well, that might not be all that’s going on with me, but that’s all I’m writin' about for now!

posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:29 AM, ,