Hingham, MA, day nine, part V

Part V?  Really?  Well, I guess that’s what working from “home” begets.  Sadly, the office will be open tomorrow and things will go back to normal, I’ve enjoyed the day by myself, got a lot of work done over the VPN and on conference calls, cleaned up the kitchen, hell, I even took a nap.

Just chowed down on dinner: Grass fed beef patties (Trader Joe’s), topped with bacon (Shop & Save), cheddar cheese (Trader Joe’s), a dash of seasoned salt (Trader Joe’s), and diced red onion (Trader Joe’s), with a teaspoon of Trader Joe’s Deli Style Spicy Mustard (not shown). Mighty tasty.  Mighty and tasty.  Oh, and it’s not that I’m low-carbing and afraid of hamburger buns, it’s that I’m out of bread and buns altogether, and I wasn’t about to venture out into the ice and snow just for that…


Next time I think I’ll throw a fried egg on top of each patty as well.

Out here.

Hingham, MA, day eight

This is some old bulls***:


The “office” is closed tomorrow, so assuming I have power, I can at least work from “home” over the VPN – Boring work, putting together a description of why the 5.56 round fired from an M-4 Carbine is as effective as it is for programmers who’ve never fired a weapon in their lives.

Pretty standard day otherwise – Cooking meals that are easy to heat over a fire in case the power DOES go out.  All of the equipment in the gym is LifeFitness stuff and dumbbells, so no electricity required to get a workout in, and I’ve run five miles in the past in a h*** of a lot more than 18″ of snow, which is what we’re expecting tomorrow.

If you’re in the path of the storm, prepare tonight, and stay safe tomorrow.

Out here.

Hingham, MA, day six, part III

Let’s get one thing straight – I am not a gourmand or a chef. I ate excellent breakfasts, lunches, and dinners growing up, my mother was a fine cook, and during my first career, when I was not eating first generation MRE’s (Meal, Ready to Eat, or “three lies in one”, as we called them), or snaring / trapping / otherwise silently gathering small game or fowl and slow cooking it (burning it, really) over the smallest covered fire possible (noise and light discipline is like religion to Lightfighters and LRSD Rangers), or scarfing down the rare delight of hot breakfast served from mermite canisters during field problems, my wife, one of the best cooks whose meals it has been my privilege to enjoy, fed me magnificently…Perhaps too well.

So cooking a week’s worth of food in one day was a real challenge for me. 4000 calories a day would be easy if I simply ate McDonald’s, Subway, Arby’s, or even upgraded my choices to Thai, Korean BBQ, steakhouses, and seafood Calabash buffets, but those calories would be mostly fat, zero-fiber carbs, bad oils, and chemicals.

Although I am still ambivalent about the Boston / Cambridge area (save for the history – I’ll be visiting Paul Revere’s home tomorrow with an old friend, a retired Colonel of Marines who not only earned the coveted black and gold, but fought in BOTH battles of Fallujah, and came out of the second one with his third Purple Heart and a Navy Cross), I’ll give it this: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Markets are pretty much the only grocers to be found.

I don’t cook with ground turkey, because I suspect that like Gwaltney hot dogs, it mostly consists of beaks and a**holes, so I bought 85% lean ground beef, free range organic skinless chicken breasts, free range organic eggs, dried kidney beans, fresh tomatoes, Habanero peppers, and more ginger / sesame / soy salad dressing to use for marinating the chicken, along with multi-grain and 100% whole wheat bread, plenty of quality turkey lunch meat (read: NOT Oscar Mayer), and low-sodium seasonings, along with a bunch of fresh local produce and a case of 42g protein per serving Muscle Milk ready to drink shakes.

I figure lunch and dinner are the only meals I need to pre-cook and package, I’m up plenty early in the morning to cook fresh eggs and bacon while toasting some of that good fibrous bread, to smear liberally with real, fresh butter.

So here you have my dinners for the upcoming week: Habanero chili, marinated chicken breasts with steamed fresh vegetables, and (not shown), lettuce and high calorie protein drinks. Lunch will be two turkey sandwiches with mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, which I’ll prepare and bag while cooking breakfast, and I have plenty of string cheese, chili lime almonds, and mixed berry granola cereal for snacks. I’m relying on protein shakes for 1/3 of my calories and half my protein intake.

Let’s see how I feel this week:

Hingham, MA, day six, part I

The quest for 4000 calories a day begins…Protein shake, coffee, and this at 0500:

I’m going to have to add a second daily cardio session I see, something indoors, recumbent bicycle at the gym for thirty minutes perhaps. It’s just too dang cold for two runs a day.

Is it bad that I’m enjoying all of this exercise? We all know I “ain’t right in the head”, sometimes I wonder if I haven’t gone off the deep end.

Ah well. Better than spending my evenings and weekends in a bottle of booze to decompress, I suppose.

Out here.

Hingham, MA, day five, part IV

Despite last night’s lack of sleep, my pre-workout supplement and a Red Bull, all mixed together in a shaker cup with a “blender ball” with 24g protein powder, allowed me to push through a surprisingly grueling delt / trap workout.

I got to work at 0730, and by 1130, not only was my a** dragging, I felt distinctly ill. I ate my 1//2 turkey and spicy mustard sandwich on multigrain toasted bread and a stick of low-fat string cheese with some effort, then spent a couple of hours zeroing fourteen brand, spanking new M-4 carbines, intending to eat the other half of the sandwich and a salad for lunch, but just the thought of eating almost made me puke. I forced down a 40g protein Muscle Milk to make up for the missed meal, then spent the rest of the work day cleaning, then tagging the weapons as zeroed, maintenance checked, and cleaned, turning them in to the arms room, then leaving for my temporary quarters, still feeling ill.

It didn’t occur to me until I began to cook dinner what the problem might be…Not enough calories to support this twelve week heavy lifting program I’m on (a HIT hybrid). So I made two 1/4 pound bison patties, a big bowl of mixed veggies, AND a bowl of granola cereal, forced it all down, and took a nap.

When I woke up, I felt good as new. Chugged. down two bottles of water, read John Adams for an hour, and am now showered and in bed as I write this.

So, I have to eat more, at least for the next nine weeks until I switch back to a more traditional split. By my new calculations I need 3800 (I’ll just round that up to an even 4000) calories and 300 grams of protein per day. That’s a lot of food (and whey protein “shakes”), so I’ll go shopping tomorrow for groceries and plastic containers, and spend Sunday cooking and packing a week’s worth of meals.

It’s a constant learning process, building muscle without getting fat, but when my first class of marksman candidates reports in, they’ll be evaluating me just as I’ll be evaluating them. I have no worries about my performance in the classroom or on the range, but these guys are half my age – I do not want to look anything but in my best condition, I know how these boys think. Staying in the best shape I can given my afflictions and old wounds has become like a second job.

At least it keeps me from dwelling too much on how much I miss my wife and home. There’s a silver lining in every cloud. Good night, and OUT here for the day.

Hingham, MA, day three, part II

So in addition to the never-ceasing cold and rain, the Infantry god has added gale force winds…

No matter. I have an Amy’s whole grain crust spinach & feta cheese pizza in the oven, and though I’ve been at it since 0500 and a nap sounds good with the rain coming down as it is, that would blow my sleep schedule entirely. So:

That’s what those are for.

A bit of Hulu, a bit of reading, and 2230 will come along shortly.

Hingham, MA, day two, part II

Want to appreciate your wife more than you already do? Take control of your nutritional requirements yourself while in road warrior mode (assuming your temporary quarters is equipped with a full kitchen).

Dinner was served. Baked chicken breast (marinated since last night in soy, balsamic vinegar, and ginger), vegetable medley, and a mixed salad with Makato salad dressing, accompanied with bottled water. For the fifty grams of protein and twelve grams of fiber it provided, it was d***** good – And of course no one cooks just one serving, so I just refrigerated the second serving, that will be Thursday night’s dinner. Low carb tomorrow since it’s an off day for weight training.

Who says men can’t cook? Behold:

I bid you all goodnight. Out here.