Halloween 2011 – Busted

Yesterday started off like any other but after a visit to Occ Health to get our flu shots Nicole started feeling sick. I eventually had to take her home with a  38 degree fever and worked from home for the last couple of hours of my day. By the time I had got the baby, fed her, changed her and put her to bed Nicole had been sick in the baby bath by the bed and was in rough shape. Regardless of the house being completely dark, there were still hopeful kids knocking on the door as I snuck around the house in the dark, trying not to wake Elyse and spreading the smell of vomit throughout the three floors. It was not what I had envisioned for my halloween, but I am probably the only one who will remember this debacle in the end. Today is November, a lost month between Halloween and Christmas mostly known for Rememberance Poppies and Guy Fawkes Night. Here in North America though, it’s just a short breath of fresh air before the Christmas shopping season hits and the snow starts to fall.

White rabbits everyone.

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July 1 2011, The Camping Trip!

P’kah seems to be the only word that really means anything to Elyse. Well, that and abdiggy abdiggy which seems to be an expression of delight. Spending time with Marianna and Violet this weekend has shown that kids develop so differently, even being so close in age. Their temperaments are already coming out and of course with that the parents’ associated predictions of their future personalities. The weekend was very enjoyable despite the drive, I was dreading the drive home the whole time we were there but luckily for us I think leaving at 10:30 got us about 30 minutes ahead of the big slowdown.

We left on Friday morning at some ungodly hour (7:30 I think) because it was July 1 and we had the day off for Canada Day. The early start meant that Elyse wasn’t going to sleep right off the bat but she was pretty well behaved until after she had her first nap on the far side of Barrie. As we got onto the 400 there was already a huge line of traffic, fortunately there had been a problem which had cleared and by Canal Road we were free and clear. Even going through Barrie there was no slowdown. Once we got to Huntsville we decided to go and see if Isabel was working at the Farmer’s Daughter however unfortunately we missed her by just a few minutes. We had coffee, let Elyse stretch her little legs and got back on the road knowing that as far as we were, we were less than half way.

The drive up to North Bay was not bad, mostly for the fact I had never been up there before (why would I??) and the scenery was pretty. The traffic had tailed off to nothing until we rolled into and through North Bay coming out the far side into what is the small town of Sturgeon Falls. On the way up Nicole had found that there was a culinary battle of chip trucks going on in Sturgeon Falls between Larry’s and The Riv both located on the same small street directly opposite one another. As we cruised through town we noticed that the traffic lights were out and once we were out of the car we were informed that the power to the whole town was out. That unfortunately meant that Larry’s couldn’t cut chips so we went across to the Riv and had poutine and a pogo, both standards and the flagship items of both stores. The poutine was amazing, beefy, cheesy and the gravy and curds were all the way through the box of fries not just poured on top like most places do.

After our fill, we took the side road down to Glenrock camp ground and were greeted by what I can only describe as a gypsy site, children running around barefoot, tents and makeshift caravans parked with apparent abandon everywhere, dogs on the loose and people sitting out on their garden chairs surveying their neighbours. It was a rather disturbing site to be honest. We had a hard time finding our “cabin” or shack as I think it deserves to be called but once inside I was pleasantly surprised to find flushing toilets, hot water and electricity. Elyse immediately set about investigating the cabin as we unpacked the car and filled the fridge. I was wiped after the drive so I opted for a short nap, waking in time to be joined by the other couples and their two daughters.

The space was cramped, there is no escaping that, but since we had planned to spend most of the time outdoors, it really didn’t matter that much. We set up the chairs outside and let the girls loose to go and play in the grass and the kids playground outside our back door. They were good to each other, but as kids do they eventually upset each other, stole toys from each other and made up by feeding floorios to each other, it was really very cute! The rest of the day was spent at the shack, hanging out and doing very little. I did manage to get my kettlebell workout done much to the amusement and interest of the surrounding campers. As the evening rolled in we fired up the BBQ and got to work making dinner and getting the kids ready for bed. I was very surprised that the girls were able to sleep through each other’s crying and didn’t seem to mind the change  in their bed locations from home. The site was pretty noisy but the kids slept well in any case. Because it was Canada Day, there was a small but occasionally noisy fireworks display which was in reality was more like some guy letting off a box of costco fireworks over the lake. We participated with sparklers and spent the rest of the night making s’mores, fire grilled hot dogs and debating the possibility of pulling a sparkler out of the fire with your butt cheeks. Needless to say, it was a regular campers night.

The rest of the weekend passed quickly, one of the couples left to spend time with family on Saturday leaving the rest of us to play with the girls and hang out at the site. We did return for more poutine and pogos with Larry’s failing to impress as much as The Riv did. I did manage to get another workout done since the fries were going to sit in my stomach all night if I didn’t. The evening was another BBQ, another fire and a Bingo night provided by the camp site. One of our group won $40 which was a bonus while her husband and I spent our time ridiculing the game the same way you would make fun of someone saying shuffleboard is a sport. The weekly dance was on Saturday night and provided hours of entertainment for us watching the pre-teens dancing in the bandstand, doing cartwheels and handstands to bad 80’s soft rock. Nicole and I had already done our share of cartwheels and handstands but when Party Rockers came on we delighted our travelling companions with our snappy dance moves! Some scrabble, more music and a good cigar later and I retired feeling a little under the weather.

As delightful as the weekend was, I was concerned about the drive home being very long so we opted for  a very early departure with coffees in hand trying to make it to Huntsville area before 1130 when I had projected people would start to leave. The timing was good, and the traffic was not all that bad although we spent at least 30 minutes in a jam where the 400 and 11 meet. One of the other couples was about an hour behind us and spent their whole afternoon in traffic. It was so bad, they stopped at McDonalds just to get out of the throng of vacationers. Nicole, Elyse and I made it home around 2pm and spent the majority of the rest of the day recovering from the drive. As I had imagined, Sunday was a complete bust.

Although I enjoyed the weekend the drive was completely unnecessary. There are places just as nice close to home but since one of the couples was visiting family, we went along for the trip. I wouldn’t get roped into going up there again. Whatever Sudbury has to offer, I don’t need it. I enjoyed the weekend, and even the drive back didn’t dampen my spirits too much, although timing was everything! Elyse made it through none the worse for wear and managed to experience her first camping trip, her first exposure to French Canadians and of course her first almost 10 hour car trip.

P’kah. P’kahhhhh indeed!

 

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Back To Work With You!

So it seems crazy but it is almost a year since Nicole left work. Next week she starts back here and in a couple of weeks we have Elyse’s first birthday party. I can’t believe how time has flown. Not only have we now got a walking baby, but she has already met her Aunt Fizzy and her EuroGrannies while they were here both in October and April. There has been a ton of diapers, endless bottles and many, many sleep interrupted nights and it is weird to think back to the start when we brought her home and felt like we really had no idea what to do. From the first night at home when I think we must have checked on her a hundred times to the first time I had to lower the crib because she was learning to pull herself up it has been a roller coaster ride of heartwarming human development which, for me being an atheist is about as close to a miracle as I can imagine. Bob told me before she was born that “you don’t know love and you don’t know tired until you have a baby” and that is really a wonderfully simple and accurate statement of the last year. I didn’t realize I could love something as much as I love my little girl. Even though I love Nicole with all my heart, the love you have for your child is something completely different and is as indescribable to most people as that adolescent notion of “just knowing” when you meet “the one” who you are meant to be with. Our lives are so completely different now although we live  in the same place and work the same jobs our lives are now filled with meaning and purpose, to provide as much love as possible to that gorgeous little girl as we can. I know we haven’t done a great job at documenting how this year has been, and I hope we will continue to write what we can but for now I am overwhelmed with the amazing process that is the growth of our little baby.

But until now, it’s all been pretty easy. This Tuesday after the Victoria long weekend will be a huge test for all 3 of us. It will be Elyse’s first full day at daycare and Nicole’s first day back at work and I can’t say that I think it’s going to go well. Nicole and I haven’t worked together for a year now, but that is not the biggest deal. The big deal is that for the last year Nicole and Elyse have been inseparable, going out to Stroller Mates together, going to Baby Babble, hanging out at the Early Years Centre, all the things that I hear about but have a hard time imagining are now going to be but a distant memory and suddenly the time we have with our baby will be severely restricted. For me, it’s a transition that will give me more time with my wife, something that I have missed, but for her, it is a harsh reality check back into the real world of work, ringing phones, sitting at a desk all day dealing with co-workers and I think it’s going to be a brutal wake up call. I wish that there was a way to avoid it, to allow Nicole to stay home with the baby but the way things are in the economy nowadays it’s just not feasible. So I guess it will mean that poor little Elyse will have to come home from daycare only to be required to entertain us for hours while we try to get back the time we have missed at work. Maybe she will have to start going to bed later so we can squeeze in an extra hour of play time… It’s all a little bit sad in a way, but also just another part of the rollercoaster that is being a parent.

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Take A Moment. The 60lb Milestone.

For me, fitness is a passion, I just love reading about it, studying it, sharing it with people and so for me this lifestyle is easier that for most. That said, weight is and always has been my nemesis. Today, however, I won the latest installment of the Biggest Loser at work bu losing a total of 21lbs in 3 months. Add that to my journey and you have a total loss of 60lbs.

That’s right. SIXTY POUNDS!!!!

It’s not the first time I have done this kind of weight loss, but I am hoping it will be the last.

Many times we get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we don’t take a moment to recognize our achievements. The reason for this is that those of us with borderline obsessive personalities know that the second you take your foot off the gas you risk going off the road completely. For me, that is the final step in my final journey. The ability to step back for a moment, see what I have accomplished, congratulate myself, celebrate a little but then get back to work. In the past I have allowed the celebrations to linger too long, to allow the congratulatory process to lead me back to the place that I started. This time, however, I think I will be OK. My thoughts for celebration are more of the non edible variety whereas in the past, my usual victory dance was around a large pepperoni pizza and a 2 litre bottle of coke! I don’t know what I am going to do to celebrate my 60lb milestone but I know that whatever it is, it won’t get in the way of my 75lb milestone which is my next big goal. That would put me at around 217lbs which is slightly below my current goal weight.

Maybe then I will have that pizza…. with coconut flour crust 🙂

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6 Months Paleo, the photo update

Medium day, the day when I feel like I can use the 70lb KB to do Clean and Press because I took it easy on Light Day. Medium day = sore back the next day. Either way, almost every person who claims to know anything about Kettlebell training says you are supposed to occasionally use a KB that is heavy for you and difficult to do anything with. That in mind, I tried some C&P with the 70 and almost killed myself in the process. However, I was able to do at least 1, 2 and 3 C&P with it during my 5th and final set. I woke up this morning still able to walk so it didn’t kill me!

One of the questions I have had ever since the beginning of my P90X journey is for photo updates, mostly because people’s reluctance to subscribe to the system is that they think it won’t work. If they are willing to give it a shot, it is usually on the back of seeing someone just like them who has succeeded. I know I am the same, the reason I started with P90X was not only because I had tried P90 with my wife during the summer a couple of years ago and pretty much hated it. It was too easy, it reminded me of a bad 80’s aerobic class. I had a hankering for something that would make me feel manly, like I could rip a phone book apart with my bare hands, something that would help me to return to my former fitness glory. I was fat. I had got down to 252 lbs right before the wedding in 2007 but since then had ballooned back up to 292. During the wedding push we had eaten vegan, tried the raw diet, ate a lot of fruits and veg but just couldn’t stick with it. The problem was cravings for carbs since we had inadvertently gone full carb in our diet. It was a train wreck of a diet but as with most things, if you are really fat, but exercising, you will likely lose some weight. I knew as we started our honeymoon cruise that I was never going to be able to maintain that low number. I had forced myself into that weight, given up everything I wanted and been miserable in the process. The photos from the wedding looked great, but I was setting myself up for failure. When we went toEngland in 2008 I was at my all time high (again) and was one Sticky Toffee Pudding away from 300lbs. Fast forward to now, at 245lbs and I feel like I can still go lower without really trying. Weight loss has become simple and a no brainer for me since giving up grains and going paleo.

So what of the photos? Well, during my first round of P90X I didn’t follow the diet plan, in fact, right up until the third week of round 4 I wasn’t really on a diet as such. I always had reasons I didn’t need to, and as a result, I always had a reason not  to take pictures. The reason: I wasn’t losing any of my stored body fat. I was getting fitter, although during round 2 I was also getting heavier, not lighter. It was a struggle at times to keep up and keep going but once I started in with Insanity, things started to improve a little. It was round 3, I had a new baby as motivation and so I dropped  a few pounds, not that you could really notice since losing 10 lbs when you are 270 is like Justin Bieber, largely irrelevant. I would like to say that I did P90X and was transformed but my journey wasn’t that direct. During round 1 I took bodypart pictures because I still wasn’t proud enough to do a full body shot. I am not sure why, I was in OK shape at the time but still weighing in at a whopping 260lbs. That was the last time I was anywhere near confident enough to share my shape. So I thought since I owe so much to this system I have developed that I would put together some pictures to show my progress. Not just my progress in P90X but my overall progress to where I am now which, I am hoping, is only half way to where I will end up.

1991 - around 190lbs

The picture that brought it all home. Summer 08

August 2009 - 260lbs

March 2011 - 245lb unretouched

 

So that is where I am and where I came from. I am hoping that from now on I will be able to post more picture updates, it’s good for my confidence, my comfort level and hopefully it will be a good motivator for someone waiting in the wings hoping to step into the game…

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Last Blast of Winter and Baby Updates

167748_10150117835158383_509113382_7653645_163344_n (1)Last night was the end, I can feel it. The weather has been steadily improving in fits and starts as usual but we were promised a few days of normal temeratures and we got a deluge of snow. It’s 3 already this morning and by the weekend I can guarantee we will have some flowers poking their heads out of the ground. Spring is a pretty special time of year, it’s Nicole’s favourite season so she is bound to be excited. It’s nice to be able to drive with windows down and even better to have the french doors open in the house and of course, to use the new deck! Things will be extra exciting this year becasue it’s Elyse’s first spring, her first introduction to the best thing about Canada which is the seasonal changes. She is really changing herself nowadays (not literally, that would be a miracle!!) on her 9 month birthday she learned to crawl, just days after she learned to stand by herself. Nicole has her taking a few steps every day, it’s just bizarre that she can walk already! Her crawling is a bit odd, she uses one knee but one foot so she does tend to go in circles a little, one good thing though since I put the hardwood in you can hear her slapping the floor as she goes along. Once the slapping stops you need to look and see what she has found! Yesterday was another big day, she sprouted her first tooth. Illogically, I came home expecting a big shiny white tooth but of course all you can see is a tiny white dot in her gum. Still exciting though. Let’s hope she learns to look where she is crawling so that she doesn’t knock it out by banging her face on the wall…

Things with Nicole and I are pretty hectic at the moment, because I was given the Evolution Gymnastics competitive group full time. That is a 3 day a week commitment which is fine however, I am also still doing recreational on the other 2 days which means basically last week and this week we have hardly seen each other. The good news is that this week is the end of rec for me and so I will be back to just the 3 days. With the amount of working out that Nicole and I do plus the baby and the coaching our lives are pretty hectic but the one thing I have learned from Nicole over the years is not to shy away from having full days. I realize that we have financial challenges now with the baby, but having 2 jobs seems pretty normal to me now. If you had asked me before I met Nicole if I would even dream about having a second job I would have called you crazy but watching Nicole’s work ethic, and realizing that my Mum and Dad both did the same things when I was a kid makes it all make sense. It does help that I love my second job, I can’t imagine a more rewarding job than helping children achieve their goals. And it’s not just children, I derive great pleasure from helping people with their fitness and diet and for some time now I have thought that doing it full time not be a bad thing. It’s a great backup plan, and a wonderful second income but I have to admit the security of my hospital job can’t be beat. Also, if I am honest, I still really enjoy the security and technical aspects of my work. The environment could be better, and the politics could certainly be more positive but all in all, I am fortunate to have 2 jobs that interest, challenge and reward me in the way they do.

“You don’t know tired and you don’t know love until you have children”

That was a comment from my co-worker Bob that I have always remembered. He said that when his kids were born 7 years ago and he is right. It’s a different kind of love, for sure, but you have no idea the strength of the attachment you have to your child. It makes you crazy, knowing how you feel and realizing suddenly that your parents probably felt the same about you and all the things from your childhood come racing back with a different perspective. It’s so sad in so many ways that our wisdom often comes so late, but truly, better late than never!

I am running  “Biggest Loser 6 – Summer Sprint 2011” at work in another attempt to help my co-workers lose their unwanted pounds and also in the process make some money off them HAHAHAHAH!!! I wrote in my fitness blog the other day about how sad it is that the Biggest Loser on TV is necessary and how people need to realize what they are doing to themselves. It was a bit of a rant, but it kind of burns me that we reward people for failing and then recovering from something that was completely avoidable. Anyway, I don’t need to climb on my soapbox today so I will let that be. BL6 weigh in was this morning and I was down 5lbs for the last 2 weeks however it’s not really reflective of my weigh since I have clothes on, it’s not an ideal time of day and so on. My weight clothed is now 249.4 which means my actual weigh is probably around the 245lb mark. That’s 38lbs down from October when I “went Paleo” with my diet but also 48lbs down from my heaviest.

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NYC in the Spring During Winter…

virgilsbbqSo my wonderful wife surprised me with a trip to NYC for my birthday this past weekend so rather than sulk in the basement about my age and work out too hard, we ended up walking around NYC for the best part of 6 hours a day for 4 days. The weather was incredible 62 degrees which made it New York in the spring. Ever since we visited NY a couple of years ago we have wanted to go back, much the same as Chicago and Boston however since this was a surprise visit, I didn’t get much of a chance to plan the events. We did however manage to get to some amazing food places both on our NY Food on Foot tour and by ourselves. Of course, I was bound and determined to stay paleo and I think I did a pretty good job. HillcountryOur first stop was to Hill Country BBQ (30 West 26th St) a place that I had found on a couple of Paleo sites as being one of the hot spots. The food was pretty good, I liked the whole setup with the card that you get checked for each thing you order. Also, they serve the food in brown paper which just added to the experience. The food on the whole was good, the brisket was tasty, but tougher than you would have thought. The chicken was apparently good, and since we ordered the lunch special we got to try several items for a pretty good price of around $25. The ribs were very good, both beef and pork, and the sauces available at the table were tasty and not overly hot or spicy. We would go back, that is for sure, however we found another place that we enjoyed even more. That place was Virgil’s BBQ and I have to say it kicked HC’s ass. The brisket was the best I have ever had, melt in your mouth, massive flavour and juicy as could be. The other meats we had were equally good including the chicken, ribs and the order of wings I had were the best smoked wings I have ever tasted. The smoke flavour is what made it so good, but you could also tell the quality of the meat was amazing. It was truly the best BBQ I have ever eaten and that is saying a lot considering last time we were here we went to Blue Smoke! So the Paleo lifestyle was truly in check, and I have never felt better. During the rest of our stay, we made a point of going to Whole Foods to stock up the apartment style hotel room at Eastgate Towers, but also, on the last day we went to Trader Joe’s to find out what the big deal was. Well, for a Canadian that doesn’t have a food outlet like Trader Joe I was in heaven. They had raw nuts and seeds, grass fed beef and plenty of snacks and meals for the Paleo eater. I was surprised to find that everything in the store was Trader Joe brand, I was not expecting that, but the pricing was pretty good and we left with a bunch of nuts and seeds with which to make my own brand of trail mix.

Shake Shack FTW!!

Shake Shack FTW!!

The Food on Foot tour took us along 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen to 7 smaller and less expensive stores. The food quality all in all was pretty good and it was interesting to see the neighbourhood. For whatever reason Hell’s Kitchen has a lot of small inexpensive and quality restaurants. From Go Sushi to Amy’s Bread to City Sandwich we ate our way up and down 9th with abandon including a stop at The Little Pie Company. The tour was fun, the guide was a very pleasant guy and we met people from all over the world in the group.

What a great weekend, all in all, however, I did ZERO working out. I was not concerned, because this was supposed to be a rest week for me anyway and walking 6 hours a day is good enough. I did get mild shin splints and stretched my groin a little, but all in all, it was a great time away.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention  a couple of other places. First, Shake Shack which has the most amazing, tasty, juicy and irresistible burgers ever with amazing crispy crinkle cut fries and shakes that are literally out of this world. The place was packed and once we got our food we knew why. If you go to NYC, you MUST GO to Shake Shack. Also, for my wife, a shout out to rice to riches where she had some delicious ricetorichesrice pudding (who knew there was a store dedicated to rice pudding??) and I enjoyed their decor, ambiance and the fact they didn’t hide the fact that they are selling a bowl of carbs that will make you fat! They also claim to have “Dozens of Delicious Flavours and 3 Shitty Ones”!

Other food highlights include Pop Burger near FAO Schwartz, Poseidon Bakery on 9th which had amazing nut brittle and Levain’s Bakery which was featured on Best Thing I Ever Ate and who had very tasty cookies according to my wife who enjoyed it so much by the time we got across the street the melty chocolate was all over her face!

So back to reality, I will do day 1 of my new program today, skip the day off and complete the week.

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Vegas 2010 Part I

Sad, sad salad

Sad, sad salad

Vegas 2010, what a trip that was! We had some loose ends to tie up before we left so getting on the road in sub zero temperatures after working all day and having to drive to Niagara wasnt’ the best way to start the trip. However, we got out of the house and on the road before Elyse’s bed time and hoped the drive wouldn’t be too bad. As it turned out, the drive was OK, we ended up needing gas at the Petro Canada near the end of the lake but as we got further towards Buffalo the weather got progressively worse. We arrived at Sheraton Fallsview Resort fairly late to discover it is located between the Hard Rock cafe and the Casino. It is on the other side of the Casino from the nice but painfully small Crowne Plaza. The first impression wasn’t good, a pushy little jerk of a man in a valet suit telling me I had to leave my keys with him while I checked in. This wasn’t going to happen and after a mini battle of wills he backed down and we checked in, keys in hand. The concierge was very helpful and actually upgraded us to a fallsview room with 2 queen beds which according to most people who use Hotwire NEVER HAPPENS because the hotels have a grudge against Hotwire people paying too little for their rooms. This, of course is the ramblings of conspiracy theorists who seem to forget that since you are there you are giving the hotel revenue they would otherwise have missed. So check in was fine however when it comes to a room for the night and the desire to save as much as possible, don’t forget that down by the falls, you will pay upwards of $20 a night for parking whereas at the Days Inn at the top of Clifton Hill, the parking is free. If you are happy to spend $72 on a room, just consider it will be $92 all told. That could be a big factor in your decision.
The hotel is nice, well appointed the room was very large, very clean and quite impressive. The amenities are good but everythign was closed when we got there, we were tired and went out to dinner so the hotel didn’t get the exposure that would have lead to an accurate review. I can say that the parking is the same parking that the Crowne Plaza uses which is close to both and you can get to it from inside the hotel which is nice. It is also the same parking that Casino Niagara uses so it can be busy at times.
We went to Red Lobster for some light dinner and I was served the worst salad in the history of the world. It was a side salad, granted, but it consisted of some cut up iceberg lettuce, two end cuts off a tomato and one piece of onion. The croutons tried to save the day only to find that I don’t actually eat fossilized bread.
The beds were comfortable, the hotel was quiet and the evening passed quickly. The next day we were up and out of there early to get to the Airport for our 8:15 flight. The only problme we encouneterd was a jackass of and American border guard who after mumbling through his questions with his hands in his pockets like a guilty schoolboy proceeded to tell Nicole (“yes, you” he said) that she should not be eating an apple next time we go through because “It’s rude”. I guess we offended his sensibilities because on the return trip we got the third degree at the border. Obvioulsy he had entered some information incorrectly or flagged the vehicle as suspicious. it always amazes me the kind of Napoleon Complex that these typically short, weak men bring to work with them using their uniform and associated authority as a substitute for their lack of self worth and sagging masculinity. I always knew border guards in particular were idiots, but this guy really made a spectacle of himself. Had we had the time I would have taken him to task but we had places to go. We had already checked in so after parking the car pretty close in lot A we were all set for the security assault and the inevitable battle for airoplane seats.
Vegas 2010, what a trip that was! We had some loose ends to tie up before we left so getting on the road in sub zero temperatures after working all day and having to drive to Niagara wasnt’ the best way to start the trip. However, we got out of the house and on the road before Elyse’s bed time and hoped the drive wouldn’t be too bad. As it turned out, the drive was OK, we ended up needing gas at the Petro Canada near the end of the lake but as we got further towards Buffalo the weather got progressively worse. We arrived at Sheraton Fallsview Resort fairly late to discover it is located between the Hard Rock cafe and the Casino. It is on the other side of the Casino from the nice but painfully small Crowne Plaza. The first impression wasn’t good, a pushy little jerk of a man in a valet suit telling me I had to leave my keys with him while I checked in. This wasn’t going to happen and after a mini battle of wills he backed down and we checked in, keys in hand. The concierge was very helpful and actually upgraded us to a fallsview room with 2 queen beds which according to most people who use Hotwire NEVER HAPPENS because the hotels have a grudge against Hotwire people paying too little for their rooms. This, of course is the ramblings of conspiracy theorists who seem to forget that since you are there you are giving the hotel revenue they would otherwise have missed. So check in was fine however when it comes to a room for the night and the desire to save as much as possible, don’t forget that down by the falls, you will pay upwards of $20 a night for parking whereas at the Days Inn at the top of Clifton Hill, the parking is free. If you are happy to spend $72 on a room, just consider it will be $92 all told. That could be a big factor in your decision.
The hotel is nice, well appointed the room was very large, very clean and quite impressive. The amenities are good but everything was closed when we got there, we were tired and went out to dinner so the hotel didn’t get the exposure that would have lead to an accurate review. I can say that the parking is the same parking that the Crowne Plaza uses which is close to both and you can get to it from inside the hotel which is nice. It is also the same parking that Casino Niagara uses so it can be busy at times.
We went to Red Lobster for some light dinner and I was served the worst salad in the history of the world. It was a side salad, granted, but it consisted of some cut up iceberg lettuce, two end cuts off a tomato and one string of onion. The croutons tried to save the day only to find that I don’t actually eat fossilized bread.
The beds were comfortable, the hotel was quiet and the evening passed quickly. The next day we were up and out of there early to get to the Airport for our 8:15 flight. The only problem we encountered was a jackass of and American border guard who after mumbling through his questions with his hands in his pockets like a guilty schoolboy proceeded to tell Nicole (“yes, you” he said) that she should not be eating an apple next time we go through because “It’s rude”. I guess we offended his sensibilities because on the return trip we got the third degree at the border. Obviously he had entered some information incorrectly or flagged the vehicle as suspicious. It always amazes me the kind of Napoleon Complex that these typically short, weak men bring to work with them using their uniform and associated authority as a substitute for their lack of self worth and sagging masculinity. I always knew border guards in particular were idiots, but this guy really made a spectacle of himself. Had we had the time I would have taken him to task but we had places to go. We had already checked in so after parking the car pretty close in lot A we were all set for the security assault and the inevitable battle for Southwest aeroplane seats.
Yes, stupid American spell check, it’s aeroplane not airplane, honestly you are as bad as the border guards.
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Fathead – Movie Review (Documentary, actually)

I watched this movie, mostly because it is recommended for anyone wanting to know more about the farce that is the medical and nutritional information out there regarding our diet. The other reason is that it is touted as the “follow-up” to “Supersize Me” which I actually enjoyed, blissful in my ignorance. I say ignorance because I am usually critical of most things I see on the TV or internet and somehow this one got by me. Maybe because I have been blinded by years of false information feeding us the line that fat is the enemy and therefore fast food is somehow making us all fat, even those of us who don’t eat the stuff. It is almost as if the whole medical profession and the food companies (read grain producers) have banded together to point the finger at fat as being the single worst thing in the world. Funny… I guess it is the old bait and switch because as it turns out, it’s not fat at all, it’s sugar. The movie “Fathead” makes one very good point and that is that it appears as though we have all been part of a giant experiment to see if the Lipid Hypothesis and all the support for the Food Pyramid is really valid and it appears as though it is not. We have long been told to eat grains, in fact, to eat most of our calories from grains but in reality what we are doing is spiking our insulin and making ourselves fatter. It’s funny, if you talk to anyone over the age of 60 and ask them what their parents or grandparents would think about a diet of bread, pasta and potatoes and they will tell you exactly what we are not being told, it will MAKE YOU FAT! If they knew, then when did we become so smart that we knew better? I would suggest it was when we started converting the majority of the US and Canadian prairies into massive commodity goods producing farmland. Once wheat, soybean and corn took over, the food manufacturers had to find something to do with all that product. High Fructose Corn Syrup, sybean oil, canola oil and so on were born. This stuff is boring to most so I will stop now, but reading The Vegetarian Myth certainly began to open my eyes to the problems we are facing from the agriculturization of our prairies and the issues that providing for a vegetarian diet causes.

But, to my point… I really just wanted to say that I feel fantastic. i have been keeping away from saturated fats for so long that I forgot how good you feel when your body is getting the correct foods. Maybe I am wrong, it could be the fruit but somehow I doubt it. My mental alertness is better and my mood is definitely better. Also, I don’t feel so creaky in the morning regardless of the fact that I now have 2 impeding injuries. I knew that on the Paleo diet it was going to be difficult not having grains at all but let me tell you that having saturated fats more than makes up for it. Keeping my fitday diary has made sure that even though I can scramble eggs with a bit of butter and have bacon and beef again my calories are still below what I need to maintain this obtuse weight. If nothing else, you should watch Fathead because it makes you wake up to the biological fact as to why you are overweight and unhealthy and that is the blood glucose problems that carbohydrates bring. Insulin is the enemy and whatever aggravates your insulin is a problem. That also explains the hypothesis and success behind the GI diets from a couple of years ago since low GI foods don’t spike your blood sugar and therefore don’t tell your body to stay fat.

I’m down 30lbs. That seems like evidence enough.

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Countdown – Hotwire Deal?

Well, Hotwire has given us about $30 off our room at the Sheraton Fallsview Resort which we already know we like so props to them. Although at almost $100 with taxes etc a deal isn’t what it used to be. I can’t find an entry with the hotel reviewed so I guess this will be our chance. We will be there on a snowy Wednesday arriving late and leaving early so our exposure may be minimal but nevertheless we do know we like it so I am pretty happy.

Speaking of snow, we had 6″ last night, another 4″ slated for today and this week is supposed to be cold all week. I am hoping Nicole will have cleared her stuff out of the garage so tonight I can find room for her car. Clearing a path this morning was not fun at all!!!

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