Thursday, June 7, 2012

Perception is reality....

I'm a firm believer in "perception is reality". Many times we focus on what is negative or we fail to look at what a situation really is. Your reality will differ from someone else's reality. I personally try to look at every situation, good or bad, and find the positive in it or how I can use it to benefit me. You choose to either see how you can use it to your advantage or you can let it bring you down.

At the end of the day someone may ask you "how was your day". 9 out of 10 times if 1 thing bad happened to you that day you will say you had a bad or rough day. However, if you stop and think about the positive you can say you actually had a good day. In my opinion 1 bad thing doesn't override  multiple good things. Some people like the attention from people giving them sympathy but the reality is its WAY more fun having someone tell you that your positive thoughts or attitude helped inspire or motivate them.

There will be times in your life when something happens that tests you! Spin it on the positive.... car broke down, at least you have a car to drive.... lost your job, you now have the opportunity to find something that challenges you more, you are happier at or better yet make more money..... got in an argument with a friend, at least you have friends to argue with, plus if you are arguing with them that means you both care and its an opportunity to strengthen your relationship..... money is tight and you have to pay rent or bills, this means you have a roof over your head, food in your mouth and you possess items..... I could go on but I think the point is made haha

Moving forward see if you can take a moment to turn any situation where you would normally see it as negative and find the positive in it! You will be amazed at how your perception in life will change. Its powerful!

Here are also a few of my favorite motivational quotes.

-The attitude, and the mind, is where it all starts. - John Smith, Olympic Champion
Attitude controls behavior - Unknown
-People can alter their lives by altering their attitudes. - William James
-Change your thoughts and you change your world. - Norman Vincent Peale
-Our attitude is the primary force that will determine whether we succeed or fail. - John C. Maxwell
-Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it. - Irving Berlin
-Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity. - Omar Idn Al-Halif
-Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. - Marianne Williamson
-There are two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. - Edith Wharton
-A person's true character is revealed by what he does when no one is watching. - Unknown
-All our dreams can come true - if we have the courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney
-In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein
-It isn't the load that breaks us down; it's the way we carry it. - Unknown
-Never think of the consequences of failing for you will always think of a negative result. Think only positive thoughts and your mind will gravitate towards those thoughts! - Michael Jordan
-Although elementary, turning negatives into positives is the best foundation to having a happy life. - Unknown
-If you think you can, or you think you can't, your right! - Henry Ford
-Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. - John Wooden
-Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. - Unknown
-The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. - Mark Twain
-Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die tomorrow. - James Dean
-Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. - Ralph Waldo Emerson 
-The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. - Winston Churchill

Last but not least....

Live for today, tomorrow is promised to no one!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The journey into my first physique competition

NPC San Jose July 14th

March 26th marked the beginning of contest prep to compete in a physique competition. Think bodybuilder but not as big. You follow a similar training program, however your goal is not to to be the biggest. The goal is to be the most conditioned, symmetrical and proportionate. This is something I have always wanted to do but never actually pulled the trigger!! I knew it would be hard but I had NO idea what I was getting into!

I am currently 10 weeks into my prep with 6 weeks left to go. I have been on a very limited and strict diet with multiple workouts per day. I eat 6 meals a day and they are all basically the same with slight variations. No fruit or nuts...... ahhh what do I do!! At first I thought "this isnt too bad" but as time has gone on and my body fatigues, each workout has gotten harder and harder. Its not just about working out and cardio though. I spend hours and hours shopping, cooking and prepparing my food for the week. I carry a cooler (I can fit a VW bug inside it) with me everywhere I go with all my food for the day along with backup protein shakes and a gallon of water.

I still have 6 weeks to go and I cant begin to describe what I have learned about myself. I cant count the times I didnt want to cook or go to the gym yet I knew that the guy on stage next to me wasnt taking a day off. I lost count of all the food cravings I have, the events I have missed, the family and friends I have no time for and my poor truck hasnt been washed in 10 weeks haha! I feel like a space cadet (ok thats normal, but more than normal) and cant always gather my thoughts.

BUT what I have learned is that my mind is way more powerful than I ever imagined. I have proved to myself that if something is wanted and wanted bad enough, it CAN be obtained. Trying is second place, you do or you dont! As the saying goes "your mind will give up 1000 times before your body will". 

Ok its time to go eat meal number 5! The journey is not over yet and there is still 6 weeks of learning to do! Just remember, if you want something bad enough you will find a way!!

To be cont.........

Bucket List

A year and a half ago I create my to-do list. Never too early to create your list. Do you have one?

Here is mine! Completed list and to do list. The list is always growing too! You would be surprised how much you actually get out and do when you create a list!

Marathon (OC Marathon 5/6/12)

Half Marathon (Santa Cruz Half Marathon 4/12/12)
Golden Gate Bridge - Walk across
Travel outside the United States
Sushi - Make your own (Sashimi)
Run a 5k (Warrior Dash)Germany - Visit family
See it snow in another country
Skydiving (x3)
Helicopter ride - Hawaii
Bobsledding - Austria
Hawaii (x2)
Tough Mudder - Tahoe
Spartan Super Mudder
Cliff jumping - Hawaii
Swim with Sea Turtles (Hawaii)
Mardi Gras - Mississippi
Grand Canyon - Arizona
Bungee jumping - Tahoe
Zipline - Hawaii
Indoor skydiving
Ride dirtbike in snow

Go to the movies alone
Go to dinner alone
Run Wharf to Wharf (Santa Cruz to Capitola)
Abalone Diving
Boston Marathon
Fitness Competition
Napa wine tasting
Learn sign language
Bear hunting
Northern Lights
Spain - Run with the bulls
Seattle - Pikes Market
Train Dinner - Bank Robber
Mount Rushmore
Niagara Falls
Hike Halfdome Yosemite
Swim with Sharks
100 Top Hikes in Norcal
Whale watching
Sail under the Golden Gate Bridge
Become Firefighter
Hot air balloon ride
Marlin fishing
Boston - Watch a Boston Celtics game
Run a Marathon, Half Marathon or Mud Run in all 50 states
Run a Marathon in another country
Yellowstone Natural Hot Springs- Wyoming
Snowboard in another country

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baked Sweet Potatoes

During my preparation for my contest I am limited to what I can eat. I have never been a huge fan of sweet  potatoes however I love anything pumpkin. Well I couldn't eat plain white potatoes everyday! I would go crazy! SO I decided to give sweet potatoes a try. What I didn't realize is they taste very similar to pumpkin and they are low-glycemic yet they have a nice sweet taste to them. These little gems are like candy!!!

What you need:
2 Baking Sheet Pans
Parchment Paper
Olive Oil Spray (Pam can be used too)
3lbs Sweet Potatoes (I use Yams, they are the orange ones)
Popcorn Salt (optional)

  1. Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees
  2. Wash all your sweet potatoes and set aside. Leave the skin on as it provides additional minerals and nutrients
  3. Dry your potatoes and set aside. Do NOT wash your potatoes until they are ready to be prepped and cooked. They have a soft skin and will start to get soggy if you wash them the day before or a few hours before.
  4. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and apply a thin coat of spray to the paper
  5. Slice your sweet potatoes into 1/2" disks. Cut across the potato and not down the lenght of it. 
  6. Arrange all your disks on the sheet pans. (its kinda like a jig saw puzzle)
  7. Apply another light spray of Olive Oil or Pam to the potatoes
  8. Liberally sprinkle cinnamon on top of potatoes.
  9. Sprinkle with popcorn salt (optional, this will pull some of the water out of the potatoes as it cooks and with the water will come some of the natural sugars. This will help with the carmelization, however I don't use the salt and mine caramelize just fine. I prefer not to add salt to things, but to each their own.)


  1. Place both sheets of potatoes on the center racks in the oven.
  2. Cook for 40 minutes. (Leave them alone. Its hard to over cook them)
  3. Take them out after 40 minutes and flip all of them over. (you will notice some carmelization on the bottom)
  4. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes in the oven. 
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Eat them all (which is what I want to do) or place them in Tupperware for later.
These are amazing right out of the oven but they are just as amazing when eaten cold. I prefer to eat them cold.

The journey starts.....

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking of finding an avenue to share my thoughts, interactions, experiences, cool things I come across, motivations, recipes and somewhere to just let these crazy thoughts run wild. What better way then to throw this all up on a blog revolving around living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The power behind health and fitness is truly amazing and I really want to share my experience! I have always been into fitness but never really focused on the health aspect.....until 3 years ago.

3 years ago I decided I needed to make a change. I had someone close to me living with Chrons Disease, a gastro intestinal auto-immune disease, and I unfortunately watched them go from an active collegiate athlete to being bed ridden in extreme pain. Barely able to get out of bed, her life had diminished right before all our eyes. I myself, although not sick, was living a similar lifestyle. I wasn't living, I was merely existing. I was out of shape and not happy with who Herb was. It was time to start living!!!

I started off by getting back in the gym. I wasn't focused so much on diet at this point but focused more on  making that first step. I spent many early mornings (430am) on the stair climber and treadmill. I realized after a few months of feeling better physically yet no change in my physical appearance that I needed to alter my diet. I went a little extreme and stuck to proteins, complex carbs and green veggies. By extreme I mean I was very strict and limited on what I ate. I was by no means eating a diverse healthy lifestyle. This lead to a weight loss of 40lbs in 5 months but quickly spun back out of control and I rebounded back and gained 20lbs of it back. I was not preparing myself for living a healthy life. For the next year I slacked off with the gym and my eating habits. It wasn't till about a year and a half ago that something clicked inside me and I decided I wanted to change it all up! I wanted to LIVE! I decided it was time to live my dash instead of just existing. Not only did I get back in the gym and start eating a diverse healthy diet but I also started to travel. I had to step out of my bubble. I never realized what was in-store for me! I am not the same Herb that I was 3 years ago!

In this blog I want to share my new found love of life, my journeys, motivations, amazing (healthy) recipes I have found/modified. I recently also entered a physique competition and never expected what I was about to teach myself. Health and fitness has change my life and I want to share as much of it as I can. If I can inspire just one person this will all be worth it.

Last but not least, I have frequently have people asking me for help, guidance, ideas for food or questions about items in the health and fitness world. I do not know everything but I'm happy to answer any questions the best I can!! If you want me to post about something let me know, who knows, someone else might be wondering the same thing. Take what I share along with your own research and find what works best for you. 

Let the fun begin!!!