1. Random Exercise Update

    By @LisaTeso Stats: View Comments

    I have finally returned to my regularly scheduled yoga sessions after a self-abuse-induced 4 week hiatus.

    My ankle injury/swollen toes (upward facing dog induced??) knocked 2 weeks outta rotation. Then I decided to pick a fight with a punching bag, setting me on the sidelines for another 2 weeks.

    Yoga is kinda hard to do when you can’t bend your ankles, make a fist or support your body weight while on your hands and/or toes.

    You may have guessed it already, but in case it isn’t obvious to you: I am looking to add some martial arts or straight up street fighting in to my regular exercise routine. I’ve already investigated Mo Duk Pai and speed-bag work. Any recommendations for someone with (basically) no fight training (aside from a little Kajukembo YEARS ago)? I don’t know what has inspired this, but I’d like to hit something. Something that can hit back.

    This will, naturally, be added AFTER my busy photo-season is past. Not a good idea to show up to shoot a wedding looking a bruised mess :)

  2. 4HB Slow Carb Diet | Month 7 or 8 ish, 7.5?

    By @LisaTeso Stats: View Comments

    Where to start…. My last 4hb update was at Week 6 (5 months ago). Holy moly that was a long time ago!

    A lot has happened since then, I’d like to summarize the changes, challenges and quirks that are working for my mister and I 8 months into this way-of-living (because, lets face it: calling this a “diet” is inadequate).

    Since March, I’ve ventured into the world of Paleo, created a hybrid of Paleo and Slow Carb diets that I thought worked well for me, went on a cruise and struggled with cheating, added in a crap-load of exercise, came back to a pure Slow Carb diet, added in even more exercise, tackled working the 2011 wedding season (and the food/cake that comes with it), etc. My report:

    My hybrid of Paleo and Slow Carb: No bueno. I added fruit into my diet and removed beans. While it was delicious, it was more of an excuse for me to get sugar into my system. While I don’t see anything wrong with having a handful of blueberries fresh off the bush once every week during Summer, it was a slippery slope for me. Moral: Beans keep me satiated and energized. Fruit should be saved for cheat day.

    Speaking of cheat day: It sucks. When we started this 4hb thang cheat day began with Texas french toast and cappuccinos. Now we’re sticking to eggs and beans for breakfast and one regular meal + one cheat meal (for me it’s nachos from Los Gorditos). And maybe some FroYo :) We’ve certainly become much more judicious with our cheat meals.

    Cruising on a Slow Carb diet: An interesting conundrum indeed. Open buffet’s, SUNDAE buffets, 24 hour access to room service pizza/fries/booze… Chris and I lost our resolve and added in an additional cheat day on our week long cruise, just so we could “enjoy” what the ship had to offer. We made the most of our access to pina coladas and I destroyed the DIY nacho bar. We did manage to hit the gym on the ship (and the jogging track!) several times too. However, our desire to stuff our faces has been pretty quiet since this trip. I guess that’s what a cruise ship can do to your tummy.

    As for exercise: I’ve found what works for me, Power Vinyasa (also known as Hot Yoga and Core Power Yoga). I’ve been hitting up to 3 classes a week and inter-mixing runs and walks with the dogs. Since I started Vinyasa-ing regularly my strength has increased ridiculously quickly, I’ve PUT ON 8lbs but continued to lose inches (I’ve lost an additional inch in my waist over the past 3 months) and I have much better body awareness. Not only that but the mental/spiritual aspect of yoga is just as important for me as the strength building aspect.

    My mister has been running to and from the gym (about 3 miles round trip) and lifting like a banchee. Let’s suffice it to say he is wicked strong. Our bodies are working like well-oiled machines.

    What has been the most challenging part of this whole diet? Family meals. Our families feel they need to go out of their way to prepare us “special” food at family meals or when we eat out. That isnt the case. Every family BBQ involves meat and veggies. We can make do without any additional party-planning-hubbub… But convincing mother’s whose regular line of “you look skinny, eat more!” of that has been challenging. Noticing how celebration = sugar has been eye opening too. When we want to celebrate something, our habit is to turn to super unhealthy food. Wedding = cake. Birthday = cake, pie, ice cream, hot dogs, soda, etc. Weird correlation, right?

    I’ve also had a real struggle watching how our families eat on a regular basis. I want to tell them the downside of eating ice cream or a candy bar every day. I want to mention that non of the ingredients in a TV dinner are actually REAL food. Knowing that my sister starts each day with a Slim Fast shake drives me nuts. Pasta? What is pasta made out of, do you know? Bread? Do you know what enriched white flower is? Is that really a good idea to snack on that rather then veggies or nuts? It’s difficult to not sound like a smart-ass and say: “All of those pains, aches, mood-swings and tiredness are directly related to the fuel you’re feeding your body” — so I stay quiet. (This isn’t to say that I don’t have mood-swings or tiredness, but overall I’ve evened out significantly!) Right now I’m hoping that our lifestyle will speak for itself, that Chris and I are leading by example.

    And, with that I step off of my soapbox and return to my regularly scheduled day of photo editing. I hope to put together another 4hb update for you BEFORE 5 more months go by. The next one will include photos, promise.

    Be well!

  3. Paleo Plan | Portland Food Photography

    By @LisaTeso Stats: View Comments

    I recently had the opportunity to work with Jason Glaspey (of Pie). We spent an afternoon in W+K‘s gorgeous kitchen shooting produce, raw meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, spices… to create a photo library for his website Paleo Plan.

    If you aren’t familiar with Paleo, check out this book: The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

    If you ARE familiar, check out Paleo Plan — it’s an invaluable resource for your lifestyle.

  4. 365 Days To A New Me, 365 Days Later

    By @LisaTeso Stats: View Comments

    Ana has completed her 365 day program of no gluten, no sugar and no cheese. She’s now tackling the transition to a Slow Carb, 4 Hour Body lifestyle… And I think she is loving it! Her body obviously is — look at the changes!!

    I’ll post a reference photo from our last session together, Ana is making incredible progress. Keep it up Ana!

    (For reference, her full body shots from our last session in January)

    (Even more reference: the “Before” photos at the very beginning of her 365 Days To A New Me journey)

  5. 4HB Slow Carb Diet | Fighting The Flu

    By @LisaTeso Stats: View Comments

    Chris came home from work around noon yesterday — something he does NOT do. His throat was killing him, glands were swollen and he was en fuego warm. His temp has been running 101 – 102 since then (when the Tylenol wears off). He’s gathering as much fit-full sleep on the couch as the dogs will allow.

    Poor guy. When he gets ill he get hit hard. He lost an additional 4lb while being HEALTHY last week, I am sure that this bout will take him (unwillingly) far past his desired low-weight.

    This time around it’s a challenge to take care of him! Normally it’d be canned chicken noodle soup, crackers and OJ up the wahzoo. I’m adjusting my “Take Care” mode to accommodate the dietary changes we have committed to. Hopefully they will help him get stronger even faster… because, you know, they’re better for him.

    So far I’ve made lots of Chamomile tea and have only given him 5oz of OJ (per his request). Breakfast was skipped (though I consumed my normal eggs/lentils/spinach/black coffee) and lunch is a delicious home made chicken and veggie soup. Recipe below.

    4 cups free range organic low sodium chicken broth
    1 cup organic low sodium portobello mushroom broth
    4 chicken thighs
    1 carrot
    1/2 medium onion
    1 stick celery
    1/2lb broccolini
    5 crimini mushrooms
    salt and pepper to taste

    Throw a table soon of olive oil into a saute pan and cook the chicken through. While the chicken cooks separately, throw another table soon of olive oil into a dutch oven or large pot. Toss in onion and carrot, cook until tender and slightly brown. Add broccolini, celery, mushroom, let cook for 4 minutes or so. Around now the chicken should be cooked through. Remove from pan and rip apart (shred or chop), toss into dutch oven. Add broth. Let simmer for as long as you’d like.


    Category: 4 Hour Body

  6. 4HB Slow-Carb Diet | Week 4

    By @LisaTeso Stats: View Comments

    Week 4 has come to a close… Chris and I are both weighing in at the same as we have since week 2 (168 and 105 respectively), and my measurements have stayed the same. Chris is down half an inch in his chest and one more inch in his waist. Not bad!

    I feel its also worth mentioning (for anyone else interested in doing this diet) that I’ve had to invest in a pregnancy-strength stretch mark skin toning oil… There has been that much re-composition.

    Below are a few recipes that we’ve enjoyed this week — recipes in accordance with the diet and a couple of ideas for your cheat day. Enjoy.

    Turkey Chili
    1lb ground turkey
    2 handfuls crimini mushrooms
    2 medium carrots
    1 medium onion
    15oz pureed tomatoes
    2 cups water
    2 medium tomatoes
    1 red pepper
    1 shallot
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    8oz can kidney beans
    8oz can garbanzo beans
    8oz can pinto beans
    (I also threw in half a zuccini and summer squash)

    In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the turkey. When cooked threw throw in the onion, carrot, red pepper, shallot, until cooked threw. Add beans, tomatoes and water. Cook for up to 3 hours or until desire consistency is reached. Salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

    Tuscan White Bean soup and giant salad with turkey. Both from New Seasons, but I’m going to put together a Tuscan Bean soup this week.

    Chilean Sea Bass, Pinto Beans and Collard Greens with artichoke
    Saute the Sea Bass with a sprinkling of Herbs de Provance and salt.

    Place collard greens into pan with pinto beans and pancetta. Cook through.

    Steam artichoke for 45 minutes, serve with side of olive oil and minced garlic.

    Steak tacocs, refried beans, mixed veggies served on Lettuce shells. Pretty self explanatory :)

    Below are Cheat Day foods — recipe for home made peanut butter cups follows the photos. Make them. They were unbelievably delicious.

    (Belmont LOVES pancetta)

    * 3 cups chocolate
    * 1 cup peanut butter
    * 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
    * 1/4 cup graham crackers, crushed
    * 1 teaspoon sea salt

    Full recipe and instructions

    Category: 4 Hour Body

  7. Portland Meat Collective | Beef Butchery

    By @LisaTeso Stats: View Comments

    I have developed a crush on the Portland Meat Collective. Not only does this organization offer incredible access to great/healthy meat, they educate their students with ease, humor and excitement. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to tag-along to a few of their classes.

    These photos are from the Basic Beef Butchery class held at the Art Institute International Culinary School. The class was lead by Bob Dickinson, Tray Satterfield (of Eat Oregon First) and Camas Davis (founder of Portland Meat Collective). Volunteering for the day were a coupla awesome folks (Sarah and Bubba) from The Collective. I feel lucky to be granted access to stalk such awesome people with my camera for 4 hours at a time! Also, since Chris and I have recently embarked up on a Slow Carb manner of eating, these classes are providing me with resources for excellent food sources — knowledge is power, yo.

    Going into this Beef Butchery class, I was a bit apprehensive. Red meat kinda freaks me out. In the past I’ve been an avid beef consumer (I’m convinced it’s one of the reasons my mister married me), but I’ve also gone through bouts of vegetarianism. I was concerned that seeing a side of beef would not only make me sick, but put me solidly back into a vegetarian state.

    My worries were unfounded.

    This experience was entirely non-gross. It was so fascinating to watch as familiar cuts of meat emerged, to learn how a brine injected into the femoral artery could infuse an entire primal cut (I hope I said that right). As each specific cut was developed we were told the history of that cut and the best ways to prepare it. Bob even gave tips on which bones would be great to give to your dog. I found myself craving a rib-eye for dinner after class. Not bad at all!

    All photos below were taken with respect to the students present — not many faces are included, just wanted to focus on gist of the day. If you’d like to see my photos from the Portland Meat Collective’s sausage making class, click here. All photos are ©Lisa Teso, do not use without permission.

    (Above: Bob Dickinson. He rules.)