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Archive for January, 2008

Looking Backward and Paying it Forward

Half the fun of social networking sites is the opportunity that it affords you to get back in touch with people. I’m fairly easy to find since my web-presence is, well, established to say the least. As one person put it: “your web footprint is a freakin’ bear track.”

The other day, I was contacted by someone that I literally haven’t spoken to since highschool. It was fun to catch up, and it put me in a nostalgic mood. So I decided to pay it forward so to speak and contact someone else that I haven’t spoken to in a while.

Girls are about 100 times harder to find than boys. Although I tried to find several female friends on the net, the proliferation of commonly used names in my age group makes ridiculously difficult to find any of the women I know from highschool, college, or grad-school since they’ve all married, changed their name, and moved. So I found a highschool buddy of mine who is male. I found his work phone number on the net. Boy is the net weird.

It was a blast speaking with him. Made me laugh, a lot. Anyway, I suggest it: contact someone from your past & ask them to pay it forward. It’ll bring a smile to your face.


Fun Weekend

I finally went out dancing in Seattle! I went with a new female friend. We had a blast at one of the hottest nightclubs in the city (Last Supper Club). What a funny scene it was — definitely not SoCal. There were some uber-geeks who never would have made it past the velvet rope in San Diego or LA. But it was fun.

In workout news: Saturday I had an amazing workout. Since there were fewer people in the gym, I did a really tough weight lifting workout: complete with grunting and panting. I’m almost at my squat goal. After a proper warmup, I am box-squatting 125 pounds for 2 sets of 10 reps. I’m also doing a lot with my upper body. I still have a long way to go with the bi’s and tri’s, but I am starting to see a little definition. I’m sore!


Is It Really Too Much To Ask?

I am having a rash of bad luck with restaurants. It seems that every they take the order with the “I’m so good, I don’t need to write it down” attitude, then they get it wrong. Jai Thai, Quiznos, some pho place, and tonight it was Ruth’s Chris. Yes, Ruth’s Chris. I ordered my steak sans butter, they served it (the first time) with butter.

I’ll deal with the misspellings like SEM/SAM any day if they’d at least write the order down. At least that would give the kitchen a fighting chance to get it right.

My friend Dominique would probably chalk this up to a Seattle v. San Diego showdown. She tends to think that service in California is primo, especially in fine dining restaurants. Her theory hinges on the multitude of college educated, well-spoken wait staff who are practicing Shakespeare in their off-hours, hoping for a break-out role. I used to think that this was a completely ludicrous theory, but I’m beginning to wonder!


Cautiously Networked

I just don’t know what to do with all of the social networking requests that I receive. It’s not that I’m popular, it’s that there are too many sites. Bebo, Namyz, and Spock are some of the recent ones that I decided not to join. I just don’t understand the value proposition of them as compared to the few sites that I am already a part of (LinkedIn and Facebook.)

Some cite the need to “stake their claim” on their name, but I don’t think that this argument applies to me since my name is so unusual. Go ahead, type Lura Lee in a search engine. I’ve got it locked up. There’s only one other Lura that is cited with any regularity on the internet, and she’s a black Capeverdean singer, who seems to be gaining some popularity.

So, if you want to send me an invitation to a new social networking website, I’d like you to give me a personal explanation for what that site does that is different or better than the ones that I’ve already populated. I don’t mean to be high-cost, or uncooperative. I’m open to the offer of some website that better meets my needs for membership, I just don’t see that this is the case for the aforementioned sites.


My Map of Visited Countries

create your own visited countries map

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Leg Press

I have been focusing on my legs when working out in the gym. Mostly this is because I hurt my wrist when skiing.

Here’s a photo of a leg press done with good form.

legpress on Wannabe Big


Exercise while Travelling

Today I’ll be travelling out of town for business. This brings up challenges for the workout routine that I recently established. But I can’t go excusing myself from exercise and healthy eating while travelling if I want to do well on the Body for Life Challenge.

So here are some ideas for exercise while travelling:

  • Bring Yoga CDs and view them on your work laptop in your hotel room. You can do yoga in your pagamas at the beginning or end of the day.
  • Old fashioned running or walking. You are practically guaranteed a sidewalk in any city in America.
  • Do isometric exercises in your hotel room.
  • Situps and pushups (also isometric), but I pull them out separately since you have no excuses for not doing them in any size hotel room.
  • Instead of watching the TV in your room, venture down to the hotel workout room. They probably won’t have much more than a few aerobic machines, but they’ll probably have a treadmill and an elliptical trainer for use by hotel guests.


Dreamsicle Shake

Everyday that you are dieting and weight training, you should consume protein. And sometimes a meal replacement shake is a good option. For those days, here’s a treat: The Dreamsicle Shake. Taste’s like an orange creamsicle.

Recipe: 1 cup of lowfat milk, 1 cup water, 1 scoop Biotest Grow Whey Nutrition, 1/4 scoop Tang, ice cubes and a blender. It’s that simple.

Here’s the nutritional breakdown:

Milk: Cal 100, Fat 2.4, Carb 11, Protein 8

Biotest Whey: Cal 120, Fat 2, Carb 2, Protein 22

Tang: Cal 40, Fat 0, Carb 9, Protein 0

Total: Cal 260, Fat 4.4, Carb 22, Protein 30


How Many Calories Should I Consume to Lose Weight?

Since I’m heading up the Body For Life Corporate Challenge in the office, I got asked the following question: I want to lose weight, so how many calories should I consume?

Although there are a plethora of equations and calculators available, they will all seem to converge if you start plugging in your numbers – at least, they did for me. Give these a try for yourself:

  • The Zig-Zag method calculator is easy to utilize.
  • You can also calculate your BMR, then consume fewer calories and, logically, you should lose weight.
  • One formula is (10.2 x Your Weight + 879) x .52 = X calories on non-weight lifting days; (10.2 x Your Weight + 879) x .65 = X calories on weight lifting days. (credit)


What to Measure

If you are embarking on a weight loss challenge, measure the following:

  • Around the largest part of your belly – A circumference larger than 40 inches for men or larger than 35 for women means that the person is at risk for Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 diabetes
  • Hips
  • Upper leg (thigh)
  • Lower leg (calf)
  • Chest (females: measure over breasts and again just below)
  • Upper arm (biceps)
  • Forearm (usually this just applies to men, women rarely change this measurement)
  • Neck (usually this just applies to men, women rarely change this measurement)

Now that you have the measurements, figure out your waist to hip ratio. The ideal is 0.7 for women and 0.9 for men. Here’s an online WHR calculator.


What Foods? Superfoods!

The following are essential food items for any person who wants a healthy eating lifestyle – and we have many/most of the following in our house at all times. This list is adapted from MWA forum, but it encompasses all of the SuperFoods lists that everyone else has. My list of superfoods makes for a Superfood Shopping List for a Super Household.



  • Protein Powder
  • Eggs (whites, whole, Omega3)
  • Free range turkey, chicken (fresh, whole meat, not pre-cooked deli cuts)
  • Any and all kinds of fish and shellfish
  • Buffalo, ostrich, elk, venison – anything free range and not particularly domesticated
  • Tofu (firm and extra firm)
  • Salmon burgers, soy burgers
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Yogurt and kefir


  • Oatmeal (Old Fashioned and Steel Cut)
  • Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
  • Beans (pinto, black, kidney)
  • Brown Rice
  • Farina (Cream of Wheat)
  • Quinoa, buckwheat
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat bread with over 3g fiber


  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkin, squash, zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Green leafy anything (spinach, bibb lettuce, romaine, chard)
  • Beans
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cauliflower and Broccoflower (a personal favorite)
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Onions


  • Blueberries and any other berry
  • Apples
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons and Limes
  • Bananas
  • Watermelon


  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, pistachios,sunflower seeds)
  • Flax and flaxseed oil
  • Avocado (whole or oil)
  • Coconut (milk, oil) – use sparingly
  • Natural peanut butter


  • Mustard (yellow, dijon, cottage)
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauces
  • Curry paste
  • Vegetable broth
  • Pickles (any flavor but sweet pickles)
  • Cans of tomato paste and stewed tomato
  • Fresh ginger root, high quality cinnamon powder, high quality vanilla
  • Raw sugar (turbinado), Splenda, stevia, high-quality maple syrup, high quality honey (use sparingly)
  • Cocoa 70% or higher (use sparingly)


New Year – The BFL Challenge Begins

OK – I know that it is chiche, but I am starting a diet and exercise program. Specifically, I am doing the 12-week Body For Life Challenge. In fact, I’m attempting to organize a competition at work – the Seattle office vs the Colorado office. I took measurements and before photos today. I wont be posting those on this site until there is a beautiful after photo.

Today, I went to the Rust Gym that MAS joined. I got a membership too even though I have a lifetime, no dues membership at Bally Total Fitness. I joined Iron Works because it is convenient (to home), the people are nicer, and it is a real weight-training gym with trainers who know what the heck they are doing (unlike Bally.)

Anyway, since it is the first day of my diet, I should declare my goal and pick a fitness image that inspires me. The goals: let’s say bodyfat percentage in the 20s, 133 lbs, and the ability to squat 135 again.

As for the fitness image that inspires me… this is actually very difficult. Finding a woman who has real boobs, is around 5.4, over 25 years old, and is over 115 pounds is unbelievably difficult. Not in real life, but oh buddy is it hard to find someone like that on the internet, TV, or in film.

The idea of a fitness inspiration is to look at a figure/shape that is somewhat plausible for your body shape — a little out of reach, but not a complete pipe dream. The best I could do is find an inspiring Ms. Fitness contestant named Kim Dawson. She’s a bit shorter, and she’s about 120 due to her amazing (but not hulking) muscles. Of course, I am so fair-skinned that it might make more sense for me to aspire to be like Dita Von Teese!

Kim D inspiration

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Left America for the 3nd time in 2007

I left the US 3 times in 2007. Not bad, but not great. In 2008 I hope to jack that number up a little bit more — I’m shooting for 5 trips.

Two of my trips were to Canada (one for work), then there was the trip to Australia.

Whistler, Canada Xmas 2007



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